Work, rest and food

Training is this delicate balance between work, rest and nutrition.

You need to work hard in order to get stronger.

You need to eat in order to get energy.

And you need to rest in order to heal.

So, I’ve been gaining weight again.

That’s my weight for the past six months, always taken with no clothes on, first thing in the morning so I have a baseline level of accuracy. There was a peak after the Sugarloaf Marathon (normal, I had a marathon-size appetite with a a 12-mile-week workout schedule). And then … despite the fact that my training volume has increased, its going up again.

I’ve been running more over the past several weeks.

Miles travelled running.

But not even just running, I’ve been working out more in the past several weeks.

Time logged exercising.

The peak last week is a bit misleading, because my long run for the week before was pushed to this week, essentially giving this week two long runs worth of distance.

I have a couple hypotheses to the culprit here. PLEASE NOTE: I am not a certified anything and my opinion is totally bro-science.

Suspect #1: My doctor switched me to a different brand/dose of birth control this month. I know that when I went onto birth control the first time I lost a few pounds, and I wonder if this is that weight coming back and saying hello.

Suspect #2: I’ve been trying to work weight lifting into my routine. I’ve done it 1-2 times a week for the past month. This is a only a mini-suspect because I simply don’t think I’ve lifted enough to make a big difference.

And, Suspect #3: I am eating too much.

The first and second time I trained for a marathon, it surprised me how hunger affected me. It’s strikes you when you don’t expect it — definitely not after working out, when you’d think you’d want to eat back all those calories you burned. No, its more like you sit down to dinner and give yourself a healthy portion and then realize you’ve gone back to the serving dish three times. Oh, and can I have two portions of desert, please? I try to eat slow and wait for those “your full” symptoms to come, but they take longer when the training volume goes up. And I can eat a huge meal and be hungry again shortly thereafter.

So you could tell me that maybe I am gaining muscle and not fat. And maybe there is a little bit of that. That’s why I do measurements, too.

June 22 (153.8 pounds):

  • Chest: 40″
  • Waist: 30″
  • Hips: 37.75″

Today (157.8 pounds)

  • Chest: 39″ (-1 inch)
  • Waist: 29.5″ (-a half inch)
  • Hips: 39″ (+1.25 inches)

Maybe those are those cyclist quads I’m developing … 🙂

OK, I kid. Even if I am gaining muscle, I’m not totally convinced that gaining weight is great news. Here’s my plan of attack:

1. 9 hours of sleep a night. I have long accepted that I need more sleep than the average person. And I haven’t been getting it lately. Which is probably why I was sick last week.

2.  Conscientious eating — for now. I am going to make an extra effort to be mentally aware for everything I eat. “Am I really hungry right now? Do I really want this?” I haven’t been as faithful to that lately as I was last year.

My happy place for marathon time would be 150 pounds, a weight that I only saw briefly during the Maine Marathon last year. If I go over 160 pounds, that would be when I would go to more serious dieting measures, like logging everything I eat.

Which I don’t really want to do.

But part of being a former fat person is the constant obsession with staying a former fat person. It was really hard work to get to where I am, and I’ll be damned if I slipped right back to where I started without fighting all the way.

Pattie Reaves

About Pattie Reaves

I'm a new mom and renegade fitness blogger at After the Couch. I live in Brewer with my husband, Tony, our daughter Felicity, and our two pugs, Georgia and Scoop.