I want to explain that being healthy is very important to me, even if some of my choices don't reflect that sentiment. I am old enough that I've had many conversations with myself concerning how I want to "do" my old age. And of course the plan must be in effect before I arrive at the time called "old". Perhaps I'm already there but I suppose it depends on the age of the person you ask, When I look around, I see no shortage of examples of how NOT to do old age and frankly they scare the hell out of me. So I've come to the conclusion that EVERYTHING nature throws at us as we get older is made worse (or harder) by being over weight, sedentary, or struggling with mobility. Any combination of those factors is worse. So that is my focus, avoiding those issues.
Weight has been a lifelong struggle for me. I USED to be obese (230+ pounds) but thankfully that has not been an issue for several decades. I USED to be a heavy smoker but thankfully I walked away from that nasty habit in the early 1990's. I USED to be a coke-a-holic (soda, not cocaine) but thankfully now I just have one (Diet Coke) in the evening. So the 2015 model of me is already vastly improved over the earlier versions.
So it occurs to me that there are some questions my readers may (are) asking. This boring, lengthy post will hopefully answer many of those questions. Some of you know me from the other blog. It will be interesting to hear if I sound very different in this one since this is "me without fur".
So without further ado. I answer what may be on your mind:
What is my weight goal?
I always say that my goal weight is 155 pounds. I am 5' 9" so that weight suits me well. The weight I liked the best was 130 pounds but I'm afraid that just isn't realistic anymore. I have no doubt that I could get to 130 pounds if I was well focused but I also have no doubt that I would NOT stay there. I don't want to work for anything that I cannot maintain. I would love to get under 155 pounds but I can be happy and feel good in my skin at 155 pounds. Anything less is just a nice surprise.
Why am I chasing a number on the scale?
As a runner, my weight has everything to do with my level of enjoyment of my running. My knees, lower legs and feet can feel the difference of only a couple pounds. I know from my personal history this number represents the point where my running feels really good and my body feels good too.
How old am I?
I am 59 years old. And sometimes that scares the crap out of me but it is much better than the alternative.
How much do I weigh?
As of this morning (5-23-15) I weigh 163.8 pounds (74.3 kg. if I did that right). Despite the advice that one should only weigh themselves weekly to avoid the craziness of watching the scale fluctuate, I know from experience that I cannot take my focus away from the information my scale gives me. In the past I have ignored the increase of MANY pounds. I am a fan of data and that piece of data and being vigilant to NOT let it get totally out of control is the only thing that keeps me within my BMI range. I tend to get out of control with my eating and that number reins me in. I consider myself just a chocolate chip cookie away from obesity.
How can a runner need to lose weight?
Running averages about 100 calories per mile. This number varies slightly with the variances of mass but it is a realistic figure to use for discussions. Now when you calculate how many calories are actually burned for let's say a 10 mile run, we're talking about the neighborhood of a 1,000 calorie burn. I can easily out eat my calorie burn with just a few (or less) bad choices in the foods I choose to eat or with portion size. Also, I tend to not get much exercise on my off-running days. I am trying to improve on that. After all, the human body was created to be active 7 days a week, not three. (NOTE: Sunday may be a day of rest but there's no reason to rest on the couch.)
How much do I run?
I run 3 days a week. On Monday I do a long run of 13 miles. On Wednesday I do a 7 mile run and on Friday we run with our Doods (Murphy & Stanley) for 6 miles. So using the 100 calories per mile calculation, by running 26 miles each week I have burned off LESS than 1 pound of fat. It takes a 3500 calorie deficit to lose 1 pound and my running burns off about 2600 calories. Reality bites, eh? But the flip side of that is that as long as I don't overeat, I can lose weight without getting too restrictive on my calories.
Do I always eat such repetitive, boring meals?
The short answer is "yes". My eating can drive a normal person nuts. My meal planning (and seriously I am laughing at the notion I just called it meal planning) is greatly affected by these facts:
I do NOT like to cook at all - period. I don't eat meat. I don't like thinking about what to eat because it will only cause me trouble because make no mistake, I LOVE eating. And lastly, my need for regularity.
OK, a little bit of explaining may be in order. The reason I don't eat meat is not because of any moral reasoning about whether eating meat is right or wrong, I just find it gross. I grew up on a meat-eating small farm and have always been "on the edge" of being able to tolerate eating meat. It seems our society (or my mother) had implanted the message in my brain that for supper you must eat meat, potatoes (or a starch) and a vegetable, I have eaten meat for many years. Finally last year, I reached my tipping point and decided I just cannot continue eating something that is (to me) just plain gross. I make no judgement on anyone else who eats meat (hubby still eats meat), I just don't do it.
Yes, I do love eating. And I LOVE eating bread! There, I said it. It's out on the floor. I will never give up eating bread. It gives me joy! It also gets me into trouble in terms of calories for I love not only bread but, hold on to your seats, I love white bread! I am dancing at the thought! The rest of the world may have labeled bread (especially white) as evil, but for me it's my friend. My soft, tasty friend! I also love ice cream. We rarely bring it into the house but when we do it's like having an AA meeting at the bar. I love cheeses and crunchy things. These are the foods that head me down the road of out-of-control. Yup, I know my demons and they are quite lovable. So really, I am much safer with my repetitious diet and because of some whacked out thing in my brain that demands routine, I usually have no problem with it.
So every day I have All Bran cereal with a banana for breakfast. The reason for this is regularity. Now this might be too much information for some folks but the reality of the situation is that when you are a long distance runner the LAST thing you want to have happen on a run is that you need to poop. This can be a BIG problem! So regularity not only feels good from a health standpoint but being able to "set the clock" by the routineness of my bowels has really paid off when out on a run. It doesn't taste that great but it's a worthy trade off. All Bran = regularity = trouble avoided.
For lunch I have chicken noodle soup (I pick out the chicken bits and we use them for a short training session for Murphy & Stanley after lunch) and a cheese sandwich. Supper varies but it isn't unusual for me to have the same thing several days in a row or to have something unconventional, like Shredded Wheat.
So for anyone who has held on through this terribly long post, that pretty much summarizes things and hopefully answers what might be on your mind. I guess my bottom line is:
I'm not trying to be perfect, just better more often.
And knowing you are out there, looking back at me, will really help me cuz I can do a great job of hiding from myself. I look forward to your comments and suggestions (even if I don't follow them lol)!