I haven’t talked about my weight on the blog in a while – mostly because I have been sitting kind of steady with my weight and there really hasn’t been anything to report one way or the other…but I want to get my weight coming down again for some upcoming races and posting about it here on the site seems to keep me honest and a bit more focused. So grab a drink this is going to be a long post.
Some history – back in November and again in January I hit 215 pounds. This point marks 42 pounds down from my official starting weight of 257 in September 2012. My weight seems to keep fluctuating back up to around the 220-222 mark which is still pretty good but I want to get lower. My running is still going well but I just can’t seem to get the weight to come down. Most of the reason of this is diet frankly – I am pretty sure my consumed calories are now balanced out with my running calories and downward progress has stalled. Throw in a fair bit of snacking and convenience food to go along with the cabin fever I have going on right now (this winter needs to end!!) and I can tell it is time to make some changes.
I want to get my weight moving again and would ideally like to hit 207 by the time I hit my birthday in mid-April – basically in around 4.5 weeks from the time of writing this. This would mean being down 50 pounds from my start point – a significant number and an important milestone mentally. Thirteen pounds in 4.5 weeks? It is possible (have done it before) but it is going to take focus and some significant effort.
I have a fairly large bone and muscular structure and I think given that an ideal body weight for me will be around the 197 point (without losing too much muscle mass)…although 200 might be more realistic which should still have me in the 12-15% body fat range. The lowest I can remember being after high school (many many moons ago) is 204 back in the summer of 2001 but I went heavily into weights at that point and put on additional muscle. I was 215 when I ran my first half marathon in the summer of 2002 (still my PR at 1:45:11 although I got within 63 seconds of that back in October). Now when I hit 215 in November and January I did not have the muscle that I did in 2002 at the same weight. So I have definitely lost muscle mass and that needs to be taken into account when I try to figure out what my weight should be.
What does all that mean? Not sure actually but what I think it is telling me is that I will right now set my goal weight to be 200 pounds and I will want to be there prior to the Manitoba Marathon on Father’s Day in June. At that point I will re-evaluate again and figure out my body fat percentage to see what I need to do.
How do I get there? There are few things I must do and a few things I am going to experiment with to see if they help or hinder.
What are the must dos?
- Really focus on my diet and cut down on the snacking. To do this I have to make sure I get back to my high protein breakfasts – I used to make sure I had over 50 grams of protein with breakfast (protein shake, 2 hard-boiled eggs and some nuts usually) but I got kind of sick of the protein shakes I was using and slowly drifted away from this. I think that is making me hungrier during the day and my work lunches aren’t lasting and then I end up snacking when I get home before supper is ready. Not a good cycle, so I have found another protein shake that I like and will be trying that (and switching up the eggs as I am kind of tired of hard-boiled as well). This starts tomorrow morning.
- Increase intensity of my running and keep pushing the long distance runs. Have started doing this already with the new treadmill but I will continue the trend and I should very soon be able to get in some outdoor runs (which will help break the cabin fever).
- Reduce or eliminate Coke. This is a tough one for me as this is my caffeine fix too. I have tried to go cold turkey before and end up with wicked headaches so I will start by keeping a close watch on what I drink, do some portion control and slowly reduce my intake.
- Get more sleep! This one has been tough this week as well after the time change but it is vital – not only is getting enough sleep important but if I stay up late I tend to hit snooze too often in the morning before work. I then run out of time to make my high protein breakfast and that blows my diet for the rest of the day as well. And then I also need more Coke for caffeine. The dietary issues compound if I don’t get enough sleep.
- Blog about my weight. This is to keep myself honest and provides a layer of oversight if things go off the rails!
And some things I am going to experiment with:
- Spirulina algae – I have seen a lot of info about EnergyBits and I have been impressed…but they come at a premium and that makes it hard for me to justify as an experiment. Being from Canada and our dollar taking a nose dive the cost is more exaggerated for me as well putting it outside what I can justify until I am sure spirulina works for me. So I am going to try out a brand of spirulina that I was able to get in caplet form here in Winnipeg that at least on paper looks like it is equivalent for a price I felt comfortable paying as an experiment. If I find it helps me both in the snack control and endurance running then I will be taking the plunge on EnergyBits.
- Morning runs – double run days – doing a short run every weekday morning besides the nightly scheduled training runs. I tried this back in the fall and I saw some significant improvements in my running but I was sooooo tired since I couldn’t get my sleep cycle sorted with getting up earlier. If I can get that managed then this will be a great way for me to increase my daily mileage and get my metabolism rocking first thing in the morning. Can’t do this one yet though – have to wait for the ice to be off my running trails! Hopefully I can get rolling on this in early April.
- Having protein shakes at work during the day as a meal supplement. I’m not going to go the route of using a protein shake as a meal replacement but I think if I can have a protein shake after lunch it should help keep me from wanting to snack through the afternoon. And hopefully will help reduce my urge to drink Coke. Going to start this tomorrow as well.
So those are my thoughts at least. Hopefully they have an impact and I am able to get my weight moving in the right direction. I will continue to evaluate to see where I stand and see if I am hitting my goals and make adjustments. I have obviously found a good spot for maintaining and now it is going to take some work to bust through this plateau!
Thanks for reading!