Today, I made the mistake of looking at pictures from the Baltic Run. Not the pictures that I took, mind you; those are great photos. I’ve looked at them several times and love seeing the people, the countryside, remembering the event. No — I looked at someone else’s pictures, a couple of which had me in them. In my bike clothes.
I weigh too much.
I do not look like someone who exercises or runs long distance or bikes or swims regularly.
The numbers on the scale agree. I am a solid six pounds over my Ironman weight and 12–14 pounds over my last marathon PR weight. On the plus side, I weigh less than I did when I was sick after NYC and less than I did coming off of not being able to run for two holiday months this year, but it is still too much.
I’m a pretty disciplined person who likes healthy food and loves to exercise. I don’t drink much alcohol at all, have cut out sodas and most processed food, shun fast food, and don’t eat many sweets or desserts. You’d think weight would not be a problem. It is. And it has been since around 2004. It feels like a personal failure; if only I applied myself hard enough, I’d succeed. Obviously, I don’t — as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.
It’s clearly the food aspect of the equation that is off. If the overwhelming weight decider (combined with my metabolism) were exercise, I’d be the same size I was back in 2002. I’ve only added more mileage, more types of workouts, more days of workouts. I remember back at that weight thinking to myself that I would surely always be this size because I could never see doing less, I loved it so much. Nope…exercise is not the deciding factor. I simply eat too much. Or eat too much of the wrong things. Combine that with getting older and a changing metabolism, and there you have it.
The struggle is wrapping my mind around where I need to go to be where I want to be and deciding that that kind of food discipline is worth it. It all boils down to whether I want to look like I exercise badly enough to eat appropriately all the time.
I’m still changing up my exercise with some different types of workouts (hello, weights) and the shorter, faster run workouts help, too. I’ll continue with the food log and use it be more rigorous on portion control and in resisting that emotional eating I’ve realized happens much more often than I’d thought.
I told Meredith that the next time I did an Ironman, I wanted to have to buy a new wetsuit because my current one was too big. Every pound over my ideal weight is 10 seconds added onto my mile pace. Each additional pound is keeping me from averaging 20mph on the bike at TT.
I’ve got my Baltic Run shirt hanging up in my closet as a goal reminder.