Expanding Abilities and Waistlines

PT has begun. I’m trying to dedicate myself to recovery exercises just as I would training for an event…but it’s hard to think about it that way.

Every day, I walk a little better. On Mother’s Day, I was able to hit Lady Bird Lake for the first time in months with my friend Stacey. I went my maximum (30 minutes); Stacey had to slow a little bit for me, but not as much as she would have had to a week or so ago. On Monday, I went for my first “real” PT session. There were some nerves (would it hurt?) and a lot of curiosity.

I forget (as do most of us who do all this trail-ultra-tri-marathon running stuff) how MUCH my body can do and at what a high performance level I MAKE it work at. It’s such a weird sensation to work my ankle to the point of exhaustion and literally feel nothing anywhere else. It’s very frustrating to be told “no” to activities that I completely took for granted a few months ago. Clearly, I’m addicted to my ultra runner’s burn.

So as one would expect, months of relative (and actual) inactivity have caused me to gain weight. This is really, really hard for me. The negative self-talk on this is high. I feel as though I am eating nothing but I can’t drop a pound of this to save my life. It’s becoming obvious that I need to go to some completely iron-fisted management of my food intake in order to be able to start running at a good weight. Actually, in order for me to be happy with the way my body looks when I’m not running.

It’s clear that I’ve relied on a heavy dose of exercise to keep my weight under control. At my height and age and with my body type, I don’t think I have any room for fudge when it comes to daily calories. I just wish I could see some kind of success here soon that would help me recognize that there is a reward for all the focus. It’s like my food allergy maintenance and running:  I never really had an issue because I immediately got the reward. If I didn’t follow those dietary restrictions, the kind of running I like to do was not an option. So I haven’t really felt deprived. However, I can’t seem to find the right balance now with food, a balance that rewards me with weight loss when exercise is out of the picture.

It seems like in a simple matter of calories-in, calories-out, at some point I should lose weight. But I have a sneaking suspicion that my body has learned over the last years to be very efficient with its calorie burn and that the equation is just not so simple anymore.

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Published by Leah Nyfeler

I'm a writer, editor, runner, and adventurer who is always looking for the next new story, exciting adventure, and good meal/book/movie. My focus is on helping people find their best, healthiest self through sharing what I know and how I've come to learn it. In addition to my blog "Enjoying the Journey: Observations on the Fit Life" at www.leahruns100.com, my articles have appeared in a variety of print and online magazines. You can hear me as part of the 2015 Austin cast of Listen To Your Mother.

0 thoughts on “Expanding Abilities and Waistlines

  1. Nutrition

    Leah – I am so happy to hear that you went for 30 mins around Town Lake – such a victory!!! You know, when I finally decided to go to the nutritionist, one of the things I kept telling myself is that \”I can\’t run ultras for the rest of my life as a weight management tool.\” I too noticed that when I took \”off periods\” which alarmingly were running marathons and not training for ultras – I gained weight. This was a wake up call for me.

    I have to learn how to eat for my age and body type without copious amounts of exercise. I don\’t like to diet, and I DO NOT LIKE TO BE HUNGRY!!! Visiting the nutritionist is sort of like diet therapy for me – I am learning some things that I already knew and some new things. For example – I know if I want to lose weight, I should not eat ice cream at night (but having someone put that down on a piece of paper and hold me accountable for it made a difference). What helps is having someone who knows what they are doing get me on a plan and encouraging me to take small steps.

    All this to say, I think you should go back and see your nutritionist and as you work on your physical recovery – you can also work on your nutrition. We need to take one of those walks around Town Lake and compare notes.

  2. As much as I love doing events, a major, major reason I end up always Doing is because I find it hard to regulate my weight without activity. So I completely understand where you\’re coming from, and I sympathize massively. I agree with Stephanie.. meet with Meredith and lay it all on her and let her help you figure it out. It still won\’t be easy, but at least you\’ll know you\’re doing the right things.

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