As runners, we get tied up in numbers. X miles at X pace. X temp, X wind, X humidity. X feet of elevation. Let’s run at X time and keep it at X heart rate.
A couple weeks ago, I posted a Sunday ‘by the numbers’ on Insta:
Yes, all the numbers in the caption were on my mind, but a bigger one overshadowed all those listed: seven.
I’m up a solid seven pounds since Boston. Even typing that is hard. Ever since I crossed the line, I’ve been indulging: cookies, cake, pasta, wine. It’s all been fair game.
This isn’t to say I’ve been stuffing my face non-stop since, but I haven’t been on my macros for a consecutive week since April. I’d eat pretty well on weekdays, then on the weekends I’d indulge. I’d eat like a “normal person” and not count.
I didn’t turn down dinner and drinks with friends. I just lived, and it was nice. I traveled a few times and instead of packing protein powder or a cooler full of macro-friendly foods, I ate at restaurants and rolled with it.
It’s all fun and games until your clothes get a little tight. It took a while to work up the courage to step on the scale. I finally did, and the number staring back at me almost made me cry. Seven pounds.
It’s not so much the number, but the fact I allowed it. It was a conscious choice. I recognized something important about myself: after each hard marathon and training cycle, I indulge and let go for a few months. This isn’t necessarily bad, maybe it’s healthy even, but I didn’t realize I was doing it or that I had a pattern of it.
I’ve come to terms with the increase, accepted it, and made the decision to cut. For anyone who’s done this, you know it’s not fun. It requires dedication. There are no “off” days. For me, this means no alcohol until I reach my goal. I set myself up for success, and alcohol definitely doesn’t do that. Besides the empty calories (that are counted), it makes me hungry. It’s a double whammy.
I also remove any trigger foods from my house, anything that makes me want to eat more than I should, especially when I’m not hungry. Bye, sugary cereals and Jif Whips.
This situation makes me second guess my decision to stop training for Chicago. When I’m marathon training, I’m my best self. I go into robot mode and become extra efficient. It ironically makes me extremely busy, yet I get everything done. The higher miles would’ve went hand-in-hand with leaning out, but that’s no reason to train for a marathon.
So, here I am: cutting. Ugh. Putting this out there will help hold me accountable. I don’t want to waste my time. If I cut, I cut. It makes no sense to be on point during the week, then go HAM on the weekends and mess up the deficit you worked hard for.
That cycle is common, and it just wastes time and makes us less happy. Our bodies will maintain on a shockingly large amount of calories, so either cut, or just be happy.
For now, I am attempting to cut and love myself through it. As soon as I reach my happy place, I will reverse, slowly adding in macros (calories) until I’m satisfied with my level of food. I’m already missing my 2,100 daily calories I had for months while training, but I will get back there.