If I were to tell my friends that I am overweight, most would scoff at the idea. "You? Overweight? Have you gone mental?*. You run, bike, and swim for hours and days on end. How can you possibly be overweight?"
* I apologize for the random Wayne's World reference!
But there's another aspect to this story. My body has become so thoroughly efficient at accomplishing what I throw at it in terms of cardiovascular exercise that it doesn't burn as many calories as when I first started doing these things. So I never really go into caloric deficit as long as I keep eating while I am working out. Also, the long distance work doesn't put enough stress on the body to make it burn more calories and get stronger.
The whole reason to lose a bit of weight is to get faster, stronger and to look good in a bikini… Okay, so I'm kidding about the bikini*. I also want to be more flexible (I used to be able to touch the floor with my palms while standing with straight legs!), have a lower resting heart rate (the last time I weighed under 185, my resting heart rate was under 45) and be able to beat Bob Corman on Old La Honda again (it's a modest goal! Kidding!*)…
* Or am I?
I began taking strength training classes at Integrate Performance Fitness last month, and am slowly getting stronger. I've also started going to a weekly spin class, also at Integrate. The aim is to add more intensity to my workouts, so that I burn more calories and get stronger and faster.
Since that alone doesn't work fast enough to lose substantial weight quickly, I've also begun to limit my calorie intake. The "normal" calorie consumption of a sedentary person of my height, goal weight and age should be around 2300 to maintain a steady weight. I've been tracking my calories for 8 days now, and haven’t gone above 2700 (and that was on a day with a couple of hours of intense exercise). I’m trying to lose 1.5 pounds per week.
So far, I am down from 203.6 pounds to 201.5 pounds. I can already tell that this process is working. And as the days go by, it becomes easier and easier to stay away from the junk food. So, though I am hungry; I know that the result will be worth a couple months of suffering to attain. Going from 21% down to 12% won't be easy, but it will be worthwhile!
Now, if I could just get my ankle healed so I can start running again!
Update, November 30… Day 16.
After 16 days of cutting back on the calories, the results are beginning to show. On the scale, I’m down to 199.3; though I feel better than being in calories deficit mode for more than two weeks should allow. I’m currently at the lightest weight I’ve been since before the American River 50 Mile Run in March, and feel like I am making good progress.
So, I’ve lost 4.3 pounds in 16 days. At that rate, I’ll be below 190 shortly after the new year begins; and down to 180 by mid-February. Hopefully my willpower can last that long! I feel that this will help my cycling and running more than anything else. Again, the motivation is to kick ass in the hills again…
Update, December 12… Day 29.
So, it has now been four weeks. I am now down 9.2 pounds, at 194.4; and well on my way to my target weight.