When I lost 60 plus lbs in 2008, I defined my "happy weight" (= an arbitrary number that I will not put on the blog). I don't know what is was about that number, but it just seemed right. I felt good at that weight and I seemed to be easily able to maintain it... And anything less than that, made me look like a wet rat... Trust me, I know... There was the week with the stomach bug.
I was fluctuating around that "happy" weight for around two years and then (very) slowly but surely, the scale creeped back up again. Too slowly for anybody around me to notice much. Of course I did notice it.... I didn't weigh myself on a daily basis, but often enough to see the trend. I just didn't do anything about it.
In the bulk of training for AOMM early last year, I was about 5lbs up from my "happy" weight, but with all of the training going on, who can really think about cutting back calories... right? The thought process was, to take care of it when Mitchell was over. I did an effort for about a week and I expected weight loss out of the week of clean eating, which never came and in no time, I was back eating out every lunch... (A cheeseburger and fries? Of course! I go biking after work, I burn that off in no time.) Once tri season was over, holiday season started and between Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's and a couple of birthday parties, I was up around 14lbs from my "happy" weight. I was not overweight based on BMI calculations (how accurate are things things anyways for athletes?), but I was at a point, that I tried on pants before throwing them into my gym bag to make sure they still fit me. I am not joking!
In the middle of January, I decided to finally put a stop to this upward trend and take my nutrition seriously again... for longer than a week. I did this weight loss thing before, there is no reason, I can't do this again. And now I am happy to report, that I hit my goal weight (=happy weight) this week and find myself in mainentance mode once again.
The biggest changes that I did:
- daily calorie burn vs calorie consumption evaluation (shooting for at least a 500 calorie deficit per day = a 1 lbs loss per week)
- take lunch to work
- drink more water
- reduce eating out in general
- treat myself every now and then vs every day
- don't beat myself up, if some days I didn't hit my goals
It's funny, how big of a topic weight is for us endurance athletes. When I talk to my athlete friends and read other athlete's blogs, weight always is a topic. Most of these people are not overweight, but yet we still somewhat obsess about it. It almost sounds like we have it all backwards, because we workout so much, we should be able to eat whatever. But I said it here before and I will say it again: You can't outtrain your diet! (I didn't come up with this, but it's my new mantra.) But a healthy diet will support your athletic goals, not only when it comes to weight, but also in the way you feel. Case in point was the double cheeseburger and fries from a fast food place, that I had after our epic brick on Saturday. It made me sick. Lesson learned (again).
My goal for mainentance mode is to establish eating habits that match my activity level to ensure that I fuel my workouts properly without packing on the pounds again.
Disclaimer: I am obviously not a health professional and just sharing my experiences here.