My journey started with weight loss. I lost over 50 lbs before I ever started to exercise. I took up running as a way to help maintain my weight loss.
I also maintained my weight by exercising portion control and avoiding some not-so-healthy choices (drive-thru, French fries, DQ Blizzards, etc).
I anticipated that this would be a problem post Ironman. My caloric intake skyrocked when I was training 20+ hours/week. A lot of that was consumed during my workouts (Gatorade, GU, Cliff Bars), but portion sizes got much bigger, and so did my appetite. I was grazing a lot more (out of genuine hunger). My weight stayed steady, but I became leaner with more muscle mass…so I knew my caloric intake was what I needed (probably about 4000 calories/day).
I knew this would be a problem after my Ironman since my workouts would radically decrease, but I had resumed many of the habits that got me into trouble in the first place.
I went into IM Wisconsin at 147 lbs (2 lbs greater then what I consider to be my ideal weight). A body composition analysis pre-race put my % body fat at 5% and visceral fat at 3% – Iwas “underfat”. That was a term I had never heard before (and, since I was obese in 2011, I never thought that such a term would apply to me).
Since my race, I never got my weight back down. I was starving after what I used to consider to be a normal sized meal. I was boredom eating again. I had 2 marathons on the schedule in the months following my IM, so I was still running, but training volumes were way down. My weight kept creeping up. It reached 151.5 lbs a couple of times. I consider 150 lbs a “panic” weight and an alarm goes off that I need to change things right away.
Slowly, I have been chipping away at it. I weigh myself every day. Ideal is 145 +/- 2 lbs (there will always be about a 2 lbs variation in my weight for fluids) but the weight should hover around 145 and that should be the number I see most of the time.
I haven’t seen that number in 6 months. Not since before my Ironman.
It was the number that I saw yesterday.
This morning, I am back at 146.5 lbs. but 145 lbs is now within the range of normal weight fluctuations. I probably have 2 more lbs of fat to lose before 145 becomes the standard. With marathon training ramping up, I should be able to achieve that before I line up in Pittsburgh.
I kept the winter weight creep down and to a couple of pounds. Overall, I consider that to be a pretty successful off-season…