As you know, after being injured a few weeks ago it has been difficult to get back into my running routine. The weather isn't helping; it has taken three days for my shoes to even resemble dry after getting soaked in Monday's downpour. Add to all of that a feeling that I've been fighting off a bug plus my approaching TOM next week.
Also in the mix is that I haven't lost any weight since I started marathon training two months ago; in fact, I was slowly adding a few pounds. I know it's from trading fat for muscle, but in the past few weeks my clothes started to feel less than snug. I know I can be prone to going overboard with food (not a whole lot, just enough to trigger weight creep) when I don't feel well, either physically or mentally, and lately it's been both. With the injury, the weather, etc., I've had a hard time answering the question of "why am I doing all this?"
So, I need to make a plan and set some goals that, ideally, can and will be met over the shorter term. I've been thinking about it -- since I haven't been running much I've had the time -- and here's what I have come up with so far. These are all one month goals, for the month of November.
Goal: Keep a food diary.
Why: I've written before that I'm not sure if I am eating enough calories or too much. I've had success keeping calorie intake around 1600 calories a day on average -- when I'm not exercising. Since I've started running I have more or less lost a clothing size but I've only lost maybe ten pounds max since January. Which was the ten pounds I'd slowly added back on in the six months or so since I'd stopped keeping close track of my calories. I think I eat around 2000 calories a day on average. But again, I wasn't losing anything and I should have at least lost a few pounds because I was now burning around 1500 extra calories a week on average. According to various calorie calculators, based on my weight/height/age/activity level my Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is 2500 calories a day. I should have been losing at least some tenths of a pound in a week.
This goal will go through Thanksgiving, so that should be interesting.
Goal: Aim for 2000 to 2100 calories a day.
Why: The calorie counter I checked today had my BMR at 190 lbs at 2498 calories a day. 2500 for simplicity's sake. That would mean to lose a pound a week I would need to cut 500 calories a day, by intake or by exercise. I also calculated my BMR for my goal weight of 145 lbs; that comes up to 2194 calories or 2195 for a nice round number. Between those two, 2100 calories a day should result in a slow, steady weight loss.
I'm not going to set a goal of what type of foods I will eat. I try to be balanced and do okay in that respect. I should eat a couple more servings of fruit and veg each day and definitely go for more variety but I have fruit and veg issues so I consider getting anything close to the USDA recommended daily allowance at all a good thing. Plus as far as weight loss goes, it's only the number of calories that matter, not the type. It might affect things like cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc., but not weight loss.
I started my food diary again today to get back in the rhythm. I just had a glass of milk and a Reese's peanut butter cup and am at 1779 calories for the day. That should be it for today for me.
Goal: No fast food drive throughs, with the exception of McDonald's breakfasts (but only on a day I have already done a run) and Taco Bell (but only on bellydance nights).
Why: I always order more than I should eat. And then I eat it. But only if I have gone through the drive through and then taken it home. I wouldn't sit in a restaurant and eat that much. I wouldn't even order it in the restaurant to take it home. I wouldn't order or eat it if I was with a friend. Hence, the goal.
As for the exceptions, let's look at it one at a time. For McDonald's, I can make the calories work, with or without doing a run first. But the quality of the calories isn't what I want to eat on a regular basis. Yet there are days -- not very often -- where it is an indulgence I feel I need, so if it works calorie-wise and I limit it to the rare occasion then I believe it is a workable exception. Plus we all know that a draconian diet simply is not workable for anyone, particularly in the long term.
For Taco Bell, my bellydancing class starts at 6:00 p.m. and I'm going there pretty much straight from work. I grab a granola bar for on the way there but just don't have the time to eat more than that, plus I don't want to exercise on a full stomach. So on my way home I stop at Taco Bell for a couple of burritos for dinner, which run about 800-900 calories and they are filling as well. There isn't a good alternative to this. If I don't pick up dinner then I'm inclined to eat junk (and a lot of it) instead, and much later than normal so that it triggers my acid reflux during the night. If I went to another fast food drive through I would order way more than I should, and I would eat it all, and it would really trigger my acid reflux during the night. Oh, and eating anywhere other than Taco Bell is kind of pricey. At Taco Bell, I get two burritos for under two dollars. Hence, the Taco Bell exception was born.
So those are my goals for the month of November. I think in another week I will add in an exercise goal, after TOM. The crazy time at work is starting early so I fully expect that exercise will become a definite challenge to fit in through the end of the year.
I think is enough for tonight!