Friday, January 22, 2016

The Weight Gain Game

After my last post dealt mainly with running for the love of the game, today's post goes a bit in the opposite direction. What can I say? I do have an ambitious side to me in addition to an easy going side that is satisfied by just frolicking in the forest for the love of it. And it's that side that is responsible for the thoughts in this post.

I am aware that even though my weight keeps yo-yoing by about 10-15 lbs throughout the year, I am neither overweight, nor do I have body image issues.  I have just reached a point in my running where performance gains don't come all that easily anymore. The fact that I have been running consistently and somewhat ambitiously for about four years now has allowed me to gradually better my race results along the way. Eventually father time will have a word with me and I will be in the game of minimizing performance losses though. I shall then resign myself to checking any time goals at the door and running further or having the most fun possible in the process.

For now I will try to get a little leaner in the name of (relative) speed, but here is the problem. This ambition alone doesn't seem to motivate me enough to change my diet or restrict my calorie intake to achieve the desired weight loss.

There is an interesting Sweat Science blog post on our body's natural tendency to regulate our appetite, calorie intake and at keeping our weight in a healthy range, as long as we are not totally sedentary. I think the only reason why this (almost 60 year old) research might not be 100% valid today anymore is because all of today's addictive and processed junk food that is getting a lot of us to continually override the natural feeling of satiety.

When it comes to myself, I need to manage to make good clean eating choices and not eat out of boredom or simply because some yummy food happens to cross my path. If I manage to do that the number on the scale will take care of itself and so will the race results. Essentially I have to manage to eat consciously rather than mindlessly, which is always a good idea, but one that I don't always seem to remember. Apparently if I take care of listening to my body's signals, my body will in turn take care of everything else.

Have fun and be healthy.