Adjusted Reality

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” – Mark Twain

/Rant On

So, if you’ve noticed, I’ve really stopped talking about my nutrition/weight progress/etc, besides just weighing in once a week.

It’s not because I’m slacking or have given up.  I’ve just stopped seeing progress.  It’s fucking frustrating.  My nutritionist is frustrated too.  If my body cooperated, I should have probably been dipping into the 150s and close if not at my goal by now instead of just being stuck.

With all these gains I’ve been making in my running (biking, and swimming), imagine what they’d be like if I could lose this 25 and get back to my 150 happy weight.  If it’s really true that you can cut off an average of 2 second per mile per pound (not that I don’t trust Adam, it just seems crazy to me), I could be rocking almost 1 minute/mile faster paces if I could just deal with this shit.  I’m really noticing that getting sub 9:30 and especially sub-9 feels like a lot more work than it should, even though I have endurance I have never had before.  Maybe when it was 5 lbs it wasn’t a big deal but if I can rock this hard at 175, imagine what world dominance I could enact back at 150.

Plus, I could stop looking at race pictures and sob uncontrollably smack the race photographer for being at that angle smack myself for wearing those hideously photogenic but awesomely comfortable shorts be unhappy with them…

I’m not sure why 175 is so different than 150, but it really has been the tipping point.  In the 6 months I’ve stabilized here, I’ve been less inclined to go shopping, dress cute, and want to be photographed (except on race day, and only in flattering poses).  I’m sure I’ve even gotten to the point where people are talking behind my back.  Not that I care (really, if I still liked what I saw in the mirror, I could give a flying leap about what anyone thought), but I think I’ve finally crept up to “she looks bigger than she used to” status.  The convo would probably go, “Geez, Quix has put on some weight in the last 2 years.” “Yeah, and she’s always running and racing and doing shit, I wonder how that happened.”

You and be both, people.  I’m making endurance sports look really bad…

There are a few things I won’t do.

I can’t home cook every meal.  Working more than 40 hours a week (sometimes WAY more and unpredictable hours) and training like I do means that sometimes I’m going to need a packaged meal or takeout.  It’s just not feasable on days when I leave at 7 am and get home 12 hours or more later to spend an hour or more cooking food.  What I have done is identified places (like Elevation Burger, Jason’s Deli, and Chipotle) and brands (like Amy’s and Applegate Farms) I can trust to give me fairly decent options in terms of good quality convenience foods that aren’t full of crap.  You might be able to argue that it takes 15 minutes to throw together food, but sometimes when you have an hour of downtime a day or less, that 15 mins of couch crashing is GOLD.  I’ve been very honest about where my food comes from with my nutritionist and she thinks I’ve been doing a good job.

I will not give up alcohol.  I have given up sugary drinks and mixers, as well as beer for the most part, but you can take my vodka and La Croix or wine away from my cold dead hands.   Drinking an obnoxious amount on a Saturday night is not what makes me fat.  It’s also been a constant through the last 4 years.  Also, now it has pretty much 100% coincided with long run or bike or brick day, where I’m burning over 1k calories if not upwards of 2+, so it’s not as if I’m not earning them.  My nutritionist has asked me to whittle this down a little, but is down with the boozin’.

I will not give up a little sweet indulgence here and there.  Nor has my nutritionist asked me to.  I oscilate between a bite or two of something every other day and abstaining but having a full serving about once a week.  This week will probably be a little more than normal due to holiday feasting but sweets are not really my downfall.

I have pretty much given up grains.  I feel good where I’m at.  If I have too much at once I feel bloated.  I can still have something wheaty right after a long run and feel great, but that’s about the only time it doesn’t feel like a brick in my tummy to have more than a serving of grain at one time.

So here, I have to take a little aside from my normally positive self and whine and rant.

It’s not fair that I eat as clean and healthy as I do and I’m still 175 lbs.

It’s not fair that I train as hard as I do and I’m still 175 lbs.

It’s not fair that a friend who I inspired to run jumped on a treadmill and is, within a few months, doing under 20 minute 5ks at 3% incline, and I can barely break 27 minutes right now.

It’s not fair that no matter how much I eat like an athlete, or train like an athlete, or think like an athlete, I can’t manage to look anything like an athlete.

It’s not fair that by getting better at swimming and stronger arms, I make my top heavy self noticeably top heavier which makes me less happy with my physical appearance in light of vanity/clothing fitting/etc (approaching Eastern European Swim Team status).  See?  Look at all that shoulder!

It’s not fair that I can’t seem to lose this weight, and it’s both cathartic and frustrating at the same time that throwing money at a nutritionist didn’t work.  I have spent years doing the research and was disappointed in myself that I couldn’t figure it out.  It’s taken a trained professional 6 months with 0 scale progress now too.  At the very least I don’t feel dumb.

It’s not fair that there is nothing easy left to try.  I don’t consume caffeine.  I don’t consume sugary drinks.  I rarely eat foods that are nutritionally void and if I do it’s occasionally, in small quantities.  I don’t emotionally eat.  I eat generally lean meats, healthy fats, rabbit food, whole grains at meals.  I snack on fruits, veggies, hummus, jerky, organic cheese, and nuts.  I drink enough water.  I train a lot.  I take rest days.  I listen to my body and know (usually) when to push myself on through and when to bag my workout.  I am happy, albeit a little stressed lately with work, but enjoy my life.  I sleep 8 hours on average per night.

The only theories I have left are:

-Something is wrong with my body that’s not diet or exercise related.  I ran the gamut of tests in August though with even a full, extended thyroid panel and everything came back fine, so I doubt it.

-It really is portions.  I’ve done *better* lately with measuring and spot checking, but I haven’t whipped out the measuring cups and spoons at each meal.

-Zliten is pushing for overtraining, but I would say 4 sessions of 30-60 minutes per day and 1 long run per week is not any more than I was doing during tri season.  Running for 3+ hours is pretty intense, but I seem to be handling it.  And this is not a new problem.  It’s not as if I was losing weight during off season last year…

Other than that, I just don’t know.

I am thankful to be able to do what I do now, and look how I look now, let’s just make sure that’s stated right here.  Five years ago, just fitting into a size that didn’t start with 20-something or walking up a flight of stairs without being winded was but a dream to me.  Now I’m bitching about being less than half that clothing size, and about only being able to run twice as fast as my max speed used to be on a treadmill.  Feels petty.

However, I’ve put in the 5 years of work.  For example, 5 years ago me would have been giddy with joy with my salary.  However, present me is just satisfied with it because it’s what I deserve for the job I do and the experience I have.  Just like my weight.  I feel like it’s time for the dividends of my hard work to fall into my lap, kthx.

Life just doesn’t work out that way.  It usually takes just a little longer than you expect or think is reasonable to get what you want.  And it’s just not fair.  Doesn’t mean you get to give up though…

/rant off


Marathon Training Week #5 – Don’t Want No Short, Short Course


Bah. I Can’t Go Out Like That.

1 Comment

  1. (huge hugs)! I don’t think there is anything more frustrating than doing everything “right” and not having it work the way it ought to. Especially when so many other people do so many “wrong” things and the weight just falls off them (looking at my husband right now…). A couple of thoughts of other potential things to try (and feel free to ignore any/all of these as you know I’m nobody, right?):
    – Intermittent fasting. There’s a lot of research into IF and blood sugar/weight loss/fat storage etc. I won’t get into it all here but a lot of people swear by it as a plateau buster. It’s intimidating at first to think about going 24 hours without food but it’s less difficult in practice than you think. Have you read Eat Stop Eat?
    – All the cardio. I can’t remember but have you ever tried quitting all your cardio? ALL of it? I know you get a lot of satisfaction from racing and I would never tell you to give it up but if weight loss is your #1 priority you could give it a try. I was surprised at how this worked for me. I agree that I don’t think racing is hurting you but if you’re really working hard at losing weight I don’t know that it’s helping you either. Try doing 1 month of only weight training (or circuit training with weights). No treadmills, no bikes, nada, unless it’s for reaaaly short maximal sprints. Have you ever tried CrossFit?

    Good luck! And know that you are def. not alone in this struggle! Anyone who says weight loss is purely a numbers game is delusional. And hey, you are in awesome health regardless of what the scale says!

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