The Chances

How a 250+ Pound Couch Potato Got Healthy

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Food, Intervals, and Surprises

What Do I Eat?
At the beginning of marathon training, which coincided with the first week of January, I started transitioning away from low carb eating in order to provide my body with the carbohydrates needed to remain fuelled while running. I also upped my caloric intake from around 1200 per day to 1720 per day.

The past month's been great, both with the gym and with my running. Last week was a bit meh, but I can't complain too badly about it. We all have ups and downs, and that was just a bit down. This week's much better, and the outlook remains good.

Yet, I was worried. That's just how I am, when it comes to my weight, I get amazingly obsessive. I weigh every morning (you can see that in my tweets). With the added calories and transition away from the low carb lifestyle, I expected to gain weight. That's exactly what I did, and yesterday morning I weighed in at 170 pounds. That's 12 pounds higher than my all-time low, which is 158.

It took every bit of energy I had not to be stressed over it. I expected at least some weight gain, especially since I've been drinking protein shakes both before and after my weight workouts. It's just difficult, given my obsession with the numbers on the scale.

So yesterday afternoon, what happened? I went down a notch on my belt! I'm now on the last hole. The next step, of course, would be to buy a new one. Obviously, something's working!

So I grabbed my workout book, and decided to do the calorie equation for losing fat, not just "weight". After calculating, the numbers show that given the time I spend lifting weight (which honestly isn't all that much) combined with my running, I need to eat even more.

So starting this morning, my new magic number for calories is 2400 per day. It actually makes sense with what I'm reading in the Hal Higdon marathon book I bought, and in Runner's World. Runner's World said I should be eating around 300g of carbs per day, while Higdon gives a number closer to 400g! I was having a tough time adding food in general, but more specifically, adding carbs. Even with eating carbohydrates every meal, with sticking to 1720 calories per day, I was only reaching around 200g of carbs. Something had to give, and having the extra calories makes it a lot easier to make the other numbers.

Am I expecting to gain more weight? Yes. But this morning, my weight was back at 168. I think it's going to work out. I'll keep everyone updated as to how it goes.

Sprint Intervals
Today was intervals for me: 6x800m @ 7:22 goal, 90s rest intervals. Warmup & cooldown were 10 minutes apiece.

1: 3:38.30, 7:16/mi
2: 3:38.04, 7:16/mi
3: 3:40.93, 7:22/mi
4: 3:46.08, 7:32/mi
5: 3:53.51, 7:47/mi
6: 3:50.86, 7:42/mi

Someone on Twitter told me she found the 800m intervals easier than 400m, but you know what? Nah. They're harder, especially those later ones. That last one was the endless interval.

And next Monday, it's 1600m intervals! At least I'll only have to do three of them.

And the rest intervals? I walked them except for the last 15 seconds of each, something like that. That walking felt good, to be sure.

From the Hearts of Babes
Tomorrow's my son's 7th birthday. We were at Toys R Us tonight because my wife wanted to buy him one last present, a Transformers blanket. She wanted to surprise him, so I had taken him into Raley's to pick up some bananas and just waste some time while she bought his gift.

When we came out, my wife was talking to a homeless woman. As my son and I approached, the lady thanked him for being such a grown up boy, and how what he did touched her. Here's how my wife explained it to me.

My mother-in-law, wife, and his cousins, had all pitched in money to give him for his birthday. When he got it, he said mom, I want to give some of my birthday money to someone who doesn't have what we have. It didn't end there though, after having that conversation with my wife, he went to school. She didn't realize it, but he brought a dollar with him.

Another boy at school's family lost their home and are currently living in a shelter. I guess my son knew about it because he overheard the boy talking, so he took it upon himself to bring a dollar to school to give to the boy. When he told me this story, his eyes were aglow with the joy of giving.

Was I misty-eyed? You bet! I gave him a giant hug and told him how proud I am of him. This all happened without promting from us. He wanted to give some of his money to someone in need (which in the end was the homeless lady outside of Raley's), and in addition, he gave to a little boy in need at his school.

God has truly blessed us and I am in awe of my son. Happy birthday, Gregory.

1 comment:

Pat said...

you got a great kid.