Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A new incentive


Another gorgeous day in Michigan today! Check out my view as I type this:
The boys begged me to bring them back to the creek today (this time with their little nets) so that they could catch crawfish. I really needed to catch up on e-mail, but I figured I would just do that at the park while they waded in the creek… completely forgot that I need internet to do e-mail ;)  So I decided to just get a start on my blog post in a word document.


This morning when I woke up, I made some Banana Cranberry Oat Bars. I wanted them to be done baking and ready for eating after my run. I had another great treadmill run today. I wouldn’t go as far as saying I’m enjoying the ‘mill, but it hasn’t been all that bad.

I set up my computer so it’s right in front of my face (perched on the cat tree) and I watch a show online to pass the time. Today, I watched The Bachelorette, and I really enjoyed the episode (it was the one that just aired Monday). I’m terrible with the guys’ names, but there is one guy that actually caught my attention this season.

Normally, I think ALL the guys seem super fake and obnoxious for one reason or another, but I really like the guy she did the marionette puppets with (just looked it up, and his name is Jef). He is so funny in a very real way, that seems to be his real personality. I loved when they were lying down kissing and it seemed to be a super corny moment (per the usual Bachelorette stuff), but then he said, “...I want to date you so hard and marry the (bleep) out of you” (not sure what word he used there, but whatever it was, it made me laugh and I almost fell off the treadmill). I’m not a fan of his hair, but his personality totally makes up for it. Maybe because he's goofy just like my husband?? ;)

Today’s run was the same as last Wednesday—run 15 minutes easy; then do 4 repeats of: 5 minutes fast, 2 minutes easy; and then a 10 minute easy cool-down. It ended up looking like this:
That little jump in the beginning was when I hopped off the treadmill for
a second to adjust the fan behind me.


I just realized that with an 8:40 pace, if I had gone just another tenth of a mile, it would have been a 10K PR for me. My 10K PR right now is 55:05. But again, I'm faster on a treadmill than I am outside.

The longer intervals like that were tough, but I felt good when I was done, and I was drenched in sweat. I’m really looking forward to Friday’s long run! Ty is actually coming down here from Ann Arbor to run 10 miles with me. And the best part is, we are going to Cracker Barrel afterward ;) I have pecan pancakes on my mind!


Confession time--I hate writing about this, but I have to for my own peace of mind. I was not at all happy when I got on the scale this morning and saw the biggest number I've seen since my surgery in November--148!! Granted, I felt puffy and I ate quite a bit of sodium yesterday, but I still shouldn't have seen that number. That is a full 10 pounds heavier than I was when I started marathon training in January. And I can see the extra weight in that picture I just posted above.

I was 150ish all last summer, and it bothered me, because that is technically "overweight" again. And I knew it was because of my diet (tons of flurries from the ice cream shop near my house). I have been really slacking lately on my diet, and just saying, "Well, I had a hard run today, so it's okay to eat ____."

With the whole What's Beautiful Challenge by UA, I really wanted to get down to goal by the end of summer. But instead, I've gained weight. The weigh in today was very scary though--enough to scare me straight, hopefully. I am back to counting every calorie I eat until I can get back down to my maintenance range. This seems to be the pattern I follow in maintenance--gain to a certain point where it scares the shit out of me, and then stay on the straight and narrow until I get back down to where I am happy. I still haven't figured out how to STAY where I am happy ;)

So anyway, Jerry suggested that I reward myself with a new laptop (something I desperately need, as mine is old and having more and more problems lately) IF I reach a goal that I set for myself. I would like to be back down into my maintenance range (133-137) before August 31st--9 weeks and 2 days away. That is certainly do-able. I will post my weight every Wednesday for accountability.

However, since the best part of marathon training is refueling after long runs, I am going to allow myself one meal per week (following my long run) to indulge, regardless of calories. I'm not calling it "cheating", because I hate that word. I just don't want to feel like I'm punishing myself by being super strict 100% of the time. So I can enjoy my pecan pancakes after our 10 mile run on Friday without guilt!

Does anyone else tend to gain weight in the summertime? I do just fine over the holidays, and usually December is when I'm my lightest (in 2010, I was 128; in 2011, I was 134). But during the summer, I am always my heaviest. I would love to break that cycle.

41 comments:

  1. I'm finding it hardest to loose weight in the summer. I had lost 32 pounds, then with the end of the school year and summer I was up 7 lbs I'm back down to 28 lbs lost after getting back on the straight and narrow. Good luck to you!!

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  2. My worst time of year is the holidays. I love sweets, and with all those cookies around it kills me. I am a teacher, so I actually find the summer my easiest time. I eat ice cream, sure, but I also have all day to move and exercise. Some days I do it twice. It's always hard for me when I go back to work.
    Currently I've lost nearly 60 pounds since last summer. I think you are on the right track. You are back to "tracking", or whatever you want to call it. You've identified the "problem." I also love that you have a reward set up!
    Also, I totally agree with you that one "free" meal is not cheating. If we never "reward" ourselves, we will crash and burn!
    Enjoy your pecan pancakes!

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  3. I think you're smart to buckle down now before any more weight creeps on, but I wanted to remind you (from personal experience) that strength training builds heavy/dense muscle, which makes your weight go up. When I started lifting I was 127, and I went up to 135 but looked noticeably better. It sounds like some of your recent weight gain is related to diet, but I bet you've put on a bit of muscle weight too. You might benefit from taking pictures of yourself at different weights to use as references so you can set a realistic goal weight for when you are more muscular :)

    ps. way to go on sort of setting a new PR! ;)

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    1. I wish I could say it was muscle, but it's not ;) My body fat percentage is up and my clothes are too tight--and like I mentioned, I can SEE the gain in that picture. I know what the problem is (eating too much!) so hopefully I can fix it now.

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  4. I just found your site and would first like to say congrats on your weight loss! That is no small feat, and it is amazing you have done so well.
    Second, I have ran 2 marathons, and especially during training for the first one I put on weight..probably between 5-10 lbs. Part of this was water retention, part was an increased intake (I was always hungrier than usual especially after long runs), and part was probably a decline in strength training. A LOT of people gain weight during marathon training..which sounds counter-intuitive and can be very frustrating.
    Best advice (not sure what your training plan is) would be to switch up workouts--maybe less running, more strength and HIIT training. And of course, watch the intake--I think I justified eating more unhealthy foods and in a higher quantity because I had "just ran 20 miles".
    Hopefully this helps! Best of luck on your marathon!

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    1. I've heard that too--that a lot of people gain weight while marathon training. I certainly did. But I just started training again, and I can't afford to gain even MORE ;) Like you, I justified eating a lot of junk food because I "just ran 20 miles". It's hard not to use that as an excuse!

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  5. Yay, can't wait! I haven't been to a cracker barrel in YEARS. I am the same as you on maintenance weight. When I see a certain number on the scale (158 for me, which I hit last week). I count calories til I get back to a comfortable area. I tried to convert to SparkPeople for my calorie counting, but I just couldn't adjust. I'm still using FatSecret.com.

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  6. Have you tried Windows Live Writer for your blog?? It's a free download and it's really great especially for all the options for adding / editing pictures / videos, etc ... I was just surprised when you mentioned writing the blog in Word (you don't have to be online to use it and it will automatically update your blog when your reconnect - no cutting and pasting).

    I am at the heaviest I have been in a few years (157 lbs 5'4" and quickly outgrowing my size 12 jeans ... uggg!) I keep trying to get back on track - I need to get back to calorie counting and running more often ...

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    1. See, this is why I'm totally unqualified to give advice regarding blogging, lol. I don't know anything about that stuff! I usually just type it into Blogger, but I can't do that without the internet; so I just typed it in Word and copied it to Blogger later. I will have to check out the Windows Live Writer--thanks for the tip! :)

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  7. I know this doesn't have to do with today's post but.. I saw you in the Fitness magazine finally! (: I kept looking for it because I just couldn't find it and I didn't know which month you were in. Cool!! (:

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  8. I set up essentially the same rules for myself regarding long run refueling (a polite way, I suppose, of saying "stopping myself from eating a ton of Nutella). I am allowing myself one "treat" on long run days - either a meal or a dessert, whatever I'd like. Not a whole day of going crazy, just one thing. I think that will prevent binges too, since I'll know once a week I can have what I crave.

    I am also doing a 100 Day Challenge - from Friday (when I get back to Chicago) to October 7 (my marathon) - my goals are (a) to be binge-free [when I don't binge, weight loss follows] and (b) to write down something every day that I am grateful for. I opened it up to my readers and got an incredible response of people who are on board with their own goals - a lot of "no binge eating" and "drink x oz. of water a day."

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    1. No binge eating is a great goal, I'd never thought of making it one. Thanks, step one for me is a week without a binge.

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    2. Being in NYC at the beginning of the week has definitely helped keep me binge-free! I think my new look has helped motivate me to work harder and honor what Jen and Angela have done for me! 3 days and counting!

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    3. Mary, I think I will join you on your binge-free challenge! I know I'm capable of doing it (when I was losing weight, I went 365 days without a single binge!!), but this time of year is SO hard for me. Having my kids home from school stresses me out so much that I just want to eat all day ;) It would be nice to stay binge-free during marathon training.

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  9. You should look into a surf shelf. I reviewed it on my blog a few years ago. It's a great product for running and watching tv. :).

    Also, I read recently that we are more likely to gain weight in the summer because we sleep less and this raises our cortisol levels?? Dunno. Something to think about.

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    1. I've thought of the cortisol levels... my kids are out of school for the summer, and that equals TONS OF STRESS. Maybe that's it!

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    2. I was wondering what is going to happen when one of the cats tries to hope on the cat tower while you're using it for your laptop when you run? How do you keep them away from it?

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  10. I also have the same late-spring-into-summer weight-gain issues. I prefer cooler weather (especially fall & spring, and I'm an avid snowboarder so I really LOVE snowy winter weather) so I wonder if that has something to do with it. My hands and ankles are always swelling in the heat! I've been tracking on Spark again and that always seems to help.

    I wanted to add that I appreciate when you write about the things that are hard for you. It's refreshing to know others struggle with the same stuff. So thanks again for keeping it real, even when it's outside of your comfort zone.

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    1. Thank you! It's embarrassing to write when I've gained weight, but the truth is, it happens. I hope that by writing about it and making it public, I will feel more inclined to fix it ;)

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    2. I found your blog a week or so ago and your honesty is one of my favorite things about it! I follow a few blogs for inspiration and I've noticed that usually when someone experiences a gain, their posts come far less frequently. I love that you're letting us all in on your experience. Thanks for the honesty--it's so helpful to those of us still struggling!

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  11. I love Jef too!! The marionette part was hilarious, and when he said "I want to date you so hard and marry the f*ck out of you", I fell even harder for him. He has the best personality out of all of them, but his hair drives me a little crazy. The first episode of the season was terrible, but it has turned out to be pretty entertaining and with a decent group of bachelors. :)

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  12. I like Jef, and I thought their date was so sweet. I'd heard that quote before and have been trying to figure out what movie it was in! Except I think in the original quote it's "marry the shit out of you".
    I think the final two will be Sean and Arie, and I think Arie will win and Sean will be the next Bachelor.
    Thanks for sharing your struggles and for being so honest. Yours is the only blog I've ever read faithfully and I think that's why.

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    1. I was thinking it would be Sean and Jef at the end... but I haven't been paying much attention to the season, so that was just based on Monday's episode.

      Thanks for reading!

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  13. I have gained five pounds with triathlon training; it's so frustrating! Plus, it's totally not fair that Tim Horton Iced Capp's are so freaking delicious.

    I'm sure these two things are not at all related.

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  14. Hi Katie, I just wanted to add to what another reader posted earlier about how the additional weight might be related to muscle gain. Do you take body measurements? For me, I find it helps to know my size in inches and in pounds. Also, an I ask how tall you are?

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    1. I'm 5'4". I wish it was muscle gain, but it's definitely from eating too much. My body fat percentage is up, and my clothes are too tight!

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  15. The theory is supposed to be we crave heavier foods and our appetite increases in the winter months because our bodies needs more calories to maintain our temp of 98.6*. In the summer, since it's hotter, our appetite should naturally decrease because our bodies don't have to work as hard. But, since a lot of us eat when we're not hungry we mess up our body's natural cues (pointing finger at me). I gain weight during the holidays because I just bake too damn much!

    On gaining weight while marathon training: Bob Greene in 'Make The Connection' says that our body needs to train at a certain level to burn fat. When marathon training with long runs, the intensity of the workout decreases, so the calorie burn does as well. He once worked out with Oprah at her level 7 or 8, and then he worked out an additional 20 minutes at HIS level 7 or 8, and she thought he was crazy. He said her workout essentially didn't do anything for his fitness level and he needed to do his workout at his pace. I guess that's how some workouts stop working for us because our body gets used to that level of exertion.

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  16. I think that's a great incentive! I do worse during the holiday season... it's really hard for me to say no to food when it's constantly in your face.

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  17. You'd think we'd be lightest in the summer--with all the great fresh fruits and vegetables available locally, and the nice weather allowing us to get outside to walk (or run like you). But doesn't seem to work that way, does it? Right after my surgery, I got back down in the 140's, after being in the 150's most of the Spring, but now I'm back in the 150's again--weighing in at 152. Like you, I ate a lot of sodium yesterday (and the day before that and the day before that), but at some point in time, when the scale says 150+ every morning for almost a week, you have to recognize a gain and not blame it on retaining water anymore!

    I do NOT know how to stay at my lowest weight (139 on 10/30/11) either, sure wish I did. Like your high 140's, my 152 puts me in the overweight category again. I need to weigh less than 145 at 5'4" to have a normal BMI. What a struggle. I have some pictures from last Fall when I was at my lowest, and I can sure see a difference. When my pants won't button anymore I will really start to worry.

    Does your knee hurt when you run on the dreadmill? Did you see Paula Deen lost 30 lbs., and looks great? I was watching the Chew yesterday and she was on--showing off her weight loss. Good for her. I'd settle for 10 lbs.!!

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  18. Katie,

    I saw a tshirt in a magazine the other day, and I immediately thought of you!!

    https://www.onemoremilerunning.com/women-39-s-and-men-39-s-short-sleeve-crew-neck-tech-/if-you-see-me-collapse-short-sleeve-crew-tech/prod_757.html?ccUser=

    The shirt says, "If you see me collapse, pause my Garmin" haha

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  19. Hi Katie

    Yes.... I too way more as the temp heats up ! Drives me nuts so I finally asked my MD about it a couple of weeks ago. He said... it's normal!

    Most folks do way a bit more in the summer.... water gain :) His advice was to keep "living healthy" .... like you do Katie and it'll all balance out. He swears we girls get way to excited over a number. Focus on the bigger picture he says... living healthy.



    And for what it's worth... you look GREAT !

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  20. Your post is SO helpful. I lost about 25 lbs over the course of two years (while in college no less) by running a few 5Ks and eventually two half marathons. I started my first job almost a year ago and have gained ten pounds since then. I started training for my third half, but I just can't seem to get the weight off! I think I may need to go back to counting every calorie too...no fun, but your blog has helped me not feel embarrassed about my struggle with weight loss and inspires me to keep pushing forward.

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  21. I'm not sure how helpful this will be since you've said you don't really focus on macronutriet ratios, but I tend to weigh less when most of my diet consists of protein and fats rather than carbohydrates. I run 30-40 miles a week, but I haven't noticed any difference in energy levels during training between eating a lot of carbs and a (relatively) low amount of carbs. ("Relatively low" for me is about 100-150g per day.)

    I was also kind of honestly surprised at your decision to follow a vegetarian diet while trying to lose weight. I'm not saying that being a vegetarian is bad in any way, but it just isn't always the best for weight loss. I've read a lot about nutrition, and it seems like the reason some people lose weight when switching to a vegetarian diet is that they become more aware of their food choices in general. Again relating back to carbohydrates, vegetarian diets are typically higher in carb than omnivore diets, which may not be the best path for weight loss.

    I'm not trying to assert that you shouldn't be a vegetarian or that you should eat fewer carbs, because obviously the best person who knows your body is you. But I think articles like this are fairly interesting and worth reading: http://www.fastcodesign.com/1668916/pasta-not-bacon-makes-you-fat-but-how

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  22. Based on my history, I've been lighter in winter and heavier in summer -- the total opposite of what seems normal. Oh well. I think the amount of BBQs and summer parties coupled with the 20 hours of daylight we get up here in Alaska make it easy to eat more calories because you're up for more hours each day :)

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  23. I was always heavier in the summer too because I had my kids home. I would be preparing snacks for them and it seemed like I was eating more while feeding them. Also I was just in the house more because it is so hot in AZ so unless we were swimming we were in where it was cooler. I also relish my quiet time so I think I ate more to deal with the added noise. :-) Thanks for sharing. I love your honesty and how you share from the heart! Best wishes for your new goals!1

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  24. I always gain weight over the summer! My most successful weight loss periods have been right around the holidays. I don't know why but it is interesting that you do the same thing.

    I have been walking more (7 mile walks) and have been gaining weight. I think it is the "I exercised so I can eat" syndrome but it is a little discouraging. Hang in there and know that you inspire me!

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  25. I actually tend to be heavier in the winter - something about the comfort foods & being cozy n lazy at home in my big sweatshirts...ha! In the summer I feel like I want to be better with my eating because otherwise I end up feeling 'fat' in my summer clothes (which are naturally 'skimpier'). I think a new laptop would be a great reward for reaching your goal weight. Thanks for being so honest on your blogs, Katie! :)

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  26. Those bars you made look so yummy!! I am totally going to try them. I have REALLY been slacking off with what I've been eating - I CANNOT use marathon training as an excuse like I have done so many times in the past. I relate to you 100%! It's funny that you told us your weight, though, because before I got to that part of the post, I was looking at your picture thinking that it looked like you had LOST weight....! Do you think that there could be a muscle-weighs-more-than-fat thing going on at all? In terms of when I gain, I totally agree that it's in the summer. The irony is not lost on me that it is also when we are wearing the least amount of clothes!!!! UGH!!! Universe, stop doing this to us!*

    *Disclaimer: alright, I don't think I can TOTALLY blame the universe....

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  27. I'm not an expert but aren't you technically still yo-yo dieting if you go up and down with your weight during what is supposed to be maintenance?

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  28. The same happens to me too. I always tend to gain weight and have the hardest time losing weight in the summer. What works perfectly for me any other time of the year fails during summer (even though I am so much more active). Funny how that works! I think my body just hates heat and punishes me by making me gain weight lol :)

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  29. My weight loss has slowed down quite a bit this summer. Which is super annoying because I"m running my half and going to CA in 2 months! Arg. We have a lot of heat and humidity here so I"m less eager to get out to run. Also, I love eating outside at restaurants so I'm more likely to grab food or a drink with friends. I gotta be careful!

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I'd love to hear from you! I read all of my comments, and if you have a question, I do my best to respond; sometimes, however, I get busy and forget to go back to reply, so if it's important, just email me! :)