Cutting Month 1 Results

My first month of cutting post-marathon is done! I’ve been backing down on my mileage, adding in more strength training and eating at a slight caloric deficit. So, how did my first month go?

Starting Measurements—October 1

Weight: 142.6 lbs

Body fat: 27.5%

Waist: 29 inches

Hips: 37 inches

Thighs: 20.25 inches

Forearms: 11 inches

Current Measurements—November 1

Weight: 137.8 lbs (4.8 lbs↓)

Body fat: 26.3% (1.2%↓)

Waist: 28.5 inches (0.5 inches↓)

Hips: 36.5 inches (0.5 inches↓)

Thighs: 20 inches (0.25 inches↓)

Forearms: 10.5 inches (0.5 inches↓)

 

I had a pretty drastic drop in weight the first week after the marathon, just over 3 lbs, which I was expecting as my body got back to normal after marathon training. I also had a bigger drop the second week (just before I went on my honeymoon) but while I was gone I wasn’t paying as close of attention to my calories. When I got back, I was up from the day we left (which I expected) but I’ve continued to see a small drop in weight since then. I might have weighed in another pound lighter if I hadn’t been on vacation (or if I had been super strict with my eating then) but the memories are more than worth it.

I’m really impressed with the changes that have happened already and how easy it’s feeling. I’m eating about 300 calories below my maintenance and was eating so much during marathon training that I was worried about my body feeling hungry during this phase. But I’ve adjusted really quickly to it and I feel like I’m eating healthier than during marathon training as I’m working on getting more volume in my food by adding in vegetables.

November will turn out a lot different from October. I’m not planning on losing almost five pounds but I’d like to get down to 135 by the end of the month.I feel like is completely reasonable based on how my weight has been moving since getting back from the honeymoon. I’m also hoping to see my hip measurement drop more too since that’s the spot where I carry most of my weight and the last place I lose weight from. I will also have a lot more consistency in November since we won’t be on vacation for two weeks!

I won’t be making any major changes to my nutrition or workouts in November. I might be having to hit the treadmill more depending on what weather comes our way in Minnesota but that’s just to be expected. I’ll also be moving on to the second phase of Strong Curves next week which will be fun to mix things up again.

How is my training going between races?

It’s been a month since I ran the Twin Cities Marathon and I’m my fourth week of my new training schedule. So, how has it been going?

As a quick recap, I’ve switched up my training so I’m running five days a week (including a long run and a speedwork day) and doing strength training three days a week following the Strong Curves program. Here’s what my weekly workout schedule has been looking like:

Monday: Strong Curves Day A

Tuesday: 5 mile run

Wednesday: 5 mile run

Thursday: 3 mile run, Strong Curves Day B

Friday: Rest day

Saturday: 6x400 at 5K pace, Strong Curves Day C

Sunday: 6-8 mile run

And I’ve been sticking to it pretty well. The only exception has been missing a couple of days due to traveling for my honeymoon but otherwise I’ve been right on track. And I’m really enjoying doing something totally different from marathon training. Especially all the added strength training which I’ve found surprising.

One thing I didn’t realize would happen is how high my heart rate gets during my strength training workouts. When I was doing strength training during marathon training, my heart rate stayed pretty low. But now I’m feeling like I’m really working hard and sweating, plus I can see my heart rate going up when I’m not resting between sets.

My running has been improving post-marathon training as well. It’s probably a combination of the weather (we’ve skipped right into winter and I’ve had to pull out my running jackets and long pants recently!) and running lower mileage but my average pace has dropped to around 10:30 minute miles. And that’s feeling easy and comfortable! I even ran ten miles with a 10:24 average pace this past Sunday and it felt really great as my first double digit run post-marathon.

I’m excited to continue on with this program for November and December, and to see how marathon training goes once I start again at the end of December. I’m going onto the second round of strength training next week so my programming for that will change but not the frequency of it.

And the results I’ve gotten from this new program (since I’m also doing it while in a deficit)? You’ll have to wait another day for the results from my first month of cutting but I’m feeling awesome and a lot more confident in my body than I was before!

IIFYM and Me

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I've tried a lot of different ways of eating through the years. From South Beach, Whole30, Paleo, calorie counting, not giving a damn about what I was eating. But a lot of that was just about trying to lose weight (at my heaviest, I was around 210 lbs and now sit comfortably around 135 lbs). None of it really stuck for long and there wasn't one thing that made me lose all my weight. But since I started running, I've found a way of eating that both fuels my running and is easy to work with (especially since I'm buying food and cooking for two people). It's called "If It Fits Your Macros" (IIFYM) and it is a way for me to eat for life. I did lose the last 15-20 lbs with macro counting but I'm more focused now on using it to fuel my runs.

Simply put, IIFYM is macro counting. It's also called flexible dieting because it makes it easier to fit in "forbidden" foods into your lifestyle (more about that later). You break down and track what you eat in terms of protein, fat and carbs (your macros). You have a budget of each of these that add up to a total amount of calories to eat for the day (based on your goals and activity level). This makes the number side of my brain very happy because I get to play macro tetris fitting what I want to eat into my macros.

What are macros

What are macros

Currently, I'm eating at my maintenance level (the amount of calories needed to keep my weight consistent). It's taken me a couple of months (and a spreadsheet) to figure out what this level is with my current training. Right now, this number is around 2,000 calories which is mind-boggling for me after my days of calorie counting when I would eat 1,200 calories trying to lose weight. When I was trying to lose a couple of pounds of holiday weight earlier this year, I only dropped about 200 calories a day to get back down to my comfortable weight. I never could have imagined that large amount of calories would have me losing weight. But it worked.

What has IIFYM Done for Me? One big thing IIFYM has done for me is get rid of carb fear. I've done a lot of low carb/no grains diets in the past and it was driven into my head that eating carbs was not good. Now, I'm eating carbs (both from fruits/vegetables and grains) at every meal and it's helping to fuel my running. I know there are people who do great at running on a low carb/high fat diet but I never felt great running during my round of Whole30 or eating Paleo. Now that I'm back on #OperationEatAllTheCarbs, I feel like I have more energy throughout the day and that I have feel better during my workouts.

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IIFYM also lets me fit in things that have I thought of as "forbidden" foods and enjoy them instead of feeling guilty. I can have peanut butter in my oatmeal every morning, go out to eat and not feel restricted or have a drink after a stressful week. This isn't about how much junk food I can fit into my macros. Most of my meals are whole foods that I've prepared myself. I have actually found that my craving of sweets has gone down so that I'm satisfied with less. It just means that if I want to have a treat, it can fit in with all my other food as long as I plan it in.

What Will Happen With Marathon Training? I'll be continuing with IIFYM during marathon training but I'll be paying close attention to make sure that I'm eating enough food to maintain my weight while burning more calories. My plan is to recalculate my macros (using the calculator at IIFYM.com) to get a starting place for my marathon macros. I'll adjust throughout my training as necessary based on: how I'm feeling, how my runs are going and if I'm drastically dropping weight. Look for a post towards the end of May about my marathon training plans, I'll outline my nutrition plans in there also!

After I run my marathon, I'll probably stop counting macros for a while. I will have been doing it for over a year consistently and will have a good grasp on eyeballing what I should be eating without being strict about counting every little thing that goes into my mouth. I also won't be training for anything which is my main reason for following IIFYM. It's all about balance in life and that's exactly what IIFYM has taught me.

Disclaimer: I am not a certified nutritionist or medical professional and make no claims to the contrary. Each individual’s dietary needs and restrictions are unique to the individual. You are ultimately responsible for all decisions pertaining to your health.

Who wears short shorts?

Back in late February, I decided to order new shorts for marathon training and went online. I knew what size I needed and I didn't feel like driving to the store and trying on clothes. Plus, I was going to get extra cashback via Ebates. What could be easier? I found these shorts from FILA and ordered two pairs. I have a couple of pairs of capris from FILA already so I knew the size would be fine. I saw the "5 inch inseam" and was like "that seems like long enough".

They came in the mail a week or so later. I put them on and they were short, like booty short short. Which is not normally my style at all. But, they were so comfortable and fit perfectly so I decided to keep them.

Fast forward a little bit over a month and spring has come to Minnesota. And I'm wearing my new short shorts with confidence. They've even become my preferred shorts for runs because they are perfect. (Yes, it's been warm enough that I've had multiple runs in shorts).

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This is a huge step for me because I haven't always been this confident in the way I look. Back in college, about eight years ago, I was my heaviest at over 210 lbs. Even when I started running in 2014, I was sitting around 160-170 lbs. I would have never worn booty shorts even if was a million degrees outside.

Since I've started running, I've developed a "fuck it" attitude when it comes to what people might think when I'm working out (with the exception of see-through leggings, I always make sure they are squat proof). Sports bra showing? Fuck it, there's a reason they come in fun colors. I'm pasty white? Fuck it, it's Minnesota and I spent the winter running outside. Neon colors in a sea of black? Fuck it, bright clothes are more fun.

Wearing these shorts has been one of the last things I've said "fuck it" to. Who should care if I'm wearing booty shorts while running? My legs are impressive, why shouldn't I show them off? They've carried me over 2,600 miles since 2014. They've gotten me through four half marathons and are going to get me through a marathon by the end of 2017. I've squatted 105 lbs and leg pressed 135 lbs (my body weight) for reps thanks to them. Fuck it, I'm going to show it off.

This post was inspired after re-listening to episode 32 of  The Run, Selfie,  Repeat podcast. If you aren't already listening, give it a try! Kelly is awesome and it's life, with a side of running.