Sunday, May 23, 2010

live and learn

It's not a coincidence that this week has been a significant learning experience and another of the most discouraging periods in my running life.

Only once since I planned it have I completed the 33-minute run that is my most recent goal. Today I set out to run the entire thing, refusing to walk except during warm-up and cool-down.

As of today, I've attempted that run four times. Except for that one success, I've had to walk a little each time when I'm supposed to be running. This afternoon, I ran about three kilometres of it and walked the remaining two-plus.

I felt slightly nauseated as I walked, but running made me feel very weak in the legs, like there was no strength to draw from.

Most of all, I felt hungry.

In fact, for the first time I since I started this journey of fitness and weight loss, I've been hungry quite a lot this week. When I started to consider the reasons why, I couldn't see anything different. I've been eating carefully, using Lose It! to ensure my carbohydrate/protein/fat proportions were reasonable.

I have to admit, however, I've been putting more emphasis on protein lately, particularly after reading somewhere that I should be getting around 100g/day.

Not only that, but every weekend I've splurged a little. I've had Chinese food or sushi or a chicken curry dish at a local restaurant. Nothing too extravagant, but maybe it's been enough to fuel the week. Last weekend I only had a piece of chocolate cake during my brother's birthday party; not exactly enough to inspire these legs to action, I'm thinking. I didn't even share in the steaks and hamburgers; I cooked myself a chicken kabob and vegetables, instead.

So this week I've been non-stop hungry but I couldn't figure out why. I've consumed the same number of calories but food isn't filling me up. Then, last night, I ate a Lean Cuisine Meat Lasagna.

Instant satisfaction.

It was instantly clear, too: I haven't eaten pasta or rice or potatoes - nice, starchy carbs - in ages! In fact, I'd been avoiding them, thinking I'd lose weight faster.

I got on the scale this morning, by the way. I've been so damn hungry, I knew I might see exactly what I did see: zero weight lost for the week. My metabolism has slowed down to compensate.


So I was pretty down on the whole thing this morning. It was worse after another disastrous 'run'.

Still, I know I'm doing my best. And tonight I've just eaten 3/4 cup of rice and a pasta/vegetable mix I like. I cooked up a ton of extra rice and plan to use it up this week. I'll do what I have to to get myself back on track. I want to be able to run 33 minutes three times consecutively before I move up to 36 minutes.

I don't know if this will do it. I may have to make more adjustments. I know I have a lot to learn about nutrition and exercise and I'll allow myself the time I need.

I'll try not to beat myself up for having put myself in this position of weakness. I'll try not to feel discouraged at my still-lumpy body.

I'll try to remember that it can't all be downhill.


  1. Hi Lillian,

    I found you on Get Running, I'm a fellow newbie runner and blogger.

    Carb intake is so important when you are running to give you the energy you need and the fact is, the longer you can run, the more weight you will loose and the more toned your body will get. My trainer at the gym told me it's not just what you eat on the day of your run, it's also what you eat the day before, this is all fueling the body for running, not making you fat.

    I eat museli and yoghurt for breakfast, chicken/tuna salad wraps for lunch, snacking on various fruits throughout the day and fish/chicken with wholemeal rice/potatoes/cous cous/pasta with vegetables for tea with a kitkat, yoghurt or jaffa cakes for sweet. Since starting this running lark in February, I have not lost a single pound but my shape is changing, clothes fit better, cellulite on my legs has definitely improved and I can visually see the difference the running is making.

    I have taken a 'before' photo and some leg/tum/hip measurements and, intend to do this every month so even if the weight loss is lacking, you can still measure your progress in this way.

    Hope this helps, feel free to hop over the pond and visit me at my UK based blog! xx

  2. Thanks so much for your comments! I will definitely add your blog to my roll! :)

    Feeling the impact of no starchy carbs taught me a lesson I'll never forget. It's funny how confused I got about weight loss, when, like you, all I had to do was look at how differently my clothes were fitting.

    Running feels great, my body is definitely loving it, and I'm learning so much about food and my body that I doubt I'll ever go back to those bad habits.

    Thanks again!