Monday, January 26, 2009

when science fails ...

as the new year raised its bulbous nose, i decided to make 2009 the year where, if pressed, i could outrun bounty hunters through 15 miles of wooded terrain. i like running. i especially like running when i can string together consecutive miles at a moderate pace without walking out of the Y with the bow-legged hobble of a woman who has filled her spandex with indian food.

typically my running schedule goes like this:
1. spend three weeks defining myself as the official treadmill clomper. leave the staff questioning where one purchases concrete insoles.
2. really get into that post-run boyish flush. stare at the outline reflection of my movement as it dances behind the closed captioning of ever-present ESPN.
3. begin referring to myself in third person as "the olympic hopeful."
4. take a month off under the guise of "healing."
5. reluctantly, and sheepishly, return to the ymca for two days of disappointing runs.
6. take two months off.

this time i wrote a simple goal on an index card. back when i still recorded thoughts on things like "paper" and hand-crafted loopy designs called "letters" with an actual "pen" i lost 30 pounds by keeping very detailed notes about my running on index cards. this also involved naked poloroids: front and side shots, so i could monitor my overhang without resorting to the cruel pranks of a common bathroom scale.

for some reason, in all of these photos, i'm wearing just white slouchy socks. these are the least-sexy photos that i will ever auction off on ebay.

while my main reason for running is that i simply enjoy running, i assumed that it would be scientifically impossible to run five days a week for the rest of my life and not lose any weight. this is me using bleach water to wipe 2,000-2,500 calories off a treadmill per week and more as i get more comfortable and segue into "the olympic hopeful."

the first week i put in a modest amount of effort. my goal was just to show up five days a week and see what happened.

the second week i made an actual goal-goal and hit it. this meant that every time i walked past a mirror, i lifted up my shirt and pounded like a chimp on my belly and growled a victory growl in something that sounded like french.
the third week i hit my goal again, and i can only assume it is because i hadn't made any sort of grand proclamations on the internet like "LOOK AT THE OLYMPIC HOPEFUL GOOOOOOO!"

other healthy decisions have cropped up during this time: we already eat a lot of meals found in nature, but we upped the ante a bit and found places to cram extra carrots. [tee hee.] trying to get to the Y five times a week meant that i didn't have time for my regularly scheduled friday night makeout fest with a bottle of reisling. so aside from one bloody mary with brunch -- which i paired with coffee for an unsettling buzz made popular by pec-a-saurus polo-shirt wearing frat boyz who consider red bull a mixer -- i didn't drink alcohol.

for those who naturally understand math, that is approximately 800-1,500 hundred calories a week. not to mention the absense of gas station burritos, potato oles, and other such elixirs.

last week i strutted over to a scale and mounted it like i was mary lou retton and it was about to vault me toward a gold medal.

i'd lost a half a pound.

the shift on the scale was barely perceptible. when i say half a pound, i'm probably exaggerating.

now it was on like donkey kong. while i was still operating under the "running for fun" mentality, my competitive inner scientist wracked it's pea brain to find out how this was even possible. so i added lifting to the regimine. blah-blah-muscle-burns-fat-blah-over-30-must-lift-weights-blah-blah-blah-i-read-women's-health-blah-polar-fleece. fannie stepped in an provided a week's worth of dietary analysis that she crunched with a weight-watchers calculator. three things happened:

negative: i learned that cheese adds up.
negative: fannie almost drove to duluth and stuck protein into each of my orifaces.
negative: i started rationing out corn chips at lunch so she didn't think i was a gluttonous mess.
negative: when i told her i ate yogurt, she asked why.
negative: on a rare busy day i added a last-ditch waffle to the menu so she didn't think i was anorexic.

my new year's resolution to not get fatter is going really well.


Talk With No Thought said...


i especially like running when i can string together consecutive miles at a moderate pace without walking out of the Y with the bow-legged hobble of a woman who has filled her spandex with indian food.

Loved this post.

Maurey said...

Do you actually have any weight to lose?! If so, adding weights is smart; it's hard to lose with just running, especially five-days-a-week running. I find I get waaayyy too ravenous.

Whiskeymarie said...

Whenever this happens to me, people always say, "Well you KNOW, muscle weighs more than fat."
This is the point that I punch them in the face. Repeatedly. Then I go get a burrito.

So, to solve the problem I just quit weighing myself.
Best move I ever made.

Anonymous said...

see, i think the things you're listing as negative are actually positive: (1) you are aware that cheese is not something to be eaten with the same zest as, say, carrots. (2) wouldn't you have enjoyed a visit from me, with a maid rite in hand?

i'm sorry that i freaked you out in such a way that you were scared i was going to think you were both gluttonous and anorexic in the same week. that must have been stressful.

yogurt is a lot of points...i was just asking if there was a medical reason for eating it or if it was for pure pleasure/nourishment so as to better assess the situation. :)

happy running! - fannie

Mach1 said...

I think you need to enroll in the Couch Potato Triathlon again. I have never actually worn that shirt. It bothers me for some reason.

Beret said...

It's age. I always imagine how great I could have looked in my 20's if I gave the same effort I'm giving now. Running 6 days a week in addition to yoga and weight training is just keeping me from GAINING weight, I'm not losing a thing (and yes, I'm eating right too).

Kristabella said...

Getting old sucks, no?

When I lost a considerable amount of weight in my mid-20s, it melted off. I ate healthy and worked out once in awhile.

Now that I'm over 30, I have to WORK at it. No "cheating" on the weekend or skipping workouts. Otherwise I see no change on the scale.