Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Secret

A few people have asked what my secret is for losing so much weight in such a short time. 12.2 lbs since November 1st, but who's counting?

To be perfectly honest, I have struggled with over-eating my entire life. I have gone through countless periods of deprivation and binging. Each time I think I finally get a handle on it, something sets me back and I find myself trapped in a vicious cycle once again. I have very much an "all or nothing" personality. I am typically either 100% focused and 'on plan' or 100% off the rails. Moderation... hmm, what's that? It's something I am learning, slowly but surely.

Even during past marathon training, at times when I would consider myself to be very fit and healthy, I still caught myself overeating far too often. Last summer, despite running 80-90 KM most weeks, I still managed to gain weight. Clearly I was eating more calories than my body needed and this is something I really want to get a grip on going into my next training cycle starting in January.

But I'm getting off track here.... the "secret" to my most recent success has been quite simple: tracking calories. It's amazing how easily I will mindlessly eat the day away without even paying attention to what or how much I am consuming. I started using Sparkpeople.com to document every morsel that goes in my mouth and it seems to be doing the trick.

I am much more aware of what I'm eating and yes, I think twice before going back for that second helping or saying "yes please" to dessert. I intend to continue tracking through the holidays (and beyond) and hope that it will prevent overindulgence. (Don't worry, I promise I will be cutting myself some slack over the holidays!)

Additionally - yes, I have also been exercising/running like a crazy person. The running is nothing new of course, but I've worked at incorporating quite a bit of cross-training into my routine. It's good for my overall strength and conditioning, and I also believe it has had a pretty big impact on my weight. Sometimes you really need to shake things up and give the body something new to work with.

A lot of my motivation in implementing all of the above came from reading Racing Weight. It inspired me to make the changes necessary to lose weight and therefore (hopefully) run faster.

2011 PRs... I'm coming for you.


HBBC Ongoing Tally Week of Dec. 11-17
Dec. 11 - run (6.8), Bootcamp (4) = 10.8
Dec. 12 - run (16.8)
Dec. 13 - run (5), F&V (1) = 6
Dec. 14 - run (8), weights (1), F&V (1) = 10
=43.6

43 comments:

Stacey said...

it's amazing how counting calories and being "accountable" really makes that difference. Well done Marlene, you look fantastic!!

Stacey said...

Woohoo, I was the first! (:

Teamarcia said...

Woo Hoo watch out 2011! I sense lots of great things in your future!
I've got Racing Weight sitting right here--fantastic book!

Sherry said...

Congrats on the weight loss so far and best of luck as you go through the holidays. You can do it!

trifitmom said...

when i did WW that is what i loved about it, that i had to track everything..

do you have to pay to do sparkpeople ??

TNTcoach Ken said...

I thought it was going to be a better secret........... Like how you log so many miles in the frozen tundra!

Jamie said...

I truly believe shaking things up really helps. Glad you are sticking with the tracking and mindful eating. Such a huge payoff for you!

jawsome said...

Tracking calories is how I lost 30 pounds two years ago - it's amazing how knowing there are 1200 calories in one piece of cake changes your perspective! Every time I start to get off track (like now, for example) I have to go back to that tried and true method. Keep on keeping on!

misszippy said...

Awesome that you have found what works for you. I've never logged my caloric intake, but I know it's something I should do!

Heather said...

I have been most successful losing weight when counting calories, and it is what I always go back to.

Emz said...

"all or nothing"

ahhhh. man. the story of my life.

YAY
YAY YOU!

Way to go!!

ShutUpandRun said...

You are successful because you have changed your lifestyle to include more excercise and attention to what you eat. You are disciplined and motivated. There is no real, easy secret. Just doing it everyday all day. You look great!!!!!!!!

Robin said...

Good for you! That's terrific. Yes it is very easy to eat too much when you run, assuming you will burn it all off. I too gained weight while training/running 3 marathons this year. I'm also going to pay more attention, but I'm starting after the holidays :). Great job and thanks for sharing.

Aneta said...

u are a very motivating person, marlene!
Starting in the new year when im start cracking down on everything, i will use ur logic track what i am eating!

looking forward to seeing ur kick all ur PR's butt!

Mamarunsbarefoot said...

I'm going to check that website out as I have that last 10 pounds I can never seem to lose!!

Runners Fuel said...

In 2010, I started calorie counting, too. It really does make a difference. YOu know how many calories you should intake, and when it comes to an extra helping, you can do the math. Congrats on your weight loss!!

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

Thanks for the GENTLE reminder.. I NEED to get my eating in check.. Tracking is the KEY.. CONGRATS on finding a balance and what works for YOU!!

Aneta said...

marlene, what's sparkpeople.com?
i went on the website, but unless u r a member, u cant browse.
can you do a follow up post with a bit of an explanation?

thnx

fancy nancy said...

Kudos again to you! I fall off the tracking wagon from time to time and it is amazing how not keeping track leads to overeating. I honestly forget what I have eaten! I am going to need to grab that book...I've heard so much about it!

J said...

I think you really have the secret to weight loss! Mixing up the workouts definitely help but also watching what we eat is a big part! I have always had a hard time with eating too much but tracking what you eat does help keep you accountable!

Gotta Run..Gotta Ride said...

You have got it 100%!!!!!!! Everything counts.

MCM Mama said...

Great job! I have to admit I *know* that watching what I eat would get rid of the last five pounds, but I can't seem to care enough to give up the foods *ahembeerahem* that I love.

Way to go!

Jess said...

Congrats on the weight loss and finding a method that works!

Jill said...

Racing Weight ROCKS - as do you! Awesome that you have made the right choices ... and look how much speedier you'll be in your next marathon!!

dietitianontherun.com said...

I'm glad things are feeling back on track for you!! Keeping a journal definitely helps put things in perspective - little indulgences add up. But, hopefully that will lead to more "mindful" eating that allows you to go journal-free! :)

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

You have done an amazing job losing weight. I wish I could make the needed changes!

Kerrie T. said...

Wow! I hadn't realized. Great job, lady!

I know I lose much more if I track what I eat. I just read something about how people lose 12% more if they simply write down what they are eating. Guess it works!

Kerrie T. said...

Oh, and that's soooo me: all or nothing. I'm trying to work on that.

destination262 said...

You know, I was actually wondering what your secret was, so glad you spilled the beans. I agree that tracking calories is a great method, I just need to be better about it. Back to spark people I go! Great Job!!!

Mark said...

You're amazing!! You are gonna be fast in 2011!!!

Char said...

I found out the same thing this year - that running way more doesn't mean you can eat way more. It sucks!

trifitmom said...

so i signed up for this sparkpeople and i love it. so much info and charts ....a stats girls dream ....wahooo. thanks

lindsay said...

agreed. counting worked for me. i think i've said that 900 times already though... now if only i could get back in the habit! :)

i am an all-or-nothing person too. moderation may work for some people, but not everyone. to me moderation = an entire cheesecake.

Nicole said...

i love the attitude! all or nothing! :)

ajh said...

I tend to be an all or nothing..........black or white when it comes to eating. Congratulations to you for managing the middle course.

Her Name is Rio said...

*high five* to you- that is no easy feat! That book surely motivated me as well but you are putting it into action. Congrats on finding what works for you!

racing dawn said...

you're so right! when i actually physicallly write down what i'm eating i do so much better. thanks for the reminder. and congrats on the weight loss! i'd love to post some numbers like that!!!

Zorbs said...

join the Road Runners team on Spark!

Forward Foot Strides said...

Sparkpeople is incredible really. I'm going to get back on there since I know how much I'm supposed to be eating thanks to my dietician, but I'm not tracking right now and I need to be!

Kera said...

i need to do this!!! new to your blog.

Kim said...

Do you have a particular number of calories that you try and hit each day (either to stay above or below)? Or, do you just track and not worry about how many calories?

EndorphinBuzz said...

Wow! 12 lbs is a lot! Congrats and I hope it stays off. I read somewhere that every pound you lose can make you up to 1 minute faster for a marathon so your PRs should be plenty for the new year :)

C. said...

Congratulations on the weight loss! I was just going to say that I have been using LoseIt! a free app on my iPhone (also available for the iPod touch) to track everything I eat and to monitor my exercise.

It is wonderful because it shows your calorie budget for the day (based on weight, height, age and gender) and then monitors how much is consumed vs. output and shows the net difference (e.g., if you are over or under) for the day and you can adjust your budget by saying loose .5 - 2 lbs/week.

My favorite thing about it is that I can use it on the go. (I know I sound like I am writing an ad but after losing 32.8 lbs since September as my tracker I cannot speak more highly of it!