Sunday, October 11, 2009

A little off the sides

Cuppie on a scale by Jessie OlesonJust like most chicks, I've suffered from poor body image all my life. My worst fears about my arms or butt or thighs were always confirmed by people I was meant to respect or revere (last words my late swim coach ever spoke to me: "next year we'll have to work on those fat legs of yours"), and sometimes I wonder how I didn't end up with some serious disorders.

While I've dropped 10-15 pounds since high school (mostly trimmed baby fat and bulky butterflier's muscle to lean), I still feel plenty of chunk to junk when I'm running. Sure, now it's more about carrying less baggage on the run than looking like Filippa Hamilton, but how can not feel guilty for putting my adult self through the torture I survived as a teen?

Well, I can say I'm more healthy about it now. I have the mix of exercise (i.e., various forms of cardio, strength and flexibility training) that makes for healthy living, and, I'd say, at least 95% of the eating part down. But if you've known me for 5-10 minutes, you're aware of the mind-blowing indulgence that makes up that spare 5%, which gives me an extra 5-15 pounds I don't want to carry past my 30th birthday.

So, for the first time since I was a teenager, I'm actively trying to shed some weight... and admitting it out loud. Hey! Blogging about marathons and triathlons has kept me honest. It could work with butt-chopping too!

The timing couldn't be better: I'm in between big races right now and won't start training for the Pittsburgh Marathon until December. And some sustainable adjustments should get me on the right track before those miles start stacking up.

No, no, no... I'm not saying a permanent good-bye to cupcakes or bread pudding or crepes. I'll just be revisiting the concept of moderation and seeing what it means for my back fat.

It's hard to cut back overall calories when you're training—you need the extra energy and stored jolts to get through the next hard workout—but I know I scarf thousands of spare calories on bad days, birthdays, depressed days, I'll-eat-better-tomorrow days, Saturdays, wedding days that add up faster than the national debt.

Maybe I need some shock diversion therapy with buttercream or something. Just no gimmicks or fads, please: I have races to run! But I hope by February I'll make some progress to carry through spring. Something tells me running hills in Pittsburgh will feel better with less junk in my trunk. And that's all I want: to feel great.

(Cuppie on a scale by Jessie Oleson,


DaisyDuc said...

Pittsburgh Marathon was awesome last year...not too hilly and a nice downhill when you need it! You are going to crush it!