on dieting

Logical: I love my body. It is healthy and strong. I have muscle and my legs have carried me many miles, including through two full marathons. I know that I am extremely fortunate to be in good health and I am thankful every day for what my body allows me to accomplish.

Illogical: I hate my body. I want to look like a combo between this seemingly genetically engineered super-human and Gwyneth Paltrow. (see: on beauty)

Thankfully, I am getting older (30!) and the logical side of my brain is starting to win the argument. Most of the time. So, why, you might ask, am I on a diet?

1- See “illogical” above. What did I just say about getting older and smarter? Despite my best intentions to be a mature woman, I will always have body image issues. Sad, but true.

2 – Marathon training.

I have done a lot of different diets — calorie counting, vegetarian, juice fast — but I always seem to come to the conclusion that it isn’t worth the trouble and return to relatively normal eating. Reason number two is the motivational kicker this time around. (Positive motivation is much more powerful that guilt or shame.)

According to Runner’s World (and my own favorite Coach Joel – thanks, Joel!) for every pound lost a runner can trim their mile pace by about 2 seconds. Doesn’t sound like much, but if I can lose 10 lbs by October, I could automatically drop almost 9 minutes from my marathon time. That, plus some speed training, may possibly get me the sub-5-hour marathon time of my dreams!

So, how do I plan to do it? First, Travis and I have cut out dessert, which is a big step that I had hoped would be enough… but if I want truly serious results, I need to take serious steps. SO… I took more of my encouraging Coach’s advice (despite immediately telling him that there was no way I’d count calories), and downloaded the free Lose It iPhone app. It is a user-friendly app that helps you track calories consumed (food) and calories burned (exercise). I am only on day two of using the app, but so far, so good.

The app says that for someone of my height (5’6″) and weight (somewhere within the normal range, but more than I’d like) can eat about 1500 calories/day and lose about a pound a week. Plus, you can add more calories to offset exercise. The plan seems very doable. Almost too doable, so we’ll see if it works. If nothing else, it doesn’t hurt for me to pay more attention to what I am eating before runs to determine what helps me feel the best overall.

I’ll report back on my progress! (Hopefully, soon I’ll actually be wearing a bikini instead of just photoshopping my head freakishly on to Marisa Miller’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit pics… hey, she has nice abs!)

8 Replies to “on dieting”

  1. I love the idea of positive reinforcement, Rachel! But even more so, changing your priorities and your view on body image. That’s exactly what has happened to me over the years that I discovered running (well, fell in love with running actually). We’ll talk more. You’re a two time marathoner, soon to be three time… That’s pretty hot.

  2. This was a goal of mine for this season, too. Well, not the bikini part as much. I guess it’s time for me to change the past imperfect to the present. Thanks Rachel!

  3. Thanks for the encouragement, guys! This post was a bit silly, but I really am working hard on eating healthier and cutting down on how much I’m eating. If nothing else, an emptier stomach feels better during races and long runs. Now I just need the speed!!

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