Saturday, April 21, 2012

Serious About Weight Loss

I started running in 2002, at the age of 61. My speed improved until 2006, when I made all of my current PR's. For most of that year, and through 2007, I weighed between 147 and 152 pounds. Then, in 2008, I began taking dexamethasone (dex) to treat my myeloma. Dex didn't cause my weight to go up, but it changed the shape of my body, taking away muscle mass and adding a layer of fat on the front of my torso, especially my abdomen. I had stopped taking dex by 2010, but my body shape has not returned, and in fact I've allowed myself to gain another 12 pounds or so, almost all of it in that same area.

I believe that the extra pounds on my abdomen slowed my running considerably in 2011, and may even have contributed to the "sports hernia" that I had repaired five weeks ago. It's unsightly, and even uncomfortable. It's gotta go! I'm hoping that the last-on weight will also be the first to come off.

I'm a Weight Watcher, so I know exactly what to do to get the weight off. Losing weight does seem to impair my immune system a little, though, making me vulnerable to colds or whatever is going around in the first few weeks of weight loss. I don't want that happening right before a marathon, so last year, with 13 marathons, I had precious little time to lose weight. Further, in the last five weeks, I haven't done it because I wanted by body to have plenty of support as it heals from the surgery.

Now it's time to start. I have nine weeks yet before the Anchorage Marathon, and I think I can simultaneously lose weight, increase running, and continue healing. Easy does it of course, not more than a pound a week. I have the rest of my life to finish this.

We eat the best food we can find, almost always prepared at home, and I never eat junk food (with one recent, delicious exception, a chocolate/PB dessert in a vegan restaurant). Most of the extra weight has come from second helpings, plus snacking on nuts, cheese, dark chocolate, and cappuccino. I know from experience that if I write down everything that goes in, I will eat less and lose weight. That's a big part of the Weight Watcher's method, and it works for me.

Starting today, I'm resuming my Weight Watchers' points journal. In addition, I will record my weight most mornings, and that weight record will be updated on this blog right here, with a permanent link on the right-hand panel.

This is a serious effort. Going public like this increases my chances of sticking to it.

Today's Run:

I ran with the St Croix Valley Runners this morning, though I ran only 15 seconds out of each two minutes, and quickly fell behind. There was very little pain, almost none. Even the paresthesia (which appears as localized false pain) is almost gone. I felt normal, for the first time since the surgery. 3.5 miles in 46:24, for a pace of 13:15. That's fast enough to finish a marathon in less than six hours. Now I have nine weeks to train myself to do that for 26 miles instead of just three.

It's a masterpiece!

Today's breakfast: Not shown are two eggs, eaten first to slow the digestion of these carbs. In addition to what you see, there are blueberries, raisins, and a few frozen cherries. Most items are organic. With the eggs, this is almost half of the calories that I will eat today:


Londell said...

Good luck on the wight loss. Will follow you success!

PaulC said...

Hi Don - been following your progress since the operation and great to hear you are now starting to run and in good shape for your next marathon.

As an update on me, I completed the London marathon on Sunday and was delighted to run all the way, completing it in 4h 25 min. My PB is 3.56 without an abdominal strain, but by slowing down my running and only running 2 or at most 3 times a week, I am keeping the strain at bay. But it always comes back at around 10 miles. I will now rest for a few weeks, but if that doesn't cure it I may consider surgery similar to yours. Best of luck on a full recovery.