Thursday, October 28, 2010

On losing weight

So a while ago, I blogged about how hard of a time I was having losing the few pounds I put on during my last semester in grad school, way back in 2008. Well, I still haven't lost the weight through exercise, so I thought I'd try the eat less thing.

You always hear about how people cut out all of the fried food and red meat and crap that they ate and start eating whole grains and fruits and veggies and they lost a ton of weight and have a bunch of energy.

I don't eat a lot of fried food, red meat, or crap in general. Although I suppose it depends on how you define "crap." I also exercise a bunch (I love when people tell me they started walking to lose weight. I suppose that works for some people, but I suspect if I tried walking instead of what I'm already doing at the gym, I'd gain weight).

So here's what happens to me when I try to cut out the crap that I do eat and go with whole grains, fruits, and veggies: I'm hungry, crabby, and tired all of the time. Yup, sounds like a real winner of a solution to me.

I signed up to run the Carlsbad half marathon on January 23. A bunch of my girlfriends have signed up, too, so it should be a good time. I'm hoping to use this race to avoid gaining weight over the holidays (I make a mean apple pie, although my mother called me from the Culinary Institute of America to tell me theirs was better...y'think?), and I want to run the Portland marathon next October, so I thought this would be good practice for me to get into the mindset of seriously training.

My girlfriends and I were having lunch the other day and I mentioned how I wanted to lose a little weight, especially in light of this race because 1) less weight=less stress on your knees, and 2) lighter runners tend to run faster, which means I'll have to spend less time both running the race and training for it. I don't mean less miles, but if you can run a 7:30 mile, you do eight in an hour. If you run a 10:00 mile, it'll take you an hour and twenty minutes (I know, I know: I'm a math genius).

One of my girlfriends has the same goal, which led into a discussion on how hard it is to lose weight when you're already a reasonably-sized person who does a reasonable amount of exercise and doesn't live on big macs. And how whenever we had success with the weight loss bit, we were tired and crabby because we had no energy. So I was glad to hear that it wasn't just me.

I'd be totally happy with my weight if I was about two inches taller, but somehow I suspect a growth spurt isn't in my future. (Incidentally, I read my horoscope every day, mostly because it's in the business section of the San Diego Union Tribune, and I find that fact hysterical, but it has not yet mentioned anything about a growth spurt.)

So I asked my trainer what I should do to lose weight but still have energy. He said, well, you don't want to eat less. That was good news. Then he suggested I eat all my carbs in the morning. He actually said I could eat as many carbs as I wanted, but none after lunch. I clarified that by "carbs" he meant things like bread, pasta, and rice, and was not including things like bananas.

I suppose this will work just as well as anything else I've tried, which is to say, I may not lose weight, but I'll probably not gain it either, and it might just work a little better, since I won't think I'm starving myself, but I also won't mindlessly eat snacky things when I'm bored or whatever.

And as far as I'm concerned, a cookie is a perfectly acceptable breakfast item.

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