I'll never be able to count the times I've said "you can't out exercise a bad diet", yet for the last two years, I've been pretending I could. I haven't let up on my workouts. In fact, I've ramped them up if anything. Last year I ran 24 races which included 2 marathons and I took 100 Orange Theory Classes. In the back of my mind, I was making excuses for my eating being off track and figuring I worked out enough to deserve it. Since January 2017, I'm up about 10 pounds. I'm sure that my workouts have helped, I'm sure I could have gained way more way faster if I hadn't kept the workouts going. My eating wasn't complete garbage but it hasn't been what I know makes me feel best. I've read and heard many times about people gaining weight while marathon training. You think its impossible. How can you log 35-40 miles a week and gain weight? It seems like you could ever eat enough to exceed the calories burned but it's really easy to overestimate how many calories you're burning and underestimate how many calories you're burning.
For me, the real mistake was letting myself off the hook with logging my food. I figured mental calculations were 'good enough'. My biggest pitfalls over the last two years were too much eating out and saying yes to too much office junk. Eating out does not need to derail the process, I've done it before with some eating out and it's totally doable. I got too lax though, too many sandwiches, too many fries, too many desserts. And the office snacks...it's so easy to pick up a handful of chips or a few pieces of candy. Who doesn't want free leftovers from a lunch meeting? All of that was adding up, obviously.
I count myself lucky though, I didn't fall off the wagon and completely return to my old self. I still haven't been to McDonald's since 2012, I still don't have sugar in the house, I still weigh myself everyday. I kept all of my non-negotiable rules, I just wasn't looking at how much the extras were adding up.
Starting on January 2nd, I'm back to logging EVERYTHING. The bottom line is, it's what works for me. It does get tiring but so does the alternative. So far, a week and a half into the new year, I'm down about 4.5 pounds. That sounds like nothing but I'm happy with it. I'm not depriving myself, I need enough fuel to run 35-40 miles per week and take 2-3 Orange Theory classes. Last week, we went to Costco and ate lunch there while waiting for my tire to be fixed. I really wanted pizza, so I got a slice and logged it. When I'm on top of my food log, I still indulge here and there but I think twice when I know that I have to write it down and make sure it's really what I want. My goal is to get rid of 10-15 pounds. 10 pounds would put me back to January 2017 and 15 would take me to an entirely new number that I've never seen on the scale so by that measure, 4.5 is not a bad start.