Monday, 11 July 2011

A great few weeks - lots of training & losing weight! :)

What an absolutely great couple of weeks of training.  It's not often over the last few years that I've felt that things have gone quite as well as they have recently - I wonder whether it's because I had nigh on 3 weeks without really doing any running which was just long enough for my to fully rest up without losing too much fitness, or it's just because the weather's been lovely recently and it's a joy to get out and about - who knows, but I've just felt really enthusiastic about my running and definitely have been looking forward to finding new routes and getting in the miles.

So, I've stuck pretty religiously to my training schedule over the last fortnight, and have clocked up over 50 miles, and am well on my way to being ready for my half marathon on 24th July, and the marathon at the beginning of September.  I'm even starting to think that I might be able to smash a couple of PBs while I'm at it ;)

The other change over the last few weeks has been that I have joined Weight Watchers!  Now, this isn't going to become a weight-loss blog, but indulge me this post at least...

I've been following the Weight Watchers plan for three and a half weeks now, and have lost 7.5lbs, which I'm really pleased about - I'm aiming for a total loss of 28lbs. I can start to see the difference already, and I'm hoping that dropping a bit of weight will make my running easier and I'll be a bit faster too - surely running with an extra two stone is slowing me down!!  I've tried losing weight a thousand times before, and it's never really worked, or more accurately, I've never really stuck with it long enough to make a difference, but this time, it does seem to be working for me.

The problem that I'm starting to have though, is that I'm not sure that Weight Watchers is really geared up for those of us training for marathons, and I'm worrying about eating enough to keep my metabolism active, without eating so much that I jeopardise my weight loss.  It's a bit of a balancing act, and although Weight Watchers does encourage you to input your exercise and then allocates "activity points" which you can exchange for food points, I just don't know how accurately my calorie expenditure through my running is being measured, or how many of these food points I should eat.

So, the detail.....

I've been allocated a daily number of points to eat, regardless of exercise, of 29 (total over the week = 203).  I then have an extra 49 points that I can use at any point during the week, i.e spread over the days for extra food, treats, a drink or two, or to use in a day for a nice meal out, so now my total for the week = 252.  Fine, this is perfect for me, and gives me enough leeway to never feel deprived, go out for dinner, and generally feel that I'm not really on a diet, but still, by making healthy choices and controlling my portion sizes, enables me to lose weight.  But this week, I have earned through exercise over 80 food points (by running 27 miles, cycling 20 and a couple of long walks) - whether this is an accurate representation of what I've burnt during the exercise I've done, I just don't know.  But anyway, this brings my total points for the week to 332!

Although I exercise so much, the reason I am overweight is because I have always used my running as an excuse to eat too much - I want to fuel myself before my run, and then eat loads afterwards because I've done this long run...I have lots of chocolate and generally don't eat well and always try to justify it because I'll be doing another long run the next day.  I find, even following Weight Watchers, I can still make these excuses....

My difficulty comes because the plan doesn't say you have to eat all of the activity points you earn through exercise- it says you must eat at least your 29 per day and the rest is really up to you.  You can eat them all if you feel you need to.  I'm just not sure because I'd rather not eat too many, so I can ensure I lose weight, but am worried that if I don't eat enough my metabolism will stall and my body will go into "starvation mode" and I'll stop losing weight!  Arrrgh!

Well, this week, out of my 332 points, I'm going to have eaten 283 - that's my 29 per day allocation, and all of the points I accumulated through exercise, but none of the "have a treat during week" 49 points.

It's weigh-in day tomorrow, I'll have to see what the effect has been! Fingers crossed....

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