When I started this Ironman journey I was about 15 or so pounds above my goal weight (you want to carry as little weight as possible up those hills of Madison!). Everyone told me that if I wanted to lose weight I should do it BEFORE I started training, because it's too hard to lose weight once the training begins. But first there were the holidays....I made a little bit of progress in January (New Year's Resolution time!)...but then came Super Bowl week....then vacation....and before I knew it I was in the thick of training. No worries! I was going to be training for more than 10 hours a week for six months, it should be NO problem to lose the weight after training starts, right???
WRONG!!! Fast forward to August 2011 - a mere five weeks from race day - and I have GAINED 5-7 pounds while training for Ironman (depending on how much water weight I am holding onto that day....today it's a good three pounds from this past weekend of workouts!).
How can this even be possible? Is it a cruel, cruel joke? If I'm spending six hours every Sunday riding my bike, how in the world am I gaining weight?!!!
I know, I know. There are all kinds of scientific explanations....my hormones are WHACKED out from all this training, I'm retaining a lot of water weight from all the excess sodium (why yes, I am) and truthfully you need to put a TON of calories in to sustain this volume of working out.
And I have been eating a lot. NO doubt about that. The strange thing is that my cravings have been all over the place....much like I imagine it is when you are pregnant. My list of top Ironman cravings:
- Annie's gluten free mac & cheese
- Pizza (both gluten free and regular)
- Hamburgers....OMG, I can't get enough red meat!
- Combos (pretzel with cheddar....these will be going in my special needs bag for race day!)
- Hot fudge sundaes (always love ice cream, but the hot fudge craving is new)
- Pepsi (the regular stuff....last year it was Sierra Mist, this year Pepsi)
And today I had chicken soup for lunch....in the middle of summer (had to be the sodium!). I've given up thinking about my weight and only weigh myself now as a way to make sure I'm hydrating enough during big work outs (weigh in/weight out). I will get back to focusing on the weight loss goal post Sept. 11 and am committed to getting down to my ideal race weight by next summer. In the meantime, I'll go back to feeding my hungry body but know I need to start watching myself come taper time. And if you ever hear someone say that Ironman is not a weight loss plan, know that it is absolutely true!