Yesterday morning, I was on the treadmill for a hour, before doing my core and lifting and stretching. (I have a hard ride this evening; eventually, I want to be able to do all of that in the morning, without sacrificing my ability to work effectively – I’m not there yet).
While I was chugging away at my current pedestrian pace, this fellow came in and got on the exerbike in front of me –
It occurred to me that this gentleman is about my age – or near enough not to matter. And obviously we share some pastimes – that’s an Ironman Wisconsin bag on the floor next to him. He was not riding easy, either.
But he is considerably leaner than I am. Dangit.
Now, I’ve been in recovery from compulsive overeating for some 26 years, and that simply hasn’t been a problem – binging is not my issue. No, my issue is simply that I have slowly gained some weight a few years ago, and I don’t like being hungry (or even mildly uncomfortable from hunger) at all.
So my weight generally stays the same; it doesn’t vary much, even though my training varies greatly between winter and summer. Last year, while ramping up for Ironman Coeur D’Alene, I had quite a few 20-25 hour training weeks, sometimes with more than one 100+ mile ride in the same week – and I ate to accommodate that. My weight didn’t vary much. I increased my output, and thus increased my input.
That would seem to imply that my hunger mechanism is right on track – it knows how much I’m burning, and it adjusts to keep me at the same weight.
But I can’t seem to LOSE the weight I would need to lose to get to Scott’s size, above – because I don’t like feeling hungry.
When I’m even mildly peckish, it seems to interfere with my work and my mood, and my sleep. I can go for a while hungry, but then I become irritable. (I’m not as bad as the characters in the Snickers commercials, though. Or maybe I’m just not as hungry).
There’s an interesting issue at work here – I am currently training for 11 hours/week. That’s running, biking and swimming – not counting lifting, core work or stretching. Those hours are decidedly not comfortable – but I have no trouble enduring those.
But for some reason, an hour being slightly hungry bothers me more than an hour running at threshold.
Perhaps it’s because I’m engaged in running, whereas time sitting still being slightly hungry is just time spent being slightly hungry. If I’m actively doing something, I don’t notice this as much, if at all – however, I can’t, by definition, always be “doing something”. I’m supposed to rest.
(Watching a movie or reading a book does not, for me, fall into the category of “actively doing something. In fact, all of the things that I do to rest – with one huge exception – tend to leave me in a state where I notice hunger more. The one exception is SAILING – but, alas, we don’t do that any more).
Also, I’m aware that the hour will pass, and then the running discomfort will be gone, whereas an hour of being slightly hungry will only result in the next hour of being slightly more hungry.
So the question becomes twofold – how can I
a) find restful things to do that disengage me from mild hunger, or
b) change my mindset to where I don’t care anyway?
I’ve got two IRONMAN branded races this year – a half in June, and a full in November. I’d much rather do them at Scott’s weight, than at mine.