Thursday, 10 August 2017

Weight Gain - A turbulent struggle.

It seems that we often use social media to present the positive. For many this is only a snap shot of the real world. For most who train hard in running and other events, there will be highs and lows. I'm sure this applies to the pro athletes as well as average Jo. Despite this we rarely hear about it. For the majority we want to be the best we can. Perhaps this is for health benefits over performance, but whatever the reason the results don't just happen; or at least we rarely reach our full potential. Yet when we see success of others there can be a false assertion  that this came easy. It can feel somehow like it is owed to us. In the moments of disappointment we can then find ways to imply those with success must have had advantages or shortcuts that we don't have available to us.

So at the time of writing this I am probably the least fit I have been in several years and I am at my heaviest weight. How has this happened? Truth be told it has happened as a result of life. I have allowed work to overtake other matters and then in turn allowed all my weaknesses and addictions to overtake my resolve and addictions. Am I bitter about this? Do I seek to blame others or in some way justify it? At times this has without a doubt been the case. I have ignored the scales and decided to tell myself its a blip and one that will rectify itself. The weight creeps up and then it creeps down. On the way up I have blamed others and on the way down I have revelled in success and then taken my foot off the gas. Its a vicious cycle that is hard to be broken.

Presently I am back at my heaviest weight of 15st3 and a target weight of 12st feels like a long way off. I have struggled with my weight since University days. That's some 17 years of struggles. The lowest I have been is 13st2, just before the South Downs Way 100 in 2013. Since that time my weight has fluctuated between 15st and 14st6. Looking at this through an honest lense means accepting responsibility. I am prone to weight gain at times when I am busy or overwhelmed. My addiction to sugar is an unhelpful accomplice to fatigue. 700 calories in a 5 minute window become an almost too easy thing to do. From there weight gain becomes inevitable.

The discipline to resist the sugar is the same discipline required to get up early and train. It's one of the reasons why when in good training habits food choices are better. Being honest though I have then entered into the danger area of complacency around what I can eat. A common thought being, I went for a run so I can eat that. Truth being that the run is a further reason not to eat the junk. Why undermine the gains I am trying to make. Despite knowing all of this it remains all too easy to eat the junk. Then there is the guilt and this is followed with thoughts such as "oh well I will start again tomorrow." That is why I am writing this blog and it feels like an important one to write. Yes it is slightly self indulgent but making myself accountable with regular blog posts I hope will keep me honest and on point. I hope it will inspire others who read this to join the journey and be the best version of themselves they can be. It is not going to be easy. I will blog regularly and I am sure there will be moments when I am ranting about temptations. For now I am in the starting blocks and lets see where this journey goes. I hope others will feel motivated, inspired and share their journeys as well.

Presently my measurements are:

Chest - 41
Waist - 40
Hips - 41
L.thigh - 24
L. Calf - 16.5
R.thigh - 24
R.calf - 16.5
L.bicep - 14
R.bicep - 13.5
Neck - 15.5

I am sharing these as part of my intention to hide behind no smoke and mirrors. Also weight can be deceiving, but to stop that level of excuse creeping in the measurements will tell all. If in a month I weigh the same, but am 2inches less in the waist then I would still be happy. The reality of course being that wont happen. I hope sharing this journey will also encourage others to take on their journeys.

So there we go. There is just under 10 weeks until the start of the A100. I wont be at peak weight or fitness by then, but it will be a great start in to 2018. Then I will look to beat all my PB's, starting with the Half Marathon and also SDW50. Maybe I'll get lucky enough as well with a Lakeland 100 entry. By 2019 I will be sustaining goal weight and at the third time of trying, taking down the Centurion Grandslam. These are my goals on my journey to be the best version of me. No more half arsed efforts at running races, no more grinding a finish with a lack of training.


On the plus side, being back in this condition means I can start the journey in earnest that I set out to achieve 5 years ago... Dan fat to fit.