Week 6: Distance Running and Weight Loss by Liimu

First, let me apologize for getting your hopes up if you ended up at my blog after googling “distance running and weight loss.” Truth is, my experience has been that distance running alone does not lead to weight loss. It leads to increased hunger and a false sense of security, which if I’m not careful, results in weight gain rather than loss.My connection between distance running and weight loss has more to do with how similar the journeys are. I was running 8 miles this past Sunday, admiring the beautiful trail, adorned with trees of the many colors of the changing leaves, the sounds of the Wissahickon as it babbled alongside me as I ran. I had a momentary tug to try to run faster, get a better overall time, which I quickly dismissed.

I have learned over the years of distance running that if I run a pace that’s too fast for me I will quickly get discouraged and either need to stop or at best, feel like I’m struggling through the entire run. If I get the pace right, I feel like I could run forever. And at the end of the run, I have the same sense of satisfaction from having completed the run. Moreover, I often find that my pace is almost exactly the same as it would have been if I’d pushed it harder.

I realized as I jogged along that my weight loss journey is very much the same. If I go at too fast a pace (3-4 pounds a week), I have an unrealistic expectation that I should be able to maintain that pace and then when I can’t I get discouraged and stop. The whole point is to finish the journey – to get to my goal weight – and I’ll get there faster overall if I just pick a reasonable pace that I can sustain and just keep going no matter what. Pick it up when I hit a downhill slope (maybe when I’m feeling high energy and there are no holidays or birthday parties to deal with) and hunker down and really focus when I’m facing an uphill climb (like this next couple of months).

Anyway, it’s really helping me to feel good about my 1-2 pound a week weight loss. In fact, the more reasonable the pace of my weight loss, the more encouraged I become because I know it means I’m doing things in a healthy way that’s sustainable for the long haul. I know that I will get there if I just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

BodyFIT update: One thing that was really neat this week about BodyFIT is that I was totally dragging one day and my BodyFIT told me I had only gotten 6 hrs of sleep! I thought I had gotten more, so it definitely explained my dragginess.

In other BodyFIT news I’m still setting new personal records – my new overall calorie loss record is 3,854 calories in one day and my new overall sleeping record (same day) is 8 hrs 42 min. Oh, and I logged over 22,000 steps!!! How about that?? I’m struggling a little bit with wearing it all the time, but I sure am loving the motivation of tracking how much I’m burning on a regular basis and how well I’m doing from a calorie deficit perspective. You can get your own BodyFIT armband at www.bodymedia.com.