Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Just a word or two.

I know I should not be reading comments, but seriously:
http://www.theclothesmakethegirl.com/2013/04/17/steady-state-cardio-thyroid-killer/
(Note: I am not taking issue with the blog post itself, but rather, a couple comments that some people left on the blog post.)

You do NOT get into distance training and distance events TO LOSE WEIGHT. Training for a triathlon or a marathon requires serious amounts of calories to fuel you properly. Working out more (and more intensely) demands proper nutrition to support it. 1200 calories a day is not going to get you through a 20-miler, sweetheart. You will either fail at losing weight or fail at achieving your training goal, so pick one or the other to focus on for now. There will always be time for the other one later. I thought this was common knowledge?

I am in general agreement that slogging in endless hours on the treadmill really doesn't help you lose weight. I am down with that theory. I am not disagreeing with what Melissa Joulwan says or what the article that she links to says (even though the tone of that article was rather condescending and rubbed me the wrong way). Especially endless hours on a treadmill and then rewarding yourself with a cupcake afterward. Eat CLEAN. Lift weights.

That doesn't stop me from running, though - I run because I love it. I run because when I get out on a trail, it's me against the wind, me against my own brain and the voices that echo within. I have never run to lose weight - I run to race. I am an athlete, and running is my sport.

If you want to lose weight, try CrossFit. Try Paleo. But if you want to run, then keep running. If running is something you love, then KEEP RUNNING.

Why has weight loss become the one and only issue in life? Why don't people do things for general well-being or happiness anymore? Why is everyone's life's goal to lose weight? I am not saying that I don't also want to lose weight, but there are other physical activities I participate in just for the sake of enjoyment, and if those activities don't help me lose weight, I really don't care. I can be fat and happy.

Maybe I spend too much time IN the running community, but everyone I know who runs, does so because it's a part of their souls. The runners I know are not the gym queens that are talked about in the article-in-the-blog-post above. But even the author mentions women who train with TNT (a category to which I also do not belong). But is it TRUE that all those women are sucked in with promises of sculpted bodies? Because I don't think so. I can't purport to know their motives, but I can hazard a guess and say that 1) they are running in honor of someone, 2) they aren't running for someone specific, but wanted to fundraise for a good cause while attempting a major goal (half, full, tri), or 3) they wanted structured coaching and a solid framework for attempting a major goal, instead of having a go at it alone (which is what I do, and it's hard).

Anyway... what is my point. I don't know. My point is that not all of us care about weight loss when we run. And that people who do care about weight loss should not feel the need to stop running just because they care about weight loss, if they really truly enjoy running. (They just need to find other avenues for losing weight.) And that no one who is trying to train for a distance event should be including weight loss as a goal, silly! That's just crazypants.

Do what you love. Do what makes you feel good (like, good in a healthy way, not good in a drunk-on-sugar way). Your body weight will be whatever it will be. Yes, I am working to change my body, but I am also working to change my mindset, and I'm hoping the two will meet somewhere in the middle.