Monday, 9 August 2010

I've had my ups and downs

Following on from the last blog, outlining the huge backwards leap I've taken in the last 2 weeks, I've been looking at my Results Graph on

It covers the last 20 months and resembles the profile of a series of Alpine peaks. A number of steady downward lines punctuated by sudden short upward spikes with precious little stability. It doesn't look much but each peak and valley tell their own story:

  • Starts off with 3 months of steady weight loss at the beginning of 2009 as I trained for the Paris marathon, losing 27lbs.
  • Ten days of post marathon excess, a week of hard training then a month of limited training (as my legs recovered) mean comfort eating and half the weight goes back on.
  • But that's OK as I have a new target and lose all of that and 3lb more in the 10 weeks leading up to the summer holiday in France
  • Plenty of running in France off sets the foodie nature of the holiday to a large extent but a week of eating out and eating rubbish on the return means there's still a few pounds back on.
  • Another consistent 8 weeks though that takes me to my lowest ever adult weight - 11st 7lbs - as I run well in a series of races and recognise weight loss as a major contributor to this and to potential future improvements.
  • I've been ignoring ever worsening groin pain though and that and training fatigue leads to me taking a week off in mid October where I deliberately eat appallingly to 'get it out of my system'
  • It doesn't work and with autumn giving way to the dark nights of winter, my 40th birthday imminent, the groin no better and a week's leave spent not away somewhere but sitting bored on the sofa I feel very down and try to find solace in food (as so often I do). That's just a vicious circle triggering more negativity and eating. Within a month I've put on well over a stone.
  • But November isn't so bad. with the 40th out of the way I get back on track, despite running all but stopping and lose half a stone in the month.
  • By the beginning of December I get the news that the groin injury will be long term and that Paris marathon will be a non-starter in 2010. I think 'f*ck it' and give up for December. Despite a few minor concessions to cutting the traditional excess at Christmas I still put on about 16lb in 5 weeks.
  • With no Paris to aim for and no resumption of running on the horizon its difficult to get going in the New Year but a decent 15 weeks gets me slowly back to where i was at the beginning of December.
  • I can't keep it up though despite running having resumed and switch off for 3 weeks and put 10lb on.
  • Steady progress in June and good progress in July take me down to 11st 11lb and that feels so good and yet...
  • Two and a half weeks on from that I've gone into gluttonous excess mode again when faced with feeling sorry for myself over the absence of holiday and worrying about a recurrence of groin pain.

And so the merry go round will start once again and later today I'll reassess my plans and objectives for the next couple of months.

Anyone else have a pattern like this or am I the only fruitcake at the WI show?


Alison said...

I reckon your graph is probably pretty normal, if a little compressed. I'll come to that :)

I try to avoid weighing myself, in order to avoid the fruitcake moments. But over the last 3 years I've gone 11st.8 -> 10.4 -> 9.0 -> 9.6 -> 10 -> 9.6 -> 10.3 -> 10.9 -> now, where I'm chipping away at the recent gain, and would like to get back to about 10.4.

It was the usual story of lose weight, lose some more, lose too much more, go back to something *vaguely* healthy, struggle to maintain an unrealistically low weight over 6 months or so, go back up to 10, panic, force it back down to 9.6, start running and weight training seriously, go up to 10.3, move to America, start training for marathon. My weight has been fairly constant over the last 6 months (with 2lbs whenever I've weighed myself), albeit too high for me to be comfortable.

I tend to undereat rather than overeat when I'm feeling sorry for myself - I just lose my appetite. But I do overeat during times of change - moving to the States was a prime example of that. I anchor myself to routine, and food is a big part of that. Also exercise has caused me to gain. Though please be careful who you tell that to ;)

To a certain extent I think the peaks and troughs in your graph are normal. *Especially* so given the injury. But your "cycle" is rather rapid. I agree that some consistency - or better put, stability - would be good to find. Even if just to get your head straight. Have you considered just trying to maintain in the high 11s while you fix the groin?

That and maybe stop buying fruitcake? ;)

Running Rob said...

That's interesting food for thought and is entering the mix of my (as yet unfocussed) plans for the coming weeks.

More to follow...