Nutrition and the holidays

A conversation with my friend Lindsey:

Me: Can you please explain to me how I can be in the best shape of my life in terms of what I can accomplish physically, yet look in the worst shape of my life?
Lindsey: Well, you’ve probably bulked up a bit from running.
Me: If by bulked up you mean on fat, not muscle…
Me: Last night I did two hours on the elliptical – 12 miles. I feel totally refreshed, like I didn’t even work out. And this comes after running a 4:30 marathon on Sunday morning. Which, I might add, I was sick/tired for and had to walk long stretches… and I still managed a 4:30! I realize I haven’t been eating perfectly lately, but come on… shouldn’t those kind of workouts make up for it?
Lindsey: I don’t know. I kind of feel like if you’re that fit, you don’t need to worry about it?
Me: I have quite a tummy, and while you would think that my legs would look ridiculous from running, my butt is actually all cellulite-y.
Lindsey: Maybe see a nutritionist?
Me: I think I’m going to ask my parents for co-pay for a nutritionist for Christmas. Is that sad?
Lindsey: No. I would love to ask for a personal trainer. I would kill to have someone who would kick my ass. So you’re not sad.
Me: Oh, I meant: sad that I want to ask my parents not for gift certificates or something for a nutritionist, but for money for co-pay. Because I’m too cheap/broke to pay it.
Lindsey: Oh! Hahahaha.

But you know what? I actually think that would be a great Christmas gift. For more of my ideas on holiday gifts for runners, check out my post at Runners’ Lounge here. Don’t forget to scroll up and down to read what others have to say – we came up with a pretty comprehensive list when we all put our heads together!

Comments

  1. I am in the exact same place (kinda – I’ve never run a marathon). I am in fantastic shape, and it keeps getting better. Yet, I have this tummy thing going on. And actually more cellulite on my ass/thighs than when I was fat! NOT FAIR!

    I want a nutritionist.

  2. I feel your pain too. While I don’t run marathons, I feel like I work out a ton and eat really well and still cannot seem to shake these pesky 10 pounds that have crept up in the past few years.

  3. I thought of something else; do you lift weights? I can’t remember. I know you love running marathons but maybe your body isn’t being challenged by that? I realize how ridiculous not being challenged by a marathon sounds but maybe you’ve just gotten used to it and you need to switch things up some?

  4. You know, that makes PERFECT sense! I used to lift weights and I haven’t been lately… and that’s when the pounds started piling on. I think I need to get back into my weight routine.

  5. Um, hi! I just got a degree in Nutrition and am doing a Dietetic Internship. soooo, any questions/concerns/etc, feel free to contact me! I love your blog and am inspired by your running, so I’d be glad to share my own expertise. :)

  6. Even if you are logging those long miles without speed work you wont be able to lost the extra fat. I would work on increasing your pace for some sorter runs or do intervals to help.

  7. I think J makes a valid point. I couldn’t lose anything to save my life until I packed on the speeds.

    I found intervals on the elliptical were quicker and more effective than running intervals. I think when you do that much distance it’s just kind of nice to practice speedwork on a less jarring platform. I find if I don’t hold on to the rails/do the arm sway thing and just stand up with abs engaged the entire time that my belly goes down in no time. By standing up you give your ass a little more incentive when the incline goes up too for extra blasting powah! Flex that bootay for 30 seconds, rest 10, flex 30 repeat and you’ll see results… especially if you get your squats in too.

    Maybe you’re not eating enough too — your body might need a healthy binge time.

  8. I am a huge proponent of weight lifting. I think it makes all the difference. If you weren’t a marathon runner, I would tell you to cut back on the cardio, and increase the amount of weight lifting you do.

    Also, are you getting enough sleep? I know you work long hours, so if you aren’t getting the recommended eight hours of sleep, you may be slowing down your metabolism, causing you to gain weight. You may not feel like you need that many hours, but your body does!

    Anyway, I don’t think you need to worry about it. Looking at your pictures, you look thin to me!

  9. I 100% agree with what everyone has said. I don’t think there is anything wrong with your diet (including holiday indulgences), I’ve seen your Daily Plate and you are healthy, girl! I think it IS most likely due to lack of sleep STRESS and needing to switch things up a bit. When I was in the best shape of my life I was constantly switching up my workouts, lots of bodypump and step mixed with swimming and running. Oh yeah- and welcome to the wonderful metabolism changes that come with the mid 20s! I hate to suggest it, but it could also *gasp* be alcohol….I howeva, refuse to give up my wine so I just deal with a little belly…

  10. One more thing- did you see antm?? I was shocked at the final two but not at the winner…though the runway show was a huge disappointment from past years…the talent and looks of the recent years has become so diluted..

  11. Hi Laura!!! I have an idea maybe– cuz your athleticism is just SKY-HIGH maybe you should shock your body with an extended break. take 7 days off and rest. i know it would be mentally really hard to do that– but instead, focus that time on what you are eating and calm type stuff like yoga, stretching, getting enough sleep,… this is something i want to try at some point– and i’m gonna do it after my next big race whenever I get to it (hopefully a marathon in feb)– this amount of time wouldn’t leave you out of shape or take time away from checking off more state-marathons. i think it would be beneficial! i’m curious to know what you think????? cuz with such high-activity all the time the cortisol is prolly pumping constantly and you are prolly hungry all the time, and both of those things (cortisol + huge appetite) would lead to weight gain (believe me– i know– this happened to me as soon as i started increasing my distancE!!). anyway!! :) just some thoughts!! not at all trying to tell you what to do :)

  12. oh but i also want to say:
    i agree with everyone on lifting weights and doing speed work. :) def as part of your training!

  13. I feel your pain and have had the same exact questions. for me – the solution has been more weight training. I signed up for a personal trainer for 3 months a year or so ago and lost the most weight I ever have – by consistently lifting, eating pretty much the same, and sticking with my cardio. I want another 3 months of it for christmas because I feel like I need it again!

  14. First off, I doubt it’s as bad as you think.

    The other thing I’m thinking is that your body has become accustomed to these loooong runs/elliptical sessions and it needs a bit of a kick in the pants. Like a short kickboxing class or a cycling class with intervals. I know I read a lot about the need to do easy/hard intervals to boost your metabolism and get your body burning again when you hit a plateau.

    Best of luck!

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