Running It Off…Then Putting More Back On

This morning after a lovely open water swim., my husband and I headed for a little hole in the wall place for some breakfast.

Next to us was a table with four heavy-set ladies, dining on croissants, eggs benedict, pastries, pancakes and waffles.  They were all in running gear and were chatting with animation about the training run they’d just done (good on them!  One had run 16 miles, another 11 and the other two ladies, a distance in between) as well as how much weight each had lost recently, and how many points their meal would equate to (assuming they were on Weight Watchers?).

All began complaining mid way through their meal that they were beginning to feel stuffed.  Then, one reminded the others that because they’d run 11 – 16 miles, it would all even out; they could simply not eat anything for the rest of the day.


Never in a million years would I have given unsolicited advice here, but it left me with a lot to think about.

Where’s the disconnect here?

They’d all clearly  made an effort to sign up for a race, put in the time to train, yet they all were eating ‘food’ that was not only lacking in any nutritional value, it was the last thing that would help them in their running goals in terms of proper recovery as well as any potential weight loss goals they may have had.

This has to be due in part to the mentality we have here including misconceptions like:

  • As long as you workout, you can eat whatever you want and still lose weight
  • Number of calories is all that matters, regardless of source
  • What one eats is not a very big picture of the weight loss or gain equation
  • Working out, then eating a huge meal right away and then starving the rest of the day because too much was consumed is also a good method

We’ve got to get the message out there- we need to move, but what we eat is, in my opinion, at least 50% of the equation.  Probably closer to 80%.  Who knows?  

The other important thing is patience.  We have to throw the idea out the window that losing five, ten, fifteen pounds is going to happen in a week.  Remember- if you’re over your goal weight, think about how long it took to get there and work backwards for a sense of how long it will take to get the weight off again.

Finally, try not to view exercise from a purge then binge type of approach (as in- burn 500 calories on the elliptical then eat 500 + calories of junk).

Go for balance, treat yourself kindly and stay the course. It’s the only way that pays off in the long run!