Food: First and foremost

I have learned a vast amount this year about my own weight loss journey and possibly about other people’s journey as well.  With all the running I did late 2009 and early 2010 you would think that gaining weight would be impossible.  This is far FAR from the truth.  For someone like me, who loves to eat and also tends to the emotional eating side of things, excise may not make up the difference.  For me, lots and lots of running may slow down the gaining but it will not prevent it.  What I have learned about how much food plays a part in the whole weight loss game is contrary to what I thought originally.  My gain occured steadily while running lots of miles as well as 30-40 mile long runs.  Yup, that’s right!!  I had months where I still steadily gained weight despite the fact that I was run 10 hours a week or so.  In fact, the many hours of running in a way decived me into thinking I did not have to watch what I ate as much, and then my eating remaining faulty even after I got burned out on running.  This just multiplied the weight gain effect.

So my conclusion is that no matter what exercise we do, what we put into our bodies via our mouth is the most important aspect of weight loss or gain.  I understand more now that it is possible to lose weight without exercising but eating VERY well but pretty much impossible to be really successful just leaning on burning calories through exercise.  In my WW meetings they always said that you could lose weight without the exercise even though it was not recommended and the loss would not be as rapid but I always kind of doubted it in the back of my mind.  I don’t doubt this anymore.  If my eating had stayed healthy, balanced, and monitored I never would have gained any weight back despite the amount I ran.  So I think food comes first.  It is the main-stay weapon in our arsenal in the weight loss battle.

10 Responses to “Food: First and foremost”

  1. December 28, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    This is so TOTALLY TRUE. I can’t exercise sometimes. I have fibromyalgia, degenerative disc disease, and just plain busy-disease. LOL. Sometimes it’s all I can do to work and sleep. This last couple weeks prior to Christmas I lost nearly 2 pounds and didn’t do a dang thing other than eat right. Also, my first 4 months on Weight Watchers I lost and didn’t do any activity at all. SO you are right- the most important thing is to watch what you eat -and, I’ve found, monitor your hunger and emotional statuses.

    • 2 run4change
      December 28, 2010 at 2:19 pm

      I have seen many people lose on WW without exercising…………many of them unable to exercise because of medical conditions. Great job. Claire

  2. December 28, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    Glad you’re back! I’ll miss you at the ATY. I’ll be registering people and will run it next year. 100k is my goal.

    I think your realization/conclusion about food being the most critical part of weight management is a big step and one that many fail to realize. I think many people fall in to the trap that “if I exercise than I can eat what I want”. I can’t tell you how many times I have been frustrated by putting on 5-10lbs DURING training for a marathon and then having to carry it racing 26.2 miles. I think I finally have it figured out. The key is MONITORING.

    After figuring out the right eating/running balance that works for you, you then have a whole bunch of fun stuff that you can play with, including working on nutrition to improve performance. There’s a whole world out there on what to eat, when to eat it etc. I’ve found adding that focus to my eating while training makes it easier and a lot more fun ….

    I have some books you can borrow if you’re interested 🙂


    • 4 run4change
      December 28, 2010 at 2:21 pm

      You sure hit it right on the head Rob. Man I wish I was going to be going for my 24 hour race there. I was sad to give that spot away to someone else but someone else I am sure deserved it more than me for this time. Maybe next year. 100K would be awesome man. I still want my 100 mile finish as well.

  3. 5 Dee
    December 28, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    That is so true! Weight loss is a tricky thing, but I believe that it is 80% food and nutrition, and the other 20% is a combo of genetics and exercise. I notice too that when I up my activity, I get really, really hungry. It is really tough to deal with sometimes, but I try having healthier snacks on hand and be more conscious of how I’m feeling.

    Also, in WW meetings, you hear about the people who never exercise and are losing weight. I like being active, and the benefits that I get from exercise.

    I am so glad you are blogging. I also have about 50 of so more pounds to lose. In weight loss, we are all in it together.

    • 6 run4change
      December 28, 2010 at 4:20 pm

      Great observations Dee. You are totally right. I enjoy the benifits of exercise too and am glad people can lose who can really do it. I wish it was 80% exercise then I could eat like a mad man though. lol

  4. December 28, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    I always heard people say that how you eat is going to be 80% towards change and i do believe that eating does have a bigger impact on our bodies than exercise!

  5. December 29, 2010 at 5:25 am

    Well, this is just what I needed to hear this morning. After spending the last two years getting fit but remaining fat, your post has pretty much knocked some sense into me! lol I am going to continue to work out hard BUT, I am going to work harder on my eating(back on the w.w. wagon for me)

    Glad you are back posting and look forward to continuing to learn from you and be inspired by you!

    • 10 run4change
      December 29, 2010 at 7:53 pm

      Sharon I so understand. I used to hear all the time it was 80/20 ratio for importance of food compared to exercise. But since I was running so much I figured that was the only reason I was skinny. Well…………that was not true because I gained a lot just running and not watching what I ate. lol. Like you though I will continue to stay and get fit but must eat better.

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