Wednesday, February 16, 2011

So today was a running day, but I opted for sleep. Fortunately, my plan enables me to pick up that day tomorrow with no real harm done to my schedule.
Yesterday was a rough day. I felt hungry and tired, my limbs were sore, and by the time I got home from work (at almost 7:00pm, erg) I was barely coherent. I've been trying not to eat my exercise points, but I did go at least 1 or 2 points over for the day, as I had two vegemite and cheese sandwiches for dinner. I don't think it will be detrimental though, part of a sustainable program is knowing when to eat a little extra food or take a rest day. Maybe some people would say that makes me a bit of a pussy or whatever but I don't see the point in suffering endlessly.

The extra food and a lie in (till 5:30am, wahooo) seems to have done the trick, as I'm feeling 100% better today. I don't ordinarily run on a Friday as I'm usually quite tired by then and it's a long day for me with overtime and such but I'm confident that my desire to stick to my plan will get me over the Friday hurdles. Worst case scenario, I'm feeling awful and reward myself with an extra cup of coffee, mmmm.

I was thinking yesterday about the body's set point and the idea that as humans we are designed to lay down extra weight to protect us from famine. We have all these hungry hormones that kick in after fat loss to protect us from dying of starvation, and these are a hurdle to dieters as the more weight we lose the harder it becomes to maintain a calorie/fat intake that will enable us to lose weight and feel okay.
Why then are we obsessed with thinness? We feel good when we are thin, envy others who are thin, and constantly work towards being thin. There are studies (centred around BMI) that suggest that being moderately overweight may actually be allright, but this is more about the idea that muscle mass may place one as technically overweight while otherwise being healthy.
Can we lower our set point? I suspect that for me around the 75kg mark is the most comfortable metabolic point, but if i am able to push beyond there then I certainly will. At 75kg BMI classifies me as 7kg overweight.
Then there is waist measurement. A waist circumference of more than 80cm for caucasian women is indicative of internal fat deposits. So if one's BMI is 26 or 27, yet one's waist meaurement is less than 80cm (and, if one's waist is smaller than their hips) then it's safe to say one is in no immediate danger from any extra fat carried.
Runners quite often have a very low BMI as so much fuel is burnt on long runs. Sadly I suspect I'm in no danger at this point.

I'm planning on running (or to be more accurate, run-walking) my first half marathon this year, hopefully in July at run Melbourne. It's mid-Feb now so that would give me 19-20 weeks to train for it, which ought to be enough. I'm working with Jeff Galloway's "To finish" plan, as I'd much rather have the fun and challenge and just be able to say I did it, than to kill myself trying to set what would be a very mediocre time anyway. I run for joy, and nothing so joyfull as running should be rushed :)

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