I kinda knew it, but it is always good to have some scientific prove that running is good for you and that shedding pounds is even better for you. Some Canadian Scientists performed a systematic review of studies that followed people for more than 10 years and even though some people boosted good metabolic numbers (low cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure to mention just a few), they still found increased risks of cardiovascular death, heart disease, and ultimately heart attack. Apparently over the years some “health gurus” have created the term “healthy obesity”. I always found this contradicting – in my opinion if you are fat you are fat and that comes with all the additional health risks accordingly.
A few years ago my Cholesterol numbers started going up and I was on a prescription for Cholesterol lowering medication. What I found to be sad is that the doc never asked any questions about my diet at all. I was not fat, I was not obese, but my Cholesterol was going up. I kind of have this in my family, but I also have to say that I certainly could have improved my diet A LOT back then, but I took the convenient way of taking a pill per day and call it good. Over the years I developed some non-threating side-effects from the medication. I found workarounds for some of them, but others I just could not get rid of. As an example, one side-effect is constant muscle fatigue and weak muscle development. This totally sucks if you are a runner. This was part of the reason why I never went further than 6 or 7 miles with my running – up until last year. I became more and more aware of the side-effects of my medication and started looking into eating more healthy. Not that I was indulging on fast food, but I definitely had some room to improve my overall diet.
These days I eat a lot more fruit and veggies. I barely eat any red meat and I am not touching alcohol (like maybe 1 glass of wine in the last 5 months). I even did a juice cleanse during summer and of course since I started running more due to being in training for a marathon I did a lot more sports. Since August I have done a lot of days with double-workouts (One hour of Kosama in the morning, running in the afternoon) and I have lost some weight along the way which I love. I am at 155 lbs. now, but I think I still have some weight that I can shed. December might not be the best month for that, but I am sure keeping an eye on what I eat. I stopped taking my Cholesterol medication earlier this summer and so far – knock on wood – the numbers are rock solid and good.
While running is a great way to lose some weight, it is easy to make the mistake to eat too much thinking that running will take care of the extra calories. The simple rule still applies: if you take in more calories than your body consumes you will gain weight. For a while I counted calories, but have stopped. I have an overall idea of how many calories I am eating or drinking per day and I think I got it down to a point where I do not have to worry about gaining extra weight. While there are certainly days where I eat too much, over the course of a week it evens out just fine. How are you keeping track of your calorie intake?
Today I broke my PR for a 10K on one of my training runs. I am registered for a half marathon next Saturday and I am still working hard on fully recovering from my ear infection that I got two weeks before I ran the Las Vegas marathon. The ear infection is slow in moving out, but I got tired of not doing anything and so I am running again and I am finally feeling my old strength again. Woohoo! Just in time for the half marathon on Saturday.
Below is a picture taken from my back porch. On Sunday evening the colors were really impressive as you can see. The image has NOT been edited with any photo imaging software at all. The colors simply came out stunning. Click the image to see a larger, high quality version of this picture.