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Piling on the Pounds – Weight and Running

Be Awesome

It’s the start of January and we’re all on clean eating and fitness regimes! Correct!

Well, I am. The London Marathon training started on 31st December – 17 weeks out from the marathon.

Because I like challenges, I decided to put on 5kg over the last few months (pushing me over 90kgs) just to make it a bit tougher! Really, I let myself slide in the build-up to my wedding – missing training, not eating proper meals and snacking. I let that roll on through the end of November, all of December and through Christmas. I made friends with the beige foods.

I’ve avoided talking about weight on this blog as it can be a touchy subject. It’s definitely an important subject. It’s critical to general health and is important in improving athletic performance. My Body Mass Index (BMI) puts me in the overweight category. BMI is not the most “accurate” measure as it does not tell the difference between excess fat, muscle, or bone. Or age, gender or muscle mass. Therefore, muscular adults and athletes can be classed as “overweight” or “obese” even though their body fat is low.

My BMI is 28.4 which put me in the overweight category and not a million miles away from obese. I’m fairly active and “muscular” in a way – mainly in my legs and my ass.

The Gain

My weight gain has been flagged up in a few places –

  • The suit I wore for New Years – no belt required.
  • The shirt I wore for my wedding in November – struggled to do the top button up.
  • My “big” work trousers are not a little snug. No way am I getting in my skinny ones.
  • A tailored fit shirt now feels slim fit!
  • A set of running shorts slide down my ass as I bend over.
  • Vaseline between the thighs currently required for every run.

The weight is fairly evenly spread, but a few people have given my new tummy a pat. I’m obviously at the start of my training plan so my running has not really suffered, or not that I’m aware of. The effort feels manageable. I’m far off the heavy miles and the objective is to follow the plan and make running regularly – my identity. Have faith in the plan, keep tapping the miles and sessions out and get the base built.

I’m currently caring around an extra 6-7 kg (13- 15lbs). In the UK, a standard bag of sugar is one kilogram (2.2 lbs), so I’m carrying around 6-7 of these. If I put those bags of sugar in a backpack and carried them whilst running, I’d be screwed.


I read a very good article in the Guardian newspaper written by Nadja Hermann who lost 13 stone (87kgs or 192 lbs) and talks about “fatlogic”. As Hermann explains…

“The term doesn’t mean “fat people’s logic”, but refers to the complex grab bag of supposedly medical facts, well-meaning advice, homegrown ideas and fantasies that make losing weight not only difficult, but impossible”.

“Fat logic is not just a problem for fat people; I have never met a person who was completely free of it”.

She then debunks the most persistent myths, the first if with is ‘I eat only 1,000 kcal a day, but I don’t lose weight’ in which she explains people can hugely misjudge their calorie intake.

I’m in no way averse to misjudging calories. Just today there was a birthday in the office. Someone brought in two boxes of Krispy Crème doughnuts. I had two doughnuts. Then I looked up the nutritional information for the two doughnuts. One was 300 calories and the other was 350! 650 calories! That’s over a quarter of my recommended 2500 daily intake of calories.

Not only do I misjudge the calories, but I also misjudge that I think I can eat what the F I like. I going running tonight and the 1-hour run club will probably just about burn off those two doughnuts. Not the best use of time or calories.

It’s not the end of the world, but just an example of losing sight of the goal (on Day 10) and not putting good habits in place for the New Year. Losing the 6 kilograms will massively help with the marathon in April, though.

Below are some things I’ve started (or continued) and some things I’ve stopped to help shed a few pounds and get my times down  –

Things to Start

  • Cycle to work every day (dependent on meetings/working from other offices).
  • Follow my training plan – run 4 times a week.
  • Run at lunchtime once a week.
  • Run to work once a week.
  • Have a green smoothie every morning.
  • Take a healthy homemade lunch to work every day. (I hope to share some recipes with you).
  • Write a weekly plan for evening meals. Do a weekly shop for the required ingredients and stick to the meal plan.
  • Eat vegetarian on weekdays (this is ongoing).

Things to stop

  • Stop eating cakes and biscuits brought into work by others.
  • No chocolate at lunchtimes.
  • No bread at lunch. It does not need to accompany whatever I eat.
  • No random snacking whilst walking/cycling through town centres (though I do need to try the Gregg’s Vegan Sausage Roll).
  • Drink some water. Just any amount of water will be an improvement on the current situation.
  • Stop making evening meals made up of leftovers or cheese on toast.
  • Stop eating doughnuts!

Small Changes

You can improve, start or stop habits at any time of the year. There is no need to wait until the New Year but it just seems so right to do it in January. So give it a go. Just because a few days of January have passed its still fine to work on those resolutions.

Think of a few small changes that you can make that over time could have a big impact on your life.

Next week I will be breaking down the Rich Roll podcast with James Clear about habits.

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