Since January 2008, I’ve lost about 50 lbs. Since this summer, because of my training efforts, I’ve gained some weight back in musces, mostly on my legs. I’ve noticed more muscles in my upper body as well, muscles that weren’t there last year.
Now I have to agree that I had some extra weight on my body. This has started accumulating since I started working in finance in 2003. The constant meals at restaurants, being always on the road and not working out took its tool. In 2006, I ran for six months 4.2 km a day. I wasn’t running very fast and I hurt my knee at some point and stopped running altogether. I was planning on starting up again, but them we moved to Asia to teach English.
Life in Taiwan made me fatter. I had some high blood pressure in 2007 and was eating really poorly. Meals at 711 weren’t a substitute for a well balanced meal. Personal and work related issues kept my stress level high for most of the two years that we were in Taiwan. That didn’t help because I’m the sort of person who will shut down and insulate myself from everyone when things go wrong in order to process them. It takes me a while to work things out, but usually I do.
In January 2008, when I came back to Quebec, Canada, for studies, I changed my diet drastically. I went back to home cooked meals, veggies and fruits. I cut out glutens, no rice, no pasta, no bread. It was the diet I was on before we left for Asia. I went back to it.
Plus I was walking everywhere. I was on foot and I walked kilometers a day. I tried going swimming a few times, but I didn’t enjoy the experience. I’m near-sigthed, so everything that is far is in a fog. The whole experience wasn’t pleasurable. I also got winded pretty quickly. I went a few times and didn’t go back. I did enjoy the sauna.
Fast forward a few months and I was busy with school and work. It was mid-March and I had lost about 20-25lbs. I didn’t weigh myself, but I knew that I had lost some weight.
When I moved back to Asia for the summer, I weighed myself for the first time. I had lost 37 lbs in the winter semester in Quebec. In June, I started running almost everyday. I started by running 4-5 km four to five times a week. As I started working out, I lost even more weight. My weight dropped down to 163lbs, which was almost 50 lbs less than my 211 lbs of January 2008. As I continued to work out, my muscle mass augmented. By the time I left for Quebec in September, I was up to 174 lbs, still thin, but weighing more because of the muscles.
I also radically changed my diet this summer. I went on a 75-80% raw food diet. I ate mostly raw veggies, fruits, and smoothies. The only thing that I ate cooked was meat. The rest was raw. I was working out in 30C and losing lots of weight.
When I arrived back in Quebec, I knew that I had to change my diet slightly, otherwise I wouldn’t gain anymore muscles. I started adding some multigrain pasta and couscous into my diet. I still don’t cook veggies and I still only cook meat. I also added a regular infusion of beans, yogurt and cottage cheese into my diet. I ate granola cereal, with yogurt and fruits as a breakfast.
It’s incredible to see the change in my body, especially since it was mostly flabby last year. My legs are really strong and muscled. I was surprised to see how thick my calves had become. The upper half of my body is also a lot more defined. I think that I could lose another 5-10 lbs in fat and I’d be as slim as when I was 20. Maybe I am already as slim.
That’s the background on my training story.
Where am I right now in my training? My long runs consist of 14-16 km. My usual runs are at the minimum 8 km and usually go up to 10 km. I’ve started training with the triathlon team of my university to get me to do more cross-training. I feel comfortable enough to run half-marathons.
Just a quick example: this summer I ran 15 km in about 2:20 hours. Last weekend I ran 14 km in 69 minutes. This summer, it took me about two weeks to recover from that run. Recovering is a big word though, since the bottom of my foot was hurting. It wasn’t that I was exhausted. Last week, I went running again on Wednesday and Friday. I’ve had to take a few days off because of a sore tendon, but that’s it.
Now that I’ve told you what exactly happened to me during my training, you’ll understand where I’m going.
Consider this. I bought six pairs of Diesel jeans in 2004. It was a deal and they were cheap. Three of them didn’t really fit me. I couldn’t really put them on, but I still bought them. Four years later, I’ve started wearing those jeans. They are actually too big for me know. I’ve got a few inches of space and my belt holds the jeans on my hips.
I bought a lot of technical clothing in January in Taiwan before coming to Quebec. Almost all of it is too big for me. I’ve gone from a size XL to a size S. Seriously. Medium is too big for me.
So the trouble of losing all of this weight and trimmin up is that you won’t fit in any of your old fatty clothes anymore. It’s good and bad. It’s good because it’s proof that you’re doing well. It’s bad because right now, I’m stuck in Quebec, Canada, with only a few changes of clothes and all of the other clothes that I have are too big. Way too big. In fact, my Arc’Teryx Alpha LT is way too big for me now. I’d probably fit into a S without any problems, though I’d have to see about XS. If you use the layering system, clothes are supposed to hug your body. My technical clothing is too big to do it well.
The other difference is that I don’t wear any baggy clothes anymore. Baggy clothes are for people trying to hide what their body looks like. At least, this was the case for me. Right now, I wear tight pants and tight tops. I’ve even gotten tights for running.
The only tops that fit me are the ones that I bought this summer in Taiwan, and they are summer-fall tops, not winter tops. It’s getting cold here and I need to buy some new clothes.