Trigger warning: weight/body image topics are mentioned in this post. If triggering / annoying to you please skip! Also some birth control discussion.
This morning, I saw the highest # on a scale that I have seen . . . possibly EVER, outside of pregnancy.
Now: I recognize that this is not a catastrophe. I recognize that I am still at a normal weight/BMI. I recognize that I seem to be running pretty well (avoiding injury, making progress in speed even with temps rising, having decent endurance in the heat) in spite of this little piece of data. I recognize this is more about vanity than health. I recognize that people may have weight fluctuations throughout the lifespan.
AND, I also really don’t love it. Okay, that’s an understatement. I kind of hate it. I would say I am annoyed/irritated/confused and honestly not even sure how to deal with it. Have I been eating more calories/carbohydrates over the past few months? Absolutely yes, in the context of higher mileage running! And not in what seems like crazy amounts.
I am basically following hunger cues, not eating recreationally “because I ran a lot.” I am eating to avoid migraines, because getting too hungry seems to be a trigger. I am taking in calories (not a ton, but like 120 in the form of Skratch and collagen) before my morning runs because I feel better when I do, and isn’t that what the experts say to do?!
I *did* also switch my birth control pill. I actually do think that could be a factor when I analyze the timeline here. But I switched because I felt like my old one made me slightly dehydrated (Yaz, which contains a progestin that has a mild diuretic effect – not what you necessarily want when you are running in sweltering heat). This weight gain however is not just water. It has continued steadily over the past few months after switching pills. My clothes still fit, but I don’t like how they fit. Or really how I look in general.
I tried to be a good sport about it, I really did. But I do not want to continue on the same path.
1- Run less. Nope. Not right now, anyway.
2- Work out more. Uhh, no. This is clearly not the problem. I *could* theoretically strength train more (and am well aware this is the key to improving body composition) but I don’t think I have it in me to do more than 2 sessions/week while I am marathon training.
3- Switch birth control methods. Yes, I think so. I might go to a progesterone IUD. I have multiple reasons for taking an OCP but I feel ready to try something else. If I hate it I guess I could always have it taken out.
4- Eat less/change eating habits. Sigh. I guess I need to. Maybe I need to emphasize protein and time my carbohydrates more strategically? Maybe I just need to embrace that at my advanced age, I have to really limit sugar for the most part even with a higher mileage load. That said, I know I cannot try to create some sudden giant calorie deficit because I’m sure it would impact my running.
(I recognize that I am only a recreational runner and NO ONE other than me cares how well I run, but right now it matters to me and I’m really enjoying chasing my goals. Except for this annoying side effect.)
5- Stop caring. Unlikely. Just being real.
Thoughts, commiseration, ideas?