From fit to fat in three years

I am finishing Brighton marathon
I am finishing Brighton marathon

Look at this picture: it was taken on the 18th April, 2010 and I am finishing the first Brighton marathon. Yep, I did run 42 k and was still going strong. This wasn’t my first marathon either – let’s just say that I have completed Loch Ness marathon which is reputedly one of the hardest in the UK.

I look at this picture and what I see is a fit long distance runner able to ‘go the distance’ physically and psychologically. Fast forward three years and…

On the beach
On the beach

…this is me. Unfit, overweight woman on the beach who feels down about her deteriorating body most of the time but won’t do anything about it. And this wasn’t the moment of awareness; can you imagine how embarrassing it is to try to get in a small(ish) shower cubicle and face some difficulty? (OK, I am exaggerating but only very slightly.)

I still run a bit, and throw around some weights from time to time but nothing to get excited about. Certainly, not enough to get me back to fitness and health.

How did this happen?

I believe that there are three factors that contributed to this transformation from fit to fat.

Menopause

Interestingly, most of the weight I carry around at the moment piled on since last autumn; and one big thing that changed last autumn is that menopause arrived.

Of course, I approached this one exactly as I approach most things in life: I did some research, thinking and experimenting. My research shows, that beating myself about being greedy is not likely to do much good. Why?

Because it is not my brain but my changed chemistry that makes me crave the wrong things. I have never craved sugar and white carbs as I crave these since last autumn. Apparently, the reason is that my messed up hormones want fat; they want it around the belly because the decreasing levels of estrogen not only affect where fat is, but also the hormone is partially substituted by a substance that fat releases. To cut a long story short, my female body is substituting addictions again – from estrogen to sugar and white carbs.

This is unfortunate because my body doesn’t need fat, it needs proteins to keep building and maintaining muscle.

I have thought of a way to deal with this and will tell you about it and update you on the experiment on this site.

Break of fitness routine

Two years ago I had an operation on my leg that got me out of advanced marathon training in an instant; this also kept me out of running for close to two months – more than long enough to disrupt useful routines.

After that I never got into running properly; I run a little (about 10-12 miles per week) but my general level of fitness has been deteriorating since. What is worse, I have been entering races and not running them because I haven’t trained for them properly.

Not good. In follow on posts, I’ll be updating you on my progress getting back in my fitness routine; this includes making exercise part of my life and loving it again, setting some ‘impossibly mad’ goals and consistently establishing fitness habits.

Becoming a writer

I am not saying that all writers neglect their fitness and start making regular trips to the fridge and the biscuits tin. It is enough to mention Haruki Murakami who is not only an award winning writer and an endurance athlete; he also wrote a book about the way in which writing and running go hand in hand – What I talk about when I talk about running. However, most writers are at risk; I know that I certainly succumbed.

My year of writing was a year of single minded focus bordering on obsession. Day after day, I’ll decide that the day after I’ll go for a run and ‘tomorrow’ was the day that never came. My days merged in one long marathon of writing and all that goes with it – reading, researching, waking up early in the morning with an idea making the rounds in my head and being too eager to get out.

I didn’t run (I mean seriously run), my overall level of physical activity went down and this re-affirmed the bad habits of eating sugar (or as good as) and break of fitness routine.

This is where this blog comes in; It is the place where I’ll write about writing, fitness and diat – or how to keep yourself in shape while being a writer.

…Finally

This is how I got from fit to fat in three years. Now is the time to move from fat to fit again. And keep writing.

Author: Maria Nedeva

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