Thursday, November 11, 2010

Racing Weight Notes

Many triathletes begin the sport with a goal of losing weight. Author Matt Fitzgerald mentions it as one of the top reasons people begin triathlons. Overwhelmingly however after just a year those same people continue to train for and compete in triathlons for entirely different reasons. By being involved in a healthy lifestyle that triathlon provides bad weight will naturally come off. I say bad weight because some triathletes may not lose weight but they become more healthy by reducing body fat and gaining lean muscle. More importantly than losing weight however is that you will gain confidence in yourself with every small obstacle you overcome. With each goal met a new one will be set and you will soon find yourself waking up with more energy, being less stressed out (due to all the great stress relieving workouts completed), and more than likely weighing less than when you began. Some things from this week's updates on Racing Weight which I've now finished 162 pages of...
1. People who compete in triathlons with a sole goal of losing weight actually lose less weight than those who set performance and training goals in triathlon. They also enjoy the sport less because their goals are not related to the sport (less enjoyment is probably why less weight is lost)
2. Set a BIG initial goal so you will have something to work for. This is so important. By focusing on the big goal (which may be reached by having a number of smaller benchmark goals on the way) you will lose weight because you will stay dedicated to working out and eating healthy so you can get to race weight and have a better chance of reaching the goal. For some of you a BIG goal may be to finish your first triathlon. It's a huge accomplishment. To some that means overcoming a fear or doing something they never thought they could until they committed. This reminds me so much of LeeAnn Herrera, a fellow Team Tri-Fit member who joined last year to prepare for her first ever triathlon. She set a big goal of finishing and began that goal last winter. I got to know LeeAnn at some Team Tri-Fit functions and I followed her hilarious blog throughout the entire journey. I was so excited to see her cross the finish line at the Quad City Triathlon. She described that although she began the journey with a goal of losing weight there were so many other things she gained from the experience. She mentioned self confidence as the number one.
3. Exercise is the most effective way to lose weight. The biggest psychological barrier to exercise is self doubt...fear of failure...lack of self-esteem. If you fall into this category, I can tell you the triathlon community loves to help see others through their goals. Triathletes love to hear stories about people overcoming fears in the sport. Watch any recent year of the Ironman Championships. Half of the television programming is devoted to watching athletes who have overcome major obstacles and still been able to finish an Ironman.
4. Most people eat until they are full. At that point they stop...most of the time! This makes it important to find foods that make you feel full without adding lots of calories. The number one factor of feeling full is how much the volume of food you put into the stomach is. It doesn't really matter what the food is, the volume is more important to feeling full. Example: Your stomach feels full after 1.2 pounds of food are put into it. You can get that 1.2 lbs. from whatever source you want. One forth of a water melon would make you just as full as eating two entire cans of Pringles (the old size not the super size they sell now). Think about the calorie difference in this extreme example. It has made me start eating more apples because apples contain high volume but low calories.
After 10 days of training I'm down from 171 starting weight to 168. I'll continue to update on this book mid-week. DREAM BIG!

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