Fat Dude in Short Shorts

9 May

I don’t feel like being funny today.  It happens sometimes.  I mean, if a co-worker falls or knocks something over, I’m still going to crack wise and laugh at them, but that’s about all I’ve got right now.

I guess it’s not just that I’m not feeling funny today;  I’m frustrated, passionless and downright sad.  

I’ve run a lot of miles in the past two years, but the fact remains:  I’m still fat.  

Incognito Fat Dude

Those of you who know me might have cocked an eyebrow at that declaration, but it’s true.  I hide it fairly well.  Most of my extra weight is belly fat.  I wear my vertical stripes and black teeshirts and none are the wiser.  Okay, I don’t, but I do have a gut that hasn’t budged for years. I’m 5’10″ and I weigh 196. That’s 36 lbs overweight. For a runner, especially an ultramarathoner, that’s not good.

Some days it doesn’t bother me much, but some days, like today, it sucks the joy out of life.  

But You’re the Crazy Running Guy…

It’s true.  I’ve burned over 7000 calories on some of my more epic running adventures.  But guess what happens after I complete my 15+ mile runs… I get really, really hungry.  I get so hungry in fact that I tend to gorge myself if I’m not careful.  Self control goes out the window.  

That’s part of why some nutritionists and weight loss experts suggest eating lots of smaller meals throughout the day, or having a healthy snack of vegetables or the like between meals;  it keeps you in control of your eating.  When you get really hungry your stomach overwhelms your brain.  Your stomach is a jedi that likes to use its mind tricks on you.  The force is strong with mine.

I told you I wasn’t funny today.

The Long Haul

I’ve gone on several runs over 5 hours long. I’ve done a 7 1/2 hr 40 mile run. While I’m running I don’t struggle with overeating. The problem is, even with these crazy long runs, there’s still more time in the day that I’m not running than when I am.

It’s these long stretches that get me. These long non-runs are killers. Most of the time I do pretty well. Then it’s 15 minutes of temptation that blow my efforts out of the water.

I’m tired of losing. You lose this battle long enough and you feel like a loser. You feel helpless. You feel pathetic.

You feel like giving up.
I’m there.

But I’m not going to– give up that is. I’ll tell you more about my plan to reclaim my health and my passion in the next post, “The Joy of Running.” No really, joy. And don’t worry, it’s catching.

5 Responses to “Fat Dude in Short Shorts”

  1. Jamie May 9, 2012 at 1:47 am #

    Brave post. And you were funny, even if you didn’t mean to be. :) I love you and am here to support you every step of the way!

  2. ET May 9, 2012 at 3:13 am #

    Brandon-

    I can relate to what you refer to as the “losing” battle. Excess weight plagues us not only externally in our physical appearance but internally within our deepest thoughts. Losing it is a tough battle that both of us are actively engaged in…

    That being said:
    1) You are a fantastic person, a great husband to Jamie, and a wonderful father to your kids. What you provide to them in the form of guidance, love, and support is beyond incredible and more than outweighs much else you could possibly do in life. :)

    2) You do hide your “excess” quite well.

    3) Being a distance runner, you are keen on setting and obtaining goals through training. That ability is highly commendable! At the same time, when we don’t obtain our goals in the time frame we desire or within the expected effort to be extended, we are very disappointed, as we obtain great satisfacion in our goal-conquering. This makes our excess weight that much more of the “elephant” (not in the room) in our minds.

    I don’t distance run- but I was an athlete until my sophomore year in college and strength and conditioned trained for the majority of my high school career. I looked back at those days and cannot believe what shape I was in- all by just doing fun activities I loved. After that point, though, I developed a sedentary lifestyle- studying until the wee hours of the morning- and snacking all the while to stay awake and alert. I obtained a personal trainer prior to my wedding, which greatly helped me stave off any additional weight gain and helped tone my muscles, but between moving across the country, starting a new job, and continuing the sedentary lifestyle at my 50-115 hour per week job, the weight has just continued to pile on. I am back training 3 days a week now (it feels so good!) but I have added a nutritionist to my arsenal and have been enlightened by why I’ve learned.

    There’s a website I’d recommend visiting to learn a little more about ways to enhance your mind & body through the food you intake- it’s authored by a man who like you, is a distance runner (marathoner) who’s been at it for decades now. The philosophy he writes about is the “Primal” diet- where we eat like our ancestors did, as they were much healthier than us in many ways. Additionally, it is important that we intake healthy fats to aid in satiety and nutrient absorption and limit the grains and processed foods we intake. By eating mostly proteins, vegetables, and good fats, our bodies shed excess weight, we stay satiated longer, and we aren’t having carbs turn into fat. Fat that we consume is used in the building blocks of our cells if unused during activity (like runs). Carbs are stored as actual fat. It’s somewhat backwards to how we’ve been raised and society at large (with the food guide pyramid having the grain category as the staple bottom food group), but I FEEL so much better having a diet low in grains and have lost an impressive amount of weight following those guidelines. The website featuring the primal lifestyle is as follows:
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com

    I’m sorry I wrote you a short novel here. I just wanted to (hopefully) share the inspiration I received a few months back with a friend like you, let you know you’re not alone, and offer a tip that has been working for me to a fellow “battle” mate. I hope that through whatever route you take, that you are able to find happiness in your body, mind, and spirit~ and enjoy each day to its fullest.

    • Jamie May 10, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

      This comment makes me happy. Thank you for sharing so genuinely. It’s encouraged me as well. :)

    • Brandon May 10, 2012 at 6:45 pm #

      Great stuff, thank you! It comes as good confirmation as to the things I’m trying out lately. I just downloaded the myplate app by Lance Armstrong’s livestrong.com site and I’m learning a ton about what I eat and where I’m lacking or overdoing it. I immediately found I drank almost no water apart from when I run. Not good. I’ve heard from many people that I should keep a food journal, but this app has made it possible as I almost always have my ipad and it does the calculation for me. Ultimately I know I will burn out on a journal unless it’s rediculously and mind-bogglingly simple to use… almost video-game-esque. Jackpot. I really like the one article I’ve read so far on the daily apple site, so thanks for that as well. I wish you continued success in your fitness goals. I hope you can continue to share your insights here.

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