I’ve been struggling with weight gain. Specifically, I want it to happen, and I want it to be muscle, but my scale keeps moving in the other direction. I’ve written directly about my struggle with anorexia (and how it never leaves you). I alluded to this uphill battle to add muscle in a previous post. And now, I’m getting honest about it.
Running Is Interfering With Weight Gain
I’m not a high-mileage runner, but I’m in the process of a half marathon training cycle. That immediately puts me at a disadvantage because I’m doing tempo runs and interval runs and long runs, all things that burn a lot of calories. I didn’t let myself have a few weeks off after the Moody Gardens Half Marathon. I just kept going.
Now, I’m down three pounds, which to the average person may seem like nothing, but for a 5’1″ hobbit with a tiny frame? It’s a lot. My muscle mass is down, too.
I’m a little over two weeks out from my next half marathon. After that, I’m going to be an even lower mileage runner. I just can’t keep losing weight and be healthy.
Diet Will Be Key
I’m going to have to up my diet game. I average about 1700 calories a day, more on days when I work out and feel extra-hungry. The trick with gaining weight that turns into muscle mass is making sure I’m eating the right foods. I’ve been keeping my fat intake low and my protein intake high. After the half marathon, I’m going to revisit my fueling strategy. I see a lot of protein shakes in my future.
Why This Needs to Happen
Aside from me being uncomfortable seeing that number on the scale, it’s not that healthy for me to keep losing weight. I also need the extra weight to put behind my lifts. To be fair, I am lifting heavier than ever, but I can’t sustain my lifts if I keep losing weight.