Monday, September 14, 2009

Lost Week-end

I went to an old friend’s wedding on Saturday and ended up tipping back a few too many Coronas. Then when I got home, Erin and I stayed up late killing off a bottle of wine. As a result I was in pretty poor shape for running on Sunday. Nevertheless I was able to grind out an 11 miler, even though it felt like someone was following just behind me whacking the back of my head with a bat the entire time. When I was younger I used to enjoy running with a hangover, plus I think carb-loading with all of that beer made the long runs easier. Now I’m too old and out of practice with drinking to derive anything positive from the experience. Hopefully I’ll be feeling recovered enough (from the run, not the drinking) on Wednesday to get that 15 mile run in. Time is slipping by and the marathon is getting closer.

I came across an article in Time Magazine last week that bothered me on several levels. The author was seeking an answer as to why he finds it hard to lose weight even though he exercises around five days per week. What he discovered was that scientists are now finding that while it's true that exercise burns calories and that you must burn calories to lose weight, exercise can also stimulate hunger. That causes us to eat more, which in turn can negate the weight-loss benefits we just accrued. Exercise, in other words, isn't necessarily helping us lose weight. It may even be making it harder. Jeez. My thinking is that the last thing legions of American couch potatoes need to hear is that they can give up on exercise because it doesn’t work as a weight loss routine. I mean, come on. “Dieting doesn’t work”, “exercise doesn’t work”, shit, we might as well nestle into the couch cushions and rip open that second bag of Doritos because getting in shape is impossible. I think Time is pretty irresponsible for using their public bully pulpit to encourage laziness. People exercise for all different reasons. Personally, I run for my mental sanity as much as for the physical benefits. I have always struggled with my weight and have also noticed that once my weekly mileage goes over 30 my weight actually rises by a pound or two. Oh well. I firmly believe if it wasn’t for regular running I never would have lost that 30 pounds I dumped in 2007. The key is balancing exercise with a fundamentally healthy diet and good lifestyle choices. I guess that story wouldn’t sell as many issues of Time to the immobile masses.

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