Being Fit and, um, Not Losing Weight

I trained for a half marathon. For six months. And I didn’t lose a single pound. Or inches– for those of you thinking that I gained muscle and lost fat. I probably did gain some muscle, but my jeans still fit the same.

Crazy, right? This is not a weight-loss blog, and I don’t plan on turning it into one. But this kind of baffled me. Enough, apparently, that I am willing to talk about it on the internet.

Weight loss wasn’t my goal. But I thought it might be a nice by-product. I mean, I went from exercising sporadically to running three times a week. I was burning more calories, so I should lose a few pounds, right?

False. I maintained my steady diet of fruits and veggies… and pizza and grilled cheese and french fries. Apparently, what you eat has a bigger effect on your weight than I thought. I don’t think I had heard the 70%/30% rule until recently: that weight loss is 70% diet and 30% exercise. Bummer.

When race weekend came, I had a specific image of what a half-marathon runner should look like. And I thought if I trained for a half-marathon, I would automatically look like that too.

But here is what I want to tell you: I ran a half-marathon. And I didn’t die. That basically means that my body is incredible. I don’t mean incredible-looking. I mean an amazing artistic and mechanistic feat. I am healthy and strong. I am fit. And this is what fit looks like: not a smaller pair of jeans, or that one dress that would look oh so good if I was just oh so much skinnier. Fit looks like setting a fitness goal and achieving it.

I took BodyPump at the Y yesterday for the first time in years. And then I ate leftover pizza for lunch. Have I learned a lesson here? Maybe not. But I can’t wait to set my next fitness goal… And then beat it.

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