I've had quite a few people email me here to ask about how I eat, how do I run such high mileage without processed carbs every day and low calories..what is the deal with Leanness Lifestyle..how did I lose the fat?
Well, first of all Leanness Lifestyle (just click my sidebar link to Leanness Lifestyle) is the reason that I have lost 30 pounds of fat and kept it off. I have tried all diets: Weight Watchers, eDiets, Body For Life, Slimfast, Starvation, Adkins, you name it..I have tried it. I would lose a bit, then lose energy and not be able to run, then eat more than necessary and get fat again.
In January of 2005 I was at my heaviest weight since my pregnancies; 156 pounds, 23% fat AND I was running 40 miles a week, biking and lifting weights 2-3x a week. It sucked. I couldn't get the fat to budge.
I saw something about Leanness Lifestyle on another blog and figured what the hell, I might as try this 'diet' too. I joined LL and immediately saw that there was a 'bootcamp intensive' beginning that February. The bootcamp was described as one on one, intensive coaching for weight loss and activity. I applied. When David Greenwaldt called me to interview me for the bootcamp, I was very impressed. I told him how much I ran and he didn't tell me that I needed a diet of 60-70% carbs. In fact, he told me "I bet you hear that you need a diet full of processed carbs because of your running, well, I'm going to tell you that 30% of my clients, mostly women, need a diet low in processed carbs, high in fruits and veggies and protein." He told me I was probably a 'weight fighter' and that I would need to train my body to run hard without eating processed carbs every day. He told me that I 'couldn't out-run what I could potentially eat'. I would still eat a daily diet of 100 + grams of carbs, but they would be unprocessed. I had found my eating plan!
That first Bootcamp Intensive I lost 8 pounds. The first two weeks were kind of rough. My body wasn't used to eating clean. I gave up breads and pastas, I ate 4 cups of veggies a day. 4 cups seemed like so much. I have been eating that for over a year now, every day, it isn't too much! I learned to fuel my body with processed carbs the day before a race, when the race was 50 miles at least, during the race, but that the processed carbs were not necessary for recovery. I began to track every calorie, every carb, fat and protein. I began to listen to my body.
I applied for the Bootcamp Intensive II and lost another 6 pounds, then took part in the Bootcamp Intensive III and lost 5 more.
Since I've lost the fat..my race time has decreased significantly. My 50 mile PR prior to Leanness Lifestyle was Voyaguer 50: 12:30, then last year 10:47. My Superior 50 Mile was 14:10, last year: 12:20. My 100 mile at McNaughton was 29:07, then this year: 27:30. I was never able to get over 84 miles at FANS prior to LL, this year..116.8. Prior to LL I ran 7:09 at the Superior 50K, this year..6:03 my marathon PR at Grandmas was 4:27, last year was 3:58. I'm getting faster. I'm losing fat, gaining strength and getting stronger. I'm now at 14.5 % body fat. I carry it all in my thighs/butt, but am trying to lean out the lower body.
Sure, I've added hill work, speed work, longer runs, more races, more miles, it isn't ALL diet. I've moved from the back of the pack to mid and front. Much of the reason for this is my diet. It's easier to move a leaner/lighter body than a heavier one.
The day before a race like McNaughton or FANS I carb up. I ate a Subway Sandwich, a bagel, fruit, some pasta. Plenty of good old processed carbs, but no processed sugars. During the race I eat plenty of potatoes, sandwiches, Hammer Heed, gels, lots of soups, lots and lots of carbs. If I go lightly on carbs, I will have no fun. My brain tells me to quit. That's what happened at FANS last year. I didn't eat sandwiches until 4 hours in and it was all downhill from there.
For recovery, not so carbby. Plenty of veggies, fruits and lean proteins. No sugars, no processed carbs. This is how my weight is finally where I like it to be. I am no longer 11 pounds heavier post race. In the past, I thought I deserved a treat. You know, a large Blizzard Georgia Mud Fudge was pretty damn nice. How about a Quarter Pound Cheeseburger and Fries? Those things I 'couldn't have' because I was on a diet. Ah, no thanks. I don't even crave them anymore.
So that's it. I don't eat processed carbs if I'm not racing. It's easier to move a lighter, leaner body than a heavier one.
Leanness Lifestyle offers a website with great tools for tracking weight, food, activity, etc, not to mention the Bootcamp Intensives. Paleo Eating for Athletes is a good resource as well.
If someone tells you that you need to eat 70% carbs..they could be wrong. We are not all created equal..some of us are just weight fighters..
BUT you could be like my friend, Crackhead Sheila, (www.crackheadfe.blogspot.com) and be able to eat 4000 calories a day and maintain a 112 pound body! Rock on Sheila!