Normally, my weight tends to fluctuate between 140 and 145 pounds. I've been roughly that weight since high school. The few times I've been significantly outside that, once I had a 105-degree fever (and dropped seven pounds in four days), or I had just started new medication that caused me to lose my appetite (and dropped to 135 pounds), or amazingly enough, when I rode my bike to Alaska, I gained about 10 pounds, and very little of it was muscle. Texas 4,000 has an unfortunate history of its members getting fat.
|Me, after riding 4,000+ miles and gaining 10 pounds.|
For the last several months, I've generally been just under 140 pounds. The lightest I got to was 137, just before I ran the San Francisco Marathon. At the time of this writing, I'm back up to 139. At one point, I was up to 141. Four pounds might not seem like much, but go pour yourself a full glass of water. That is one pound. Now hold three more of them. That is four pounds. Imagine you could either run up a hill while carrying those, or while not carrying anything. Think it would make a difference?
If the races I did weren't all over the ridiculous hills of California, I might not care so much. But, well, my races are in the hills. And I don't want to change that, because I like the challenge, I like the variety, I like the scenery, I like the lower-key races, and they're fun! I'd just like it to be a little easier.
No, I'm not going to pretend that losing 3-4 pounds is as hard as dropping 30 pounds and getting in the best shape you've been in 20 years. Nor am I going to pretend that weighing an extra four pounds hampers my lifestyle or is a greater difficulty than carrying around the equivalent of two Thanksgiving turkeys at all times. But when you're already at a low weight, those last few pounds are tough pounds. Your body doesn't burn much energy naturally to maintain a smaller body, so you have to eat even less. It gets to the point that I eat little enough that I'm worried I'm simply not getting enough of all my food groups. And that's even considering that I have to eat a little extra to keep up with all the training I do. And if I undershoot by too much, I won't have any energy to keep up with my training. It's a delicate balance.
Throw in the fact that I work somewhere that provides three restaurant-quality hot meals a day for free, along with fully-stocked break rooms with shelves full of snacks, and even has free beer and wine at least once a week (usually twice), and it's hard to stay away from temptations.