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Marathon Weight Gain and Why It’s a Good Thing

Two quick announcements:

SPARTAN RACE AND QUEST BAR GIVEAWAY

Also, yesterday I redid my URL structure (the http:// address) and then spent 4 hours redoing internal links throughout the site. If you reach an “ERROR” or missing page, please shoot me an email or leave a comment on the page that you are looking for–the page exists, simply delete the “2014/08/” or whatever from the middle of the link. Thank you for your help and understanding!

marathon weight gain

I say “marathon weight gain,” but obviously, this is also applicable to any other type of training. Runner, lifter, or otherwise.

Before I go too far in, I want to say that this post will be discussing weight gain and exercise in a way that may be a bit triggering for some folks. If you are worried that talk of this nature might affect you, please take a break from the Suzlyfe for the day, and come back tomorrow! 

Edited to add: Additionally, after reading the comments, I want to make sure that you all know that I am making these statements knowing full well that I have not gained an outrageous amount of weight, or that the visual difference is super noticeable. But trust me–it is there. This is just the start–the foundations. I want to make sure that people know that this is learning how to stay healthy through training. 

There are so many posts out there on the Net that talk about “I gained weight during marathon training (sadface)” or “How not to gain weight during marathon/half marathon/Ironman/etc training.”

This is not one of those posts.

Rather, it is this kind of post:

I gained weight during marathon training 😀

And no, I don’t intend to try to lose it.

While I have never been diagnosed for an eating disorder, I have certainly experienced disordered eating behavior in the past, and even, from time to time, in the present. My eating issues originated from a “chunky” childhood in the midst of more svelt peers and a brother with a mad-cap metabolism. However, my diagnosis of Crohn’s, ensuing digestive issues, hormonal issues, and steroid weight fluctuations cemented a sort of timidity around food and the need to try to control it, even thought it did me little good.

If you have followed along with my story for a while, you know that I have been working on my weight and my relationship with my body for a long time. For those that need a refresher:

That Comment

Self-Love Selfie

What this marathon means for me

If you want to check out other posts that I have done dealing with mental health, body issues, perspective, and emotional topics, please check out my “Tough Talk” page (in the menu).

When one goes to the doctor, underweight (for their height), admittedly slim, and without a period, doctors (rightly) first ask questions about exercise, diet, etc. And I always answer truthfully: yes, I do exercise, here is how much (I do NOT fib, you know how seriously I take my health); yes, I do eat, here is a sample day, my target calories, and how I try to balance between being mindful/keeping track of what I eat and living my life.

Then the bomb: oh, yeah, and I am training for a marathon/half-marathon.

slap a bitch

You would think I had slapped them.

But hear me out:

I do better when I am training. I gain weight when I am training. And as much as I love to run and work out? I do so in part because it helps me. It helps me gain the weight that I know that I need. And no, I don’t gain the weight because I go HOG WILD at the buffet and froyo bar and whatever. Sure, I eat a whole pizza, but it is thin crust and just about the least malicious pizza of all time.

pizza carbloading for life

Training takes the edge off. Training makes me happy. Training regulates my mood, emotions, hormones, and depression, and frees me up to be open to eating what I want, when I want it, and even to overeat. And when I overeat? Sure, I don’t necessarily feel great, but in a way, it is part of my training–I am helping my body become stronger, to recover better. When I am training, I add about 300-500 calories a day onto my normal intake. For long run days especially, I replace everything that I “spend” in a way that ensure my body uses it–gradually, in installments, over the course of about 36 hours following the run. No gorging or binging–that doesn’t help me.

And the result? Though I did not weigh myself at the beginning or the end of my training, I would guess that I have gained a good 5 lbs. Of booty, quad, hamstring, boobs, and a bit of tummy. My arms would be bigger if I had worked them more, but some of that goodness went to the legs. And you know what else? I didn’t really change overall size that much–things fit differently–> I fill them out oh-so-much-better.

I DON'T CARE THAT I'VE USED IT A TON. BRAD PITT DANCING NEVER GETS OLD.

Pretend that BOOTY BOOTY BOOTY BOOTY BOOTY ROCKIN EVERYWHER-AH is playing in the background.

My weight gain? I’m proud of it. I worked hard for it and my 30 minute marathon pr (dust yo shoulda off). I am no longer in “peak” training, but I still consider myself to be in training. I am still getting in about 2300-2500 calories a day, even though my workouts are FAR laxer. Right now, I am putting cash in the bank, as it were. My goal is not to lose what I have worked so hard for, either in endurance, muscle, body composition, or outlook.

I am curious to see what happens this winter: last winter, my body and brain were under so much stress from the cold and work that I lost all the good progress that I had made. My body is so sensitive to stress, but I am in such a better mental place now than 8 months ago, when I left the restaurant.

funny-handle-stress

And hey, doctors, you know how “marathoners don’t get periods”? I got one. A month before the race. First full-length one on my decreased artificial hormone regimen. WHAT NOW.

Beginning of training

Beginning of training

Mid point of training

Mid point of training

End of training

End of training

My racing weight? It’s a little higher these days. And I am a better athlete for it. There might even be room for a few more. Though I will say, my tricep dips were a bit tough this morning….

If you want to discuss these types of issues further, my crazy fast friend and Elite runner Tina Muir recently wrote an excellent post about the changing body of the female marathoner. I encourage you to check it out, if you haven’t already.

Again, please know that your body is your own. I am not saying that all underweight people should train for marathons, or that you should give your doc the middle finger. I am the last person to say that, ever.

I just knew that what they were suggesting (the sit at home and drink Ensure diet) was not for me because a) it takes me to a dark place because of past associations b) I would go out of my everloving mind c) my body needs good weight that it can use for life, not “just fat” d) mental health is a huge part of my struggle–when I put on muscle, I relieve stress and gain confidence, thereby further encouraging better health.

So, the short and short of it is this: I gained weight during marathon training. And that makes me happy. It makes me strong. It makes me healthy. The weight powers me, my future, and my dreams, both of racing and of having a family. Just because you are doing something your own way, or using it for your own purposes/means to an end doesn’t mean that it is any less meaningful or wrong.

Everyone heals themselves in their own way. This has been a part of my therapy. I hope that you find what helps keep you healthy.

Reactions? Thoughts? Have you ever done the “opposite” of the typical recommendations in order to achieve a result?

Tell me about a “negative” transformation that has happened as a result of training/working towards something that you in fact view as a positive!

I’m Linking up with Jill and Jessica Joy for the Fit Dish!

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122 Comments

  • Reply Michele

    I also gained a small amount of weight during this marathon training, most likely because I was trying very hard to refuel with healthy nourishing stuff and avoid any muscle loss. Well I feel like you and I’m proud to say it’s been working! There have been past marathon training cycles where my stomach was a mess, I lost muscle and lost weight and just didn’t feel great. I feel very healthy this time around and the weight gain didn’t hurt.
    Michele recently posted…5 Signs Your “Inspiration” is a Negative TriggerMy Profile

    October 28, 2014 at 6:04 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I know you understand so well where I am coming from, having dealt with such serious stomach issues of your own, as a naturally smaller framed person, as a runner, and as a woman in the modern society. You get the mental and physical struggle, the initial OH NO WEIGHT jolt of anxiety, but then the ::deep breath, this is what you want:: moment after. The “if I eat this, if I eat too much, what will happen?” And the “Girl, I WISH I looked like you and could eat like you” comments that just make you feel smaller (and not in a good way). I think you are doing an amazing job, and setting a fantastic example for others, and especially for your children.

      October 30, 2014 at 10:07 am
  • Reply Amber

    Suz, CONGRATS ON THE WEIGHT GAIN GIRL <3 love and hugs to you for sharing your story <3 Those of us with such serious digestive issues often develop disordered eating habits out of fear of what may "make us sick" but those habits stay around, because the mentality is infectious, even when we become healthy again! Gaining weight is not always a negative thing, and for you, it's become such a positive, you glow with health and radiance!
    For me, straining my calf this Spring was a blessing in disguise, unable to work out/do cardio, I cried. No, I SOBBED, afraid I would "get fat" from not being able to run/elliptical/do body weight cardio. Instead, I gained muscle, lost body fat, and gave my body a much needed break. My injury healed me in many ways. And GUESS WHAT, six months later, and STILL NO CARDIO and I am as happy and healthy as ever (and my leanest) go figure 🙂
    Amber recently posted…Be Happy, Be Positive, Be GratefulMy Profile

    October 28, 2014 at 6:06 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Isn’t it funny how life works? Our bodies will tell us to slow down when we need to, and if we don’t listen, they will literally do it for us. And our reaction is everything. You may have had a “weak” moment, but the reaction to that moment, that you stayed the course, concentrated on your LIFE, and rode it out, says everything. I’m so happy for you!

      October 30, 2014 at 10:09 am
  • Reply MCM Mama

    Good for you for figuring out what works for you and your body. I always gain when I marathon train, but I don’t need the extra. I’d love to figure out how to balance things for *my* body as well as you are doing it for yours.
    MCM Mama recently posted…Tuesdays on the Run: Amphipod handheld water bottleMy Profile

    October 28, 2014 at 6:07 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Oh, thank you both for the encouragement and the complement. It has taken me a hell of a lot of work, many years of mental battles, to get to this point. And I truly do think that my 2 marathons, and especially this one, were the real turning point for me. Again, I hope that I am able to maintain this mentality over the coming months of cold, etc, but that is part of why I wanted to write this now: to remind myself.

      October 30, 2014 at 10:10 am
  • Reply Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner

    I love this! I love how your training keeps you fueling your body to be more healthy and strong. I wish other women would realize this and follow your lead. Strong is the new sexy right? I always love your honesty about your body image thoughts.
    Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…Run Gear I’m loving this week-Fitletic hydration beltMy Profile

    October 28, 2014 at 6:21 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you, Deborah. There is just so much focus on the need to drop whatever you gain. But sometimes? You need to gain! You have to do what is right for you. I wish people understood that there is shame on the underweight side as well.

      October 30, 2014 at 10:13 am
  • Reply jill conyers

    You know I love your perspective on life right.

    Training takes a lot of time. Negative? Some say yes. I say no way. When I train my priorities are solid. I use my time wisely and what is the most important gets done. Wait? Is that a negative transformation?
    jill conyers recently posted…10 Life LessonsMy Profile

    October 28, 2014 at 6:37 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you, Jill. And no, not a negative transformation. As long as it doesn’t come between you and your family, then it is simply time to take stock and adjust your allocations!

      October 30, 2014 at 10:15 am
  • Reply Heather @Fit n Cookies

    Love this and love you! Gosh I am so proud of you for seeing the weight increase (though I don’t, ha) and knowing you need it and you probably did better at the marathon because of it. It’s hard to be ok with weight gain. I totally get it. Currently, since I’m adding in longer runs (for me.. still baby miles for marathoners, ha), I do know my legs have gotten larger from muscle. My legs are the first things to get big, but at least it’s all muscle!
    Heather @Fit n Cookies recently posted…Mizuno Wave Rider 18 {Review} + 30 Minute HIIT Cardio WorkoutMy Profile

    October 28, 2014 at 6:58 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I know it isn’t a big difference, but I like to think of it as a foundation for things to come 😀 If I or you were just gratuitously packing on lbs and feeling lethargic, etc, then that would be a problem. But if you are taking care of yourself? Ain’t nothing wrong with that!

      October 30, 2014 at 10:17 am
  • Reply Michael Anderson

    I think that the important thing is that it worked for you and your body. As you said, everyone is different, and I really always worry about underweight people getting injured (I honestly believe it is one of the primary reasons for so many of the injuries I see around the blog world).

    Losing weight while marathon training is something that worries me – injuries, for sure are a big part, but also other health issues that can ensue.

    Anyway, good for you and congrats on your period 🙂 It is funny, with Lisa going through menopause we never know when she will get hers (for someone who was clockwork for decades) … sometimes it is 2 weeks apart, this time it is 7 weeks and counting. who knows …
    Michael Anderson recently posted…Sunday Randoms – Go See a Doctor, Safety, Pandas and Other Fun StuffMy Profile

    October 28, 2014 at 7:12 am
    • Reply Carmy

      Is it weird that my friends and I are kind of looking forward to menopause? LOL our take is “think of all the money we’ll save from not buying pads!”
      Carmy recently posted…Scotiabank Half Marathon 2014 Race ReportMy Profile

      October 28, 2014 at 7:51 am
      • Reply Michael Anderson

        It really isn’t funny … closer to telling someone with an eating disorder about all of the money they save on food.
        Michael Anderson recently posted…Sunday Randoms – Go See a Doctor, Safety, Pandas and Other Fun StuffMy Profile

        October 28, 2014 at 8:05 am
        • Reply Carmy

          Aw I’m sorry Michael! We never thought of it this way. Our friend’s mom is always just joking lightly about her going through it since she rather it be done than be in the weird limbo so that’s the experience we had with it. I’m sorry.
          Carmy recently posted…Scotiabank Half Marathon 2014 Race ReportMy Profile

          October 28, 2014 at 12:19 pm
          • Michael Anderson

            No problem – I just wanted to point out how easy it can be to trivialize what someone else is going through. You are totally cool and I hope I wasn’t too harsh 🙂

            The weird limbo is definitely the *worst* … my wife is lucky to sleep decently one night a week, suffers aches and pains and all sorts of other things … total roller coaster! 🙂
            Michael Anderson recently posted…Sunday Randoms – Go See a Doctor, Safety, Pandas and Other Fun StuffMy Profile

            October 28, 2014 at 12:25 pm
          • suzlyfe

            To respond to both you and Carmy, I understand where each of you is coming from–Carmy, trying to make light of/diffuse a heavy topic and Mike, defending your wife and what is very personal and real struggle for you and your family. A close personal friend of my family had horrific hormones her entire life and only had peace during her 2 pregnancies and then menopause. For another friend, she has NEVER had normal hormones, and started menopause 3 times before a final hysterectomy, and has been on hormone replacement therapy for 20 something years. I myself had to start on HRC nearly 4 years ago to attempt to restart my body after a terrible flare. And last year, oh the things I put Alex through as we tapered me off of those meds, reset my body, and I was dealing with a lot of personal stress and unhappiness. I can say that the (too long) time that I had without a period was pretty rad–no mood swings, no waste, etc. But if having this period means that I have a shot at a longer life with my family and a family of my own, well, then, let’s go.

            October 30, 2014 at 9:55 am
          • suzlyfe

            Carmy, no worries. Check out my response to him as well, k love?

            October 30, 2014 at 9:56 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I totally agree with you on the first part. I think that is part of the reason I got hurt last time in conjunction with muscular imbalances. But I also think that, if applied correctly, those injuries can be a real turning point for those that need to make a transformation–injury of the nature that we are discussing often comes from you doing something wrong. The recovery gives you a chance to correct things. But all too often people just do the “why me” without ever really looking at the underlying causes.
      I wish Lisa (as well as you and the boys 😉 ) luck with the menopause situation. I have long had hormonal issues, and wreaks havoc on you mind. and body.

      October 30, 2014 at 10:21 am
  • Reply Bri

    Great attitude! It makes me sad when I read about runners feeling like they’ve “done something wrong” for gaining a few pounds during training. You WANT to gain a few pounds, and in the end it really doesn’t matter. You want to run a strong race, and to do that you need to carb load in a way that works for you. More carbs = more water retained = more weight! Good for you for having such a healthy mindset 🙂
    Bri recently posted…So I finally went for a run yesterday…My Profile

    October 28, 2014 at 7:20 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you–and such great points. People need to realize that we are doing something relatively abnormal to our bodies, and we need to prepare for adaptations. Like getting faster requires speedwork, and being rested requires a good taper. But it all comes down to finding out what you need.

      October 30, 2014 at 10:23 am
  • Reply Pamela Hernandez

    Taking a week off weights always leaves me feeling stronger.

    October 28, 2014 at 7:35 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      That’s so funny–I definitely don’t feel strong after a week off weights! But I am more likely to hit them with renewed vigor after some time off!

      October 30, 2014 at 10:22 am
  • Reply Farrah

    Congrats on the weight gain! It’s awesome that you’ve found something that works for you and your body! :] I hate getting my period, but congrats to you on yours! 😛 I love the “slap a bitch” graphic, haha.

    People like to tell me that I’ll get too big and muscle-y because I lift weights. (My mom is probably the most recent offender; she told me she thinks I’m scaring off the dudes with my arms.) I like feeling like a badass and being able to carry my own shit though; if they’re truly scared off because I have muscles, it’s unlikely that we’d get along anyway. :O The only saddening part is that I have a couple dresses that I really liked that I no longer fit in because of my back muscles, haha. ohh well.
    Farrah recently posted…Tips For Your First Clinical RotationMy Profile

    October 28, 2014 at 7:41 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I think that back muscles are so badass, so just pull a hulk and rrriippp through the backs and you’ll be good! Having seen a picture of you and hearing about what you can lift and do, I can tell you right now that you have nothing to worry about–you have muscles and definition, but you prove that you can also be feminine. And you know I like the attitude that if they don’t like it, they can just deal!

      October 30, 2014 at 10:25 am
      • Reply Farrah

        hahaha, that’d be hilarious! 😛 and yep, I’d have to dedicate a significant chunk of my time to hulking it out at the gym and eating right (probably steroids too) to get anywhere close to getting too muscle-y, and let’s face, it, ain’t nobody got time for that right now. I’ve got lovely school to worry about! :p
        Farrah recently posted…Foodie Friday: Cake Batter PopcornMy Profile

        October 31, 2014 at 12:44 pm
  • Reply Christine

    I too gained weight during marathon training, just by listening to my body. Still no period, but I’m working on it!

    October 28, 2014 at 7:42 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you for sharing, Christine, and good luck! Sometimes the body needs a little bit of time. Some people have the luck of an on/off switch, as it were. The rest of us? We gotta fight for it!

      October 30, 2014 at 10:26 am
  • Reply Jennifer f

    I’m up about 3 pounds from the spring . . . . when I start to get freaked out, I just remind myself I am strong! I shouldn’t even get on the scale . . .
    Jennifer f recently posted…#WaveRider18, Hilly 10 Mile Race & Replacing Running ShoesMy Profile

    October 28, 2014 at 7:49 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      My husband and I have a scale, and I don’t use it. Every several of months (maybe once a season) I will get on it, and every now and then at the doctor’s office, but ultimately, you know yourself well enough to know when things are happening in a good or bad way. But feeling strong? that is a good way.

      October 30, 2014 at 10:27 am
  • Reply Carmy

    I loved reading this! You rocked your races. and honestly, one of the big reasons I LOVE training is being able to overdose on carbs and protein because where else can you guilt free-ly eat all the carbs in the world and say “oh I’m just fueling for a long run ;)”
    Carmy recently posted…Scotiabank Half Marathon 2014 Race ReportMy Profile

    October 28, 2014 at 7:49 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Heh, we all love that to a certain extent, even if we say that we don’t!

      October 30, 2014 at 10:28 am
  • Reply Sarah @pickyrunner

    Amen. Running is a huge part of my happiness and a huge part of what got me out of my eating disorder. Actually, it’s probably the biggest thing (besides Rhode Island and Boatlife which is really where i recovered fully). Whenever they cut me off exercise, I would go into a tailspin and it definitely affected my eating habits. Running not only made me hungrier, but it also gave me a reason to feed my body properly, gave me life back, and helped me reach a healthy place. So yes, I absolutely agree with you that running can help you gain weight in a GOOD way. And I’m so, so proud of you for seeing it that way too 🙂
    Sarah @pickyrunner recently posted…When you get overwhelmed…My Profile

    October 28, 2014 at 8:03 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Oh, love, I KNOW you know what I am talking about. And thank you. I am so proud of you, too 😀

      October 30, 2014 at 10:29 am
  • Reply meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles

    Yay for getting your period! You know how strongly I feel about this topic.
    meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles recently posted…NYC Marathon And Chocolate DonutsMy Profile

    October 28, 2014 at 8:13 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I know. And I wish it was easier for me to get a period. As nice as it is not to have to deal with it (Alex would tell you that, haha), and as much as I know that you don’t NEED it to be healthy IF you are on birth control–not if you are underweight, etc–then one must see a doctor), I think that I take comfort in it because it reminds me that my body is still trying to fight for itself. For a long time, it didn’t. Even when I was 15 lbs heavier (which I was when I lost my period because of the stress of getting sick).

      October 30, 2014 at 10:04 am
  • Reply Emily @ My Healthyish Life

    I can relate to this so much. I have a naturally small frame and often, unintentionally, lose weight under stress. I know this is a “problem” some people would like to have, but I don’t like it. Like you, running is a huge stress relief for me and during my training cycles I have always been my healthiest. I think I just take better care of my body during this time too. But I hate all of the articles about “how to not gain weight during marathon training.” Our bodies are working so hard and need fuel to keep going. Aesthetics should be the least of our worries- during training and always.
    Emily @ My Healthyish Life recently posted…The Taper CraziesMy Profile

    October 28, 2014 at 8:16 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I can relate right back. I hate it when people say, “Girl, I wish I had your problem!” No, you really don’t! And you make such a good point–if we wanted to look aesthetically pleasing while doing what we are doing, we should just go for a walk. Because ain’t nobody look good after a race, haha.

      October 30, 2014 at 10:32 am
  • Reply Courtney @ Running For Cupcakes

    Yay congratulations! You are in such a good place and I can tell you are really healthy. You take such good care of your body it’s amazing. I also gained weight during marathon training, but it was in the form of muscle so I guess it actually looked like I was losing weight? Idk all I know is that my co-workers noticed it the most and kept telling me how skinny I was getting and that I’m not eating enough since I was a vegetarian. Clearly they don’t know me. I didn’t let the comments get to me, but it was still annoying to hear day in and day out since I was working so hard to constantly refuel and take care of my body. You are rocking the whole “strong is the new sexy” look!
    Courtney @ Running For Cupcakes recently posted…The ABC’s of Me!My Profile

    October 28, 2014 at 8:28 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you love, and right back atcha. I know that sometimes those comments sting at first, but then you have to remember that to an extent there is a level of ignorance (not malicious, but just there). People often don’t know how to accept that they just don’t understand something. I know so well what you mean.

      October 30, 2014 at 10:39 am
  • Reply Charlotte @ Commitness to Fitness

    I LOVE THIS POST!! This is amazing and healthy and just, more amazing! My weight fluctuates depending on how much I’m working out (it tends to go up the more I do bc working out makes me hungry), how stressed I am, how happy I am, what season it is, etc. I try not to sweat it these days and if I’m coming off a particularly caloric eating week (or month) I just remind myself that I’m still awesome and a little extra junk in the trunk is not a bad thing! 🙂
    Charlotte @ Commitness to Fitness recently posted…Fitness and Food HaikusMy Profile

    October 28, 2014 at 8:33 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I loooooove the last sentence. You know that you are awesome and bootybootybootybootyrockineverywheyah!

      October 30, 2014 at 10:40 am
  • Reply Erica @ erica finds

    I think you looked great at marathon weight! And I am happy that you recognize when things are going in the wrong direction. If I can be honest, it seems like since the marathon you have been hitting the exercise hard and seem to have lost the training weight. I was feeling a bit worried about you after the Athleta class. Hugs!
    Erica @ erica finds recently posted…Tried it Tuesday: Fitness Finds at the Club Industry ShowMy Profile

    October 28, 2014 at 8:36 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you, Erica, and thank you for your honesty. I can’t say that I disagree with you, actually. I definitely took on a few too many things too close to the marathon, and that combined with a lot of pop-up engagements that I didn’t really know where coming, I know that I overdid it a little, especially the week after Run10Feed10. I also think that the feeling of freedom totally played into it as well–the I can do WHATEVER. And I was definitely not my best at the Athleta event–I actually had stomach problems that night and all the next day. By no means discounting that I was a little down, but I definitely felt pinched.
      I think that right now I am wrestling with finding a new balance, when I feel so damn good! Like, the dog that is wanting to play and play and play and play with the ball. So now I need a new normal for a bit. Working on it!

      October 30, 2014 at 11:00 am
      • Reply Erica @ erica finds

        I totally get that. Like when I have come back from an injury and feel so strong and do well in a race, sign up for another and so on and so on and so on. It is hard to put on the breaks when you feel good. Just remember we are in it for the long haul!
        Erica @ erica finds recently posted…15 Reasons Why I Love the NYC MarathonMy Profile

        October 30, 2014 at 4:01 pm
  • Reply Laura @ the gluten-free treadmill

    I have definitely gained weight during training – and even now, I’m not losing weight despite how much I run. I think your attitude is exactly right – and however we feel good and strong is right for us!
    Laura @ the gluten-free treadmill recently posted…On speedworkMy Profile

    October 28, 2014 at 8:48 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Exactly. And especially with what you are going through–you are laying some serious foundations, my friend, and your body is trying to figure everything out for itself. But you won’t be able to accomplish your big goals unless you go through all of this–you simply won’t be able to support it.

      October 30, 2014 at 10:56 am
  • Reply Annmarie

    I think gaining weight can be a great thing! That being said, I don’t own a scale and have no idea how much I weigh. I do know that when I started training for my half that I lost weight only because I went to the doctor but I also stopped breastfeeding which may have contributed to it too. I so happy for you that you have reached a place where you’re feeling healthy and happy- you look so strong and fabulous!!!
    Annmarie recently posted…New Grip Gloves Review & Giveaway!My Profile

    October 28, 2014 at 9:06 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you, Annmarie. I wish that more people thought about their health and wellness with regards to how they feel and function rather than the stupid number. I’m glad that you do!

      October 30, 2014 at 10:55 am
  • Reply Jen @ Bagels to Broccoli

    I was excited for this post and it certainly did not disappoint!

    I reaaaally liked that you suggested that the weight gain during marathon training helped you grow stronger and led to a more fulfilled experience. I felt the same way about half marathon training – I definitely gained weight (in a good way) and relaxed a lot more about food choices. Great thoughts!!
    Jen @ Bagels to Broccoli recently posted…Hemp Hearts Flourless Chocolate Chip CookiesMy Profile

    October 28, 2014 at 9:25 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Oh, Jen, thank you! And thank you for sharing your perspective as well–that you had a similar experience during your own journey. We have to go to an edge of discomfort in order to make progress–sometimes, we might find that we like it!

      October 30, 2014 at 10:54 am
  • Reply Ursula

    That’s awesome you gained weight and are stronger and healthier for it. I always put on 5-8 pounds during triathlon training season but for the most part it feels like muscle and definitely makes me stronger. My concern is when people do marathons to lose weight because you need to eat a lot (like you said) to keep the energy up. Training can be a wonderful thing if we focus more on being healthy than skinny.
    Ursula recently posted…Embracing WinterMy Profile

    October 28, 2014 at 9:28 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I wish everything were about being healthy, not skinny. Skinny says nothing about you beyond your size. Healthy is everything. I hate when an experience, like training, is considered successful/failed/positive/negative simply based on whether or not someone gained/lost weight. Let’s gain health, let’s go after our dreams.

      October 30, 2014 at 10:52 am
  • Reply Courtney @ Eat Pray Run DC

    cheers to your honesty and openness. it is really hard to lose weight while training for a marathon and i think a lot of first timers are surprised that they actually gain weight…and that it’s okay! your body needs the fuel and when you approach it like you are, it’s completely healthy.
    Courtney @ Eat Pray Run DC recently posted…Avoiding Blogging BurnoutMy Profile

    October 28, 2014 at 9:48 am
  • Reply Shawna

    love this post. love your honesty. you look great, and i am so glad to hear that you feel great. i struggle with weight issues too and while i wish i was built thinner, the truth is, i’ve always been an athletic/muscular gal and always will be. and these strong legs? yeah, they carry me far. do i overeat sometimes and wish i could control portions better? yep. is it the end of my life? nope. we are all works in progress and finding balance can be tough. thanks for sharing your perspectives on this and here’s to hoping you can maintain such a healthy attitude and keep your weight “up” to where you want it to be — which translates into, where you feel like the best, strongest version of your adorable self.
    Shawna recently posted…Giveaway!! Old Factory CandlesMy Profile

    October 28, 2014 at 9:51 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I love this response. Every single word of it. When I was growing up, I had a completely different body type–much stouter. I’ve had to re-learn my body, and, as such my approach to it. But being critical 24.7 is exhausting–living your own damn life is way better.

      October 30, 2014 at 10:50 am
  • Reply Renee @ Bendiful Blog

    I always gain weight when I increase the amount I’m running. I’m sure there is a scientific reason I just go with carb loading. Congrats on the gains!
    Renee @ Bendiful Blog recently posted…Chocolat-A Raspberry Skoop Smoothie {Giveaway}My Profile

    October 28, 2014 at 9:52 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Noms carbs. And thank you. I am a little bit worried about it departing, but I just have to keep working!

      October 30, 2014 at 10:48 am
  • Reply Lacey@fairytalesandfitness

    This is interesting. I heard tht gaining weight is fine during training for marathon because you are always so hungry from working out. I actually didn’t this time. Not that I was or wasn’t trying I just ate when I was hungry. My friend (a guy) is in massive training mode to get to Boston again and he told me he lost 10lbs already in training.
    Lacey@fairytalesandfitness recently posted…A unique Invention for the Ordinary Water BottleMy Profile

    October 28, 2014 at 10:06 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      WHOA. I wonder why he has lost so much weight so quickly? Then again, guys can drop weight like crazy. A big reason that I am in no way concerned about my weight gain (apart from the needing it) is that as I was doing it, I was feeling good, not lethargic or anything like that. If I had been feeling that, I might have reconsidered, but luckily, I think I was approaching it correctly.

      October 30, 2014 at 10:48 am
  • Reply Brianna @ I run He tris

    It is weird how sometimes our body do the opposite of what you think it will do. We thought Colin would drop a few pounds during his Ironman training but he didn’t lose a single one. I think that is good though because he was re-fueling his body properly to be ready for the next workout! Most people don’t celebrate periods but when you’re thinking about a family (and they aren’t something happening regularly) it is totally something to be celebrated!! Sometimes I don’t listen to what my endocrinologist tells me to do because all she cares about is the numbers that come back from my lab work and not the way my body is feeling.
    Brianna @ I run He tris recently posted…Thinking Out Loud- So much randomnessMy Profile

    October 28, 2014 at 10:06 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I get frustrated with certain physicians who only worry about numbers as well. I am fortunate to be working with a great person right now that is mindful of the numbers, but more concerned with the general picture; we aren’t trying to hit a number to hit a number. And the fact that Colin maintained during IM training is incredible and he should write a book about how he did it–make $$$$. I have never naturally had a regular period in my life except for one 6-ish month span of time, so at this point, I consider anything a success!

      October 30, 2014 at 10:46 am
  • Reply Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy

    I think this is a great attitude!
    When I lost all my weight, I then started running. I realised I had lost too much weight and was worried that running would make me lose more, but I actually gained some weight and my legs got a bit bigger and I was really happy with that.
    Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy recently posted…Comment on Mexican Fiesta Eggs by DanniiMy Profile

    October 28, 2014 at 10:16 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I am sure that you have a really interesting perspective on this, and I would love to hear more about it. I think that one of the hardest concepts to master is actually the idea of good weight. Like good fats.

      October 30, 2014 at 10:43 am
  • Reply Jessica Joy @The Fit Switch

    Awesome work! I love how well you know yourself, and create your own rules. You know what is right for you, and you do it. Another linked from The Fit Dish talked about a similar idea, and it’s so true and empowering. Thanks for sharing!
    Jessica Joy @The Fit Switch recently posted…What Has Your Past Taught You About Living Today? The Fit Dish #7My Profile

    October 28, 2014 at 10:21 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you! I think that is such a big part of life–bending the rules and finding how you need to work within them. Thank you for the link up!

      October 30, 2014 at 10:42 am
  • Reply Tiffany @ The Chi-Athlete

    Girl, you make me smile, snort, tear up, and beam…all at the same time. Yes. The same time. You have the best way of making something very serious come to the forefront, but with grace and a smile. This can be such a difficult topic for so many people; you have embraced the spirit of HEALTH. I hope that spreads…

    …like Nutella.

    …I apply everything in terms of “Nutella” lately.
    Tiffany @ The Chi-Athlete recently posted…Beautiful Wedding WeekendMy Profile

    October 28, 2014 at 11:14 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Aw, thank you Tiff. I hope that people see and understand this post as just that: embracing HEALTH. Am I saying that I am done, that I am healthy and I can put a cap on it and walk away? No. I am saying that I am continuing to work, but that I know that I am going in the right direction.

      October 30, 2014 at 10:41 am
  • Reply GiGi Eats

    Weight Gain? You look fu**in’ SOLID! MUSCLE! You’re body is crazy amazing, and I am thrilled you’re PROUD of your supposed weight gain! 🙂
    GiGi Eats recently posted…Water You Drinking?My Profile

    October 28, 2014 at 11:20 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Aw, thank you GiGi. I know that we aren’t talking a lot of weight, but it is a noticeable change in my frame. Layin the foundations of greatness, ma friend!

      October 30, 2014 at 10:30 am
  • Reply Lauren (@PoweredbyPB)

    Yes to this!! I was quite underweight when I started running 5 years ago, and running absolutely saved me! I started running to get healthier and I gradually gained weight over training cycles to where I have been healthy for the last few years, I owe so much to running for that, it taught me how to properly look after and fuel it correctly so I could actually do awesome things like run marathons!
    Lauren (@PoweredbyPB) recently posted…Rail to Trail EssexMy Profile

    October 28, 2014 at 11:24 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Lauren, thank you so much for sharing your story. It can be really really hard for people to understand that while running can be a “force for evil” for some, it can also do so much good. Just like a glass of wine, or a piece of chocolate. But when it is for good, we need to celebrate it, and what it (whatever it may be) gives us. Running my marathons has taught me more about my body than anything else, period. And that is really saying something.

      October 30, 2014 at 10:01 am
  • Reply Jill

    I know with Crohns especially the struggle to maintain weight is real. My cousin who has it eats like crazy and has a tough time keeping his weight up. I don’t own a scale and rarely have myself weighed. When I was a young lass in middle school/high school I was obsessed with weight, food and dieting. Thank God I grew out of that! I think I fluctuate but am usually within the same 5-10 lb range. But now I focus on what I can do physically and how I’m feeling. That’s my healthy gauge. The scale means nada.
    Jill recently posted…Current ThoughtsMy Profile

    October 28, 2014 at 12:17 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I was obsessed, too, as I wrote about a while ago. And then, when I got sick, it became fear, and then obsession linked to fear linked to body image issues (linked to steroid weight) and then when I flared and lost the weight body image issues as people accused me of being unhealthy on purpose. We need to respect that there is always another side of the story while also being concerned for their mental and physical well being. And we above all need to respect that different people do things differently.
      You have spoken before about how you struggled previously with control and perfectionism, and you know that I relate. I think that a lot of the change in our perspective comes with maturity–being comfortable in who we are, willing to fight for what we want, and knowing that sometimes you need to have discomfort in order to really make progress.

      October 30, 2014 at 9:59 am
  • Reply Julie @ Running in a Skirt

    It is so great that you see your weight gain as healthy. It is am important and vital mind switch sometimes. We all have to find the best weight for us, without pressure to compare and super skinny is not always better.
    I actually lost weight marathon training… and I ate like a horse. It’s strange the way things impact people differently but I believe both ways are good.
    Julie @ Running in a Skirt recently posted…Skinny Crock Pot Potato Cheddar SoupMy Profile

    October 28, 2014 at 12:29 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I totally agree. 100%, you hit the nail on the head.

      October 30, 2014 at 9:50 am
  • Reply cait @pieceofcait

    love love love this. and you! <3 I think sometimes putting on weight is scary for us slender gals.. but OH SO needed in tons of ways!!! I think we need it.. i have put on a great amount of muscle and feel confident? never thought id say that!
    cait @pieceofcait recently posted…Hemp hearts { My Profile

    October 28, 2014 at 12:38 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you, love. And right back at you. I know you have worked really hard on this, too, and I am so glad that you, too, have found an approach that works for you! We often know that we need to gain weight, but we just don’t know how is the best way to go about it for OUR bodies.

      October 30, 2014 at 9:49 am
  • Reply Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine

    I’ve actually never really found that I gain weight while marathon training- if anything I lose a little despite my efforts to refuel well. I find that when I am so focused on running, I don’t think about weight at all. I hadn’t weight myself in probably a year???( I actually don’t really know when the last time was), but I went to the doctor last week and I was down about 5 pounds. I know that when the marathon is over I will gain a few back, I always do, plus I seem to pack on a couple extra pounds in the winter. But I think the point of your post is spot on- weight gain is perfectly fine- even good- if we feel good and are healthy.
    Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine recently posted…Letting GoMy Profile

    October 28, 2014 at 2:16 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Exactly. To make another comparison–sugar and salt and fat isn’t always bad either–it very much depends on the person and their body composition and metabolism. Some people? Yes, they need to work out to lose weight? Me? It is the opposite. I don’t gain weight by just sitting around–that actually stresses my body out more! Life is always going to involve seeking a happy balance.

      October 30, 2014 at 9:47 am
  • Reply Ange @ Cowgirl Runs

    I love this!
    I’m in a MUCH better place to make good and healthy food decisions when I’m working out. When I’m not I question everything and develop bad decisions around food.
    Ange @ Cowgirl Runs recently posted…TYT: RnR Vancouver WeekendMy Profile

    October 28, 2014 at 3:40 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Exactly. It is such a double edged sword, in a way, this working out business. Some people don’t “need” it, just like some people don’t “need” time on the couch but they “need” to _____. I say, find what makes you tick, and find your best life through it.

      October 30, 2014 at 9:45 am
  • Reply Kate @ Baking in Yoga Pants

    I love your honesty throughout this post. I recently went to a yoga meeting and we were talking about food and the person facilitating the meeting referenced that we each have a different relationship and mindset surrounding eating and that we all bring our own history to the table, no pun intended. I’m sure so many could relate to this!
    Kate @ Baking in Yoga Pants recently posted…5 Things GratefulMy Profile

    October 28, 2014 at 5:23 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I hope they relate. There is so much that flies around in our heads and on the news that makes us question everything about ourselves, that tells us how to do this, how to do that. But sometimes we just need to relax and figure it out on our own time.

      October 30, 2014 at 9:44 am
  • Reply Lindsay

    good for you! i always gain weight when training for long distance. it’s a good thing! body needs that support and glycogen, yes?!

    October 28, 2014 at 5:32 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Oh, obviously! ALL THE GLYCOGEN. I never was one not to eat–I just didn’t understand exactly how. And when I am training, I have an extra reason for really working on it.

      October 30, 2014 at 9:42 am
  • Reply Suzlyfe's mommy, Clare

    Ah, the question of weight!
    Every person who reads this post is going to think about this concept ALL day long, and its scary to “put it out on the table” especially as the big-eating holidays are rapidly approaching!

    Weight starts off “as a big deal”
    How much did your baby weigh? How much weight did you gain? How fast did you lose the baby weight.? A newborn doesn’t have a clue about what weight means, and yet it is the first topic he or she is a part of!
    What is the first thing that happens after you are born? To quote the late, great Heath Ledger, in A Knight’s Tale, “you’ve been weighed and you’ve been measured………” From the moment we are born, we are weighed……and measured.
    Just before a growth spurt, kids will sleep A LOT and then they will either gain weight and look a little pudgy, then overnight their clothes are too short, or they’ll turn into string beans and then overnight, their clothes are too tight.

    Girls are bombarded by their weight earlier than boys, but a thin boy or a “heavy” one can get teased and bullied. Girls tend to verbally insult other girls, while boys are more physically excluding.
    In Susie’s case, the girl who started the whole weight issue with her, said something nasty about Susie being fat or round or whatever word she used……and the damage was done. They were both 5 and in kindergarten. This girl was a head taller than any other girl in their grade. She was digging at Susie to make HERSELF feel better. What started as a mean-girl comment turned into a lifelong (thus far) nightmare about weight for Susie.
    The simple fact is, most of us either want to gain a few pounds, or lose a few pounds.

    Why can’t we accept ourselves as we are? I’m about 35 years older than most of you and I’ve seen this female-weight-war up close and personal and battled it myself for 20 years.
    And the war doesn’t go away!——the body parts just kind of migrate south because of gravity. For some, big boobs sink down to become tummy rolls, and big tummy rolls can gravitate down to big thighs. Don’t get me started on cankles.
    I think, by nature, we are all critical of ourselves, physically. Our society passes this trend down through the generations.
    I hope that one day we’ll be smart enough to realize what these bodies of ours have put up with– all we stuff into them, pour down them and breathe into them. I’m still trying to make peace with mine……..and please don’t get me started on hormonal or prednisone weight!
    My older brothers weighed about 7 1/2 lbs each at birth. My older sister weighed 5 lbs. That was considered most appropriate for a girl—a tiny little pink bundle!
    I showed up on my due date and weighed 10 pounds. Back then, parents didn’t know the sex of a child before birth. Everyone assumed that Mom’s big baby was a boy. The nursery was painted blue and all the decorations were blue…..just waiting for Joseph be born. Surprise!! Its a girl. It was rather embarrassing to have such a big baby……girl. No one asked about my health, it was all about the horror at my size.
    I am finally learning to look in the mirror and really smile at my body and love it just as it is–but that’s still a work in progress. It deserves the very best I can give it–I’d like it to last for another 30+ years.
    Just looking at the words ……..weight, wait, weighed……. makes me twitchy!

    Oh, Susie’s question—-I’d say that getting launched off of my horse and getting badly hurt, gave me the motivation to try something TOTALLY new. I trained for and walked a half marathon……and then another, and another…….

    October 28, 2014 at 6:54 pm
    • Reply Suzlyfe's mommy, Clare

      oops, my how i do run on…….sorry!

      October 28, 2014 at 6:55 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      OHHHHH mommmmmmmmy, you are making me cry!!! I know that was a lot of repetitious and extraneous letters and punctuation, but still. Thank you. I wish that everyone would read this comment. a) to give word to the obsession with numbers and statistics and more personally b) Because way before Alex, you were the one that loved me most, that knew when I was taking things too far, or when I was doing everything right and still not getting the results. I will never forget us walking out of that nutritionist’s office after she accused me of lying and deciding that we were never going back–not because we were in denial, but because we knew that I was not the average case.
      And just like myself, I remember all too well the first time you when on HRC and put on pounds that you were not responsible for. But then you found Wendy, and she changed how you thought about yourself. You keep on fighting, and pushing, and striving. Because you deserve it.
      And you are the reason that I run, the reason that I believe.

      October 30, 2014 at 9:41 am
  • Reply Lauren @ ihadabiglunch

    I’m over the moon happy for your 🙂 “happy weight” comes to people in a variety of ways. And sometimes not even doctors know what they’re talking about when it comes to YOUR body. I’m literally laughing thinking of you sitting at home drinking Ensure on the couch, fingers crossed hoping that will work. That’s so far removed from what’s good for you. As long as you’re happy I’m happy!!
    Lauren @ ihadabiglunch recently posted…weekend in rhymes + workout accountabilityMy Profile

    October 28, 2014 at 9:20 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Ugh, don’t get me started on Ensure. It literally gives me a head rush. I wish I was kidding. I have done Ensure before, and all it does is make me feel like I’ve done a Red Bull vodka shot–woozy and hyper and weird. It also instantly takes me to a dark place. This time around, I needed to make sure that I did it, in my way, and in a way that would stick for the long run.

      October 30, 2014 at 9:36 am
  • Reply Kaila @healthyhelperblog!

    Great post! So happy to hear you’re approaching your weight gain in such a positive way! I know it’s different when it’s YOUR body, but honestly you look no different than when you started your training! So if you’re having any anxiety around that….don’t worry! 🙂 You’re an amazing athlete and I can only imagine more improvements as you heal your body.

    PS: Thank you for the well wishes about my injury! Very much appreciated!
    Kaila @healthyhelperblog! recently posted…WIAW: SizzleFish Recipe & GiveawayMy Profile

    October 28, 2014 at 9:28 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I definitely don’t have any anxiety about the way that I look, and I know that it isn’t that huge of a change visually from far away. But up close? My body looks so much happier, and I am so much happier. I still have a lot of work to do, but I refuse to resort to quick fixes like Ensure (for a lot of reasons) because I need to learn how to take care of myself.

      October 30, 2014 at 9:34 am
      • Reply Kaila @healthyhelperblog!

        I totally understand! It’s so great that you’re going to keep working to get healthier and happier. I can already see a wider smile on your face in your post marathon pictures. 🙂
        Kaila @healthyhelperblog! recently posted…CL Thursdays + a Mini WOD!My Profile

        October 30, 2014 at 10:10 am
  • Reply Cassie

    Love this. (and you, obvi)

    So about two years ago (exactly) I was around 90 pounds. Today, I’m around 20 heavier than that. (Even though I would like to lose 5 right not but hey, life has been crazy and I’m going to work to get back to my happy weight). ANYWAY, long story short – I started training again. For another half-marathon. I kept putting on weight and didn’t understand why and would cry and cry. Then I PR-ed by like 20 minutes and realized my body NEEDED that weight and I was strong and fast and loved running again.

    You should listen to the Jess Lively podcast… she had a girl on there the other day who had a terrible eating disorder… then she started doing cross-fit and realized she loved how her body looked with weight on and loved feeling strong. It was really moving.

    This was really brave of you to share, Susie. Thank you!! xoxoxo
    Cassie recently posted…Necessary SplurgesMy Profile

    October 28, 2014 at 9:40 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Aw, thank YOU Cassie, for sharing too! I found a new love for myself and my body when I started training again. I had been “working” on my weight for a while, but you know how that can be–you are WINK working on it, but really just allowing yourself to maintain stasis. But setting that first half goal, and learning everything I could about the whole training thing, it really fueled me (hah, that’s a good one) to redevelop my understanding of myself and my body. I didn’t want to do this in a fake way–I wanted to earn it, to make a real lifestyle choice. Thank you for sharing your story too.

      October 30, 2014 at 9:32 am
  • Reply Sarah

    That’s some great news and a great attitude! I feel like we know our bodies best and as long as we are honest with ourselves then we shouldn’t be afraid to have faith in ourselves. I know that I gained some weight during marathon training – all that carb loading at the end. But I noticed that as my mileage went up I needed to refuel to keep my body working properly. I was surprised at how sensitive my body was to it’s own needs. I could not function properly with increased exercise and the same food intake. Interestingly, I weigh almost exactly the same as I did this time last year but my body composition is completely different.
    Sarah recently posted…It’s the weekend!My Profile

    October 28, 2014 at 10:02 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you! What is kind of scary for me is that I can function on too little food–I say function, but really I mean that I can power through. But the difference is that this year, rather than “functioning” I thrived. And got some amazing results!

      October 30, 2014 at 9:29 am
  • Reply Stacie @ SimplySouthernStacie

    Love this! I remember when I was training for my first marathon last year I was so terrified of gaining the dreaded marathon weight. But then it hit me that it wasn’t about weight at all. It was about fueling my body for doing the impossible. Once my perspective changed then everything kind of fell into place for me.
    Stacie @ SimplySouthernStacie recently posted…Happy Late Blogiversary + Whole Foods Giveaway!My Profile

    October 29, 2014 at 6:18 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Precisely. We are so conditioned as a society to think that putting ON weight is bad. But it isn’t, if you need it!

      October 30, 2014 at 9:27 am
  • Reply Tina Muir

    This is so brave Suz, so proud of you for sharing, and so proud you have realized that being a little heavier and running better is more important than looking like a twig and running exhausted! Thanks for referring to my link 🙂 I am glad it has had such a positive response, and you are definitely a great example of this! Keep up the good work, you have some great races in your future!
    Tina Muir recently posted…5 Ways to STOP Late Night OvereatingMy Profile

    October 29, 2014 at 6:26 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you, Tina, and thank you as well for being a larger scale version of this, and even for getting the conversation started. I have been thinking about writing that post for a while, but I just needed to wait a little longer and collect my thoughts. I don’t doubt that some people put on weight that they don’t need to, but I needed this weight, I knew/know that I need this weight, and I am proud of it. I earned it.

      October 30, 2014 at 9:27 am
  • Reply Eggplant Parm Grilled Cheese + Ocean's Halo Seaweed Chips! WIAW - Suzlyfe

    […] what an incredible response to yesterday’s post. I can’t think you enough for sharing so much of yourselves with me and with each other. If […]

    October 29, 2014 at 7:37 am
  • Reply Earl-Leigh

    Your legs! Driving me crazy, I love ’em! When I first decided to start lifting, I wasn’t prepared for the scale to go UP some. I freaked out and almost went backwards until I started looking through progress pictures. I looked way better and I could “afford” to eat more. Winning.

    October 29, 2014 at 7:51 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      You are too sweet. That is why I have such an issue with shows like the Biggest Loser, where it is just about the number on the scale. YOU my friend look amazing–and not only with regards to inches. You can totally tell how much you be diggin yoself in those pics, and you know I dig it right back!

      October 30, 2014 at 9:21 am
  • Reply Anna @ Piper's Run

    Good for you! I’ve read a lot of those articles…train for this – gain this weight etc. This time last year I was definitely overweight but I was okay with that. I had two pregnancies and new that once our youngest hit 1 I would start really focusing on me and my weight. I always wanted to get to a certain weight but just never managed it.
    So, I started running more then I ever have (as you know from the blog) and the weight slowly fell off. It’s been 6-7 months since I lost a good 15-20 pounds and I still have people telling me how good I look, and how much weight did you lose etc. It’s nice but kinda weird at the same time.
    Oh, and I eat 🙂 I love food and while I was training for my 10’s (spring) and the half (summer/fall) I would eat everything in sight. Weight wasn’t my focus, training was and I’ve maintained my weight since I first lost it. The only downfall of loosing the weight is that I’ve had to buy a whole new wardrobe! I’m not too concerned if I can some back while training but I more importantly, I want to be able to run, to be healthy and to be a good role model for my girls.
    Anna @ Piper’s Run recently posted…Runalicious Winner & PhysiotherapyMy Profile

    October 29, 2014 at 10:26 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I think that being a good role model and being healthy is the best pursuit for training. I think that is part of the reason that we all struggle so much with our body image is that we want to be able to impart a positive attitude on our children, and then, once we see that we are accomplishing that, to be able to take those foundations forward and show them that you can accomplish so much if you believe and work hard. You kids will definitely gain more from that attitude than whether or not you have a few extra lbs!

      October 30, 2014 at 9:19 am
  • Reply Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes

    I gained about 10 lbs in training for my first marathon but it wasn’t muscle. It was because I gave myself the excuse to eat ALL of the foods in sight, and they weren’t good foods at all. I’ve learned how to fuel my body this time around and still gained a little but not as much. I never stand on the scale, I just go by how my clothing fits. You have been doing a great job managing your health issues, you are a rockstar!
    Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes recently posted…Marine Corp Marathon Recap: The good, the bad and the very uglyMy Profile

    October 29, 2014 at 2:01 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you, and I understand. I think there are definitely different kinds of weight, as it were. But when you are putting on the “good” weight, that you body can really use, you can tell. The first marathons are such a crazy beast of their own–there is no way to know what you are really doing!

      October 30, 2014 at 11:02 am
  • Reply Suzlyfe's mommy, Clare

    Sorry about my pontificating about weight–it is always a really tough subject.

    Your generation has a different approach to your weight and to your physical pursuits.
    You can set a goal and train for it. We didn’t train for anything—we “practiced.”There wasn’t a motivational drive to attain a personal goal–not like you have as a runner.
    I went to ballet class two, three, or four times a week–yes, it was training, but that isn’t how I saw it. It was part of being a dancer.
    The first time I actually had a personal goal to train for, to aim for, was the first TeamChallenge half-marathon I did in 2009. That was my first official training program. We had a goal, I had a goal and being part of a larger whole, we all trained together.
    Rats, I wished that I’d found out sooner that having a goal is so important. It gets you off of the sofa–for a reason.
    I gained weight when I trained for that half-marathon, because I developed muscle and strength. Now, after this summer’s bad arthritis flare, I’ve lost weight–b/c I’ve lost muscle. Not losing pounds, but losing muscle isn’t what I’d planned or wanted. But…if the flare is over, I can set a goal again and train for something.
    Watch out world, Suzlyfe’s mommy is coming back!

    October 29, 2014 at 8:31 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I just want you to be happy. Whatever we have to do, whatever shape (oblong, triangle, whatever) you need to be.

      October 30, 2014 at 9:14 am
  • Reply Now Trending - Best Links Week of 10.27 - Almost Getting it TogetherAlmost Getting it Together

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  • Reply Suzlyfe's mommy, Clare

    Here is a thought to throw into the “marathon weight gain” hornets’ nest—

    Hmmmmmmmm, here is an odd thought — maybe I have trained for a marathon before (twice) –I just didn’t think of it that way.
    I set a goal, I had a date for an event that I needed to prepare for and work towards. I developed a good, sound training plan with my trainer, ate very carefully, pushed my body as hard as I could, but rested when I needed to. I paid a lot more attention to what my body needed, I listened to it more closely, gained good weight, and I worked out everyday without fail.
    When the day of the event arrived–I was prepared mentally and physically, I was ready to go and also ready to cross the finish line.
    I didn’t win a medal, I had a baby.
    After the race, that marathon event, my body went through the physical letdown I think you’d go through after a marathon. The adrenaline rush finally abates, and you recover physically, but you are different. You accomplished something that you had worked very hard to prepare for.
    Pregnancy isn’t a sprint, its a marathon, isn’t it?

    October 31, 2014 at 3:10 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thus why I wrote the “what the marathon means to me” post 😉

      October 31, 2014 at 3:29 pm
      • Reply Suzlyfe's mommy, Clare

        ….and yes, you ARE mentally starting to physically prepare for another type of marathon.

        Raising a child is not a sprint, it is the greatest marathon– which keeps on going long after the child is grown up!
        It is a marathon I never want to see the finish line for. I want to run it always!

        November 2, 2014 at 11:00 am
  • Reply Suzlyfe's mommy, Clare

    So, does that mean I’VE done a marathon????
    Yeah, I know, that is a silly question, but at least I can feel like I have been though a training program before.

    I haven’t run a race of any distance, but I HAVE trained for something big. Somehow, that realization helps take the fear out of finding a new goal to train for!
    Thank you!!

    October 31, 2014 at 3:51 pm
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  • Reply Diatta @ Femme Fitale Fit Club

    Well good for you that you found the balance for YOU. We all aren’t the same and it is foolish to think one size fits all. BTW I have booty and hips for days and I can thank my mother for that. 🙂 It may shrink when I weight train or run but it isn’t going anywhere! I do want to manage what I eat better in order to understand how much I’m eating. Great job on your training and just do you boo.
    Diatta @ Femme Fitale Fit Club recently posted…November 30 Day Arms Challenge 2014My Profile

    November 2, 2014 at 7:03 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thanks, Diatta! I so agree–we need to celebrate what makes us unique and even more fabulous. Health and strength are the most important–we need to love ourselves.

      November 3, 2014 at 9:23 am
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