Gained Weight? Me too! Why it is Okay to Indulge


Last night (New Years Eve) I arrived back home to Lexington.

After almost a month of travel, it felt good to be home.

What was even better, is that my good friend Sarah, and her husband Mike were IN our house, Sarah was preparing dinner for the four of us, and they will be staying with us for a while. LOVE it!

We all chatted at 100mph for the evening, so many things we wanted to talk about, and we even got a chance to play Just Dance (Sarah and I) for a little while.

That evening however, I did have a little niggly thought in the back of my mind…..I wanted to look at the scale.

I knew I had indulged this last month.

If you are a long time reader, you know I like my food, and you know that I do not just show you a giant bowl of ice cream, take a picture of it, take a bite, and then throw the rest away, I eat the whole damn thing, even licking the plate! I truly enjoy my sweets, and during the honeymoon, there were no holds barred.

Too much in fact, but you know what, the benefits far outweighed (no pun intended) the costs.

I ate everything I wanted.

We had chocolate for breakfast one day. At each restaurant we visited, we ate exactly what we wanted, there was no real healthy eating voice swaying our decisions….although obviously it was there, but the voice was so drowned out by the other voice saying HONEYMOON! HONEYMOON! HONEYMOON! YOU EARNED THIS that it was pretty easy to ignore.

And so I did.

When I got back to England, I intended to reign it in a little, rather than having chocolate every two hours, gorging on my favorite foods, I would back off, and eat healthy with a few unhealthy choices sprinkled in-between.

But it didn’t work that way.

I was too excited to be home for christmas, and it was just too easy to drown out that conscious voice, especially as I was only in the base building stage of my training. So I kept enjoying my food. I was still getting in those good foods, the foods that fuel my training, but lets just say my caloric balance was way off, and I knew it.

This morning, I stepped on the scale for the first time in a month, and it said 123.4 lbs.

Somehow, I did not panic as much as I thought I would. I have not seen that number in a long time, probably a good 3 years.

I gained 9lbs over the last month, which yes, to many, may not seem like much, but to an elite runner who is going for some big goals in a few months, this is not ideal.

However, the point of this post today is not to tell you that I am going to jump into a mad diet where I restrict my calories to get back down to my race weight as quickly as possible. I cannot and will not do that.

As I have said before, I am a big believer in working to your strengths, and I do not believe that the extra weight will affect my fitness. I am not in peak fitness right now, but I am not meant to be.

It is easy to become obsessed with healthy eating, but even elites gain weight. Elite runner Tina Muir talks about gaining weigh over the holidays, and why we do not need to panic!

I am already in good shape, but the serious, intense workouts are only just beginning, and as I do those, and as the mileage begins to creep back to where it was, the weight will naturally come off.

And that is something we can all keep in mind. This is not just for me, but hopefully everyone can relate to this, that we do not need to hate ourselves or jump into some crazy restriction as you enjoyed the holidays a little too much, it does not define WHO you are OR how fast you will run! It just affects your confidence……if you let it!

So I am just going to focus on making better choices over the next few months. This means not waking up first thing in the morning, staggering my way over to the chocolate and then eating a chocolate bar. Or eating till I feel so full that all I want to do is lie on the floor and rub my stuffed belly 😛

I am not cutting sweets entirely. That will make me miserable and likely to gain more weight as I eat other things to “fill the void”. Instead, I will go back to my once a day evening splurge of whatever I like. This seems to work well for me.

This is the year I want us to all work on loving who we are. I want us to Be Brave. Be Strong. Be You. together. And if you need more friends behind you, who may know A LOT more than me about relationships with food there is Dr. Jennifer Gaudiani, Nancy Clark, and Renee McGregor  who I have learned SO much from.

Over the last month I enjoyed this once in a lifetime event in my life, and I can reflect knowing that I made the most of it. I felt like a regular person for once in my life, without the pressure of needing to look a certain way, or run a certain speed. I still got my training in, but at the end of the day, life is for living, and if we have balance, we are more likely to perform better in every area.

So what do I want you to take from this?

Well firstly, I want you to see that it is OKAY to indulge. Not all the time (although I do believe in a little each day), but 1-2 times per year.

I am not talking about taking three days off and jumping right back into your healthy eating on day one of your running. I am talking about serious enjoyment. If you are going on a vacation with your family, please do not just eat plain fish and vegetables, you will build more life cherishing memories with your family if you are having what you WANT rather than what you feel you should have, but spending the meal resenting everyone else for having something you want.

The other thing I want you to take away is that we all fluctuate with our weights. I gained 9lbs in a month, which does not put me at an elite racing weight. I can visibly see the difference in my legs and stomach, BUT I am going to learn to love my body at this weight.

Each time I look at my body, I am going to force myself to think about the memories I created with my husband, and how it was worth every bite.

I hope this post has been helpful to you. I know it is a little rambly, but as I have said before, life is for living, and if you are obsessive over your weight, or sticking to a caloric restriction, you are not living life to the fullest.

The weight gained will naturally come off as you train hard, and yes, when you get into the serious phase of your training, the part that you have to knuckle down, thats when we need to eat healthy. That is where those little things matter, but after a big goal race (whether you get your goal or not), or while you are on your time off, or on a special vacation with family, ENJOY IT.

You will regret it later in life otherwise 🙂

You are a wonderful person and have so much to offer this world, no matter what size you are 🙂

What do you do during your downtime?

Think we could be friends?

I am always this honest, real, raw. If this article speaks to you, I really believe we could be friends and I could help you with what you are working through. Drop your email below, and I will reach out to you

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  • I agree life is for living, completely backed off training due to itb pain and enjoyed xmas gaining 7lbs. I worked on itb rehab and had fun with the family. Back on healthy eating now. If didn’t enjoy these would feel miserable and be worse off in the long run.

  • carla birnberg
    January 6, 2016 5:45 am

    YES YES YES. Life is too damn short not to. I love you are willing (and able!) to “loosen the reigns” even though this is your career/your bod is sort of your job. Youre such a good role model for younger women. <3

  • I love your outlook on food Tina!! Not many women would let themselves just ENJOY a long period of time regarding food. It’s so true that our bodies bounce back. Thanks for sharing and being vulnerable like always!

  • I feel like I could have written this post…without the honeymoon but I absolutely INDULGED over the last two weeks and I won’t even step on the scale. Can I just stand up and applaud you for putting your actual weight on here? Seriously. That was very brave of you and it is appreciated. I feel so much better now… 🙂

  • Christine Suter
    January 6, 2016 6:57 am

    Such a refreshing read! I have definitely gained weight from our honeymoon and then the Christmas holidays. As soon as Christmas was over and we were home and back into our normal routine, the indulgences immediately subsided (without any effort really) and we were back to the gym. Feels good to be in a normal mode again. And I really appreciate that you’re normal in life even if your race times are pretty fast! 🙂

  • Yup. So you ate a taco too many. Whooptie do! We all deserve an off season. Changes are, you will be ready and rarin to go when the time comes back to work. But for now, enjoy your chance to have new experiences!

  • What a depressing honeymoon and Christmas you’d have had if you hadn’t have indulged and enjoyed yourself! 😉 How awful to come back regretting not letting yourself loose a bit and wishing you’d have eaten all the amazing things I’m sure you ate. And you’re so right that it will naturally fall off you because they were exceptional times in your life. We don’t all eat like it’s Christmas every day and so when Christmas ends and we go back to regular eating, it all balances out. The key is not to keep going after Christmas!

  • I had a really hard time while on vacation and having to eat out every meal. I am sure that I gained a few pounds as well but I stopped weighing myself about 2 years ago. My plan is to just get back to my regular workouts and meals this week. I think it will take care of itself.Welcome back!

  • What a wonderful post, thank you! I’m sure those 9 lbs. will whittle their way away forever when your training ramps up again, like you said. You’re so right about balance and living life. As always, an enjoyably honest post, thank you!

  • Agreed! Everyone’s weight fluctuates naturally anyways but I totally agree that life’s too short not to enjoy it and eat chocolate. I’m talking ice cream sundae splurges because no a square of chocolate or protein mug cake are not splurges lol

  • This post is amazing. I’m so glad you really took the time to fully enjoy yourself on your honeymoon and for the past month. You only get that chance once in your life and you’re not home with your family in England that often. I know I’ve gained some weight in the past month or two (although I don’t own a scale so I have no clue how much) because I’ve been out living and not worrying about going home after work every night and eating my salad. It’s worth it. The healthy eating will naturally happen with time.

  • Hi Tina! YES! I have always been this way when it comes to vacations, holidays, etc. I put my usual eating standards aside and just eat whatever I feel like. While it’s super fun, I must admit, I tend to “feel better” when eating a little bit more healthy — those overly stuffed days can get old hehehe. I’m so glad you had a wonderful month, and no doubt you’ll be back to your fighting weight in no time. Happy 2016!

  • Kalee @
    January 6, 2016 11:48 am

    So true!! When my husband and I got married I gained 14lbs!! The “indulgence” lasted a little too long, but now a year and a half later…I’m back to my healthy, happy weight and do not regret any of those moments of cooking amazing enchiladas or going out for ice cream with him. ALL worth it. I love how I feel when I’m consistently eating healthy and working out, but a little treat each day is a-o-k by me, and I’m with you – vacation on plants and plain chicken is no vacation at all! Bring on the key lime pie when in Florida is my motto! 😛

  • Gianna Alvino
    January 6, 2016 11:57 am

    I totally agree that everyone should loosen up and indulge if they want. I was on vacation for 2 weeks, 1 week being a cruise and didn’t track my food or workout at a high intensity and I actually lost weight. But the moral is I refused to deprive myself. If I wanted to try something I did. My friend and I often order multiple apps and entree’s just bc we couldn’t pick. I think the slippery slope though is that most people aren’t nearly as active so when they go all out they never reign it in back to that healthy weight and year after year it becomes troublesome. People that train at a higher volume will naturally have it fall back off as they get back in but the majority of people will struggle.

  • Ariana Fotinakis
    January 6, 2016 11:59 am

    Thank you for sharing your story! It can be so easy to get caught up in feeling as though we have failed because we put on a couple extra pounds, and hearing that it happens even to elite athletes makes it not seem quite so awful 😉 I tend to take the same approach if I gain some weight during a vacation or downtime from training. I know that once my intensity picks up and I stop eating cookies for breakfast it will just naturally come off!

  • Heather @fitncookies
    January 6, 2016 12:47 pm

    Yesss!! I have the same beliefs. When I go on vacation, I indulge. I don’t want to regret skipping a delicious dessert because it may not be the healthiest. I want to enjoy life! I still indulge in a cookie or something whenever I want it!

  • Amen, Tina! I love this post – I am not one for restrictive diets either and would rather live life than constantly diet. Food represents more than just food (although we certainly need to make sure we eat enough and nourish our bodies): it is memories and culture. I’m going to London in a week and I’m going to enjoy all the fish and chips I crave! Thank you so much for this post!

  • Tina, welcome back! I loved reading this post- thank you again for being so real! I feel guilty some times about indulging, and thank you for reminding me that it’s ok to do so once in awhile! We are only human after all. Thank you! 🙂

  • Thanks for sharing all of this, it’s very reassuring to read because often when you see pictures of elite runners, you can’t help but get to thinking that they are in perfect condition all of the time & then that subconsciously makes people like me think I should be that way too & you create pressure for yourself, whether you mean to or not. I love your outlook on this & as always, appreciate your honesty!

  • Lisa@runningoutofwine
    January 6, 2016 7:07 pm

    I totally agree! We need to find a balance between eating healthy and indulging on occasion. I have definitely gained a few pounds since my marathon between running less and indulging more over the holidays, but it really hasn’t bothered me, which is a great feeling! I know as I start training it will come off again. Great post!

  • Yes!! The first part of December was pretty normal for me, but then after Christmas we went on vacation and oh boy!! I did enjoy it though. I didn’t stress and I enjoyed the precious time with my family. I haven’t weighed myself in a long time, but I can tell by how I feel. Thanks so much for sharing this and just being real. xo

  • I have just recently been reading your blog, partly because my husband, Patrick Rizzo, guest blogged during your wedding. So, I continued reading and enjoy your posts. I’m no elite, but I enjoy running and competing with myself. I loved this post and had to comment because we just got married and I’ve been indulging quite a bit myself. I love my sweets and have to have a little something every day. I could never give it up. Thanks for being real!

  • Jennifer Kyle
    January 6, 2016 8:08 pm

    I love your outlook. I have struggled with an eating disorder and have damaged my metabolism so am trying to eat the right amount without gaining weight. I hope one day I’ll find that natural equilibrium.

  • I really really loved this. Thanks for always being so real, Tina!!

  • Christine @ Love, Life, Surf
    January 6, 2016 9:32 pm

    YES. Love this post Tina and your perspective. I’m so glad that you were able to fully enjoy your honeymoon and vacation. It would have been a shame if food overshadowed everything else. Thank you for sharing this. xoxo

  • YES! Thank you so much for sharing this! I indulge and love my sweets too!
    I could have written this myself. Things have been off for the last couple months and eating out (because we didn’t have a kitchen) and lots of sugary coffee drinks and other drinks and sweets, and lots of chocolate and lacking in the workouts but I seemed to be dropping or maintaining until New Years when over 4 days I gained 5 pounds but I’m ok with that and just trying to balance things out now. Over the last year I have really changed my outlook and become ok with not being perfect and indulging more than I use to and I find I love life more, I feel less stress, and actually seem to do better with all the indulging then when I didn’t. You only live once, you don’t know how long, so enjoy life!

  • Great post, Tina! We just recently started following you and also live in the KY. Too much pressure is put on runners to stay “in weight” when really I think there are quite a few out there that would likely gain some speed by picking up muscle weight. This is part of my New Year self improvement plan. You can read more about my journey here Thanks for a great post!

  • Thank you!! I too allowed myself to endulge and it was awesome. But, just about the time I noticed that my clothes were tighter and that I had gained 5 lbs… I incured not one, but two injuries!! So, talk about really getting down on yourself. Not only did I gain weight (that I thought I’d just train off) but now, I can’t train! Talk about depressing…. I’m just trying to heal up and reign things in right now and try to not lose my mind. Thanks for the post! It certainly helps:)

  • NEEDED THIS. It’s OKAY to indulge then want to get back to normal. I knew taking the past two months off running to heal would help in the log run because even elite have to take time off so they don’t burn out! xoxo

  • Carly Pizzani
    January 9, 2016 11:15 am

    Tina, I just love how real and relatable you are! I loved seeing your honeymoon photos on Facebook and I had no doubt you were enjoying every moment. Your attitude about your weight gain is so positive and healthy and being in your base-building phase is the perfect timing for you to be tackling taking it off again. You rock, lady!!

  • Totally agree with this! I can not wrap my head around restricting the things I like. There is a way to do it in moderation. But you are not alone, I enjoy a nice chocolate bar for breakfast too 😉 Glad you enjoyed yourself!!

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