Weight Loss vs Health & Why I love distance running...

This morning I had another very nice 4 mile Easy Run at a 9:40 pace in my VFFs. It was a good run and it is nice to be back to running in the morning before work. I don't really feel like focusing on that in this post. I've had a few things on my mind the last few days that I want to get off my chest. The first is just a thought about what makes distance running so much, the other is me climbing up on my soap box about weight loss.

First for the distance running. I have come to truly love distance running. By distance I mean beyond the 10 mile mark. I've been thinking the last couple runs about why I love it so much. Most sports require some sort of skill. In football you need to be able to throw or catch a football well, run routes, etc. In baseball you need to have the hand-eye coordination to hit a ball moving at close to 100 mph with a wood bat, and again, catch and throw a football well. In basketball you need to be able to dunk or shoot a 3-pointer. Well, I could go on, but you get my point. Well I can't throw a ball more than about 10 feet with any accuracy, the only reason I can catch is because I bough receiver's gloves at Wal-Mart, I'm too short to dunk and I can't hit a 3-pointer to save my life. Distance running isn't about "skill". It's more what's inside that why you can physically do. It's about how much can you take and keep moving forward? How much can go wrong without giving up? How much can your logic tell you to stop and your spirit keeps you moving anyway? It isn't a test of speed or skill. It's a test of spirit, will and determination. That's why I love it. I have little to no athletic skill, but I love to test my spirit. That's what distance running is all about.

Now for my soap box rant. I don't mean to offend anyone with this rant, so please don't take it the wrong way, I just think people need to look at the big picture. There are two things to consider; weight loss and long term health. Most of the time people get tunnel vison looking at weight. It is right in front of you, how can you not focus on it? But of the two it is the least important. The point is to improve your long term health. There are TONS of fad diets, pills, hormones, surgeries, etc, etc, etc, etc. Some of these things are good and have changed people lives and gotten them on the path to long term health. I believe; however, that more often than not these things are counterproductive to long term health. I recently had a friend say that she was considering the HCG "diet". I did a bunch of research and was horrified. This is a hormone that pregnant women natural produce in the very early stages of pregnancy that cause most of the nutrition from food to go to the fetus and the mother to survive off stored fat converted to energy. This makes sense in the natural world before pregnancy tests when a woman might not know she was pregnant until it started to show so she would not know to eat more to accommodate the growing child. In our world people take this as a "diet" drug causing the body to burn the stored fat (thus getting rid of it) while they eat a mere 500 calories a day. 500 CALORIES A DAY!!!!! The body CANNOT get the nutrition it needs on 500 calories. Please, if you are considering a diet plan, do some research. Make a smart decision for your long term health. You might lose your weight extremely quickly, but you are risking nutrition deficiencies, unnatural hormones, and often serious deadly side effects. If you simply make better food decisions, become more active, and live a healthier lifestyle you will lose the weight. Maybe not quite as quickly, but you won't be risking your long term health to get a few pounds off faster.

Again, this is my opinion based on the research on various fads. I'm no expert and I'm not health professional. I am just someone that did things the natural way and saw it work. I'm still not as thin as I'd like, but my health is remarkably improved. I've gotten to where I can run a marathon. When I had a physical in January my doctor was very excited looking at all of my stats. My heart rate, blood pressure, good cholesterol, bad cholesterol, blood counts, etc, etc had not only gone to the acceptable ranges, they are all in the great ranges. If I just look at my weight and how I look in the mirror, I have failed. In over a year I haven't lost all the weight yet. But when I look at my health it has been a remarkable, almost unbelievable success. I won't let weight stop me from seeing the success and I hope you can do the same. Remember, it's about HEALTH not weight.

Thanks for reading and I hope no one is offended by my rant. Happy running!!!


  1. I'm with you Bryan. I lost my 22 pounds during an 18 week training cycle. Slowly but surely. Like distance running, weight loss is a long term commitment to a change in lifestyle. There is no quick fix!

  2. This is an awesome post Bryan - I have a friend who did this diet, I was horrified when she did it and still worry about the long term health risk that she could still have as a result of it. Have a great day and I hope you are enjoying your VFF's !!!


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