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Skweight Management

eebee's picture

Do skaters really have better buns? I have been skating for 7 years, and have noticed various changes in my body over that time: I've been flabby or toned, uncomfortably heavy or dangerously underweight, and most of the time, somewhere in between. Over those 7 years, however, I have been in decidedly better shape than I ever was, pre-skater.

In case anybody out there (non-skater) is curious to whether a person can 'lose weight' or change their shape by skating...I am going to (b)log here my own findings about my own weight and body changes over this upcoming training and race season - even though I'm neither training nor racing, so to speak. Here are some criteria I intend to stick to:

I am not going to be on any diet of any kind. The only frying pan I will be banishing will be the imaginary one I used to beat myself up with for failing at dieting. I will eat whatever I want to, whenever I want to. By the same token I am not going to binge-eat, either (no point, if I'm not on a 'diet', right? Food will always be there, barring famine or homelessness). I will stop when I'm full or can't stand the sight of a particular food any more, whether or not my plate is empty! Basically I'm going to eat like I did when I was a skinny but healthy child, excluding all those soggy greens I had to eat so as not to offend Grandma. Obviously this will not be a pristine experiment because I am unwilling to eat the exact same thing every day, be it calories, fat grams, carb grams, glycemic index points, etc. However, it will be a realistic representation of how skating alone affects my overall weight and body tone. From 22 years or so of past 'diet' experience, I know my subconscious will find a way to sabotage any kind of control I attempt to exert over my daily food intake. The mind games can get very creative, and frankly I don't have the time or brain space right now to worry about it! Enjoying skating is what I want to focus on.

I am not going to be doing any cross-training of any kind. Why? Because to be realistic, I have neither the time, nor the inclination! Again, this is meant to be a real-life testimony of how or if skating affects my weight and shape. I don't believe in boring exercise. I am not at a point in my life where I can devote several hours every day to train to compete seriously in any race. However, since skating saves my sanity on a daily basis, I have to devote some time to it every day for my own good.

I will not be sticking to any marathon-training schedule. I will be skating for fun. Some days that means I will want to fly as fast as I can, for fun. Some days I will want to work on my balance, technique and stroke, for fun. Some days I will be so rec, it'll be funny. Some days I will want to skate for about 5 hours and see where the road takes me. Sometimes I will wear my heart-rate monitor and see if my regular-but-stress-free skating has improved my heart-rate any. I typically gravitate towards a combination of the above in a week anyway. I will probably skate more on a hilly course than a flat one, mainly because I don't live in Florida. I have found skating hills to be particularly useful in toning the rear-end, based primarily on wobble-factor and the way my clothes fit. And that makes skating hills more fun!

Now I've said what I won't do and why, here's what I will do:

Eat whatever, whenever

Skate however many minutes a day (weekdays) as I can or want to, aiming for at least once a day. And skate however many hours as I can or want to on the weekends. This will be a change from what I was doing for about 8 months (sitting on my backside 24/7).

Update on my blog here if I have lost or gained any pounds, and mention any measurement changes (+ or -) on my body. My starting weight on 5/31/06 was 156.6 lbs, which is about normal for my height (about 5 ft 10). I'm not too hung up on this number, though. My weight typically fluctuates by 5 lbs or so over any given week. I'd like to drop about 10-15 lbs, feel less flabby, or fit my clothes better, but only via sane and happy means.  

I am hoping that this might help some wannabe skaters, still sitting on the fence, wondering whether it's worth taking up skating to try to get in shape or lose weight. I can say right now "Yes! Yes it is worth it! It does get you in shape/slimmer/toned! And it's so much fun you won't even realize you're getting in shape!". But following my progress over the summer months might just give you the inspiration you need before deciding to go for it.

If any other skaters out there are interested in joining me in this, that'd be great! I just think that counting calories eaten or burned, heart-rate monitor data, mileage and race times belong in a seperate 'experiment'.

Bring on the fun!


Jack's picture

Very nice write-up

Very nice write-up Elizabeth, thanks. Sounds like a sane attitude towards fitness/weight control, the only sensible way to do it really.


eebee's picture

Skweight Management

Thanks Jack! Yeah, Sane, that's what I'm aiming for. Plus I want this to highlight how much skating helps, in this area of fitness.
northinsouth's picture

re: Skweight Management


I am not going to be on any diet of any kind. The only frying pan I will be banishing will be the imaginary one I used to beat myself up with for failing at dieting. I will eat whatever I want to, whenever I want to.

I wish i could do that....I am on a seefood diet...that is my biggest problem...that and not having time to skate.  Hopefully going to start going out in the mornings before work.  We'll see if i can get out of bed.

 Good write up Elizebeth



eebee's picture

Re: Skweight Management

"...not having time to skate.  Hopefully going to start going out in the mornings before work.  We'll see if i can get out of bed."

I wish you all the best with the getting out of bed early thing. In any case, I hope you get to skate more too! It becomes very hard to schedule in substantial exercise once you have kids. Blake tells me to think of it as 'heart-attack prevention' and therefore every bit as important, if not more so, than the other stuff we end up doing instead of skating. But it's difficult.

The big key about eating whatever I want to, whenever I want to, is that after a time of persuading my body it's not actually about to starve, it actually prompts me to leave 'unhealthy' things alone!  So at that point, the 'Seefood diet' becomes a 'See the food you want to see diet'. It's like "Oh, a donut, big deal, I can get one of those later if I really want one". I absolutely cannot do that if I am ever, at all, in the slightest way, trying to 'cut back' or  'eliminate' any type of food, or count stuff. But that's just me, everybody's different. All those diet books tell you to be conscious about what you're eating, chew slowly, sit at the table, use a smaller plate, etc., but that only drives me into obsession. Best thing I can do is just 'Fah-gedda-bout-it' and let it take care of itself.

Hoping to post some progress soon...

roadskater's picture

Skweight Management:: Brave Stuff

Wow, Elizabeth, that's a cool and brave article. I'm skared (hee) to post my weight. Hmm. I am definitely not posting on Mondays, no way, as during skatey summers I drink so much skaterade I often weigh lots more, plus I really focus on food on weekends too, for social reasons (and psychological ones I'm sure).

However, I think today was my 11th of 12 skating at least a half hour. You know I am limiting the time due to injury but also due to not wanting to allow it to be work (yet at least). After skating painfully, slow and steady seem like a good idea.

We'll see if I get guts to be part of your public posting, and I know it doesn't matter whether I do or not, as long as I commit to the effort, and as long as we can hopefully encourage others that skating is a pretty good way to get some exercise, on its own or as a part of a program of other cross-training or cross-enjoyment experiences. Cycling seems to be a nice companion to skating for many, and we've noted many skaters becoming cyclists over time for various reasons, and a few cyclists becoming skaters too.

As far as the dieting goes, I sometimes go off (I think I just used one of your Britishisms) dairy and deep fried for a few weeks at a time, and I find this easier to do when I've been skating a bit so I feel good, but not so much that I feel (incorrectly) that I can eat anything. As far as any of that becoming a lifestyle change, even when I think it is, it turns out so far not to be true. A life without pizza, for example, may well not be worth living. Hmm.

In any case, thanks for giving me personally some inspiration with your post. I'm not as fast or as thin or as fit as I have been, and it's a slow trip back if I am likely to succeed. What got me into it in the first place was a deep joy in skating. So I'm only out for joyful skating these days, or not at all. Our downtown exploits have been nice spice for chicken diet of same old skating every day.

I notice in the event calendar at the bottom left that it's 32 days until the first training ride and 96 until the Tour to Tanglewood! I look forward to being in good shape by then, if not especially fast.

kjg's picture

I will join you!

I will join you elizabeth after a winter off with foot surgery and just starting my regular skating routine for the summer (for various reasons) feeling decidedly flabby and pants are tight.

As of June/8/06 145 lbs (10st 5 sounds better!) and 5ft 5in. This date also marks the beginning of my regular skating sessions.

I will try to make healthy choices in my eating but will not count calories etc.

I will keep you posted!

eebee's picture

Re: I will join you!

Yay! That's great news! (about you joining me, not about the foot surgery). I hope you eat whatever 'healthy' foods you want - no martyrdom allowed! I don't think I will ever eat chicken again as long as I live (well maybe Bojangles!), thanks to Body-for-Life and the Zone diet. Hee hee. Oh happy day - the beginning of your regular skating sessions. I'm so glad you got to skate last night.

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