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Dialing in the Calories and Running Marathons

The older you get, the easier it is to regret that fact that you didn't do anything about your health for too long. Long enough to end up on MFP. I will turn 60 next year. I first joined MFP when I was 53 - right after a week-long stay in ICU after having congestive heart failure.

Whatever the reason that you joined, the good news is that we are here!

Once you get started logging food you also learn a lot about what you are consuming. I have done this for so long, it is hard for me to be off more than 100 or so calories for any given meal.

The hard part for me was thinking I could eat whatever I wanted, and getting control of portions.

My nutritionist started me on 2,500 calories a day. I gained weight. She dropped it to 2,200. I was doing 3 miles, 3 times a week and lifting weights 2 days a week. She cut it back to 1,800 and I stayed even.

Then she cut it back to 1,600 calories a day and I started losing.

I had lost about 44 pounds prior to having heart failure. I had a steady loss of about 30 more pounds. That is when she put it back to 1,800. I gained 10 pounds in 3 weeks.

Back to 1,600 I went and my weight dropped to my lowest in decades, 197. I stopped lifting and ran 6 days a week. I ran four full marathons in 2015. In fact I ran three in three months.

I admit, despite the cancer which had no real symptoms, I felt better than I had in decades.

In late 2015 I began having digestive issues. After having a colon tumor removed, I have had a dizzying array of tests, scans and tried a number of medications.

Cancer is scary.

I have worked hard at eating the "right" foods. Then there are all the supplements, oceans of water, essential oils, prayer and positive affirmations and still, I am not feeling great. 

I confess, I only ran 6 of 10 miles last week, and this week, I ran 5 1/2 of 13. :(

Yes, I am concerned about getting ready for the Berlin Marathon. The runs were disappointing - and now it's summer, not my favorite running season. I missed Dublin last year. I couldn't even do 8 of my 20 miler.

What am I going to do?

I will do what I have always done. I will push myself to the limits. I have a missed a few marathons due to things like surgery. Life. When I run, I beat cancer and despite not feeling well, I am certain that I am healthier than I would have been had I not stuck with the program.

And yes, I will be in Berlin.

83 votes + -


ladyethorne1 wrote 60 months ago:
I love your spirit!
kdavid1987 wrote 60 months ago:
Don't give up! :)
thelifeilove1 wrote 60 months ago:
You indeed are an inspiration to those who, like me, allow life to get in the way of doing the right things.
Laura80111 wrote 60 months ago:
Even when you are off your exercise and diet are better than most people's. You continue to inspire.
PapaJay357 wrote 60 months ago:
Thanks for keeping it real. You continue to be a big inspiration to us. I hope you get through this and start feeling better. Godspeed on your training runs and your big runs too. Praying for you out here on the Left Coast in La La Land.
6205db wrote 60 months ago:
You've got this!!! I'm a marathon runner that struggles with my weight as well. Keep making every day special and best of luck to you in Berlin!!!
pinyont wrote 60 months ago:
Thank You for sharing your story. You inspire me!
runningforthetrain wrote 60 months ago:
I continue to marvel at your honesty and your perserverance ; thank you for your inspirational blog.
barneshall wrote 60 months ago:
I am new to all this,but I understood that you could eat the calories that you used in exercise on top of your daily allowance?It doesn't sound as if you eat any of them despite working very hard,is this the correct thing to do?Many congrats on your success so far and hopefully you will be where you want to be very soon.Thanks so much for the blog
Anonymous wrote 60 months ago:
Thanks for sharing! Your journey and determination is inspiring to me, as always.
dsjohndrow wrote 60 months ago:
@barneshall I do not eat my exercise calories. If you gain weight, you are eating too much. That';s the way I see it. In the beginning you are building muscle and losing fat, so it's hard to tell. After 6 years, if you are gaining weight, you are eating too much.
loveandchut wrote 60 months ago:
I am new to all this,but I understood that you could eat the calories that you used in exercise on top of your daily allowance?It doesn't sound as if you eat any of them despite working very hard,is this the correct thing to do?Many congrats on your success so far and hopefully you will be where you want to be very soon.Thanks so much for the blog
jmnicholas wrote 60 months ago:
I too have been on here for a long while - I am struggling to return to weight loss after I was injured and unable to run for a long time last year - kept eating as though I was running, so put on weight. Taking it in hand gain, whilst building up the running again now - have lost a fair amount of speed though, so frustrated with it. Thanks for reminding me that we all go through these ups and downs!
ldizquierdo wrote 60 months ago:
When I read your story, I realized that this is about finding the right number. As you said, started at 2400 calories, then went down to 1800 and you were even. Until you dropped to 1600. In my experience as we age we need less food, even if we exercise. It is like the body has develop a way to function with less calories. We should be thankful, but not, we want to be greedy and eat as much as we can. It is hard to get rid of bad habits. Eating a lot it is a terrible bad habit that is killing us. Can you believe it? We are killing ourselves. I have decided to stop hurting myself, but I confess that it is difficult. I ask God everyday to help me because this change takes a huge God like mine to do it.
bobbinalong wrote 60 months ago:
If you like to read, read "I'll Push You" by Justin Skeesuck and Patrick Gray. Find them on Facebook under "I'll Pus You", #1 best seller on Amazon under disabled traveler category. You will be able to connect!!!
ad6969 wrote 60 months ago:
Read about Rene Caisse - Flor Essence - Essic
That's what helped me!
All the best & kind regards ?.
cosmonew wrote 60 months ago:
I don't know how often you blog...but I seem to catch several. I love your attitude and truth and straightforwardness. Don't know if you are accepting new friends, but I'm sending you a request.
Deb4224 wrote 60 months ago:
Well, I'm impressed. And, inspired. Nice work! And, thanks for sharing. =)
lpalmer36 wrote 60 months ago:
Thank you for sharing and for the inspiration. Best of luck to you.
patrickmarsh8019 wrote 60 months ago:
Your story is inspiring - thanks for the motivation.
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WTG! Don't know if you are interested in nutrition drinks, but this one is something I highly recommend: Orgain and the chocolate one is pretty good--sometimes, add powdered peanut butter plus, almond/coconut milk (silk) along w/organic Omega 3 Horizon milk or as a milk shake w/Halo Top added. (Sam's Club has them cheaper and you get 12 for less than $20.00.);D
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