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Tri Training and Intuitive Eating: I’m FAILING

The intense training is turning out to be the easy part. Credit: bowernathan16

I’m back on an official training program for some upcoming races (a 10k in October and an Olympic tri in November, and probably some sprint triathlons and 5Ks in between), and I’ve been going hard. There have been a lot of two-a-days (which, by the way, is so much easier when you get up early and get it done instead of trying to fit it all in between the end of the workday and dinnertime), the addition of some yoga classes, a whole lot of sweat and more than a few sore muscles.

I love it. I mean, I wouldn’t be doing it if I didn’t, but I’m really enjoying the challenge of fitting it all in. I love seeing the difference between how I feel on a run on a day when I’m fresh versus a day when I’m starting a run after a hard swim. I love going to bed at night knowing that I pushed my limits. And I thought I was also going to love the pounds melting off.

Ummm, not so much.

If you ever wondered whether exercise or diet had more to do with weight loss, here’s your proof: It’s diet, baby.

I’m often putting in 90 minutes to two hours of hard exercise each day. I’m stronger. I’m faster. My legs look kind of great, if I do say so myself. But the pudge around my belly hasn’t budged, and the numbers on the scale have barely moved. I know all about “muscle weighs more than fat,” but this stuff on my tummy? It’s not muscle, and it’s not changing too much.

I know why. It’s because with the increased exercise has come a bit of increased hunger (and on some days, that’s an understatement). And because my goals revolve around being faster and stronger, I maybe haven’t followed our “all good things in moderation” motto as well as I normally would. Because if it’s good in moderation, how great is it in excess?

I’m not too worried about this, although I am going to start making a more concentrated effort to snack on more veggies than pretzels and bananas. I mean, I’m achieving my goals, and while I might not be as lean as I could be, I feel great. That lid is still on the junk in the trunk. It’s all good.

Do you have trouble with keeping the calorie count down when you’re upping the exercise? How did you overcome it? —Kristen


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  1. Christy G. says:

    I can so relate to this post. I’m training for a 1/2 Marathon. I just told my running group yesterday that I am the only person who can run 20 miles in one week and gain 2 pounds! I think I need to lay off the bananas … and the chocolate! 🙂

  2. Melinda says:

    There is no failure, only feedback! Seems to me like you are getting feedback from your body of “I’m doing all this work, I need more fuel!” and you are following it.

    Good for you!

  3. Sarah says:

    story of my life. I’ve lost 40 pounds since February, and I’m exercising over 6 hours/week, and my little pudge just sits there on my lower belly b/c I can’t bring myself to give up the potato chips and diet soda. Shameshameshame on me!

  4. Sarah says:

    I also can relate to this! Lots of workouts, looking better, but still belly fat. Thanks for gently reminding me it’s about the diet as much as the workout. 🙂

    Kissing the bananas goodbye!

  5. Desiree says:

    Throw in some yoga! I started weight training really hard (lifting heavy 1+ hours 3-4 times per week) this past month and the scale didn’t move at all. This week I switched it up and did two days of yoga and I swear my belly shrunk and all the hard work caught up with me! Definitely made me a believer in the concept of switching up your routine every few weeks. I also started taking vitamin D since I eat a lot of cheese to get my calcium rather than milk. Getting plenty of calcium and vitamin D really helps you lose belly fat.

  6. Arien says:

    A lot of reading I’ve done lately has suggested that tons of cardio can act as a stressor (esp. for women), which tells your body to hang on to fat. So, kind of like Melinda said, even with a healthy diet your body might just want to protect itself by storing fat. It sounds like you’re happy with your performance, so yay!

  7. Sarah says:

    Christy G.—I am training for my second half marathon of the summer and I am in the same boat! I’m almost excited for it to be over in 3 weeks so I can start actually losing weight, haha. But the good news is that I’m SO much stronger and fast than I’ve ever been, my legs look way more toned, and my tummy looks almost like it did before my baby. So what if the scale hasn’t moved? I look hot. 😉

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