When is skinny too skinny if you run and ride?

At 6'1" and 140 lbs., my frame was wafer thin.

At 6’1″ and 140 lbs., my frame was wafer thin. Click for larger view. 

While wading through photos to put in a video for my wife’s Memorial Service this past weekend, it came to pass that I found a picture of myself when I was skinny. Too skinny.

As a competitive distance runner I carried not one white of extra weight. My body fat as measured countless times was less than 3%. Unless I was tan, my upper body looked pretty bleak. That was the price of competitive fitness.

But my gosh, I was skinny.

I could run forever, no doubt. And won some races, no doubt. But that photo of my standing on the edge of a Badlands ridge gave me pause. Should I have been that skinny?

Today I weight 175 lbs. In summer my weight drops to 163-165 during cycling, if I get the miles in. That’s still skinny by many measures. When I showed up at a ride after several weeks of training apart from the regular Saturday morning group ride, one of the fellows murmured, “God you look fit.”

So it’s a Catch-22. It used to be hard to keep weight on my frame. Now I’m like everyone else. Christmas is carbohydrate hell and it takes months to shed the handles above my hip bones.

I’m slowly changing my diet. It’s taking lots of effort and during the long leadup to my wife’s passing there was no way to really management my diet. I was on the seafood diet. See food and you eat it.

It is an interesting contrast to see that photo of myself on our honeymoon and really what a skinny twerp she married. It’s now okay in my mind to look more like a man who’s in overall shape than a man whose overall shape is barely visible against the hillside.

The skinny on being too skinny is that there’s a time and a place for all that. Being fit doesn’t mean you have to be invisible when you turn sideways.




About Christopher Cudworth

Christopher Cudworth is a content producer, writer and blogger with more than 25 years’ experience in B2B and B2C marketing, journalism, public relations and social media. Connect with Christopher on Twitter: @genesisfix07 and blogs at werunandride.com, therightkindofpride.com and genesisfix.wordpress.com Online portfolio: http://www.behance.net/christophercudworth
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