On the bulletin board over my desk hangs a saying cut from a magazine ad. It reads: "If you can run, you can run farther. If you can train, you can train harder." This is a sentiment most ultra-runners embrace, except for many actually get to their training limits; a point where more miles and training are detrimental and prohibit recovery. But ultra-runners are a discontented crowd always looking for ways to improve fitness and get better. So along with training, many runners focus on achieving a specific "race weight" to perform at their best.
So while Tyra Banks and feel good social media posts urge us to love our bodies for what they are, running literature is telling us to get thin - crazy thin - if you want to run your best. In fact Runner's World continuously publishes the formula: 1 pound = 2 sec/mile. And the Jack Daniels' table has weight as a variable in one column so you can see your predicted times at your current fitness if you lost weight.
There's just one problem: dieting SUCKS! Sure you can lose weight if you eat only baby carrots and lettuce with water to wash it down, but where is the joy in that? Show me cheesecake, cookies and beer and I'll show you joy! I mean, come on, isn't one of the main reasons we run to be able to eat more food?? Hell, chocolate has been shown to stimulate more pleasure receptors in the brain than sex!
Well, now you can have your cake and eat it, too - literally! Introducing liposuction for athletes.
Liposuction has been around for decades and is a safe and fast procedure for removing unwanted pounds. Liposuction can be done in the out patient setting and you can be back to running just three days later, only at a much lighter and much more enjoyable weight.
Salem Bariatric surgeon, Dr. Raj Nair adds, "Thousands of athletes use surgery every year to help them get back in the game, from things like Tommy John surgery, tendon scraping and arthroscopic knee procedures. So why shouldn't athletes use surgery to help them get to the top of their game as well?"
Drugs in the amphetamine family are very effective at stimulating weight loss; unfortunately, they are all banned by WADA and an athlete risks sanctions and social ostracism if they use them. But liposuction is perfectly legal! The masses might balk at this being unfair, since only the rich can afford it, but with all the new liposuction centers popping up, the price of the procedure is on par with a high end home treadmill or an altitude tent.
"Ugh, ultra runners spend so much time talking about nutrition and it is so annoying," says Dr. Nair, who is an ultrarunner himself. "If you want to be fast, it doesn't matter what you eat, you just have to be thin. If your diet causes you to put on a little extra weight, just have it surgically removed a few months before your next big race." Dr. Nair often has two donuts and several cans of Coke for breakfast, further demonstrating that this Stanford grad doesn't place a lot of importance on the quality of food.
Medical expert, Dr. Raj Nair, trying to get some more of his beloved doughnuts
While we are not aware of any elite runners who publicly admit to having had liposuction, it seems on the brink of becoming the next best thing for achieving that performance edge, especially in the masters athletes where weight just doesn't seem to budge from your 40+ year old middle. If getting to race weight seems like too much sacrifice of all your favorite, check out liposuction. It just may be the solution you are looking for!
Mac Smith is all ready for his liposuction surgery yesterday (or his meniscus repair, whatever)