Thursday, November 29, 2012

Work in progress

Today was my 4th half marathon clinic.  We did a 6.1K run and even though I felt like I was running like a snail, I still had a pretty decent pace of 6:37/kilometer.  I decided to pull my mileage back this week.  I normally run 40+K per week, but by the time everything is said and done, I'll likely do between 30 and 34 this week.  There's a couple of reasons for this.  I'm way ahead of my half marathon group and I really should follow the curriculum since I am training to run a half marathon. I was also a little sore the past couple of days after my last massage and didn't have great runs the last two days.  I think my body is telling me to take it easy this week.  By the time the week's done, I'd still have only rested for one day (Friday), but my other runs would have been shorter distances.

I'm not running my usual 12K this week.  I have my Learn to Run's graduation race on Saturday morning.  The Santa Shuffle which is a 5K fun run.  Since it's a fun run it is not timed.  But there is a medal of course.  How exciting for my clinic.  For some of them, it will be their first race.  I'm hopeful that none of them will show for the Sunday morning practice run. If no one shows, I can do the half marathon clinic's long run.  It's only 9K, but better than nothing!  Although it bothers me that I'm reducing my mileage this week, I know that I need to listen to my body and rest.  I will end up getting injured and we all know how that would play out.  It would drive me insane if I couldn't run.  I would be the nastiest person EVER to be around and the consistent sobbing would be extremely annoying.  Running has become such an important part of my life that I can't imagine not doing it.

Something that I get a lot from people who comment on my weight-loss is that I must have great will power. I suppose, but I always make it very clear to them that every day is an on-going struggle.  I'm a binge eater and every day the thought of binging enters my head.  I'm not gonna lie, it's not easy.  The thought is there, but I am able to prevent myself from acting on the thought...most days.  Something that stays in the forefront of my mind is that I am thisclose to binging again.  And I have acted on it, but it's what I choose to binge on that is different from my binges fifteen months ago.  I'll eat an entire head of iceberg lettuce for the crunch, or a bag of baby spinach right out of the bag like I'm eating chips, or an entire stalk of celery.  Better choices for sure, but it scares me that the behavior is still there.

I have permanently cut pasta out of my life.  Even though I could have whole wheat pasta on maintenance, I won't.  When I used to work in residences for troubled youth thirteen years ago, I'd do a lot of overnight shifts.  My charges would be asleep and I'd have access to tons of food.  The food room was like a small grocery store.  I'd boil pasta in liberally salted water,  then serve it with melted butter and Parmesan cheese.  I would eat huge amounts of pasta.  Enough that at 290 pounds, I was stuffed and unable to move.  That was my binge of choice.  This bingy behavior with pasta never left me until I began my lifestyle change in September 2011.  Even when I made pasta for my hubby and I, I'd always make too much for a regular serving and I'd just shove the rest of it right from the colander down my throat.  Makes me cringe to think of right now.  Pasta would definitely be a trigger for me.  That's why it's not worth going down that road again.

Running keeps me from binging.  Nothing kills the thought of binging quite like lacing up your shoes and pounding the pavement.  Running keeps me from a lot of things...a social life with people who aren't constantly sweaty, time with my family, television.  So television is not so bad, but I always feel guilty that I'm not home as much as I was in the past because of the running.  I need to let it go and accept that I need to do this for me so that I can be there for my family.  I'm a better, more active mother because I lost 117 pounds.  Running is therapy for me.  It makes me feel good about my health and has built up my confidence as well.  Without running in my life, I don't know if I would be as far along in my journey as I am.  I need to remember that taking care of myself is an important piece to taking care of my whole family.

Self acceptance is something that is an on-going struggle.  Don't think that when you've reached goal, that all your problems will be solved.  There's so much emotional baggage that goes along with losing weight that you may never fully heal from obesity.  My outside may look good,  but inside, I'm a bit of a mess. That's the truth Ruth and I'm not ashamed to say that counseling could be my magic ticket.  Counseling or daily affirmations.  I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!  I'm definitely still a work in progress.