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.


  1. What an honest post. I love it :)
    I'm glad you touched on the fact that it's an ongoing thing in life - just because you reach a goal weight, a certain "number", it doesn't necessarily mean everything is perfect!

  2. Smart way to enter into maintence. Every day ,every meal is mindful .smart to ditch the pasta too. Eliminating triggers was key for me. Cheering for you.

  3. "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!" Stuart Smalley the self help guru of Saturday Night Live is a U.S. Senator in real life named Al Franken, from Minnesota. He's not funny anymore.

    Well, well Leigh...binging behaviors...with lettuce no less. It probably comes out to minus zero calories. A head of lettuce has about 76 calories. But the chewing and swallowing of that head of lettuce requires 350 calories of energy. So...I'm on to your jedi tricks, young skywalker;)

  4. It keeps us humble doesn't it? I have read bloggers who seem pretty cocky and are quick to call others out and use them as examples but "pride goeth before the fall". We need to be understanding because we have been there without enabling but we can always be kind because we know what it feels like and we also know that the path back to where we started begins with a few wrong choices. The "tough love" has its place I suppose but I have noticed when I start doing that it's not long before I do something stupid myself and my conscience is pricked as I recall my statements. I have had people point out to me that I have been too hard and I have apologized because who am I to judge considering the things I have done? Just because I have had success does not erase my past and does not give me license to be the fat sheriff. We have to find the balance and if we do all things with love we will be the encouragement that others need to see. Good post and good job understanding yourself.

  5. Its so important to listen to your body - it will hold up much longer and better! Love your honesty about binging. If I could just switch my mode to lettuce instead of sweets/carbs.

  6. nice tip. I really like what you said about a lot are
    trying to get thin or look good but outside but inside is very unhealthy. Hi just followed you. lets follow each other. Nice post by the way!~

  7. Love this post!
    #1) I think you are a very smart to listen to your body. The two times I have injured myself exercising in the past 7 years is when I really forced myself into doing something I didn't want to do.
    #2) Binge eating still pops into my head all the time. Sometimes I just miss the 'carb coma' of numbing myself with food. But like you, I think of how it will effect my CrossFit workout, or my run and then I know I have to stop the thoughts before they become actions.
    #3)Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever have a healthy self-esteem & see myself for what I have become instead of the fatty I used to be. :)

  8. Leigh, you are good enough, smart enough, and doggone it, people do like you! There's absolutely nothing wrong with you, how you are, your wants, your desires, YOU!

    Keep pressing forward - you are an inspiration. Truly.

  9. I think body image and the dance with bingeing is a long road to heal from. I have experienced those same feelings ... losing a lot of weight but still having the binge thoughts there. It just reminded me that this is so much more than just the weight loss, just as you pointed out. It will take continued work and practice of something different than what we might have done before. What I do know for sure is that the present reality, even on the worst days, is sooo much better than the best day at the previous weight. It's a night and day difference. Thanks for your courage to be honest about this.

  10. Hey, I didn't totally forgot about the having to have under 200 friends followers! lol! I hope I didn't do that too anyone else. lol. But thanks for sharing your past answers!! :)

  11. I so understand staying away from certain trigger foods. I do not eat bread or pasta. There are version I can have on my new lifestyle but I choose not to do so because I know it is a slippery slope. You know, having that piece of gluten free bread but not being satisfied by it and slowly falling back into old habits. I am not going to do it. As you indicated

    I also know that I will have a constant struggle with that self acceptance thing too. Just want you to know that you are not alone!