So here I am again starting over at 39 yrs old. I joined Sparks in Jan 2008 and learned for the 1st time in my life about healthy living, clean eating and fitness. I got into the best shape of my life physically by the end of 2008. I began to unwind all my hard work and dedication beginning in 2010. I used my job & being surrounded by an office full unhealthy people as an excuse. My clean diet & exercise routine became inconsistent and sporadic. This year I have done the most damage to my physique! I trained for my 1st half marathon from Jan – March 2011. My weight was coming down and I was feeling pretty good, I thought. In March I completed the New Bedford Half Marathon with a terrific team of people who all came together to raise money for charity. I ended up walking and running - walking most of the course. (I learned the treadmill does NOT compare to the road) I was told I should have felt great for having finished, but I felt like garbage. I did not know at the time that this was the start of a serious downhill slide for me.
Within weeks of that even I began binge eating and crying A LOT! I was in a new dark place I had never been before. This went on for months. I did not understand it and I grew more depressed and more withdrawn as weeks went on. My thoughts were dark and all JOY had been stripped from my life. Though I was not suicidal, I had no desire to live. But I knew enough to know that my thoughts were not OKAY, and I was concerned. My binges were not ending. I guess they were no longer binges because I just kept eating my emotions. I was eating everything. After hiding all this from my husband, I finally broke down and told him everything that was going on with me. That was the 1st step into a positive direction for me. Next I sought a therapist for eating disorders. Seeking help was a positive step, but I was looking in the wrong direction. I met with a female therapist one Saturday morning, and could hardly speak without crying. But I swear she was nodding off. I remember thinking at that moment, “Are you kidding me? Is she processing what I’m saying or are her eyes getting squinty because I’m boring her to sleep?” I didn’t go back to her but I did come to realize something during that one hour in her office. I HAD NO SELF WORTH! No bones about it. I could not love myself because I did not even like myself. BUT WHY?
I continued on in a state of awareness for some months. I had my blood work checked, hormone levels check whatever chemically that could be leading to my depression. Everything came back normal. Chemically, I am super healthy! I began my inconsistent training again with my sights on being fit & in shape for a Tough Mudder event. So I signed up for my 1st 10K trail run. I began attending church more regularly and resumed a bible study discipleship program with my wonderful and wise sister in law. I love her to the moon and back & thank God for her regularly! I had opened up to her after a meltdown in church one Sunday morning. 2 minutes into singing before service the tears began rolling & I couldn’t stop them. More progress!!
My 10K day arrived in August. Some folks only ran the 5K while others ran the 10K. Being the type of woman who usually bites of more than she can chew, I opted for the full 10. I’m pretty sure I was the heaviest person there and of the 10K runners, I was definitely the slowest. The others who were as slow as me stopped at 5K and kept going. Runners are a supportive lot of people! I love that about being around them! The hard core runners knew I was a novice. They knew I was struggling and as the passed me, some would comment, “Great Job, keep pushing”, or “way to go, Kid” from one silver haired fellow. I was having a tough time at this point of the race & the comments meant to be supportive made me cry and I felt inadequate. Have you tried running while crying? I couldn’t breathe! I stopped myself, sucked it up & reminded myself that I was running for charity, for children who could not run & I kept going. But I’ll admit here, I did not feel proud, yet again, after finishing that event.
During the last couple of weeks in August it happened. I was fully awakened. After 8 months of a joy-less life, shame, sadness, confusion and tears, I finally let go. A song toughed my heart & a lifetime of guilt & shame left me, rolling out of me in a flood of tears. I surrendered! I gave it all to God! What a different He has made in my life in less than 3 months. His blessings are abundant. He has restored Joy and taken my sin and guilt. I am now on the right path!
So here I am again, starting over in the worst physical shape of my life, but the best faithful, spiritual & mental shape of my life. I am ready to do this! My overall weight loss goal is to lose a total of 40 pounds. As for my fitness goals, they are this: I want to be active outdoors, hiking/running as much as I can this winter. I've purchased the proper gear to remain outside. I do not want to be a slave to my treadmill when I can be outside. I want to get stronger, adapt to breathing in the cold air without cold weather coughing & throat burn & compete in The NEPA trophy series of mountain/trail hikes & runs.
I want to do this, I can do this, I WILL DO THIS!
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me ~ Philippians 4:13