I've been working on this thing in earnest since the middle of April, that's when I started the C25K and began to get truly committed to eating healthier.
Eight weeks later and the running has become a habit. I realized this when my husband scheduled a 3-day beach trip for us at the end of the month and I started panicking about how that would affect my running schedule.
When people find out about what I'm doing, especially with the running, they talk about how hard it is and ask, really, if it's worth the effort.
I *know* it's worth the effort. After all, it brings me what I've (so originally) dubbed, in my mind, as The Good Stuff, stuff that needed a blog post all to itself, so I won't forget why I wake up early, hit the track, eat right and Spark my days away.
So, here's what's so effin' fabulous about working so damn hard -- here's The Good Stuff:
1) MY INTERNAL SNOTTY 12-YEAR OLD HAS BEEN SILENCED
Victory! That cruel little bee-yotch has been tamed! The endless loop of self-denigration that used to literally run 24/7 in my mind is GONE, baby.
What's interesting is that what killed it was not *results*, but *action*! The simple act of putting on the clothes and working out, even when I don't have a perfect run, JUST SHOWING UP puts that awful, horrid internal monologue on pause.
Being able to hear myself think, allowing myself to be hopeful, without running myself down -- well, that's gold in my hand, and I'm so very thankful to have that peace of mind.
2) DIET MARTYR NO MORE
In the past, diets have meant a lot of pouting for me. I felt that when the diet made me pass on things I liked to eat or drink, I was being denied something I wanted and therefore the universe had it in for me. And whether I pouted on the inside or the outside, it was there, I was totally a Diet Martyr and a complete drag, truthfully.
My "diet" this go-around kicked off with stopping soda, cold turkey and I think that set the tone for my efforts surrounding food as well. This time, this wasn't something that was being done TO me -- this was something, frankly a random kind of something, that I CHOSE to do, and something I continue to choose.
Somehow, that's made a big difference for me. When I turn down a beer or some cheese and crackers at my friends', it's not because the universe is denying me, it's because I choose not to eat or drink those things *right now*. The higher calorie range has allowed me to keep most food options on the table (within reason), and this attitude shift has made it a personal choice, rather than a demand from on high. This is completely workable and awesome!
3) THOSE MOTIVATORS ARE RIGHT
You know the pic that's all over SP, the one that says "It takes 4 weeks for you to notice your body changing, 8 weeks for your friends and family to notice and 12 weeks for the rest of the world". Well, apparently it's right on target!
Last night, I was walking through my parents' school to help Dad lift a ping-pong table when my Mom, walking behind me, suddenly did one of those Mom-gasp things. I turned around and asked her what was wrong. She said "Honey, you have lost so much weight, you look like a completely different person from the back!"
Now, the fact that my Mom was checking out my azz, admittedly, was kind of awkward -- but the compliment? That made my freaking WEEK!
4) SHOPPING LIST
Both my belt *and* my bathing suit are now too big to wear in public. 'Nuff said.
5) THE BRING-IT-ON EFFECT
Succeeding in one challenge has led me to feel more confident about my potential success rate in other challenges. Camp NaNoWriMo, for example, is still kicking my booty (I'm so far behind in my word counts, it's sick), but I'm still in it to finish my book, whether it's on NaNoWriMo's timeline or my own.
It should be noted that until I accepted this challenge, I was stuck on Page 5 for like, FIVE YEARS. Today, I'm at about 30 pages in, have the plot fully outlined and I'm committing to not just finishing this book, but turning it into a trilogy! BOO-YAH!
6) SPOUSAL SUPPORT
My husband is awesome in every way, but he has never been one to be overly vocal about my weight fluctuations. He's supportive, certainly, but he's not a cheering-me-on-with-every-poun
d-lost kinda guy.
I've always assumed that he's afraid to cheer my successes too enthusiastically because he's kind of holding his breath until I fall off the wagon again, and knows that my feelings would be hurt once the cheering stopped. Or, maybe it's because I've gained and lost literally hundreds of pounds, but I've never actually achieved thinness, so maybe he's reserving his vocal support until really *do* get thin? I don't know (and frankly, it's probably best that I *don't* know)!
At any rate, this past weekend, I did what's become my usual Saturday morning routine: at the track by 7AM, get in my laps, go get a coffee from Starbucks, wash my car inside and out at the car wash place, drive around the yard sales for an hour or so and then come home.
When I got home, both my husband and the kiddo were still sleeping, or so I thought. As I crossed the bedroom to get to the bath, my husband woke and asked about my run.
I told him it went fine, complained a little about this pretentious running club group that always hogs the lanes on the weekends, but told him I'd done my laps in pretty good time (for me).
From the other room, there was a slight pause, and then he said, quietly, "I'm really impressed by you, you know -- by what you're doing."
Such a simple statement, but it was so heartfelt, it choked me up then, and I'm choked up now just thinking about it.
He simply could not have given me a greater compliment. It just showed me that he gets it, the gravity of what I'm trying to do here and the sheer difficulty posed by this challenge.
He gets me -- as he should, after 15 years -- but it still meant the world to me!
So, that's the short list of The Good Stuff, so far, the things that make running and eating sensibly so totally worth it for me, right now in 2012! I'm grateful for what's occurred in my life so far, I'm grateful for Spark and all my Spark friends, and I eagerly anticipate all The Good Stuff to come!