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Begin with the End in Mind

Friday, March 29, 2013

My post yesterday must have sounded more serious that it really was. Thank you all for the goodies and support. Several friends asked questions and offered suggestions that really helped me clarify my thinking.

When I talk about being obsessive, I probably don't mean what most people think of. What I really mean is that I don't want to track forever.

To me, this journey is not mainly about weight loss. It may have been at one time, but the more I learn and experience, the less it is. I want to be able to do things that I never imagined I would or could do. LIke completing a half marathon.

In my dreams, I trained hard for the half, changed my diet completely and found the "magic key" that would let me look like you might imagine a half marathon competitor looks like. That doesn't make sense. I'll try again.

When I (or probably most people) think of a person who is a runner, and who runs in half marathons, I picture a person who matches pretty much what society thinks of as "fit". By and large, most of the people at the race matched that picture.

Secretly, deep down, in that part of me that I don't like admitting exists, I hoped that through training, and proper nutrition, I would evolve to match that picture too. I hoped that training would be motivating, and that I would WANT to change what I was eating so that I could train better, and that each run would motivate me to do strength training so that the next run would be even better.

If you have ever trained for an event, you are probably already recognizing the problems with those hopes and dreams - mainly that they don't reflect reality.

Rather than being motivated by my training program, I had to motivate myself to stick to it. Five weeks before the race, I almost quit training. I threw a little internal fit, crossed my arms, probably even stomped my foot and said, "I don't think I want to do this." My husband, who knows me pretty well, raised his eyebrows and said, "Really? Because you sure have worked hard."

So, what PROBABLY happened - I admit to nothing - is that I ate whatever I wanted as a "reward" for completing the training runs. I MAY have mentally bribed myself by thinking "Just do today's run, and you can skip tomorrow's ST."

Now I'm faced with a 10 pound gain, which isn't at all surprising, and a vague feeling of having let myself down, which is really silly. I DID IT. I achieved an important goal - not perfectly, but still did.

When I talk about obsessiveness, I'm thinking about wanting to focus on things like races instead of things like calories. But, I also feel like I need to address the calorie thing. Also, the whole time I was running, I was thinking "Imagine how much easier this would be minus 50 pounds." (and even that thought contains some denial. In reality I need to lose more like 60 pounds)

Thanks to the suggestion of the brilliant JILLYBEAN I am going to consider the next three months as a nutritional reset. I'm going to track my weight, measurements, daily calorie intake, and weekly fitness minutes for just three months. I will make an effort to observe those numbers dispassionately, and put more focus on getting stronger, riding my bike, and running longer/faster.

Yesterday, once again, I ate just over 1900 calories. At least I'm consistent. Maybe I will become consistent at 1400 calories!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I also think the "nutritional reset" is an excellent idea! emoticon It can be challenging to keep to a strict diet when training for an intense sports event. Good luck, my friend :)
    1819 days ago
    Glad I could help! I'll be taking this reset journey with you, too!
    1820 days ago

    Darn that internal voice of unreason.

    For the better part of my adult life I ate in excess. I don't know what normal healthy eating is without double checking the calories for myself. I find it easy to treat myself and add a little extra, which makes the scale creep up and my pants tighten up. I may have to check in with myself often. Perhaps daily.

    Renewal is a good idea! emoticon
    1820 days ago
    I agree with Madame JELLYBEAN that a nutritional reset would be a good thing. It's Easter, a time of renewal.

    One thing that strikes me is that you have a lot on your plate. You're working on starting your own business. You're writing a business book. You're taking care of your family. You're going out on interviews and writing cover letters. AND you're trying to eat right and train for a half marathon. That's a lot to ask of a person both physically and emotionally.

    It's no wonder there are days you feel like chucking everything in. I would too. I always encourage people to start with some simple things first so that they don't feel overwhelmed. If you can't eat at 1400 calories per day, don't worry. Eat at 1500-1700. that's an improvement. If you eat at 1400 some days and 1800 on others, ditto, still an improvement. Little things really do add up.

    I think you should give yourself more credit for everything you have completed so far. it's a lot when you consider how much you do each day.

    1820 days ago
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