Monday, August 19, 2013
In many ways, I'm a data person. Numbers motivate me. And really, I'm not alone in this. For instance, when I run, while I care how I feel when I run, I care more about things like distance and speed. Am I trending up? Beating records? Getting worse? Is my heartrate acceptable? This is why I run with a Garmin and a FitBit and Map My Run. I can justify that all three measure different things. In my heart, I know it's obsessive.
So while there's nothing better than seeing a faster time, or finally hitting a longer distance, I get discouraged when there is no change? How is there any hope for me getting to a 35 minute 5K (much less 30 minute) if I'm struggling to get below 12 minute miles? When I run, it's a constant fight - do I focus on lowering my heart rate, when it gets in the mid 170s, or do I fight through just to get better speed? (This is why I've started doing 2:1 intervals - and how I've managed to finally get to the 5K distance mark, which I was struggling with for a long time).
Another number I get hung up on is weight. So I've done a good job fixing my diet, and as a result, my weight has slowly gone down to almost my goal weight. Keep in mind, this is only about a 7-8lb loss, so it isn't anything dramatic. Even though the numbers make me happy, I look at myself and still think that I'm just not there yet. I really don't want to lose much more weight, but yet, I'd like a littler waist or thinner thighs.
I guess no matter what the numbers say, the body shape stays the same.
And of course there is calorie counting. Obsessing that I used too much mayo, or that my homemade granola is just too many calories an ounce.
Really, if we lived in a number-free world, how would things be different? Would we keep trying to improve, even though there were no numbers to prove it. Or would we just give up, because so much of what we do is because of an internal competition we have with ourselves?
Funny, I go back to the weight thing... I remember trying to my husband why 118 was my ideal weight. 118 is an even number. 115 sounds too low for someone my age and height. 120 is over my "tubby" weight of 119 a couple years post puberty. It's all nonsense, isn't it? It's just numbers, and they shouldn't mean anything.
(But unfortunately, they still mean something to me).