Exercise, Mental Wellbeing, Running, Weight Loss

Preparations Underway

The day before my 21st birthday I stepped on the scales at Weight Watchers for the first time. I was upset, ashamed and I felt like a failure – the figure that flashed up on the scales confirmed my suspicions. I was half a pound shy of weighing 15 stone. I made a promise to myself there and then to never see that number again. After surgery I came close, but I’ve kept my promise.

Today I’m making myself a new promise – I think 12 years of success from the old pledge is more than enough.

5 per centI’m changing my promise today because I’m making preparations. This week I hit my 5% goal. Tomorrow morning I’m going for a run. Running makes me happy. It always has. It ticks every box for me. Due to a dodgy old knee injury, I’ve learned (nearly the catastrophic way) that weighing much over 13 and a half stone is not conducive to injury-free running, and my knee complains at anything over a mile. So like before, I’m making a promise to myself – I’m never going to be heavier than that ever again.

The benefits are huge. Why would I not want to be able to run all the time? This is the second time since my surgery that I’ve had to work towards getting down under that ‘heavy load’ threshold, and I’m not doing it again. Aside from the obvious fact that running aids weight loss, it has so many other benefits to me. I’m an early morning runner, and even a few miles sets me up for the day and makes me more productive, motivated and positive. It also has a meditative benefit on longer, slower runs where I can let my mind wander, or use the exertion as an emotional outlet – I’m no stranger to venting anger (read: swearing a lot) or having a good cry on a run. (It’s probably just as well I don’t see many people when I’m out running.)

With that in mind, it’s in my best interests to get sorted and be out there clocking the miles, and I’m delighted to be at that stage again. Today saw the pulling-out of the running attire box, which kinda left me with mixed feelings. Most of my winter running clothes are bigger, so I can slip into them no problem – I was running in them at this weight, but my summer stuff is considerably smaller. The last time I ran a full summer season I was nearly two stone lighter than now. That made me sad. So I tried everything on. Rather than sorted by season, my gear now stands in three piles: what fits, nearly fits and no-freaking-chance.

I soon perked up again when I found my favourite running socks and vest – a vest that I

vest
Favourite vest and socks

can just about squeeze into – two items that I associate with achievement and success, and that I love wearing. I also pulled out my Garmin which has been out of use so long it wasn’t even telling the time. I put it on to charge and went on with my preparations. Dust off the favourite shoes. Check. Dig out the running diary. Check. Get out the sports br…. uh oh.

How I can forget about my boobs I’ll never know. Sports bras. My ‘newest’ ones are tiny. Well, tiny by my standards. They do still resemble a reserve for the Scottish skydiving team. My old ones that fit no longer have the support in them for running and I’ve been using them for farming. So there I was frantically rummaging through a box of sports bras that are all the same, colour and everything, except for the size. My hand touched a label. A shiny, cardboard label – not a material one. I pulled it out, attached to a bra strap, closely followed by a whole bra. At this point  I was already praying to the booby gods that it’s the size I needed… If so, how the hell did I not know it was there?

I looked at the label.

Bingo.

And then I remembered. I bought this bra when I lived in England – I was close to surgery and very heavy, and it was on sale in one of the lingerie shops. I knew it wouldn’t fit, but seeing as it was the one I usually wore, I bought it thinking I could slim into it once I was back running, as an intermediate step before going back to ‘tiny’ ones.

As I thought back to that snippet of my past, I sat for a minute, just holding the bra. I remember trying that bra on post-surgery and I couldn’t even fasten it. I forgot how desperately miserable and depressed I was at that time in my life. It couldn’t be further from where I am now. And it made me grateful.

bra
Shock Absorber D+  – The only bra for me.

The bra is a bit snug, but it fits. I’m glad I found it. When I go out and take those first steps tomorrow, it will remind me once again that I have made progress, and sometimes it doesn’t need to be on the scales.

 

 

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Exercise, Weight Loss

Mechanics of Weight Loss pt.1

I wanted to share my experience. Over my three attempts to lose weight in the last ten years, I’ve lost over 126lbs – a small person. It’s a shame it wasn’t all at once and I gained in between.

The causes of being overweight are complicated, but the mechanics are simple – how much we eat and how active we are. Both of these are affected psychologically, and weight loss is usually more of a mental battle than anything else.

This week I’ve been thinking about activity. By nature I am not a sedentary person – I don’t like lying in bed, I enjoy being outside and have always loved playing games and sporting activities – I’ll try anything once. Laziness doesn’t appeal to me. Unless I’m reading a book. That doesn’t count, of course.

As a young child I played netball (which I didn’t enjoy all that much) and loved to run, which led to athletics as a teenager. At secondary school I played hockey and volleyball, both of which I was pretty good at. As an adult, I still enjoy running and recently have taken more pleasure in the daily chore of dog-walking.

If you are planning on leading a healthier lifestyle and maintaining a sensible weight for ever, you have to accept that exercise needs to be part of your routine, just like brushing your teeth. This fills some with dread. I know many, many people who are adverse to exercise simply because they hated gym class at school and are not ‘sporty’.

I want to dispel this image of exercise being ‘sporty’ pumped-up, greasy men lifting weights and teeny-tiny women clad in lycra spending every spare minute training and drinking kale smoothies. Exercise is for everyone.

The rules are simple:

1)  Do it regularly to build a habit.

2) Always set yourself new goals to help with motivation and improve fitness.

3) If you hate it, stop. Try something else.

That’s it. No ‘sportiness’ required.  Exercise takes many shapes and forms. You don’t need to spend hours in the gym every day to keep yourself fit. Walking, swimming, running, archery, curling, whatever. The key is finding something that you enjoy, nay, love. It also needs to be realistic. But try. EVERYTHING. Age, free time and ability may dictate what you can and can’t do, but one of the joys of exercise is finding something, sticking with it and seeing progress. You see and feel yourself getting fitter. You feel better. You are motivated to push further. Starting off with a low-impact form of exercise often leads on to other things.

I’ve tried lots of stuff, and it helped me realize what I do and don’t like when it comes to exercise. I tend to lean towards hard, more aggressive forms of exercise (which I will contradict later, but never mind.) as it’s more satisfying for me. I feel kind of cheated if I’m not sweating buckets by the end and I don’t get that warrior/superhero feeling. But everyone is different.

I remember trying a body combat class once. I was relatively fit at the time, and bored with running. I thought, ‘I’ve got this, it will be cool.’ – wrong. I felt like a pudgy show pony being paraded round a ring. I’ve never been so uncomfortable and self-conscious in my life, and I didn’t find it physically satisfying. It’s nuts considering I’m happy to run out in public (at any size or weight), but it was just the way it made me feel.

Oddly, despite being more of a run/spin class kind of exerciser, I’ve found something different. A while ago, it was suggested that I take up yoga or pilates to strengthen my ‘bad’ knee and improve my core strength, which helps with running. I laughed a bit, the mental image of suffocating on my own boobs in some contorted position springing to mind. I did give it a go (I’ll try anything once, remember?) and I love it.

I wasn’t sure what sort of benefits I’d see, but it’s been amazing. I did an online beginners’ 30-day challenge – I didn’t ‘yoga’ every day, but slotted it in when I didn’t feel like running or the running conditions were poor, so it’s taken me 10 weeks to get through it. After two weeks, bending to pick things off the floor was noticeably less effort. Now, my knee and calves are not stiff when I get out of bed in the morning, even after a hard run the previous day. I bent over to brush under the shoe rack the other day and realised when I was down there that I was folded in half. Cool!

It has helped my mental health too. It’s hard work, no kidding, but it’s a different kind of hard. When I’m in Savasana (translates as ‘corpse pose’ – everyone’s favourite part!) at the end of a session, the sense of inner calm and peace is awesome. It actually quiets my brain. I didn’t think that was possible.

Even for a 10+ years runner, I’m still trying new and different forms of exercise and finding benefits. If you try, you can say you don’t like it for sure, and hopefully you find something you love, too. Yoga is definitely here to stay.

Exercise, Mental Wellbeing, Running, Weight Loss

No Offence Intended

Everyone has their ‘me time’ – that precious little part of the day that belongs to you, and you only. It might be the fifteen minutes when you get up in the morning before the rest of the house stirs, and you can sit with a cuppa and leaf through the paper. Maybe it’s the hour on a Sunday when you don’t have to work and you take yourself off for a walk to escape the everyday chores. Most people savour it, for it is precious. Yes, yes yes. It’s vitally important, and now even Weight Watchers agrees.

My time is running. Working from home, I’m constantly surrounded by animals (usually tripping over them), farm-noises, phones ringing and so on. I rarely get peace. Much as I am a sociable person, I prefer my own company and I like quiet. Going out for a run first thing in the morning is a chance to ready myself for the day, wander in my own thoughts and build my psychological strength. My mental health is a squillion times better when I’m running regularly.

What’s that got to do with unintentionally offending someone?

Well, I’m back running on a regular schedule. I’ve signed up for Perth 10k in August, so I’m building up my runs gradually. I’m enjoying it immensely. However, it would seem that this is an open invitation for people to join me. A person (not familiar with my blogosphere) decided to do just that, and ‘invite’ themselves to train with me, ‘push me on a bit’ and sign up for the race too.

Internally, I exploded into a fiery ball of rage. Italians are great at that. How I managed to keep it in I don’t know.  Externally, I smiled in the friendliest fashion I could, and calmly said I’m not much of a sociable runner, I’m not long back running so therefore slow, and that I like to go out super-early around the farm. Said person looked at me like I’d kicked them, proceeded to throw a sulk and be generally weird with me the rest of the time I was in their company.

Know what?

I’m not sorry.

The reason I got so angry (inside) was that it’s MY time. There are advantages to running with others, and I do it once in a while. But it’s MINE. I decide when to do what, not be dictated to by someone else. That person assuming it would be nice to have a jolly and trying to ‘help’ me by doing a bit of running was unwittingly taking away the only time I have for me. I had to put a stop to it, or else I would lose the only thing that I actually allow for myself. Also, thinking that because they run faster than me (for now) means that I could ‘learn’ from them was a touch on the insulting side. I’m fat, I’m not a novice. Christ, I ran 16 miles to my WWs meeting once, just for fun.

I hated being in a running club amongst incessant chattering. If you can talk, you’re not pushing yourself hard enough.  Also, I’ve been running long enough to coach myself. I find very little advantage to running with someone faster than me – I know my limits well, and EVERY run is me pushing as much as I can. I went from being able to run for less than five minutes at a time to 13.1 miles (Just over 2 hrs)  in less than three months. No-one will ‘push me on a bit’ more than I will by myself. Ever.

I feel so much better for letting this all out, so thanks for reading, everybody. I suppose what I’ve learned is that in putting myself first, which needs to be done, someone might get offended. But that’s okay, it’s not intentional.

 

 

 

Exercise, Life Journey, Mental Wellbeing, Running, Targets, Weight Loss

Fat Girl Who Runs

When it comes to healthy body and mind, I used to worry about what people thought of me. I used to slouch my shoulders to hide my ample bosom and avoid photographs with my ‘skinny’ friends. I was ashamed. I used to go out of my way to hide the fact that I’d suffered mental illness – no-one wants to deal with a nutcase. During my months of inactivity pre and post surgery, I felt as if I had to justify to people why I’d got fat, and why I wasn’t sleeping and looked like crap. Much as we live in a more accepting and open world these days, people still judge whether we like it or not.

Friday was a very special day for me. I laced up my running shoes. Running for me is about keeping a mental balance, proving to myself I can work hard and follow my commitments through to the end. It’s not about weight loss, that’s an added bonus. When I’m mentally ‘up’, I find it a lot easier to control my food intake, but also how well I cope with day-to-day life.

I was absolutely scared stiff.

Not only had I not run for over a year, but I was 28lbs heavier than the last time I pounded the pavement. My ‘big’ running gear was tight. Thankfully I’m a bit more level-headed these days, and my sensible, positive voice Cordelia sat me down and had a chat before I set out. She told me to forget what I’d done before. This was going to be a new start. Today was the first step. She patted me on the knee and ushered me out the front door.

I chose a 2.6 mile route simply because it was an easy out-and-back, and I knew 5k was out of the question (lamenting my 16-mile run to my WWs class in times of old). Come on Gem, be sensible. Okay. No expectations. Start with little more than a walk. Really slow. But I’m on a main road. Everyone can see me. So be proud. Show all those people you think are staring at you as they drive by that you’re a warrior, and being heavy or slow isn’t going to stop you. Yes. Cordelia, you’re right. I’m a warrior. No-one knows how far I’m running, no-one who passes by and judges knows my story. Screw them. Just run.

And I did.

I held my head high, puffed and panted all the way, wiped sweat away and talked to myself (out loud) pushing uphill. I stopped to walk when I needed, and I completely ignored everything else. As I came downhill on my last half mile, I felt strong, confident. I sped up a little. Three men in a white transit van approached, and they were looking at me. Uh-oh. Talk about a buzzkill. I looked straight back at them, waiting for the sneers and perceived taunting going on inside that van. Guess what? It never came. They beeped the horn and gave me a thumbs-up as they zoomed past. I sprinted the last tiny bit home.

If I had looked away instead of at them, I’d have taken the horn-beeping as a cruel, judgmental gesture. That might have been enough to kill my confidence completely. I suppose the point I’m making is that what we think others see is often what we torture ourselves with, and if we lack confidence in what we do, our own judgement can swing wildly from one extreme to the other. Don’t worry about what others think. It’s too delicate a balance to be upset.

So what if I’m big and I go running? So what if I’m proud of my 12-minute miles? One day I’ll be back at 8-minute miles, 16 mile runs, chasing a long-forgotten and insane 5k PB. The people I think are judging will be long-gone by then, and I’ll only have the Fat Girl Who Runs to thank.

 

Exercise, Life Journey, Running, Stop Smoking, Targets

No Smoke (ing) Without Fire

The first full week of ‘behaving’ into the New Year has been interesting. I’ve got myself very organised, and got straight all the things in my head that need to be done. The next date that sticks in my head is my 30th Birthday in March, the day after my Half Marathon, so I can review my overall goals again then, and I’ve felt for a while that this will be a major turning point in my life. I weighed in on Saturday, finding that I was just 2.5 lbs heavier over the Festive period than at my pre-Christmas weigh-in. Not bad considering I ran twice over the two and a half weeks, and ate and drank like it was going out of fashion.

Patchy Patches

My weight hasn’t really been my main concern this week, because I’ve been overridden by the urge to SMOKE. It has consumed me, and Walter is poking me in the side of the head with his dirty, chubby finger whilst he puffs away on a Lambert & Butler. James and I decided to quit together, which is much easier I have to say, but it has meant that we have both been like bears with sore backsides since New Year’s Day.

I joined a smoking cessation programme at my local pharmacy to try and make things a bit easier on myself, and I need to check in once a week for the next 12 weeks. I was offered NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy) which is supposed to help take the edge off the cravings and eventually wean you off nicotine completely. I was offered loads of different options, and I specifically wanted to get away from the smoking motion of hand-to-mouth so refused an inhalator or electronic cigarette, and patches seemed to be the most sensible (and least disgusting) option.

It’s not going so good. Granted, I haven’t touched a cigarette in 5 days, but there are a few practicality flaws in the Masterplan. Firstly, you only get a weeks’ worth at a time, and you only wear one a day during your waking hours. Great, but no matter where you stick them on your body, the first hint of moisture and they peel right off and don’t stick again. So if you are showering/running/exercising you need to wait ’til you are done before you slap your patch on, or face the rest of the day nicotine-less. This has resulted in a few very tense mornings in our house, with cravings gnawing away at me sometimes until well after lunch-time.

The second issue is strength. I’ve smoked 10-15 cigarettes a day for nearly 15 years (give or take a few previous attempts at quitting) and the patches decrease in strength in three steps. Lovely stop-smoking lady gave me the mammoth strongest ones but said I may only need them for a week or two (instead of the full three) before switching down to middle-strength. If I wear one of these patches (which is roughly the size of a fold-out road map of London, by the way) I think I’m going to vomit within 2 hours, and end up taking them off.

Thankfully I’ve found a remedy for both problems that’s sorted me until my visit on Wednesday – I’ve done a little DIY job on them – Cut them in half. This gives me less nicotine, and also gives me 2 patches so I can wear one pre- and post-run 🙂

I’m going to bring these points up with my Cessation Leader and hopefully next week will be better…….

Weird things are starting to happen – I can smell my house. James and I have never smoked in the house, but I can smell stale smoke on the coats hanging in the hallway, and the laundry basket smells of it too (Febreze!) I can also smell ‘doggy smell’ in the porch – where the collies are left to dry off after a hard day at work.

We’ve binned all the lighters, so there really are no means of smoking at all. This is also weird – it’s unusual to get through a load of washing without seeing one swishing about in the washing machine! I’m not sure if my lungs are starting to work better yet, but my chest doesn’t feel as heavy when I wake in the morning, and I can taste the awful morning-breath. At least as a smoker you know you smell like a week-old ashtray when you wake up, but now I cannot identify the grotesque smells emanating from my mouth. It gives me an overwhelming compulsion to brush my teeth.  Suppose that’s a good thing.

Something that interests me is the ‘Stop Smoking Timeline’ and added benefits – lung function and circulation are important to me for running, and it’s nice to see how things are coming along. Nicotine levels obviously don’t apply to me for the next 11 weeks, but all the other nasties are leaving my body rapidly, and I like being able to compare how I’m feeling to the chart.

Change is as Good as a Rest…..

In other news, my WW leader decided to give up my meeting. I did not like this. I do not like change with stuff like that. I was annoyed, (purely for selfish reasons!) but this was partly due to the difficulty of trying to get to a meeting in between work – the two meetings are 20 miles each in different directions from home, and I was starting to get frustrated. I NEED the discipline of knowing that someone is going to be weighing me in, and also now I’d be jumping between 2 leaders.

I received a text message from a strange number on the 2nd of January. It was my new leader telling me that the meeting venue had changed, and there would be an additional meeting on a SATURDAY! HAPPY DAYS! Another problem solved! 1 meeting I can attend regularly, 1 leader (who is lovely and also a keen runner) no more hassle. Voila!

Race Day looms ever closer, and training is increasing. I’ve clocked up 26 miles running and at least 5 walking this week, so I’m hoping this will give my weight-loss a much-needed boost over the next few weeks. My sponsor forms are ready to go, and I’m now explaining to people what I’m running for. It’s a non-profit organization in the village that offers support to the frail and elderly in the local community, helping them to stay independent for as long as possible. Ballantrae has welcomed me wonderfully over the last year, so it’s nice to put something back.

I’ve yet to pick up my guitar, but other resolutions are off to a good start, so here’s hoping for another week of not-smoking, more running, a loss at the scales on Saturday, and maybe even a little strum…..

 

 

Life Journey, Targets

Walter the Gatecrasher

Still triumphant after my 5k time, I’ve been jollying along this week embracing the Christmas Spirit. I’m a self-confessed Christmas junkie, and the only thing ruining it for me this year is the lack of crispy, cold weather. I can’t attend weigh-in before Christmas now due to work, so it’s kind of screwed up my thought processes a bit, and makes me worry about all my merry-making. I’ve decided to weigh-in at home, and keep myself as sensible as possible.

An Aside

Off my original train of thought here but still on the subject of sensible,  I was reading a popular running magazine last night and I often like to read about all the new scientific breakthrough reports. (I get really excited when they use proper sciency words, just because I know what they’re talking about!) I was HORRIFIED to read a segment on self-weighing. A woman who is a lead author for a study published in ‘Obesity’ (A leading scientific journal on fighting weight problems) suggests that ‘DAILY self-weighing can produce clinically significant weight loss’

This is typical of the scientific community and also of the media. And it makes me VERY annoyed. Scientific studies are very stark, controlled and black and white. They have to be in order to assess the effect of one factor, so they can say for certain one way or another, or prove or disprove. All other variables have to be controlled in order to achieve this. But in real life, when is this actually true? Never. There are always variables, and when it comes to losing weight, we can rarely control all of them. I think our obesity specialist needs to team up with a psychologist. Anyone who has ever had concerns about their weight knows that stepping on the scales every day is unhealthy, and often counter-productive.

I realise that this particular publication is not aimed at people who have food issues/weight problems, but, many readers of running magazines are running to lose weight, this statement was printed in the ‘fat-burning’ section of the magazine, and comes from a journal focusing on obesity. It’s exactly this type of sly placement that encourages obsessive behaviours (and maybe even more so in people who are a healthy weight) and is NOT the key to successful weight loss. There is no information on how, where or why this experiment was conducted, just this sensational claim  marked as ‘Instant Wisdom’. Do not implement everything you read.

 

I Digress….

With the Christmas Spirit comes, um, spirits. This weekend we had our Festive Party, inviting all our friends down to stay.Lots of tree-decorating, mulled wine, crackers and TONS of food (and drink!). I love cooking for people, and spent the whole of Saturday afternoon in my kitchen making lots of lovely tasty things. My halo was shining (even if it was propped up by an empty Jack Daniels’ bottle) as I made WWs recipe lasagne and a chicken arribiata pasta. Perfect.

Unfortunately, I am not a person of self control when it comes to parties, although I kept the main-course foodie-eating to a minimum, Walter basically sat on my shoulder all weekend shoving mince pies and beer down my throat. I tried to discreetly slide him onto my guests’ shoulders. Fail. Did I have fun? Yes. Would I do it again? Hell Yeah! BUT……. I have that usual nagging feeling on this here Monday morning. I could have been good. I feel guilty. I’m glad to be back to normal. I’ve put on loads of weight over the weekend. Think how much lighter I would be if I had more self control.

I was thinking about this in the car the other day. I think about my life over the last six months. If I omitted every social occasion and didn’t drink, what would I be left with? Working odd hours, running and feeding animals. That’s pretty much it. The only time I wouldn’t be on a farm is if I was out running or at the supermarket. To me, that’s pretty sad. When you pare it down like that, it’s pretty obvious that I NEED stuff like that in my life to keep a sense of balance. So what if it takes me two years to get to target? Life is for living, and the older I get the more I realise that life slips away so quickly. A friend of mine that lost weight and kept it off said to me once: “Enjoy the journey, the mini-goals and the triumphs, because maintaining your weight is not nearly as much fun as the changes you go through on the way”

I think she’s right. Much as I still enjoy having my party hat on, I think I’ll swap it back for my running shoes this afternoon – after all, my 10k PB isn’t going to beat itself, is it? 😉

Exercise, Life Journey, Mental Wellbeing, Running

Fight.

Today I was asked a question about why I don’t talk more about the intricacies of WW in my blog. I thought it was an odd question, but valid all the same. The topics I cover here are based on the thoughts and feelings I go through every week as I make my way into creating healthy habits for a lifetime – sometimes this results in a ‘dear diary’ sort-of effort,  other times it throws up more interesting material. I’m not any sort of WWs ambassador and am far from perfect when it comes to following the plan, but ultimately I still hope to help people along their journey, even if it’s just distracting them from snacking for a few minutes to read my blog. Plus, that’s what you pay your Monthly Pass for.

Keeping on Track

In my last post I talked a little about the day-to-day grind of keeping up motivation and how it can affect us emotionally. Today I had to heed my own words, and thought about my situation (and all of YOU, too). I’ve not had the best week, my eating master plan for work backfired (Hank Marvin at 9 in the morning in the middle of nowhere with nothing to eat), I ended up with surprise guests over the weekend and running opportunities have been limited. I could have easily just written this week off, not gone for a run this morning and called it a do.

I had a pretty good chat with myself – I knew I wanted to go for a run, I knew it would do me good, but I was cosy on the sofa in my slippers with the dogs…  Cordelia popped in as the voice of reason: ‘If you run today/tomorrow and REALLY keep your points in check, you are making less work for yourself next week – even if you gain, it will be less than if you don’t do anything…..’. Shes right. Again. (No wonder Walter doesn’t like her)

It made me think about my actions over the last nine months and what’s changed. My weight loss hasn’t been as rapid as I would have liked, but I’m a dress size smaller, I’m a different shape, I’m a lot fitter and I eat less than I used to. That’s progress. The only reason this has happened is because I’ve kept at it. I could have easily given up over the last six weeks, and although they’ve been crazy, I still had it in my head that I’d be going back to class. There was no questioning or reasoning in my head, that’s just the way it was, and I’m glad.

You only lose the fight if you stop fighting. So fight. And keep fighting. You WILL win eventually if you keep fighting. So fight.

I ran like hell this morning. (Well, as like hell as a 3-stone overweight 5ft 3 Italian with short legs can) I ran my home route with it’s downhill/uphill carry on, and push, push pushed all the way. Normally I try and hold back a bit on the way out so I don’t run out of steam in the last half-mile – today I ran like that little boy in the playground. At one point I was running an eight-and-a-half minute mile (waaay to fast for hills!) and guess what? I regretted it on the way back up.

Fighting Like Hell

My face was hot. The sweat was dripping into my eyes, stinging, and my legs were screaming at me. My high-vis was annoying me. So was my armband. I wanted to take all my clothes off because I was too warm. I wanted to slap the Runkeeper lady and tell her to shut up. I wanted to stop and walk so, so, so bad. At that point, Cordelia started with me again, and I really wasn’t in the mood. Am I going to be sick? No. Am I going to pass out? No. Am I dead? No. Well keep running then.

I repeated this to myself out loud all the way back in the last mile (I’m REALLY glad there’s not many people about where I live!) in amongst things like ‘Dig in!’, ‘Come on, Gem, get a grip!’ and ‘ PUSH!, Nearly there!’

I made it home and literally had everything off before I was inside the porch door. It was then, when I stopped that I realised I’m actually full of willpower, determination and sheer stubbornness. I just need to harness it a bit better. After looking at my Runkeeper, I saw why being determined is good, and why it’s important to keep on fighting. I ran my 5k hill route in twenty-eight minutes and forty-seven seconds. My route best is 30:41. My season best (on a much flatter course) is 30:01.

Holy Moses.

See What Determination Can Do?

Can you imagine how differently my day could have turned out if I didn’t go that run this morning? I’d probably still be languishing in my jammies pinning winter scenes to my Christmas Pinterest board, eating toast and drinking tea.  It’s completely set me up for the rest of the day, and I know my eating and tracking will be spot on. It’s also spurred me on to carry through to weigh-in tomorrow night, and even though there is a possibility that I might put on, I know it won’t be as much as it could have been.

So please,  if you are having an off day/week, do something positive RIGHT NOW and things will change. Take two things from this post today:

  1. ‘I’m not puking, I’m not fainting, I’m not dead, so I’m running’
  2. You’ll only lose the fight if you stop fighting……