Wow, has it really been a year? Technically my anniversary was yesterday, but I had a busy night and didn’t have time when I got home to write about this. If you’re still not sure what I’m talking about, a year ago yesterday I wrote my first blog post. So much has happened in the last year, but at the same time it went by too quickly.
The first six months I was on a roll! Going to the gym three times a week, running twice a week, eating a balanced diet. Then the inevitable happened, I went on vacation! I wasn’t able to go to the gym for a few weeks and I wasn’t able to consistently go running. But probably worst of all, I started treating myself. I had worked so hard the last few months, I deserve to splurge a little bit! Although that technically is true, it’s dangerous to start doing that without a plan. One thing I, as well as most Americans, struggle with is moderation! You can lose weight and eat ice cream. You just can’t eat a pint of ice cream in one night. Or eat an ice cream sandwich every other night for weeks on end and expect to maintain the same results you were making.
Before I realized how long it had been, I was going on three months of irregular exercise and junk food eating. My reasoning: I’m still on “vacation”, I’ll go back to my routine next week. Then it became a consistent next week promise for another month. Around this time I started to truly realize I was in denial and couldn’t admit to what had happened. I had not just fallen off the wagon but I was rolling down the hill towards the creek, where I started in the first place. I held on to this hope that I could just pick up where I left off, now four months prior. But if you talk to anyone who exercises on a regular basis, even just one week of not exercising will allow your body to lose it’s strength and endurance. You won’t lose it completely in a week, you just might feel more sore than usual. But after five months of this promising to start next week, who was I kidding?
So where am I today? I could easily say I’m back at square one. I’m back to where I was a year ago and act as if this last year didn’t even happen. But fortunately for me it did happen. I know now that I can do this. It may start slow and fluctuate along the way but it is possible to consistently lose weight months on end. In all reality I’m not at square one. I do weigh less than I did a year ago, but more importantly I have a year’s worth of knowledge to build off of. And there’s no taking that back!
Before I get into my current plan, I apologize for taking so long, but let me tell you about the Thanksgiving Turkey Trot 10K. My goal for that 10K was to finish and finish within the two hour time limit. I went for a few trial runs in the weeks leading up to the 10K, but I knew that I was no where close to what I had imagined nine months ago when I first signed up. I wanted to finish without killing myself along the way. The day arrived and it was time to face the music. I am so entirely grateful that my sister was there with me every step of the way. We started with a steady walking pace. One thing I’ve learned is don’t go full throttle right away. You have to warm up and build up to that pace you want. The first two miles we walked, and I was feeling good, so we started jogging some intervals. We used landmarks and feeling to determine each interval. Although that’s a good visual incentive, I think I do better with timed intervals, at least at this point. The next two miles I really used up my gas. By mile four I didn’t have anything left. I just wanted to finish! We walked on and my fear of not finishing in time was growing. Then we reached mile marker six and I knew it was almost over. When we reached the end I saw the clock read 1:50 something, all I cared was it’s not over 2:00.
That day I was not prepared. I actually thought I was in over my head. In some ways I felt like I had wasted all that time the last few months. But really it was humbling experience. It gave me a good perspective of why routine is important and why training is most of the work. This last Sunday two of my friends ran the full California International Marathon here in the Sacramento area. They had been dreaming about this for twelve months and seriously training for at least nine months. That’s nine months of early 5 am runs during the week and 6 am long runs on Sundays. They didn’t just wake up last Sunday and say, “I think I’m going to run a marathon today.” There was planning and preparation and consistency that brought them to that day.
With that said I have already signed up for the Shamrock’N Half Marathon in March. I don’t want to predict where I will be, but I have mapped out a schedule for myself and I know if I want to be serious about this, I must stick to this schedule! That’s what I’m starting with. I’m running outside when I can, or on rainy days like today, I will use my treadmill. That’s why I have it, right? I will make it back to the gym. I’m waiting until after the New Year for that one, but I have exercise videos I can do in the meantime.
That’s my plan. Creating that groove again where I feel better after I exercise than before I exercise. It’s not going to be easy, but it is possible, I’ve done it before! As I’m finishing this post, I can’t help but think about the following text. At face value it sounds very much like what I’m going through right now, but if you put it into context, there is a larger picture and spiritual awakening that it tries to tell us.
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
~ Romans 5:1-5 (NLT)