"You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try."
I couldn't tell you the exact date. I did that on purpose - failed to note my "start" date. Because - seemingly hundreds of times before - I had done just that. Drew a line in the sand on "x" date, sure that things were going to change. And they would. For a day. A week. A month.
Until old habits returned. A few pounds lost, quickly replaced, often with more.
And it just got too damn depressing. Looking at a "before" picture, only to realize that the "after" was worse. Looking at the "before" stats, realizing that numbers were not moving in the right direction. Before I was fat. Now I was fat and filled with shame and embarrassment. A failure. Again. And again.
So, it was approximately one year ago that I mustered up my courage and made a commitment to myself. I was going to stop driving myself into the ground. Stop putting myself last. Stop making excuses and start making a difference. Give my kids a mom they could play with and be proud of.
It started very small. Little changes. Smaller portions. More veggies. No eating after dinner.
Fortunately, I started seeing some progress right away. Not huge figures. A couple pounds here. Another couple more the following week... but dropping. It took another couple of weeks for me to decide that I needed to make a regular commitment to exercise. Again, I don't know the date. Sometime in late-Feb or early-March I went for my first run. In the cold, in the dark. Only could make it a minute or two at a time. But would drag my butt around the darkened neighborhood for 20-30 min, 3 times a week. Then started doing the Couch-to-5k Program and set my sights on a 5k race in early May.
I ran that 5k in about 36 minutes (?). I thought I was going to die and wanted to puke at the end. Seriously.
And yet, I was so stinking proud. I didn't care if it was slow or ponderous or terribly awkward looking (b/c it was all of those things). I did it. It was evidence of a change I had NOT given up on.
This past Sunday, I ran 10 miles at around 10:45 min/mile pace. Not speedy by most standards, but a huge improvement in a year. I ran the entire 10 miles without walking and I didn't need to puke at the end. :) I'm training for the Riverbank Run 25k in May. A year ago, I would have said 15.5 miles is impossible.
But it's not.
Today I hopped on the scale. And the numbers finally showed what I've been anxiously waiting to see the past couple of weeks. In the last year(ish), I have lost 50 lbs. Fifty. That number just astounds me, and yet it doesn't. That's less than one pound per week, on average. If I had thought about losing less than one pound a week a year ago, I probably would have quit in frustration. It's so hard for so little reward! What lies we feed ourselves.
I am here to say that 50 lbs in a year is rewarding. Dropping 3-4 sizes is rewarding. You know what's even better? That feeling after completing a 10 mile run. That feeling of racing and wrestling with my kids. That feeling when they tell me I should be famous because I can run 10 miles (yes, they are easy to please, but still). Knowing that they are all proud of me and supporting me, not matter what my size.
I told Mark this morning that I'd hit this milestone. He hugged me and told me he was proud of me. But he seemed a little surprised. Maybe that's because he has always thought I was beautiful. I didn't need to lose this weight for him and that has made all the difference as well. But I needed to do it for me. I am starting to see what he sees...