Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Beginning

Just because I know no one likes a post without pictures.  So here is a picture of me holding a 6 month old baby kangaroo at Roo's-N'More a few weeks ago.  Kind of one of the most amazing things ever!

Maybe eventually I'll catch up on Christmas and birthdays and other events and holidays that have passed since Christmas.  Maybe I won't.  In the mean time, I'm posting about this with no real promise to catch up on the past.

Four years ago my mom decided to start running.  Just out of the blue.  She put her mind to it and accomplished some pretty big things!  She ended up running a half marathon and also participating in the Wasatch Back Ragnar Relay.  It was inspiring.  And then she stopped running.  I don't really know why, but she did.

So a couple of months ago she started asking the family if any of us maybe wanted to run the half with her this year.  I laughed.  Nope.  I just didn't.  No desire.  None.  I'm not a runner.  And on top of not being a runner, I'm fat.  No thank you.  P.S.  What on earth made you think you could convince me???

And then I thought about it for a couple of weeks.  The only reason I didn't want to commit to this race with her was that I was scared.  I was scared I couldn't do it.  Scared if I tried, I would fail.  Scared I would commit and then back out and disappoint someone else or myself.  SCARED.  That was my reason.

Something sparked.  I refuse to live a life of fear.  REFUSE.  So I looked into something less overwhelming.  No races.  No sprinting.  Just the Couch to 5k training that is so popular.  I knew it wasn't going to be easy, but it was a challenge I could handle.  So I started.  And it was HARD!!!  My lungs and legs were angry with me.  Did you know that running also uses muscles in your arms and back and other parts of your body that are not your legs?  I didn't.  Until I woke up sore after day 1.

Day 2 was worse.  I was still tired and sore from day 1.  It was not easy.  But I did it.  Barely.  And then something magical happened.  I handled day 3!  It wasn't a nightmare!  I mean, I didn't love it, but I did it without feeling like I was about to die!  I saw improvement!  I could run (jog...slowly) for one minute increments!

Week two was tough again, but I pushed through.  And then I made it through week 3.  I was really excited to be making improvement!  But I didn't feel great.  I had decided to start eating better and I was losing weight.  But after my run and by about 2 or 3 in the afternoon, I was done.  I had zero energy.  I didn't want to cook or do homework with the kids or bathe them or do bedtime.  I just wanted to sit and do nothing.  My body just wasn't working right.

At first I was a little confused.  I'm exercising and eating healthy and losing weight!  Isn't this the part where everyone says they have more energy?  What's going on?  And then I started wondering about my nutrition.  Sure I was eating low calorie.  And mostly fruits and vegetables and whole grains.  But I don't know how much protein I need or how many carbs or where those things are coming from.

So I took a leap of faith and enlisted some help from a neighbor friend.  Lindsey did a super thorough assessment and then came up with a personalized nutrition plan for me.  It's a plan based on my weight and age and height and goals and likes and dislikes.  And when I saw it, I wasn't sure what to think.  But I decided to give it the first two weeks and see what happened.

For two weeks, I ate exactly what Lindsey told me, when she told me, how much she told me.  She also gave me a personalized workout plan, worked around my Couch to 5k training.  I did every workout, just like she told me.  (With the exception of yoga pushups, which I am trying so hard to be able to do!)  I emailed Lindsey often with questions, concerns, and panic attacks.  

At one point she made me put my scale away until it was check in day.  Watching the scale was driving me insane.  After putting it away, pulling it out the next morning, then putting it away again, I had myself convinced that I was gaining weight and getting fatter.  I was eating SO MUCH FOOD!  I was so full all the time.  And I didn't look any different in the mirror.  My clothes didn't even feel different.

Finally, check in day came.  After two full weeks of sticking with my running and lifting workouts and following Lindsey's nutrition plan 100%, it was time for the moment of truth.  And the truth was great!  I had lost 5 pounds plus 4 inches all over!!  In just two weeks!

Numbers aren't the progress being made over here!  All of the sudden, my metabolism has kicked into high gear.  "All that food" that I was complaining about before, is now just enough.  I find my body getting hungry just before meal time.  And I'm getting stronger.  So much stronger!  Okay, compared to others, maybe it's not much stronger.  But it's a big improvement for me!  My muscles are less sore after workouts (although still sore enough to know that I pushed myself).

And here's my favorite sign of progress:  On Saturday, my running (again, jogging...slowly) workout was to run for 20 straight minutes.  I woke up sick to my stomach.  Early that week I could barely hack 5 minute increments.  Then I almost died over 8 minute increments.  And now I was supposed to do 20?!  HA!!!  I procrastinated all morning.  Then I finally started.  I turned on some music and started around a trail in our neighborhood.  Once my body warmed up and my lungs got into their rhythm, I was fine.  And by the time I was finished, I was better than fine!  I was ECSTATIC!  I cried.  Not got teary.  I cried.  Tears streaming down my face, cried.  It was hard.  But I did it!  I called and texted everyone who I could think of that would appreciate how hard it was.  I even posted about it on instagram, because I'm a nut.  But I was just so excited to have accomplished something that had seemed SO impossible just a few weeks ago!

So yesterday, I got up the nerve and officially signed up for my first 5k.  It's the most casual, laid back 5k in existence, so there's no pressure to do anything extraordinary.  My goals are to run without stopping, finish the race, and to ENJOY the experience.  That's all.  No time goals.  Just that.  And instead of being scared, I'm actually EXCITED!

And there you have it.  The beginning.  The beginning of me quitting dieting.  The beginning of me getting healthy and fit.  The beginning of me setting goals and accomplishing whatever I set my mind to, even if it seems impossible.  Because right now, running that half marathon my mom ran a few years ago feels pretty impossible.  But I have a feeling that in a few months (or maybe a little more than a few...) it's not going to seem so impossible.  :)


Hilary said...

Keep going! You sound like you are on the right track. So glad to see you blogging again :)

Bugs said...

That is awesomely amazing! I committed to my friend to run Ragnar with her next year. Um... I just had baby number six and I have a lot of extra pounds to run with. What was I thinking? I think we should keep in touch while we work on our goals!