Yesterday, I completed my first marathon. Ever. It was the hardest thing I’ve done since childbirth. It challenged not only my physical being but my mental and emotional will as well. And, boy, was it a challenge! It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. And I’m proud to say that I did it.
I joined Weight Watchers (for the third time, mind you) about 2 weeks ago after constantly struggling with losing some of this last baby weight…that’s now two years old! I’ve succeeded before on the program, so I wanted to get back to meetings and have the in-your-face support that I’ve gotten before. This is where the “It’s choice – not chance – that determines your destiny” comes from. It’s so true! And this program is all about choices…perfect place for me to learn this. This morning when I went to my weigh-in, I was excited to see another lb gone. Not as much as I had hoped for considering my marathon feat yesterday, but excited nonetheless. However, the meeting’s leader has not been too impressed with my performance over the past few weeks. He feels that I should have had a big week the first week (traditionally this is the case with new/returning members). I’m not denying that I “should have”…if I had followed the plan appropriately. After I told him this morning that I lost a pound and that I ran a marathon yesterday, guess what his response was. “If I had a run a marathon, I would, well, I’d be dead, but I would have lost more than one pound.” This really struck a nerve with me. I get that not everyone understands running or even running for such long distances as a marathon or many of the endurance events out there. But, seriously? You’re judging me NEGATIVELY based on a weight loss after such a hard effort? Do you know what 5 HOURS of straight running (and a little bit of walking) will do to your body? I was HUNGRY! I had a light breakfast, no lunch, and nothing but energy gels and gummies all day. I wanted to puke when I crossed that finish line. What a buzz-kill this guy was.
I have been struggling with balance in my life lately. I’ve been trying to figure out my goals, my purpose, and what I wanted to be doing at this point in my life. I realized today that I can’t do it all at the same time. My marathon training was intense and stressful for me over the past two months. I put my body through a lot of crap lately, but my focus was on finishing that marathon. That was the goal that needed to be in my head for the past few months (year, if I’m really honest). So weight loss was completely secondary in my list of personal goals. I haven’t been honest with myself, and it’s caused a lot more anxiety and tension in my life than there needs to be. When you’re putting your body through the rigors of training for an endurance event, it’s hard to know how much to put back into your body as fuel – for a newbie like myself at least. I’m doing this on my own. There’s no one looking at what I’m eating and telling me that I’m fueling too much or too little. It’s totally guesswork at this point.
So now that the marathon is checked off my list of “To-Dos” before my 30th birthday, it’s onto the next thing. And now my Weight Watchers leader can get on my case. Because now it’s time to focus on losing the weight for an even faster year next year. I have had some amazing accomplishments this past year as my good friend Stacey pointed out to me yesterday. I’ve PR’d in my 5k, 10k and Half-Marathon distances. I completed an Adventure Race, and I’ve become a triathlete. I’ve taken on the job of Mom 24/7 (which is an extremely difficult job and an incredibly tough change to make!). And I’ve completed a MARATHON, darnit!
This has all taught me to take one thing at a time. I will deal with it as it comes and as I’m ready to deal with it. Goals need your undivided attention. You start thinking about all the other things you want to accomplish in life, and suddenly, it all starts breaking down in front of you. You start breaking down and giving up. One day at a time; one step at a time. I’m ready…bring it on.