Friday, July 23, 2010

Learning on the Trail

On Monday I went on a trail run. I think I mentioned this before, but we have been going with some people from Mike’s triathlon group. We go and everyone runs in 30 minutes and out 30 minutes on the trail. That way we can all run at our own pace and should get back out around the same time. The first time we did it, I went probably about 1.2 in and 1.2 out. When I started I got a foot cramp, so I had to walk about 10-15 minutes, and then I turned around too early, because I was concerned about being too slow. This Monday, I forgot my phone, so I didn’t have a timer with me. And seeing as I’m slower than tar, I jog by myself. Anyway, I just decided to go until I saw the first girl coming back, and then I would turn around. Because I didn’t have my phone, I don’t know the exact distance I made it, but from the feel of it, and Mike’s phone, I think I went in 2 and out 2. Woo Hoo!! I doubled my distance in one week! Have to be honest, I feel really great about that. The other thing was that I pretty much jogged the entire time! I walked maybe 5 times, and each time only for about 50 to 100 feet. So it was a really great run and I felt awesome afterward!

What was really so great is that last weekend I had gotten into some emotional eating. I was trying to keep it under wraps but I could feel my eating was slipping a little bit. I was frustrated, and wanted to just eat. So Monday we had planned to go running, and I was trying to get out of it. But Mike held strong that he was going (he didn’t push me at all, which I really appreciated, because at that point I think I would have resisted and pushed back), so I decided to go with him. I’m so glad I did! Thanks Mike! It was a good experience, I felt so amazing, it was beautiful and gave me some alone time to think. Honestly, that is one of my favorite things about running, the alone time. I realized I wasn’t willing to give up all I’ve worked for over these things I was letting make me emotional. So once again, I turned my attitude around and changed my thinking.

The trail we go on is called the Pipeline, and it is pretty much this flat winding path. There is the perfect amount of little up and down hills, but it’s mostly even the whole way. There is one part that is a straight up hill and the straight back down, that’s the hardest part. As I was coming back, I knew I wanted to run the entire way back so I had to run up the hill. As I was going up, there were some things I really focused on, that as I did, I also started applying them to my life and eating and realized you can learn a lot from jogging/running. This is what I learned or was reminded of:

1. Focus on your breathing.
2. Believe that you can do it.
3. Don’t stop.
4. Focus on the placement of your feet.
5. Believe that you can do it.
6. Don’t stop.
7. Slow down.
8. Believe that you can do it.
9. Don’t stop.
10. Acknowledge that, yes, it’s hard, but yes, you can do it!
11. Believe that you can do it.
12. Don’t stop.
13. Realize that the more difficult it is the more conditioned your body, mind, and heart become.
14. Believe that you can do it!
15. Don’t Stop!!

So as I thought of each of these things, I also thought of how they apply to my weight loss journey. If you’ve been following my journey, then you know that back from about February – April I really struggled. I didn’t lose a lot of weight during that time. I allowed myself to get stuck, did some emotional eating, stopped tracking, etc. But you know even during that time, I was still trying in other ways. I may have been going slowly, but the more important part, is that I was still going. And honestly, I think that I learned more about myself during that time, than I would have, if I had breezed past it and just lost a ton each week. That’s really great for people who can do that, but I’m not one of those people. And I’m okay with that. I feel like for me, a bigger part of this journey is finding out who I am, and 2nd is losing weight. I feel like if I put it in that order, when I get to my goal weight, it will stick, because I didn’t just make it about counting calories and exercise.

So the first thing I learned, focus on your breathing. I was thinking about those times when I get really emotional, the FIRST thing I think about, is food. I want to eat something, something fattening, and something that is purposely horrible for me! But just as it helped on that big hill, if I will just slow down and breath for 1 minute before making any rash decisions, it will clear my head, help me to see clearly, and realize, I don’t need that food.

As I was running on a trail and going up a straight hill with a huge drop off next to me, I obviously didn’t want to trip. So watching the placement of my feet was very important! I equate this with practicing good health skills. Things like, getting all my water in, eating all my fruits and veggies, choosing the appropriate portion size, measuring my food, refraining from too many sweets (notice I didn’t say, cut out all sweets – this is a lifestyle change, and I will have sweets in my life!), tracking every bite – lick – and taste, etc. When I start to trip up on my journey, I come back to carefully doing each of these things. I slow down, and take very deliberate steps. These lives we live are so busy and so fast paced that sometimes we get whisked away in it all and we start to let things slip. But if we will just slow down a bit, and watch our footing, we will find that we’ll get farther in the long run then if we had just rushed about it.

I’m not going to lie, going up that hill, it was HARD. But… I knew that it was something I could do, so I just did it. So let’s be honest, this losing weight thing, it’s HARD! It’s frustrating, and stupid, and… hard. But… can I do it? YES! Can you do it? YES! We can do this, we just have to stick to our guns, and when it gets difficult, dig within ourselves and find our inner strength!

As mentioned above, I’m grateful for the struggles I’ve had. I’ve known people, who just lose a ton of weight really fast, and it wasn’t hard for them at all, and it didn’t stick. I’m not saying that is the case for all those that it comes off fast for. I’m just saying that for me, it’s in the struggles that I learn! It’s during those times; I learn just what I’m really made of. I learn that I can change the course of my life. Every time I over eat, and choose not to let it ruin my day or week, I’m changing the course of my life. That to me is so exciting, that I have the power to do that! And I know where that power comes from, and I say thank you every day for it! So, that’s why I realize that the more difficult my journey is, the more I learn. Just as on the trail, when it’s hard, it works my body more. Does that mean that I want to focus on when it’s hard or difficult, or that I want others to? No, not really. I would prefer to acknowledge those times for what they are, learn from them, then move forward and not worry about them anymore. What happened last Feb-April, is done and gone. I learned and now I’m here in a different place, better for it all.

Last of all, and as you can probably tell, the two most important lessons I’ve learned, don’t stop, and believe that you can do it. When the going gets tough, and I really just am ready to throw in the towel, I just look down at my wrist. And there is that beautiful bracelet that reminds me to Believe In Myself. And I start thinking of all the reasons I’m doing this in the first place. And how much better I feel! And how much happier I am because I’m succeeding at something I said I was going to do! And then… I may go slow, and I may have to carefully watch my footing, but sure enough, I don’t quit because deep down, I know that I can do this.

I hope this post doesn’t come across as cocky, that’s not my intention, hopefully it’s just confident. But thinking of all these things really helped me as I got to the top of that hill and helped me to straighten out this week so that it has been a great week! Hopefully something I’ve said will help others too. I’ve done as best I could with my eating, even with a birthday in the mix, I’ve gotten in some exercise, I’ve done my best. And in the end, that’s the important thing to do, right? Our best!

Have a fun weekend, and remember to do your best!



Lesia said...

Nope not cocky, I love all the things you are learning about yourself while doing this journey. Thanks for the

:Deliciously Healthy said...

That is so great! You're right- believing in yourself is SO important!!

Joy said...

I love this post!!!! You're doing great!! I love your attitude!!! I believe in you!! Hugs!

Tara Kieninger said...

Reading this post at just the right time...more inspired to kick it up a notch on my journey to weight loss and getting fit. The exercise is coming along OK but my diet has been lax. I need to just breathe and think about it. Thanks so much!

Debbie said...

Found your blog will surfing the net. Great jOb!! Love it!


Heidi said...

you are doing so good! I think of you all the time, and love my blog...thanks (