Monday, March 21, 2011

Day 976: I'm one of 'those' girls now =)

Yesterday I officially crossed something off of my bucket list. . .I completed a half marathon. Yes, my __ lb body carried myself 13.1 miles through the streets of Atlanta.

It wasn't fast, it wasn't pretty and I'm sure at certain points during the half marathon someone would have looked at me and wondered if I was even moving =) But I DID IT!

Now this post will have very little to do with paleo. . .and more to do with how my mentality has changed as a result of CF and paleo, but it took a REALLY long time. . .so I'm hoping to share this in order to speed up the process for anyone else.

One thing you should know about me is that I'm extremely self-aware, which often leads to being self-critical. I know the things I'm good at and the things I'm not good at. I am surrounded by things that I am decent at in most parts of my day - school, writing and writing =) BUT when it comes to all things physical I know I'm not good at those things. I'm not an athlete, never have been and for the majority of my young adult life I didn't move.

That's right - I didn't move

. . .or if I moved I moved from couch to food. Which of course caused the ridiculous amount of weight I gained. Finally, when I started my weight loss journey I was so out of shape it was a struggle to do anything - mostly, because I was embarrassed. I remember being too embarrassed to use the machines at the gym and took group classes for about 6-8 months in order to not be seen. When I did use the machines and felt comfortable enough I started running - it seemed natural to me to run to lose weight. . .but my body could only take so much. I would run for 30 seconds at a time and walk 4 1/2 minutes. repeat. One of the trainers came up to me at the gym and told me that I didn't need to run and could hurt myself. All of those things obviously contributed to how I see my physicality. Basically, I've felt that I'm not one of those people. . .you know, those people who grew up playing sports, who ran in college just to run, etc.

Unfortunately, seeing myself that way created so much negative self dialogue in my head for a long time. I would estimate that the entire first year of my membership at cf was not fun for me because I was so concerned with the board, my time, how I compared to so and so, etc. . .And while I worked out I would tell myself these awful, awful things (yes I talk to myself while working out - who doesn't - right?).

The combination of spending two weeks in Europe (and recognizing that Americans [including myself] are some super scary high anxiety, Type A crazies) and my approaching half marathon forced me to reflect on what I was telling myself and to shift my focus.

Instead of allowing my thoughts to even get to the point where I started to worry about coming in last or how I was doing in comparison to so and so, I simply stopped. . .Instead I told myself (on repeat) all of these positive things

"Your body can do this"
"This is mental - your body will do it"
"It doesn't matter how long it takes you, you're doing it"

So I tried that approach at CF when I came back - and surprise surprise, it made working out more bearable =)
And yesterday, that's what I did for 13 miles. . .I only allowed myself to say positive things the entire time. The second a negative thought came in - I let it go, quickly. . .It was amazing what a difference it makes.

It was at the end of the race that I realized, sure there are other people who have more physicality, who have been life long athletes, but now I have something that they have to - a mentality that physically I'm as strong and able as I tell myself I am.

Is it really that simple I wonder - can you really just keep telling yourself you can do something, and than you can do it? I hope so. . .because now that I've crossed that off my bucket list I have to get to some other things.

PS - I would be remiss if I did not shout out my supporters. . .where do I begin. The folks who have supported me all along the way, new and old friends, life long friends, runners and non-runners. Your support is immeasurable. I recognize that this is not a journey I have gone through alone, and it is only possible because of friends that have become family, and family that loves me through it all.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Day 1 million: Europe, Lent and Other Musings

First, I apologize for my absence in writing. I am writing this long book er. . .my dissertation so the idea of coming to a computer and typing is unheard of at this point =)

On the other hand I've been prodded by a recent write up by my Nugs. . .I on the other hand will be writing about my new work/life attitude since a recent trip to Europe has inspired a complete and total ability to relax and remain calm in all situations. . .more to come on that later!

Anyway - I think a lot of Nugs questions have sparked my own internal debate about what to do for Lent. . .what do you folks on the interwebs do? 

What does Lent mean to you? As someone from a religious background I look at it as two different things, first a sacrifice in preparation for the ultimate sacrifice, “He has saved us and called us to a holy life- not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace” – 2nd Timothy 1:9 and secondly the 40 days that Christ represented in the desert before public ministry where He endured constant temptation from Satan.

It is a tradition to give up something for Lent. Traditionally growing up you gave up soft drinks or sweets or homework (“it’s because of religious beliefs I swear” never really worked as an excuse). Now as an adult we use it as a crutch because let’s be honest the majority of us have already failed with our New Year’s resolutions. My family traditionally gives up sweets which is hard, however, the more I looked at it the more I realized that sweets isn’t my weakness, it’s BREAD. I love pasta, I love grains, and I could roll around and sleep in pizza… I have issues with all things grain- it’s a love hate relationship. So this year I’m giving up grains.

Some of my friends are actually adding to their life, they’re giving up bad habits like biting their nails, hitting the snooze button (keep the dream alive), being late to work, etc… I’m super proud of them. I have a friend who gave up NOT going to the gym- how awesome is that!?

Are you giving this up as a true sacrifice something that permanently will change who you are and every time you’re around it or tempted you say WOW what an amazing thing Christ did for me or are you giving up something because you’re supposed to and it is what you always give up?

Have you made any exceptions or pre-determined cheats? I did. I’m donating blood which means I get Oreos and Juice and Gatorade, I’m having 1 beer and a Hot Dog at the Braves Home Opening Day (if you know me, you know that this is basically my Christmas), and I’m having a slice of wedding cake at my friend’s wedding. There are certain things that deserve exceptions, I think if you go ahead and outline what they are it actually makes it easier to not cheat… you say well I really want this, but is it really on the same level as one of my closest friends weddings? Am I doing something good that is so taxing on my body it is a need to break like donating blood or running a marathon, or doing a huge workout competition you never thought you could do?? Is there a huge event in your life that you don’t want to miss out on? Have you formed the right support group to get you through the day to day even if it is just someone who goes to eat with you and doesn’t tempt you to break lent and helps you make better decisions?    

MORE IMPORTANT here’s the million dollar question, what happens after Easter? Do you continue this lifestyle or have a go crazy session on your favorite things for 6 weeks etc.

BIG THOUGHTS, little Nugget!