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.