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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Sticking with it

I'm more than a little embarrassed to post this picture. I was horrified when I first saw the one on the left and vowed it would not ever be seen by anyone else. (Yet, here it is! Ha!!!) On the right is today. And it is not where I want to end up, but it is definitely progress!!

The picture in the left was taken almost exactly 3 months ago. I had started weight watchers that week, and I "ran" in a 5k that day. Ever since I was in my very early twenties I had two big life goals, which may sound silly. I vowed to myself I'd finish my degree and that I would start running again. 
I always loved running so much. It was the only sport I might have excelled at but our school didn't have much of a track program. So, I played soccer instead. And I was dang good at the running and endurance part of soccer, but not so much in the areas if coordination and aggression. Two vital components to most sports!  Ironically, for those who know my clumsy self, I could morph in to a very graceful and sure-footed "athlete" if you cut me loose on a track. Just for fun when I was in High School and early college, I'd go run a mile just to see if I could beat my last time and how quickly I could sprint the end of it. I've never been much on competing against other people, but I've always been great at competing against myself. 
Over the years I've made several attempts at weight loss and re-entry in to the jogging world. In the last several years it has become a bit of a craze; I guess a lot of people developed a taste for it! I tried to sign up for 5K's and enlist my friends for motivation, but when no one showed much interest I petered out, too. Getting frustrated when a couple of years later they'd post about running in a 5K, thinking, "Hey! That was MY idea!!"
I hurt my ankle a little over a year ago, which set me back once again and also allowed me to pack on another 20+ lbs in less than a year. Being immobile for almost 6 weeks made me sincerely reevaluate my life and my health. I know I never want to end up in a disabled state due to my own neglect!! It took a good 9-12 months before my ankle was stable enough to exercise at all (it still hurts and swells some, but I'm assuming that's just the new normal now!) And I was determined to get back in shape. I entered the 5k from the muddy picture below and shocked myself at how much of it I was able to run. (Not to mention, I had a BLAST!)
So. I started jogging and again I was met with the same issues: severe calf pains and cramps, bladder control problems (please reference previous blogs about natural childbirth and an 11+ lb baby!), chub rub, and stuff flopping where it shouldn't flop. But, this time I pushed through. I bought good shoes, compression clothing, sliders for my thighs, drank more water, took bathroom breaks when needed, ate bananas, stretched more, rested more, enlisted advice, and talked myself in to listening to my body and being patient with it! Now, I'm up to 2 miles. Still walking some, but jogging most. It's a great feeling! And I've stuck with the Weight Watchers this time. Even through a month of almost 0 weight loss and even a slight gain! Before I would've said, "to heck with this! I'm killing myself and losing NO weight!!" But, I'm glad now that this picture on the left was taken 3 months ago. Because the picture on the right shows what the scales don't. My dedication is paying off! Imagine what 3 more months will do! And, if I can do it, you can do it!! 
I love weight watchers because I know I just can't stick with crazy restrictive diets.  Sometimes I want pizza or a pop tart with butter on it! But, tracking makes me stop and think about what I'm eating. And if I mess up one day, I just start fresh the next day! 
My favorite part of all this, though, is my energy level! I feel like a new person and it's awesome. I'm taking 30 minutes or so a day for me, and it's going to benefit everyone I love! 
Also, those two goals set by a young, insecure, single, 24 year old mom have been accomplished! I told her she could.

Monday, July 8, 2013

I Will Wait

After a noon run, sucking air, barely made it to the tree in my yard to stretch it out. Sweat was pouring down my face and I was trying to steady my breathing when out of nowhere a breeze swept over me. 
I looked up to the sun shining through the leaves in a very particular way and that ancient stirring of my spirit came. A feeling so familiar that it's first stirring assuredly happened in the womb.
My attention is caught best by a quiet whisper. Looking to win my heart? Gentle, quiet sincerity does the trick. Who knows that better than the One who created my heart? 
Suddenly, I became aware of the Mumford and Sons lyrics coming through my headphones: "I will wait, I will wait for you...." To anyone who might've seen that scene, I was a sweaty newbie runner, head lifted up, trying to catch my breath. But, really, right then, I was just a child who'd gone too far away, hearing my Father's voice for the first time in a while, tears running down behind my sunglasses. Really, I was caught in a moment of complete awe mixed with a little shame. Awe that God created that moment in time just to speak to me. Shame because like a pouty little child I hadn't gotten my way soon enough and started walking off on my own... Again!! 
So the words of the song changed from words being said to me into words from me to God: "I will wait, I will wait for you..."
Running has a very spiritual aspect to it for me. And, metaphorically, my running direction needs to switch directions. It needs to be TO instead of FROM.