Thursday, January 22, 2015

Completing My First Half Marathon

170 lbs.

Last weekend I completed my first half marathon!  It was a wonderful experience from beginning to end.  Starting off, I got to meet three great women, two of whom I only knew through a blog, or Facebook.  That was really neat.

When I began my weight loss adventure a year ago, I kept pretty quiet with my close circle of friends, and I didn't speak at all about it publicly on Facebook.  After years of trying, it seemed too risky, or I felt like it might be be a pathway to self-sabotage.  Instead, I started this blog, and discovered a world of bloggers who either had gone through, or were currently going through the same experience, sometimes with the same program.  Each day I would check their blogs for the latest news on their progress and experiences.  It was very motivating and inspiring.  These people, along with my Optifast classmates became my primary support system.  I'm living proof that that you can gain a tremendous amount of support from friends you only know online.

Fast forward to one year later, and after commenting on each other's blogs and joining shared Facebook groups, I got to actually meet two wonderful people -- Optifastmom aka Martha, and Jarmila, of the Facebook group From Fat to Finish Line and Optifast Maintenance.  I also met up with Jarmila's friend Peggy, a running veteran. What a cool experience to meet them in person, and put a voice to the picture!

Jarmila and Martha lost weight through Optifast, but they are also kick-ass runners who have logged several races, several half marathons, and in the case of Jarmila, one marathon.  I couldn't ask for better companions and coaches as I prepared for my first half marathon.  It was through reading OptifastMom that I first got the idea to try and jog a little bit during my exercise walks.  Jarmila was also so sweet and kind, offering encouragement and positive energy for this experience.
Martha, me and Jarmila at the Expo to pick up bibs.
Peggy (Jarmila's friend), Jarmila, Martha and me at lunch before the Expo.  Our first meeting!
I'm thrilled to call these wonderful ladies my friends -- no long virtual friends.  We will continue to be there to motivate and encourage one another, and share ideas.  All of us are battling weight maintenance, and it is great to know that I'm not alone in my struggles to keep the weight off.  This is a normal part of life now.

Here are more pictures of race day.
I arrived bright and early, just me and a few assorted workers.  All is quiet. I am wearing one of my favorite sweaters from my overweight days.  I will symbolically shed it during the race.  The clothing is donated to a local charity.
Me, Peggy and Jarmila before the race, at our corral.  Ready to Rock 'n' Roll.
Martha took this pic of me running across the finish line.  I got a second wind at the end and was able to run the last half mile or so.  I completed the race in 3:03 -- ahead of my goal.  It felt great!
Caught up with Martha and posed with our bling.
Post-race beer selfie!
One last photo with my medal, before getting cleaned up!
Diet and Maintenance Musings

Well, I took carb-loading to a new level before and right after the race.  Beans, pita chips, pancakes, banana bread, bagels, enchiladas, margaritas, wine... you get the picture.

It was fun while it lasted, and I admit that it's hard to get back on the wagon after indulging in the foods that I have mostly avoided for so long (wine excluded!).  But here I am, my weight is up, and I have no more excuses to eat.  I'm back to normal running distances, and I also began a weight lifting program at my new gym.  My goal is to build muscle to help build my metabolism.  I'm also going to work very hard to keep to my 1400 calorie limit, and not eat back exercise calories.

It feels good to begin again.  I also know that I'm not alone in my struggles.  I'm reading lots and lots of blogs and Facebook posts from people who are in exactly the same boat and working their way back to better eating and a healthier weight.

I'm taking it one meal and snack at a time.  One decision at a time.  I may not be 100% right now, but my mind and heart are in the game, and I'll take that as a positive sign.

Of course my mind is thinking about all of the special gatherings I have ahead of me.  I'm subbing for a fun Bunco group tonight, and will have to pass on the M&Ms and snacks.  I am having a special gathering with some friends this weekend, and alcohol will be served.  My goal is to have one drink and then pop open the sparkling water.

Valentine's Day, my 25th wedding anniversary, Passover Seder, Easter (we celebrate both), my birthday...etc.  That is only through April.  I was thinking about all of these events, because I've noticed that my life seems to be packed with them all of the time.  I'm very, very lucky to have so many wonderful people and events in my life.  I just have to reframe them differently.  They don't have to be occasions to eat and drink poorly.  When I was on Optifast, I managed them.  It's time for me to really develop a strategy around life events now that I'm eating food.  It will require me to feel so strongly about my health, that I'm willing to pass on opportunities to eat and drink alcohol, or limit the exposure to one day.  Balance.  That is what I'm striving for.  I can and I will.

I'll leave you with a great blog post that I read at The Weight Loss Counter Revolution.  Falling Off the Wagon is a great read!  It's all part of the journey, and we aren't going to be 100% perfect.  It's a good one.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

LOVED getting to finally meet you and watch you cross that finish line! I hope our paths cross again in the future. Best wishes getting back on track - we can do it!