Sunday, December 19, 2010

I run because...

A lot of people ask me how I run at my age? Why in the world I want to run as much or as far as I have?

I got started running when I was in basic training for the United States Air Force and instantly fell in love with it. We only had to run a mile and a half at a time, nothing really strenuous, but I remember running for so many various things. I flashback to being in my PT clothes (gray shorts and a gray t-shirt with the words Air Force on them) running a long someone and pushing them to run further and harder, telling them to imagine the breakfast we would be getting in only thirty short minutes, each step, each breath, getting us closer and closer to that white line on the dark concrete.  I loved pushing people to do their best and in the military, you never left anyone behind, regardless of how fast or how slow someone was. You were a team and the team had to get through the run, not just you. I would run every morning for those chow hall breakfasts of ham, grits, French toast, and juice...YUMMY! I still dream about that breakfast! It was so good to me. There's only one place that has a better breakfast and that is The Original Pancake House in Salem, Oregon...Hands down, THE best breakfast EVER! I remember a sense of freedom I had never felt before  and an instant addiction to it. That's not surprising because I'm one that can get addicted to something fairly easily. The high of running is like no high I've experienced before. It's beyond euphoric and constant. I can get grumpy just as an addict could and if I go run, I feel much better. The daily dose of endorphins that comes with running is far better than any induced high because it's natural and controlled by your mind. Over the years, I ran to keep fit, on treadmills, to pass my PT tests, and to just be outside, in the world, with myself. I abandoned running after the military because I was in a dark place mentally and didn't pick it up until a few years ago.

Now, I run for a lot of other different reasons. It took me some time to grow up before I could really appreciate it as a sport and what it is to me. I run.... because I love it. for my sanity. for ice cream. to stay young. to be fast. to look damn good in my jeans. so that boys can't catch me. to feel the wind in my face. to have a private concert of whatever music is on my mp3 player that day. to escape from toddlers. because I'm mad. to be a role model. because I GET to. to feel the pain so that I don't hurt so much on the inside. to move the clouds out of my head. to be present with myself and the world. to come up with new ideas about anything. to be a part of a group. to push me. to test my will power. to push my body. because it drives me to accomplish the impossible. to find my own inner strength.

I just recently watched a documentary on the Iron man triathlon and it was astounding for me. The way those humans push their bodies was an eye opener to me. It is so easy to get caught up in the daily routine that Americans have created for themselves, work, work, work; come home, sit in front of the TV for a few hours and eat. I know not every American does this but a lot of us do. The guys and the females in the triathlons were running 3 minute miles! That is NUTS to me because there are some days my head says "No, not today, Amanda. I don't feel like it." Yeah, I think about one of those girls and my ass gets out there really quick and my mind and my body are happier I did. I also can flip through a Victoria Secret catalog and that will get me out there too, running to get those sexy abs. ;)

Running for me now is more than just a sport. I believe having healthy goals for your body is what contributes to stability in your mind, in your heart, and in your soul. I say contribute because I strongly believe a person has to keep their mind healthy too. Different people have different ways of doing that and I feel that's the beauty of living in this world and in America. We are all different, we all do things in our own way.  I think our society stemmed away from taking care of your mind and your body for a while but I've noticed a turn around. There is more focus on taking care of the body and finding your own individualism. Running has helped me to define my individualism and has allowed me to take care of myself and the things I care about most. I'm a lucky girl because I'm one of those that GETS to run and as long as I can, I'll keep pushing my willpower, setting new goals, singing to myself, crying when a thought crosses my mind, watching the hot air balloons launch in the morning, all while I'm running to get this body in pristine shape :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Running away 21 pounds! AHH!

So, I've been avoiding weighing myself for the past month because I did not want to see the number. I knew in my heart it was higher than it's ever been without a baby in my belly. I'm really making a big deal out of this because for some reason I fear it. I do not know why I do, yet, but for some reason I do not like being bigger than I've ever been. I think part of it is the fact that I enjoy eating. I really do. I know why I do and I know I need to change this habit of mine. I think that's it right there, I'm not going to be able to use food as my comforting piece any more. I've taken away everything that I know that gives me comfort. I don't like drinking much anymore...I hate the hang over. I don't like popping pills and getting a false sense of being happy and I can't eat any more because, well, I'm not going to spend any more money getting another pair of fat girl pants or fat girl shirts.  I've hit the size "Large" and when I told my husband that, he just stared at me in disbelief. I'm sure in his head the story went like this "How in the world could you be a size "Large"? You know that is grounds for divorce?" TOTALLY KIDDING, but wouldn't that be horrible if that's what they thought. I understand I'm not fat. I'm actually in the healthy range of weight and my BMI is still in the healthy range, but I have a problem; I don't fit any of my clothes without looking like I'm carrying my five month food baby around. I'm not even going to tell you my won't believe me, I PROMISE!

I've always been that skinny bitch that girls know the ones that can eat and rink whatever they want and they look fantastic. At 25, that changed for me. My arrogance turned into complete desperation to keep up the skinny bitch profile and when I couldn't I realized I was a little more human than what I thought. I'm a person that has always found happiness in things like alcohol, drugs, food, things that are not very healthy for you at all. When I became more humanized the things that made me happy changed but not the food thing. I've always loved food and drinks. I think because it's instant gratification. To top it off , the sweeter, the greasier, the better. When I was pregnant with Zach I could win any eating contest, especially if it was cake eating. Jeff and I would make a cake every three days and down that bad boy like it had no business being in our house. I never experienced hunger like pregnancy hunger and I had quit smoking on top of it, so I was tasting food for the very first time. I'd have to try all new things because my taste buds were going through a transformation.

I'm not one that is obsessed with being skinny or has a model that she looks at and wants to be like. I do look at women who are my age and wonder how in the hell they do it, raising kids, working, going to school, and not eating until they can't see below their bellies any more. I am curious how efficient my body would be and I do miss wearing some of the cute clothes I had back in the day...not anything risqué just jeans and t-shirt that didn't have this pooch big enough to be an additional head on my body. Just the other night when we had some friends over for the UFC fight, one of the Tap Out girls came out waving the sign for the round in her little bikini and I was throwing a small pity party for myself and told the girl next to me "She seriously needs to go have a baby or something, instead of waving all that around." I know, a little harsh, but it's how I felt...just because I would love to look like that again.

Doing this plan that I've created for myself leaves me with no alcohol and no unhealthy food. Some people will say, "Don't stress about what you eat; just eat healthy and exercise." Ok, I did that, and I maintained my fat girl weight. Each body type is different, I think. Some people can not stress or not count calories, exercise and watch the weight fall off. Some have to count calories, not worry about exercise and the weight goes away, well, I'm one of those that has to do both or NOTHING happens! AHH!

The frustrating part of this is that I tried to not stress about what I ate and for the past two month have worked my way from running 0 miles to running 7 miles and have lost NOT A POUND...NOTHING! I've chosen running as my sport of choice on purpose and I'll write about that on a different day. Now, if you're a runner, you know how grueling getting back into the runs actually is. It's worse than maintaining a weekly goal of miles. Those first runs are so hard and you never feel like you're gonna make it. Carrying around 10 extra pounds while trying to run does nothing but slow you down. Right now, I'm SLOW but I'm running so that's good.

According to SparkPeople (a website for free diet plans and trackers) I will meet my weight loss goal of 21 lbs in March IF I stay with my plan of 1200-1500 calories a day, exercising six days a week, and not crying every day while doing it. I have to have a plan, a structured one. One where a little military TI (training instructor) comes out and yells at me if I'm not following it. I have to write down the days of the week, plan out the exercises, my meals and stick to it...give myself a few options and stick to them. The time period I cave is after the kids go down. I LOVE to reward myself with a glass of wine, a beer, or a snack. Jeff helps me with it too because we share this love of eating and procrastinating when working out. SO, I went on SparkPeople, joined the site, joined a few motivating teams and planned out strategy.

I'm also training to run a half marathon. I'm still debating on which one to do because if I do PF Chang's it's $110 for registration right now! WTF! I may just skip the half and go straight for the full in February. Regardless, my next course of action is to run a half very soon. Damn, I'm running 7 miles on Saturday, I can't let all this effort go to waste for nothing. Training for a half marathon means running at least four times a week like running 3 to 4 miles every other day and then doing a long run on the weekends. On the days you don't run, you cross train, do something like biking or strength training. My goal is to do a little bit of both. I'm a member of Anytime Fitness and they have awesome cross training machines, Zumba and Yoga which are all things I love, so I feel confident I can mix it up. I just have to have the PLAN down and on a calendar.

Now my weakness in this is not to isolate myself. I'm great at isolating myself. If you ever need to do for whatever reason, let me know, I'm an expert. I isolate myself when I feel imperfect or not happy about something. I feel like the world is judging me and because of that I don't know how to act around people. I'm learning how not to isolate myself, especially during these times when I loathe my body. I know I shouldn't loathe my body because it is what keeps me alive every day, however, I also am realistic and know until I get some "head work" done, that part is going to stay there for a minute.

I'm sharing this for two reasons, one because I'm human and I know I share the same frustration with other women and two, writing it for me makes me more accountable for my actions. So, here I go, running after March 4, 2011 where I should be 21 lbs lighter!!