Back in January, I started running.
I decided that I was gonna do something for myself this year. I didn’t book a trip or get my hair done. I didn’t spend a ridiculous amount of money on a pair of shoes.
I wanted something where I could pursue solitude and independence from all of the other hats I wear on a daily basis. I wanted to not have to talk to anybody and accomplish some monumental.
Well, monumental for me, that is.
So I decided that I would celebrate my upcoming 40th birthday in October by running a 10km race.
With a bit of encouragement from a dear friend, I quietly started a “Couch to 5km” program that I downloaded from the internet. It starts you really slow, assuming that you have a zero grade fitness level and builds you up gradually. The first week you maybe spend about 7 or 8 minutes of a 30 minute workout running.
I posted about my goals and progress on social media to keep myself accountable and make it real.
And let me tell you. I thought I was gonna puke, faint or even die those first few weeks. It was awful. I started googling how high your heart rate was able to go before it literally explodes from your chest. I had to force myself to get on that treadmill.
And then a few weeks in, it suddenly started to get easier, and I was running for longer periods. And longer distances. And all of a sudden, I ran my first 5km. It had seemed so out of reach and impossible for me, but I fucking did it.
And I’m pretty sure the scale has not budged.
Despite people commenting about weight I’ve lost……I don’t think I have.
I haven’t been dieting. Not even a little bit. I try to eat balanced meals that make me happy and have energy to feel good during my runs. The things I enjoy. Losing weight as in fat was never the goal of this. I was searching to shed the weight of a lifetime battle with body image and a constantly negative conversation that I was having with myself about food. “You shouldn’t eat that. Carbs are bad. That has zero points. Empty calories. “
After those first few weeks and things started to get easier, I started to feel different about myself. I’ve always tried to celebrate my curves and preach loving yourself at any size.
But for the first time I actually felt that way inside.
Once I started to get over the number on the scale or on the tag of my pants and concentrate on numbers like kilometers, minutes and heart rate, I gained power over a lifetime of never feeling like I was quite beautiful enough.
Because fuck it. Now I could do something that I never could before. I was proud of my body. I was proud of the strength it’s been gaining. I was proud to be the size I am and killing those miles every week. It has been so empowering.
And now when I sit down to eat dinner, I don’t torture myself. I literally eat what I want, when I’m hungry. I don’t obsess about calories or fat or shame and then overeat because I am so busy trying to not eat the whole plate that I forget to enjoy what’s there and pay attention to the moment I feel satisfied.
I feel like after a lifetime of struggling with a very unhealthy vision of food, I have found a way to make my peace with it. By letting go of stupid shit and giving myself permission to love what my body can do no matter what the scale says.
So now I don’t get on it. I just give it the finger and don’t care.
And its funny, because I have gotten a lot of messages and emails from girls I know or knew or sorta know on social media, asking me how I got started because they want to lose weight.
And I am definitely no guru, and certainly not a fitness expert. But I am an expert of self loathing, and I can tell you all this:
Once you change the goal from shedding weight to shedding hate, and set a goal that you see yourself achieving, you will succeed at this journey of health and self love. The scale can’t and won’t give you that. Just let it go. Let. It.Go.
It’s amazing how such a simple goal has made such an impact on my whole life. Find yours Bitches! Tell me all about it!!