And, I had also made another change to my daily runs. I was no longer the lone wolf. Up until this month I always ran by myself. Partly because I liked the solitude but also because I still didn’t class myself as a “proper” runner. I was conscious of both my speed (slow to middling) and my style….or lack of it. But then, one day, a colleague asked if he could join me and in addition to thinking that he was a sound guy, it’s my dream to inspire others to get more active….so I said yes. I won’t lie. I quite enjoyed being his mentor and it was nice to have company. But soon the student became the master and after only a few runs, every run was ending with me at his heel. But I don’t mind. As he has got faster, so have I. We’ve both improved and next week we become a pack with another two colleagues joining us. In January, I hope to turn that two into 200,000 but that’s another post.
“You look amazing, you must be so proud….but surely enough is enough?” is a phrase I’ve heard on many an occasion. Usually from well intentioned colleagues, friends and family who have seen how much I’ve sacrificed, how much pain I’ve suffered and don’t want me going from fat to skinny.
But they don’t realise that I’ve not sacrificed anything I truly needed, that the pain I felt has been replaced by a greater joy and although they may see a huge transformation, I still have fat to lose and won’t be happy until I have reduced my body fat percentage further. I’ve came too far, to simply stop now. And rather than being skinny, I am going to be fit and strong.
They think that when I say no to a drink, or refrain from a dessert that I am depriving myself from enjoying life. Little do they realise that by changing my lifestyle from one which deprived me of good health, I am now enjoying life to the fullest and doing so many amazing things. Things that people openly laughed at when I suggested them last year. Even now, when I announce my goals for next year, those same people still give me incredulous looks.
For many my constant search for the next race, the next level and the next event is a sign that I’ve became obsessed and that I don’t know my limitations. And they are partly right, for I do not know my limitations. Every extra mile, every extra bib and every extra finisher’s medal spurs me on to test my limits and to discover just how many miles I can run.
And I’ve discovered it’s more than that. I NEED to set targets, they have to be stretching, they have to terrify me. Without an event in the upcoming calender I relax, old habits return and inevitably so do the pounds. Part of the reason behind this blog has been to reignite the fire that drives me, to make me remember the lifestyle changes I made and why I made them.
Tomorrow marks 100 days to my 40th Birthday and I vowed that it would be a special year. So I’ve just (and when I say just, I mean I just stopped typing to do it) signed up for my first Marathon. The Edinburgh Marathon in May 2013.
People will say I’m crazy, that I have to take it easy. That it is too far a race. To them I say, only too far is enough!
Walking was the activity that opened up a world of opportunity. I went from walking around my block to hiking for 18 miles in the Highlands of Scotland. It brought me serenity and opened my eyes to the beauty that surrounded me. For years I had walked with my eyes down, as not to catch anyone’s attention.
However, I longed for more. As a child I suffered from Perthes disease, which ate away my hip bone and left me dependent on firstly a wheelchair and then crutches. For years, I was reminded of all the things I couldn’t or shouldn’t do. Even when I was able to walk unaided, we were told that I would be troubled by my hip and that I shouldn’t participate in vigorous sports. I had one leg shorter (only slightly, mind you) than the other and when I ran after the ball or chased my friends, some couldn’t resist asking if I had a limp.
After a few times, I stopped running.
And when I first decided to lose weight I again attempted to run a little. Partly because it would aid my weight loss but also because I wanted to do something, that I’d told myself I didn’t want to do because I couldn’t do it. It wan’t the limp or even my weight burdened knees that stopped me this time, but instead the howls of laughter and shouts of “on you go, fattie” from passing vans and cars. It was humiliating and made me both angry at them and at myself.
After a few times, I stopped running.
The shouts may have dented my confidence but they only hardened my resolve and determination. Each morning I would ask myself how many miles will I walk today and I never wavered? As I got slimmer and more confident I decided to try running again. I downloaded a coach to 5k podcast, ventured out and set about running for a little and then walking for a bit.
After a few times, I stopped walking :o)
|With two boys in the house, I’m not sure how long this will remain a) Clean and b) Intact|
I’m not new to dieting. This wasn’t the first time I had declared that I was going to get fit and it wasn’t the first time I had vowed to succeed. But deep down, I knew something was different. This time I wouldn’t launch myself into a restrictive starvation mode eating pattern. This time I would do it right. This time I would use my failures to fuel my success
Remember, I did say that I tried a fair few things.
One of these was Specific Olfactory Stimulation (an SOS to the brain). According to people a lot smarter than me: ” inhaling the scents of food, in the absence of food, causes early satiety, squelches food cravings and decreases appetite by “fooling” the brain into thinking that one has eaten a proportional amount of food. In the end, this process turns off hunger, helps the user to stop eating sooner and thus controls the amount of food consumed ‐ a direct link to caloric consumption”…It also makes you look a bit weird as you hold your head up high and sniff the air. But hey, as you’ll learn, I am a try anything kind of guy and surprisingly, it worked….for me.