Way back in 2015 I started a journey that saw me lose 50 lbs and get to a level of health that I hadn’t seen in over 20 years. The great part about that was how well everything else started falling into place as the weight kept falling off. I had more energy which made doing stuff with my family easy. I was running seriously for the first time in my life and I just kept setting new goals and not only hitting them but exceeding them. In the fall of 2015, I got below 200 lbs for the first time since I could remember. It would have probably been my first year of college, but I don’t know for sure.
I tell you all that so that you understand what 2016-2017 has looked like. Over the last couple years, I have continued to run. I have continued to write articles trying to encourage others to stay focused on getting healthier. I even ran my first full marathon. The problem is that during that time I have slowly gained weight back. Not all the weight, but enough to make it hard for me to keep going at the pace I was before. My races have not been PR races. My energy level may still be up from what it once was, but it certainly isn’t where it could be.
This has been a big frustration of mine over the last year. I got settled into a routine that wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t great. I was still doing lots of good things for my health, but all of a sudden it seems they have been overshadowed by the lack of discipline at the dinner table. Then I had my ankle injury this spring. That really set me back. Not being able to run for almost 8 weeks was really rough on my body. I need to get those miles to counteract some of my other choices. When I wasn’t running I gained weight quickly. I fell much farther back on my fitness level than I would have ever dreamed.
So I found myself quickly back to a place I was in early 2015. Unable to run an entire workout without walking. Needing to get a serious diet going to lose weight. Most of this spring that has been my place. Needing to do those things. But when I would run I would get discouraged because I knew what I SHOULD be able to do. I would quickly lose motivation with the diet because I felt as though it was a lost cause.
I have said it before and I know I will again, but I am motivated by a challenge. So I challenged myself to sign up for the same fall half marathon that was the first one I ever ran back in 2015. The one that started it all. The challenge those is to get my time for that race from the 8:37 pace from the first time to an 8:00 pace this time. Clearly, that can’t happen with extra weight. So I have gotten serious about my diet. Since I have put pressure on this it has been so much easier.
I feel good that I can meet my goal, but I also have decided that if I do the best that I can each day that is all that’s necessary. I may not be able to run today like I did a couple years ago. But the only way I will ever be able to is to do my best today. I don’t beat myself up for walking on 3 mile runs right now, because that is where I am right now. I know I can run better tomorrow, but today that is who I am.
Most likely the greatest critic you will ever have is you. I know this is true of me. I can get so frustrated at myself for the letting things spiral backward. I just happen to be in a spot right now that has reminded me to work like I did back in 2015 if I want to get to the places I got to in 2015. If you work now the way you should you will be better soon. It takes time but continued hard work will always come with a payoff. So no matter how much it hurts or how bad you want to throw in the towel, just keep at it. Do you best today so you can be your best tomorrow!