Way back on the 7th Janurary when I first started running, I went to Albert Park to do a few laps:
I wasn’t even sure if I could make 2 laps of the lake but was determined to
try. The first time around I did some running and some walking. They have
markers every 500 metres and I thought to myself, I’d really love to be able to
run the whole 500
metres without stopping. When I got to the 2.5 km point, I
thought bugger it, I’ll give it a go. So I started running and running and
thought the next marker would never come. Then I say it and I was like – woohoo!
I did it. Then I was like – shit, I’m going to die. So I walked some more and
ran some more.
Second lap around, I thought well I ran 500 metres last time, I’ll try it
again. I ran the 500 metres and when I got to the marker I thought I’d just keep
going for a little bit. Then a little bit more. My legs were so heavy and I was
going at the slowest jogging speed ever but I told myself to just keep going.
And, woohoo! I ran a whole kilometres without stopping. I did it.
I finished that post by saying:
Before I left, I said to the lake – “I’ll be back and one day I’ll run you without stopping.” The lake was just like – “whatever”. But that day is coming.
So yesterday I did it. I ran a full lap of the lake. I probably could have done it sooner but I didn’t have my car. Let me tell you, it was the hardest 5 km run. I think I’ve overdone it this week. I’ve had 2 weeks of being sick and doing NO exercise so instead of having an easy week, I’ve done 6 days straight of hard cardio plus two PT sessions.
I had to run to the loo after I’d finished the lap and was debating with myself whether to do a second. I didn’t feel all that well but figured even walking a second lap was better than nothing. But, as I walked out of the toilet block, it started raining so I headed to the car instead.
I should have felt fantastic, knowing I’d achieved something that had seemed so impossible to me at the beginning of the year, but I didn’t. Instead I felt a huge burden of guilt and disappointment because I’d only done 5 km. I should have kept on going and made it 10.
Of course doing another lap in the rain probably wouldn’t have been good for my cold.
On the way over to the lake, I got stuck in bad traffic (damn Disney on Ice – I shake my fist angrily at you) so I had lots of time to think and kind of had a bit of an epiphany. I’m an emotional eater and I’ve always thought of that as a bad thing but maybe it’s not all bad, maybe I do it for a reason. See I’m kind of slow and simple about some things and that includes realising what’s going on with me emotionally. I think I’m fine but there are storms brewing below the surface.
The emotional eating is like a barometer of my mental state or, I guess, a culinary mood ring. Instead of seeing these eating phases as some kind of monster I need to fight, I should look at them as a symptom of something greater. I’ve always figured eating is my issue, using food to deal with my feelings is the issue but yesterday, I had this blinding flash:
The issue is the issue.
It’s not about food or weight or controlling my urges. It’s about finding out what’s really going on and tackling the cause, not the symptom. And not doing it because I want to lose a few kilos either. Doing it because I want to be strong and healthy on the inside. Just like the eating is a symptom of something deeper, the weight loss should be a perk of fixing everything else.
It’s taken me a long time to realise this, that I’ve had everything arse up. And I don’t know how to go about fixing it. It’s so much easier to control the externals – to do the exercise and eat the right food – than to try to unwind the big mess tangled up inside. Even when I saw my shrink, I only did it because I thought dealing with that stuff would help me loss weight.
From now on, I’m going to change my focus. Weight loss is all well and good – and don’t worry, I’ll still obsess over it all but the more weight I lose, the more I realise it doesn’t bring happiness. I mentioned in a previous post about getting so many compliments about my weight loss last weekend. I felt like that should have given me a real lift, but it didn’t. Not because I’m one of those people who hate compliments – bring them on – but because every time someone mentioned how I’d done so well and how I should be proud of myself, inside I kept thinking “no, I’m not doing well. I’ve been trying to lose these last 5 kilos for months”. Of course I didn’t say that out loud. I smiled and thanked them but I felt like a fraud.
Lately too, I’ve been thinking a lot about plastic surgery – watching tv shows and reading magazines. Plastic surgery worries me. I have this feeling you could start and never stop. Once you start on a quest for physical perfection, for being just a little bit better, there is always something more you can do. The technology is out there to fix *everything* if you have the money and the inclination but should you fix it?
We get old. Our bodies fall apart and, eventually, you die. You can slow down the process but you can’t stop it. You can improve the quality of the life you have but in the end the results are the same. Our social ideal of beauty centres around youth but every year, every day we move further and further away from it.
I guess in some ways that is totally depressing but the way to fight it is be happy with who we are at this present moment, to reject the idea of perfection. Love the flabby belly and the not so toned bits. Enjoy the wrinkles and the grey hairs. Celebrate who we are, not the person we *could* be.