The other day I came across a fabulous blog about weight loss and healthy eating called Can You Stay for Dinner? The writer is a fabulous young woman who managed to lose 135 lbs. and maintain the loss for the last few years. She writes eloquently and candidly about her weight-loss journey, and has such a healthy outlook on moderation that is rare in someone who has lost so much weight. Overall, her website is inspiring and her recipe photos are mouth-watering. Oh, and she has a great page called, “What I miss from 135 lbs ago.” No one ever talks about actually missing eating past the point of no return! As a former (occasional) overeater, that part really resonated with me.
There is another page where she writes about her exercise history. She says how exercise spurred the weight loss but felt torturous at times.
I hated running. It was no longer fun. I no longer felt accomplished or rejuvenated or energized after I stepped off the treadmill.
Running became something she dreaded, yet had to do for fear that she’d return to her former obese self. When she developed sciatica, she braced herself for weight gain but found that it was a “blessing in disguise” after she discovered she could maintain the enormous loss without beating herself up physically.
While I can’t sum up her blog in a paragraph, I really appreciated her overall attitude. She really made me think about the reasons I run. After some thought on the subject, I’ve made the following conclusions:
1. I run for the pure joy of it, for the challenge, for the sense of accomplishment, for the adrenaline rush.
2. I run to punish myself, to maintain my shape, to lose the last 5-10 pounds that never seem to go away.
3. I run in anticipation of ice cream, Oreos, wine and beer, swimsuit season…
4. I run because I feel like it’s a part of my identity and if I ever stopped, I might lose the one part of me that makes me special.
There are times when I don’t want to run but feel guilty if I don’t. I’m afraid of gaining weight–I’m afraid my appetite will get out of control and I’ll steadily gain weight even though I’ve never been overweight and it’s not in my genes. It is these times when I probably shouldn’t run. Running shouldn’t be something I force myself to do (unless of course I’m in training!). It should be something I do for positive reasons rather than negative.
All in all, I should never run out of fear, unless someone’s chasing me.
Why do you run??