New Year, Same Me!

Only three pounds heavier! 2017 was not a weight loss year for me. I ate too much to reach my goals. I was set to lose a pound heading into December but I fought the holiday demons and lost! This was an amazing year for me though; I learned so much about myself during my marathon training and now during my recovery. I now know that exercise is absolutely critical for weight maintaince for me and that I have some serious work to do controlling eating. I’m finding myself bingeing at night and when I’m feeling low. This is an opportunity to do a little research and find new ways to help myself.

Last post I wrote about how I started running. Running started out for me as the logical next step from walking. Who is more physically fit than runners? Healthy people jog; that’s just what they do. More assumptions about weight and health that carried me through that first year of weight loss. But I also found myself getting excited when I would jog. I did absolutely no research into running or how to start; I just added it into my walking by full out sprinting until I couldn’t anymore, walking in between bursts. I loved the way it felt to challenge my body that way and I still do.

But let me say that while exercise, running in particular, has improved my health in many ways, it has also caused me quite a bit of pain. I made the classic mistake of failing to get fitted for good running shoes. I failed to do so not because I didn’t know I should but because I was 260 pounds or so and I was ashamed to go to a running store where fit people are. How could I ever go into a place like that and say I was a runner? My other fear was cost. I just wasn’t willing to lay out any money on yet another exercise plan. I was determined to make do with what I had and that’s exactly what I did.

I started running in old cotton shirts and shorts and Walmart brand running sneakers that I already owned. I can still remember the feeling of the pavement in those old shoes; I could make out every nick and pebble on the road through the thin soles. Each step brought a sting of pain not unlike the sensation you get when you land after jumping off a curb. And those little shocks turned into a raging case of plantar fasciitis.

My first pair I only just threw away. I took this photo to remember them by.

But I kept running. I got myself in to see a podiatrist who gave me a cortisone shot where my pain was most intense. She gave me a list of approved shoes and off I was to pick up my first pair of real running sneakers. I actually cried when I put them on and knew I was going to be taking them home. They cost $150. But I could barely feel the road in them. It was like running on little clouds.

I ran my very first road race, the Torigan family YMCA half-marathon in Peabody, Mass in a pair of Asics, the Nimbus 17s I think. And that’s when I picked up my second running injury: shin splints.

I’ll share more lessons learned as these posts go by but for now I’ll just say that I wish I hadn’t let shame dictate my behavior and that I hope it never does again.

Happy New Year everyone! May this year bring out the best in you!

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