One of my all-time favorite quotes, and my guiding mantra this month, for sure. According to the calendar, this is winter, but after spending the past three in cold and windy Chicago, I've definitely appreciated California and every moment I've been spending outdoors in dresses, capris, and shirt-sleeve shirts.
The quote is also perfect in a figurative sense, as I've spent this past month finding my way out of the difficult place I was in (health-wise) last semester. I struggled for a few months, but over the past 29 days, I've made some huge moves. I've been trying to live fully and entirely, focusing on everything that is wonderful now and everything that I hope to accomplish in both the short- and long-term.
There were struggles, for sure - huge gaps of no exercising after the loss of my bike - but I got my act together, and for the first time in several months, I'm not starting a month at 198 (or higher). It's not what it could have been if I hadn't slowed down/backpedaled (no pun intended) after the bike situation, but I'm pleased with where I am. More than the number on the scale, I am happy to feel in control again of my eating, and I'm feeling positive about continuing to make progress in the right direction.
When I first started getting healthy in July 2010, conditions were perfect. I didn't have to worry about if/where I would be working, I was comfortable in the place where I was living, and most important of all, I was ready. It was a "now or never" moment, and I immersed myself entirely in the opportunity. Conditions may never be that perfect again, but I'm learning how to make the most of the opportunities I've been given. I'm in control of my eating because I feel my best when my body is nourished. I'm staying active because my body was made to move, and I'm honoring it by working it out.
Every bite of food, every step of every mile - they are apology letters to my body.
I'm sorry I hurt you, but here - let me help you recover. Let me make you strong. Let's be powerful. And I promise, I'll never hurt you like that again.For March, I'm going to continue to focus on being the dieter and not the athlete, because clearly what I am doing is working for me. I ran 31.68 miles in February, with no run longer than 10K. While I had a bike, I biked a good amount - 114.3 miles - but it was never an attempt to nullify a binge, so I'm very happy. My eating is in control, my body is in motion, and everything right now is quite good.
I definitely miss long runs, though. There's this terrific disconnect that comes with distance running. After the first few miles, I stop thinking about the act of running and my mind can wander a bit, unfiltered and without any distractions. Sometimes deep thoughts, sometimes to-do lists for home and work, sometimes remembering funny moments or good times with friends and family. It's a chance for some quality time between me and the pavement.
So, I have a plan: I'm going to keep focused on weight loss for now, until the end of the semester - a solid three more months to work towards my healthy weight range (135-155). Then, in May/June, I'm going to focus on maintenance for a few months. Eating well, keeping up with working out, but not actively trying to lose weight.
Because I made a big committment a few weeks ago that I've got to get ready for.
Ho. Ly. Cow. This is going to happen. And when it does, I want to be in the best shape I can be.
"Not actively trying to lose weight" doesn't mean a no-holds-barred free falling plunge off the edge. It means eating like an athlete and not a dieter. More calories as need be, and reintegrating certain foods that I typically abstain from. That means sandwiches on bread, not cupcakes for dinner. Eating like an athlete means taking care of the body just as much as eating like a dieter, just with a different focus. Binges are unhealthy for both situations, so I'm glad to be back on track with getting that under control.
So, there you have it. February was a learning experience for me, and voilà, the big reveal: I'm registered for the Chicago Marathon in October. Having specific and measureable goals helped me get back on track this past month, for sure. Certainly looking forward to what the next month brings!
What about you? How was your February? Any races, events, or challenges coming up?