Ok, so it’s been a very long time since I was able to run for any more than a few minutes at a time. I think I was 11, in all honesty. I was really good at it too, until my hormones found my weak spot (junk food) and that was the end of that. In P.E. classes I’d make excuses not to get involved in anything too physical, which, considering the main gist of the class was to BE physical, meant I was ‘on my period’ or ‘not feeling great’ pretty much every other week. I did like dance & aerobics though, so I wasn’t a total lazy moo! 😀
Fast forward approximately 18 years. Today, I discovered that I’m not as fit as I was in May/June of this year. Back then, there’s no way you’d call me fit, but I was able to walk 10km for charity in just under 1 hour 45 minutes! I’ve been walking regularly all this time and don’t usually have a problem with distance walking, so I figured it was time to push myself to what I consider the next level – ‘Couch to 5K’. I got my feet, legs & knees assessed on this fancy gait measuring machine on Tuesday (I’m pretty sure it has an official technical name) then bought great running shoes that are the correct fit for my feet (Asics GT2000 if you’re curious to know) 😀 They feel AMAZING! Now, I have a little bit of healing to do as I have fallen arches and I’ve done some damage by wearing completely flat shoes all the time, but once the foot is properly healed there’ll be no stopping me!
Anyway, back on topic – earlier I got myself all ready for my first ‘Couch to 5K’. I was motivated and ready to get started. The app on my phone told me to begin with a 5 minute warm up walk. That was perfect. Beautiful weather & no other humans around so I felt a little bit more confident. Then the app told me to run for 1.5 minutes. Wellllllllll, I did about 10-15 seconds of that run and I realised I was fooling myself. I also realised I needed some added support in that area where women generally need extra support… I had set out with every intention of running for 1.5 minutes and walking for 1 minute, repeatedly for 15 minutes, but realised within those opening seconds that I had my priorities all wrong and I’d set my standards too high, too soon. Everything was burning – throat, calf muscles, knees, the foot that’s meant to be healing… So I hobbled home with my proverbial ‘tail between my legs’ and re-evaluated the situation.
I mentioned that I’m not as fit as I was earlier in the year – I’d say I’m approximately 8-10 pounds heavier than I was then. What I need to do (for myself – everyone tackles this issue differently) is focus solely on my nutrition and wellbeing for the next few weeks. Of course I’ll continue with my brisk walks with the dog, but all AT MY OWN PACE! Once I’ve got my diet sorted (healthy, low GI where possible – NOT FAD!), I’ll feel better in myself knowing that I’m being good to my body. Hopefully I will lose the weight I have gained and then when I’m lighter I’ll rethink my ‘Couch to 5K’ goals. There’s no point in me pushing myself beyond what my body & mind can cope with. I want to do this to help myself not only physically, but mentally & emotionally too. By setting standards beyond my reach, and seeking perfection, I won’t last long and will end up adopting all the unhealthy habits that got me here in the first place.
I’ve also been learning, since seeing my CBT therapist, that low moods affect my eating issues – so when I’m not feeling anxious or depressed, I’m more mindful of my food choices. This past few weeks have been difficult for me regarding anxiety, so needless to say, I’m a textbook case of an emotional over-eater. It’s amazing the things you learn about yourself when you’re in a room with a qualified professional. It seems so obvious now, but when you’re stuck in your own little bubble and don’t know how to cope, it’s refreshing to get their slant on it and suddenly it all makes sense!
If anyone would like some advice about where to start with seeking help, please don’t be afraid to contact me. Remember – “Excellence is not being the best; it is doing your best”