So, I want to share this selfie, which I took after my run today:
Here’s what I am celebrating: I am 45 years old, and I have had 4 children – the most recent one being a year and a half ago by C-Section, after being induced 6 weeks early due to severe pre-eclampsia. The day after my 16-month-old was born, I weighed 198 pounds. If you had asked me at that point, if I thought it was possible that I would EVER want to go running in nothing but a pair of running tights and a sports bra, let alone post a selfie of myself in that, I would have said, adamantly, NO. Not in a million, gazillion years. I really and truly thought that I was done with feeling strong, with feeling good about how I looked, with ever wanting to wear anything sexy again. I felt broken. I really thought I was on a physical downward slide that was just going to continue from that point on. I put up a brave and optimistic front, but the reality is, I was devastated inside. I felt like I could not trust my body anymore, and that I had no control over what it would do. So the way I feel about this photo has nothing to do with narcissism – I love it because it makes me feel like I can believe in myself again. Sure, its great to be able to fit into clothes that haven’t fit me in years. To be able to wear a bathing suit with pride instead of shame. To feel sexy and to not have to wonder when my husband looks at me in lingerie, if he really likes what he sees, or if he’s just looking past what’s on the outside because he loves me and what’s on the inside no matter what. I feel like, to a certain degree, it’s maybe not PC to celebrate losing weight, and feeling good about how you look as a result, and I’m not striving for any kind of physical perfection, nor do I think anyone else should – that’s all definitely a myth. What I am really celebrating here, is how I FEEL as a result of all of this. How this recent weight loss and subsequent return to my former state of physical well-being has impacted my belief in myself, and sense of power and strength that has been both missing and missed.
So all of this brings me to the topic of running. Running has just been my thing for my entire adult life. It’s been my sport, my therapy, and a source of fun, friendly competition and accomplishment. I love it. But, since the birth of my youngest child, its just been really hard. And I tried – I really tried to get back to where running felt good. I ran and trained regularly over the past year or so. I watched what I ate – I tried to make it all good quality food. I did all the things that had worked for me before. I got my weight down to around 170 pounds, and I just couldn’t get it under that. Not by more than a pound or two anyway. Just before Landon was born, when I was at the height of late pregnancy misery – I registered for the full-marathon at the Rock N’ Roll San Diego race in early June of this year. I did it at that point because I wanted to remind myself that I would get back to being that strong, able-bodied person again at a point where I was so swollen, and so pregnant that if I dropped something onto the floor, I would just leave it there because it was just too hard to pick it up. By the time the actual race rolled around, I was still stuck at around 170 pounds, and running was a struggle. It didn’t feel good. It was hard. I had to downgrade from the full marathon to the half-marathon, and even that was kind of a miserable struggle. I felt like a shadow of my former self. Here are some photos of me from that race:
Sorry about the quality of the photos, but I actually really hate them, so I have no desire to purchase them. But, as I think its easy to tell in these photos, I felt like crap. I felt heavy and slow. I ended up averaging around an 11 minute per mile pace in this race. Which is a fine pace – there’s nothing wrong with that pace, but it’s not what I wanted for myself at this point. I actually didn’t care about my pace in this race, I just wanted, more than anything, for running to feel good again. It didn’t. It was miserable. I struggled through the entire race. I didn’t know if I would ever really enjoy running again, or if I would ever run another full marathon – let alone run the Boston Marathon, which has been a long-time goal.
Fast-forward to now – 6 months later – and really and truly, I feel better than I EVER have, physically. Since I’ve reached my goal weight, I’m slowly adding more calories into my diet while easing back into running, and I’m just thrilled because running has NEVER felt this good. Every run this week has been great, but today, I ran two miles at a 8:39 pace, and I felt like I could have run all day. I ran the second of the two miles at an 8:21 pace, which is a record for me. Here’s my stats:
I’m finally back to loving running again, and I feel, once again, like anything is possible. It is, without a doubt, 1 million percent due to the weight I’ve been able to eliminate in the past two months. I’ve honestly never felt this good – just strong, healthy and fit – not even back when I was in my teens and twenties! I WILL be running the full marathon in San Diego this year, and I’m going to completely KICK ASS!!
So, today, I’m just celebrating that anything is possible, and its never too late – and that I’m a super-sexy 45-year-old-mother-of-four-running-super-hero!!
What’s possible for YOU?