The Ragnar gals. Team "Scrambled Legs and Achin' "
at the half- marathon finish line with the Mowers
Boy, did I get dropped hard when that was over and done.
That marathon did me in. My battle with ITband and hip tightness/pain has basically put things to a stand still now for almost 9 months. I plowed away at it, though, pushing through the hurt that would never seem to end. It was one of the hardest things for me to deal with. My biggest fear, always at the back of my mind was: If I can't run, does that mean I'll gain all that weight back again? I had made so much progress. I had to cope with this loss and setback, both physically as well as emotionally. I then made the realization that I was using all that running to try to prove something, to search for something, to find something. I think that something was myself. Me. Emily.
That forced time- out really was a blessing in disguise. I was required now to slow down (in more ways than one) and accept my body's limitations. I needed to learn and develop patience with the things I have no control over, whether it was this situation, my body, or other people's behavior and actions. I needed to find other "happy ways" to move my body. I found joy in taking long walks. I relished that time; whether it was alone, with my dear sweet friend, or with someone in my family. Going slower now, I could think. I could pray. I could observe.
I also don't think I would have found yoga and all the benefits that came with it. I had found and became comfortable with stillness in my life. Like the running, I liked how my yoga practice helped me find my "edge". Finding ease in the poses transferred into finding ease in my life off the mat. I can't quite put it into words, but this gift of yoga became a catalyst for profound spiritual growth for me.
It looks like running may be coming back into my life now. I missed it and love it still. Through it all, I hope I learned what I needed to learn- and that is the lesson of having balance, kindness and patience with myself, my body, my limitations. One of the biggest lessons I've learned throughout this whole experience is that I'm not my body; fat or thin, fast or slow. This body, along with my mind and my spirit, form my complete self; my soul. There must be balance among the three. Each area's growth and development effect the stability of the others. The way I take care of my body, this temple my spirit resides in, profoundly effects the quality of my life. It can and has served me well.
As I'm approaching the three year mark of my 65 pound weight loss, I can honestly and gratefully say that I'm about the same weight I was back then. I've stopped weighing myself so I don't know for sure. I decided that standing on the scale everyday wasn't necessary. I was tired of the negative self- talk I gave myself if I saw that I'd gained a few pounds. I've learned that one's weight fluctuates daily. Hormones play a role. I think there's still fear there, though. I know that since I'm not running like I was when I was at my peak, I might have gained a few pounds. To see that difference on the scale is a frightening thought for me. I can acknowledge that fear. I am still wearing the same dress size, though. Still fitting nicely in the same clothes. To me, that's a better gauge, all-in-all.
As far as "diet" goes, I'm not on one. Yes, I did try to get back to discipline when I got off white sugar for the whole month of January. I really don't see much of a difference in the way I felt or in my weight. That wasn't what I was after, anyway. All the things I've learned about me these past years helped me see that I can make a goal and be disciplined with myself in doing what I set my mind to.
My eating habits have evolved. What was hard to change, has now become a way of life. I eat and crave whole, nutrient- dense foods. I lean towards a mostly plant- based, clean diet. (I can't get enough vegetables. I love them!) I do get hungry and I eat. That's okay. I've learned to listen to my body. I stop when I'm full. My desire, more than the instant gratification of stuffing my face and filling my stomach, is to nourish my body with what it needs, and that doesn't include junky, dead, overly-processed, greasy food. I've learned to respect my body. That doesn't mean I don't have my cravings, though. I think we all need treats once in a while. With this new month of February, I plan on maintaining the no-sugar thing just because I've made that my habit, my taste buds have adapted, and know that it's best for me, but I still will allow myself the chocolate and ice cream when I'm in those occasional social situations that present themselves.
Tomorrow's post: "Am I Beautiful?"