There is No Secret to Getting Fit

My Journey to Fitness

“How I Got Through Treadmill Running” and a potential downward spiral!

on November 7, 2014

This morning marked the end of of a ritual.  Though I much prefer road running to treadmill running, I do still hop on the treadmill when kids are home or weather is awful.  When I first started “wogging” (walk/jogging), I would just listen to music with a fan pointed at me, hoping I wouldn’t become a sweaty mess.  Over time I worked up to running and eventually started outside running.  Once I was consistently running outside, I found it really hard to get back to treadmill running when it was my only option, so to pass the time I started watching “How I Met Your Mother”.  It was a great show to watch while running.  It was funny, I didn’t have to pay close attention to various plot lines and it passed the time.  I’d typically get in a little over 2 miles per episode (without commercials), and I’d usually run to between 2-3+ episodes at a time.

I’ve had the last 2 episodes left in my queue for a little while.  This morning, with kids off from school, I found myself doing a treadmill run to the last 2 episodes.  Please remind me not to watch the ending to a show I enjoy while running, especially with the chance that it will be an emotional one.  For the record, keeping your footing while running, and breathing, all while trying to hold back a sob is not easy!  Then, with another 20 minutes of running after the series ended, it was not ideal!  So in that last 20 minutes of silent running (well, as silent as it can be with 2 kids playing and asking me questions and trying to show me things and practicing piano), I found myself thinking about the number of hours I’d spent just running on the treadmill.  There were 208 episodes of the series at about 2 miles per episode is 416+ miles, and that’s just a fraction of my total running when you add in the outside running I do.

I’m still amazed at how far I’ve come, but I also get frustrated that I still haven’t lost that last bit of weight I’ve wanted to lose.  Lately, my normal 5 pound weight fluctuation has been staying at the upper end and I have been too liberal in letting myself have more of the sweet treats I test and make for kids and friends and my blog.  So about a week ago, I decided I needed to buckle down on my eating habits.  I recognized I was eating when I wasn’t hungry and snacking more often.  I am refocusing on being a more conscious eater.  I do eat clean about 95% of the time.  Most days it’s 100%.  For me, “eating clean” means making everything from scratch.  The only packaged ingredients I use have one ingredient (like packaged spinach or diced tomatoes).  BUT, there have been days lately that I have been more “snacky” and found myself wanting to eat more even after a meal.  An extra handful of nuts, an extra treat here and there… they add up to my weight creeping on the wrong side of my maintenance weight.

How does all this tie in with my treadmill run this morning?  Well, in that extra 20 “silent” minutes this morning, I was thinking about all those episodes and miles and hours of just running on the treadmill.  Then I thought about how hard I work out 6 days a week, between weight training, boxing and running, I burn a huge number of calories!  I had already started re-focusing on my eating habits, but I was thinking about writing this post and putting it out here to make myself accountable.  So, here it is.

I was also thinking about how crucial it is to have been able to stop myself from getting back into really bad habits and re-focus on my health and eating habits.  The old yo-yo dieter in me would have had a much more difficult time with it.  Sure, I could kick myself for not buckling down sooner and just focusing on those last few pounds (and for the record, it’s not so much a number as it is just a comfortable size for my frame), but I just need to look forward and set my goals and work towards them.

Set backs for many people can turn into binges, depression, hiding out, avoidance, and so many other things.  I remember for me, any time I was on the gaining end of a yo-yo, I’d think, well it’s just a few pounds, I can easily lose that again.  I’ll start tomorrow, or the next day or the next day… and more often than not, it took a long long time to get back on track.

Why is it so difficult for us to forgive ourselves and move forward?

Why do we instead “punish” ourselves by binging or hiding from the scale and mirrors and from confronting ourselves on it?

I’m not sure of the answer, but I can tell you that I am thankful to now be able to forgive myself and move forward.  Perhaps teaching classes and being a role model for others is part of the reason I am able to quickly get myself back on track?  Again, I am not sure exactly what the difference is.  I suppose it’s the same change of thinking I had to be able to lose the weight to start with.  I do recognize how difficult it can be, and I know that being able to pull yourself out of a potential downward spiral takes a tremendous amount of mental will power and effort!  I want my clients and others struggling to know that it’s not just you.  I’ve been there and though I am able to now pull myself out of the potential downward spiral, the possibility is still there.  The challenges, the temptations, the old habits… they are all still there.

The answer for me?  I just have to get out of my head with the “tomorrow is another day” mentality, buckle down and remember that I am responsible for my health.  I can’t let occasional treats turn into every day, more frequent treats, because it leads to my old bad habits.  No excuses.  That has been my motto to myself from the start of my journey.  Excuses don’t give me results, and they don’t make me feel any better about myself, they’re just there to try to “justify” my decisions to others.  Plateaus and speed bumps are inevitable, but moving forward from them is what matters.

My hope is to be able to reach others that are going through these downward spirals and help them get out and move forward. You’re not alone.  You’re not weak.  You just need to yell at that little voice giving you the excuses and telling you “tomorrow, or the next day.”.  Make yourself accountable.  Ask for help!  Set a goal.  It’s not easy.  It’s hard work, every day.  But I know if I could do it, YOU can too!  (Yes, YOU!)

Now… who is going to recommend a new series for me to watch while treadmill running?

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2 responses to ““How I Got Through Treadmill Running” and a potential downward spiral!

  1. sarahdudek80 says:

    This is a brilliant post! I think many of us struggle with this. Each of us has that stubborn 5 and I have dealt with it the past few months. But the honest truth is that I tend to eat a bit too much or enjoy a treat too often and I know that. Instead of beating myself up it is nice to recognize what my faults are and then find a way to adjust. It also seems to help me avoid excuses of why I am not losing. I really enjoyed this post. I think so many of us can benefit from reading this.

  2. […] I had started having a few extra “treats” and snacks here and there (read about it more here).  I eat all clean foods that I make from scratch, but I do make grain-free treats that are meant […]

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