With four weeks until my marathon and 3 weeks until my 30th birthday, Im taking a look at some of the goals I made for the year. The marathon training is going swimmingly – it is hard work, but for the most part, Ive enjoyed the challenges and milestones of training. Im supposed to run 20 miles on Saturday, something I never imagined was possible (I dont even like to drive 20 miles), and am happy to report that the 18 mile run was far better than my 16. I always say that each year of my life keeps getting better – the same can be said for my runs.
On the weight loss front, however things are not progressing. I am basically the same weight as I was the day I wrote my introductory article. I wont meet my 100 lb goal by my 30th birthday, and amazingly, thats okay.
Ive discovered that losing weight while endurance training is hard. Youd think that with all the calories Im burning, the pounds would fall off. That isnt the case–its important to keep your calories up before, during, and after a long run. Also, Im starving all the time.
With that in mind, Ive decided to revise my goal–until the marathon is over, my only goal is to maintain my weight. If I should happen to lose a couple of pounds, thats great–but for the next three weeks (and the first time in four years), weight loss is not my goal.
Im in a good place with this–when I look in the mirror, Im happy with what I see. I still would like to hit that big milestone, but its no longer what drives me to exercise or eat healthily. More accurately, the weight loss is now a byproduct of (rather than the motivation for), the healthy lifestyle Ive adopted.
Being at peace with my body for the first time in about 20 years is quietly empowering, and something that I struggle to explain. If youve ever struggled with your weight, you probably understand. If you havent, then trust me: weight is not just about numbers, clothing sizes, and mirrors. Its about emotions, beliefs, feelings, and the way you interact with the world. Appreciating my body not only for what it looks like, but for what it is capable of, gives me a sense a unique sense of fulfillment. I hesitate to call it “confidence,” because it is a quieter emotion than that. It isnt an “in your face,” scream-from-the-rooftops feeling, but more of a calm, implicit, content way of simply being.
With weight loss on the back burner, and mental and physical health on the front, I approach age 30 with peace. That level of self-acceptance and awareness is the best gift I could ask for. Each year of my life keeps on getting better. If this summers training schedule has taught me anything, its that sometimes you fail, sometimes you hurt, and sometimes you just dont wanna. But if you work a little harder and smarter for the next run, you can surprise yourself. Like in life, you must never give up.