Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Back to School


As my son returns to his second year of preschool, I realize I have fallen off the face of the earth again.  Well, I didn't just realize this, I have known it for quite some time now.  I am the picture-perfect proof that we, as humans, are not perfect and can fail and fail again.  It is quite all right to fail, there are a lot of learning opportunities that come with failure, but it is what you do with that failure that makes the difference.  Do you let the failure overpower you and take you over?  Or do you overpower, take over and rise above the failure?  It may have taken a little longer than I had hoped, but I decided to overpower my failure and rise above it.  To further understand where I am coming from, let's take a brief look at my past year.

In August 2014, I was full of confidence, I had lost 70 pounds and was in the best physical shape of my life.  When my son started school in September, my schedule shifted as I had to drive him 1 hour round trip to his school.  This left me with one less hour in my day, but 2.5 hours with me stranded a half hour from home with nothing to do.  I found something to do.  I started Couch 2 5K and ran in the nearby park each day my son was at school.  I was never a runner, I hated it, but with C25K I learned how to run in a way that was addictive and rewarding and I loved it.  I was skeptical thinking, "I can't even run for a minute, how am I going to run for 3.1 miles in 8 weeks?"  C25K is designed in such a way that it literally builds your body to be able to go from couch to 3.1 miles in 8 weeks.  It was unbelievable.  I never did finish it, though.  I signed up for a local 5K as a practice run for the Great Pumpkin Race.  I ended up winning a silver medal for my age group.  Unfortunately, being new to running, I didn't realize the importance of having a good pair of running shoes and I ran in my worn out $30 C9 shoes from target and for the 2 weeks following I could barely walk due to some sort of strain on the bottom of my foot.  By October and the Great Pumpkin Race, I was all healed up and running again, in a new and better pair of shoes.  I didn't do as well as I did in the other 5K, but I did beat my time from the previous year by a lot and I was super proud of that!  I didn't train at all that previous year and it was pretty unbearable.

November through January, I was slacking off a little, as one normally does around the holidays and in the winter, I gained 10 to 15 pounds but for some reason I kept telling myself, "It's okay, I won't let it get above XXX pounds."  By January, it went above XXX pounds and I told myself, "It's okay I won't let it get above YYY pounds."  This pattern of self-forgiveness continued for a while until I got to a point during the early part of the year where I said, "Oh my God, what have I done!?"  And by that point, all I could dwell on is "how could I have done this to myself?"  I felt like I was in a fog.  It's no lie that my life between the fall of 2014 and now has been nothing short of stressful, hectic and overwhelming.  I had a stretch where I was really down and in a dark place, something I am usually able to shake, but this time I couldn't.  It was like I wasn't myself and like there was no way out.  I felt like I had worked so damn hard to get to where I was and then I literally let it all go.  I swore I wouldn't ever get above 200 pounds again.  I swore I would never eat the way I was eating again.  I swore I would always exercise and stay healthy.  I promised the world to myself a year ago and there I sat in a puddle of my own broken promises.

By June, I had gained back 38 pounds, that was over half what I had lost, it was devastating to say the least.  I was broken.  I was depressed.  I was disappointed in myself.  But I had a choice.  Was I going to sit around and feel sorry for myself and just let the landslide that was my life keep tearing me down?  No!  I was worth far more than that.  I had to find that fight I found within me several years ago when I first set off on this journey to a healthy me.  I had to find that fight and fuel that fire that I knew I had in me and rebuild my life!

It didn't come easy, it was actually harder this time.  I had so many "fresh starts" over the past few months, which ultimately lead to "I'll try better tomorrow."  I kept trying and kept pushing and searched and searched and searched for that spark to light my fire.  It wasn't until the end of August that I could say I finally found it, and I am doing all that I can to keep my fire going.  With a whole year of darkness, I've finally found the light.