So, I lost 60 pounds a year ago and guess what happened? I got complacent, lax with my diet, got off WeightWatchers, stopped exercising regularly, and gained a large portion of the weight back. I was so disgusted with myself and so intimidated by the prospect of taking it all off again (and keeping it off) that, for months, I did nothing. And I do mean nothing. No exercise, no attempt to balance my diet, no regular exercise, nothing. I didn't even continue blogging about health issues or posting new healthy recipes because I just didn't feel qualified to do so.
A couple of things happened recently to re-ignite the spark in me and get me off the couch. First, enough people at my job agreed to bring back the WeightWatchers at work program. Yay! No more having to travel to North Miami to attend a meeting on Mondays when I have a conflicting gospel choir rehearsal (which is why I quit). I can just go to a conference room at work on Thursdays at noon. Also, WeightWatchers has a new 360 degree approach to weight loss that appears to be working for me. I got my first gold star for losing 5 pounds on the program at last week's weigh-in.
The second thing that happened is that my girlfriends came to Miami for the ING Marathon. Some of them are old pro runners who ran the half-marathon. Two of the girls are novices like me who vowed to participate in the Tropical 5k the day before the marathon. Since I am a joiner at heart, I jumped onto the bandwagon and agreed to do the Tropical 5K.
Unbeknownst to me, however, one of my friends, who just had a baby less than a year ago, had been training to run the 5k for months and lost more than sixty pounds in the process. When I saw how good she looked, my jaw dropped. And I used to be the one to inspire her to get into shape.
I walked the Tropical 5K and came in two seconds under the deadline. Crossing the finish line was exhilarating. Going to the ING Marathon site the next morning to cheer my other friends on was also very inspirational. Standing amidst a crowd of 25,000 runners from all over the world and watching the sun rise was an indescribable experience.
Needless to say, I have now been bitten by the marathon bug. The three of us who participated in the Tropical 5K now plan to do the Rock and Roll Half Marathon with our other friends in Philadelphia in September. I also signed up for a 10K that will take place in Coconut Grove, Florida in May. I'm training for the 10K now. I plan to walk it (I am not a runner by any stretch of the imagination).
Training for the 10K has brought a purpose to my exercise regime other than weight loss which is to survive the race and come in under the deadline. This type of external goal is something I've never had before. It gives me a more direct incentive to wake up and walk in the mornings. And I must say that it works. I may have slacked off the past few days, but you better believe I'll be up walking tomorrow morning because I want to be ready. I want to feel the exhilaration of timely crossing the finish line once again. In every sense of the word.
So, have you fallen off the wagon? What will inspire you to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back on? Maybe I'll see you at the 10K or the Rock and Roll Half Marathon.