Before and after

I was feeling like pretty hot stuff on Saturday because I ran to the lake and halfway around it, completing seven miles in under an hour. I told Steve afterward, “I would laugh if anyone tried to pass me.” Because even though I’m not a true athlete like those marathoners are, I am still prideful and it is always a blow to the ol’ ego when you become someone’s “roadkill” as they call it in the Hood to Coast.

And then, on Sunday, I told myself, “today is not about speed, but about endurance, take your time, you’re in for the long haul.” But even so, when I felt someone coming up behind me to pass me, I felt ashamed that some schlub was faster than me. But then, once he passed me and I saw he was an actual Kenyan – a perfect specimen of toned muscles covered in smooth chocolaty skin, wearing just these tiny little nylon shorts, I laughed in spite of myself. If the only person who passes me over the course of ten miles is a Kenyan – a person who comes out of the womb running – then I think I’m doing OK.

During the week I do short and quick treadmill runs. I still keep that post-it note, “Do Better Than Yesterday” to motivate myself and have been venturing into the six- and seven-something mile ranges on my short sprints. It pays off on my weekend outdoor runs. I PR’d in every category on my Nike+ app this weekend. When I started running without stopping to walk, my fastest mile was 9’03” and now I can do ten miles maintaining that pace. It’s hard to believe what I can do when I actually give a shit.

I felt it was fitting to post a before-and-after picture so you know what we’re dealing with here. I am not ready to be one of those people who takes full-body selfies in a mirror, with their iPhone flash and a serious, not smiling face. I just can’t do that. So I lifted some family dinner pictures from my mother-in-law: the only reason there is even a picture of me at nine-months pregnant in the first place.


Today I am down 56 pounds from March 24th. I could lose a few more pounds, sure, but I’m OK with how I am now. My goal was to be back in the 140s, which I am (barely, but surely). I fit into my old clothes.  So the worst is over, but that certainly doesn’t mean I will let myself go back to that place of immense laziness and debilitating lack of self-control. I will still do yoga and run because I’ve come to enjoy both of them in some sick twisted way that I never thought possible. And I won’t drink loads of soda again or eat a box of Pasta Roni for lunch each day or know the Dairy Queen employees by name.

I will be a normal person who goes out to eat here and there, drinks her Crane coffees and gets her Lamar’s donuts once (or twice) a week, but mostly, eats what her body needs and gets in 30 minutes of exercise most days. I realize now that I didn’t eat shitty food and sit around because it made me good; I did it because I felt shitty myself. This is the best I’ve felt in quite some time. Sweating releases bad energy so much better than chocolate does.

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