Unleashing My Inner Awesome

My "journey" through health, fitness and life in general

Archive for the month “December, 2011”

Conquering the mountain

Today I ran up a mountain in my home town. And back down again.

There’s a running/mountain biking trail a group of us have done quite a few times. It’s a 5k run down the side of a mountain, and then back up. There’s a fairly steep bit right at the top that you almost have to crawl up. I definitely haven’t mastered it yet, but it is getting easier.

Which is why when one of the girls suggested I do the road run before hand, I said yes. Hey, it seemed like a good idea. And then I started thinking about it properly. See, the road run adds another 3.75km each way to the circuit. So 7.5km more than I was already going to do. They start at a carpark at the bottom of the mountain, run to the start of the track and then run back down after the track.

Once I’d said yes I started crunching the numbers. A total of 12.8km. Half uphill. And Heartbreak Hill, instead of being at the end of the 5th kilometre, would be at the end of the 9th!

So this morning, while I was driving to the meeting point, I was composing the reasons why I couldn’t do this, and how I was going to explain to the others why I was pulling out. I couldn’t do it. I was kidding myself. I’m not that fit/athletic/strong yet. I’ll get there, just not right now.

But when I got there the others were so enthusiastic and encouraging that I felt I would be letting them down if I didn’t do it! So I just did. And it nearly killed me. My feet and legs were jelly at the end, my stomach was about to expel my breakfast, and my head was spinning. I was dripping with sweat and had totally run out of dry places on my shirt to wipe my face.

But I did it! There will never again be a first time. As I get fitter and stronger it will get easier (and yes, I will do it again!) I am not where I want to be yet, but I am a hell of a lot further along than I was. I will always be a “work in progress”, that’s inevitable. Once you stop improving you stop living. So there isn’t an end point to this journey, merely a whole lot of rest stops along the way.

I can’t eat like that any more.

Merry Christmas everyone! Hope you had a wonderful day full of happiness and love.

We had no kids at home this year, they were all at their other parents’. So just The Man and I for Christmas lunch. He was having cheese kranskies, which used to be up there among my favourite foods. Lovely little German sausages, with pockets of warm, melted cheese. Yum!

So I had some too. On a fresh white bread roll. I followed it up with some grapes. I decided that today was going to be a No Calorie Counting day, and I’d go for a walk this afternoon.

The Man had the traditional post-Christmas lunch lie-down (even though we really didn’t eat that much!) and I decided I’d go for a quick 5k around the block instead of a walk. It wasn’t too hot, there was a nice cooling breeze, and I felt like going for a run up and down some hills. See how much this lifestyle has changed me? Anyway, I set off feeling fine.

About halfway round I started to get the worst stomach cramps and had to stop running. 3/4 of the way into my lap I was really struggling, sweating and shaking, and desperately trying to work out if I could make it home or if I’d have to knock on someone’s door. And then, I saw it. The public toilet, and the door was UNLOCKED! On Christmas Day! I couldn’t believe my luck.

Anyway, I made use of the facilities. And felt much better, and walked the rest of the way home.

I honestly couldn’t believe how bad I felt though. My body was totally rebelling against the food I’d fed it! I’ve been eating clean, unprocessed food for the last 4 months, and I could not tolerate the processed meat and cheese and white bread. It was actually a really interesting revelation.

So tomorrow it’s back to the good stuff. Actually tonight it was back to the good stuff. With the exception of a small glass of butterscotch schnapps. Hey, it is Christmas, after all!

Christmas Eve and I’m not at the shops!

That’s right, I finished my Christmas shopping yesterday. That’s a whole day early!

So what did I do on Christmas Eve instead of fighting the crowds and feeling anxious? Why, I went for a run of course! I ran the 5k Bellbird/Kokoda Track at Mt Coottha, which is a slightly insane and challenging run down and then up a steep hill. Finished it in the quickest time I’ve ever done, despite feeling a bit crappy after a cold.

Then we had coffee, and watched the storm, and felt ever-so-slightly superior to the ordinary people who were still in bed at 5am. Yep, that’s what time we started. That is not who I was, but it is definitely who I am now.

A mental breakthrough

I’m fat, that much is established. In the past I thought “fat” was an offensive word. I thought that describing people as overweight, big, large, and the word du jour for online dating websites: cuddly, was a far less rude way to describe someone.

I have believed for a while now that fat is the more accurate way of saying it, but have been having trouble rationalising that with the part of me that says it’s rude and offensive. I hate sugar coating. I hate that society has become so politically correct that fat is no longer acceptable as a description, but I don’t know how to lose that mindset.

Today I was listening to an older podcast from Bevan James Eyles, who is an Ironman triathlete and professional fitness instructor. He’s also a really cool motivational speaker, if you ever get the chance to listen to him. Anyway, the podcast I was listening to today was all about disconnecting the emotions from your fitness decisions. And about how saying you’re fat isn’t an insult if it’s true, and that it doesn’t mean you are a bad person, just that you have made some unhealthy decisions in your life to this point.

Lightbulb moment! That’s me! I’m fat. I’ve made some bad decisions in the past. I’ll probably make some bad decisions in the future, but I won’t let them turn my mind around and ruin all the good work I’ve done on my body to date. I am here for the long haul now, and one bad decision is just that, a single bad decision in isolation.

It’s just what Michelle Bridges has been saying in the 12 Week Body Transformation program I’ve been doing (and have just signed up to do again in February!). Take the emotion out of it. View what you do from an external perspective, and when you screw up as you inevitably will (because nobody except John Eales is perfect!) you need to review what you’ve done as if it were somebody else, and jump straight back on that wagon. It’s not easy, but it’s simple.

It’s taken me 42 years to work out what I’ve been doing wrong, and now that I have, I don’t intend to forget it!

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