Joy changes the landscape. My old life began to loosen around me like somebody else’s shell. I felt naked, exposed. I had flashes of ecstasy, but pain was more available to me. And not just physical pain either. I was swept with waves of remorse. And alarmingly, I also felt the stirrings of ambition.
– Benjamin Cheever, Strides (Holtzbrinck Publishers, 2007)
Another quote from Strides that got me. I understand this so well.
My old life has loosened around me. I am no longer the woman that I was. I don’t blame her. I am not angry at her or upset about the woman I was, though I admit to feeling some remorse. How would my life have been different if I had addressed my weight earlier? I will never actually know, of course, but I am sure that having more energy, feeling more confident and more likely to take risks would have changed things for me, but (fortunately) there are no rear-view crystal balls. Life is what it is. I am at the place I am at today because things lined up for me. I had the right motivation (my mother’s health) and the right tools (I couldn’t have done it without the My Fitness Pal app) and I had a wonderful support network. I also had the time. I’ve read that the human mind can only focus on a few things at once. I started this at a point where I had the capacity to do it – not everyone has that luxury.
I am also feeling the stirrings of ambition. It is not enough to have hit my secret magic weight goal. Now I want to stop concentrating on keeping the numbers on the scale going down, and instead concentrate on the numbers on my barbells going up. I want to see the numbers on my running app go up in length and my speed get faster. It’s a whole new set of numbers!
I am focusing on being able to do the things I want to do – I want a practical body. By that I mean I want strong arms and shoulders to I can carry things and rock out in the kayak. I want to keep running so I build my stamina and endurance. I’ve been an asthmatic all my life, and for the first time, I can really exercise without being out of breath. I want to build on it. I want to run around and play with my nieces and my dog, and not feel like they are going to wear me out in just a few minutes!
So there you have it – that’s my goal: keep the weight I have lost off for a year and build up my strength and endurance. That seems pretty simple.
Photo credit: Brian Smithson