27 weeks until the Disney Princess half marathon.
I’m slow but I’m still moving.
I’m sore right now because I took a long run the day before yesterday and added in some extra hills. My knee has been giving me a little trouble and Kyle is fit to be tied because he’s sure I’m going to injure myself at any second, but I’m nervous about losing momentum so I add slow walks and gentle yoga and try to at least lean in the direction of fitness on my “off” days. This journey is going so well this time, I’m eager to keep it going.
I’ve been trying to think about what the big difference is this time, so I can pass it along to someone who could use the help. After all, I’ve started diets and I’ve started workout plans over and over and over in the last ten years. So why do I feel so different now than I did on any of those (failed) first steps?
Unfortunately, the truth I’ve found is stupidly simple, which means this post will never reach the most-pinned-ever boards of Pinterest. The answer is: I believe I can do it this time.
Failure sucks and anticipation of failure is one of the most toxic things you can bring with you when you start a journey. For one reason or another, I have always held a deep belief that my body would fail. I allowed that belief in failure to turn into an eating disorder that made me sick for years and when I finally “recovered” from that period, my beliefs in failure were validated when I gained weight rapidly. I told myself that I was always right when I felt like I was at war with my own body. Because I suck.
It’s like I’ve been carrying around this heavy internal chorus that says things like, “You aren’t a naturally thin person. You aren’t athletic. Other people can be athletic, but you can’t. You’ll hurt yourself. It’s too much work. Everyone but you knows you can’t do this. People will laugh at you. They’ll feel sorry for you. You look ridiculous. Give up. Give up.”
I have been waiting for years for someone to shut that chorus up. I’ve been buying things that promised to be the new easy/secret path for failures like me to reach goals other (normal) people reach. I’ve been buying clothes in larger sizes because curves are beautiful and embracing your mom body is the new thing. I’ve even looked into plastic surgery because obviously only a man with a sharp knife could help this hot mess.
And then, for whatever reason, one day I realized that (A) that chorus was full of crap and (B) nobody can hear that chorus but me. And yes, they’re screaming at me when I run. Yes, they make fun of how heavy my footfalls sound and how I breathe in sharp puffs when I go up hill. Yes, they even jeer as the scale goes down and point out that my numbers, while lower, are still so much higher than they should be.
I promise with absolute honesty: They. Don’t. Matter. Anymore. And that’s the difference.
It’s not that I don’t think negative thoughts or feel bad about eating a cookie or wonder if our neighbors worry that I’m going to pass out on their lawn as I wheeze-jog by their house. I just don’t let those thoughts stop me anymore. They can scream all they want, but I’m going to keep moving. One of these days, I’ll outrun them. Or maybe I’ll just stomp them into the ground.
I am afraid of failing again. I’m afraid of doing a backslide to a bad place where I have to legitimately worry about being healthy for Kyle and the kids. I’m even afraid that one day I’ll wake up and I won’t remember why I don’t make myself throw up anymore. But I am brave today. And I am moving.
* * *
PS – Like my top? It’s from Soybu and I got it at BlogHer when I attended the One2One Eppa Sangria Party. It’s on sale right now, so I thought I’d drop a link because it’s the new most comfortable thing I own. I love yoga clothes. Hard.