Begin Again

My life has been a seemingly endless cycle of weight loss and gain that often appears to follow the seasons. Weight comes off in the spring and summer, and returns in the fall and winter. But in the past few years, less weight is lost in the warmer months and more weight is gained in the colder months. My metabolism must be slowing.

The picture, accompany this post, was taken during the 2012 Chicago Marathon. I had turned 40, that month, and I was at the healthiest point that I had ever been in my life. Things have changed since then. I don’t look like that, anymore. I don’t run that fast, anymore. I just don’t feel that good, anymore. I use that picture, and others from that time, as a reminder of what I had once achieved, and what I could do again.

I think about the conditions of that time. What was I doing differently then, that I am not doing now? I lived in a small city with a very active and supportive running group. We trained together, hung out together, and went to running events together.

I was teaching Zumba Toning twice a week, and having to learn and rehearse the choreography at least once or twice a week, in addition to teaching the classes. I might have also been doing yoga a couple times a week. I was working with a personal trainer/nutritionist to monitor my food intake. Mostly, she kept me accountable by checking my food logs weekly, but also by suggesting a higher protein, lower carb diet.

What am I doing now? I live in a tiny rural town without an organized running group. I don’t know very many people, yet. Mostly, I run alone 2-3 times a week, but sometimes, my husband runs with me. While I really appreciate his company, sometimes it makes me uncomfortable and much too aware of my slowness compared to his speed. At the handful of 5ks I’ve done here, I find myself looking for my old running friends amongst the crowds of strangers.

I don’t teach Zumba Toning, currently, but I try to do it on my own 2-3 times a week as cross-training. I often think about doing yoga, but I seldom actually do. With more time on my hands, I have been cooking and baking (and drinking) a lot more.  I have been somewhat resistant to logging my food. I even went so far as to make an anti-New Year’s Resolution, telling myself that I would not obsess about my weight or exercise or keep a food journal.

What will I do next? I have been thinking about meeting with a few other fitness minded people to form a group, and maybe start teaching Zumba again. I have started logging my food, again, in MyFitnessPal, an app that tracks my activities and calories, and even provides a blog space.

I signed up to run the Lincoln Half Marathon in May, and I would like to do a full marathon in the fall. I’m sure there will be a few 5ks and 10ks thrown in between those big events. I’d also like to do some sprint triathlons, so that will require more cycling and swimming.

Quite recently, I joined one of those 30-day challenge groups. It’s mostly about accountability, which has been one of my main problems. I am to log in daily to report my workout and nutrition. A reminder is sent to my phone every evening if I have failed to report. There are two coaches to keep an eye on the group, as well. This is good. I tend to eat healthier if I know someone is watching.

So, here I am, ready to begin my fitness journey… again. I’ll let you know how it goes. ✿