Yesterday I ran my first proper 5k since back from holiday. I ran on the treadmill, but that’s because English weather and lighting conditions around parks do not support outside running in my opinion. And it’s also much kinder on my joints than pounding tarmac. My usual treat after such an accomplishment is 2*15minutes in the sauna. And because I'm usually alone in there, that’s also my designated thinking time.
So, while laying in the dry steam in my full glory, I had an epiphany last night: I do not give myself credit for my achievements along the way. You know the feeling? I’m so focused on my ultimate goals (getting to 150lbs, running a half marathon, etc.) that I don’t ever stop to think how far have I already come, how much have I achieved and things I’m doing already. And that’s not good.
For example: by following a training schedule for the run, every time I finish a session (like the 5k yesterday evening) my next thought is: “ok, another 5k on Wednesday...” Or when I step on the scale each morning (yes, another Scale Whore here – hi!) and I see I’ve lost 1.4 lbs since yesterday morning my next thought is: “ok, 47 lbs more to go...”.
I never give a jot about what I’ve just done or already been doing. I firmly keep my eyes on the finishing line in the distance.
My revelatory moment went something like this:
“ok, first 5k done for the week, one more on Wednesday and I felt very good and not too tired so we’ll see how it goes over the weekend, maybe we can do a 6 or 7k...” (this is general Me, but now new Me peeps in): “Hold on! What did just happen? What did you just do? You’re telling me you ran 5k on your own volition? Seriously? No one chased you? No one threatened you with on-the-spot execution if you stop? After 8 hours at work and walking the dog at 6am in the morning, you just got up and ran 5k? Just 5 months ago you never even ran after a bus!! You wouldn’t have ran from a mugger, for goodness sake! So can we just stop here and have a minute silence in remembrance of this momentous event? WELL DONE YOU!!! And, by the way, a massive big WELL DONE for losing 37lbs too! That’s amazing!! You are really doing this and you doing it well! I’m really impressed – now go and enjoy the feeling of “can do” and achievement!”
I was a bit stunned, to be honest. I mean I’m all for rewards in life (you should see my shopping history on Amazon lately... Or just take a look at my emotional eating issues when I’ve done something great and good...) but I must admit I’ve never really gave credit to myself. Not in the real sense of stopping for a minute and looking back at what I’ve done and having a real good pat on the mental shoulder. But now I start to feel how very important that is in the long run – especially in tackling my food-as-reward mental hard wiring I’ve got since I was a toddler. I need to appreciate my achievements more inside of my head, and not just by getting a new gadget or book or lingerie (– or god forbid: ice cream). The mental appreciation and rewarding is much more important and last much longer. And for the record I haven’t even done the rewarding by shopping bit lately: I’ve rain checked on my last two rewards I’ve earned on my journey. See my updated entry about my goals.)
So, following that little conversation with myself, I let myself enjoy the moment and went a step further – in my humorous sense. I actually figured out what I need. I need a cheering department. It would consist of 4 people: - every morning I want Alison Sweeney in my bathroom by my scale, telling me “Congratulations Krisztina! You’ve lost ....lbs since your first weigh-in! That’s ...% of weight loss so far, which permanently puts you above the yellow line! Go, and join the others.” The next person I definitely want on my cheering team is either Bob Harper or Jillian Michaels. I want one of them to stand by me when I finish a longer run and shout at me: “You DID it! YOU did it! You just ran ...k!! I told you can do it!! Don’t ever say “you can’t” anymore! That’s bullsh*t! YOU CAN DO IT!” A part time job would involve my surgeon, Dr Bende, who should oversee my weekly records of weight loss, exercise, eating and general wellbeing and congratulate me on being a poster girl of band-patient and tell me how proud he is of me and what a great decision it was from both of us to get on with the surgery. I would also employ – only part time – a person who walks behind me when I’m shopping or eating out and whispers in my ear “you’ve come so far! You’re doing so great! Do not ruin it by making crap choices now! You do not need the cheese twist (or whatever I want to buy and eat impulsively because I convinced myself that I deserve it)! You deserve much more and you are getting it! Make the right choices!” It’s slightly different from its original use in ancient Rome, but hey: it’s my imagination.*
Hubby kindly offered to join the cheering team, bless his heart! But he missed his very first accepted appearance this morning at 6am when I stumbled on my scale before walking the dog and saw that miraculously (or by eating right yesterday and running 5k) I’ve lost 1.4lbs since yesterday morning. He later said that the snoring noises I heard were actually his shouted words of congratulation and encouragement, but they were muffled by the blanket he pulled over his head because the bathroom lights were bothering his firmly shut eyes... hahh.
*: in ancient Rome when the victorious commanders of war had their customary triumph, there was a slave standing behind them in their chariots throughout the whole day, whispering in their ear that whatever they’ve accomplished they are only humans. They did this to make sure that all the celebration and pomp does not spoil the victorious leader too much.