I'm mad at myself.
Last November I decided that I would run in the 500 Festival Mini Marathon this May.
In a previous life (that would be the one before kids), I was quite a runner. A little more tortoise than hare, but a runner nonetheless. Mike and I ran the Walt Disney World marathon in 1999. That same year I ran the Mini – not well – but I finished. In 2001 I trained for the Country Music Marathon. A poorly timed stress fracture in my foot kept me from actually running the race.
I look back at pictures of myself from that period of my life, and I'm amazed at what I see. I looked fabulous. I wasn't tiny by any stretch of the imagination. I might be short, but I do not come from a tiny people. But I was fit and strong. I look beautiful to myself in a way that I know in my heart only comes from feeling good about the body you are in.
Fast forward to the present. I was looking at some pictures that were taken of me recently and I was horrified. The little voice inside my head started doing that ugly talk. Ugghh. Could my face be any rounder? I swear I was sucking my gut in . . . is that really how I look when I'm actually trying to suck my gut in? Surely I'm mistaken, that can't be me.
And this is why I'm mad. I know that since having kids I've gotten to a weight that's not where I want to be. I know this is a different body. But training for the Mini wasn't supposed to be about that. I told myself it was about taking care of myself. About accomplishing a goal that would take commitment and hard-work. About making myself and my health a priority. About being an example to my kids, and most importantly to my daughter, of exercising for the sake of endorphins – the rush you feel, the flush in your cheeks.
It wasn't supposed to be about a number on a scale, the size of my pants, the way I look in a poorly-lit photograph.
But I can't help it, and it makes me mad.
I want to do it for all the right reasons and not be bothered that in 2 1/2 months I haven't dropped more than one measly pound. A little gratification from the Scale Gods would be nice. Perhaps a wink of approval from the God Who Decreases Pant Sizes.
Don't worry, I'm not giving up, though. I am bound and determined to run this race. I have a lot of miles to go, which means a lot of time to think. Maybe somewhere in these upcoming miles there is a lesson for me about what being healthy and strong and beautiful really means.