Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Lessons From My Fitness Journey: Comparison Is The Thief of Joy & Other Helpful Hints



A few weeks ago I wrote an article about my weight loss journey, and that it was not really going in the direction I envisioned.

Yesterday I ran in my first half marathon. After all of my training, I still worried that I would fail. Tears streamed down my face as I crossed the finish line because I was amazed that I finished and felt as good as I did. All of my training was solitary, and I pushed myself with a sense of have to instead of want to.

For the race, my running partner was a wonderful woman who helped put me back together after my world fell apart. She's always there for the tough moments. I was armed with great music, but never once did I put in my headphones. We talked about life and love, threw some shade, and laughed at my expense as I bit it at mile 8. (The only thing that hurt was my ego.) The run was tough, but after we began I never once considered stopping. I finished - upright, happy, and sexy as hell.

Then the self-doubt began to creep in as I was getting ready for a Christmas party that night. I started comparing myself to the other finishers and criticizing myself for being 20 lbs heavier than my target weight. I should have gotten up and put on my makeup, but instead I sat in my closet and cried when I couldn't find anything to wear. Why is my self-worth shaped by how I look in an outfit or what size I am? Four hours earlier I had finished a half-marathon, and now I was reduced to tears because I had lost my self-confidence.

As Danielle Brooks has recently shown us - the only person we should be comparing ourselves to is yesterday's self. I am trying to let this be my mantra. I just need to be better than I was yesterday. Not only does that apply to reps in the gym or weight lifted, I have to be kinder to myself also.

I still want to lose the weight, and if I said anything different I'd be lying. And you can bet I'll still be hitting the gym and working on it, but I will not obsess about the numbers on the scale. I could not have run that half marathon when I was 113 pounds, but I sure as shit can at 160 pounds. 

So here's what I'm taking away from this weekend:
  1. Not all heavy people are lazy. 
  2. Not all skinny people are healthy. 
  3. Clothing sizes are fucking stupid. 
  4. Keep pushing toward your goals, especially when they're scary. 
  5. Never stop digging. There is always more to find. 
  6. "Comparison is the thief of joy" - Teddy Roosevelt 
I'll be getting that last one tattooed on me, right above my first half marathon bib number. 

Janes, go out there and kill it! 

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