Sunday, May 13, 2012

Well, that was amazing!!!

When I look back on my weight loss journey, one story definitely stands out.  It was probably an insignificant conversation at the time, but as I approached last weekend, it is definitely a conversation that stood out in my mind.

It was Junior year of college (I think), and my friend Lindsay and I were having a go at Weight Watchers while at Seton Hall.  Looking back, I think it is friggin' hilarious that we drove ALL the way to Lyndhurst, when I'm sure there was a WW center a whole helluva lot closer...but, I digress...

We had just weighed in and were probably driving home (we skipped more meetings than we attended...totally lame) or sitting in the Galleon room eating something completely horrible for us to "celebrate" a weight loss.

Lindsay turned to me and said "When I get to goal, I am blasting Kelly Clarkson's 'A Moment Like This'"

I'm not sure Lindsay got to goal that year, and I'm pretty sure my weight creeped farther away from 180 and much closer to 235...but that memory still sticks out.  I also recall consuming gallons of Mountain Dew Code Red and KFC Biscuits dipped in honey mustard.

(Can we also take a moment to pause and discuss how I seem to recall stories based on what I ate during that time?  I can remember one summer where I ate pints of Ben and Jerry's for dinner...and I am recalling my college days based on what I consumed on a nightly basis.  If you ever needed proof that I had a serious problem relationship with food, this would be it...)

So, this past Saturday, I half expected an American Idol to walk out from the background and start belting a power ballad if I had made it a year at Lifetime.  I also was nervous that with my luck it would be Taylor Hicks (WORST.DECISION.EVER.AMERICA) or Sanjaya coming to serenade me on my victory.

I was legitimately at the Ocean Center right as the doors opened at 7:00 AM.  I was in my normal weigh in gear...gym shorts, grey v-neck.  I was ready...and totally friggin' nervous.

But I did it...I stepped foot on the scale...and...

Yes, yes, yes...I'm sharing my weight with the interwebs!

I had done it.  I met a goal I had set for myself.  12 months in a row, I had managed to stay at or below (and maybe a little above) my goal weight.  I can't even recall when I became passionate about making it a far as I was concerned, it was a monthly battle.

I guess halfway through the year, as I was closer to May 2012 than I was to May 2011 (when I had gotten back to Lifetime), I realized it was something I wanted and I needed to do for myself.

So, to celebrate, most sane people go out to eat with friends...maybe have a themselves a cute new outfit...drink themselves into oblivion...I dunno...

What does this fool do?!?!?  Run 13.1 miles the next friggin' day (we will just ignore the fact that someone brought me a tequila shot the night before...It WAS Cinco De Mayo, people...gimme a break!)

I reflected on this for a bit...and realized "Holy crap, now every single time I put another year at Lifetime under my belt, I'll be running 13.1 friggin' miles the next weekend.  What the hell were you thinking?!"

So, after reaching a great milestone, it was time for me reach another.  I'd be running my 5th half marathon and my 4th Long Branch Half.  I am still baffled by the fact that I run 13.1 miles for fun.  And I keep doing it.

I fit into a awesome is THAT?

First, before I share some thoughts about the race...Congratulations to Ray and Ellie for finishing!  It was great sharing this adventure with you -

And can we also please talk about my arms?!  I actually have some definition.  I mean, we aren't talking the Main Event at the Gun Show...but maybe a side exhibition?

So, to keep it brief...I ran it, I finished, and I had a few observations throughout -

- Among young teen males, there is a proliferation of Justin Bieber haircuts.  Mothers and fathers of America, this plague must be stopped.

- I hate you 2:00 hour pacer guy for actually doing your job and keeping a pace when I couldn't.  I'm sorry that every time I saw you, I ran away.  We all know you eventually won and you passed me...and stayed ahead of me for the last 7 miles.

-At about Mile 5ish, I reevaluated my life my head...with colorful language.  An example - "This is stupid.  Why did I think this was a good idea?  Why do I keep doing this to myself?  Really, Eric, 13.1 Miles...really?!  What the hell were you thinking?!"  Except with a lot more "F" Bombs.  Followed by "And you want to run 26.2 miles.  Are you effin' nuts?!"

-Spectators...thank you for not judging me as I mouthed the words to Sia's "Titanium."  It's the only way I was able to keep going.

-Dear Xavier from Spin - I've missed you.  You've clearly been working since we last spun (spinned, span, spanned) together.  I passed you to show off, then we ran side by side for 5 minutes...and then you totally smoked me.  If you're reading this, I love you, your tattoos...and call me, maybe? 

- Dearest race coordinators, I loved starting at Monmouth Park.  I thought it was amazing.  However, with the reconfiguration of the course, my traditional first pee stop at Mile 3 didn't show up until Mile 6. This confused the heck out of me and my bladder.  Peeing at Mile 3, I wouldn't have minded having to start running again.  Had I stopped to pee at Mile 6, I would've stopped running, turned around and gone home.

-Don't pee at mile 11.  Peeing at Mile 11, when there are only 2 Port-A-Johns, is a disastrous mistake.  Because you have to wait...and when you wait, it makes it easy for the 2:10 pacer to catch up to you.  And when the 2:10 pacer catches up to you, he will pass you...and you won't even see him do it.

So, my loyal fans, I missed my best time by half a minute.  But, I've beat myself up for it...and have scolded my bladder...and my legs for not sprinting across the finish line like I normally do (I was just so friggin' exhausted...)

But, I'm just so friggin' adorable holding a medal -

How do I turn this around to be something good?!?!  For the first time, I ran two half marathons in a year (which totally counts as a full marathon, right?!?!)...and I ran them 4 months apart.  Not too shabby.

Also, thanks to my Mom for always being at the Finish Line, not judging me as I cried, and giving me the hug I needed at the end of the race.

As with all experiences, there's a lesson, right?

There were a few moments where I wanted to stop running.  I kept telling myself that if I stopped running, I wasn't going to beat my time.  And although I didn't beat my time, I came pretty damn close.  If I had time would have been a whole lot worse.

I think of this race like this -

"There's that moment where 'I can't do it' becomes 'I can and I did.'"

And to pull it all together, this week's meeting topic was "What Motivates You to Lose Weight?"  Well, I've lost what motivates me to keep it off and keep going?  Because I don't want to be the person who can't run a half marathon.  Simply put.  Weight Watchers has changed my life...and has given me the confidence and ability to run 13.1 miles on a fairly regular basis.  It's such a point of pride for me.  I'm not going to become someone who can't take pride in that achievement anymore.

Also, I realized I need to set new goals for myself.  I will continue running Half that I know I can do it.  I will continue to push myself to get a better time...
...but I've gotta look for something new.

I know I want to learn about and use weights more.  I mean, it would be cool to have at least a 2 pack...and be able to point to my stomach and actually say "That's an ab!"

I have toyed with the idea of getting my Spin Instructor certification.

I would like my confidence and my self-image to catch up with my actual weight loss success.  Sometimes, I still think I'm fat Eric, even when thin Eric is staring me straight at the mirror.

And maybe...just maybe...if I'm drunk on a computer one night, I'll register for a full marathon.

So, as we close this blog post, I leave you with 2 thoughts -

Who's awesome?!  You are!
And this song got me through a lot, ever since I heard it at the end of "Body Attack." And to be honest, every friggin' time it plays at "Body Attack", I get a little weepy.

I blasted it after I hit my Year at Lifetime...
I also played it after it was official that I didn't get the job at Ramapo...
It just reminds me how incredible I truly am...and how incredible you truly are!

Happy Tracking!


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