When did I take that ‘U’ Turn?

Over the past several months I have gained back 15 of the 25 pounds I worked so hard to lose. My lowest weight was almost exactly a year ago. What on earth has happened? Today as I was trying to figure out what to wear to work the impact of it all really hit me. The pair of pants I selected are now snug. Snug?! They were loose only  a month or two ago.

How can this happen? I was so determined not to slide back. All I have to offer is excuses. Some of them are good and even legitimate, but they are still just excuses.

Excuse 1. Injury
In the Fall of 2010 running became quite painful. I walked much of the last five miles of the Mankato Half Marathon because I could no longer put pressure on my right foot. Additionally my hips were causing a lot of pain. At the time it was a severe case of plantar fasciitis and what was thought to be bursitis. I took time off, kept running, but only short distances. I received a cortisone shot in my hip and was told to take time off from running altogether. The pain receded, but never completely went away. I went to a Sports Medicine doctor. Discovered my problem was actually stemming from weak hip muscles. I was prescribed some exercises. Winter came and went. I got lazy.

Excuse 2. Commute
I drive from St. Cloud to LeSueur and back each week for a roundtrip total of about 260 miles. Additionally, I drive back and forth between LeSueur and Mankato four times a week for another 240 miles. That’s a lot of time spent in my car. Certainly doesn’t help the muscle tone in my gluteus maximus. But spending all that time on the road does provide a great excuse for being lazy. It also contributes to why I don’t want to exercise when I’m not driving. I’ve already “wasted” so much time in my car, why do I want to “waste” more running?

Excuse 3. Lifestyle adjustment
When I originally started running and training for the half marathons I’ve completed I was living and working in the St. Cloud area. My schedule was my own. My husband and I have a pretty relaxed lifestyle when it comes to dinner times and planning other activities. So it became my habit to run right after work and eat sometime later, whenever we felt like it. I know, you dieticians out there probably don’t approve as it means we’re more prone to eating junk. This is somewhat true, but I’m not here to defend that particular issue.

However, a year ago I started working in Mankato and living at my parent’s house during the week. They have been extremely accommodating and I love the fact that I come home and don’t have to cook. Who wouldn’t love that? The downside is I feel compelled to fit their schedule, even if they aren’t pressuring me. Which means eat first then run. This doesn’t work. The other alternative is run, then reheat and eat when I get home. This is okay, except that I feel rushed to get home and eat so everything can get put away for the evening. Run in the morning? Right. See excuse #2. I’m already getting up early to commute. That and I’m not a morning person anyway. And to add insult to injury, somewhere along the line I just quit logging my calorie intake. That was just plain laziness and I think a little cockiness because I had lost so much weight. My willpower must be better now, right? I must know how to better control my portions, right? Obviously not.

Excuse 4. Thesis
I’m nearing the end of my Master’s degree and my thesis has been taking up a large amount of my time. In the evenings, on weekends. I know that I really should be taking breaks, especially on those long weekend stints, but once you get into the flow and the proper mindset it’s really hard to let go. I also am under a tight deadline and the pressure is on, so I don’t feel that I can afford the time away. The good news on this, is that I am almost done. Only a couple more weeks and this particular excuse will go away.

How to rectify the situation

As I said, taking ownership is the first step. The second step is to quit making excuses. And for now, I think the third step is to give myself something to train for. I did so well when I was dangling that half marathon carrot in front of my nose. With my injuries I don’t know that I’m ready to tackle another half right now. Instead I think I’m up for a little challenge. I hereby dare myself to complete a 30 day running challenge. Stay tuned for details, as I need to work them out. And maybe consult with trainer or two. I’m open to suggestions.

To be continued …

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