Anyway, considering I had a horrible run yesterday, I was kind of dreading today's run. I already had decided that I was going to do it on the treadmill, just in case I had a bad time again, I could stop early. And I had made up my mind to do just 8 miles, instead of 12.
I turned on Sons of Anarchy and watched two episodes while I was running (Season 4, Episodes 5-6). I felt much better than I did while running yesterday, no doubt because there was no wind, but I still couldn't wait to be done.
It's kind of funny, when I plan to do 12 miles, it really doesn't feel that long; but when I do "just" 8, it feels like forever! I think I have the idea in my head that it's going to go by super fast because I'm used to doing 12.
After eight miles, I kept running because there was still a good 15 minutes left of the episode. I ran until I reached mile nine, and then I walked until the episode was over. I was glad I went the extra mile!
Considering I usually spend an average of 20 PP on my long run treat, this was a good deal. But then in the evening, after the boys' first baseball practice of the season, I got talked into going out for ice cream. So I had a Reese's Cup Flurry, for 14 PP. Hahaha, so I wound up spending 20 PP anyway.
I've said this before, but I'll say it again--I'm not a big reader. A book has to really keep my attention long enough for me to finish, and because of that, I start a lot of books and just never finish them. So when I get requests to review books, I usually decline. But I've actually read a few books recently for review, so I'll be sharing those in the coming weeks.
The first I was asked if I'd like to read and review is called "Stranger Here" by Jen Larsen. The book is a memoir about a woman who had weight loss surgery (WLS) and her thoughts and feelings both before and after the surgery as she lost weight. Reading weight loss surgery stories isn't of interest to me, so I almost said no.
The description that changed my mind about reading the book was, "Larsen realized that getting skinny was not the magical cure she thought it would be--and that suddenly she wasn't sure who she was anymore." I could definitely relate to that, even though I lost weight through diet and exercise rather than weight loss surgery, so I agreed to read and review the book. I was curious how our experiences compared.
I, surprisingly, really liked the book! The thing that was so interesting to me was that this wasn't a super-happy feel-good memoir about a weight loss success story. Larsen wrote so honestly about the fact that she just wanted a "simple" way to be skinny. She admitted that she hadn't exhausted all of her options before considering WLS, but she knew the "right answers" to give the doctors so that they would agree to the surgery.
She also admitted to not having thought through the consequences of her choice to have surgery, and after the surgery, she was struck by the enormity of it. Her entire life had to change. I had no idea just how restrictive the diet is after WLS--Larsen had to agree to give up alcohol, sugar, and fats (pretty much my entire diet, hahaha) and consume almost nothing but protein (mostly in the form of shakes)--forever.
The part that I could relate to so much was her thought process as she lost weight. Her mind still saw herself as "the fat girl", and it was hard to see herself as anything else. There was one part toward the end of the book, where she wrote about a man (literally) picking her up, and she felt totally panicked because she was "too heavy" to pick up--even though she was thin.
This same scenario happened to me a couple of times since losing the weight, most recently when I was in Key West a few months ago. We were all at a bar, standing outside chatting and taking goofy pictures, and this guy scooped me up for a picture. It was like an alarm went off in my head, and I got SO panicked that I was going to hurt him, or he would drop me in front of everyone, because I was "too heavy" to be picked up. Some of those thoughts are probably going to be ingrained in my head forever.
Even at my heaviest, weight loss surgery was never something I even wanted to consider; I knew I was capable of losing weight "the old fashioned way", so I was determined to do so. Stranger Here is a great read for someone who is considering WLS, because Larsen writes about the good, the bad, the ugly of the process; but it's also a great read for someone like me, who lost weight without surgery, because I found that we had a LOT in common, despite the fact that we chose different methods of weight loss.
The whole book makes a big point that weight loss, no matter how it is achieved, doesn't solve any of your problems (except maybe health issues). It doesn't fix an unhealthy relationship, it doesn't fix issues with food and overeating or binge eating, it doesn't even mean that you will be happy. Larsen seemed to have a hard time separating her personality from her weight, and I think that's something that most overweight people (and even thin people) can relate to.
The surgery is just a small part of this book; most of the writing is about Larsen's thought process while she was obese, and then considering the surgery, and finally, as she lost weight. I think that's why I enjoyed the book so much.
If you're interested in reading it, you're in luck--one randomly selected Runs for Cookies reader will win a copy!