Last night's lazy evening turned into a lazy morning as well. I finished my book this morning, and was definitely procrastinating going out for a run--it was SO windy! The wind was at 16 mph, and the gusts were 30 mph. We could hear it whistling really loudly from inside the house, and I was thinking how difficult it was going to be to run in that. I could have done the treadmill, but I was just going to run 3-4 miles, and I thought it might be a nice adventure to go out in that wind.
The "RealFeel" temp was just 16 degrees, so I dressed pretty warm (long-sleeved shirt and a fleece over it, ear warmer headband, and gloves). I wanted to do a faster paced run, so I was aiming for sub-9:00 miles; but I wasn't sure what would happen, because of the wind.
It ended up not being as bad as I thought it would be. I decided to stay in the neighborhoods, so that the houses would at least block the wind somewhat. Because I was doing a big loop, I didn't have the usual headwind and tailwind like I do with an out-and-back; it was coming from all different directions, based on which way I was headed.
It was kind of funny, because I was running along just fine and then a gust would hit, and it was all I could do to stay upright. It felt like I was running in place. But my pace was pretty good, despite the wind, so it wasn't all bad. I knew I would do either three or four miles, depending on how I felt, and since I was feeling pretty good, I did four. The last mile was definitely the toughest, because that's when I had a headwind and the houses were spaced farther from the road; the gusts were terrible that last half-mile! Interestingly, that was also my fastest mile. I was happy with the 8:30 average pace, especially in this wind.
I got an e-mail yesterday that really hit home with me, and I wanted to bring it up here. A reader wrote that she's lost 91 pounds this year (with a goal of 100 total), and her mind is having a very hard time catching up with her body. She's gone from a size 24 to a size 12, but she still "feels fat"; she feels undeserving of compliments, and gets embarrassed when someone mentions her weight loss. She thought she'd be overjoyed with her weight loss, but she's still waiting for that to kick in. She was wondering if I felt like this after losing the weight.
I honestly could have written the e-mail myself! I know exactly what she's going through. I compare it to calling myself a "runner". When I started running, I felt like an impostor; I wasn't a "real" runner! It took me nearly a YEAR before I would use the word "runner" when referring to myself. I was doing all the same things that "real runners" did, but I just felt embarrassed to use that word.
It was the same with my weight loss. When I first lost the weight, I didn't really know when it was okay to refer to myself as "thin" or "normal"; and I certainly would never use the word "skinny"! When I would shop in the misses department, instead of the plus size department, I felt like everyone was looking at me and thinking, "Why is she shopping here? Doesn't she realize she can't fit into these clothes?"
The scale showed that I was a normal weight, my jeans were a "normal" size, my body measurements were great; but I still couldn't really believe that it was ME. It's hard to describe, but even though all the numbers showed I was "normal", I felt like I still looked the same as before. I felt undeserving of compliments, and I felt like people were just complimenting me because they knew I was working hard at losing weight. I didn't actually believe them.
It's taken a VERY long time, but it's gotten a lot better over the past few years. I can accept compliments and I believe that they are genuine; I see a thin person when I look at photos of me (although I still don't see it in the mirror, unfortunately); I stopped feeling like people were staring when shopping in the misses or juniors department; and I'm pretty confident that unless people know my story, they can't tell that I used to be morbidly obese.
Getting to this point took a lot of time. Just like with calling myself a runner--it wasn't until I lived as a runner for nearly a year that I felt comfortable with that word. I had to live as a normal-weight person for a long time before I started to think of myself a normal-weight person, or even to just stop thinking of myself as obese. (I still have a hard time using the word "thin").
I think that it's completely normal to have those thoughts. A lot of the people I know who have lost a large amount of weight felt the same way when reaching goal. They said it took a long time before they stopped feeling fat. I always liked to look at before and current pictures of myself just to prove to myself that I really did look different, and that I had lost the weight! It's nice to see how far I've come, and remind myself that I never want to go back. I'm really proud of everything that I've accomplished!