I've been doing really well as far as my depression goes. I still feel the effects of it, but I am actively working on making plans and doing things that will make me happier in the long run. I know I've been writing a lot about my depression lately, but it felt like it was all-consuming for a while. There are a lot of people who have expressed that they are grateful that I've been openly discussing it, so I wanted to write candidly about it. Now, I am hoping that I'll be writing more and more about feeling better and getting back to the "normal" groove I strive for.
I've been thinking a lot about what exactly caused this tailspin last year.
I felt on top of the world a year ago, and everything took such a drastic turn. I was at my lowest weight (about 121 pounds) a year ago, and I was training SO hard for my 10K. I was regularly running sub-8:00 miles, and feeling fantastic about it.
I don't write this now to dwell on the changes, but rather to hopefully see what happened to cause the change. I've finally narrowed it down to my first therapist. I started therapy last spring, because I was having panic attacks almost daily and my anxiety was terrible (the depression was almost nonexistent a year ago). I ran my 10K in April, crushing my goal and finishing in 49:03. Then, I had no idea what to do next.
|I did it!! Now what?!|
Well, in retrospect, I should have listened to my gut feeling and continued to do what worked for me for so long. There is nothing wrong with having goals! By not setting any new goals, I felt lost and unmotivated. I started skipping more and more runs, simply because I wasn't training for a race or anything.
I kept hoping that I would eventually feel motivated to take care of myself even without having a goal of some sort, but it never happened. I put on a lot of weight very quickly last summer, but without a goal in the fall, I had no plan in place to take the weight back off.
One thing that I am very grateful for is that I had an epiphany about my summer weight gain. I no longer feel ashamed of it, and I don't panic about it. I'm not embarrassed to to post photos of myself at this weight anymore. I don't enjoy being a higher weight, of course, and I'm actively trying to take it off; but, I don't feel embarrassed or ashamed anymore, either. I'd say that's a big improvement!
Anyway, I think the therapist's advice to stop making goals was definitely the wrong plan for me. I know what she was going for, and she had good intentions, but my personality thrives on goals. So, I started a bullet journal for my goals and to track my way back to goal weight and being in shape. (My current therapist agrees that goals are the way I get things done, and I thrive that way).
Since I am SUPER excited about going to Vegas in November to meet up with a ton of From Fat to Finish Line fans, my main focus is to be happy with my appearance and my physical condition when I go on the trip. There are 38 weeks until the Vegas trip, which is plenty of time to accomplish this. Ideally, I'd like to weigh about 125 for that race (I'll be running the half-marathon, and while I don't care to set a time goal, I'd like to feel great during the race).
I weighed in on my fancy new scale Wednesday:
I've been at this weight for about a month now, I think. (In case anyone is wondering, the new scale is the Health O Meter Professional 349KLX digital floor scale (Amazon affiliate link). It was definitely a splurge, as it was pretty expensive--but considering how much I use it, and that having a nice one would make me more motivated, it was worth it. I love it! And I'll never have to buy a scale again.)
So, my "if all the stars align" goal is to weigh 125 by November 9th. That would mean losing about 0.87 pounds per week, which is totally do-able. Of course, all the medication changes lately could have any number of consequences on my weight, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. My actual goal weight is 133, and not 125, but I've realized that I do better when I aim bigger than when I aim smaller. So, even if I "only" get down to 140 or 135, I will still be very happy with that.
Right now, I am training for the Indy Mini (13.1) in May. Once I finish that, I will pick another race to train for, just to keep myself going with goals. Indy is 12 weeks away, and training starts today! I'm following my own "Finish Strong" plan, which is a good choice for my current goal and situation.
I set up some pages in my bullet journal to get me started and motivate me to focus on my goals.
|A little visual to see as I lose weight--I'll color in each|
square as I reach that weight
To keep track of my weigh-ins, I like to do something that I did when I was losing the weight in 2009-2010. I calculate how much I need to lose each week in order to hit a goal by a certain time frame. Then, when I weigh in, I look to see how close I am to that goal number. I would ideally like the difference to be 0 or a negative number each week. On March 1, for example, if I weigh in at 154, the difference would be -1, because the goal for that date is 155 (meaning I'd be a pound below my goal for that date). Anyway, this is where I'll track that. I am also going to keep track of my weekly calories again. That was helpful last year when I needed to make adjustments.
|This is for a loss of one pound per week|
I also wrote out my entire training plan for Indy, so I can color in the squares as I finish each workout. The goal is to have ALL the squares colored in, with the exception of four days that I'm allowing myself to play hooky.
Finally, I'd like to maybe do a couple of consistent blog posts each week as well. Would anyone be interested in the Motivational Monday posts again? I miss seeing all of the success stories in my inbox! If you're unfamiliar, I used to do a series on my blog called Motivational Monday. Each Monday, I would share a paragraph or two from someone who wanted to brag about a race they completed, a new PR, weight loss, trying a new activity, eating better, etc. Anything at all (health or fitness related) that someone wanted to share was fair game.
So, if you'd like to share, please send in a submission to me at MM@runsforcookies.com (MM for Motivational Monday). Please send one photo of your accomplishment, as well as 1-2 paragraphs telling us what you're proud of accomplishing. Depending on the response, I'd like to start next Monday, so please get them submitted soon! (Here is another explanation for submissions)
In addition to doing the Motivational Mondays again, I'd like to pick a couple of other consistent posts to do each week. On Wednesdays, it would be nice to get back to Wednesday Weigh-ins and a weekly recap of weight loss related stuff. I was thinking on Sundays, I could post a recap of my training/exercise for the week. Finally, I thought of doing something called "Foodie Friday" or something like that, where I will share a new recipe or food product and write a little about that.
I think by having series of different posts, I won't feel so lost as to what to write about. Having been blogging for so long, I feel like I've said everything there is to say! So, by having a consistent topic, I won't feel like I'm being redundant.
Wow, this post is much longer than I anticipated! I am feeling very excited about setting new goals and making plans for reaching them, though. I think this will help my depression a lot. Now, I'm going to head out to do my 40-minute run. I think I'll go to the state park. It's nice and sunny today!