What the scale WON’T tell you but my smile will

Yesterday, I finally returned to my favorite Sunday Warrior’s Weight Watchers meeting for the first time since my FIRST half-marathon and my SECOND half-marathon with a trip to Disney in between. SHOCKING. I thought to myself, “I’ve been so determined, what the hell happened!?” Well I realized that life happens and that it’s okay. The scale slips away from everyone but most importantly what I’ve learned from this whole process is that you have to OWN whatever happens and most importantly, keep kicking ass and taking names! I will say with confidence that I am actually HAPPY I gained 1.6 pounds. Yes, call me crazy but I was expecting at least a 6 pound gain from Disney (that damn Mickey ice cream!) and losing track over the past few weeks. Regardless, it’s definitely a weight off of my shoulders (I’m so punny) since I anticipated the absolute worst but was pleasantly surprised. I tend to do this a lot, as you will realize later…..

Enough about a number though. Really, what is ONE number (okay, more like three numbers strung together sometimes 4 because you can weigh like 135.2) going to tell you? Yesterday my leader (whom I adore and is super inspirational and motivational and just ALL OF THE GOOD FEELS) said something that really stuck, “Do not let 10 seconds on the scale determine your week.” This statement really got me thinking that everyone in that room is so much more than a number and we should not let the scale dictate or measure our happiness. You’re really going to let ONE number tell you that you ran 66 miles this month?! YOU BETTER NOT. I believe that anyone who is on a weightloss journey should not let one measly number define them. I mean for goodness sakes if I let a number control and define me, I’d have quit the first time I gained. Not to mention, I’ve run TWO HALF-MARATHONS since the last time I sat with my Sunday Warriors. The scale won’t tell ANYONE that.

The scale won’t tell you how my body was yelling at me during Saturday’s half because it was 88 degrees outside and I was so dehydrated. (Never doing that again!) I don’t think you understand unless you have actually ran in a 5k or half marathon or marathon that your brain starts to think some pretty crazy stuff. I wanted people sitting outside their houses to just turn their hoses on and cool everyone off. I envisioned the children standing on the road running inside and getting me a damn freezie pop. That’s when you know you’ve lost it, like when this one woman handing out water told me she could see the finish line at the 11 mile mark and I thought to myself, “NO YOU CAN’T. DON’T YOU DARE LIE TO ME.” In all reality I know she was trying to be encouraging but don’t tell me you can actually SEE the finish when it’s INSIDE the stadium and TWO miles away. I’m dying here, THANKS. After I saw someone on the side of the road with an ambulance I thought to myself, “Chelsea it’s hot, you need to slow down, who cares what your time is you are just aiming to finish standing up at this point.” So that was my mentality for the rest of the race. I figured my time was going to be a lot slower compare to my first race due to the hills and heat. So here I go with the whole anticipating the worst thing…..I mean not that I’m obsessing over numbers or anything but my first half marathon was on May 25th which I ran in 2:31:11 and Saturday’s 50 yard finish was 2:28:52. The scale won’t tell me that I actually beat my time!  The scale won’t measure the happiness that I felt when I found out that I beat this time earlier today. The scale also won’t tell you about the real smile in this transformation picture but I will.

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That smile comes from over a year of hard work, persistence, determination, dedication and defeat. I feel it’s important to discuss the defeat I have experienced as this journey is far from perfect. That smile also comes from the fact that in February 2013 I could barely run 13:20/mile and just last week in Delaware Park I ran one mile in 8:40. TONIGHT I RAN ONE MILE IN 8:35!!! That smile comes from an endless list of accomplishing things that I never thought were possible. That smile comes from the fact that I was once wearing size 18 pants and now I fit into a size 8. That smile comes from the fact that I no longer wear XXL shirts. That smile comes from the fact that I can be comfortable in shorts and a tank top. That smile comes from the fact that even when your body wants to quit, when every muscle is aching, your head is pounding, sweat is in your eyes, you want to faint, puke and collapse all at once, YOU DO NOT GIVE IN. That smile tells you that others will support and encourage you but at the end of the day this is your OWN journey and you have to rely on yourself and do what makes you happy and successful. I find myself thinking about another quote from Silver Linings Playbook….

The world will break your heart ten ways to Sunday. That’s guaranteed. I can’t begin to explain that. Or the craziness inside myself and everyone else. But guess what? Sunday’s my favorite day again. I think of what everyone did for me, and I feel like a very lucky guy.

I can totally relate to this quote. I used to run everyday in high school. I had a specific 4 mile loop around the village of OP. Throughout the years I lost sight of that but now running is my favorite again. Sure, a lot of stuff happens in between but you must remain grounded. You must have a constant. I’ve learned through experience that there are going to be setbacks along the way, the scale may lean one way, you didn’t run your best race, you experience a heartbreak, or you’re stressing out about school/work. Whatever the situation is, at the end of the day, if you want it bad enough, you will do what it takes to figure it out. You have to push all the bull**** aside and remember what you truly want. Nobody is going to go out there and get it for you and sometimes you need to be selfish in what you are after. Finally, the scale will not tell you that I am a fighter or that I refuse to give up on myself, only my smile can do that. Do not let the scale run your life. YOU run your life. Thanks for listening! Stay tuned for more =)

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P.S. I got some new kicks tonight and I’m even MORE pumped about running. I’m not sure where Brooks have been my entire life but I’m glad I found them =)

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Be YOU. BeYOUtiful.

“Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out.”

I’m disgusted with the fact that I have not posted one single thing on here since September 6th but that might be because grad school owned my life and I’m slowly getting it back =) YAY! The semester from HELL is finally over!  I would like to dedicate this post to all of those who get discouraged and think they can’t tackle this whole weight loss thing. Actually, let me rephrase that, this is a lifestyle change.

You have to grasp the mentality that the weight you have acquired was definitely not put on overnight. It may not even be weight, you may just want to work on a fitness goal, you may desire to change some eating habits. Whatever your goal is, I hate to break it to you but it’s not happening OVERNIGHT. That is why I live by the phrase, “Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out.” Sure, I may not hit that 9:00 mile today but you better believe that I’m going to fight like hell to get there until it happens. Some days suck real bad. Of course, I want to quit. Some days I want to demolish a pack of Oreos . Some days I push myself so hard at the gym that my head feels like it’s going to explode and I want to puke. But somewhere within myself I dig reallllll deep and realize how bad I want this. I define this as being happier and healthier. I know there will come a day when I am 110% thrilled with myself when I look in the mirror. I’m not there yet, but I’m much closer than I was yesterday =)

I get so many messages, comments, etc, on Facebook & Instagram asking me what my secret is. That question actually really pisses me off. So stop asking about “the secret.” I mean feel free to ask me whatever, but no matter what I tell people, I advise them that they have to want it bad enough. It’s also called getting off your ass and actually having a passion for something, a passion to CHANGE. Does that offend you? WELL IT SHOULD. I did not get to where I am today by making excuses for myself and I certainly did not accomplish losing 40 pounds by sitting on my ass. YOU have to start with YOU and realize that YOU are going to experience a different journey than who you happen to be running next to on the treadmill. Most importantly, “No matter how slow you go, you’re lapping everyone on the couch.” Who cares if you don’t run the fastest mile, who cares if you don’t lift the HEAVIEST weight. Add some exercise into your life, eat everything in moderation and it will happen naturally. It actually becomes a habit. I only allow myself to drive to the gym everyday after work. I can NOT drive anywhere else. If you are strict enough in your routine, it becomes a habit. It won’t feel so much like a chore. Surprisingly enough, you actually don’t need an extra- large drink with 1,000,000 calories. A small tastes just the same and if it’s diet, that’s even better! Start out with small changes, you’d be surprised at the BIG IMPACT. Once you realize you are making a positive lifestyle change for yourself, that within itself should make you the most happy!