...Little Rae, that is.
Yup. That is a picture of me from about 8 or 9 years ago. I used to be one lean, mean, fitness machine. I was all of 150 pounds and was working out at least 2 hours daily. Hell - I was wearing a spandex outfit!
Can you imagine my surprise when I found this the other day, turned it over, and read the words "10km 56:02 Gag!" written on it. This photo was taken just before I dashed out the door to my first (and only!) official road race. A race that I managed to run in under an hour. I remember being really disappointed in the time, even though I did the run in a snow storm at minus 10-degrees celcius.
What I wouldn't give to be there again!!
I have mixed emotions when I look at this picture now. On one hand, I am filled with hope and optimism. It reminds me what my body is capable of. On the other hand, seeing this picture is like a kick in the teeth.
You see, this is actually an after picture. Around the age of 23, just as I was starting out in my career and moving into my first apartment in the Big City, I recall jumping on the scale and seeing a number I'd never seen before: 200. It freaked me out and sent me into a "healthy lifestyle" frenzy that culminated with this picture.
I use quotes here because, in hindsight, my lifestyle was actually far from healthy. It included working 60-70 hour weeks including weekends, fueling myself only on venti Americanos from Starbucks and punishing myself 2-hours per day in the kickboxing ring. Did I mention I was running 30-40 miles per week and only indulging in the occassional salad on a 1000-1200 calorie per day diet? Some days I wouldn't even eat. :(
Now, I'm at the other end of the spectrum. It struck me: my life has been one of extremes. I am all-or-nothing when it comes to diet and exercise. It's no surprise I couldn't maintain my old regimen for more than a year or so, but I am horrified to think how easy it was for me to just push all that effort to the wayside and.....give up.
The more I think about it, the more obvious it has become: I need balance. I am finally ready to step up and live my life the way I want to. The way I need to.
There are so many questions swimming through my brain right now:
- How does one pack on 10-pounds per year?!
- Why did it take me 10 years to finally wake up and do something about it?
- What was it that led me to each extreme?
- How can I learn from 150-pound me and the 278-pound me to create the best me?
- Exactly how do I achieve this balance that I need?
I don't have the answers right now, but at least I have the right questions. I think. :P
It's amazing that one little picture could trigger all this!
If you're still reading, THANK YOU! This is the first time I've posted a big out-pouring and I'm still getting used to the idea of sharing really personal stories on this blog. Your comments and support mean the world to me as I figure all this out.