Monday, October 8, 2007

What Running Has Done For Me

Last year before I ran my first marathon in SF at the end of July I had hiked Half Dome. That was two weeks before the marathon and the main reason why I felt I should give the marathon a try. I was at my peak weight of 212. Looking at it then I wouldn't say that I was overweight, but rather that I was rounding out and becoming "pudgy". I beg the differ now.

A couple of days ago my friends were finally able to compile all the pictures and burn them to cd, so I hadn't seen any of the pictures until a few days ago. My jaw dropped. I barely recognized myself.

These were taken in July of 2006, two weeks before the SF Marathon (weight 212).

I'm on the right

Fourth from either side

Now these were taken this year in June, so not quite a year later. I weighed 177.

It is amazing what complacency does to a person. We get in our ways and routines, not thinking twice about it. As the years go by you slowly allow yourself to indulge in whatever you fancy. The smoker smokes more. The drinker drinks more. I ate more and drank more soda. After three or four years of this you say "geez, I need to lose weight" but you don't take action.

I became fed up with my situation. I started making the typical excuses. "I can't do that." Or make excuses such as "Oh, well this just comes as you get older." I struggled on. After that first fateful marathon, made on an impulse three days before the event, my metabolism was kicked into gear. I lost around twelve pounds in the 4 weeks after. Since then I have continued running and have lost a total of 35 pounds and feel great.

I didn't need a magical pill. I didn't need some magical diet, like Atkins, or Grapefruit, or only Soy or whatever other crazy concoction. It took a diet of less food, more exercise. Simple, that was it. What excuses are made to counter this? "I get to hungry eating less, I can't possibly eat less, and I can't do enough exercise to counter the food." Hogwash. Cut out an hour or television and go out for a run. You get hungry? Uh, isn't that the point? Your body is trained to eat more, so you have to train to eat less and adapt your body to it.

Anyway, I am off my soapbox. The point of all this is that I was amazed at how different I looked with the extra 35 pounds in 2006, and that something as simple as going out and running a few days a week and cutting back on my caloric intake helped me lose the weight and feel more comfortable. Simple equation and the most basic and efficient diet out there. If I could tell everyone out there how simple it is if you have a little perseverance and will power then it would be worth it. Unfortunately the magic pills and diets seem to offer quick results (that don't often last for a long time because dieting and exercise are not added) and in this instant gratification society...

Running and, more generally, exercise have reopened doors. I couldn't be more thankful to running and I think this is perhaps why I have come to enjoy running so much. We all have our reasons, but running helped me become what I remembered of myself and put me back into the shape that I have always seen myself, even with the extra 35 pounds.


Nancy said...

Now THAT's a transformation. Congrats on a great journey. I'm still waiting for RUNNER BODY. :P It doesn't seem to be happening in quite the same progression...

Road Warrior said...

This is fantastic! You obviously made more than just a food change--you made a life change. Great job. As they say, easy says, does REAL hard.