In spite of everything I know to be true, it's sometimes tough to tell if I've made real changes over the past several months. For example: when I sit on my sofa at the end of a particularly stressful day and eat an entire tub of hummus with an entire bag of baby carrots, it doesn't feel that different from the days when I sat on my sofa and ate an entire Big Mac Extra Value Meal followed by a 6-piece order of Chicken McNuggets (for variety). I am a bit ashamed to admit I had a hummus binge last week that wrecked me for a day or so and left me doubting my ability to make real changes.
So, the binge and the self-loathing it allowed felt very familiar to me. What was different was what happened about 36 hours after the binge. I forgave myself. I realized that people slip. I admitted that, while a binge is definitely cause for concern for people like me, a binge on hummus and carrots is so much better than a binge on pizza and milkshakes.
Further proof that something, indeed, is different: 2 days after the incident with the hummus and the sofa, I ran 2 laps around Lake Merritt (6.2 miles). And 3 days after that run, I did a 10k (also 6.2 miles) in Golden Gate Park. w00t! My time wasn't amazing: I finished in 1:13:57, which works out to about 12 minutes per mile. The great thing is that I finished, I didn't stop running the entire time and I felt pretty great afterward. See? I almost look stoned in this photo. (I assure you, I am not.)
The most amazing thing about becoming more fit isn't watching the number on the scale drop or buying a new wardrobe, but moving through the world more effortlessly. My burden is lighter, in spirit, body and mind. I find that I am a more attentive friend, a more caring daughter and a more focused & dedicated employee when my thoughts aren't dominated by the heft of what I am carrying.
And best of all, despite that late-night encounter with garbanzo beans, I lost 3.4 pounds last week. Phew!