The Run Down - The RunVermont Blog

Don’t Lose Yourself – Rookie Shane

by Jess Cover on February 18, 2014 · 2 comments

in This Rookie's Ramblings (2014)

“Sometimes life gives you two options: losing yourself or losing someone else. Regardless of the situation…don’t lose yourself.”


I’ve felt, somewhat recently, that I was almost losing myself. I’ve felt as if I was giving more of myself to other people than they were giving back to me. Of course this doesn’t mean giving in the literal sense- not giving each other tangible things. Basically, when I thought it over, I realized that there are some people in my life that I thought I could rely on for support (especially since I’m so supportive of them)…but they haven’t supported me once during my nearly 2 year journey of losing weight/improving my life.

That was a hard realization to come to. It’s hard to understand how people you hadn’t spoken to in years, or even complete strangers, can reach out to you and support you…but some people who are supposed to be your closest friends (and even family) haven’t said a single word. When I came to this realization, and really thought about it, I can’t lie…it hurt. It’s not as if I need someone to pat me on the back and tell me how great I am, or anything like that. But let’s be honest, we want the people closest to us to support us.

It made me start questioning things. Am I not supportive of them? Am I a ‘bad’ friend/family member? Very hard questions to answer, but I answered them as honest as I could- and, for the most part, I felt as if I’m always there for people as best I can be and that I’m incredibly supportive. Then I questioned why certain people didn’t support me back: are they jealous, upset, or envious, of the things I have accomplished the last few years? I couldn’t quite figure it out, so I came to this solution: I am going to turn this negative situation into a positive one and focus on the people that DO support me. More importantly, I’m going to focus on ME. I cannot, as the quote implies, lose myself. I won’t apply this to just people that are non-supportive, I’m going to apply to it everything/everyone else in my life, too. Family, friends, dating, etc. We’re only given one chance at this thing called life, so why focus on things (and people) that do not make us happy? “Regardless of the situation…don’t lose yourself.”

Now, Keeping it 100 is of incredible significance to me. For whatever reason if I don’t set deadlines on certain things, as it relates to losing weight/being healthy, I’m not the best at following through. An example: November 1, 2010. That is the date that I decided to stop drinking soda. I quit cold turkey, and I haven’t had a single drop of soda since then, over 3+ years now. If I didn’t set that deadline I would have kept having a soda ‘every now and then’ (okay, probably every single day). April 1, 2012 is when I decided to start exercising/eating healthy. But it’s also the day I decided to stop drinking energy drinks (Red Bull, Monster, RockStar, etc.) I haven’t had any of those since that date- almost 2 years now. Decisions, and deadlines, like these have helped me so much- it puts that day in my mind and prompts me to NOT make unhealthy choices.

Which leads me to the significance of ’100′: As of this past Friday at 0800 I officially had 100 days left until the start of the KBVCM. Now, I could maintain the weight I’m at now (210) and run the marathon just to run it. But I don’t want to ‘half-ass’ it, for lack of a better term. Am I doing this mostly for the challenge, and the accomplishment of doing something that seems absolutely crazy? Yes. However, I want to do my best. I won’t be satisfied with just ‘running it to run it’. And I know that I won’t be at my best if I don’t lose some more weight and get in better shape. That realization led me to this: over the next 100 days (as of Friday at 0800) I need to eat as clean as possible. This means no more Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (my ultimate guilty pleasure), no more trips to Subway after the gym (instead of being too lazy to go home and cook), and no more putting myself in situations where I know I will make bad choices.

I don’t know about anyone else that reads my blog, but I know for me…making healthy food choices is a constant struggle. I know what’s generally healthy for me, and I try my best to stick to those foods…but when you struggle with food for as long as I did, it’s hard to break that cycle completely. It’s hard to eat a ‘cheat/treat’ food…and just stop at one. Then if I have a ‘bad’ day because I couldn’t stop at one, it’s hard to not carry that over to the next day. Honestly, it just plain sucks! That’s why, for the next 100 days or so, I’m going to ‘lock it up’.

I will do my best to not put myself in situations where I know there’s a high chance of failure/making bad choices. I will decline to go to Buffalo Wild Wings when invited (who orders a salad at BWW!?). I will pack extra healthy snacks for work. I work at a school, so I will politely decline the delicious hot lunch from the hard-working kitchen ladies. I will avoid convenience stores like the plague, especially when I am hungry, because who doesn’t love Peanut Butter Clif Bars!? I will realize that I have ‘bigger fish to fry’ (speaking of which, I will be eating a lot of fish- just not fried, of course), and I will not cheat myself. That doesn’t mean I won’t ‘treat’ myself. I realize that 100 days is a long time to not treat yourself, so I will just have a little more (within reason, of course) of the healthy stuff from time to time (probably on my long run days, where I’m burning more calories).

photo 5-speed machine

As for running/training…I promise, at some point, I will talk more about that! ha-ha…it’s going pretty well. Right now it’s mostly treadmill-based as I absolutely abhor running in the cold weather. I don’t care for the ‘dread-mill’ either, but you have to do what you have to do! On my 6-mile run on Thursday night I realized it’s amazing how out of shape you can feel, in regards to running, if you don’t stick with it. Leading up to my half-marathon last year I was busting out 22 minutes 5K’s (fast for me!) on the treadmill, running 10 miles at an 8:15 average mile (again, super fast for me), and felt great. Now I’m running at a 9:00 minute mile (I’ll touch more on why 9 minutes next week, as it relates to my goal for the marathon, and the training program I’m using), and I’m thinking “how the heck did I ever do sub-8 minute miles!?” It can be frustrating, but I’m keeping the perspective. When I first started running again (August 2012) I was 280 pounds and could do a 5K in 45 minutes at best. 10 miles wasn’t a possibility. If I get frustrated I just remind myself of how far I have come- and then I use it as motivation to push myself towards how far I have left to go. Because there are no limits in life, only plateaus!

What about you? Is there anything going on, life-wise or running-wise, that gets you frustrated? Or maybe it even makes you question why you are doing what you are doing? I want to know, people!

Stay classy (and don’t lose yourself)!


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lisa Beam February 19, 2014 at 4:36 am

You can do anything you set your mind to. You are a very strong determined and willed young Man. I have all the faith in your journey. I enjoy reading your posts. You have got this marathon, it’s not in the bag yet but each day you grown stronger and more determined then ever to accomplish this as you do with everything you start. You Never leave a project half finished. You always do what you’ve set your mind out to do. Be strong, Be Proud and Dig Deeper. You can do this!
Love ya Loads

2 Suzie February 20, 2014 at 7:51 pm

Enjoy the journey and don’t lose yourself, improve yourself! You are such a positive influence everyday :) pace yourself! 9:09, right?

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