Thursday, June 16, 2011

Preparing to transition

For the past three weeks, I have known that I will be transitioning back to regular food beginning on Monday June 13th. I have gotten slowly closer and closer to my goal, and decided to transition on June 13th even though I will not exactly be at my goal because I wanted to make sure I had a full month of eating "regular" food before beginning my pre-doctoral internship on August 10th. The transition process takes four weeks, and each week a new food or set of foods is introduced so that my body can slowly become acclimated to digesting solid food again instead of just the shakes.

I have very mixed feelings about going into transition. On one hand, I'm extremely excited. I am very close to my goal, and I know that with the remaining time I have on the shakes with the weight loss I will have during the transition period itself, I will be at my goal in no time. However, the part of me that has found great comfort in not having to worry about what to eat or when to eat it or even having to prepare food is very nervous. It's very easy to think it's been three hours, it's time to eat again, pull out a shake, mix it, and drink it down. For the past year, my routine has been that simple. With the introduction of food back into the equation, I now need to think about meal planning, grocery shopping, and time for food preparation. I also need to think about planning food that can be easily packed to travel with me during the day so that I am never without the food I need to sustain me. Right now, this feels very daunting.

In my waking hours, I notice my anxiety in little ways. Being aware of food on a more heightened level is one, and an underlying sense of buzzy anticipation is another. I even experience this anxiety when I'm sleeping. Fears and worries about transition have crept into my dreams, and have made it difficult for me to have a solid night's sleep for easily the last week and a half. I have nightmares about eating the wrong food or regaining the weight so quickly I can't stop it from happening. I just hope that I can find a routine to settle into that allows me to keep myself satisfied and with the proper nutrition to keep myself nourished without becoming crazy or obsessive about eating and food.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Recording a personal best for the mile… again

Today was the first Team in Training track practice, and in today's track practice, I reached another milestone. A huge milestone.

A while back, I wrote a post about why I like to run, as well as why I want to run and improve at running. You can read that post here, but the gist of it is this: I had a horrible experience running a mile when I was in sixth grade. It was physically and emotionally painful, as well as humiliating. On that day, the mile I completed was somewhere around 13 minutes, and the 13 minute mile has been my bogeyman ever since.

About a month ago, I recorded my first mile that was less than 13 minutes, which gave me an amazing and victorious feeling. But like the final home run ball for Barry Bonds, my personal best had an asterisk next to it. You see, when I recorded that time, I was in an area where the mileage was not marked, and I was going downhill the entire way. So even though I had broken the 13 minute marker, I didn't truly believe it.

Today, however, was an entirely different story. We were running on a flat track. A standardized track where four laps is a mile. And I completed four laps on a standardized flat track in 11 minutes and 31 seconds.

I'm tearing up even as I'm thinking about this, because now I know in my bones that the 13 minute bogeyman has officially and truly been defeated. Like finishing my half marathon for the first time, truly defeating the 13 minute bogeyman makes me wonder what kinds of things I have always wanted to do but never thought I was capable of. It makes me wonder how much I'm limiting myself. The door has officially opened for me to dream bigger, go farther, and achieve dreams I never even dared to dream.

I am incredibly grateful for the help and support I have received from my husband, my friends, and my family to help me get where I am today. Particularly today, I am grateful to my dear friend Christina Coto, who ran with me this morning and encouraged me, while still reminding me to focus on my breathing and my form. Without the encouragement of people like Christina, this would be a much more difficult and lonely process.