A few years ago, I was hovering in the 210-215lb range – I knew that was higher than I needed to be, but I liked my beer, wings and chips. I was already running on the treadmill, probably a few times a week as it was, but decided I would take on running-related challenges to test myself – and, if in the process I would lose some weight, hooray.
So I decided to try out a half-marathon. Never run more than 10km at a time, but as I watched a friend of mine finish the Angus Glen half-marathon, I decided that heck, I could do that. Plus he pointed out that whatever cumulative mileage I could do in a week, I could do on race day. Worked for me. Might not resemble a Kenyan and might walk here and there, but there is no reason I can’t go from running 10km straight to finishing a half. So, I signed up and did it. Finished above my out-of-nowhere goal of 2 hours (think my time was 2:05), but dammit I finished. That was it.
Nope, that wasn’t it. Bugged me that I didn’t hit the round number of 2:00. So the next year (the race is near my house and I was too lazy to drive far to run), I did it again – 1:58 or something like that. Yay for me. I did it, I beat my time goal -but then I got curious about trying other races. Long story short, I ran a couple more races over the next year or so, including the Scotiabank Waterfront half in 2008.
A friend of mine asked why I wouldn’t consider the Goodlife Fitness full marathon, given the Scotia half, happening 3 weeks before Goodlife, would be a training run. So I tested myself – did 43km in a week (cumulative) and signed up. Goal: finish. Not finish quickly, not finish with a flourish – just cross the line.
Which I did – 4:11. Wasn’t paying attention to weight loss yet – was just having some fun chasing personal bests. And the next personal best (round numbers again) was to beat 4 hours. Which was to be in the Mississauga Marathon in May.
Some time in February, someone I work with talked about this P90X thing he had started. Bunch of pushups, bunch of pullups – sure, I’d give it shot. Seems difficult but doable – and I like new challenges.
Liked what I was trying out, so I decided to do the whole thing. In the middle of the 90 days, I ran the marathon – and hit 3:57 or something like that. Then I finished P90X.
One day, I noticed myself in the mirror – and saw some definition in my abs. When I became curious enough to weigh in, I was at 190lbs.
Wow – lost 20lbs without fussing over losing 20lbs. I think that’s the point of this story – while some people focus on the end goal for weight loss, I focused on what I enjoy first and foremost, then let the weight loss happen on its own. For me, this approach was a lot more fun and, as you might have been able to tell, I have been able to accomplish a few other bucket list things along the way!