Monday, July 16, 2012

The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself

Well, I have to tell you, the C25K program scares me shitless.
And even that may be an understatement.

As part of this week's challenge to commit to a 5K, I professed that I would also begin the oft dreaded C25K program as a way to train for my chosen 5K event in the fall. I have been doing some research with my husband and, barring any physical catastrophes, I think I should be ready to run an actual race by late September or October...maybe November if I really suck at it and I have to do each week of the program twice...
One just never knows....

Today was Day 1, Week 1 of the program and last night as I was desperately trying to psych myself up for it, I realized just how afraid I am of running. And maybe it's not even the fear of running so much as it is the fear of being required to push way, and I mean waaaaaay past my comfort zone and do something that I have always said my body cannot do. You see, I set limitations up regarding my capabilities a long time ago, and it wasn't until only very recently that I have begun to disprove my theories of what I actually can and cannot do.

I always said that losing weight was 90 - 95% mental, and I still believe that. So much of what we do or don't do is because of what we think about or don't think about. For example, when I was cruising through my year of denial about why I wasn't losing weight last year (just look at my July '11 to May '12 weight log - it's quite sad), if I thought about it long and hard enough, I would have realized I wasn't shedding a damn thing because I wasn't using my head. I definitely wasn't logging my food. I didn't THINK about how those tortilla chips, cheese, pies, triple portions of cereal, alcoholic drinks, and a plethora of other foods were adding up...I didn't think about the fact that if I ate pizza for dinner (and I don't mean a slice - I mean at least 3 or 4 slices) and didn't burn any calories for the day that I was going to be WAY over my daily calorie allotment in JUST ONE MEAL. Hell, I didn't even KNOW what my calorie allotment should be for that matter. In addition, I was incredibly clueless about how many calories were burned during exercise, which I have to say, has been a HUGE revelation. In the days of yore, I simply told myself my body was obviously incapable of losing pounds (even though I had lost some weight in the past - so basically I was just lying to myself). The point is, I never did my math.

Believe it or not, before this year (June to be precise), I never, ever, ever counted calories. Points, yes. Calories, no. To me, counting calories seemed like a very 80's mentality for losing know, drink Tab, count calories, use the Thigh Master, blah, blah, blah - yeah, 80's. I HAVE however, tried every other dieting method under the sun....South Beach, Atkins, Weight Watchers, Susan Powter (remember Stop the Insanity?), and the list goes on. Had I known what kind of success I would have had by simply budgeting my calories (and it is very much like balancing a budget), I would have done this ages ago..... Or maybe not....I do think you have to be in the proper mind set to lose weight though, and you really can't half-ass it. I should know, because half-assing it was my approach many, many times over the years.

This time around, however, I feel a sense of calm and peace with my weight loss journey that I have never experienced before. It actually seems DOABLE! It isn't a race. There is no wedding dress I need to fit into, no upcoming event that requires me to be 100 lbs thinner, no future trip that I "need" to look good for. Just life - that's it. I want to live a healthier, more balanced, life, and feel good in the process. (sigh).

So, getting back to the C25K....I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I was rather nervous about starting. Probably more than I should have been. And I still have fear. Fear of failure. Fear that I will not complete this and therefore not complete a 5K, which for some reason, I REALLY feel like I want, and need to do. I'm working on those fears, and I am lucky to have such a supportive partner in my husband who is running along side of me, encouraging me to keep going. Without him, I doubt I would. It is too easy to give up. Something he said to me this morning was rather poignant; he said  that fear is more crippling than pain. I would tend to agree. Too many times, I have given up before even really trying, mainly because I was afraid I could not do something. This time, I have a new mind-set. Was today hard? You bet your ass it was. But you know what? After watching the IronMan yesterday and seeing how hard THOSE athletes pushed themselves despite obstacles like cancer, and loss of limbs, I think I can push myself to run a little ol' 5K, can't I?

Granted, my maximum heart rate was 192 today....I really did feel like I was dying. But I didn't, and I won't. Will it get better? I sure as hell hope so and am banking on the belief that if I stick to this, I will be rewarded in the end. Blog Wobble , who has totally rocked the C25K program and is continuing to kick major ass on the Bridge to 10K program gave me some great advice. She said the key to success on C25K is persistence, and I wholeheartedly believe her. This is not a program that you can do willy-nilly and walk away from and come back to when you feel like it and expect to progress through it. It is designed to build stamina, and the only way that happens is by sticking with it. My goal is to do it Mon, Wed and Fri or each week, so I'll be sure to keep you posted on my bitch-fest, ahem, progress.

Until then....hope everyone has a great week! Remember: You only get out of it what you put into it!


  1. You will never know how far you can push yourself until you do. I am betting that you will be able to complete the C25K program. It is one of the perks of this getting healthy journey to learn more about what you can do. You are doing just that.

    But this is more: this post is to me an indication that you will be successful. You are in a different place now than you were before. You are doing this for you. It shows.

    Keep taking care of yourself. You are worth it.

  2. So proud of you for committing to the C25K!! You wrote exactly what I've been feeling, I really need to just commit and DO IT! Fear can be so overwelming. I'm going to straighten my big girl panties and just go for it. Thank you for your encouraging post! ps, I totally remember Stop the insanity, Susan was a FIRECRACKER!

  3. Rochelle!! This is so awesome!!!! Make a plan and stick to it!!! AND listen to your body!!! Go get em!! AND YEAH!! for a supportive husband to be your cheerleader!!!

  4. The most I love about you and this post is the husband part. I mean all of it is just plain fantastic but to have the support of your husband, that is beyond awesome. You will be great at this Rochelle, you will be. Your mind and heart are in the right spot. That makes the world of difference. Good luck with your C25K, I am working on Week 1 day 3 tomorrow (I know I can't run like I did and want too but I am trotting in place of the running, it's working and still getting my heart rate up so a plus). Take care my friend and God Bless!!

  5. I can totally relate to everything you just wrote. First of all, getting your head in the game is really important. It sounds obvious but I think many of us can honestly say that we've struggled even though we pretty much know exactly what we need to do to lose weight.

    Second of all, running --- well, you know that I've also recently started the C25K program. I think of Blog Wobble whenever I start to doubt myself. Reading her success story has helped me so much and I try to harness that positivity as much as possible. Fight the fear. You can do it. Trust the program. Rooting for you!! :)

  6. I know how you feel! I just started the C25K last week and I know without a doubt that I'm going to be repeating week 1! I'm starting at 285lbs with a background as a dancer (WAY back in the 80s). I'm also using to track my food intake and my calories burned (using their LOOPS feature). I plan for my first 5K to be the Color Run just because it looks like so much FUN! Best of luck to you in your journey! I'll check back to see how you're doing!