Last night I had a mild epiphany. Bick had mentioned seeing what he assumed was an anorexic woman at his bank yesterday and we began a discussion of the hows and whys of body image/eating disorders. During the course of the discussion I related to him how badly I'd been feeling about gaining nearly 20 pounds, quitting running, etc. I also told him of my decision a few weeks ago not to weigh myself anymore and that my mission was healthful eating and adequate exercise and that I was much, much happier and in turn, treating myself much better. I also told him that I wanted to run in the 4th race this year, perhaps only the two, but in 2009, I wanted to run the full race in honor of my 3oth high school reunion. As we were discussing this, it became clear to me where I came off the rails. It was on a TUS thread about weight loss and I decided that I wanted to take off five more pounds. I was at my all-time low weight since HIGH SCHOOL and I decided that I wanted to lose five more pounds. Five pounds that wasn't necessary to lose because I looked just fine as I was. But I began to think if this is good, how awesome would it be to weigh five pounds less? And it was at that point that my goal shifted from running for the sake of running and completing certain events to running as a method of weight loss. It was at there that running ceased to become something that imbued me with all sorts of power and sass and self-esteem and became a tool with which to punish myself . I turned my focus from an activity that gave me a sense of pleasure and purpose into a way to feel bad about myself.
I'd become thinner than I'd ever been because I was running, but I didn't start out running to become thinner. If, ten years ago, someone would have asked me how it would feel to be at my current weight and be able to go out and run 3,4, or even 5 miles, I would have thought it impossible. Even so I slipped back into old, bad thinking patterns and habits and have given myself a lot of unnecessary misery over the last year (and subjected you to a lot of whining). So, no more whining, no more weighing and perhaps, just perhaps, if I feel like it, a little running - like I did this morning.
Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Focus on what's important.