I’m a big fan of setting goals. I don’t really succeed at things unless there’s a finish line in sight. Whether it’s a half-marathon or a master’s degree, I need something that says to me, “It’s for real. You did it. You now have proof of another level of awesomeness being attained.”
By far, one of my biggest goal-setting challenges has been with my body image. I don’t really care about a number on a scale or the size that I wear. Those numbers have stayed relatively consistent my whole life, so it hasn’t been a psychological battle for me. What I do care about is the way my body feels when I touch it and when I jam it into clothing. Are my pants pinching the top of my buttocks and causing the non-elusive (and oh-so enraging) muffin top? When I touch my tummy, does it feel like a Tempur-Pedic or box-spring mattress?
The answer to most of these questions isn’t really in the affirmative, but it’s more like “Mehhhhhhh.”
It’s time for some radical honesty: When I started training for this half-marathon, I assumed I would shed the extra padding (to keep up the mattress analogy) and get ripped. I know, I know… people often gain weight when training. I figured though, I would just keep eating the same amount of calories as before and I would naturally just shed that extra bit that was in between “in shape” and “unlikely fitness model”. Here I sit about a month away from my half-marathon and I’m in the exact same state in which I started. You know why? I finally do.
I’ve decided to stop being a passive participant in my body image. I’m going to watch what I eat. I’m going to stop having that internal dialogue that says, “Ahhh, f*ck it. I ran X number of miles. I deserve this. I worked hard for this. This will be inconsequential considering how many calories I burned… blah…. blah… blahhh.”
So that’s why not eating this when it was handed to me in class tonight was a big deal. It was a huge deal when I flipped it over and read the nutrition label, which is something I normally don’t do when I know I’m about to send myself into a full-blown candy-induced calorie spiral. Normally, ignorance = bliss (and bafflement because if I can claim I didn’t know how many calories were in what I ate, then I can feign stupid about why I’m not seeing a positive body change).
Did you know that in general with running (depending on your weight and some other factors), one mile = 100 calories burned? This packet of Reese’s Pieces would have taken me 20+ minutes to burn off. I don’t have 20 extra minutes in my day. I’m writing this post at 11 p.m. at night because this is when I have personal time in front of my computer. I certainly don’t have the time to run another 2 miles on top of my 6 miles I’m running tomorrow morning. That would be over an hour of running before 9 a.m. Ew.
Also, 10g of fat and 22g of sugar. They should take these to starving children in Africa. They are the pellet equivalents of those Kalteen bars Regina ate in Mean Girls.
So here I sit, typing about how I didn’t eat my bag of candy. While I’m happy with how healthy I am, I am also happy that I have set a goal for myself. No weight, no size, just a realistic and attainable level of fitness and body comfort that I aspire to achieve. It’s not a concrete goal, but it’s one that I think will become more tangible over time. For now, we’re going to call it the GettingRight/GettingTight 2011 Plan. Or the “Deprive Yourself of Reeses Until You Hate Everything” Plan. One just seems more marketable, though. Amirite?