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Project Me Days 1 and 2 – Baby Steps

1200 calories and 90 grams of protein. That is my goal each day. When I was told this I laughed…1200 calories? Good luck! I obstinately decided it was impossible and avoided using the food tracking app, MyFitnessPal, that we were all told to use so we could tell us just how well we were or were not doing. That was for the first day at least. This morning I decided I might as well try it. What could it hurt? Right? Turns out I don’t even have to change how I eat and I am still under 1200 calories. Clearly it is the alcohol and pizza that has been my downfall. Guess who gets to be designated driver from now on!! This girl! Guess whose bank account will be appreciative! Silver lining and all that.

But that is the boring part. At least it is to me because I have been a pretty clean eater for some years now and actually like fruits and veggies and lean meat. (SPINACH IS MY LIFE!!) The super fun part of all of this so far has been keeping my morale up. Super. Fun. You see, we are supposed to start a fitness regime to go alone with our clean and healthy eating and yesterday was not easy. Around seven o’clock I had a complete breakdown and found myself in the fetal position on my bed, crying because I felt like I couldn’t do it. I have been able to motivate myself before but in that moment I just felt completely defeated by…well…myself.

“No matter how hard you work it won’t make any difference. You will fail.” I said.

The little voice in my head replied with, “If you don’t try you definitely will fail.”

“So why even try?”

“Because you can do it. It will make a difference. You’ve done it before.”

And slowly, after over an hour of fighting with the voice in my head, I decided that I might as well get my ass off the bed, put on my old running clothes and try this whole fitness thing again. After all, I thought, exercise releases endorphins and that couldn’t be a bad thing when I was feeling particularly low and depressed. So, on went my running shoes, in went my ear buds, and to the park I ran.

Even several years ago when I was running (mostly walking) every day it took me months to build up the stamina to run more than a minute.  I think I got up to 12 minutes (not on a treadmill – I got up to an hour on that bitch but being indoors is not my thing so I tended to stick with the sidewalk; it is much cheaper than a gym membership, after all!) at one point but it only took a few months of not running to completely lose all my stamina and start from square one. Talk about defeating!

Given that, I knew I wouldn’t be able to run for very long at all and instead decided on a brisk walk to warm up and then running until I couldn’t breath, walking until I could again, and then running again. I figured it was better than nothing, right? But no sooner had I reached the park then I realized that my left hip, the hip that I believe has a labral tear in it but I am too stubborn to see a doctor about, was beginning to protest. “Sara…you ass,” it intoned over and over. I knew this would happen, though. Walking causes pain on a good day so running would be no better. But, me being me, I retorted with, “If I can survive a broken foot without even knowing about it, then I can survive this.” We had a good laugh and continued on our journey with the help of Mickey Avalon in our ears. Because listening to a white guy rap about sex, drugs, and alcohol is surprisingly motivating. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!

Once I headed into the park and crossed the creeks bridge I thought I was possibly pushing myself too hard because I started to see lights. Lots of them. And every time I would try to look at them they would disappear. I stopped running and took some deep breaths before realizing how much of an idiot I was. Lightning bugs. They were lightning bugs, folks. It took a lot of strength not to go chasing after them – I’m the person who considers chasing after a squirrel…while driving. Why? BECAUSE THEY’RE SO CUTE!! This one time I almost hopped a curb accidentally trying to follow two that were chasing each other. You should hear what happens when I see a butterfly! Moving on…

As I exited the park and headed home I decided to stare at my feet and therefore accidentally ran straight through a swarm of gnats and swallowed a mouthful (can I add those to my protein count?) as a sign that distractions were not a good thing while running. Head high, Sara. Head high. And so I continued, for forty minutes I switched between jogging and walking through my neighborhood and it felt good. I even scared a guy into crossing the street when he saw me. Me with my neon orange running shoes, electric blue jacket, and black cap. I’m hood like that. Holla!

The best part about running my first day? I only tripped once! About a block from home. I call that winning!! And since day one was such a success I decided to up the ante and actually start my training for the 5k I am supposed to be doing in September. Oh the wonder of apps these days!! Turns out the first day of training involves intervals of 60 seconds of running and 90 seconds of walking. I totally knew that. That’s why I did it the first day. Yep. Like a boss!

Stay tuned for more wonderful tales of the adventures of focusing on yourself for a change! Also, in case you were wondering, the voice in my head and I are currently not speaking. I hate being wrong. I hate it even more when I also happen to be right at the same time. As if life isn’t confusing enough…

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