Sara – Week 35 – Don’t you feel guilty?

I’m almost a month into my 10K Running Room clinic.  Six more weeks until my 10K.  And just for fun I signed up for the Share the Power of a Wish 5K on May 7th: I want to finish the race in 35 minutes.  Apparently in the last 8 months I have lost 44.5 pounds and redefined ‘fun’.

On Mondays I rest.  On Tuesdays I work out with my trainer at 6 am.  On Wednesday nights I run drills with the Running Room.  On Thursday mornings I work out with my trainer at 6 am.  On Friday nights I run with the Running Room.  On Saturdays I rest.  On Sundays I run an LSD (long slow distance) with the Running Room. 

And I’ve been asked a handful of times in the last two weeks “Don’t you feel guilty for all the time you’re spending away from your family?”

When you’re fat you’re often judged for being lazy and unhealthy.  And apparently when you’re healthy(er) you’re judged for being selfish. 

Two nights a week I eat dinner on my own at 5 o’clock so my food has time to settle before I run at 6:30.  I’m still there when my boys eat but it’s not a family meal, per se.

I actually ran a 7:20 average this week (a KM in 7 minutes and 20 seconds).

I workout at 6 am two days a week so that I can fit exercise in around my family’s schedule.  But it’s killing my ‘date’ time with my husband because I’m in bed at 9 at least two nights a week. 

I can hold a plank for a minute and a half.  And my biceps: I found them!

I’ve missed three opportunities to spend time with friends in the last two weeks because of my Friday night and Wednesday night runs. 

One of my dearest friends Erin has driven to my end of town two Fridays in a row to run with me. 

On Sunday mornings instead of visiting museums or having family time I’m out pounding the pavement until mid-morning.

Last week I logged almost 18 km.  Me, the girl who still weighs over 200 pounds, ran for 18 km. 

My youngest son will spend his third birthday downtown at Ottawa Race Weekend watching me run my first 10K. 

On Sunday I ran 8.25KM in 65 minutes.  It was raining and windy and freezing cold.  It was the farthest I have ever run and finishing that run, despite the miserable weather, felt fantastic.

Last Wednesday night I ran almost 6K in drills with the Running Room.  It was, er, challenging.  The next morning, raging shin splints and all, I worked out with my personal trainer.  By dinner time I wanted to curl up and sleep.  But my five-year old, who every day asks ‘how many K’s did you do mom?’ ‘did you win?’ overhead me talking to his dad about drills and wanted to know what they were.  I tried to explain the exercises torture our group leaders had introduced to us but he didn’t understand.  So after dinner we put on our running shoes and headed out to the driveway to practice running drills.

And last Sunday morning, while his brother and dad slept, the two of us crept into the basement to register both of us for the Ottawa Race Weekend 2K Race because my five year old wants to be a runner like his mom. 

And because of that I don’t feel guilty.  I have a twinge of “I’d rather be…” some days when I walk out the door but I don’t regret going for a run or going to the gym.  Because my son wants to be a runner like his mom, I will keep taking time away from my family.  Because he is fascinated by my running habits and exercise, I will keep getting up at 5 am to work out despite the dark sky and sleep deprivation.  Because in the end this weight loss journey is not just about me but about being a healthier parent who inspires my kids and family to follow in my foot steps. 

So on race weekend I’ll be running the 2K at 4:00 pm and 2 and a 1/2 hours later my first 10K.  And yes it’s my youngest’s third birthday and he’ll be there watching.  I will be bursting with pride, probably nervous and a bit weepy, and completely guilt-free.  Did I mention proud?

Tales from the Scale

(And a few non-scale victories thrown in for good measure)

I’m an all-or-nothing kind of girl.  Exercise has my 110% focus right now.  I’m still eating healthy balanced meals but I’m eating calories (an average of 1850) that are meant for maintenance and not weight loss. 

Over the last two weeks I’ve lost 1 pound for a total of 44.5 pounds.  Come on 45!

I’ve lost an inch off my hips (in two weeks) and another inch off my arms/waist/chest/thighs. 

And after 8 months of running.  Of hating it, then strongly disliking it, then not really liking it, I finally ‘get it’.  I look forward to my runs.  I want to improve my stride, run faster, run farther.  I think I might possibly be a runner.  That is a HUGE non-scale victory!*

I will wax poetic about the fabulousness of the Running Room and its group leaders in my next post.  Because of them I *like* running.  That is miraculous :)

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35 Responses to Sara – Week 35 – Don’t you feel guilty?

  1. sherrilynne7 says:

    Wow. You’ve become an athlete. Well done!

    • Karin says:

      My reply to “Don’t you feel guilty for all the time away from family?” would be……”Not at all, I’m making sure that I will be with them all for a long time!”
      Great post and great successes!

    • Sara says:

      Thank you! And Karin I love your response – I *will* be around for a long time because of what I’m doing :)

  2. Shona says:

    Sara, you are so amazing!!! This is another post that hits the nail on the head – some people will always find a way to pass judgement no matter what and I am so glad you do not feel guilty! You tell those people that, no you do not, since you are not only providing a good, healthy role model for your kids, but you are also giving them extra years to spend with you in your lifetimes together. Taking care of yourself helps you to take better care of others. You are definitely a runner now and you totally look the part! (You look fabulous!) You almost make me want to try the Running Room. You are totally inspiring! (I’m a broken record here, but I never tire of your posts.)

    • Sara says:

      I am sending you a big virtual hug (in the non-creepiest way possible) for all your kind words!! I’m pretty sure the pink coat and funny/skinny running pants make me look the part ;) I’ve been holding off on buying a coat since I started running outside in March because “it’s going to get warmer, its going to get warmer” but ITS NOT and so I finally broke down and bought the coat! And I have to say, I like how it makes me feel :)

      Barbara and my friend Erin have been trying to convince me to join the Running Room for months & I’m so glad I finally did. It was exactly what I needed to push me to the next ‘I think I might possibly be an athlete again’ level :P

  3. Lara says:

    My head almost exploded when I read that people are asking you if you are guilty. REALLY? You’re getting up before morning to work out to make it work for your family!! GAH! (watch out people – ninja boxer here!)

    You’re doing great. You’re an inspiration. I bow down to you.

    That’s all.

    • Sara says:

      LOL I will warn them of your ninja boxing prowess ;)

      I ignored the first person. The second person made me go ‘hmmm’. But by the time the third person asked I was getting a bit irked.

      Thank you :)

  4. This is really inspiring. Way to go. And – GUILT!!? C’mon, everyone knows exercise makes you feel good and have more energy and be happier…how can that be anything but positive.

    • Sara says:

      Thank you Denise. I think maybe that’s why I was surprised to hear it not once but three times. I recognize that the intensity of my exercise isn’t for everyone but I can’t see how it’s a bad thing to lose weight and get in better shape!

  5. Annie B says:

    WoW! youre son is just a cutie patootie. :)
    Do you realize how youre actions are making him understand and want to be like his mum… and how important it is to live a healthy lifestyle? Thats AMAZING!
    You must be so proud. Not only are YOU living a healthy lifestyle and doing all these fantastic things, youre setting an example for the most important people in your life. That, to me, is just awesome to read/see/hear. :)
    I will definitely try to make it there to cheer you both on during the 2 KM!!
    Congrats and keep it up! very inspiring.

    • Sara says:

      :) Thanks Annie. We’re going to need to pick a meeting point on race day so we can all meet beforehand and ‘ra ra’ for each other!

      I got a bit teary eyed when he said he wanted to be a runner like his mom. Having him look up to me because of my running was one of the most amazing moments of this whole process.

      • Jennifer says:


        I love the idea of a bunch of us meeting up on NCC Race Weekend to see each other before the race… :)

        And the fact that your son wants to be like his mommy!?! Sweet little guy!!! Wow!
        “Guilt”?? Nooooooo. Example.

        Oh! And way to rock the fast pace sister! You’re lightning fast as far as I’m concerned. :)

  6. jenn says:

    Good for you!! It’s great to hear when someone else discovers there love of running! I started back in August of 2010 and I am now complete in love with running! I’m doing the 10 make a wish race, maybe I will see you there, or even on race weekend ( I’m doing the 5K and the 10K, I know, it’s carzy!!) Congrats on all the hard work!!

    • Sara says:

      I bow down to you!!! 10K at Make A Wish and then 15 on Race Weekend?!? Woo hoo! I strongly disliked running until recently. I give the Running Room lots of credit for pushing me over the divide from ‘meh’ to ‘yeah!’

  7. Brenda says:

    Wow, people can try to find a way to make any mom guilty!
    I think you are officially a runner now. Crazy and motivated enough to fight through yesterday’s weather :)

  8. Erin says:

    You’ll need that coat next winter when you are training for your half marathon ;)


  9. Brie says:

    You are rocking Sara. Keep going!

  10. Chantal says:

    You look amazing! I would agree that you should never feel guilty about having a healthy active lifestyle. I am sure when you are with your kids (and seriously, you are with them a ton of time!) you are happier and have more energy! It is all worth it! Way to go!

  11. Jen says:


    I feel ya sista’! I have been getting grief about my early a.m. workouts for some time now. If they don’t call me “insane” then I’m told I’m “escaping” my kiddies. Makes no sense to me whatsoever. I feel like it’s an investment in my family, because I’m putting in the work to ensure that they’ll be seeing my (god willing, toned & perky) butt around for years & YEARS to come! I put in A LOT of time with my family on a day-to-day basis, so much so that at the end of the day, I’m wiped. I will never have an extra hour or two at the end of the day, there is no such thing as “extra” time when you have a family to care for. I have learned that I need to MAKE the time, and so I do. Waking up early and strapping on runners & heading to the gym is not an escape from anything, it’s work! Why make me feel guilty for that? Such nonsense.
    You look incredible. You’re fit. You are inspiring your kids. Yes, you most definitely rock.

    • Sara says:

      LOL Love your comments!!! I will admit getting up at 5 is not for everyone but it’s not ‘insane’ or depriving my kids of anything other than an unfit mother (in the exercise & healthy sense). I think what I’ve discovered is that no matter what I do, whether I’m fat or thin whether I exercise or not, someone is going to judge me for the choices I’ve made, even if they’re crazy-healthy-woo-hoo-great choices. Lesson learned :)

      It would appear that we should schedule a running or spinning date. 6 am work for you? ;)

  12. Donna says:

    my friend tells me this every time i whine about missing bedtime with my girls *again*…that this time away will mean many mnay more years. why must others make us feel guilty….we do a swell job of that ourselves, most of the time. i’m with lara – ninja pops on those people!

    you look like a runner…my running jacket broke (after years!! all the zippers were broken!!) and i miss it, ’cause it makes me feel part of the pack..they’re great in summer too – – rain is moderated, somewhat..pit vents mean you don’t get too hot…you look thin and healthy and strong in that picture! go, you!!!

    • Sara says:

      aw thank you :) And you’re right, we do a good enough job making ourselves feel awful for that we do / don’t do: we don’t need any extra help! Unless of course it’s to make us feel great for what we do ;)

      Time for a new jacket! Mother’s Day?

  13. Sasha says:

    That is so awesome!! You are giving your boys a healthy mom, and an example that will take them far – and at no small cost to you. You *should* be proud, of yourself and of your little running buddy.

    • Sara says:

      I am very proud of my little drill sergeant who now likes to ask every day “Mom can we go do running drills again?”. My shins probably don’t feel the same affection for him ;) Thanks Sasha.

  14. Krista says:

    Those people that make the silly comments? They’re crazy! Getting healthy, fit, setting a FAB example and inspiring your boys? Is one of the best things that you can do as a parent. It’s too bad that they can;t see that – but only too bad for them!

    You also inspire others, fyi. Keep up the great work!!!

    • Sara says:

      Thanks Krista :) I didn’t feel like a fit parent today, hobbling around the house moaning in pain ;) But the firefighter was kind enough to ask if I needed ice so he’s learning all about empathy too!

  15. Finola says:

    I can’t believe people ask you if you feel guilty! First of all you are hardly taking away from family time considering the hours of the day you work out, and secondly, you are providing such a good example for how your kids can incorporate health and well being into their lives. I am so impressed with everything you have accomplished. Yay You!

    • Sara says:

      Thanks Finola :) Because of your most recent blog post I’m finally updating my running play list. Without music, I think I might give up halfway through most days!

  16. Karen says:

    I have never once – ever – thought that about any of you ladies around here. However, that guilt (*my* guilt) of spending time away is my biggest weakness when it comes to exercise. I’m so glad you wrote about these insensitive clods friends who have asked you this. It gives me pause in my own motivations. Because, frankly, what’s more important? A few missed hours a week now or many years missed later on?

    • Sara says:

      Thanks Karen. It’s hard because we need to be there for our kids but mother’s guilt is sometimes the worst achilles heel when it comes to taking care of ourselves. I keep reminding myself that on airplanes you put the mask on yourself first and then your child: I need to be here and healthy to take care of them :)

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