Last Friday was my birthday. And unlike previous years where my birthday lasted weeks and months, this one thankfully only lasted a day.
Because birthdays and holidays and special occasions have always been an excuse to eat. It’s my birthday week (or month), it’s Friday, it’s Christmas (month), it’s pancake day, it’s my friends birthday, I’m having a good day, it’s the first day of spring: there was always a reason to indulge in treats and too much food. And along with the indulging came a lot of excuse making “I’ll eat healthy tomorrow. I’ll eat less tomorrow. This is the last time I’ll do it. I didn’t actually eat that much”
In embracing a healthier lifestyle I’ve come to realize that there is a lot to celebrate. In fact I’m celebrating a lot of things daily. But there’s no reason that every celebration has to involve food because that momentary pleasure of a piece of cake (or half the cake) or a serving of french fries (or an entire plate) doesn’t come without consequences.
On my birthday I had homemade pancakes for breakfast. But I ate two instead of six and they were weighted down by fresh strawberries. We spent my birthday morning walking in Gatineau park and for lunch had a BBQ. I had two sausages but did without condiments and buns and had them sliced over a salad instead. The boys, who drool over the cakes at the bakery on a weekly basis, were allowed to choose my birthday cake. My only caveat: it had to be one of the cakes that is 5 inches in diameter. We went running as a family on my birthday, my husband roller-blading while the boys sat in our jogging stroller. We all had a lot of fun and are now planning weekly family runs so that I’m not out pounding the pavement on my own. I had dinner with girlfriends and had a side of sweet potato fries instead of salad because they are my absolute favorite. I also had a small bag of popcorn and some M&M’s at the movies. Because it was still my birthday and I still want to treat myself but my indulgences were planned and not over-the-top.
And I reveled in spending time with family and friends and feeling loved and being grateful for my life instead of reveling in empty calories.
Ottawa Race Weekend
On Saturday I woke up to find a picture of myself and my boys on the front page of the Ottawa Citizen. I was featured, alongside Barbara and Jenn, in two articles on local runners and I couldn’t have been prouder of all of us.
My 5 year old ran his first 2K alongside me. He basked in the cheering and ran the entire way, only stopping twice for short walk breaks. He wore a fuel belt, like mom, and choose a bright colourful hat so friends and family could pick us out in the crowd. My Grandma came down to the race course to watch and cheer us on and his dad and brother were waiting for him at the end. I might have cried ;)
Race Day is overwhelming and I’d been warned of that. There are thousands of thousands and people and you can feeling the adrenalin coursing through the crowds. You can also feel lost in amongst the sea of blue and purple race shirts and throngs of people all pushing up against you.
But all I could think about were all the messages I’d gotten the day of the race. From friends, family, and from people I haven’t met. I knew I wasn’t there alone.
And then in amongst the throngs of people, familiar faces kept popping up. I started the race with my group from the 10K Running Room Clinic, waving to Annie as I waited in the corral. I even got a chance to wish my friend and neighbour luck before he started the 10K with me. I got a high five from my son just after I crossed through the starting gate. Priceless.
If you’re ever cheered on runners during a race, even if you didn’t know them, thank you! I had no idea how much those cheers and shouts of excitement would mean to me as I wound my way through the streets of Ottawa. That people take the time to read your name off your bib and then clap for you and tell you you’re doing an amazing job: it left me speechless.
In the last 2K, when I was tired, hot, and wanting to finish, I once again found Annie and gave her a very sweaty hug. Seeing people you know makes it easier to ignore the exhaustion. Running alongside Jenn was another boost. A high five from one of our faithful readers JennyB…just what I needed! The smiling face of a wonderful photographer I know, Cherie-Lynn, made me grin.
And all the messages from you, waiting for me when I finished my run, made the journey 100 times sweeter. I finished this race (in 1:14:25) because of the Losing It Ottawa supporters and the community that we’ve formed. The 50 pounds I’ve lost: I couldn’t have done it without you.
So from the bottom of my tired (but healthier) heart THANK YOU
Tale of the scale
Wait I’m not done! In the last 9 weeks I have lost 9 pounds for a total of 49.8 pounds. And for the first time this weekend I said “I only have 25 pounds left to go” and realized I’m 2/3 of the way to my goal.
Along with that 9 pounds I also lost 8 inches off my arms, chest, waist, hips, and thighs.
And even though we’re 41 weeks into this journey I think I’m more excited than I was the day we started. I can’t wait for what the next 8 weeks will bring.