For a very long time, much longer than the last two and a half years since my bariatric surgery, I thought success was a number on the scale. I really believed that once I reached XXX lbs I could say that I was successful in my weight loss journey. After having surgery, I believed I’d hit that number and success would be mine! Funny how the best laid plans don’t always come true the way you expect them to.
I have yet to reach the magic number I’ve had in my head. Some days I’m frustrated, but more and more I am finding myself appreciating the OTHER successes I get to celebrate along the way. I ran my second 5K race in early December (the Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis) and I ran the whole thing. We could quibble about the definition of “run” but let’s say that I ran or jogged every step and did not walk at all after the starting horn blew. That was my goal – to run the entire race, and I made it in 43:03, so in less than a 15 minute mile!
While this might not be record breaking, it truly is amazing to me. I got home and walked up the front steps on jello legs with a huge smile on my face. When I walked in the door I was greeted with, “My wife is a runner!!!” My 2nd race bib is tacked up at my desk, jingle bells hanging from the bottom.
When I think of it, I have a very long list of successes. Anyone going through this process can start checking their victories off even before their surgery date. Got an approval letter from my doctor: Check! Lost the required pre-surgery weight: Check! Completed all insurance paperwork and pre-surgery appointments: Check! All of these are major accomplishments. And after surgery, from the very moment you wake up and see your sweet nurse looking over you, your victories will continue to add up!
My running buddy Joanne and I are already looking at races for St. Patrick’s Day, and I’m actually a little hopeful we might find one before then. I don’t feel like a runner yet, but I am sure I can train hard and take some time off of this first personal best. My second Color Run 5K is in May and while it’s not timed, I have a feeling I’ll have a race clock going in my pocket, just to see.
I hope that if you are on a weight loss journey you won’t be too discouraged if the scale isn’t always cooperative. That number can be a great measure of the progress you are making but there are other important measures as well. I’ll let you know how low my race time number is in March. I’m confident that this is one number I will see drop!
-Written by Bettina M. Straight, Employee Engagement & Communications Consultant, LifeBridge Health, Human Resources
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