50 miles down, 15 pounds to go

As I hit my 50th mile today I think I can officially call myself a runner. Slow, but determined.

Today I passed a milestone—my 50th mile running. I weighed in this morning at 150 pounds. I am a mere 15 pounds away from my final weight goal. I’ve become the kind of person that would have annoyed me 6 months ago. I apologize for being that annoying person, but I like it here :)

I’m still trying to process the changes. Just last May I was obese. My Body Mass Index was 36.1. The National Institute of Health deems BMI higher than 30 to be in the obese range, and I felt it. My feet and knees hurt, I was slow moving and wherever I parked myself I tended to stay. I still have a ways to go, but the fact that I am going is a thrill.

I started running in early November to push myself through another plateau, and now I’m addicted to the sense of freedom and accomplishment. Running is the one time in my crazy days that my mind can be still and I find it meditative.

For one hour my brain and my phone shuts off and I focus on the simple—breathing, how my feet are moving, stress in my joints, what is on the path directly ahead. I listen to my music and myself with few thoughts save accomplishing the next mile. It’s peace.

Running has also helped me cross my last weight plateau. I stayed at 153 pounds for nearly an entire month. Finally, on Sunday, I weighed in at 152 and I knew that I was finally moving back down. Sunday was also my birthday and that lost pound more than made up for the lack of cake and goodies.

Every year, on my birthday I’ve made the wish that I would finally lose some weight. Every year I have vowed that I would get serious, and the next year would find me different, stronger and fit. Every year would find me less fit and weaker. Until now.

I didn’t start out last May to transform myself. I had given up on that idea already. I just wanted to give up sugar. How could I know what an amazing difference that one, simple act of denial would make in my life?

Now I am that annoying, label checking girl in the market looking suspiciously at the health drinks (most aren’t healthy at all) and browsing Amazon looking at work out gear. I’ve felt guilt and shame for becoming that person even as I happily check out my progress in the mirror.

I try to remember one thing during all of this: our value is not in what we look like or some number on a scale. Our value is in who we are, and how we make the world around us better. We are all on different journeys and no journey is better than another. We all seek the same destination but the steps we take to get there are different.

I am thrilled with where my path is taking me and I invite fellow travelers to share this walk with me. Just get some good running shoes first.

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About Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is an American poet, publisher and author. Her first collection of poetry, In Favor of Pain, was nominated for an 2017 Elgin Award. Her latest novella, Bitter Suites, is a 2018 Bram Stoker Awards® Finalist. Currently, she publishes Space and Time magazine, a 53 year old publication dedicated to fantasy, horror and science fiction. For more information visit SpaceandTimeMagazine.com or AngelaYSmith.com.
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One Response to 50 miles down, 15 pounds to go

  1. Jo says:

    I love what you wrote about following your own journey and seeing value in who we are. It’s so true, but so many of us struggle through comparing ourselves to others. I find running very relaxing too, probably because of how rhythmic it is. There are so many benefits to doing it alongside feeling fitter and healthier. Congratulations on passing your milestone.

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