Last week was a pretty low week in terms of my self-esteem. All week I just felt like I was 290 pounds again. I felt in the way. I felt like all my clothes fit weird and weren't flattering. I felt "yuck".
Friday morning, I was in that stage between sleep and awake where your mind is wandering and you have no choice but to follow. For some reason I was thinking about the BMV and how I was 280 the last time I had my license renewed. When the woman asked for my weight, I said 250, but she did not hear correctly and kept 215 like I had before (ha!). Then it hit me like a mack truck - 215 pounds...I'm 7 pounds away from being the weight I have had on my drivers license for the past, oh let's say 7 years. Say what?
And just like that. My hope renewed, my wits were about me again, I could clearly see the results based on pictures, the scale, and my improved fitness.
On someone's blog maybe a month ago, there was a post about how she's no longer the same person that she was 5 years ago. I thought "BS! I've lost some weight and I know I'm the same person as I was before. I don't think I've changed a bit!".
Cue the 3 day holiday weekend. If this were years before, I would have reveled in the chance to sit on my arse and do absolutely nothing the entire weekend. For many, many nights and weekends in the past 6 years, I have done just that. Even as recent as 2012, I laid in my bed watching Netflix and eating. Only leaving the house to go grocery shopping or to stop by fast food. I would also wonder how many fast food meals in one weekend was too many.
This year, I wanted to go to the hometown for the big festival over Labor Day weekend. TeenSwimSis was dancing on Friday so I was definitely going to see that. I hadn't really been to the festival when I had a steady job, so I wanted to shop some of the crafts. I went on the website to see what time they opened on Saturday as I had to get back to the city Saturday afternoon. While on the website I saw there was a bicycle cruise associated with the festival. 23rd annual it said. 23rd annual? So this has been going on since I was 5 and I never knew about it?!?
|My desk calendar for August was a bike - love it!|
|They are also coasters :)|
There were a few routes/distances to choose from. I decided on the 31 mile route. I was nervous because I was going by myself, which is another thing to be proud of. I'm an introvert and staying at home every weekend wasn't that big of deal before. Now going out and doing stuff and meeting people - high blood pressure! I woke up at 6am on the Saturday of a holiday weekend to go ride my bike with strangers, aiming for crazy! I saw my Ironman uncle going for a ride as I was driving to the starting point, which made me smile. Love small towns! I signed up, grabbed a map, a granola bar, and some powerade. I got my bike off my car and sort of waited around a bit to see if anyone was looking ready to leave/was riding by themselves. Everyone else was in groups or keeping to themselves, and I saw one guy head out, so I decided to leave too.
The first 5 miles my brain was crazy. There were some hills on the route and my brain kept saying "Attack! Attack!", when moseying along would have done just fine. I kept that guy in my sight that whole time. I came up to a couple women and was chatting with them for a minute. They do that bike cruise every year! I passed them and was feeling pretty confident as a decent size hill rounded a curve. I saw some markings on the road, but didn't see them soon enough to see what they said. I just followed the arrows. I passed through some gravel and was going down this road. Except, this whole road had about a half inch of pea gravel on the top, which was pretty hard to ride in, and I had to ride pretty slow. My wheels were turning white from the gravel. I made it the mile or two down that road and got to the next intersection. I realized there weren't any markings on that corner and I knew at that point that I had gone down the wrong road! Genius, Melissa! I stopped for about 30 seconds and took out my map and found the road I was turning on would intersect the route. :)
Several miles later, I knew the turn off was coming up for the first rest area. I couldn't read the signs spray painted on the road very well, so I followed the people in front of me. After another mile or two, I knew I blew it and was going around the lake that the people on the 41 mile route were supposed to take. I took it on the chin like a champ, at first. The hills were getting harder. I passed a golf course - yes "hills" was in the name! I don't swear very much, but on my bike, it is fair game! I got to one hill where I would go down quite a bit and then climb back up this impossible looking hill. A terrible string of curse words came flying out of my mouth when I saw it. Not even a sentence. No nouns or verbs. Just verbal frustration.
|Probably that low dip near the left of the mile 15 marker.|
I made it to the top of that hill (w/o stopping and walking - thank God!). My saddle was hurting me, my legs were tired and my mental game was lagging. I would have liked to have seen an oasis, but of course this is the second biggest lake in the state and it is 10 miles to get around it. I weaved the streets through the lakeside houses and condos and finally made it into "town". I could see cyclists gathering up ahead and I could almost hear the angels sing. At that point, I had been riding 1hr 50mins/22.75 miles without any real breaks (only the map break when I was lost). My longest ride before this had been 19.2 miles just 3 days before. I ate half a pb&j, a banana, a cookie, and drank some nasty red powerade, but I tell you, at that point, it could have been a 5 star meal!
No cyclists talked to me, but I did find my cousin who was working at the public beach (lifeguarding/swimming/all things water runs in the family!). I stayed there for 20 minutes, enough time to rest and figure out where I was supposed to go next. Apparently, the 41 mile route was supposed to stop at this rest stop, go around the lake, and stop again. Not all at once? My mistake!
After that, the ride was fairly uneventful except for a big black dog chasing me as I rode past its yard. I am not an animal person, especially ones that are charging at me. I didn't know what to do, so I looked at it and yelled "Aaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!". Then it ran away.
|Just like this Doctor Who quote "I’m really glad that worked. Those would have been terrible last words".|
I pulled into the parking lot of the school, 3 hours 20 mins, and 39 miles after I had started. I was soooo happy to be done! I signed back in, grabbed a few more granola bars, and hit the road in my automobile! My plans in the city got pushed back, so I went to my dad's to see if TeenSwimSis was still around. I called her and she didn't answer so I figured she was out with her friends. Nope, I got there a few minutes after noon and she was still sleeping!
|I really just biked 39 miles? I need to not see my bike for a while!|
I left that afternoon and was back in my city for dinner with a friend. Sunday I worked at the church all day and Monday I hit the pool for a short swim (200 yd warm up, 500 free for time, 200 yd warm down) and a trail run with my tri group. I went back home, changed the laundry, put my soup on the stove and met a friend for what I thought was going to be an hour. 3 hours later, I returned home, and kept cooking and cleaning. Not the lazy weekend I had so hoped for. But somehow I was extremely glad. And I could see that change, the good in being busy and being active. In only sitting down when everything was done. It was a long weekend, it was packed, but it showed me just how sweet life is right now. Despite what I may feel sometimes, my actions show me how much progress I have made and how I am so far from that woman I used to be.
Plus I got to clean my bathroom from the post-triathlon mess it had become. Seriously, you can't even see all of the damage from this picture. My motto is something along the lines of "Messy space = life being lived to the fullest".
How have you seen yourself change?
Was it the scale or an even that made you realize that you were not the same person anymore?