Entering A Season of Refining
I was at an impasse last June. I had gained all the weight I lost when I took up running during the pandemic (to outrun stress and covid). I had chronic stomach pain, regardless of whatever meal I was eating. I felt like a passenger, and the driver wasn’t telling me where we were going. I was burning out, fizzling out like a distant star.
Then, Avi was born. Our third girl. I knew I couldn’t stay on the course I was on.The moment I held this baby girl, I knew things had to change and FAST.
I started intermittent fasting and I cut sweets out of my diet. I don’t sell this system as some silver bullet. It’s just where I started. I had been using sweets as a medication for the depression and anxiety I was feeling. So I cut it out.
I could feel things slowly changing over the next couple months. Some of the weight dropped. My stomach hurt less. I had a bit more energy after work to devote to my kids.
My general mood hadn’t really improved. I still felt anxious and depressed on a daily basis. I talked to my doctor. They immediately prescribed an increase in my anxiety medication, effectively doubling my dosage overnight.
I kid you not. It felt like my third eye opened. Was this how normal people felt ALL THE TIME?! I was flabbergasted. My wife was equally shocked by temperament change. My energy levels even went up! I started walking more, getting about 9-10,000 steps per week.
Then I started running again, finally getting back to something that had really helped me feel better previously.
Okay… Let’s just tighten this up. That was just backstory.
Cut out sweets
Intermittent fasting (eating from 12 pm - 7 pm)
New med dosage
Half Marathon Training
Wait, where did that half marathon training come from?!
Some of my coworkers were talking about training for a half marathon in March around December, and I decided now was the time: I was going to finally try to run a half marathon.
I’m currently at 11 miles for my longest run, and - with the half marathon coming up soon - I can see I’m almost there. But it all started with incremental changes.
Chipping Away At This Hunk Of Stone
What this whole process has taught me is that I am a hunk of stone (note: not an actual ‘hunk’), and to see what is really there, I have to do the hard work of chipping away parts of me that get in the way of seeing a more complete product.
So far, I’ve lost almost 40 pounds since last May. That’s not to say that weight loss has been the main goal, but it has been a great metric to track and it has allowed me to feel some progression.
It’s my hope that I’ll finish this half marathon and sign up for a full one in the fall/winter. All of this is to say, never be finished. We have so much more to do, and there’s a lot of room for improvement in myself. I want to make myself intentionally focused on taking back mental load from my wife, to be a stronger and better spouse and parent. That first picture is an embarrassing reminder of how I was feeling, and that I don’t need to go back there.