I ran a race yesterday, my first since the half-marathon I ran in December where I spent 13.1 miles thinking about how if I didn’t get this relapse under control, I’d very likely die. It was nice to be running again. Most of my workouts since returning from residential treatment have been in the gym on the elliptical or bike with just the occasional run thrown in to see if I really do enjoy it. (I know my eating disorder does – that’s not even a question.) So it goes without saying that when I signed up on a whim for this race, I hadn’t trained at all.
As such, I should probably be glad that I finished at all, much less after the hell my body has been through the past year and a half. I even finished almost three-and-a-half minutes faster than when I ran the race three years ago. That’s progress, right?
Unfortunately, it’s also a full four minutes slower than my personal best, which I set last summer. Now I understand, quantitatively, what Sarah meant when she said that your post-ED performance is not going to be the same as your ED performance. (Go check out her brilliant blog on how to put an end to compulsive exercise. I reread it every week!)
I’m trying to reframe the automatic thought that comes from this, namely this “Oh my goodness, see? I’ve gotten faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaatttttttttttt!” The reality is that I finished. Plus, I finished in a time faster than I did when I was at my healthiest with regards to weight, diet, and body. Plus, I’ve gained…erm, a LOT…of weight in the past year. Who knows — maybe if I’d run last summer’s 5K with a pre-kindergartener strapped to my back, I have had the same time.
Last summer I was really, really obsessed – and really, really miserable. I can tell you exactly what I ate on that date almost one year ago. I can tell you how I struggled to decide if I should eat my entire [restrictive] breakfast, or whether I should restrict further. I can tell you how I slept most of the day, my body so tired after being pushed to run a race through the woods on so little fuel. I can tell you how I felt so guilty about having an ice cream cone to celebrate being the first female finisher. I can tell you how I had to talk myself out of running again that day.
Now? I can’t tell you what I had to eat a week ago. People don’t freak out every time I sign up for a new race. I can go out to eat with friends on occasion and not have a panic attack. I eat frozen yogurt on a weekly basis. I exercise because it feels good and I am strong when I do.
So what’s four minutes compared to all that?
For the record, I haven’t forgotten about the book club. However, since I’m pretty much the only one doing it (what the heck happened, guys?!), I’m going to take it at my own pace. :)