Friday, 11 June 2010

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner.

I was reminded this morning that this slimming lark is a marathon, not a sprint. I concluded if that's the case then I want to be a sprinter. I am not sure that long-distance appeals. I want the job done.

Erma Bombeck said "The only reason I would take up running is so that I could hear heavy breathing again."

What excellent thinking! :) Seriously, I must admit that long distance anything doesn't really appeal. Long distance travel? The travelling is a bind. Once I arrive I am fine. Is this how it's going to be with  losing weight and getting fit? When we 'get there' will we be glad that the journey is behind us? I get the horrible feeling that this journey will never be behind me - or any person who has gone from being a fat person to a slim one. Does life have to change for ever? At least with a marathon there is a finishing point. Do we ever finish leading a healthy life? I hope and pray that this way of being becomes automatic and so beneficial that I never want to retrace my steps, back to the sofa.

Let's face it, there are some aspects of the fat life which are bloody good. Food, food and more food being three of them. TV, sitting, sofas, food to accompany programmes and scoffing without thought or guilt aren't without their own merit either.

However, we get all fired up to slim and then all those things are BAD, BAD, BAD and what on earth were we doing wasting our lives like that? All of a sudden all our meals become healthy. Eating out becomes perilous unless we think about menus beforehand. We grow ready-reckoners in our heads, and know the nutritional values of EVERYTHING edible. Some people glue water bottles to their palms. (What IS that all about? Isn't it only people embarking on a trek across the sands of the Sahara that need to carry water??) We then become advocates of gyms (well some people do) and life is about pushing ourselves - no excuses.

You may have noticed (cough) I didn't embrace this way of being for a long time, even though I know it's the only way to lose weight. I don't think I'll ever embrace the gym but moving more DOES make one feel good. It does! What a revelation this has been!

This morning I had another appointment with the dentist and then I drove into town. I shopped and I deliberately found new ways to get to places so I could increase my walking. I walked and walked at a fast pace (for almost two hours) and bought very little. I called in at the local gallery and looked at some paintings and chatted to the owner. I went to a book shop and spent some time browsing. I sat in the coffee shop, with a cup of tea and watched the world go by for a time. I then chose to climb five flights of stairs rather than take the lift to return to the multi-story car park. I saw this as my exercise...and that sort of exercise I can cope with and quite enjoy. I didn't feel breathless but I did feel energised.

I am beginning to appreciate that every single day I am on my journey and that if I decide to drop out then my own personal race is lost. We are in a long distance's the race of life and none of us has forever to complete it. Life is finite but it could just be that we have lots of life in front of us and lots of living yet to do to. We can do it as a fat person and have a limited, slow, uncomfortable life or as a healthy, mobile fitter,slimmer person. When you think of it like that you realise that being a couch potato has very little real appeal and that really, time is of the essence and we might as well get used to the idea of a long, long time on the road.

I am not signing up for any long running races (not yet anyway) but perhaps that distance stretching out ahead of us isn't all that bad really? Fast walk anyone?


  1. Grump: Even long distance runners appreciate having company on their run once in a while (not like I would know, I can hardly walk).

    It is very, very, very, very important to keep reminding ourselves that it is the quality of the journey, not the destination that makes the trip worthwhile.

    My old Dad still says (at 91) "We're having fun, damnit!"

    My next huge trip is to Italy in three years. I am going to look you up, maybe we can even have a spot of tea?

    Carry on.

  2. Yes Jo, call in to England on your way to Italy :) I'll make sure the kettle has boiled and the tea pot is warm :) Mind you, I am sure we won't recognise each other. We'll be slim and sylph-like then, won't we? :)

    Your Dad has the right attitude. Even in her 80s my dear old Mum was so positive and funny. We do have to enjoy life and make the most of all our opportunities. I firmly believe that, although sometimes circumstances and responsibilities get in the way of our being completely hedonistic.

    However, I am not sure that if I had wings I'd fly. I'd only take off if I knew those I love and want to be with had wings too :) I suppose that means that we have to enjoy whatever we have, right here, right now...losing weight or not.

  3. Yep, I'm up for that fast walk. We've set off now - the only sensible way is forward.

    Funny you should touch on the subject of the good things about the fat life. I've been thinking about that recently and I know there are certain things I like about being fat. Going about town shopping for the family, I now carry a sort of matriarchal authority that I didn't used to have. Some of it is age associated, but some of it is size as well. I know what I want, and I'm going to get it - don't mess with me! And I enjoy it! Funny how that all evaporates though, when I'm in other situations. And it's not worth staying fat for.

    You're right it's a long haul. In some ways fun though. And I love the cameraderie of the blogs. Don't know if I could do this without blogging, it would be way too lonely then.