30 While 30: Day 133 – Breaking the Habit

Welcome to Wednesday!

First, a few list updates:

Races are planned!  Last night and this morning, I scheduled and registered for 3 races through the awesome site Active.com.  These will be used to satisfy #5, #6, and #7.

Sherry’s Run (5k) – September 10, 2011

This is a race dedicated to those fighting cancer, especially colon cancer.  This is not my first time running this race, as I completed it as my first 5k ever, last year, the story of which you can read here, from Summer’s blog.  My time last year was 45:37.  I know what you’re thinking …. did you walk it?  Well, no, I didn’t, but I did run/walk, but it was my first time.  My personal goal this year will be to be under 30 minutes, but hoping for much better time.  The pictures from the race will also show how my weight loss goals have been going.

Go Commando Half-Marathon and 5k (5k) – October 15th, 2011

This race is much closer to where I live and work, and runs through a local riverwalk area.  This race is smack in the middle of my extended half-marathon training, so will really just be intended to be more of a “warm up run” for my training later that week.

DH DASH 10K, 5K RUN/Walk and Kids Fun Run (10k) – November 5th, 2011

This will be my race for my 10k.  10k’s seem to be the red-headed step-child of races these days.  There are mountains of 5ks, and even seemed like more half-marathons than 10ks.  Pickings were slim, but this one looks like a fun one, with some sights in the Nashville, TN area.

All to culminate to:

St. Jude’s Memphis Marathon Weekend (13.1 mi) – December 3rd, 2011

Yeah …. so the half is full.  You are reading the face of disappointment.  Well, technically I can still run the half if I commit to raising 500.00 for St. Jude’s, or I can register for the full, and just run the half, but I can’t get in touch with anyone locally to even find that out.  So who would want to sponsor me if I did Run for a Reason?


So an update on #2.

Total weight loss to date: 19.4 pounds …. and I am disappointed.  The fact is that my loss has plateaued, even though I can say my activity over the last 4 weeks has increased, both with Turbulence Training Intermediate Workouts and running (about halfway through my C25K program).  It is frustrating, especially reading about recent friend’s success stories, like my friend from college, Scott.

So, I want to share with you a story.  Maybe to help all my readers (cause there are lots of you) with how I feel I got to this point about my eating habits, and why they are so hard to break.

When I was 16, I started working with my cousin doing lawn care and maintenance over the summer.  We would work from about dawn prepping the truck, and would work until it was too dark to see, and sometimes later than that (the mowers had headlights).  In the summer, this amounted to about 12-14 hours a day, in most cases.  Let me share with you a sample of what I ate:

Breakfast – 2 Bacon Egg and Cheese Biscuits from Hardee’s for breakfast + coke

Lunch – A large value meal from one of an assortment of fast-food burger joints.  Fries and large coke.

Dinner – Often a repeat of lunch.  I would often stop (like multiple times per week) at a mom-and-pop hamburger joint at about 9pm on my way home.

I don’t even want to count those calories.

To top it off … I didn’t gain weight …. I LOST it.  Almost every summer, I would lose 10-15 pounds (in the roughly 60-80 days of the summer).  During that time of my life, I weighed about 175 pounds, and was 6 feet tall.  I was lean.

Enter the college years.

My diet at that time consisted of the best of what I ate at home.  In the cabinets there was always macaroni and cheese, cheerios, Chef Boyardee (my childhood favorite) and eating out was always nice.  I was also known to eat a whole pizza in one sitting.

Did I gain weight?  No.  Upon graduation (and marrying Summer) I weighed about 185.  Now granted, my time in college was also filled with constant activity.  I played intramural sports, was in about 4 volleyball leagues in a given year, and lived a few blocks from campus (so I was walking all the time).  In my junior and senior year, I also started going to the gym for strength training pretty regularly, which I account to the increase in weight in those 4 years. 

But regardless, during that time, I ate for two reasons: 1) because food tasted good and 2) I needed lots of calories to maintain the lifestyle, and had not felt the impact of gaining weight to keep me in check.

Then, my first job.

I worked as a case manager for the Department of Children’s Services (TN).  My job constituted from driving from house to house, checking in on families, and coordinating services to assist in the care of their children (normally in response to reports of abuse, neglect, or the child’s unruly or delinquent behavior).  My county of responsibility was one hour from my home.

My life began a transition at that point, from naturally active, to naturally sedentary.  Because of travel, meals would often be eaten on the road, and there was little to no room for exercise.  Eating, especially in my time with a certain company also ballooned as a stress relief.  I ate because food tasted good, and when I worked for a company that kept me stressed, and at times did not have the balance to keep happy, food made me feel better.  This continued from 2003 to the present day.  8 years, and gaining almost 70 pounds.

So here we are today.  19 pounds down from ym top weight, but still so far to go.

This isn’t really a success post either.  Every day is still a battle.  The habit of eating food for the feeling is a very real one for me, even today, and is even worse by the sometimes guild after eating more than satisfies me, or backsliding and eating something I shouldn’t.

To be honest, I am not too sure what I am trying to get out of this post … maybe only to increase my accountability, and know that maybe others out there that share my struggle.  It is a tough habit to break.  Sure it isn’t smoking, or getting drunk, or crack-cocaine (though Oreo Sonic Blasts are what I think cocaine must feel like), but it is something that I am continually trying to change and master.  There has been a bible verse that has been helping me recently:

“All things are permissible for me, but not all things are beneficial.  All things are permissible, but I will not be mastered by anything.” -1 Corinthians 6.12

Some days it feels like a war against myself.  Some days I win, some days I don’t.  Regardless, each day is a chance to make right the choices of yesterday.


3 responses to “30 While 30: Day 133 – Breaking the Habit

  • thevfamily

    Remember that when I asked Scott how long it took for his weight loss he said 3-4 years at 20lbs a year. Don’t get too down on yourself.

    So proud of your races that are scheduled! You will “run for a reason” every step of those 13.1.

    Love you!

  • Brooke

    Thank you for referencing my site when mentioning Scott. He’s my brother and is quite an inspiration. Best of luck to you in your journey!

    • Thomas

      You are very welcome! I had been keeping up with his status updates while on FB, noticing him reaching his PT goals and such. But seeing those pictures side by side …. wow!

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