Losing 155 Pounds Didn’t Solve All My Problems, But It Sure Helped

Losing Weight Didn't Solve All My Problems

For a lot of overweight people (like I was most of my life), losing weight seems like a panacea. If only we lost weight, all our problems would magically disappear. Our bills would be paid, we’d find our true loves, and we’d land our dream jobs. The depression would fade, the anxiety would dissipate, and we would have endless energy and all the organic, locally-grown food we could eat.

Sounds pretty damn good, right? So you start out on whatever weight loss plan you think will work best, and it turns out you lose a butt-ton of weight like I did. Let’s say you drop half your body weight.

Suddenly, you’re half the person you once were, and the world is your oyster. Everything is perfect, right? You’re skinny, and there is no wrong in the world. Evil and despair has been vanquished.

Except…stuff still sucks. You’re still not dating the one. You’re still past-due on your mortgage. The Oreos in your pantry did not get transmogrified into quinoa like they were supposed to.

You’re skinny, and stuff still sucks. What gives?

What gives is that weight loss isn’t some magical panacea. Life is still life whether you’re skinny or fat. Being smaller and fitting into skinny jeans and roller coaster seats is awesome. But you’re still you, and your life is still your life. Lots of people get depressed after weight loss because their lives didn’t change like they expected them to.

Weight loss will not make your life better. Weight loss is a tool you can use to make your life better. It takes effort and energy and planning on your part. Believe me, I know. I lost 155 pounds, and weight loss didn’t solve all my problems.

But let me tell you guys, it sure did help.

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How to Wash Your Running Shoes

Wash Your Running Shoes

If you’re anything like me, by the time you’ve really started to get to know a pair of running shoes, they’re probably getting pretty funky. Hours and hours of sweat have poured into them, sinking into pretty much every inch of fabric.

And if you’re really like me, you’re concerned about the wonky footstink you’re putting off mile after mile, but you’re even more concerned about ruining your precious, expensive playthings by throwing them in the washing machine. As much as I hate funky, wonky footstink, I hate the idea of ruining my running shoes even more.

The good news is, though, that running shoes are made to be durable and put up with some punishment. Even the kind that comes from the washing machine (just not the dryer!). Continue reading

Making Bad Choices

Someone busier than you is running - Fitness Meme

Today is a beautiful day–the middle of November and 61 degrees at 5:30am. I woke up, got out of bed, and put on my coffee and oatmeal. This is the routine that I follow on any day that I get up and run.

Except that today, I didn’t run. I sat on my exercise bike, barely pedaling, while I played World of Warcraft. I chose to run Heroic Auchindoun and fiddle with my Garrison instead of going outside on what just might be the last truly nice day of the season here in Alabama.

And I feel terrible for it.

I know I shouldn’t. I know that I was still exercising (albeit much more passively and not as intensely), and that I had fun on my game. But I feel like I made the wrong choice. I feel like I made a bad choice that I’ve been making a lot lately: not prioritizing my health and fitness.

There are a ton of reasons why I haven’t been running as much as I want to lately, but the reasons don’t matter. Not really.

What matters is that I change. I don’t plan on stopping watching TV or playing video games. (I enjoy both a great deal!) But I do think I need to stop making excuses and using them as a reason why I shouldn’t go run.

So tonight, I intend to hop on WoW, queue up for a Molten Core LFR, and then run on my treadmill until the queue pops. Will that be as awesome as running a 10K around my neighborhood in the beautiful fall air?

No, not at all. Not even close.

But will it be better than lying on my back watching Good Eats and scrolling through Facebook? Absolutely.

The thing about making bad choices is that you can’t erase them, but you sure can use them to make better choices in the future. And that’s what I intend to do tonight.

Why I Run: To Explore

Rio Grande Exploration
It should come as no surprise to anyone reading this that I love running. Love it. But the running itself is only part of what I love.

Almost as much as putting one foot in front of the other, I love being outside. I love the sun blinding me. I love the wind on my face, the smell of freshly cut lawns in my nose, and the incline of hills under my feet. But more than anything, I love looking around and just seeing what I can see.

Which is why some of the greatest memories I have of runs and races aren’t about personal records, splits, heart rate zones, or distance. Most of the great memories I have are kind of impossible to describe and qualify because they are sights I saw and moments that have meaning primarily because they happened–and could only have happened–while I was running.

Whether it’s in my own neighborhood, a local park, or a city halfway across the country, taking the time to experience the environment I’m running through is one of the top reasons why I run.  Continue reading

Ten Years of World of Warcraft. OMG!

I started playing World of Warcraft when it was still in beta 10 years ago. Until the end of Cataclysm, I maintained a pretty steady subscription to the game. It was only after I killed Deathwing that I decided the game was no longer as fun for me anymore.

But with the 10th anniversary right around the corner and Warlords of Draenor, the newest expansion coming out tonight at midnight PST, I’ve renewed my subscription so that I can take Lesserheal, my little Dwarf Priest, out for a long-overdue stroll through the Dark Portal once again.  Continue reading