I want to quit. Although in the past two weeks I’ve had some of my best runs since I found out I was pregnant, there is a huge part of me that really wants to hang up this whole marathon dream and just give up. I’ll pick it up again after I have the baby. After I’ve lost the baby weight. When I’m closer to my weight loss goal. When it will mean something.
See, there is a part of me that doesn’t want to run this marathon because there is a part of me that believes there isn’t anything for me to feel proud of anymore. For various reasons I’m sure I’ll blog about at some point, I’ve really been struggling with food and I’ve already gained quite a bit of weight. I feel HORRIBLE about myself (what is it about extra weight that makes me feel so ashamed?) and I just want to bury myself under the covers and never, ever leave the house. When May comes around, I’m not going to be the girl who lost a hundred pounds and ran a marathon. I’m not going to feel all cute and athletic in my running outfit and I’m not going to feel like I’ve achieved any of my goals (what makes me forget that running a marathon IS one of my goals – and a huge goal to accomplish, I don’t know.)
But then tonight, after a really encouraging conversation with a friend, I realized that I DO have something to be proud of if I run this marathon, especially if I’ve gained 20 or 30lbs by then:
I’m going to run it while pregnant AND fat!!! :)
(I should probably clarify that my friend didn’t call me fat – he was actually expressing to me how proud of me he was for various things, including running while pregnant.)
After our conversation I came to realize that while others may be proud of me, I haven’t been feeling proud of me, lately. There is a LOT about this marathon I had tied into losing weight. When I realized that not only were my weight loss goals unobtainable right now, but I’m actually working in the opposite direction and gaining weight steadily (and rapidly), the marathon became something I wanted to give up on.
This marathon was supposed to be a glorious ending to an incredibly difficult struggle and victory over my weight. It was supposed to be the crowning achievement of all my hard work. I realize now that although I love the idea of running for the pure enjoyment of it, the reality is that up till now, I’ve trained for the marathon for the sake of having a beautiful moment of closure to what has been an incredibly difficult journey. It was supposed to be a turning point – defining who I was (and what I weighed… the two are unfortunately linked in my mind) forever after. When I realized it wasn’t going to be what I had planned it to be, I didn’t want to do it anymore.
But here is what I saw clearly for the first time, tonight: it’s not about me becoming who I think I want to become. It’s not about a moment of truth, or the brilliant ending to some incredible journey. It’s about me being exactly who I am, exactly where I am, doing exactly what I’m doing. The marathon is part of my journey – whether I’m running while pregnant or nursing or menopausal, whether I’m at “goal weight” or wearing plus-sized running pants. I pray that this is the first of many marathons (and maybe even ultra-marathons!) on my journey. More importantly, I pray for the wisdom to see each stage of my life as another part of the incredible journey God and I and a bunch of amazing, wonderful people he has placed in my life are taking together. It’s all a part of the journey.
I am exactly where I’m supposed to be.