Anyone can be an Ironman

I do not consider myself to be an exceptional athlete, but I have successfully completed two Ironman triathlons, which is a 2.4 mile swim, followed by a 112 mile bike, which is concluded with a 26.2 mile “run” that all has to be completed within a strict 17 hour time limit, otherwise, you do not get a medal and you are not an official finisher. I have been an official finisher twice in my life. I finished because I am stubborn and wanted the goal so bad I could taste it. That desire carried me through pain, doubts, and ultimately kept me moving forward to the finish line. I do not think I would have had such a strong desire to finish an Ironman had I not believed that I could do it. Sure, I doubted, but ultimately, I believed I was capable. Again, I am not a stellar athlete, which is why I strongly believe that anyone can finish an Ironman…IF you believe in yourself and WANT to finish an Ironman, then yes you can (this desire has to be almost a laser-like focus, cutting through all the pain and making training a priority in your life). Do not get me wrong, an Ironman is one of the hardest things I have had to physically do in my life, which is why I got the Ironman logo (the mdot) tattooed on my left wrist as a reminder that YES I CAN do anything when I believe in myself.

I am now trying to apply this same philosophy to getting in shape and healing my relationship with food. I do not think I have ever really believed in myself. I love food. I love the comfort I have felt while eating food that is rich in processed carbs and sugar. As a kid, I used to sneak junk food into my room after school and watch TV while eating a whole bag of Cheez-itz. I knew I was not supposed to eat the junk food because it would spoil my dinner, but I did it anyway. The secret became a sort of private comfort, and twenty plus years later, I still go to food as my comfort during stress or boredom. Did I already mention that I LOVE food?!

But this relationship is addictive and does more harm than good. I want to change my relationship with food. I want to eat foods that are good for me and provide fuel and nourishment to help me be my best self. I want to melt the fat off my body by making healthy choices so when I do my track workout with the Quincy Running Dawgs on Tuesday nights, I can push hard and not feel the pain in my knee from the impact my heavier physique is having on my joints. (By the way, I have pushed through excuses and gone to the track workout two weeks in a row! The workout is hard, I am the slowest person in the group, BUT I love how I feel afterwards.)

Slowly, I am starting to believe in myself.

Losing weight has always seemed like a mystery to me. I remember my first time doing Weight Watchers, I would do my best to stick to my allotted points and when it came time to weigh myself, I was terrified. I knew the program worked for others, but I did not believe the program would work for me. Then I had the opportunity to be a part of the Boston Children’s Hospital’s Food Study at Framingham State University. While eating the foods provided for me on the study, I lost weight. Cutting calories works. I am not an exception.

But beyond just cutting calories, I want to eat nutrient dense foods, like fruits, veggies, sprouted grains, etc. I want to build muscles. I want to scale walls, run faster triathlons, and see what my physical best can be.

And slowly, I am starting to believe in myself. YES I CAN!

Solution-Focused Check-In: What has been going well since starting this fitness goal?

  • I have successfully gone to two track workouts over the last two weeks. Track workouts will help me become a faster runner, which will help me to beat my 3 hour triathlon goal.
  • I am on week 2 of meal prepping and eating clean foods. I FEEL GREAT! I look forward to the food, am not tempted by junk food as much, and am even starting to see the scale go down. Meal prepping is a ton of work, but after only a few hours on Sunday, I have all my meals done for the week, which is making life so much easier overall!
  • I am sticking to my triathlon training plan so far, which will help me to build endurance, which will eventually lead me to work on building speed.

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