Runner’s High, it’s the real thing

I have friends who run marathons (Hi, K&E).  Not only do they run marathons, they raise thousands of dollars for charity in the process. I’ve always thought they were nuts. Good hearted and generous, but nuts all the same. Lately, thought, I’ve begun to experience the rush, that comes with running (and exercise in general) and I think I’m starting to get addicted.

I have PCOS (a hormonal imbalance that reeks havoc with my endocrine system) and as a result, I collect weight in my mid-section.  That plus two c-sections and a passion for chocolate, has lead to being 40 and 40 pounds overweight.  I’ve tried to lose weight before but only ever half heartedly.

Last spring, I was diagnosed with diverticulitus, not a huge shock, my mom had it too.  It is an inflammation of the intestine and when it strikes, it is damn painful.  Avoid seeds, nuts, popcorn and eating high fiber diet can help stave off, attacks, but I’ve recently learned that a tight abdomen that supports the walls of the intestine is also a plus.  It was time for the weight to go.

I eat fairly well already (chocolate aside).  I don’t drink a lot of soda, I use wheat bread, and I like fruits and veggies. I use Splenda in my tea and avoid an excessive amount of carbs (a must for the PCOS), still, I’ve been maintaining the weight for the last 4 years.  It was time exercise more.

Slowly but surely, I’ve been getting more active. I hate to admit this, but it feels good.  I genuinely feel better mentally and physically.  If I’ve lost 2 pounds, I’d be surprised, but my clothes are fitting a smidge better and that’s a nice feeling.

I exercise right after I get the kids off to school. If I don’t do it then, it never happens.  Typically I wake up and I think “Nah, not today, I’m  not in the mood, I can skip a day.” But then I get back from the morning drop off and something is nudging me to move. Yesterday was just such a day.  It was gray out, so one voice was trying to talk me into staying in, but I finally decided to go for a walk.  I wasn’t walking 2 minutes when another voice was urging me to run.  The body grumbled as I set into a light jog, but the mind was flying.  I’m in better shape than I was, but still can’t run full time, I  need to resort to intermittent  walking, but I’m told this is the way you build a running habit. Wow does it feel so good when I run.  It clears my mind and I am able to truly think about some of the projects I’ve been working on lately.

By the time I get home, I’m red faced and a little winded, but my mind is clear and I feel exhilerated. I guess that’s what they call the runner’s high.  Personally, I always thought that was a term the exercised nazis used to lure in the naive, but I’m here to tell you as a recovering couch potato, there is something to it.

I’ve been alternating wogging (walking and jogging) with biking and even free weights. Someday, I hope to move on to rogging (running and jogging), but I’m taking it one day at a time. The reality is that very soon, the outdoors here won’t be fit for woman nor beast, but I have a plan B.  If mother nature cooperates and gives us some snow, I’m going to finally invest in some snow shoes.  If she doesn’t I’m going to get a six month membership at the local indoor pool and work out there (I love the water, so I may do that anyway).

I’ve started down this road before, but never have I felt so compelled to exercise, as in I’m edgy if I miss more than 2 days in a row. I really hope this is the start of new habits for me.  I don’t need to be Hollywood thin, nor do I need to run marathons  I just want to be in better physical shape.

Wish me luck!

Right after I wrote the draft of this entry, Kathryn posted her story and I got the warm, fuzzy, oh-I’m-not-alone-feeling. So, here’s to us may we both be on the way to better health!


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