I want to lose five pounds.
I know, people in America say this ALL THE TIME, and it’s onerous, I know it is. I have been a pretty average weight all my life, but after I turned forty, things seemed to shift slightly. Anyway, there it is. Five pounds. I’ve never been on a diet in my life. I’ve always done different things for exercise, but now I am going to think about both.
So my PLAN is, up the exercise, cut back on the calories. I know, complicated. So today I’m running again, and it happened! I got in the zone! Getting in the zone while running is the closest I’ve ever been to sleeping while exercising. If you’ve never experienced it, it’s hard to understand. You work and work and work to get good at something, then, laaaaa, you get it, your body just does it and it’s effortless. It doesn’t last long at first, but it’s very exciting when you find it. I haven’t been in the zone since last year. Running is 80% mental (I’m not kidding, if you’ve ever tried it you know this). I spend so much of my run time trying to fight my busy brain and my still out-of-shape body. If you listen to your negative self, you won’t run. So today I finally dropped into the zone and Bad Lisa was practically speechless:
Bad Lisa: Criminy, you haven’t even gone one mile and you’re beat. No way are you gonna make it three miles.
Runner Lisa: I don’t have to run all three miles; my goal is just to keep moving for thirty minutes*. In fact, I’ll walk up that next hill.
Bad Lisa: If you walk, those people up there will see you and know you can’t keep it up**.
Runner Lisa: I’ll walk, then I’ll start running again by the time I pass that bench.
Bad Lisa: You talk big.
Runner Lisa: You talk too much.
Runner Lisa: I did it! and I’m not even breathing through my mouth. Hellooo second mile.
Bad Lisa: It’s hot out, isn’t it?
Runner Lisa: Ahhhh, the zone! Hey, we’re in the zone! Ahhhhh, bliss.
It’s wonderful, it truly is. It makes you want to go right back out the next day and run some more.
*This is the single most effective tactic to keep you running. Let yourself walk sometimes. If you aren’t so hard on yourself, you can eventually get to the point where you can run the distance.
**This is the single most effective counter-strike to the above tactic. Bad Lisa knows me. She knows I am vain. But when I allow myself to walk even if other people see me do it I can not only beat the rap, I also open the path to advanced running and training tactics, like intervals.