Running a marathon is hard. It’s 42.2 kilometers or 26.2 miles. As you cover more of the distance, it gets harder to complete it. The enthusiasm and fun diminish as the pain sets in. And worse, the temptation to stop creeps in the longer you run.
That’s why it helps to have “mile markers” or distance markers. It gives you an idea of how much further you have left to go. It helps you manage your expectations. It gives you fuel for your pep talk: Only ten more miles… Only five more miles… Only one more mile…
I remember running a 5km relay race a few years before running my first marathon. I wasn’t in good shape and I was the “anchor”, meaning I ran the last part of the relay. The route didn’t have distance markers and I was huffing and puffing wondering when the torture would end. Someone shouted encouragement: “You’re almost there. It’s just around the bend!”
Somehow, I found the will and started sprinting. Almost there. Almost there.
But I wasn’t “almost there.” And it wasn’t “around the bend.” I almost started crying.
Why would someone get my hopes up like that? It took all my willpower not to give up.
I managed to finish the race, but part of me was wounded by the false hope of the earlier “encouragement.” When I was running longer races, I made sure that I kept track of how much distance I had left. It’s hard to do anything when your morale has been broken.
I find the same is helpful for weight loss goals.
I weigh myself every day, but I know that it’s a forwards/backwards, up and down game. Some days are better than others and some days are worse than others. Lose a few pounds. Gain a few pounds. But to truly know how I’m doing on my weight loss project, I have to look at the big picture.
My Monthly Average weight is my weight mile marker.
It takes into account the back and forth and I can get real picture of my actual progress. It can be disheartening to see my weight go up a few pounds after only going down fraction the day before. But I try to keep focused on the monthly average to see my real progress.
I posted about working towards my Marathon Weight in March, but I started working on it in February. Below are my Mile Markers to my Marathon Weight so far:
January Average Weight: 201.3lbs
February Average Weight: 198.7lbs
March Average Weight: 194.3lbs
April Average Weight: 190.0lbs
May Average Weight: 192.1lbs
June Average Weight: 192.2lbs
July Average Weight: 192.0lbs
August Average Weight: 192.5lbs
September Average Weight: 189.9lbs
October Average Weight: 188.5lbs
Even over a few months, there is still some back and forth, but the overall trend is down. I also think that part of the reason that my weight didn’t change much from May to August is that I wasn’t looking at my monthly averages closely. I was tracking my weight but not really thinking about my patterns too much.
Moving forward on my journey to my Marathon Weight, I’ll post my monthly average from now until I reach my goal. And the goal is to get to a monthly average of 180lbs. Once I do that, I will consider myself having reached my Marathon Weight.
Excuse me as I “jog” towards my next mile marker…
© 2020 Peter Gruner