Home > Exercise, General, Nutrition > Marine Corps Marathon: 148 Days and Counting

Marine Corps Marathon: 148 Days and Counting

June 4, 2011

One-hundred and forty-eight days.  That’s all that stands between me and running my first marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon, in Washington, D.C.  on October 30th, 2011 (my thirty-second birthday!).  It’s hard to believe that a) it’s been nearly two years since I started this journey of reconstructing my life when I turned thirty, b) I would even entertain the idea of doing something as unlike my former self as training for a marathon, and c) that I’ve fallen off the wagon bigger than any of my past minor slip-ups and am going to have to conquer some of my same, no good, stubborn bad habits in the process of getting ready…

I can, and will, talk in what will be I’m sure excruciatingly painful detail about my marathon training as the days go by, but for now, let’s start with c), above: my falling off the wagon.  The last time I wrote here, I was promising a comeback to blogging…my weight loss was as great as it had ever been, and I was loving life.  I had hit some hard times with a layoff from work, but so much was going well that I was really feeling good about myself and where I was going.  One thing I didn’t talk about last time, because I just didn’t have the confidence to do it yet, was to share in this forum that part of my reconstruction, was in finally accepting the fact that I’m gay.  For me, my weight and my sexuality had been inextricably intertwined for many years.  On some subconscious, and probably even conscious level, being fat was convenient for a closeted guy.  No one questions why you don’t have a girlfriend when you weigh over 300 pounds.

From the time I began losing weight, I knew I would have to face myself and my truth to live an authentic life.  I was shedding the armor that I thought was protecting me from the pain that awaited me should I decide to live honestly and openly.  So I hid behind an apron of adipose tissue.  As the weight came off, the confidence grew, and I knew I didn’t have to hide anymore.  I came out first to my friends, then to my parents, and then to the rest of my family.  It was truly the most exhilarating and exciting time of my life.  I felt as if I had never been so alive, and I’d never been more proud of myself!  It was (and continues to be) amazing.

However, as the months of unemployment dragged on, as I allowed myself to experience not only true love, but also true heartbreak for the first time in my life, as I navigated the stress that can come with coming out, even when you have the most amazingly supportive friends any person could ever ask for, I turned to my old drug – food – for comfort.  It started innocently enough.  I “deserved” that scone/cheesecake/burger and fries for the date that didn’t (or did) work out/harsh (or nice) thing my dad or mom or dentist or barista said to me/a celebration for passing the bar exam.  After all, I was down almost 73 pounds, I could take it, right?

And then as the months clicked by, a treat turned into a bad day, turned into a bad week, turned into a bad month of nutrition.  Exercise would be sporadic – it never totally disappeared, but it wasn’t consistent, either.  Five pounds gained, turned into 10, turned into 15, turned into 20, and right now, though I haven’t weighed in the past week, I’m right around 30 pounds above my lowest weight from last August.

So where did this Marathon thing come from, in the midst of all this non-awesomeness on the diet and exercise front.  Well, it came from this…back in March, I was sitting in a coffee shop, just down the street from the law firm where I had interviewed the week before.  I was trying to will myself to get the position there, and hanging out in the area seemed to help that in my mind.  I was on my computer, and an e-mail came in from the Human Rights Campaign, announcing that if you’d commit to raise $1,000 for the HRC, they would guarantee you a spot in the 2011 Marine Corps Marathon.  I’d been thinking about a Marathon for some time, and this was a really cool incentive I thought.  Then I looked at the Marathon details.  It’s in D.C., my favorite city outside Atlanta.  It’s on my birthday.  It’s for a cause I care deeply about.  The stars were aligned.  At that point I was probably only 15 pounds up from my lowest weight, and I was still routinely running 2-3 miles a few times a week.  It seemed perfectly do-able.  So I registered.

Fast-forward two weeks.  Good news: I got the job at the law firm!!!  My long unemployed nightmare was over!!!!  Bad news: my time was no longer my own, and training became difficult.  Not only was I starting a new job, but I moved to a new apartment to be closer to work, and I was also now living in service of the holy grail of large law firm life, the billable hour.  Time was money, and I needed it sorely.  Exercise ceased.  Quick, comfort foods took over, and in the nearly three months I’ve been on the job, I’ve gone from 15 pounds gained, to nearly 30.

So…I’m taking my life back.  I have so much to be thankful for.  The courage I found to live authentically.  The confidence I gained from my success and from the support of my family, friends, and all of you.  The job I have after so many months of looking.  So, so much is going right.  And I refuse to not conquer my weight and fitness, once and for all.  I *WILL* run this marathon, dammit!!!  And I will lose the weight I’ve put back on plus some!!!!  But I can’t do it alone.  I need to be accountable to you.  I need your support.  I need to reconnect to the secret sauce of motivation, inspiration, connection, and friendship that this blog helped provide when I took of my initial weight.

So, I know it’s been a long time, but I hope you’ll join me for this ride once again.  And the truth will be even a little truer this time around.  This is going to be an open-book, raw journey for me and you.  From me sitting in my living room typing this at 1:30 am in early June – to crossing the finish line in October.  Time to get started!

  1. Craig
    June 4, 2011 at 8:31 PM

    That is so awesome on so many levels! Congrats on everything, it sounds like you have everything on your side and are ready to conquer this weight and this marathon. Can’t wait to follow your journey again…we are rooting you on! 🙂

    • June 5, 2011 at 11:13 PM

      Thanks so much, Craig! I’m so glad you’re still here! I have to start back with reading a few old friends’ blogs like yours, too. I’ve missed this community…didn’t realize how much till I started blogging/training again!

  2. June 7, 2011 at 11:09 AM

    It really is awesome to put it out there, right? Like a huge weight off of your shoulders! I had been out in real life for a while now, but finally bucked up and come out to the blogosphere a couple weeks ago. Congratulations!

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