Wednesday, June 3, 2009

My "red flag" moment

When I started my running journey a couple of years ago, I was very overweight. I'm 5'9" and I weighed closed to 260. I had ended a long-term relationship and I looked at myself in the mirror the next morning. And I didn't like what I saw.

While that moment was important, and one I'll remember for a while, the one that sticks with me is what I call my "red flag" moment. It's when my 38 waist jeans weren't able to fit anymore and I needed to get a 40.

I remember that time at the store. I refused, absolutely refused to buy the next size up. 34, then 36, then 38. But never 40. I just didn't have the heart to hit the next set of 10's. So I didn't buy that size and I decided right then and there to do something about my waistline and general fitness.

Fast forward a couple of years and I continue to keep the weight off, and when the waistline gods are good to me, I even lose a little weight. I'm not stepping on the scale as often, but I'm still aware of my weight. Instead of fretting about the pounds, I look at whether I can comfortably move one notch in on my belt. Conversely, have I not eaten well so that I can't hit that notch? I need to be aware if I'm actually loosening the belt to fit into pants.

Have I given up red flag moments now that I'm where I need to be? Not a chance. There is still a weight that if I get close to it, I become extremely careful about what I eat and I up the mileage to increase my metabolism. I get back down to where I need to be, but that's only because I recognize when things have gotten critical.

I continue to have these red flags because I know how easy it is for weight to start creeping back up. It's happened before and I can't ever let it happen again.


Marlene said...

Great post, Greg. As you know, I have had a similar journey with my weight. I, too, have red flags, whether it's how my pants fit or a number on the scale. This will be a life-long battle and I find it easy to slip into old habits if I don't pay attention.

Thanks for sharing!

Mel-2nd Chances said...

agree with Marlene, thanks for sharing and an excellent post. After I quit smoking I found that my clothes weren't fitting the same, and also didn't like what i saw in the mirror... seeing a pic of me on a cruise a few years ago was my red flag and got me into running as well... you've done a great job, keep up the great work!

ShirleyPerly said...

I commend you on your self discipline! I've been fortunate not to have had significant weight problems but do have a tendency to go overboard on other things that can lead to a red flag moment. I wish I had a belt or some pants that would tell me I'm slipping back again. Usually I find out after I've already slipped.

Runner Leana said...

It is, I've yo-yo'ed for the last few years. I remember the big point for me was when I had to buy a size 16. Funny how we all have those end points, eh?

Great job on your journey so far.

Susan said...

Well said.