Weight Loss Challenge Week 8: Finding My Strength

Blogger Mandy Dawson, a mom of two kids, has made it her mission to get healthy and lose 50 pounds. For the last eight weeks, she's been working with wellness guru Debi Silber to get on the right track to meeting her fitness goals. Today marks the last post in Mandy's Weight Loss Challenge series. But she'll be in touch later to let us know how she's doing!

It was weigh in day.

I have rituals that I follow on my weigh in days as, I'm sure, most women who have struggled with their weight do.

First, I only wear my underwear and only weigh myself in the morning, an hour or two after I wake up and before I've eaten or had my tea.

Second, after I step on the scale, I step off and weigh myself again. If the number changes, I weigh myself twice more and take the lowest number.

Third, if the number has changed for the better, I step on and off the scale a few more times to feel the rush of success.

I'm fairly certain I'm not alone in my routine. This time, however, something odd happened. I stepped off the scale and realized I hadn't looked at the full number to the decimal. I thought about stepping back on and then shrugged my shoulders. I'd just round it up.

Yes. Up.

I walked to my notebook to record my weight and stopped in my tracks. I've written a lot about the power of numbers and the power of the scale. I've allowed the scale to rule my life, my mood, my progress. Until now.

You see, on Saturday, I did a 5K. And I ran almost all of it.

You know how I feel about running. I don't think I could be more clear how much I hate the treadmill. Still, a few months ago I signed up to walk a color run. A little voice whispered in my ear that Ultimate Mandy would try to run the whole thing. Actually, she would run the whole thing.

During our last conversation, Debi told me that I was starting to understand the idea of self-love and how that ties into self-image. Once I begin to love who I am, then my view of myself will change. Having Ultimate Mandy as a litmus test to determine my course of action is causing me to strive to be the best version of myself.

I walked to the starting line and looked at my companions, yelling over the bass beat of the classic rock, "I'm going to run as much as I can."

They nodded in understanding while the crowd counted down from 10. Then, we were off. I jogged slowly, trying to weave around the walkers clogging the walkway. I kept going, my heart rate slowly beginning to rise. I reached the first color station and held my breath as powder clouded around my body. I exited and kept my slow jog going. 

A half hour later, I crossed the finish line having run most of the run. I'd been forced to stop as the 9,000 participants bottlenecked parts of the course and a couple of times I forced myself to walk, thinking I might not be able to continue if I ran up the steep hills. I should not have doubted myself. 

I finished comfortably as if I'd just gone for a brisk walk. I was sweating, but not collapsing. I felt strong. I felt confident. I felt like I could honestly run the whole course again.

When I stepped on that scale the next day, I didn't care about what I lost. I didn't care if I'd gained. I didn't care if I'd stayed the same, because I'd run most of a 5K. For the first time, the God of the Scale truly did not rule my life. 

But for those of you keeping track at home, I've lost 13.5 lbs. Give or take a half a pound or so.