Skinny Daily Post


I ran just shy of nine miles on Sunday. It was a beautiful only-in-San-Francisco October day, with warm sunshine and clear skies. I took a few tough hills, but other than that I relaxed and let my iPod carry me through the city streets. Nine miles. Wow.

Lately I have been so upset about some regained weight and tight clothing, that I’ve lost faith in my own capacity for accomplishment and success. Its been a blow to my ego that, having been a self-described ‘weight loss role model’ for several years, I am back to struggling with the scale again. Weight loss and subsequent maintenance was never easy for me, but it felt do-able. The past six months or so, however, I’ve wondered if I had completely lost the ability to string a few healthy days together and get a few healthy weeks under my belt.

So it was with some trepidation that I set out on Sunday afternoon for a long, slow jog to Golden Gate Park and back. Running has never been my favorite exercise, and I have always felt that the challenge for me has been more in my head than anything else. But over the summer I increased my running bit by bit, even while my food intake was somewhat out of control. Once I got over the first (huge) hill, I knew that I’d be able to make the rest of the run. I even added a half-mile at the end because the music was just so good, the breeze was just so warm, and the feeling was just so … amazing.

Cut to the same location, just about exactly four years ago, when I had reached the highest weight of my life. That fall day I had actually driven to the Park, because I didn’t think I could run all the way there. I got out of my car, began slowly running and WHAM. The pain in my lower back became excruciating after just a quarter mile. By the half-mile mark, I was panting so heavily that I couldn’t go any further. Defeated, I walked back to the car. I remember leaning on the steering wheel and crying. At that moment, I felt as if there was no hope in the world that I’d ever be fit again. Depressed and feeling helpless, it would be months before I worked up the courage to even TRY to lose some weight.

Perspective is a powerful thing. I ran nine miles on Sunday. Wow!!

10 thoughts on “Jogging my memory

  1. Jessica says:

    Something is in the air – I had my longest run ever on Saturday, a beautiful Minneapolis fall day, and while I only went 50 minutes and probably 4.5 miles (i’m not a very good runner yet) I wanted to cry afterwards out of the feeling of accomplishment. 9 months ago, I couldn’t even run 5 minutes. 2 years ago, I couldn’t even run 2 minutes, and I was a chain smoker and 60 lbs heavier. It is good to remind yourself what you are capable of, it set an amazing tone for my entire week!

  2. h says:

    Perspective, and the slow steady perseverance of a water leak chipping away at a rock. 🙂 Congrats!

  3. mary jean says:

    Every little step makes a difference! I am not finished with my weight loss but 4.5 years ago I weighed 130# more and it was all I could do to walk 8 blocks. A couple weeks ago my husband and I hiked to the saddle between two mountain peaks. We had intended to summit one of them but the wind was blowing so hard, it did not seem safe. It was incredible feeling to be up that high, though, and know in my heart that I am strong enough to make it to the top. I had tears of joy to have made it up so high on my own feet! Crangratulation to ALL of us!!

  4. stretchy says:


    You know yourself so well, you really do. That injury helped to sideline you, but I doubt it will ever happen again. It is this circle mindbodyspirit…it is so connected, and you totally get it.
    9 miles wow is right! Congrats.


  5. carrie says:

    Awesome. 9 miles is quite an accomplishment. Good job. It’s always the consistency that gets us there, which sometimes totally sucks. Especially when I realize how many dieting days I have ahead of me before maintenance.

  6. Priscilla says:

    You inspire me! I just started running again after a 6 week period of healing from an injury. I immediately started feeling better both physically and mentally. Exercise is my stress reliever, my mental adjuster, my saving grace.
    You are running just under a 12 minute mile and ran 4.5 miles! I’d say you are a great runner! This morning I didn’t get up to go run. I just wanted to sleep in a little and although I am okay with that your personal stories have given me enough inspiration to keep me going with my running for the next week! Thank You All!

  7. HeatherC says:

    Congrats on your 9 mile run! I’m sidelined from running with a knee injury, and 9 miles was my longest run before the knee problems. My physical limitations have hampered my momentum for eating well, and like you, I’ve been upset over regaining weight and tight clothing. All I can do is try to keep in the back of my mind that the injury is only temporary. I can’t wait for the day when I can run 9 miles again! Thank you for your post…you are definitely an inspiration!

  8. Laura says:

    Definitely inspiring to read this Jonathon. This is small by comparison but just recently I did 45 minutes on the Arc Trainer, something I would have sworn was impossible a few months ago when – for nearly a year I felt like I was dying at 20 minutes. It was a great milestone to finally push myself through it.

    I have such a long way to go, slow and steady probably close to two years to get where I want to, so it’s easy to discouraged. But I’m always ready to go again after I read a post on this site.


  9. Hilly says:


    I always find that the small things put me right back on track mentally more than anything else. I tend to focus on what I can’t or haven’t done rather than the opposite.

    Great that you found your positive space again!

  10. TLo says:

    VERY inspirational … Jonathan’s piece, and also the comments.

    Thank you all. Truly, we can do this!


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