130, Part 2: An unhealthy obsession with an insignificant number
If my mother thought 130 pounds was bad enough, I couldn’t imagine how she would react if she found out that was a generous 10 pounds under my real weight: 140 pounds.
For years I kept 140 a guarded secret. I told friends about this awkward, horrible incident at the driver licensing office, but I only told one close friend shortly after the incident about the actual number.
For the same number of years and more, I focused my energies towards achieving 130. It became a target weight that I set out to achieve by going on a ridiculous no-carb diet; attempting to do yoga, running, martial arts and core workouts on consecutive days or on the same day without care for recovery periods; and obsessively recording my weight and food intake.
And the results of these efforts: I caught a cold in the summer from insufficient protein intake, I strained my back and was put out of commission for two weeks, and I was extraordinarily disheartened by the lack of progress I seemed to make. Oh, and I didn’t reach 130.
Could I ever reach that barely-acceptable weight?
With encouragement from two friends who were fans of running running, I signed up for a half-marathon in South Korea. Over the course of eight weeks that I had before the race, I followed a training plan that involved running five days a week. I committed to not screwing up my body through lack of training, eating unhealthy food or eating unhealthy amounts of food. On top of that, I practiced Taekwando three times a week. Fortunately, there was only one day where I had running and Taekwando on the same day.
I did make it to 130 during this period. I also completed the half-marathon way faster than expected, but this was not enough to satisfy me, as I recounted in an earlier post.