Project Stimey Update: Discouraged But Optimistic

Would you look at the time? It’s May! How did that happen? Since we are nearing 2013’s halfway mark, I figured that it is time to update you on how I’m doing with Project Stimey.

Unfortunately, the answer here is that I am not sure. I have been running and I haven’t stopped running. I am fitter, I am stronger, I don’t get out of breath when I walk up stairs. My double chin is going away, I worry a lot less that someone will ask me if I’m pregnant, and I have gotten rid of all that troublesome wrist fat that holds my watch in place.

(Seriously. Why do my wrists get thinner but my ass stays chubby?)

I’m also getting faster. Last September, I was running a 14-1/2 minute mile. I’m currently running about a 13-1/4 minute mile. That is a respectable change.

So, I see progress.



I am still discouraged.

Lately running has been really hard for me. I don’t know why it suddenly feels like I’m running through peanut butter on half of my runs, but it does.

I am also tired of being the slowest runner around. I know that I’ve improved, but I also know my pace is even slower than what other runners consider to be reeeealllly slow. I am tired of being the slowest person on the road.

Alex has started running. I started him on Couch to 5K and I am running with him. His endurance is not high, but he runs his running intervals at, like 8-1/2 minute miles. It is incredibly demoralizing.

I know that I’d be faster and running would be easier if I weighed less, but I don’t have my diet under control yet. I have seen some recent movement on the scale, but I hate weighing myself so I don’t focus on that very much. Also, I get depressed every time I do, so there’s another reason I avoid it.


I’ve been discouraged lately. I feel like I’ve been working really damn hard and I’m not seeing results like I want. I feel like my goals are so far away. I have put myself out there very publicly as working to improve my fitness and it makes me feel sad that I am not getting the results I want to put out there.

But I’m not giving up.

I may not be getting the results that I want, but I am working really damn hard to remember that I am getting results.

I run sometimes with an awesome friend of mine. I was telling her about all of this on our last run and I was telling her that I’m worried about not being awesome enough for the 11 other people on my relay race team in September. She told me about her father, who is in his 80s, who goes to the gym every day. Her story reminded me that my goal isn’t weight loss; my goal isn’t even my relay race; my goal is to be 80 and still healthy enough to go to work out every day.

That goal I am well on my way to achieving. That goal is the one that really matters.

I’ll take that.

I thought I should let you all know how things are going, because I’m sure some of you are on the same path I am on and it is hard. I want you to know you are not alone. Some of you are scared to start or have given up because it is SO damn hard. (Some of you are on this path and are kicking serious ass at it. To you I say, rock on wit’ yo’ bad self. Way to go! Also, I hate you juuuuuust a little bit.)

I want you to keep at it. I am going to keep at it.

So, yes, I am discouraged. And I am likely to stay discouraged for a little while. But that doesn’t mean I am going to stop. I will get to where I want to be. I may not be there by September. I may be the slowest person on the course at my relay and I’ll cry a little inside and put on a brave face, but I will still know that I accomplished something.

Every time I run I will know that I accomplished something—because I am out there, putting one foot in front of the other instead of sitting on the couch eating cookies. So I am optimistic. And I will remain optimistic longer than I stay discouraged.

And that is how Project Stimey is shaping up as we enter May.


Thank you to my friends the Paulsons and Ardis for donating to the Cheetah-thon. Team Stimey’s donations to Jack’s Cheetah-thon now adds up to $1015 (plus our $500 matching donation). That is a lot of ice time, you guys. That is a lot of athletes that will get to play because of you. Thank you all so very, very much. I cannot tell you how much your help means to me. For anyone still interested, you can donate online and/or you can come by the Rockville Ice Rink this Saturday, the 11th from 5-7 pm to skate with the Cheetahs!

23 thoughts on “Project Stimey Update: Discouraged But Optimistic

  1. i too have been totally discouraged. it doesn’t help that my husband can skip eating a cookie and show improvement, while i have been trying since january to notice a change. i would like to have something improve before swimsuit season. just…something. one little thing would be great.

    i too will keep going, thanks to your encouragement!

  2. I’ve found it very helpful and comforting to think of what Texxie says, which I’m going to paraphrase to the point of being in danger of a serious misquote, but the gist of it is that exercise is for strength/endurance/cardiovascular changes, and dieting is for weight changes. This helps me because I GAIN weight when I exercise. Not muscle. WEIGHT. And yet I still want the health changes that come with exercise. And since I can’t seem to manage the diet part, this helps me to keep things separate instead of giving up on exercise just because it isn’t making me thin.

    • But, Swistle, I like to run sooooo much more than I like to not eat cookies. But you’re right. It’s a really good idea to look at them separately.

  3. i understand the discouragement… BUT you just listed several positive changes.
    Not only I am newly diagnosed, but I have three sons on the spectrum. No this isnt autism, it exercise, but its still relevant I promise. :-)
    When I think about my sons, and they’re learning and they’re growing. I don’t compare them to the other kids (at the playground, or the neighbors, or the developmental charts…) I compare them – to them. Is he doing better, learning and growing compared to last year? The answer is always yes.
    Compare you -to you – not other people. Have you improved? Sure you have. Are you as good as everyone else? Doesn’t matter.

  4. Keep going Stimey. You are making improvements and you are moving forward. Even if you are the slowest one on the course in September, at least you are on the course. You are faster than all those who were not brave enough to try. I think you are doing great!

  5. I’m so sorry you are discouraged. I think you are doing AWESOME.

    To be completely selfish, if you were doing really really well, I would feel like “look at her! I’m left behind, and there’s no way I can do it, look at how good Stimey is and I suck.”

    Instead, reading this has made me all “stimey isn’t a quitter and she’s keeping on and if she can do it, so can I!”

    And it’s all about me, right? ;)

  6. You are doing great! You have made progress – that is huge. So what if you aren’t as fast as you want to be. It will come at some point. And, as a solid mid-packer who’s run a ton of endurance races, it’s ok if you are never fast. What matters is that you are out there challenging yourself.

    As the saying goes, “you are lapping everyone sitting on the couch.”

    And I’m not going to touch the weight thing – I have zero self control these days and am carrying a nice padding made up of cookies and beer. Sigh.

  7. What Amanda said. Don’t compare yourself to others. No matter how fast or fit you are there will always be someone faster or fitter. Everyone has to start somewhere. When I first started I couldn’t even run a mile without my side hurting and feeling like I was going to throw up.
    Intervals will make you faster. Either at the track or on a treadmill.

  8. First, I hope you enjoy the improvements that you’re already seeing. Feeling fitter, stronger, and walking upstairs easily are all accomplishments.
    Did you notice that on the days with C25K [That’s Couch-to-5K, right?], you are actually running pretty fast? [I just checked their site, and they now have a mobile trainer app with zombies! I still don’t believe in zombies, because they are scary.]
    Maybe have a personal trainer review your current running schedule, and accompany you on a run. Recognizing that your schedule is subject to change, with children and other events.
    Also, your post reminds me that I have a goal to walk more, and that I’ve been slacking off on that, and my strength training. Arghh. And thanks. :)

  9. I TOTALLY understand. They claim you can get from Couch to 5K in five or six weeks, and here I am, still not there, after nearly two years! I feel like every time I make a big breakthrough, I get hit with the flu or life or something and have to stop for a while and then start over. But every time I look at my mom, who can barely get herself out of her wheelchair on her own, it’s a motivator to keep going. I don’t have to be skinny (god knows that’s not going to happen at 46), I don’t have to run fast or pretty, but I want to be able to WALK when I’m her age! So keep it up, you’re doing GREAT.

  10. Well I am totally impressed that you are continuing to run, when most people who start an exercise program quit after a few weeks! So, good for you– I am very impressed by your determination, and you are most certainly healthier than you were last year!

  11. I’ve been waking up at 5am to go to the gym 3x a week, which is INSANE for me because I am NOT a morning person and I’m also feeling a bit discouraged because I can’t stop eating 2x the # of calories I am theoretically burning in chocolate. So I asked for and went and bought new running shoes for Mother’s Day thinking that might be a little incentive to step it up. Cut to this morning: I’m feeling SO snazzy in my new shoes with great support, etc. and I decide to not to the elliptical but actually get on the treadmill and walk and RUN (read: job slowly) on it. So I’m doing great (read: DYING) at 18 minutes in and I literally, LITERALLY, fall off the treadmill. (I had intended to tell NO ONE this story so I hope you know that this just shows you how much I love you that I’m willing to share it with you to make you laugh today.) I mean LITERALLY fall off. I fell to all fours, barely hitting the big red STOP button as I went down and then roll off the back onto the floor. HOW did this happen? I have NO IDEA. Thankfully all my fellow gym-goers decided to spare me even more embarrassment and totally did not react (on the other hand, what the HELL, I just fell off the treadmill, can’t someone ask if I’m OKAY???) But the moral of the story is that I hope you are laughing at me and that if my ankle is feeling better, I’m determined to hit that treadmill again on Wednesday. (And by “hit” I mean literally punch it and then start my walk/jog again). xoxoxoxo We can do this!!!

    • Yikes! I was already terrified of treadmills. I have used a treadmill exactly one time, at physical therapy for a broken ankle. I asked, might I fall off of this? And of course, the answer was, ‘No, don’t be silly. That never happens.’ I just couldn’t walk normally on the treadmill.
      I’m similarly terrified of ellipticals, and down escalators that go really fast. Now I sound like I’m 90 years old. I am not. :)
      For cardio, I like the recumbent bikes, or just walking outdoors. I particularly enjoy Nordic walking, which doesn’t seem very popular here.
      Anyway, aside from the treadmill and elliptical, physical therapy was great! Hope you never need it. :)

    • Aimee, you have no idea—NO IDEA—how much this story cheered me up. I love you. So much. Thank you. You’re right. We CAN do this.

  12. Oh, Stimey! We are such soul mates!! I have been discouraged lately, too. I, too, am the slowest runner I know!! But I have also taken comfort in the fact that I am still running a few times a week. I do see more results when I have the eating in check, but that is such a touch and go thing for me. We will keep going and be better for it. And to aimee above…that was hilarious! Thanks!!

  13. After a great few weeks, I’ve been discouraged too because I can’t seem to stick to a regular schedule.

    I get my shoes fitted at the RnJ in Rockville – I like going in the daytime when the old timers are there and they’ve been great. I’ve also been using the elliptical and doing intervals (4 min fast, 2 min slow, 3 min fast, 1.5 min slow, etc.) and that seems to help me burn the same amount of calories but not eat so much.

    I need to incorporate weight lifting – supposedly “they” say that it’s great for people with a lot of weight to lose, which I need to do.

    Keep putting one foot in front of the each other. You’ve accomplished so much in your life, I have no doubt you can do this too !!!

    Oh, and Aimee, I was rolling on the floor laughing. I worry about this happening to me EVERY DAMN TIME !!!

  14. You are kicking some serious a**, even if you don’t feel like it. That’s a huge drop in time. Plus, you feel stronger. That is awesome.

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