My weight loss journey has changed how I see things.
For years, I managed to flip and flop between ignoring how bloated, sickly, and tired I appeared. Why? Well, I felt it all the time. If I took a hard look at myself in the mirror, I would just more depressed. I'd spiral into despair and back into a vicious circle that would cause me to simply shut down and assume I couldn't do anything to fix it.
Eventually, I realized the only way to change how I felt and how I looked was to--you know--actually change what I was doing with my life. You can expect things to be different if you keep doing the same things over and over again. So, I sucked it up, accepted where I was (and that I hated it) and took my first steps to changing my life.
It's been 3 years since I took those first, hesitant steps. As the old advertising adage goes, "You've come a long way, baby."
Except, when I look at myself, I don't see that.
Oh, I can't deny there's been progress. My body is changing.
But, I still have the body of someone who is considered to be very unhealthy. I'm still morbidly obese. I'm still over 300 pounds.
Even at my lowest weight during this journey (about 280), I was still morbidly obese.
And I look it.
And that pisses me off.
When I weighed almost 400 pounds, my body reflected my lifestyle. I fed it crap, and lots of it. I sat on my big butt as much as I could. I ached. Breathing was a challenge. It made sense to me that I looked the way I felt.
Now? Now it just feels damn cruel sometimes.
I have changed my life. I have done things I never dreamed possible a few short years ago.
Some of them are little things, like bending over to tie my shoe or climbing a flight a stairs without needing to take a rest break.
Others milestones are more significant. What started as walking to the corner and back eventually built up to 5K and 10K events. Those races and years of training eventually brought me to the finish line of the Disney Princess Half Marathon this past February. (Note: For the record, that happened just one short week before our world turned upside down. I do sometimes wonder if these two events are somehow related. ;) )
My eating habits have evolved into that of a healthy person. I control my portions. I eat vegetables willingly and (most of the time) happily. I like yogurt now! I've become a damn good cook and I even freaking weigh my ice cream portions!
I don't look like a person who does that.
And, I'll say it again. It pisses me off.
I FEEL like a new person. I actually like the person I am. I hate the disconnect between what I feel and what I see.
I'm grateful for this body. It has endured so much abuse over the years.
Sometimes I wonder if maybe that's why it's taking (what I feel is) forever to change. My body has been down this road before — so many times, really. Perhaps it's still waiting for the other shoe to drop.
"Oh, she's just going to go back to her old life."
You'd think after three years, it would see I'm serious about my life this time. Even after gaining about 25 pounds from the 2019 holidays to through the early days of this horrible pandemic. (I'll write about that in another post, as I'm still unpacking a lot of that.)
I suppose after the years of abuse, my body has trust issues.
And, when I think about my situation like that, I can't blame it really.
I inflicted a lot of damage to myself over the years. Three years isn't enough to reverse all of that.
So, now I'm working through the disconnect of what I see and what I feel.
I think my body and I need to learn to trust one another through this healing process. We are in it together, after all.
Oh, Twitter...how you do love a good viral smackdown. In a case of a holiday ad gone horribly wrong, Peloton is facing serious backlash over its 2019 commercial. Critics claim its sexist and promotes body shaming. After a casual conversation about the social media storm with a friend during a weekly music trivia night at a local restaurant/pub, I decided to pitch a story on my take on the whole debacle.
My voice is no better or worse than the thousands of others out there. But, I think I have a unique perspective as an overweight woman who is coming into her own in the fitness world. Apparently, my editors agreed and gave me the green light! Check it out below and let me know your thoughts about the commercial and the resulting controversy. And many thanks to my editors at Simplemost for letting me wade into the wild waters of viral commentary! For the record, the original headline for the article the editors agreed on was "I'm an overweight feminist and I think the Peloton holiday commercial is empowering." Ok...wow! Not my choice at all, but it was out there for a while until they changed it to something a little less...in your face, I guess :)
It's hard to believe it's December already. What is the saying? The days are long but the years are short? And don't even get me started on how long it's been since I've updated the blog.
But, here I am now and I've got some plans for us!
2020 is going to be a year of big changes in my life: my youngest graduates from HS and will be off to college (choice TBD--stay tuned!) I'm running a half marathon in Disney World. I'm in the process of finishing up a book manuscript about how I decided to train for a 13.1 mile run. And, I want to grow this community to make it meaningful and helpful to all who join.
So, I guess you can say I have some BIG DREAMS for 2020!
To kick things off, I'm doing a trial run of a weekly newsletter. The free publication will arrive in your inbox just ONCE a week and will have a quick review of the what's happening in The Lighter Side community, plus some recommendations for some amazing resources (websites, books, podcasts, recipes, etc) and some inspirational stories, too!
If you're interested in receiving the newsletter, just head over to the sidebar on the right and send me your email address! Don't worry. You won't be getting a ton of spam. I don't have that kind of time to flood email inboxes! LOL!
Are you ready to make 2020 the best year yet? Let's do it together!
Tomorrow is my first day as a member of the No Boundaries Beginner Running Club. At 7:30 a.m., I will meet a bunch of new people who all want to run better and have fitness goals.
Am I excited? Hell, yes. But, whoa boy, the jitters have been quickly building. I may have more than a dozen races under my belt, but that doesn't stop me from having so many insecurities.
As I talked with my long-distance training coach (literally, in that he lives on the other side of the country from me), I dropped some confessions on him today about my growing anxiety:
I'm probably going to be the biggest person who shows up.
I will also probably be one of the slowest.
I never run with people.
Here was the one that shocked me the most:
Running fast scares me. I know I can't sustain it; it makes me feel like I'm in not control; it reminds me of my limitations which piss me off so much. I'm sure that's why I avoid it.
You see, the body in my brain and reality don't always line up. I feel so much better than I did more than 90 pounds ago. My cardio endurance has improved tremendously and I honesty believe I'm in the better shape than I was 20 years ago (even though I still weigh more than I did back then.)
But, I still weigh about 290 pounds. Moving that type of weight quickly isn't easy and it sure as hell ain't quick. So, when I try to run fast, I feel like I'm being yanked by my neck; a bitter reminder that I'm not as good as I feel I am.
As a result, I've focused on slower and longer runs. I was afraid that just doing 13.1 miles would be impossible. Now that I feel I can probably do that and not drop of a heart attack, the fear of time limitations is smacking me upside the head and in my gut.
I have 3 hours and 30 minutes to complete the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February. Right now, based on my times, I'm going to be swept. I don't want that to happen. It's not the end of the world, but it bothers me and I'd be lying if I said it didn't.
When I started training for my first 5K, I felt much the same way. Vulnerable. Unsure. Anxious. Just getting started was a huge step outside of my comfort zone.
Joining this running group and allowing others to see that vulnerability probably scares me most of all.
And my logical brain tells me that's probably a big reason why I need to do it.
I'm starting this post at the end of the story, because that's the image that sticks in my mind the most from the Indy Ultimate weekend.
When I crossed the finish line after the 5-mile+ race (I think it's actually a 10K, but whatever), I actually felt like I had some energy to spare. Considering we were under a red flag warning for heat and humidity for the race, that was a major win! That mister felt like a million bucks, though, as you can see from the picture!
But the Indy Ultimate isn't just about crossing the finish line. It was about meeting up with friends who have been a vital part of my health journey for the past 18 or so months. I met them all thanks to a man named Mike Daggett and his website FatDag.com. He just retired from the Air Force and its his mission to share his weight loss journey to help others live their lives to their fullest potential. He came down to Disney to run the Princess 5K with me just because he wanted to be there to witness me cross off an item on my bucket list. He's a special guy and keeps me going on the days I just want to say screw it all.
Thanks to Mike, I've made some incredible friends through his Facebook community. I was so grateful to have the chance to catch up with them when we gathered in Indy!
But the best part was my husband, Jon, not only tagging along on the trip, but also getting in on the race! The poor guy hadn't trained and it was a hell of an event to just jump into at the last minute, but he did so well! To say I'm proud of him is an understatement. I'm not sure he's caught the running bug; I may have to wait an ask him after the soreness goes away. :)
The Indy Ultimate also isn't an ordinary road race. You get to see downtown Indianapolis in some unique ways. Along the race route, you move through various venues (parks, theaters, sports venues, the canal) to participate in challenges like paddle boating, spear tossing, kicking a field goal in Lucas Oil Stadium, and much more! I loved seeing the city like this, but have to admit when I saw Monument Circle ahead of me for the last segment of the race. I had to stop and get a picture!
I'll be posting more pics on social media over the next few days---when FB and IG start behaving again! Keep an eye out! :)
Next race is July 28--the Little Miami 10K! Bring it on!
I'm Marie. I'm working toward a 200 lb. weight loss goal. I'm doing it with baby steps. Follow my journey here.