OMG…Size LARGE!!

This has been the BEST day!  Spent the morning doing something I NEVER do…window shopping and trying on clothes I had no intention of purchasing.  This was while searching for a light jacket for running that has pockets with zippers.

Keep in mind that my entire life, shopping for clothes was always a “get in, get out” with as little time and fuss as possible as it was always a painful ordeal.  I spent a few hours just browsing before finding a nice jacket.  I took 2 of them into the changeroom, a Large and an Extra Large.  I was sure the XL would be the better size and even thought I might have to try a XXL.  Put on the Large first with the idea that it would be set aside as way too small, but nope, it fit!  I almost cried in the changeroom and then texted the picture to my husband.  Couldn’t believe it.

Here it is:

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Game Changer! 5K Training.

In my quest to work on my running ability and get ready for the Color Me Rad 5K in May, I’ve been doing 2-3 times a week walk/runs with training programs (first one found online, then I switched to an app I purchased for my phone).  I have been going slowly though sometimes working on the same week of the program for more than a month.  Also started over with the new training program when I purchased it.

For all of these runs, I’ve used the treadmill at the gym and for a couple of them, I’ve ran on a local high school track that has kind of a rubberized surface that I thought might be better on my knees than pavement.  But in the back of my mind, I knew I needed to get out there on the road or sidewalk or I felt I’d never be truly prepared.

I like the treadmill because it forces me to stay at the speed I set it at and after timing my speed on the track, I was right.  I was WAY slower on the track.

My biggest reason for not taking things outside was more that I have been scared of being laughed at, falling or just plain looking stupid.  But last night, on a whim, I took the plunge and took my training run outside.  I had previously mapped out a 2K route as well as a 5K route near my home and decided for the first time to do the 2K route, in the dark (to avoid being seen as much).  It was Week 3, workout 2 and the first run of the week (on a treadmill) was scary because it doubles several of the running intervals and I was unsure I would be able to do it.  The treadmill was tough watching the time tick by.  But on the road and sidewalk last night, I had no idea about how much time had passed or how much time was left during those intervals.

I did the 2K route and completed the training intervals in about 20 minutes which also includes the 5 minute warm up and 5 minute cool down.  And I felt GREAT when I finished.  Like giddy, excited and proud.  I still can’t believe I did it.

The reason this is a game changer for me is that up until now, the training runs have all left me feeling like I’m just dabbling in running.  But last night, I felt like a real RUNNER!  Woot!

Reflections after 2 years of this journey

This month is the 2 year mark since I began this journey.  There have been so many amazing changes to my life that I simply can’t begin to describe them all adequately.  But I feel like I need to try.  There are basically 3 areas that those changes fit into so I’m going to describe them here.  I feel the need to get some of this out because there’s a bit of a struggle going on in my head and perhaps this will help.

First, and most obvious, there is the physical changes.  I don’t think I truly was aware when I was at my heaviest how difficult it was to do so many different things.  Pretty sure it was denial of sorts because I didn’t want to face how bad things had gotten.  And having been heavy all of my life, maybe I was used to it. Tonight I was rummaging around the back of a lower kitchen cupboard for something and my husband commented that he can’t believe the difference in how I get up from that position now.  My fitness levels have now far surpassed where I thought I’d ever get, even in my wildest dreams of being thin.  The idea that I can now jog, and do it regularly, probably doesn’t sound as astounding to anyone else but me, but every time I do it, I am amazed.  Today, I was grocery shopping and as I usually do, I repeatedly remembered an item that happens to be at the other end of the store and I found myself walking briskly over to get it rather than figure out a plan to walk the least amount of steps.  Yes, I realize this is “normal” behavior but it certainly never was mine.  The physical changes and how that reflects in the clothing I can wear is just truly amazing to me.  Recently, I have been known to stand in my closet and just admire the sheer number of non-plus sized clothing I now own.  Astounding to me.

The second change that has become apparent to me is the emotional changes.  These probably aren’t as obvious to others as they are to me.  I used to spend so much energy putting on a happy, positive face for everyone else while deep inside I was hurting deeply.  I didn’t have the belief in myself that others seemed to, and so my life felt like a big fat lie all the time.  It feels like I have now reconciled the public me with the inner me and that has been so freeing.  This also ties into the knowledge that I have a stronger drive than I ever thought I possessed.  I am stubborn and headstrong and most importantly, I am stronger than I ever thought of myself.

The third change is the one I’m struggling with, and that is my body image.  You’d think based on the physical changes alone, there would be a dramatic improvement in my own body image, but in fact, it’s worse than ever.  I’m sure that makes no sense, so I’ll explain.  As I mentioned earlier, I think I was in denial at how bad things had gotten, so I did a LOT of pretending.  I see pictures of myself from those days in outfits that I thought I looked good in and as it wasn’t that long ago, I actually remember how I THOUGHT I looked.  The thought was nothing close to the reality.  Instead, I focused on parts of my body that didn’t reflect my weight, like makeup, my skin (I have always had really good skin) and my hair.  And here’s where the struggle is now:  With the dramatic changes in my body, I am very aware of it now.  And that includes all of the flaws I never noticed (because of the denial) before, in addition to being hyper aware of the loose skin I now have.  And it’s all playing with my head.  Most of the time, I feel as if I look worse now than I ever did.  It’s a constant (as in daily) dialogue in my head in which I have to remind myself of the good things to try to not focus so much on the negative.  If this doesn’t improve I may actually have to seek some professional help to work through it because it is affecting me so much.

Now, don’t get me wrong…this struggle isn’t taking anything away from what I know I have accomplished.  I am thinking it’s just one of the bumps in the road that I will get through, like anything else.  The positives that this journey has brought to my life far outweigh the negative and I am confident that I will get through that part.  I like who I am becoming and would never change the struggles because they are shaping who I am as much as the good stuff is.  I will get there!  And this photo shows how far I’ve come.  🙂

125 lbs gone!

Christmas has come and gone…

And I couldn’t be happier that it is.  This was probably one of the least enjoyable Christmases I’ve ever had.  More family drama than ever and in my already heightened emotional state, it wasn’t pretty.  Oh, and to top it off, my 9 year old daughter ended up with a stomach bug that resulted in projectile vomiting at my parent’s place, all over their bathroom including cupboards, floor, walls, tub and all over the toilet.  And because of my sister’s weakened state of health after her first chemotherapy treatment a couple weeks ago, my husband ended up disinfecting the bathroom with alcohol before taking her home early.  T’was a fun night!

I’m sure you are wondering how this all has affected my nutrition and exercise routine.  Well, I gave myself the week of Christmas “off” and know that there were days I ate to stuff my feelings and to the point of being uncomfortable.  And it’s now been 9 days since my last workout.  But, today was back on the wagon nutrition wise and I’m hoping tomorrow to get in a workout.  I am not going to get on the scale until I’ve been back into my routine for a week or so in hopes some of the damage I’ve done will be taken care of.

I’m quite sure many people don’t agree with giving myself permission to take a week “off” my plan, so I think I should explain my thinking on this.  I’ve been at this for almost 2 years now, and I know that I would never have made it this far if it wasn’t for the occasional times I give myself permission to do this.  I believe this is “real life”.  I know I probably gained more than a few pounds, and that’s ok because I know how to get it off, and I haven’t thrown in the towel completely.  I’m actually excited to get back into my routine and as part of my Boxing Day shopping, today I purchased a jacket that I intend to wear in my planned outdoor runs.

This past year has been full of ups and downs.  Lots of ups related to getting my life back due to this journey, and some serious downs that were like an emotional punch to the stomach.  This sums up my thoughts about this year nicely:

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Back in control…

…at least food-wise.  I’m still on an emotional rollercoaster and probably shouldn’t expect anything different until at least the Christmas holiday is over.  It’s been 2 days now of being in control of my food intake and I’m happy that once again, I didn’t throw in the towel when faced with difficulties like I have most of my life.  It’s a small success, but I’m counting it as a strong one.

Sometimes it’s important to be happy with the small things in order to not succumb to the bigger problems.  I’ve always been a “glass half full” kind of person so I need to focus on that.  I believe it’s a step in the right direction.

Really bad week.

On both a personal level as well as my fitness progress, it’s been a terrible week.  6 days ago I discovered heartbreaking news that suggested a level of betrayal of my trust that has turned my world up on it’s end.  Since then, I’ve had days in which I’ve barely eaten anything to binge eating in which I was fully aware that it was nothing more than a choice to try to stuff my emotions with food.  And to top it off, I’ve only managed to work out twice this week.

The good news, is that I’m honest about it, both here and to myself. My lack of ability to cope with this stress when I know myself to be a very strong individual who has overcome a lot of pain in my life sent me to talk with a friend who is a counselor about my coping with this.  That discussion brought up some of my issues that I know are still present relating to my weight issue and what I know I’m working on and a suggestion came up of a possible treatment option to help me totally deal with it.  I will be looking into that in the near future.

In the meantime, please keep my family in your thoughts and prayers.  This is going to be a tough Christmas.

Empowering experience tonight. Feeling great!

I had such a great experience tonight. About a month ago, a local lingerie store organized a photo shoot opportunity for women to sign up for.  Apparently they’ve done this a bunch of times, but this was the first I’d ever heard of it.  Back then, I thought it would be fun to do to use the pictures for something like a calendar for my hubby for Christmas or even a poster for the garage.  Not something completely slutty or sleazy, but something tasteful and that I’d be ok to be displayed in our garage for his buddies or any family members who go in there.  It was easy to sign up, but as time went on, I realized some bigger hopes I had for the experience.

Despite this weight loss, the accompanying health benefits and even some of the work I’ve had to do in my head along the way, I am nowhere near being comfortable in my own skin.  In some ways, I’m in a worse place than I ever was.  I am aware however that it’s likely because I’m opening up those old wounds that got me to the place I was in before this journey started for me.  So as I got closer to this photo shoot, I got more and more scared.  Scared that I would look terrible in the photos, that I would hate posing and that all the progress I’ve made would still be not enough for me to start learning to appreciate where I am now and where I’m headed.

I’ve watched in the past couple days as people canceled their spots in the photo shoot and I almost bailed myself.  But I didn’t.  As the hours ticked by at work today, I got progressively more sick to my stomach with nerves.  I arrived about 5 minutes before my scheduled time to find that they were running behind so I had more time to wait and get nervous.  The lady had a bunch of brand new stock (remember…she owns a lingerie store…) and I had time to look at some things and try them on.  I put on on this slinky little purple and black chemise thing and almost cried when I looked in the mirror.  I actually looked good!  So I bought it and added it to the rotation of different outfits for the pictures.

I had some taken in my regular work clothes (great Facebook profile pics, I figure).  Also brought with me a tasteful chemise and then had the new one I bought when I got there.   I’ll update when I get the pictures in a few days with ones I’m comfortable sharing.  😉

I left that photo shoot feeling empowered and feeling better about myself than I ever thought I would.  I hope that feeling sticks when I see the finished product.  But for the moment, I am feeling strong and confident, and that feels good.

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