Mission Accomplished! My First 5K!

I couldn’t be more proud of myself for reaching this goal.

Some thoughts:

My biggest fear was coming in last.  Yes, I know that someone has to be last, but I have worked my butt off over the past 2 years, and while a 5K may not be a huge deal for a lot of people, for me it was the equivalent of climbing Mt. Everest.  I knew that everyone else in the race wouldn’t know my “story”, that at one time I weighed in at almost 340 lbs.   I not only wasn’t last, but out of about 60-70 people total, there were exactly 12 people who crossed the finish line after me.  So yes, I was near the back, but I don’t care.  I DID it, and I am proud.

My friend took these pictures for me.  🙂

Trying to get an app on my phone to record the route.  Nerves obviously got the better of me, as I didn't do it correctly.

Trying to get an app on my phone to record the route. Nerves obviously got the better of me, as I didn’t do it correctly.

I look scared...

I look scared…

First 5k4 First 5k5 First 5k6

The charity the run was supporting.

The charity the run was supporting.

Pre-run pep talk.

Pre-run pep talk.

Trying to blend in with the athletes...

Trying to blend in with the athletes…

Group warm up.

Group warm up.

And we're off!

And we’re off!

First 5k15

I knew there was at least one person behind me.  Found out afterwards there were 12.  So my biggest fear was averted.

I knew there was at least one person behind me. Found out afterwards there were 12. So my biggest fear was averted.

First 5k19

I thought I would cry from the emotional aspect of how big this was for me, but I didn't.  My time was 43:29.

I thought I would cry from the emotional aspect of how big this was for me, but I didn’t. My time was 43:29.


Good week for the most part!

This has been a great week as far as pushing my fitness goals forward.  My last blog was about my first public/daylight run/walk which was a huge step, but it was also a failed Week 4, Run 1 in my training program which jumped me from 3 minute intervals of running to 5.  I wasn’t sure I was ready, but a few days ago, I felt strong enough to try again, but this time at the gym on a treadmill.  And I did it!

When I do the training runs, I also don’t stop when the training stops.  I do a full 5K every time so I can keep tabs on my time.  So that successful Week 4, run 1 had me running a full 5 minutes MORE than in any other attempt.  Two 5 minute intervals, two 3 minute ones and four 2 minute ones.

Then tonight, worrying that it was a fluke that I did that one, I went again to the gym fully prepared to not succeed but still hoping to, and not only did I do it, but I added one more minute of running for a total of 25 minutes running and 25 minutes of walking including the warm up and cool down.  I got to 5K at 42:30 which I’m very happy with.

Then to top it off, when I got to the gym, I was waiting at the front desk to sign in when a lady I’ve seen at Zumba before but never spoke to came up and started talking to me.  She wanted to tell me that she is so impressed with my progress and wanted to tell me that my hard work is really paying off.  Made my night.

Now all of this is balanced out with some bad news I got from my sister tonight.  She had a sore neck for a few days and was tempted to ignore it but ended up going in.  Turns out she has a massive blood clot in her neck, likely due to the chemo.  So please keep her in your thoughts and prayers while it gets slowly dissolved.  She didn’t need this…she is dealing with enough with the cancer and chemo.  😦

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!

Honored! Sparkpeople.com has asked for my story!

When I got home from last night’s Zumba class, I found some mail on my Sparkpeople.com account.  Usually, it’s just stuff sent out to various groups I have subscribed to but it turned out to be so much better.  It was one of the coaches on the website asking me to submit my story to be featured on the site and possibly in national media.  I am blown away, especially because I’m not even done the losing part of this journey.  But I love that my story could possibly inspire someone else to do this as I have said for a long time that if I can do it, I think anyone can.  I don’t have special skills aside from possibly a bit of a stubborn streak.  😉

Reason to Celebrate Today! Woo hoo!

I was meeting my niece this morning for a Zumba class (her first) and not only did my niece sleep in but no instructor showed.  With the way I’ve been reacting to stress lately, I would have expected to have let it colour my day in a negative way.  But I decided to try to beat my former 5K record of 48 minutes and I totally SMASHED it with a time of 44:52.  Pretty respectable, considering just 2 years ago I weighed well over 300 lbs and just walking was difficult.

Also jogged more than ever in one exercise session with a total jogging time of 18 minutes with never more than a minute or two of walking between jogging intervals of either 1 or 2 minutes.  I am pleased!

And a sweaty selfie to celebrate.  Woot!


Weight loss milestone reached

This week I managed to hit 125 pounds lost since starting this journey almost 2 years ago.  That number also means I am now exactly 150 pounds less than my highest known non-pregnant weight of 338.  Why is it so hard for me to accept these numbers as the fantastic job intellectually I know it is?  I’m thinking I’d like to lose another 35-40 lbs before looking into skin removal surgery and that number seems so ridiculously small compared to when I started this and I thought that I would never get to a goal because I had so much to lose and it seemed insurmountable.  Yet, here I am, sort of on the homestretch and I can’t wrap my head around it.

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.

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