Sunday, November 29, 2009

Training week 18

I intitally set out to blog every week of training to keep a record of my training for myself and other people. I haven't really been able to to that, but I've managed to come by occassionally and write it down. This is one of those weeks when it's so important for me to write it down.

When I started back in July, I though there was no way I would be able to handle the workouts my coach planned out for me. They looked too tough, too long, and too intense. With only 6 weeks to go until my marathon, I'm finally realizing some things.

Today, I ran 19 miles. Not walked, but ran 19 miles. I weigh 231#, at least 60# more than the average marathon runner. When I tried to do this distance last week, I couldn't get past 15 miles. And I came home so frustrated that I almost gave up training. But I decided to give it just one more try. I amazed myself today. I realized that I'm an athlete today. Not just a fat girl running a marathon, but an athlete who is strong, and who has more endurance than the skinny little marathoners out there. Anyone in decent shape can run for 3 hours. Try running for 6 hours, which is how long it will take me to finish a full marathon. That's endurance.

I have a 10 year high school reunion coming up in 5 weeks. I'm so apprehensive about it. These people haven't seen or talked to me in a decade. But on Facebook, some of those people who never really cared what I did or made fun of me for what I did, are messaging me and telling me how amazed they are at what I'm doing now. The people who really used to know me, know that its' no surprise that I sing for a living, and even though they were initially surprised to hear about the marathon training, they know that one thing about me hasn't changed: if I want it, I'll have it no matter what it takes.

Last week, I was scared of this marathon. Today, I conquered that fear. I'm an athlete. I'm going to kick the ass of that marathon. I'm a 231# endurance running athlete.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


It dawned on me the other day that I hadn't written in my blog for a few weeks. Most days seem to just fly by for me, and I barely can hold on.

11 days ago, time stopped cold in my life. I got the phone call I've been dreading for 3 1/2 years, ever since my paps went into the nursing home. The last year has been a real stuggle for him, with constant infection and a case of broken spirit/serious home sickness.

11 days ago, during a voice lesson i was teaching, my mom told me to put myself on the first plane to Ohio, and do it now. Code: he's dying, come home now. My husband went to work finding me a ticket, and I kep teaching because I was so rattled I couldn't have driven safely anyway.

I left Orlando at 5:00am the next day(which means I got up at 3, after not sleeping a wink), and got home mid day. First stop, the hospital. My mom was a wreck, my paps wasn't coherent, and had lost 50 lbs since July. I've never sat vigil waiting for someone to die, but I wasn't looking forward to this. Besides that, I can't stand my aunts, and they were all coming, of course.

Fast forward one day, and my brothers from other parts of Ohio came in, my cousin from Columbus, and my other cousin from Southern KY were all there. They decided to move him to Hospice, which he arrived to around 8. By 10:05, he was gone. Peacefully, with his entire family around him, he let us go. I won't ever forget that moment. He was the biggest, strongest, and most amazing man I've ever or will ever know. He was the only grandfather I ever had, and I think I will miss him everyday for the rest of my life.

We buried him last Tuesday, and I came back last Wednesday, but I can't seem to resume my life. My brain isn't functioning well, and I'm eating everything I can get my hands on. There is a gaping hole in my life now, and I know that I can't fill it. He's not sitting in that wretched nursing home any more, but the next time I go home, I'll have to go to the cemetary to visit. Although, I must say, he's got the corner lot of the cemetary, on a hill, overlooking a soy bean field and the hills. It's a room with a view for eternity for sure. I had him for 28 years, and 16 of those I spent right next door on the farm living the life only a few kids get to live. My brothers and I spent time with him that none of the cousins ever got to, and I will cherish those memories my whole life.

Profound sense of loss sort of describes what I'm going through. My life won't ever be the same, and I don't know how to cope with that. But I'm doing the best I can.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Reflections of a year gone by.....

This week not only marked my 9th training week for Disney, but it marked my 52nd week on Weight Watchers. To date, I've lost 56.2 pounds, have dropped from a size 26 to a 16, and have completed two 1/2 marathons. Words can't describe fully how much my life has changed, but I figured I'd try anyway.

Last September, I nearly had a mental breakdown over the situation between my father and his ex wife, the mother of my 3 young siblings. I was 290#, and ultimately miserable. My pictures from vacation last year showed a very plump version of me living with a family that is, for the most part, very health conscious. So, I decided to start WW. And I decided to buy a pair of running shoes, and start running.

Since the first day I wandered into the Track Shack, where all the employees are stick figure distance runners, and got fitted for new shoes, I've gone through 4 pairs of the same shoe, and gone from not being able to fit into anything on the racks, to being able to shop off the racks. My first sports bra was a 44ddd, and my new one is a 38dd. My first pair of "running" pants were cotton capris from the avenue, and my first "running" shirts were special ordered and therefore special priced for big women. Now, I don't have to order from the "Women's" sizes because I can wear the "misses' size. Yesterday, I tried on a pair of NikeFit capris in a size L?!?!

When I first started running, the crossing guards near my house would high 5 me everyday they saw me running, and all the kids would look at me funny. Fellow runners would look on me with encouragement, and then kind of shake their heads. Lets face it, a lot of people say they're gonna run to lose weight and get fit, but honestly, not that many people follow through. I fully intend to be one of the people who follow through all the way.

At first, the thought of running for 3 miles straight made me squeamish. But, I figured it out, and managed to start running 5k's pretty regularly. Then, I completely bypassed all the other distances like 10k, and 15k, and leapt straight to the 1/2 marathon. I'm the kind of person who goes big, or goes home. So, I decided to train for the Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon and managed to complete it. Then, I set my sights on the Flying pig 1/2 Marathon in Cincinnati in May, and managed to complete that one despit the really hard course.

I trained religiously through the summer, through my husband's illness and unemployment, and all the stress of losing my beloved Jeep back to the bank. God, if not for my running, I surely would have backslid into insanity and eating.

When I decided to undertake the full marathon distance, everyone around me thought that surely I had lost my mind. My brother agreed to coach me, and devised a 24 week training plan that can best be described as grueling. As I finished week 9 today, after running 11.45 miles, I realized how far I'd come. Never in a million years would I have imagined a year ago that I'd be able to run almost 12 miles without having a heart attack or being crippled.

A year ago, life was very different, and life will continue to change as long as I"m running through it. One thing is for sure, life will never be the same as it was ever again.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Injuring and injury

I started running at 290#. And I managed to make it almost a year without an injury. I thought, "Gee, I must really be doing something right to be so fat and not get injured." It's amazing to me that with all the miles I run every week, and how I abuse my body, that an injury can occur in the oddest of circumstances.

Up until 16 days ago, I had been chugging away at my weekly workout schedule. Grueling long runs, cross training, and eating were my life. Then, enter the community service.....
I went to try to finish some hours, and got put to work reorganizing their walk in cooler. So, I bent over for 4 hours sorting through boxes of rotten fruit, tossing the bad, managing the good. I told myself all along the way that I was doing this for a good cause and that they needed my help, and that if someone didn't go through the rotten fruit, it would all go to waste. (I still don't think I'm ready to eat zucchini yet after knowing what one looks like when it's turned to liquid)

Then, enter the lower hamstring strain. All running stopped. All emotional eating started. Nearly two weeks later with no running, and I'm at my wits end with this injury. The problem is, now that I'm ready to start running again this week, I find that I'm only further injuring my quest by my destructive, self sabotaging behaviors. I will take me another month to work off what I've eaten on while down with this strain.

I've made it almost 1 year on WW, and for the longest time, I was religious. I don't know why I'm no longer religious. I take a great deal from the meetings, but not having a car has made it hard to get to them. I know that's part of this. And, I just haven't had time to plan and cook properly.

My life is only going to get more hectic, and somehow I have to manage all this. I'm just not sure how. My mom says to take like one day at a time. But, I find that if I do that, I end up with more injuries. Apparently, I've come to that place in my life where I have to sit down and schedule out every minute of my days in order to make it all work.

What's funny to me is that sooooo many people tell me that all the miles I'm running is insane. The irony is that my running keeps me sane, and I've realized now that not running leads me back to insanity. I don't really care what I have to do to save myself, but I'm jumping ship, and rowing back to the wagon.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Week 5

It dawned on me today that I haven't written about my hardest week to date yet.

Sunday, I completed a near 1/2 marathon. This is the longest I've ever run, and I'm paying the price for it.

Last week was intense. I'm not gonna lie. Last week made me question my abilities as an overweight athlete to accomplish my marathon goal. My workouts are greuling, my weight is plateaud, and my aching body begs me to back down. My husband thinks I've lost my mind,m and my best friend just rolls her eyes at me in disbelief and sarcasm. My mom thinks I'm a trooper, and is immensly proud of me and my dad could care less. My coach just says "ice, ice, ice" and gives me a figurative pat on the back through text messaging.

Last week I ran for a total of 325 minutes, or 5:25:00. My total running mileage was 23.44, for a total mileage to date of 101.30 in 5 weeks! I biked over 40 miles last week. That doesn't seem so insane, except when I consider that I weigh 235#. My marathon buddies say, "Oh, just wait until you're running 40-50 miles a week.....then you'll really hurt!".

Here was last week's schedule.
Monday- 70 minutes bike, not including the bike ride to and from the gym.
Tuesday- 45 minute run, weights, and abs (and bike ride to and from the gym)
Wednesday- 70 minute run, abs (and ride to and from the gym)
Thursday- 70 minutes bike, abs, and 10 miles round trip to WI and home on the bike. 25 total.
Friday- 45 minute run, weights, and abs (ride to and from the gym)
Saturday- OFF. THANK YOU, GOD!
Sunday- 165 minute long run, which ended up being 11.75 miles. Considering that a 1/2 marathon is 13.1 miles, where is my medal???

The saving grace to Sunday's run was the trainer who came up to me on the treadmill and said," You sure do lead by example! I couldn't run 11 miles if my life depended on it. You're more dedicated than I could be." At that point, I had less than a mile to go, so I knew I cold make it.
Last week was tough. This week is gonna be tough. the long run isn't as long, but the other days are getting longer.

The muscle at the top of my calf under my leg bend is still bothering me. I ice it every chance I get. I take Motrin like it's going out of style. I have a 1/2 marathon in 3 1/2 weeks, and I'm terrified. I just hope I can survive the next 3 weeks.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Week 4

Today marked the ending of wek 4 for my training plan.

Thus far, this was the hardest week. My training week starts on Mondays, but they really should go Sunday to Saturday, because it feels like my week starts with the long run instead of ends with it. Anyway, after last Sunday's 10.5 miles, this week seemed to never end.

I worked out more this week than ever. And, I get the feeling this is just a taste of what's to come. Monday was super hard. I wan't sore from Sunday's run, but I was just very tired. Getting through the 65 minute bike ride was rough, but I did it. Tuesday was a 45 minute run, abs, and weights. Wednesday was 65 minutes of run. Thursday was 65 minutes of bike. Friday was supposed to be 45 minutes, but do to an untested pair of running shorts and some very painful chaffing, I could only suffer through 40 minutes, abs, and weights.

Total minutes running=270 or 4.5 hours
Total miles this week=19.75
Total miles to date=77.86
Total aerobic minutes=400

4 weeks down, 20 to go.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


When I think of the word "Epic", several things come to mind; The Eiffel Tower, The Grand Canyon, The Olympics. Those things are epic to me. And then there are the feats in my life I've decided to take on that fall into the category of epic.

When a professional singer decides to do a recital, it's an epic undertaking. It's a solo recital of 45-60 minutes of music that almost always follows a certain program order. And, it's always really hard music. In my case, I'm trying to get into graduate school, so this recital will be recorded and portions of it sent in to various universities where I'm applying in the hopes that they will invite me for a live audition. So, in essence, it has to be perfectly performed.

Naturally, while undertaking all the other epic adventures of this year, I decided to do a recital. After much scrutiny, research, and deliberation, my teacher and I have managed to pick all the songs for this program except for one. Today, it feels like an enormous weight has been lifted as we decided on an order, and finalized the music. There are 15 songs total, including 5 arias and 10 art songs(including 2 duets), in Italian, German, French and English.

There is an immense cost associated with a recital of this magnitude. It will probably cost me somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,000 by the time I pay for my accompanist(who is worth her weight in gold. Luckily she's skinny!), a venue, additional instrumentalists(violinist, harsichordist, oboist), a dress or two, and food for the reception afterwards. But, it's been 4 years since I've done a recital, and this is a major step towards my future as a singing teacher and performer. Plus, if it gets me into grad school, it's a total investment.

I have 12 weeks to learn 10 songs while running a business, continuing to lose weight, and training for a marathon. I think that qualifies as epic.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Week 3 DONE.

Sunday I finished Week 3 of my 24 week marathon training program.

What's interesting about this program, is that my brother designed it just for me, knowing my current fitness level, weight, goals, etc.... So, the thought is that it would start off like many of the other novice programs I've scouted, with lots of base mileage and not too many really, really hard days. NOT SO. My brother is a perfectionist, and by nature of being a near elite amateur runner, a little bit psycho. And so, of course I asked him to coach me.

Week 3, day 1. 65 minutes of cross training wasn't so bad. My legs were a little tired from my long run the day before, but otherwise in good shape. My goals with XT are to build endurance by working at a heart rate that is still in my "high" intensity zone for maximum fat burn, but also below 150, so that it's aerobic efficient. So, i keep my HR between 140-150 for this extended period of time doing something besides running.
Week 3, day2. 40 minute run, weight, and abs. I love Tuesday. It's just a 3 miler and some other stuff. I've decided that watching trash TV keeps me entertained and focused.
Week 3, day 3. 65 minute run. This mid week mid distance run gets longer every week. It went without a hitch.
Week 3 day 4. 65 minutes of XT and abs.
Week 3, day 5. Another 40 minute run, weights, and abs. I especially love Fridays because I know the nex day is Saturday and I don't have to do anything!
Week 3, day 6. DOR. Went to the farmer's market with hubby and a friend. Went to teach, and then went to the pool to practice being a vegetable.
Week3, day 7. The LONG RUN day. I dreaded this day since I saw it on my schedule. A 150 minute workout. HOLY SHIT! That's 2 1/2 hours. Not only on a treadmill, but just in general, 2 1/2 hours. It takes me 3 to do a 1/2 marathon! I made the decision to run all those miles because I want to run a 1/2 marathon in September, and run every single mile. So, I gotta start somewhere.

I hit the treadmill with my Gu's in hand, and my trusty water bottle, headband, earphones, and iPod. I started at 4.2 MPH, which is super slow, but needed. My first set of 90 minutes yielded 6.25 miles. I took a break, went to address some chaffing issues, and came back to the Tm for another hour. This time, I sped up to 4.3 for 2 miles, and then 4.4 for the last 2.25 miles. Aside from just being tired, I wasn't hurting like I thought I'd be. My PF didn't bother me either, which is a miracle in itself. I realized that the key to my endurance success is to slow down and save my guts and glory for the end when I'm going to need it more.

Thinking back to the last 1/2 marathon I did in May, I could barely function for 2 days afterwards. I know I'm much fitter and in the best shape of my life because I ran 10.56 miles on Sunday, and then went to the pool, shopping, and then to dinner with friends! Sunday I proved something huge to myself. I can do this, and I'm going to. Ppl look at me weird when I say I'm training for a marathon because they assume someone my size can't do that. But, they have no idea what I can do.

3 down, 21 to go.

Friday, August 7, 2009


I've been running now for about 10 months. Well, what I consider running, anyway. I have muscles popping out in places I haven't muscles in years, and I'm starting to feel more solid. I did my last 1/2 marathon in May, and felt good and confident about it when the time came. And, over the summer, I've pushed myself to run more, more often, lift weights harder, work my abs everyday, and cross train a lot. And, I thought I was doing ok. I mean, for someone who is still over 230#, I feel like I'm pretty fit, so to speak.

Then, came the training program. I asked my brother several weeks ago to help coach me to my next goal, to run the Disney full marathon in January. He's done tons of marathons, and trained not only his wife to brilliant success, but trained my stepdad to finish his first(and last) full marathon at the age of 57. Plus, my brother is freakishly fast as a marathoner. He agreed, and set to work writing a program that would work for me.

Last week was week 1. I did everything I was supposed to do, including the 120 minute long run on Sunday, during which I ran 8.5 miles. I've never "Run" the whole thing. I've always done the run/walk interval thing. I've never run that many miles! And while I thought I was dying, I finished it. And, instead of collapsing for the rest of the day like I used to do after my long runs, I actually went out and did stuff. I made a trip to Old Navy and to the pool.

Of course, I had this great sense of fitness and achievement after week 1, only to look back at my training sheet and see there's still 23 weeks to go!

This is almost the end of week 2, and I've decided to post a weekly blog about my quest for the full marathon as a heavyweight. My brother doesn't know anyone who is my size and runs like I do. It's my goal to bring his world and the world of others who are ignorant to a fatty's plight out of ignorance and into some sort of light about how strong a fat girl can be.

This is the hardest thing I've ever done. I know I've lost my mind, but I don't care. I'm going to do this. I don't care about how much weight I lose in the process. I care about finishing what I've started. It's only going to get harder from here, but I'm up for the challenge.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I'll have just an XL Please!

Saturday I went and weighed in, and found that I had gained 4.4#, and was totally demoralized over the whole damn thing. Then, I decided to go to the Track Shack and get my new running shoes, even though I knew I couldn't afford them.....While I was there, I decided to try on a pair of compressions shorts.

There is a back story here. About 6 weeks ago, I ordered a pair of Moving Comfort Woman compression shorts from The TS. Much to my dismay, I got all excited for nothing, becasue MC decided to discontinue the plus size line! The guy on the phone said, "Well, you can try on the regular ones". In my brain, I said, "LIKE HELL AM I GONNA FIT IN THOSE!". In the meantime, I kept running in my long shorts from Target that are now too big, and bunch and chafe in all the wrong plance. Fast forward to Saturday.

While waiting for my shoes, I thought I'd try on a pair of the regular Moving Comfort compression shorts. An XL is sooooo tiny! I literally said to my husband, "There's no way my ass is gonna fit in these things". Technically, the XL fits a 14/16, and so with my synical attitude, I managed to squeeze my assets into these tiny, little shorts! As I came out of the fitting room, one of my running friends saw me and gave the the biggest hug. "I'm so proud of you", she said, "most people say they're gonna do this, and never do. You're actually doing it. You don't need the big girl sizes anymore." And then I realized it: I'm a runner, an almost average size runner who can now walk into almost any running store and buy something on the racks. HOLY SHIT!
So, I left with my new shorts and my new shoes(I love the smell of new running shoes), determined to try them both out on my long run.

Yesterday, I poured myself into those shorts, laced up my new shoes, and admired how nice and firm my ass seemed to look. I started my run, and realized that the shorts don't move! As in, they're so tight, that they can't move! Awesome! No need to pull them back down when I stop to walk or try to pull the wedgie out in a not so obvious manner. After my run, I decided I would like some more shorts.

This morning, I called the TS, and said I'd like to order 2 more pair of these compression shorts. The guy said, "Well, what size do you need?" My response, "I'll just take an XL please." What he didn't know is how happy I was on the other end of the phone not having to explain what they look like and what size equivalent I'm looking for. It felt so good to just say I'll just take an XL, please.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Reality Bites

The last 3 weeks of my life have been HELL! Between the husband getting FIRED, and having bills up to my ass, I've been drowning in reality. The reality of my life is hard. Harder than it's ever been. And I've tried to keep my chin up, and keep my spirits high. I've tried to workout religiously, and have succeded in some ways. But, my old food habits have come back to get me. The reality is, that as much as I want to say that I have learned to take my stresses out at the gym, being broke doesn't make it easy to make good food choices. Bread is cheap, pizza is cheap, ice cream is cheap. And the 4th of July WEEKEND(not just the day, but the whole damn 3 days), was a disaster.

Today, I realized that the stress of my life, my reality is sucking the life out of me. Everything I've spend the last 10 months working at, is in danger of being lost because I can't manage my stress eating. I haven't been sleeping, so I haven't had the energy to workout as hard as I normally do, so I haven't been burning as much as normal. But, I've been eating more, way more. Shaving my points, and being dishonest about my intake. The fruit of that is a 4.4# gain.

I'm so pissed at myself. But, in the 30 some odd weeks I've been doing WW, I've only gained 3 weeks. I needed this kick in the ass to help me get out of my funk. I'm so over the stress, and the food. This week, I'm kicking my own ass.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Too skinny for the fatties, too fat for the skinnies.

So, as I lost my job at Lane Bryant back in april, I've been on the search for a new part time job. What I have discovered is a weird sort of discrimination. As far as working in plus sized fashion, I'm now considered too "small" for a job such as this?!?!? When I did work at LB, we almost never hired anyone smaller than a 20 because the women who came shopping gave us so much grief about how "small" the employees were and how they didn't want to see skinny girls working in a store for fatties. OK.

Now, because I don't want to go back to work and can't get a job because now I'm too small, I decided to try to get a job where the skinnies shop. I figure that, even though I'm an 18 now, I'm not gonna be for much longer. I've already dropped 4 sizes, and I'm not stopping. So, according to my logic, if I'm not fat anymore I should be able to work with the skinnies. NOT SO! As I'm asking for applications and even turning them in, the clerks at the counters are saying,"You know we only sell up to size 12", or "maybe you can work in the men's side"!

It's all very frustrating. I feel like I'm stuck in weight loss purgatory. Where I'm not a fatty anymore, but I'm not skinny enough yet to be considered not fat by the skinnies. WTF!
Let's hope they give me a job at Bath and body Works. They don't seem to care about size in there.

Friday, June 5, 2009

You're what?

You're training for a marathon? What? How many miles is that? I'm so tired of people asking me if I'm sure I want to do this. It's mostly like people look at me like I'm retarded. Yes, I weigh 240, but I could probably run longer than you. It frustrates me that most people I encounter associate being overweight with being weak. That's just not the case. Even though I'm still pretty hefty, I'm built like a brick house, except for having a big belly. My legs are like tree trunks, and my arms are turning out to be pretty solid.

So, the decision to train for a full marathon, after only completing 2 halfs is the craziest decision I've ever made. Just past the decision to start running. But, it's a huge commitment, and I find myself having little support past my mom and my husband. Even my brother who is marathoner thinks I'm nuts. The thing is, I thought I would have been farther in my life than I am. I wanted to have kids by now and my master's degree. I have neither of those, and so this marathon is about having a major accomplishment to my name. Not that losing all this weight isn't an accomplishment, but I like the medals I guess.....

So this week I started what will be a 30 week program, of running my ass 4 days a week and generally living in a state of exhaustion. I love running and I wouldn't be doing this if I didn't. My mom and I are going to figure a food plan so that I'm getting enough carbs and protein in my diet. Which is where it gets hairy with the Weight Watchers thing, since they don't really cater much to athletes.

It's really hard for me to believe I'm doing this, and it's very emotional. I know I can do this, and I can't wait to do this. I'm sure the road is going to be long and hard, and I'm going to be in a lot of pain at some points, but when the time comes, the race will be worth the journey. I'm so excited.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Have you ever looked at your life and realized that you live in excess? I've had some of those realizations here recently. I've lost almost 50 pounds, I've cleaned over 200 pieces of clothing out of my closet that I deem as too big(from when I was 290 pounds), and I'm broke. Therefore, I've come to the conclusion that I've lived my life thus far in some state of constant excess.

When I was growing up, everything was excessive. The house wasn't, but it was a great, big old country farm house decorated to the nines with shabby-chic stuff collected through the years by my mother. And my dad always drove a Caddy(so did my grandmother for that fact). Vacations were always outrageous. Being from Ohio, if you got to go to DisneyWorld once before you graduated high school, that was a coup. For me, every other summer was Disney and the beach. $10,000 vacations only to come home to the eletrcicity being turned off because nobody paid the bill. Cars being repoed, the whole nine yards.

The habits of excess, I've found come from childhood. That whole nature vs. nurture nonsense. And so, because I lived a life of excess and turmoil(as my dad was and is an alcoholic), this became my habit as I grew. I've been heavy since I can remember. Which is to say, I don't remember much before my parents got divorced when I was 7. I've seen pictures of myself before then, and I was average size. But, divorce is hard, and it took it's toll. The only way my dad knew how to comfort me was to feed me.So, as I grew in all directions, age and otherwise,

I've come to this point in my life. I took all the personal finance classes in college, only to ignore everything I learned, and have horrible money habits, becasue I like excess. I had a job at a clothing store, and spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars over the course of the 2 years I worked there. And, after starting this journey, have realized that I have thousands of dollars worth of clothes(all from Lane Bryant) sitting around that are too big. It's really obscene how much clothing I have. Literally, hundreds of pieces of my prized wardrobe that are now hanging on two full clothing racks.

The problem with excess is that it's totally habitual, and it has infected all the parts of my life. Just like I'm learning to manage my eating habits, so I'm trying to learn how to manage my other habits as well. I'm giving up things like my tanning membership in exchange for my gym membership. And instead of eating out 2-3 times a week, we're cooking new recipes at home to keep our costs low. Excess has been a big part of my life my entire life, and for the first time in that life, I'm in control of my affairs. Losing the weight is just the beginneing of moderation, but I'm sincerely hoping that this new habit infects all the aspects of my life.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Short Shorts

I went to college in 2000, and, just before I left, my mom and I went shopping at Old Navy. That was the first time I'd ever gone shopping there, and it was the last. I remember buying some tank tops and the cutest pair of khaki short shorts. That fall, I was in marching band, and did a lot of walking around campus, and managed to slim down quite nicely. I even had some guys hanging around, and that had never really happened to me.

Fast forward a few years, and those little short shorts were something I'd never imagine putting on again. No, I didn't keep them, but, I did work for Lane Bryant. And I kept trying on shorts, and just hated the look of my legs. They were dimply and just not cute. So, I've lived that last several years in capris and crops because I was so ashamed of my legs.

About three weeks ago, we were getting ready to fly to Ohio so I could run the Flying Pig. So, I went to the Avenue to see if they had anything cute. Much to my surprise, I found some really cute shorts. I love plaid shorts, in all colors, so I tried some on! Not only did I try on a size 18!, but I bought 3 pair of short, short plaid shorts!! For the first time in almost 10 years, I'm not ashamed of how I look. It was a moment of pure joy when I could button and buy 18's, and the fact that my legs actually looked "good" in these tiny shorts.

Now they hang in my closet, and I can't believe they're mine. All my clothes look so "tiny" in comparison to my 22/24's. I'm still in disbelief that I'm back into size 18, and the thought of getting smaller is so exciting and mind boggling. I used to say when I was larger, that if I could only get to an 18, I'd be happy. But, now that I'm an 18, I just can't imagine stopping. So, I'm not. I've planned a trip to Ohio in Late July, and I plan on being a 16 by then. With that said, it's time to go to the gym.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Flying Pig "Race Report"

So, today I completed my second 1/2 Mary, The Flying Pig in Cincinnati. I thought it would be a great idea to do a race so close to my hometown so I could see my family and do a really cool race.....should have done more research on the race.

We got to cincy yesterday afternoon and headed to the expo after checking into our hotel. The expo was nice, small but nice. Lots of expensive stuff to buy, but resisted the urge.

Went to bed early, around 10, and got up at 3:30. Necessary, but wayyyy too early. Hubby got up shortly after, and got ready with me. I put my hair up in pig tails, since it was the Flying Pig.
We left for the race at 5:00, and got dropped off to find the start line. It was lightly raining, which meant that the potental for being miserable was very high. My issues with port-a-potties led me to stand in line for 25 minutes for a real bathroom, before making my way outside to stand in the rain with everyone else in the corrals.

It took me 10:00 to cross the start line and my first mile was not fast at all like I had expected. Weaving in and out of ppl, especially walkers, is hard work and dangerous, so the slower the better. There were 3 big bridges over the first 3 miles, and each with a pretty serious incline to bridge level, which sucked. The bridge joints were extremely slippery, so I had to pay close attention to those.

The race course was lovely, even though it was rainy. Running over the Ohio river and through the old part of Covington and cincinnati was great. I got to parts of the cities I never thought I would, and some I would never want to see.

The first 6 miles were fine, and I was picking up speed. Then came the hill....not just a hill, a mountain that climbed 900 ft. and spanned almost 4 miles of climbing. UGH!! I abondones my strict intervals, and walked a lot of the way up, which I'm sure is what destroyed my knees. Had I run it, I probably wouldn't have shredded my knees as badly as I did. Shortening my stride helped in one way, but led to the knee problems.

My pacing was doing well, under 15:00 average coming up to the top of the hill. There was a great botanical garden at the top of the hill with a butterfly conservatory, and oh, how I wish I could have stopped. The "downhill" was not so hownhill afterall. I had been texting my husband throughout so he'd know where I was. I have never been so happy to see a mile marker as I was to see Mile 11. It was midway down the hill, and turned out to be a really fast mile, even though I was in agonizing knee pain. Mile 12 was my fatest mile! And then the "Finish Swine" was in sight.

I lengthened my stride and pushed through the pain of my knees screaming at me, and decided to run across the line. My mom and hubby were along side the course cheering me on with about 30,000 other spectators. It was so exciting coming in to all those ppl cheering!

Coming across the line, I started crying a bit because this was such a hard race and I was hurting so much. Once I crossed, I got my timing chip cut off, and got my medal. It's pretty cool, with the flying pig on the front and the back of the piggy on the back. My left calf locked up on me completely, which felt like a charlie horse standing up, oh, so painful.....

I did some stretching, but hurt so bad I had to sit down for a minute. I called my husband and figured out where to meet and then made my way to the food tables. Fresh cut oranges, water, Swiss cake rolls, yogurt, bagels, much food. Had quite a ways to walk to the car, which sucked bc I was already in pain, but it gave my legs a nice little cool down.

My finishing time was 3:12:46, with a 14:43 pace time. It was slower than I wanted to go, but 11:00 minutes faster than my time from Disney. I'll take a PR any day of the week, slow or not. This was a really hard course, that I thought I was prepared for, but not enough. Next year, I'll know better.

My legs are hurting tonight, and my feet are sore, but overall it was a great race experience and I PR'd on a much harder course.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


So I have come to realize over the past 3-4 months that the people I have surrounded myself with are sort of miserable people. All of my friends are overweight, and most of them except for one, are miserable. They always have something negative to say about everything.

Why did I hang out with them? Mostly because I was 300 pounds, and didn't have the confidence to go anywhere by myself, and try to meet new people. I was just perfectly content with these unhappy people. Problem is, I'm not unhappy anymore! And so being around these people isn't fun anymore. Other thing is, they start to resent someone like me who is taking the initiative to change and do it drastically. Nothing about my life is the same as it was, and the people who were in that other life are not adjusting well to the changes.

My "best" friend, whom I haven't spoken to in over a month, is one of those people. She thinks that my running and racing is stupid and that I am wasting my time and money. Has she taken the initiative to get healthier? NO. And so, my changes in lifestyle are not meshing with hers and the way things used to be. Her way of getting back at me for making the changes that she can't/won't make for herself is to ridicule and poke fun at my new passion. And by ignoring my big days, like my first 1/2 marathon at Disney last month. She just didn't bother showing up. So the only people cheering me on were my husband(who thinks I'm mildly deranged) and my roommate.

My husband is bucking the system some because in the 10 years we've been together, things have pretty much always been the same. And so now, everything is changing. He understands it's for the better, but still complains about eating "light" ice cream, instead of the fully loaded kind. And he hates it when I point out that his portions are way too big. But, he's losing weight a little at a time, and embracing our new active lifestyle. He just got a car after riding the bus for 2 years, and will have a little more spare time to go to the gym with me, or run. And I think he's looking forward to that. He is my biggest fan, even though sometime he thinks I'm nuts.

And so, I realize the day before Easter, that I have no friends to invite over for Easter dinner, because I'm not cooking. And when the cook that everyone depends on for 300 calories/serving candied yams isn't cooking candied yams, nobody seems that interested in me.

It's time to make some new friends, who are positive and active and are interested in the same things as me. I'm thinking about joining a bowling league this summer, and starting my own knitting group.

That's all for now.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Journey

What drives a person to make drastic, life altering decisions? Fear? Hopelessness? For me, it was a spark of insanity. I felt like I was literally going insane. My family back home was having problems, none of which I could control. And I was unhappy with my life. I was the most unhealthy I've every been, and miserable.

What's funny is that my family is filled with healthy mom is a dietician/nutritionist for Pete's sake. My stepdad, brother, sister in law, sister, and her financee are all marathon runners, and my mom runs, too! My other brother is an athletic director and so his life revolves around sports. So how, in the midst of all of these healthy people did I get to 289 pounds? Complancency is the answer to this.

Fast forward to last June. The family vacation we all take every 2 years to a big beach house in Myrtle Beach. Skinny family included, and then the fat little sister( that's me). My mom's side of the family doesn't really say much to me about my weight, so I felt mostly comfortable just being my fat self. Then she sent me the pictures. HOLY CRAP! Was that really me? I was as big as my mom and my brother put together. What a sad realization.

Fast forward again to September, 2008. After a meltdown over family stuff beyond my control, as always, I realized I was in danger of actually having an honest to goodness nervous breakdown. And I can't really explain it, but I decided that trying to take care of everyone else in my family had led to me ignoring the need to take care of myself in any way. I was a wreck emotionally, and physically. I had just become ok with not being ok. I hated what I saw when I looked in the mirror, and I felt like crying all the time.

So, I decided I wanted to run. Yes, run. At 290 pounds. I went to the specialty running store in Orlando, The Track Shack, where I mistakenly thought only running snobs hung out. And I got fitted for my first pair of running shoes. Of course, my feet are super wide, and long, so I ended up in a 10W, which is the largest women's running shoe they carry. .....Awesome. Naturally, there was no clothing there for me or anywhere else for that matter. I was condemned to cotton capris and cotton tanks from Lane Bryant.

I also joined Weight Watchers around the same time. I had just made 2 of the best, life changing decisions ever.

The running was hard in the beginning. My knees hurt, my feet hurt, everythng chafed because of the cotton. On the days when I didn't run, I rode my vintage Schwinn beach cruiser as far as I could before feeling like death was knocking. People stared at me with disgust. People just stared. It didn't help that I was too poor to afford the gym, and so I used my wonderful neighborhood sidewalks where the teenagers from the high school across the street drove by me lumbering down the road every morning. And after a couple of months, and a few pounds lost, my knees stopped hurting, and if people stared, I didn't care.

My first "race" was October 19,2008 at the UCF U Can Finish 2 Miler. I ran the whole thing, and finished in 34:29. For me, it was the first of many great accomplishments to follow. Just running across the line at my size was empowering. Other small races followed, The Turkey Trot, The Reindeer Run, The Lady Track Shack, Round Around the Universe.

In January, I up to running 15 miles a week, and decided to so something drastic. I decided to train for a 1/2 marathon. 13.1 miles of agony and pain all for the sake of personal acheivement. My first day with the "Marathon Fest" training group was a 5:00am track workout. I, the fat girl who weighed at least 150 more than anyone else on the track, showed up to run with the speed freaks. Not surprising, there was no pace group for someone as slow as me. So, I ran on my own. After a few weeks, of training with them and meeting some really nice folks, another insane idea popped into my brain. Disney was hosting it's Inaugural Princess 1/2 Marathon in March. I had 5 weeks to get in some long training runs before the race, so why not?

I started trying gels, and buying smaller clothes. Actual "running" clothes, with the wicking fabric. I found that I could actually buy bras at my favorite running store, instead of having to order them from a special place online. I was training for a 1/2 marathon! All my friends thought me crazy, and my husband, too.

Soon enough, March 9th rolled around, and all my hard work was about to pay off. I didn't run the whole thing, I did :30 run/1:00 walk intervals. I posted the fastest times I've ever posted. The first 10 miles were all 15;00 or less! I was passing tons of people, and finished in 3:24:27. My feet problems dampened my joy, because I hurt so bad I could hardly move when it was finished, but I finished. That's all that matters.

Now I find myself training relentlessly for another 1/2 marathon. I also have come to realize that I have a wealth of knowledge to share with people because of my unique position as a heavyweight runner. I still weight in at 250 pounds, but I'm strong and fast(for me), and I'm healthier than I've been in a really, really long time. I'm teetering between 18 and 20, and it's been 8 years since I've been this "small". When I go home in May to run The Flying Pig in Cincinnati, I can't wait to see the looks on my family's faces.

I've only just begun, and I have so far to go. But, if I keep running and believing in myself, I'll be running at Boston with my brother and sister in law before they know it!