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!