Thursday, June 30, 2011

People are strange when you're a stranger.

It seems people like to talk to me. Strangers, especially. Everyone from the deli guy to the seafood guy to the cashier; they all like to talk to me. Even when I'm not in the mood to talk back. Apparently, I have the type of personality that invites conversation. Mind you, it doesn't really bother me, but it is a little annoying sometimes. Weird thing is, it hasn't always been like this. I've noticed over the course of the last couple years as I've gotten skinnier that people are nicer to me. It leads me to really believe that the vast majority of people are prejudice against fatties. I really try deep down to not become one of those with prejudice, but sometimes it's hard when I see people abusing their bodies the way I used to. It makes me think, if I could do it, why can't you? But then I remember, I had to get to the place where I was ready to do it. Some people never get there.

I never really noticed it before because I didn't want anyone to look at me, much less talk to me when I was fat and miserable. Even though I always dressed really nice, did my hair and makeup and made sure I looked presentable before I walked out of the house. But, people didn't talk to me then. Come to think of it, the only people who really talked to me were other big people I ran across in my everyday life.

I try to encourage people I see out on the trail or at the gym who look like I used to, because I forget sometimes how much a stranger's enthusiasm and motivation meant to me. Now that I look the part, fewer people give me thumb's up, or atta girls. So, I try to pass it along. I am turning into that person that people come to for help changing their lives. I've come to grips with that, accepted it, and am ready for the challenge. I am okay with being the girl that everyone wants to talk to, tell their problems to, and get advice from. I'm excited about it even. It's a paradigm shift for me, and sometimes it makes me very self conscious, I'm not gonna lie. But, it's what the universe needs from me. So, go ahead, strangers, talk away. Tell me what's on your mind, ask your questions. Don't be offended by my answers, and don't fancy me a snob because I say things like, I ONLY ran 10 miles today. That's my reality, and it's very different from many other peoples'. But, I'm here to listen, so talk away.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A true milestone

So in October of 2008, I went to my first Weight Watchers meeting. I was skeptical at best, and was greeted by an over zealous leader who made me want to smack her before she even opened her mouth to greet me. I was wearing the only pants I owned that still fit me, a pair of elastic waist knit gauchos in a size 24 that were best described as tight and a size 22/24 Avenue T-shirt that was also bulging at the seams. I sat through the meeting, and listened intently, to these people talking about points this and core that, and then listened to them celebrate their losses.....and their gains. When it came for joining up, I dutifully stepped on the scale and winced, waiting to hear my starting weight. Mind you, I couldn't tell you the last time I'd been on a scale before that, and I wasn't in any hurry to hop on this one. However, it was what had to be done. The computer beeped, and she said, "Your starting weight is(and she whispered it so I could barely hear it) 289." I was crushed. "Really? I'm that big?" I'd never been close to that size in my life, and a wave of shame washed over me. I didn't seem that big when I looked in the mirror. But then I remembered the pictures from summer vacation that year, remembered looking at them in disgust.

The lady behind the counter, Mary, handed me my beginner books and such, and said, "one pound at a time is the way it's done, Dear." I listened to the leader's getting started session, and thought surely I'd fallen into the 7th circle of Hell or something like it. She talked to me about 5% and 10% goals, and what my ultimate goal weight should be. She touted portion sizes and the importance of weighing and measuring. Ever the skeptic, I listened. The woman in front of me, Helen, was over excitedly talking all about how she had lost 80 pounds, and how WW had changed her life. And so I thought, perhaps it can change mine as well.

I went home from that first meeting, and didn't exactly take to the plan with open arms. I decided to try core first, and after a few weeks of doing it my own way, I caved and started sticking to the points. I worked out diligently riding my beach cruiser and learning to "run" the loop around my neighborhood. Months passed, and the weight slowly came off. I trained for my first 1/2 marathon, then my second, then my third. I logged countless hours at the gym, on the bike, and running the roads. Neighbors and passersby watched me shrink before their eyes and would stop me on the streets to commend my efforts and tell me how inspirational I was.

Life inside my house was a nightmare. Mike had gotten a terrible staph infection, then lost his job, then we lost the Jeep, then he decided he didn't really want to work. I tried to stick to my plan as much as I could. He didn't want anything to do with exercising or keeping the candy out of the house. I started to change, and to not be okay with mediocrity and irresponsibility anymore. I had taken control of my body and started being responsible with it, and thought I should apply those principles to the other aspects of my life. Unfortunately, he didn't really take to that either.

I completed my first full marathon in January of 2010, after losing 70 ish pounds. Life would never be the same. I kept at my plan, and kept losing here and there, but I was going to school and auditioning for grad school, and was desperately seeking a way out of my life. I decided in April of 2010 to leave, and start my own life. Quickly, the pounds started to shed again. I trained for more races, and ran all summer last year. I trained for my second Disney marathon and ran it in January of this year. I pulled someone across the finish line with me who would've quit had it not been for me talking her through the whole thing. I realized my calling that day. Whether it be personal training or counseling, or both, I am meant to coach people.

My own weight loss has stalled at -90# for months on end. My body had gone through muscular changes, but not lost weight. Only a few weeks ago did I start serious weight training in addition to the massive amounts of cardio I do every week. Sunday, life changed again when I came home from running long. I hopped on the scale, as I do every morning like a psycho, and it popped up a number I'd never seen before:186. I nearly passed out. Not only had the scale moved, but it had lept from the 190's into the 180's! And, it had ran past 189, which put me well past the -100# mark.

When I look back at the last 2 1/2 years, it amazes me what I've come through. I never dreamed in a million years that the life I had when I was a fatty wouldn't even resemble in any way the life I have now. I never dreamed I'd be happy living by myself, running a successful business, and carving out my niche in the world. I never dreamed I'd survive the break up of my marriage, or be the one who did the breaking. And I certainly never thought that losing weight would change me on an elemental, cellular level, but it has. When I started WW, I never thought I'd be the person telling people at the meetings how much I've lost and watching them look back at me with adoration, envy, and joy. I'm so close to meeting my goal, and I will not stop until I get it.

Losing 103# is a true milestone, one in a long line of milestones that has changed my life for the better. I have been changed for good. I hope I can help others change for good, too.