Thursday, January 10, 2013

Weight Hate

I have written & edited this post numerous times over the past couple of years but could never bring myself to publish it. Why? Because I was ashamed. I was embarrassed. I was unhappy with myself in a weigh way that made me feel alone. I covered it up with laughter, or poking fun of myself, or making every attempt to ignore what not only the scale was telling me, but what my health was telling me – I was getting worse. And then last year, something changed in me and I started running. I know it’s cliché, but it changed me. Physically. Emotionally. Spiritually. There’s so much I feel that I want to share, but dudes, you know how much I talk – we’ll be here all day. Ain’t nobody got time for that. So, I don’t know how this #weighthate series of posts will play out but I’m going to be as open & honest as I can with each one.

The other day I gave you my 2013 resolutions where I mentioned what I weigh. As I typed it out, then backspaced over it, I realized that I may be 190 lbs but ultimately, my weight does not define me – so I slowly, proudly typed it back out so I could talk about how I came to that realization.

This time last year [January 2012], I was absolutely unhappy with not only the way I looked, but the way I felt. I was slow, sluggish; hell, I could barely go up a flight of stairs without needing a respirator. I weighed 205 lbs. Corn Festival 2011

It had been over a year since Lillie and I could no longer justify ‘baby weight’ in my head as the reason why I was not doing something about feeling so miserable all the time. It wasn’t only affecting me. It was affecting my marriage. Alfred could tell I wasn’t happy, but when I wouldn’t do anything for myself, what could he do? He was supportive when he needed to be, but I could tell he was over my constant complaining about losing weight. I mean, shit or get off the pot, am I right? #favoritesaying

So, with the new year and high hopes I went ahead and signed up for a local 5k I’ve done for the past few years. (I’m actually running it again in a few weeks!) I grossly overestimated my ability to run and it was miserable. I ran that race with a time [50 minutes] that was worse than when I ran it 2 months after giving birth to Lillie [around 40 minutes]. I was embarrassed by it (I actually didn’t even post my time on the post!), so that next week I went to the gym and ran just to see if I was really as bad as I was that race morning. I ran for 30 minutes straight. It was slow, and in circles on the track above the fitness room where no one goes because I was embarrassed to try and run on a treadmill in front of people, but I did it and I didn’t die. Which meant, I could do it again.

I decided to sign up for another 5k in March as motivation to get healthier and to lose weight. I had no training plan & no real clue on how to be a runner. All I had were a pair of shitty shoes, a couple pair of cotton capri pants that I bought at Wal-Mart on sale and this blog where I had mentioned I’d be running. You all helped hold me accountable and a few days a week I attempted to “train”. I would run & walk on that track during my lunch break. When the race came, I forced My Emilie and my friend, Lauren to do it with me. I ran it in 41 minutes and I felt great about it. To say I was proud – total understatement. 20120324105735-001After seeing such an decrease in my time, I got excited. I wanted to do more, I wanted to see what else I was capable of. I had caught the running bug. I started reading a lot of things about running, registering for races and joining forums. I felt motivated and I slowly started caring less about what I thought other people might think about me running [in public].

I braved the gym with the actual treadmills. I work at a University so our campus gym is filled with 20 something sorority girls & frat boys all the time but I didn’t care because I was competing with myself. My size 15 ass jiggled like a cup of Jell-O on a roller coaster but when I’d look around to see who noticed, I realized no one gave a shit. I’m sure people may have made a snide comment or two that I didn’t hear, but ultimately every one else was so wrapped up in themselves. Why would they care that 190 lb girl of pure awesomeness was running at a 15 minute pace right next to them?

I started getting braver and more adventurous with my fitness regime and less concerned with what the scale said. I focused on how I was feeling. I could literally breathe again. I was playing with Lillie more, I felt like a wife again, and I was fitting into clothes I hadn’t seen since before my pregnancy. I was learning to love what my body was capable of doing. My weight hit 190 around May and I decided I wanted to up my game. I stopped running for a month when I ordered Insanity and in two weeks I dropped 7 inches. People thought I had lost like 20 lbs. 5-25-2013I hadn’t, but I felt like I had lost 20 lbs.

I quit Insanity after a month (it’s a 60 day program) to focus on a 5k I had signed up for, then for a 10k and eventually a half-marathon. During the latter part of the year, I stayed consistent with my weight. 190 lbs. 193 lbs. 191 lbs. My weight held me up during every single one of my runs. From 1 mile to 13.1 miles, I had stopped allowing it to hold me back. 1-725027-1042-0037s

You guys, I felt free. I felt healthy. I was learning to be happy and it was showing. Because of running, my weight stopped defining who I was as a person. I was enjoying life again.IMG_0072

And I am no longer ashamed of what the scale says. There are days when I question it. There are days when I catch myself comparing my body to others. Negativity finds me daily. Every day is a challenge to think positive, to remember I am capable. I can’t blame my problems on others. If I want to see change, I have to be the change.

I have to want to be the change.

And I do. I want that. So, I’ve been going for it. It’s amazing at how something as simple & mind-numbing as putting one foot in front of the other has helped me grow. Which is exactly why I get so excited when people express an interest in running. It changed me. It helped me. It continues to do so on a daily basis and I am beyond grateful. IMG_0110


Miranda Lamb said...

girl, this is seriously inspiring and hits so close to home. I am in the battle right now and I am proud that I am doing it, doing good and slowly making progress. I just read this and kept saying that is so me. How I wish we could workout and run together!

Abbey said...

love. love love love love.

Lin said...

You're amazing, inside & out. And just so you know, you look more along the lines of the 150-160 than 190. I wish I could say the same for me & my wobbly bits. Hopefully I'll be saying it soon though cause Im determined to get my big ass to the gym this week.

Thanks for the extra boost of motivation :)

Sara said...

This is absolutely fantastic. Seriously, thank you so much for sharing. The way you describe how you felt prior to running is exactly how I feel now. I am ready to do something for me...not for the scale. This is so flipping inspiring, you have no idea. :-) I really wish we lived closer so we could run together. How freaking fantastic would that be?!

Katie said...

I love this and you. This made me so teary. I want to feel that, but right now I just don't. I feel like I'm on the right road (working out regularly now and really getting back to it!) but the scale still gives me a hang up. I can see the difference in my body, and yet two days ago I got on the scale and my weight hadn't moved. I promptly drowned my sorrows in food. I'm not over it. This gives me hope, that one day I'll get there.

Genna said...

Honestly teared up. I'm going to be totally frank with you (and whoever creeps on this comment) and say that even though I haven't had a baby I just hit 200 and was mortified. I have no reason other than myself and bad habits. But this post just proves to me that I CAN. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being so honest girl.

Adrienne said...

This is so beautiful. You are beautiful. WHAT an inspiring post.

I'm so happy for your growth in confidence and that you've found something that suits you, something you love, and something that has helped you grow not only as a runner but as a person.

You're inspiring! Thank you so much for sharing your story, I know we all have one that is similar. <3


meg m said...

this gave me chills!
I love every single thing about this post and I wish we were neighbours so you would drag my ass to the gym. we get gym memberships through work and I have more than enough time to go on my lunches but I am actually terrified of going that very first day. I feel like I would have no idea what to do when I got there!
you're an inspiration man, this makes me want to start changing now!

Celeste said...

Tam, I really miss your spirit and funny take on life in our office, which is why I occasionally read your blog - you make me laugh. Well this time you made me tear up, not because I was sad but because I feel exactly like you felt before you started running and I don't like it. I am so proud of you! I've been trying to get motivated to exercise and eat better. Seeing you do it and be so honest about how you felt about you is inspiring. Just know you are making a difference not only for yourself and your family but for everyone who knows you or finds your blog. THANK YOU!

Amanda said...

Oh my goodness gracious! I totally teared up. Thank you for being so ferakin' honest and brave. This is soo how I feel and how so many other women feel. I've tried running before but I get so freaked out by what other people may think of me. But you are right, no one cares!! Everyone is thinking about themeselves and I don't need to be self concious about it! I can't wait to read the rest of your posts in #weighthate. this is great!

Smart Ass Sara said...

I'm totally signing up for a bunch of races again because I feel like that will be my only motivation to get out and run. I also need to figure out how to run in the freezing cold and the dark. Totally freezing here, and it's always dark in the winter when I'm not working. And I'm terrified of the dark, rightfully so being surrounded by sex offenders, so I need to figure out how to conquer both.

Karenna said...

You are such an inspiration! You make me want to be healthy, for me. You rock.