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.
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. After 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. I 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.
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.