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Reassessing How I See Others

I have decided I have spent way too much time lately wearing my judgey pants.  I find my self thinking things like, “Why is she at the gym, she certainly doesn’t need it,” or “wish I could eat that mountain of onion rings and look like that,” or the classic, “eat a cheeseburger.”

I know how very unfair I’m being to people.  I’m guessing I do it because I’m bitter and wish I didn’t have to work as hard as I do to even be on my way to a healthy weight.  But then I’ve spent some time thinking the last few days about how unfair my judgement is.

First off, who is to say that girl in front of me in zumba, wearing the spandex skirt with the rocking legs hasn’t worked just as hard as I am to get there.  Maybe she has that banging body because she eats healthy and gives it all in a workout.  Maybe she spent years overweight or never tipped the scale at over 150, but puts in the time and effort to make it that way. 

Then there are people I know who do eat cheeseburgers, lots of them, and no matter how hard they try to gain weight to be healthy, simply are unable.  Maybe that girl on the treadmill that 90 pounds soaking wet, has been eating 4,000 calories a day for years, but still can’t gain weight, so she’s working out to add pounds in the healthiest way possible.

We as women are pretty much programmed to never be happy with how we look.  I think parts of use are programmed to look around us and want what we can’t have, but that’s not to say that person isn’t battling their own demons. 

I think it’s time to take off my judgey pants and burn them with my size 22’s.  I know I need to work hard for what I want, and stop looking at others wishing I had what they do.  For most of us, you get what you give, and I know I wouldn’t want people looking at me thinking negative thoughts when I’ve put in the work, however, I would love just once for someone to tell me to eat a cheeseburger.

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Stronger than I Give Myself Credit For

One of my favorite quotes is from Christopher Robbin.  “You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”  The more I work out, the harder I push myself, the more I’m beginning to believe that quote.

Over the past few years I have let myself become something I see as a failure.  I have failed as a friend, becoming more and more of a home body, avoiding going out where people might see how much weight I’ve gained.  I have failed as a wife by gaining so much weight, one would hardly recognize me as the woman in my wedding pictures.  All the times my son asked me to get on the floor and play with him and I said no because I was so heavy it hurt my back and put my feet to sleep, I failed as a mother.  I failed myself.  I didn’t think I was capable of ballooning to the point I did, I didn’t think I was strong enough to get my butt up off the couch to work it off, and I didn’t think I had the will power to say no to some of the foods I loved the most.  I lost control of myself, my weight and my life. 

At the end of the day, one thing I am able to do is reduce myself to feeling like nothing.  But I’m not nothing, I wasn’t then and the more work I put into myself and my health the more I believe that. 

I started a new workout last week.  A workout that is going to require me to put a little more faith in myself.  Monday night at my WOD (Workout of the day), we were given a workout that included 8 sets of kettle ball swings and running.  I got 2 sets in, and I was certain, there was no way I was going to be able to do all 8.  I had barely started and I had already given up on myself.  I played mind games with myself.  After that first 2 I kept thinking, I’m almost halfway, then I was halfway, then only a few more, and then, I was done.  I wanted to quit, but I didn’t.  I wanted to walk some of my running laps, but I kept moving.  For that minute, I was stronger than I ever thought I could be.

I told the instructor of my class before I started that I needed to accomplish some things I didn’t think I was capable of, and that’s what I did.  It was an amazing feeling.  It felt so good to push myself to limits I never thought I could get to, and then to keep on going. 

Every time I get down on the floor with my son and play, or slide down the slide with him at the playground, or find myself making eye contact for a minute before turning away, or feel my husband’s gaze on the new found muscles in my legs, I get stronger, I get braver and I get closer to becoming the person I deserve to be.  I can’t wait for next week when I will get a chance to get back in the gym for another WOD and another chance to prove to myself, there’s more in me than I think.

 
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Posted by on May 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Winning in Last Place

My main goal since I started doing 5ks (finished my third today) was not to come in last.  I think that is why I was so worried about my race today.  I have completed 2 races before this and have not come in last, that being said, I believe the only people who finished behind me in both races were walkers, but either way, I wasn’t last.  Today’s race was different.  They had the walkers start about 15 minutes before the runners.

At first I couldn’t decide which group to go with.  I eventually went with the runners because I knew if I went with the walkers I would do just that, walk.  I knew I wouldn’t event try to run, so I decided the only way I was going to push myself was to go with the runners.

I started towards the back of the pack and that is where I stayed.  The gap between me and the rest of the runners just kept getting bigger and bigger.  After only a few minutes it was obvious I was going to be the last runner finished, so instead of focusing on that, I had to turn my attention to other things.

First off, there are so many people who were standing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon who will never be able to run again.  So many people who would give so much just to be able to maintain the slow jog that I do.  I am capable, and that is what matters first and foremost.

Second, the furthest I have gone without stopping to walk is 1 mile (and I’ve only done that once a couple days ago).  I decided to focus my attention on being able to make it further than that.  I made it all the way to the half way mark and kept going.  In fact, I’m pretty sure I only walked maybe 7 telephone polls.

It wasn’t a fast pace.  In fact, I added about 30 seconds to my time from my last race, and added about 10 seconds to my first 5k time.  I came in last place and I took longer to run the course, it would be easy for me to convince myself, I had failed.  But I didn’t.  I think today was my best race so far.  I’m pretty certain if I measured it out, I probably ran (jogged) almost 3 times.  I set goals for myself, then I exceeded them.  I started out wanting to make it to 1 mile without stopping to walk, then the turn around and I made it there and then some.  I walked for 3 telephone polls and decided I would run to the corner, and I got to the corner and kept going, probably another mile.  I conquered my fear of finishing last.  I finished strong, and for the first time today, I didn’t have a finish line team to come out and run the last stretch with me.  I did it on my own.  They were there cheering me on, but it was me who motivated myself.

Don’t get me wrong, I was disappointed when I heard my time at the finish line, but today I know I did the best that I could and that is more than good enough for me.  I don’t know when my next race will be, but I know what my goal for it is.  My goal before the end of the summer was to be able to complete a 5k without walking, and whenever my next race is, that’s what I’m going to do.  It makes me pretty happy that I was so close to that today in my 3rd ever 5k.  I will accomplish my goal.  It won’t matter if I’m last, second to last or if I manage to finish better than that.  What will matter is that I stayed true to myself and shattered the goals I have set for me.

I follow a Women of Crossfit page that while I don’t do Crossfit I find to be very inspiring.  Earlier this week they posted a picture with this caption, “it’s often the people who are “slowest” who think so poorly of themselves.. But you know what?! Those are the people who have the ability to inspire WAY more than the fastest person.. Why?! Because they are out there, doing what they need to do to be healthy! Don’t give up or think less if yourself if you’re last at a WOD (running or not)… You are THERE. Which is more than all the obese people sitting on their asses can say! Be proud – first to finish or last!”  I’m pretty sure this caption and the picture that went with it, was for me.

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Here is the picture that went with the caption on the Women of Crossfit page.

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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A Day to Celebrate

7 years ago, I spent this day celebrating my best friends 21st birthday.  A bunch of us gathered around a table in the corner of a restaurant for some food, drinks and laughter.  It was not only a celebration of a beautiful woman’s birth, but also a celebration of the brave battle she had fought against cancer. 

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Those 3 years had held a lot of ups and downs for her.  She had endured countless hours in a hospital room hooked up to an IV while her body was pumped full of poison that would hopefully save her life.  Her beautiful brown hair had fallen out in clumps on her pillow and in her shower while she cried tears of fear, sadness and change.  She had waited through body scans and blood tests, anti-nausea meds and so much more.  But more than that, she had finally found the man of her dreams, she had risen above the pain and continued to dance, she had inspired so many, and she had survived.  We had no idea her fight was only just beginning.

Looking back now, had I known that was the last birthday I would celebrate with my friend, I would have stayed all night long.  I would have toasted to the memories and made more.  I would have held on a little tighter, savored the every moment.  She had come through so much and was so strong, I never thought CANCER could take her from us only 5 months later.

Today I look back, 7 years later.  She would have been celebrating 28.  To this day I still find myself picking up the phone to call her, I look at my babies and wonder what hers would look like and if they would play together as we did so many times at their age.  I think of her when the wind blows and when I see butterflies.  Because of her, I still smile when I hear a Blink 182 song or see Elton Brown on the food network.  I wish she could meet my husband and had been there to stand next to me at my wedding, and when I welcomed my babies into the world.  Everyday she is my inspiration.  The pain of her absence is as strong as it was the day she took her last breath.  So many things we would have shared together, so many more memories to make.

Cancer may have taken her life, but it could never take her spirit.  It never took her smile or the spark in her eyes.  It never came close to her courage, her laughter or her ability to make others laugh.  It took her from my life, but never from my heart.  Love you Lace!  Dance strong!  MIZPAH!

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Dear Self

Tomorrow you will line up at the starting line of your second 5k.  You will feel a little nervous, a little out of place and a little excitement.  You will breath in the energy of all the runners around you.  In that moment the excitement will be replaced with self doubt.

‘There’s no way you can make it a whole mile without stopping to walk, and even if you do, you will be “running” slower than a walk,’ ‘3 miles is a long way, why even bother trying?’ ‘There are people waiting to congratulate you at the finish line, and for what?’ ‘What makes you think you’re anything close to an athlete?’ ‘Everyone is looking at you, they know you don’t belong here.’  ‘You let yourself get to this point.’ ‘You are fat, you’re slow and you’re wasting yours (and all those who came to support you) time.’

You know this is what you will do, because they’re thoughts that go through your mind all the time.  For so many years, you have allowed yourself to think only the worst of yourself.  These thoughts of never being good enough are likely what got you here in the first place.  You don’t even know where these thoughts came from.  It’s not like you haven’t always had people in your life supporting you, telling you, you’re always better than good enough.  Everyone around you has always seen your potential and they see it still, and it’s time for you to start seeing it for yourself.

When those thoughts start to wonder into your head at the starting line tomorrow, think of this instead.  You’re so much further than you were less than 6 months ago.  Even standing at the starting line is an improvement.  Anything is better than sitting on the couch wasting precious moments being nothing but a shell.  With every step you take, you’re not only closer to the finish line, but closer to the person you used to know, closer to the athlete you are inside, and closer to believing it for yourself. 

Give it everything you have.  Don’t sell yourself short.  When you think you’re to the point you can’t go any further, you can, and you have before.  You can do so much more than you think you can.  You have survived through many things and this, in comparison, is nothing. 

This is for you.  That’s probably why you have such a hard time putting all of you into it.  If it was for your children, your husband, your sister, parent or friend you would give it 150%.  You may have forgotten, but you are worth it!  You are worth every step, every breath, every mile, every minute. 

No more excuses!  No more putting yourself in the position to come in last! 

At the end of the day, at the end of the race, it won’t matter what place you came in, it won’t matter how long it took you to run 3 miles, it won’t make any difference how many people passed you along the way.  What matters is there are people waiting there that love you and believe in you.  There are people who are proud of you, and somewhere in the midst of all of them, you just might find yourself.

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Why am I so Disappointed?

This weekend, I did my first ever 5k.  I was really excited about it and ready to hit the road running…well jog walking.

I started out really strong and ready to go, but seemed to run out of gas pretty quickly.  You hear people talking about how rewarding it is to do something like a 5k and I’ve had so many people tell me how proud I should be of myself and for some reason, I’m not, in fact, I’m kind of disappointed.  I didn’t feel that overwhelming pride in myself or in my accomplishment.  Really, I just felt tired, sweaty and winded.  Honestly, I wanted to cry.  Not because I was overwhelmed with accomplishment, but because it wasn’t what I had hoped it would be.

I did shave time off from when I ran the distance the week before, so that’s good, right?

I had a long drive on Saturday and some time to think about it yesterday and to relive my experience in my head.

First, I don’t claim to be a fast runner, I never have and who knows, maybe I never will be.  There were people passing me when I was jogging, who were walking!  That got me in my own head thinking, why am I even bothering to “run” when people are walking faster?

My mile average time was more than 15 minutes.  Really!  I have walked on the treadmill and done a mile in less time than that.  I couldn’t understand why; I just felt like I couldn’t get out of my own way.  I felt like I was fighting to keep moving at all, when I have done the distance before.

After some reflection, I think I gave up on myself pretty early on in the race.  When I saw people walking faster than I was jogging, and saw the only people behind me were walkers (making me the slowest “runner”), I gave up.  Those thoughts of why don’t I just walk if people are walking faster than me took over.  I spent more time walking than I should have, more time than I could have.  I think that’s why when I crossed the finish line I was disappointed.  I could have done better!  Maybe my time wouldn’t have been much shorter, but I knew I didn’t give it all I had.  I let my surroundings get the best of me.  I spent too much time thinking about the time and not enough remembering why I was doing it in the first place.

I have come so far from where I was even just a month ago when I started running once a week.  I have come even further than I was when I started working out and even further still than when I started losing the weight in October.  I forgot all about that, and was back in high school.  I was that girl in gym class, who was the last one to finish the mile run for our fitness testing, I was the girl who couldn’t do a single pull up.

That is not who I want to be anymore.  I have given birth to 2 children, I have endured sleepless nights with sick babies and then gotten up to go to work the next morning, I have felt the loss of a life growing inside of me; a baby I would never hold in my arms, I have lost 2 of my very best friends (one to cancer and one to a car accident), I have stood up in front of hundreds and performed the National Anthem, I have completed a 5k!  I have had my share of pain and disappointed, but I have brought memories and knowledge from those experiences that have made me who I am today.

I am strong!  I am capable!  I will do better next week!  Next Sunday when I line up for my next race, I plan to think about ME!  Not the people around me, not the timer, not the hills, or how far apart the telephone polls are.  I’m going to think about all those places I have been and where I am now.  I’m going to think about 45 pounds, my babies, my friends and I’m going to run.

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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How do I look?

I’ve been wearing blinders for the last few years.  I was convinced I didn’t look as heavy as the scale said I did, I was sure while I weighed more than 260 pounds, there was no way I looked like I weighed more than 200 (not like that is small, but it’s def smaller than I was).  I saw people on shows like the Biggest Loser and saw their weight was the same as mine and I thought to myself, “There is no way I look that big!”

Looking back, with 42 pounds gone and a lot more to go, I have realized I was only kidding myself.  I see pictures of myself that I refer to as my “thinspiration” and as cliche as it is, I can’t believe I let myself get to that point.  I’m disappointed, and disgusted and woken up.

Last night while I was at Zumba, there was a girl who was on the heavier side and she struggled to do a lot of the moves.  Her steps were small and her movements were not like a lot of the other people in the room.  She really inspired me.  She stood in the front row and gave it what she had for the entire hour.  I found myself giving more, because she was giving it all she had.  While I hid in my spot in the back, no longer blind to the fact that I am one of the fat chicks in my zumba class, I wished for her courage to stand in the front row.  Maybe some day soon, I’ll find myself there, but not yet.  I can hardly talk myself into the middle of the gym, let alone the front.

I have made a goal for myself, other than my weight loss goal, and that is to keep my eyes wide open.  I never want to hide the truth from myself again.  I never want to have to.

This picture was taken of me a couple summers back, not even at my heaviest.  Looking at this I think I look the 250 pounds I was carrying.

This picture was taken of me a couple summers back, not even at my heaviest. Looking at this I think I look the 250 pounds I was carrying.

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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