The Recap that wasn’t…

2 05 2011

Sunday I ran 13.1 miles.

It’s the best race I’ve had.

It was my fastest time ever. I spent an amazing 1:58:40 alone in contemplation about my life, it’s direction and where I see myself going in the near future. There should be an amazing recap flying out from my fingers at lightening speed. I should be replaying all the awesome things I saw and did (I ran some of the race with a 71 year old man who had just completed the Boston Marathon two weeks prior). I should be reliving all the thumbs ups and pats on the back I received (seriously if you don’t wear some kind of sign proclaiming your accomplishments during your long races – you’re nuts). I should be contemplating how I ran in areas of my home town where I used to buy and use my drug of choice and here I was running through them again successful to have come out alive and in the best shape of my life. I should be telling you about when I woke up Sunday and dressed for the race I was happy to just be showing up and anything that happened would be okay with me. I should be throwing down words of emotions that pull at your heart strings when during mile 5 I passed the 2:00:00 pacer and decided right then and there I was going to pull of my first sub two hour half marathon despite all that has happened to me in the previous weeks leading up to Sunday morning. I should be telling you about seeing my friend Jessi waving her sign as I came around the last corner and in that instant I loved her more than I thought possible.

But I’m not.

I’m keeping this one for me.

There are just some events in your life that you don’t want to share. You don’t want to let it go for fear that the momentum of what happened will be lost. This is one of those events. I just want to keep this close to my heart and find the ability to be proud of what I’ve done and to find the validation of what I accomplished from inside myself. Not everything on this journey is meant to be shared here…

Just trust me when I say:

It was awesome.

Pre Race thoughts / changes

30 04 2011

Tomorrow is Race Day


I’m earning every fucking mile!

When I wake up tomorrow and begin to prepare for my half marathon I’m going to do so with a lot of soul searching. In light of recent events, I almost didn’t make it to this race. I almost gave in because of bad choices. I almost did not step up to the starting line.


I’ve been very quiet over the last 7 – 10 days. Not spending to much time on twitter or facebbook. Not  spending too much time trying to lay some words of wisdom down here on ALifeChangingJourney because I didn’t really feel I had any to offer. I’ve spent a lot of time looking inward and wondering if I had what it takes to get my shit together in time to do what I do best: Run.


That’s my number. Not only do I have what it takes to recognize when I need to get help. I reach out and get it. I ate my food, I stopped weighing myself, I earned my stickers and tonight I got to lay out my running gear…

I earned this race.

I earned the right to step up to the starting line. I earned the right to do what I love. I earned the right to cross over the finish line and know that when I do I’ve earned the right to move forward and beyond the choices of yesterday. Beyond the doubt and the fear. Beyond the self sabotaging. Beyond the hurtful words only spoken in my ears by the inner voice I still carry. I’ve earned the right to brush myself off, pat myself on the back and say: “Today I live to fight another day”…

It’s gonna be a great race!



Are a comin!

This site will be down for maintence

Starting Sunday night (*crossing fingers*)

And up When the time is right.


Are good…

Hanging out with my Fairy Godmother!

28 04 2011

Jules, over at Biggirlbombshell asked me to do a guest post! When your fairy godmother calls…you listen!

Clicky click and go!!!!

Hello, my name is Tara

27 04 2011

 And I am an addict

(Hi Tara)

It’s been five days since I last weighed myself and it is freaking me out. I’m always thinking about how much I weigh and wondering if it’s changed much since the last time I stepped on the scale. I’m constantly pulling my rings on and off as a way of double checking to make sure everything is still okay. If I’m standing around you will pretty much find me with my hand on my stomach to make sure it feels the same today as it did yesterday as it did the day before…

Five days doesn’t seem like long.

But when you’re longing to pull into your local Target and sneak into the bath department to find some relief of the anxiety inside your body by stepping on a scale, five days can seem like a very long time. If my scale was at home I would have weighed myself probably no less than 70 times in the last five days.

Hello my name is Tara

And I am an addict

(Hello Tara)

I’m ashamed of the behavior much like I was ashamed when I decided to get clean and realized the power the drugs had over me. I’m ashamed of the behavior much like I was ashamed when I decided to end my World of Warcraft account and realized the power the video game had over me. I’m not afraid to admit being ashamed. This is not a behavior that is conducive to a healthy lifestyle. This is not a behavior that is conducive to being a role model to those coming behind me, trying to take control of their own lives. This is not a behavior conducive to who I am destined to be.

Hello my name is Tara.

And I am an addict.

(Hello Tara)

I’m back to getting my eating under control. I got pretty deep into some dangerous behaviors. A week later I can see a difference in my face (much less gaunt). I’ve had to take this in small steps (first focus: 5 meals a day / each with a protein) and the reward system is some what childish in nature (think stickers) but it’s what is working for me right now. I’m scared about moving on from this first focus. This was difficult (difficult) and I’m only a few days into it. I’ve cried my way through more than my fair share of small meals that shouldn’t be causing me so much angst but they are. The foods that I used to love eating are now taken in the smallest amounts I can stand but in the end all my stickers are earned!

This journey of mine is one of complexity and confusion. It’s one of understanding and forgiveness. It’s one of fear of going back and fear of moving forward. It’s one of love for the person that looks back at me from the mirror and frustration for those same eyes that long to just have a little quiet time from the mind. God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change: this is no longer a weight loss journey. 120 pounds is enough and anything less would be detrimental to my physical well being. The courage to change the things I can: I am in control of what I do on this journey. I can eat to nourish my body, I can exercise to maintain the weight loss, I can do both with balance even if it takes me some time to figure out what balance looks like. And the wisdom to know the difference: I am present. I am in the moment. I’ve surrounded myself with people that love and care for me and even if I don’t know the difference, I trust they do and will guide me down the path until I can walk it on my own.

Hello my name is Tara

And it’s okay to admit I’m an addict.

(I love you Tara)

Not afraid to say what is necessary…

23 04 2011


is tough.

I’m not sure if I’m ready to talk about what I’ve been going through the last couple of weeks. I’m still trying to figure out where my mind was going with some of the decisions I was making. What I can tell you (because this is about being honest right) is that I had stopped making healthy choices in the food I was consuming (and simultaneously working out too much). I don’t mean I was binging on foods full of calories with ingredients I can’t pronounce. I mean I stopped eating. Literally. I was getting calories in but in unhealthy amounts.

At the end of March I weighed 157 pounds.

Less than three weeks later I weighed 150 pounds.

(I would have kept going)

I don’t know why I started to push food away. I do know that there are certain behaviors that were fueling my desire to not eat food. One of them being challenging myself to go longer durations before eating. First it was an hour after I left gym, then it was challenging myself to go two hours after leaving the gym before eating. Three hours followed close behind until I was trying to go up to four hours. It was to keep my panic in check. It was a good plan to work through the panic but it was poorly planned and executed.

Another behavior was throwing food away. In the beginning the #100daychipquest challenge was set forth to help me understand that no matter where I was I had access to food. Throwing it away was like telling the panic it didn’t have a place in my life anymore and over the past 29 days it was doing exactly what I was hoping…dissapating the panic.

It was also taking away necessary calories.

As time went on, the amount of food I was packing for the day was getting smaller.

But the food I was throwing away was staying the same.

The final behavior is my relationship with the scale. It is unhealthy. I weigh myself multiple times a day…when I say multiple I mean double-digit amounts. Upwards to 15 a day. I don’t know why. A fear of gaining: maybe. A desire to keep losing: maybe. Habit: maybe…whatever the reason, it’s not a good enough one to justify what I was doing…

Not eating enough over the last couple of weeks has left my body weak. I don’t look healthy. I don’t feel healthy. I am not healthy. I can’t complete a workout without getting light-headed. I’ve had to stop doing whatever activity I was doing multiple times because I’m on the verge of passing out. My heart rate is up. My stomach hurts all the time. Eating is painful (emotionally). I don’t want to chew. I don’t want to swallow. I don’t want eat.


The reason I am writing this post is because over the course of the last couple of days, someone in my life came forward and called me on my shit. At some point in our conversations she asked me the following question: “If I was told I had to eat more in order to keep working out would I?”…I answered honestly: No.

Red Flag

She told me I had two choices – I could either go down the road to living healthy in all aspects of my life or I could go down the road of not living healthy. That I needed to choose. You’d think the choice would be easy but again let me be absolutely honest: I didn’t know at that moment of being asked where I wanted to go. I was thinking like an addict and if you’ve ever been one you know we don’t make the best choices…Before I could answer she sent the following text:

“I’m only going to hold your hand and walk with you down the road to strength and health. I can’t stand by you if you choose the other direction

Being on the receiving end of tough love is hard.

(Difficult Difficult)

But it’s all I needed.

I’m giving up the #100daychipquest as soon as this posts to my blog. I thought about just giving up the throwing away food portion of the challenge but decided that right now I shouldn’t be involved with any challenges. I have other things I need to focus on in order to get my mind right and more importantly get my body back to being healthy.

I need to eat.

I need to eat often.

The other thing I’ve done is given up my scale. I didn’t put it somewhere in the house or give it to my husband to hide. I gave it away. When I walked into Godfather’s gym yesterday morning I did so with scale in hand. The only thing I can liken it too was when I had to give up my paraphernalia when I was getting clean. This morning when I woke up I stood where my scale would normally be and cried. I’ve already thought about sneaking off to my local Fred Meyer store and weighing myself in the bath department (Hello my name is Tara and I am an addict…).

Not only did my friend call me out on my shit and make boundaries for her own emotional well being, so did Godfather. He said if I continued down this unhealthy path, then the trainings would discontinue. To have two of the most important people in my life draw that line and stand firmly on one side waiting for me to decide which path I was choosing made the decision pretty easy…

I don’t want to be on this side of unhealthy.


I want to be on their side of healthy.


So that’s where I am today. Figuring out how I got here and figuring out how to not stay here. Loving myself enough to know that while eating right now is difficult it is necessary. Standing in the place where once my scale was and trying through wishful thinking to make it reappear knowing it won’t. Crying and laughing, then quickly going back to crying. Then taking a deep breath and moving on to the best of my ability.

With my friend by my side.

(Thank you)

The Swinging of the Pendulum…

21 04 2011

It’s 2:30a

I would much rather be sleeping than sitting on the couch in the dark (so as not to wake my husband) typing out this post. But the truth of the matter is, this sleep thing has been eluding me for some time now. I could lie to you and come up with a plethora of reasons why I’m not sleeping but since this journey is about being honest with myself that means sometimes what I put down on these virtual pages hurts me more than it hurts the passengers (you).

The last 16 months my life has been micro managed. Every bite of food going into my mouth was either counted and logged, subtracted from a net calorie goal or at least mindfully placed on my tongue for a reason: To not be morbidly obese. Every drop of sweat had a purpose: To not be morbidly obese. For 16 months I fought tooth and nail (and blood and sweat) to finally get out of that morbidly obese category and out of the prison of my depression…

And I did.


The pendulum was finally swinging in a direction I was happy with. Life changed. I changed. Anxiety and fear no longer controlled what I was doing (or lack of doing). Depression no longer had a hold of my heart and spirit and for the first time in my adult life I was absolutely present in the moment.

Then something funny happened.

The pendulum continued to swing.

I began to exercise too much. I was still micro managing everything going into my mouth. Every drop of sweat still  had a purpose. I wanted to see 100 pounds lost…then 110…115 was where I thought I wanted to stop. The scale kept moving and I didn’t want to do anything about stopping it from reaching the 120 pound loss. Everyone congratulated me, but inside I’m screaming “THIS WAS NOT PART OF THE PLAN”.

This is not part of the plan.

This journey was is about finding balance and honestly, I don’t think  know I’m not doing a very healthy job of finding that balance. Addictive behaviors are running rampart in my mind and playing themselves out in ways that I never thought would happen to me. Food has become bothersome. The act of chewing and swallowing almost painful at times…My body wants to eat, my mind is saying otherwise.

Life has gotten extremely raw for me in the present moment.

Having to admit that going from morbidly obese to underweight is a real possibility was never my intention. But much like when I was using meth, I never thought I’d become a drug addict. Much like playing World of Warcraft, I never thought I’d become a video game addict. I always thought I’d be in control: Until I wasn’t.

I am not.

I’m actively working on changing yet another portion of this journey. This never ending journey of finding balance. This never ending journey of finding peace in my mind, my heart, and my soul. This never ending journey of finding a balance between the food I place in my body and the sweat I leave on the floor.

This never ending journey…

For the first time since starting this blog, I’m turning off the comments to a post. Instead of leaving me words of encouragement and letting me know how much you are thinking about me (because trust me I feel that love each and every second I continue to move forward), take a few moments and think about where you are on your journey. Those words of encouragement and love that you would place here, place in your heart. Go to the mirror and look deep into the eyes that are looking back and tell yourself that above all else: You are worth saving…

It’s what I’m doing right now.

Running naked…

18 04 2011


I bet that got your attention!

Now that you’re here might as well stick around and read the rest of this post (you pervert!).

Today I ran without my garmin. Without a heart rate monitor. Without a route. Without a mileage goal. Without a time goal. I just ran. Today starts the idea of #watchlessmonday. Picking a time during the week where a run takes place without the constraints of what many of us are bogged down with…our gadgets.

It was a little nerve-wracking at first to leave without the comforting compressed feeling of a chest strap around my body. I’ve become very attached to knowing exactly how fast I’m running, how far I’ve run, what my heart rate is and how many calories I’ve burned. As I left the house I was scheming ways of figuring all those things out without the need of any gadgets. I thought about running a direct route, one that would be easy to remember so that I could come home and google map it. I thought about running a route I was familiar with and already knew the mileage. I thought about running for a specific amount of time so that I could estimate distance…

Then I thought to challenge myself.

You know I love a good challenge right?

I purposefully ran a route that would be impossible to map. I purposefully ran a route I’ve never run before. I purposefully ran a route in which timing couldn’t be a factor (we’re talking hills baby!). It was just what I needed. I’m back to tracking food for nutritional purposes, which means I’m back to wearing a HRM when I’m at the gym to calculate how many calories I’m burning. I’ve been bogged down by my gadgets and today was liberating (Thanks Sharla).

And just like most things in my life right now…

There was a message to be learned.

As I started my run I was trying to memorize the route. I didn’t want to, but my own thoughts of having something to prove kicked in. What if it’s not far enough? What if it’s not fast enough. I have a half marathon coming up and how can this count towards training if I have no idea how far I’ve gone? As I rounded a corner I came to a set of long stairs that would have completely thrown me off course. I ran by them.

Then I turned around and ran down them.

It was important for me to let go of the constraints of what I think I should be doing and just enjoy what I was doing. Halfway down there was a landing. There was someone there, alone, throwing a ball against the door of the building. Time slowed down for me in that instance. That person looked bored. As if there was nothing better to do in the world but stand there and toss the ball back and forth. It reminded me of when I was a kid. Socially awkward. Not yet diagnosed with Aspergers. Labeled a loner. Teachers just let me be. No intervention. A tennis ball and brick wall…

That’s just Tara.

As I ran past them I looked inward to who I am and began to give thanks to the GOD that has brought me to where I am today. I tried not to cry, but couldn’t help myself as I remembered what it was like to be that person standing on the landing (both as a child and as an adult). By the time I hit the bottom of the stairs I didn’t care about my gadgets. I didn’t care about how fast I was running. I didn’t care about whether I was going to run 2 miles or 12 miles…

I just ran.

I didn’t need my garmin to tell me I have endurance. The hills I ran without stopping (and if you know Tacoma, you know there are some serious hills in the downtown area) showed me I have endurance. I didn’t need the garmin to tell me I can run fast. I just had to feel the strength in my legs as I pushed harder to know I was running faster. I didn’t need the garmin to tell me how far I was running. I just needed the exhaustion of both my lungs and my body to tell me I ran far enough…

I didn’t need the validation of a gadget.

I just needed me.

Just Tara.