Sub 30 in Sub 30 and Oh Hey I ran a Half Marathon Too.

30 11 2010

This has been an incredible week as a runner.

As a fairly new person to the world of running (I ran my first 1/2 block just this past February at 250 pounds) I believe there are events in your life that shape you as a runner. There is of course the first time you step up to  the starting line of your first 5k and just as equally important the first time you cross the finish line. There is the first time you buy your first pair of running shoes, not off some random shelf, but from a professional running store and they talk to you like “one of them”. There is the first time you run  double digit miles and survive to tell about it. There is the first time you get a swag bag and realize that the shirt that comes in the bag is not to be worn during the race but to be earned and worn after crossing the finish line. There is your first sub 30 5k finishing time and there is the time you run your first half marathon.

I did the last two less than 4 days apart.

I did them this week.

Neither of these two events are less important than the other. One does not shadow the other or take precedent. Both are momentous in their own rights. One helped me to see that the other is possible. One helped me to see that I am possible. I have been running now for close to 10 months but in the last seven days it has been cemented: I AM A RUNNER.

So let’s get to the races!

On Thanksgiving I did the Norpoint Turkey Trot with my friend Michael. It was cold. It was snowy. I was worried I was going to fall so the thought of doing 3.1 miles in under 30 minutes, while it was there,  it was the last thing on my mind. The half marathon was just a few days away and this was just going to be an easy way to burn a few extra calories before the food festivities. Now just a quick note here; Michael is a runner. He’s got long legs and can move pretty damn fast. I don’t. I know I can run about a 10 minute mile so the idea of actually doing my first sub 30 (in sub 30 degree weather) was on my mind but I didn’t want to say anything just in case I started running and it wasn’t going to happen. We cross the starting line (wearing our Santa Hats of course) and off we go onto the snowy streets of North Tacoma and I’m thinking about eating pumpkin pie…

We cross the first mile marker. I know I’m running faster than normal. My lungs are a little sore from the cold air but I feel great and hey I’ve got a Santa hat on so all is good in my world. I look over to my awesome running partner and say (a little labored) “What’s our time?”. He looks at me…Okay maybe he didn’t hear me. “What’s our time Michael”.

8:44

NO WAY!!! I mean I’m not dying. I’m not stumbling trying to keep up with my feet. I feel great. I feel like I can keep up this pace so maybe, just maybe I will finish this race and earn my first sub 30 time. I quickly do some calculations (because we all do math in our heads while running right?) and even if I slowed down to my normal pace I could squeeze in under 30 minutes. We keep running. Mile marker two and I look to Micheal…

8:46

I have just run the fastest two miles of my life. Ten months previous it took me the same amount of time I just spent running two miles to even run one mile. Another quick calculation and I knew that if I ran that last mile at a 12 minute pace I would not only PR but I would earn the elusive sub 30 goal. What started out as a fun run before the gobbling of the turkey had just turned into one of those events that shape you as a runner….

Oh snap!

The last mile?

All. Up. Hill.

Head down, I focus on the fact that it’s the last mile and no matter what happened at this point I’m going to finish under 30 minutes. I want this. I will have this. I don’t have to run fast, I just have to run. The entire time Michael is talking me up this hill and before I know it I’m cresting the top and running towards the finish line. I crossed over earning my first sub 30 time and blowing my last 5k (33:00) out of the water!

27:16

10 / 77 (age division)

88 / 468 (women)

260 / 861 (overall)

Something else happened as soon as I crossed over that finish line. I stopped worrying about the half marathon that was taking place just a few short days later. I knew I was going to show up to the starting line. I knew I was going to finish and it didn’t matter what happened in between because I had just accomplished something equally as important to me as a runner. I stopped thinking about the “what if’s” and only thought about the “I can”. I stopped with the “I wonder” and immediately began to think “I will”. It didn’t matter what happened because I am a runner and as long as my feet carry me over the finish line it was going to be a great race.

I’m not even sure where to begin with this beautiful experience? It didn’t just begin on Sunday morning when I woke up at 3:30a and began to think about earning my 13.1 wings. It didn’t begin on Saturday when I spent every waking hour going over in my head the check list of things that I needed. It really began Friday morning, standing in line waiting to pick up my racing packet. In a sea of runners, I was standing among them. No one knew me. They didn’t know the journey I’ve been on to reach this milestone. They had no idea that this time last year I weighed 103 pounds heavier or that this was my first half marathon. I was just one of them. Oh except for the fact that I kept crying from pure happiness to even be standing in this line, I was jumping up and down from nervous excitement and every time someone passed me I shouted “Good luck on your race Sunday”.

“Hello, my name is 9577”. This is the highest number I’ve ever raced in. I mean I’ve had triple digits but never quadruple digits. For the half marathon alone there were over 9,000 participants. In total there were 17,000 runners / walkers!!! It’s quite an overwhelming feeling knowing you’re going to be one of 17,000 people crossing the same finish line by the end of the day. It’s an overwhelming feeling knowing you are going to be crossing the finish line period.

 

This is the sign I had on my jacket while I ran. I don’t know about you but knowing I’m about to run the farthest I’ve ever run and do it with 17,000 other people, I need all the encouragement I can get. But this wasn’t just about needing encouragement. I knew there would be other people out there just like me. I wanted to connect with them even if just for a few minutes as we pounded the pavement towards the next mile marker and man did I connect. Every mile there was someone else spending a few seconds of their race with me. Congratulating me. High fiving and fist bumping and telling me to keep going. I met people that had lost a few pounds and were trying to keep it off. I met people that had lost 120 pounds and were fighting for their lives, one mile at a time.

There I am. I know it’s hard to see but look real close. Yhea, that’s me smiling. SMILING!!! I am about to embark on one of the most physically trying events in my life and here I am smiling. I’m nervous but I don’t feel out of place. My husband is taking this picture and God Bless his heart for standing there because once I take off there will be nothing for him to do for the next 2+ hours but wait for me to cross over the finish line. It’s cold and in a mile or so I’ll be warming up. Him, not so much. Oh yhea and that’s my bad ass running jacket that I got at the expo for half off (I run fast AND I’m thrifty!)

As I crossed over the starting line I took a long deep breath and had a conversation with EFT (Emotionally Fat Tara). I knew she was here with me. I made a deal with her. I wouldn’t run the entire 13.1 miles. I’ve been doing a 9 min run / 1 min walk split and I felt that this would really help me go the distance. Instead of relying on my HRM to tell me when it was time to walk I let the mile markers tell me. Funny thing is the mile markers were attached to the porta-potties. Each time I came to a mile marker I would walk for one minute. and I would let EFT say whatever shitty thing (pun intended) she wanted to say but under no uncertain terms was she to yap her mouth at me once the minute was up. Oh she thought she’d get the best of me (“Oh my God, we have to do this 12 more times?”, “You know you can always pretend to fall down and no one will know”, “Is that a cramp in your leg? Maybe we should stop”) but after mile marker 8 she pretty much  shut the hell up knowing I wasn’t going to stop for some silly little whining.

I had a goal of 2:30:00 so I knew as soon as I crossed over the starting line I would be spending the next 150 minutes running towards that medal waiting for me at the end of the race. I knew I was going to get it. I just kept reminding myself that this was my first half marathon: enjoy it. I didn’t need to prove to myself that I could run fast. That happened days before. The only thing I needed to do once I started this race was finish it and if you know me then you know my motto; “You only need to do two things: Start and Finish. Everything else is a party while you’re moving”

And it was a party!

I took in the environment around me. I ran with my eyes open and my mind clear. I let the encouragement from those around me carry me past each mile marker and before I knew it we were crossing the half way point and I was at 1:12:00 and feeling great. I had quickly adapted to those running around me and bobbed and weaved my way through throngs of people and since I had run this course of the race with Team in Training a few Saturdays before hand I knew the toughest part of the race was coming up and I was ready. Mile 7 – 11 was a steady incline. It was hard to run after walking for my minute but each time sixty seconds went by, I took a deep breath, waited for someone to give me a thumbs up as they passed and it was all I needed to keep going.

When mile 12 came by I was in uncharted territory. Everything up to this point I’d done in previous runs. From now until the finish line would be the longest I’d ever run. During that one minute walk I made it a point to say out loud “Can you believe we just ran 12 miles? How awesome is that?” and all the runners around me started whooping and hollering. I had been running with my music but as soon as I started that last mile toward the finish line I turned off my music to take it all in. I was running slow but still within my goal. My watch said I crossed over mile 12 at 2:11:00 (ish).

I was really going to finish this thing.

I had to work at keeping myself calm during this last mile. I didn’t want to be a crying mess and have them snap a picture of me finishing something I never even dreamed possible until a few months ago with snot running down my face (sweat yes, snot no). So many things cross your mind as you see mile marker 12 go by and mile marker 13 come into view:

I can’t believe I’m still standing upright.

I wonder what the medal looks like?

I hope I can find my husband.

Ohhhhh, my first space blanket!

I can’t wait to wear my marathon shirt first time I run after this.

Remember, look up not down when you cross over.

Wow, look at all the people cheering us on.

OH MY GOD THERE IS THE FINISH LINE…

RUN TARA RUN!!!

So I did.

2:23:04

397 / 590 (woman’s age division)

2779 / 4380 (woman’s half marathon)

There is so much more to this race. All the people cheering us on. The military holding American Flags at mile 6 with the names of fallen solders. The “where’s waldo” woman that kept popping up every 3 miles with her cowbell, dancing in the street telling us to keep going. Kids with their”run mommy run” signs or the dads stopping to snap a picture or two with their family before moving on. The people being tended to on the side of the road and all of us looking at each other wondering if that’s going to happen to us. The splitting of the 13.1 runners from the 26.2 runners on the course and saying a little prayer for them as you know they have so many more miles to cover and you smile inside because you’re pretty sure some day you’ll be doing the same thing.

Nothing I say will ever convey what it was like for me.

I am not the same person that started the race.

I love the person that finished.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements




Dear Inner Critic…

23 11 2010

This letter is long in coming. In fact it kept me from blogging the last couple of days because I knew the next time I sat in front of this laptop it would be to hash out this letter and I have been a little apprehensive about writing something I had no idea how to start.

You’re probably wondering why I even wanted to write this letter. Maybe you’re wondering who in the hell gave me the idea to sit down and hash this out with you. Maybe you’re just looking at this and laughing your ass off because deep down inside you don’t believe that what I write here is even going to make a difference.

Maybe it will.

Maybe it won’t.

A while ago I read this POST and you have been on my mind ever since. Even more so with the impeding “breaking of my half mary virginity” this coming Sunday. You have been sitting on my shoulder ever since I made goal weight and you have been poking me on the side of the head like an annoying 6th grade bully trying to steal the lunch money of a 1st grader.

Enough is enough.

It is time for you to leave.

The first thing I need to do is give you an identity so that I can understand that you are NOT me and I am NOT you. Yes the negative thoughts I have at this point are my own but it wasn’t always that way. Since I was young enough to internalize the world around me, we’ve both known who that voice  belongs too. The voice that tells me the loss of 100 pounds isn’t enough. The voice that tells me running a 10 minute mile is not fast enough. The voice that tells me having goals and ideas that would perpetuate a life of happiness will never come to fruition. The voice that tells no matter what I do, no matter how hard I try and no matter how much I want to think otherwise: I WILL NEVER BE GOOD ENOUGH.

My mother.

You probably don’t even remember telling me to never be like my brothers. If you knew the consequences of that  life changing statement, I’m pretty sure you never would have utter those words. You had no idea it would set off a path of self destruction the way that it has. Every time I get close to feeling good about what I’m doing (relationships, career, weight loss, <insert whatever here>) I crash emotionally and begin another round of self sabotage because in the end I can’t fathom the idea of being anything but like my brothers. As a young girl watching you and them live violently under the same roof solidified the idea that I am just like them…

I am just like you.

Watching them leave one by one to go and try to do something with their lives only to have them a) return to where they were destroyed or b) go far beyond my reach so that I couldn’t tell them that I needed big brothers to protect me or c) have them go on and perpetuate the sadness / addiction / and just plain old fucked up life that you helped firmly plant and then systematically killed emotionally left a hatred for the girl facing me in the mirror.

I’m here to tell you it’s time to leave.

You don’t have a place in my life anymore.

You can tell me how I’m never going to be good enough.

It doesn’t mean I have to listen.

Look, let’s get honest. I lost 100 pounds and that’s fucking awesome. You can tell me all you want how it’s not enough. You can whisper in my ears “So and so lost 150 pounds, that makes them better” but I don’t have listen. I can run a fucking 10 minute mile and in a few days I’ll be earning my very first 1/2 marathon medal. You can whisper in my ear “So and so did a marathon already and runs faster” but I don’t have to listen. I am a good person. I’ve worked hard to get where I am and to heal the emotional scars that were first laid down by you. You can whisper “So and So makes more money” “So and so has a nicer car” “So and so prettier, happier, smarter and will always be better than you” but I don’t have to listen.

You can whisper “You’re just like your brothers”…

But we both know that’s not true.

I am not dead. I am no longer an addict. I am not running from a childhood that was plagued from the beginning. I am here. I am in the moment. I am standing stronger today than I ever have in my entire life. I am kicking and screaming to get back to what I know deep down inside to be true: I deserve this.

You are dead.

Your voice whispers from a grave that is so far removed from my life, I don’t understand why you still have that power over me. You will never come back and tell me that I’m finally good enough for you. You will never look me in the eyes and apologize for sending me down that path that would ultimately lead me to this letter. You will never hug me and say “Tara, stop being like your brothers”.

You can not heal me.

Only I can.

It may take a while for you to vacate the premises all together. Some days you’ll whisper in my ear and I’ll believe every word you’re saying. But hear me loud and clear: YOU ARE NOT WELCOME HERE! Pack your bags and get the hell out. Me and that girl in the mirror, we’re working hard to build a better relationship…

and there’s only room for one of you.





The toughest opponent out there…

19 11 2010

Confession time:

I’m kind of being a big baby today.

A combination of events over the past week have left me feeling angsty, emotional and just plain in a “fuck off” kind of mood. Not just bad events either. Momentous events that should leave one feeling like a bad ass and on top of the world left me feeling confused and unsure of myself. So I’m here to just put the words down on paper (albeit virtual paper) and see where I end up.

On Wednesday I went shopping with Valerie (Seattlerunnergirl) and Jessi (jmlitteer). I want to tell you that it was wonderful and magical and that it was everything that I had hoped for but to tell you the truth it was much harder than I was anticipating. It was more emotional than I was prepared for. Now don’t think for one second I didn’t have a great time because I did. Remember for me this journey isn’t just about weight loss. It’s about discovering that I can function in my environment socially and be okay. It’s about trusting that people want to hang out with me because they like me, care about me and actually find me fun to be around.

It’s about tearing down walls and letting people in.

It’s about living life.

It’s about life.

So that part of the shopping was awesome. The idea of letting myself try on nice clothes and fitting almost everything I took off the racks was the hard part. I went into stores like The Gap, H & M and Victoria Secrets and felt like I didn’t deserve to be there. EFT (Emotionally fat Tara) was tapping me on my shoulder and saying “ummm, you know only the pretty people come in here right?” I tried to shut her out and even bought some things that I really liked but truth be told it was much harder than I was prepared for. So much so that as soon as my date with Val and Jess was over I went to Value Village (one step up from Goodwill) and shopped for some clothes just to make myself calm down (because I deserve to shop second hand stores).

This is going to be a long journey.

The last couple of days have been emotionally trying on me (okay seriously when is my life not emotionally trying right?!?). Many of the important people in my life are calling on me to give them emotional support and I feel like I just don’t have it in me right now. Friends and Family alike are leaning on me these days and while I want to be there for every single one of them I just don’t know how to say “but what about me??” My mother’s death, her birthday, the upcoming holidays, the idea of intuitive eating, meeting goal weight, not knowing what do next, missing Godfather, doing a my first half marathon in a week, and just plain old trying to live in this body that I call home now has left me feeling like I want to go to bed, pull the covers over my head and be non existent until at least January 2011.

I didn’t want to go to the gym today because I was feeling really let down after Godfather had to cancel on me. I was angry. I didn’t want to face him or anyone else for that matter. I let the alarm go off at 3:30a and reset it for 5:30a. When that went off I seriously thought about just calling in sick for the whole day and throwing a temper tantrum like a three year old.

I went. I was mad. I felt sorry for myself. I wasn’t there but 10 minutes before the universe gave me a message I needed. Someone walked by me and on the back of their shirt was the following:

It’s You vs. You

Isn’t that the damn truth.

We are our toughest opponents. We battle our emotions on a daily basis. We deal with the let downs and with the miracles of this journey. We’re there for others and forget to be there for ourselves. We put too much into what we want from those around us and forget that we can give ourselves exactly the same thing. We tell our friends and family that they deserve to be as happy as possible and that every goal is achievable but when it comes to believing it ourselves it just doesn’t happen. I want to live free of the “vs. you” part of this journey. I don’t want to be my worst enemy any longer. I don’t want be continually looking over the proverbial shoulder wondering what negative thought is going to creep up behind me and keep me from moving forward. I just want to live this life the way it was meant to be lived: happily.

Seeing the “you vs. you” today really hit home for me. I was able to have a long talk with Godfather about my feelings and got to tell him that I’m feeling like I need someone to come through for me because I’m feeling a little left out right now. He got it and that was all I needed. I went back to my work out and pretty much killed it. I’m not saying that I feel better…in fact I’m pretty much just as craptastic now as when I started my day but in this You Vs. You game there can only be one winner.

I’ll let you guess whose taking home the trophy.

 

 

 





A little Thanks and a lot of Love!

16 11 2010

My journey didn’t start back in December when I decided to get up, move forward and take control of my life. It started back when I began reading Tyler’s blog over at 344pounds sometime during the September before. I’m not sure how my Google reader came about to suggest that I start reading his blog. I wasn’t really reading stuff on weight loss at the time but Google reader suggested it and I followed its recommendation. He began to speak directly to me without even knowing he was doing it. Three months later I found myself beginning my own journey to lose 100 pounds. I would comment here and there on his stuff, not really knowing how this blogging world worked but eventually I took the plunge and started my own blog. In the beginning I felt alone and unsure that I could even lose 10 pounds. I didn’t have a blogroll and I certainly didn’t know a single soul doing what I was about to start.

I began to search for other weight loss blogs. Eventually I found people just like me. People wanting to lose weight and do it right. People wanting to take control of their lives; fighting to become not only healthy in body but also healthy in spirit and mind. People who understood me. Some of those people were way ahead the game. Giving me the necessary support to keep moving. Most of them were just starting out, like me. We banded together and off we went down a path that would change our lives forever.

The reason I’m saying all of this today is because I don’t know where you are on this journey. Maybe your way ahead of the game. Maybe you’re just starting out. Maybe google reader suggested you read  my blog today and something inside of you is telling now is the time.

Reach out.

Know that you are not alone. We understand. Even if you think we don’t. We do. We know what’s like to cry and be mad at ourselves. We know what it’s like to move the scale around on the floor in hopes that it will give us a different number. We know what it’s like to look down at the apple we’re about to eat and secretly wish it was a ginormous chocolate chip cookie. We know what it’s like to see someone running outside and pray that someday that might be us. We know what it’s like to get so close to a goal only to have it slip away for another day.

We know.

We also know what it’s like to cross finish lines, enter Onederland and put on a size 34 pair of pants for the first time since middle school. My friends (and I consider anyone that has been a part of my journey my friend) are there for me everyday when I can’t be there for myself. We’ve weaved our lives together through blogging, facebook, twitter and even eventually being able to meet in real life to become friends that hug after races as we cheer each other on to run like the wind toward the finish line and to cross it with a smile. These people are my lifeline. I may not know them personally because we’ve never met face to face…

But I know them.

We have cried together. Laughed together. Lost and gained weight together. We’ve stopped binges together and planned meals together. We’ve shared intimate details of our journeys together. We’ve opened the door to Onederland together and shut the door to our past together. We’ve celebrated the Non Scale Victories together and put a hand on the shoulder of someone ready to give up together. I am grateful for all that they have given me. I am grateful for all that I have given them. A path can be scary when you feel alone and unsure which direction to take. When you grab the hand of a friend, its just that much easier. So today I write a simple thank you to some of those friends that have been with me since the beginning. I’m not going to link their blog or tell you to go friend them on twitter, that’s not the point. The point of this post is to tell you reach out and band together. Support and love one another as you take on this Life Changing Journey. It’s scary, it’s hard and it is worth every step.

Val

Sharla

Brandon

Molly

Vinny

Michael

Tyler

Jess

Seth

Jeremy

Kelly

Rachel

Bobbie

Meegan

Ed

Robby

Aliza

Sheetal

Thank you.





A lesson learned…

14 11 2010

Okay so check this out.

I wanted to do a post about the positive things happening for me since losing weight. I can be pretty intense in my writing (really Tara?) and I won’t lie; the intensity is what brings the readers to my yard. However, there is much more to this LCJ than just sweating, crying tears, having epiphanies and daily episodes of self-examination. There is more than just facing fears, trying to stay in the moment, surviving momentary freak outs and constantly thinking about how I’m going to actually make all these choices (decisions, actions, movements) stick around to become a lifestyle change not just a change for the moment.

I sat down this morning in front of my laptop.

I’ll be damned if I can’t begin a simple “Hey, way to go Tara” post.

Immediately my heart rate went up. My mind went blank. I actually thought to myself “Self, there is nothing you’ve done worth being proud of“…even I have to say WTF?!!? I started this damn post about 15 times, each time never getting past the first line before hitting the backspace button and staring at the blinking horizontal line waiting for something positive to come to my mind. Every time something good came me, I replaced it with the old “yhea but” mentality:

I can wake up and run 6 miles without blinking an eye

(But you injured your achilles because you don’t know how to run)

I can fit into a size 32 pair of pants

(But you can’t go into a name brand clothing store to buy them)

The scale says 168

(it will go back up)

I can lift some pretty heavy weights

(But you still have sagging skin that makes funny sounds because it slaps together when you walk)

I make pretty good food choices

(But you need a therapy session to eat a slice of pizza)

I am much happier today than this time last year

(liar)

GAH!!!! So frustrating and yet such an eye opener for me to realize just how much emotional work this journey is even at this juncture. In reality, the emotional portion of this journey is probably at it’s hardest right about now. I want to enjoy the weight loss. I want to enjoy the notion that I am successful and I am worth living a healthy life. I want to enjoy the slice of Costco pizza without feeling like I need to go the the gym and repent of my food sins. I want to see what others are seeing when they look at me. I know I’ve said this many times before that I thought the negative voices of my former self would go away with the transformation of my now self but I’m wrong. Those negative thoughts / voices / perceptions have prepared themselves for the battle of a lifetime.

They are armed and dangerous

They are strong

They are determined

They think they will win this war and that I will go quietly and without a fight

.

.

.

.

.

WRONG!

This is a change for a lifetime. PERIOD! I may not be my own best friend but I’ll be damned if I’m going to let some shitty ass voices talk me down from where I am and go back to a life that wasn’t worth living. I’ll be damned if I’m going to let some sad childhood memories keep from making new memories of me being strong, successful and happy to be the adult I have grown into. I’ll be damned if I’m going to sit on the sidelines and let those voices (memories, feelings, flash backs, emotions) keep me from being the quarterback of my own life. I’ll be damned if I’m going to allow myself to negate all that I have done and survived, not just in the last year but in my entire life. NO! NO! NO!

*Totally crying right now*

A note to myself: Cry your eyes all you want and try to tell yourself you’re not worth it. Try to tell yourself that you don’t deserve to take credit for all the hard work you’ve put into making yourself a better person. Try to tell yourself you’ll never be better than your brothers and that your mom was right all along. Try to tell yourself you don’t deserve the love of your husband, your family and your friends. It’s all a lie and you know it. Deep down inside you know that this is not how you deserve to live your life. Deep down inside you know you are a good person. You keep fighting Tara. You keep looking at your body and you keep allowing yourself to be amazed at the person you have become. I know the only way you can even write this at the moment is by writing it as if someone else is telling you these things because you can’t tell yourself. You may hear those voices telling you that you are nothing but I know that you are something. I know you won’t give up so easily. I know you’ll continue to move forward.I know you will prepare for the same war that those negative thoughts and feelings are preparing for.

I know because I’m right here with you.

I love you.



 





Let’s get honest…

10 11 2010

It’s two o’clock in the morning.

I can’t sleep.

Apparently my body my mind decided it wasn’t going to need much more than 2.5 hours of sleep and here I am waiting for 3:30a to arrive so I can get ready for my boxing class.

My mind won’t shut down.

Let’s talk about what the hell is going on in my world right now.

  • I made goal weight this week: For the last 11 months I have kicked, screamed, laughed, cried, run, jumped, swam, fought, and poured gallons of sweat off my body to go from 270 down to 170 and I had no plan of action as to what I would do once I arrived. I never thought I would get here. Instead of reveling in what I’ve accomplished I am in near panic mode over arriving at my “destination” and not sure where to go from here. It’s like planning for a year to save up to go to Europe and you only focus on the saving up part. I’m in the proverbial “Europe” and I didn’t plan what I was going to do once I landed.
  • I feel wishy-washy in my decisions: Count calories, don’t count calories. Work out every day, don’t work out every day. Focus on lifting weights, focus on cardio. Run, don’t run. Everyday I feel like I can’t make a decision as to how I want to handle this LCJ. It was so much easier in the beginning when I was fat and lazy: Eat less, move more, cry cry cry, repeat. Now? Now I can’t seem to get a fucking grip on what I’m supposed to do. Again, it comes down to the notion of never thinking I would even get to a place where this would be my reality.
  • I’m still thinking like 270 pound Tara: I really want to enjoy 170 pound Tara, but it’s not happening that much at the moment. I’m starting to wonder if my mind will ever catch up to the person looking back from the mirror. You’d think once you reach goal weight the voices (tape recorders, your mother’s voice or whatever you want to call it) would shut the fuck up but in my world they are loud and clear. Oh I know I wrote about Fat Tara going away and believe me I’m sure she is gone. I’m not talking about physically Fat Tara, I’m talking about emotionally Fat Tara (EFT cause you know I like my Three Letter Acronyms). You know EFT right? She’s the one that steps on the scale multiple times a day because she knows it’s absolutely possible to gain 100 pounds overnight. She’s the one that will walk around the Costco tasting all the delicious morsels and then cry in the car because she sure she walked in a size 32 but walked out a size 44. She’s the one that is convinced that shopping in the same place where she donated all her clothes (value village) is the only place she should shop because one day she’s going to need to buy all her clothes back. Why? Well surely this whole size 32 situation is a fluke.
  • I’m dying to go shopping in a real store: A real clothing store. One that only sells clothes. Not one that also sells dog food or lawn mowers or all the holiday nick knacks. I want to buy clothes from a place with good-looking young college students. Not a place where the aisle light say’s “twelve items or less” or “family friendly” or where the checker wears a wrist brace from slinging boxes of frozen pizzas over the register all day. I don’t want to shop where there is a door greeter or some dumb ass blue light special. I want to shop at the Gap, Old Navy and American Eagle. I won’t lie I’d kind of like to buy something from Abercrombie and Fitch and yet I can’t bring myself to stand in their doorways and give myself permission to do so. As crazy as it sounds, I am convinced nothing will fit and the people (customers/employees) will laugh at me for even trying. I buy clothes from places like Wal-Mart, Fred Meyer, and Target not because it’s cheaper but because I find comfort in knowing that obese people shop there and they won’t laugh at me.
  • I don’t trust myself: There I said it. I don’t trust that this 100 pound loss will stay off for good. I don’t trust that I will continue to move forward. I don’t trust that I can be successful in my LCJ. I don’t trust that I can build an army of awesomeness and go forth and change the world. I don’t trust that I can have ONE piece of pumpkin pie with ONE dollop of whip cream during Thanksgiving and then walk away without trying to sneak a piece in the bathroom, shoving it down in one bite and then making myself throw up so that I can convince myself I didn’t eat it.
  • I’m an emotional mess: Today I am okay with that. Part of this process is acknowledging what is going on and putting it out there to the universe. I can’t sleep because these are the things on my mind and they are heavily weighing me down (pun absolutely intended). Am I going to rush out and conquer all my fears and tribulations: No. I don’t need too. However, I do need to actively continue to walk this path of forward movement no matter how much I don’t trust myself or how badly I want smack EFT for causing me angst.

Funny thing happens when you can’t keep your eyes closed and you decide to get a little honest with yourself in the middle of the night. You end up canceling your 330a boxing class and going back to bed for some much needed sleep.

*YAWN*

 





Now what…

6 11 2010

Isn’t that the question we all dread?

For the last 10 months I’ve been consumed with counting calories, moving more and eating less, taking control of my life, looking at my past to move towards my future, learning to accept all parts of me (emotionally, mentally and physically), challenging my beliefs of who I thought I was and working towards that arbitrary number of 170. I spent the last month or so hovering between 172 – 176 and almost gave up the idea that I could ever actually reach that number. Plateau or mental brick wall or whatever you want to call it, it helped me see things a little more clearly about what this journey really means to me.

This journey isn’t about what I weigh anymore. I hit the goal. It’s a healthy weight. I have to take into account how much extra skin I have when I am deciding what my end goal weight looks like. I may shoot for 165 but for right now I’m content with how I look and as far as that extra skin goes; I’m going to wait a year from now to see what weight lifting can do to tone up all the loose stuff hanging around my thighs, my stomach and under my arms. If there is no vast improvement then I’ll consider cosmetic surgery.

For 10 months I’ve been going down one path and now I find myself at the end.

Or is it?

I’ve lost weight before but never were those weight losses a journey like this. A journey of life changing proportions. A journey of self examination and proclamation that I am worth every tear, laugh, frustration, break-through, set back, and leap forward. I am worth every pound loss and every lesson gained. Along the way I’ve also learned that this journey is just plain about living life. It’s not about sitting on the couch and aimlessly surfing the television stations looking for something to watch to take my mind off of what’s really going on. It’s about finding out what’s really going on. It’s about building a friendship with the person that waited patiently inside of me but now lives out here in the real world as a part of me. It’s about letting myself go and being vulnerable to the world because over the course of the last 10 months, the world has shown me that it wasn’t them that hated me…

It was me that hated me.

The old me.

To say this journey was only about weight loss would be a joke. This was about coming to terms with what kind of relationship I had with myself and then deciding that it was just as much of an abusive relationship as if I was standing in front of me with my fist raised in anger. This journey was about finding out that I can, then having the strength and determination to go out there and NOT show the world but rather show myself that I can.

And the great thing about that?

The journey is NEVER over.

I was so afraid of getting to that number of 170 because I was concerned with the “now what” portion of this journey that I never realized there is no “now what” problem? There is only WHAT’S NEXT? Yes, I got to goal weight. Yes that is stupendously awesome! But you know what else I picked up a long way?

A love of running.

A love of being physical.

A love of being outside.

A love of being around people.

A love of interacting with the world around me.

I picked up a love of challenging myself to push past the “oh hell no’s” and see the possibilities of “OH HELL YES!” I picked up a love of challenging others to see their own potential and then walking together along their journey and seeing them come to the same realization that they can and will succeed. I picked up a love of building an army and knowing some day that army is going to change the world (even if that world is just me).

Goal weight has arrived but it is no where near the end of the journey.

This is only the beginning.

I have muscles to build.

I have finish lines to cross.

I have lives to save.

Are you focusing on the end of the path? Have you slowed down because you’re afraid to get there and come to the dreaded “now what” sign? Can I tell you a secret? I’ve replaced that “now what” sign with a “WHAT’S NEXT” and the road goes on forever…

So tell me: what’s next?