Dear Tara…

20 02 2011

Dear 270 Tara;

We don’t know each other very well. In fact, we’ve never met. I mean, I know who you are. You’re famous round these parts. Everyone knows you. Everyone knows you were struggling to enjoy life. You didn’t think very much of yourself and had gotten yourself in a dark space and had little hope that it was going to get any better. Everyone remembers the day you decided that the life you were living was no where near your potential and you were going to make a difference, even if it was the smallest of changes.

I heard the stories.

The 260’s didn’t take any pictures because they remember you were too embarrassed to even make a public statement about how much you weighed. But with small changes and moving even just a little bit you lost enough weight to think that this journey might be a possibility. They remember how you used to walk up a flight of stairs and had to take a break in between each floor because it hurt to breath. But they remember how you kept at it until you could walk up three flights of stairs without stopping. They remember how you cried when you wanted a diet coke but instead drank a glass of crystal light or how you used to say “my stomach doesn’t care what I put in it, it’s my brain that needs to be retrained” during your lunch break in order to get through those 30 minutes without shoving chocolate or a random doughnut in your mouth.

The 250’s tells me that this is when you started running. They remember that crazy day when you were walking the dogs (and I think by this time you were up to walking 2 miles a day with them – congratulations!) and for some reason you decided to move a little faster. It was early enough in the morning and not a soul was around. You ran for half a block and by the end of it you were so out of breath you actually got sick. We get a good laugh out of that around the water cooler.  They were pretty sure you wouldn’t last long in the running department but you showed them. You found this thing called couch to 5k and began running before the sun came up because you were sure everyone was staring at you. It was slow going but damn if you didn’t keep at it.

The 240’s have a lot of stories to share. They say this picture was taken when you got yourself down to about 245 pounds and this was the first time you actually ran for 5 minutes straight. There was talk that this journey might be serious but there was still some trepidation. They fondly remember the day you decided to go public with your weight loss and was born. P.S. Happy belated blogiversary.



The 230’s say this is really when you planted your feet firmly in the ground and proclaimed this LCJ was for real and not going any where any time soon. You did something you never thought you do: You signed up for your first 5k! Then you went and did something even more crazy: You joined a gym. Yhea we didn’t see that coming




The 220’s celebrated a milestone: 50 pounds lost. Hard to believe that 5 months previous to this picture being taken you weighed 270 pounds. You didn’t see much of a change in your body but you started to notice that your neck was smaller and I think I remember them saying this is where you discovered your collar bone again. They say this was also about the time you realized that this journey wasn’t just about losing the physical weight but that you had to really look to your past to get to your future


The 2teens remember the day you signed up for this 5k. It wasn’t the original one you signed up for (that was coming in June) but you couldn’t pass up the opportunity when it was offered by your friend Elizabeth. It was super scary. But you crossed that finish line and that was the day you called yourself a runner. But that wasn’t all you did in your 2teens. You walked your first half Marathon and then you went and did something down right crazy: You signed up for your first triathlon! They fondly remember you thinking that you might actually like being an athlete and couldn’t wait to see what you came up with next! But it wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns. This was by far the most stressful time during your journey. The 2teens remember the day you got the call that your brother was in the hospital due to his alcoholism. This would mark the first time there was a gain in your journey. You started to realize that stress was a big factor. You pushed too hard physically, you were too hard on yourself emotionally and you got hurt.




The 210’s remember you coming to many crossroads during their time with you. You took your first trip away from home. It was good but it came with a few emotional bumps and bruises. You were fired from your job (and saw the second gain on this journey) and learned that staying in the moment was harder than you ever imagined. But the 210’s also remember when you ran your first solo 5k, learned the importance of NSV and met The Godfather for the first time.



The 190’s are really proud of the stories they have to share. They like to reminisce they day you almost DIDN’T run your first 10k because you were scared. They like to tell the rest of us about the day you decided that building an army behind you was just as important as building a strong body. The best story they like share is when you decided to join Team in Training and begin training for a HALF MARATHON. Yhea, they didn’t see that one coming either. Way to pull the carpet out from under them (by the way they are very thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this journey during the summer months!)

The 180’s think this is your shining time. You spent a lot of time looking in the mirror. You were really getting used to the body you were living in. It was 90 pounds smaller. NINETY POUNDS!! It wasn’t always easy to look at the the person looking back at you. You were still fighting your demons (and still do today) but even your 270 pound mentality couldn’t deny that you were happier and healthier than you’ve ever been not only in your adult life but in your ENTIRE LIFE. This is the time you began to call yourself an athlete and knew it to be a true label.

The 170’s has a lot of bragging rights. They should. This is where you spent the most time. You spent a couple of months here. But you didn’t just sit around and wait for 170 to come knocking on your door. You went after it like a wild fire. You have the Triathlon medal to prove it. You also realized to reach that goal you not only had to drop the physical weight, you had to drop the emotional weight. You realized there was fear in making goal weight and when you began to listen to your heart, you realized that it was time to take that physically fit body back to church. For a little over two months you pushed forward. Slowly watching the numbers on the scale move downward. The day you started this journey you were medically labeled Morbidly Obese. Finally in the middle of November you stepped on the scale and became medically labeled as Normal.

Yep, that’s you. Yep, that’s a half marathon. Yep, you did it 103 pounds lighter. You’ve continued to work harder than you ever give yourself credit for. Over the last year, you’ve ended some relationships, started some awe inspiring relationships. You made a birthday wish come true and set up some serious goals for the next coming year. The one important thing you learned while living through these stories is that life isn’t going to change unless you change. You didn’t want to be depressed or reliant on medication to get you through the day. You didn’t want to sit around wondering what it would be like to be an athlete, you went out and made yourself more of an athlete than you ever dreamed. Even on days you feel like giving in and giving up you realize there is perfection in your imperfections.

You’re probably wondering who I am.

I mean I’ve written you this long letter and I didn’t even introduce myself. I’m the one you NEVER thought you’d see. I’m the one that’s writing the new stories from here on out. The stories that are not only going to continue to change your life but the lives of those that you touch. I’m the one that has been waiting patiently. I’m the one that has been cheering for you for the last 14 months waiting so that I can wrap my arms around you and tell you that you are loved. You are strong. You are beautiful.

I’m the one here to tell you…


My name?

My name is 160.

It’s nice to meet you.








The earning of a #7daychip (and starting over…)

15 02 2011

I earned this.

Then day 8 came and it didn’t go so well.

I let the negative thinking get the best of me.

I let it control my emotions.

I let it control my mindless eating.

It doesn’t however control me to the point that I can’t fight back and that’s what I’m doing. Fighting back. Allowing myself to see me as others see me. Looking in the mirror and refusing to let memories of my past control how I walk towards my future. Learning to be patient and kind with myself just as I would any friend that leaned on me for support.

So I start again today. I’m going to be changing the parameters of what it means to earn a day under the #7daychip challenge. I’m going to be focusing on not eat mindlessly (no random snacking without first making sure I’m hungry), eating consciously ( I will thank my food for keeping me strong and making me healthy), not panicking over my food (or thinking that there is a lack of food) as well as working on combating the negative thoughts that seem to invade my mind more often than not. I’m letting go of the water, chocolate and vitamins aspect of the original #7daychip goal as I’ve gotten those down to pretty much a science now (Thanks Brad!).

I made it to day 8

Even with this kind of day.

I will make it to the #30daychip!

Believe that.

The face of Bulimia…

12 02 2011

The topic of bulimia is one that is rarely  (if at all) talked about in a public realm. I understand that this post may be difficult for some people to read (triggers) but before I begin let me be very clear: This is my journey. I have suffered from bulimia my entire adult life (my first purge happening in high school). It goes without saying that while I’ve been on this LCJ for over a year and successfully lost over 100 pounds in a healthy, stay in the moment kind of way (I never reverted to purging to lose weight – though I did suffer isolated episodes) I carry this behavior in the depths of my being. If you feel that this topic is a trigger for you, you may want to skip over my words. This post isn’t about the act of bulimia but working through the urge to resort to a  behavior I know isn’t appropriate to a successful (life long) weight loss journey. Today I’m here to put a face to bulimia…

That face is mine.

A few days ago, I woke up and felt great. It’s was day 4 of Brad’s #7daychip and I had a guest post over at Mizfit’s blog and it was received better than I thought it would be (Don’t Compare). I had a great early morning workout with Godfather. The sun was out. I looked good, I felt good and I was going to kick the ass of this fantastic Thursday morning.

It was such a great day I took a picture of myself and posted it on twitter.

A few hours later I would take the following picture:

What causes someone to go from feeling good about who they are, feeling strong, feeling confident and head held high to sitting in the car having an emotional break down and feeling defeated, weak, and confused? It was because I was fighting the urge to give up the food in my stomach. I had just eaten lunch (teriyaki) and instead of stopping when I was full (about 1/2 way through my meal) I continued to eat. The triggers began to happen:

*There won’t be any food later.

*What if you’re hungry again too soon.

*You must clean your plate.


When I begin to panic over my food and can’t stop consuming a very quiet (yet extremely powerful) voice begins to whisper in my ear. The voice tells me it’s okay to eat beyond control and comfort because there is an easy way to fix the pain. An easy way to take control. An easy way to continue eating to diminish the fear that I will be left without food…

95% of the time I can get through a meal by talking myself “down”. While most people are thinking about how delicious their food is, or thinking about textures, temperatures, and what not I’m usually having an internal conversation about staying calm, chewing my food, staying in the moment. It’s not the best way to enjoy a meal but I’ve worked really hard to get to a place where I can go unscathed and in the end actually enjoy my relationship with food.

Some days it doesn’t go so well.

The urge to let it go was so great I refused to get out my car and spent the next hour letting myself feel emotions that I didn’t want to feel. I took pictures because I wanted to see my face. I wanted to see the pain and frustration. I know what I feel like on the inside when the urge is here but what does it look like on my face?

I didn’t care that I was having a break down.

I knew that if I went into the house, I’d give in.

It would be the easy fix.

It would be my secret.

No one would know that I’d let the comforting voice take control.

But I would know.

I am my greatest ally.

This is my life.

I refuse to live in secrets.

For an hour:

I prayed.

I listened to music.

I talked with friends.

I put a face to my disease.

That face is mine.

I worked through a plethora of feelings over the course of that hour. In the end, I was able to leave the safe confines of my car and move forward. It was painful both physically and emotionally to force myself to stay in the car instead of taking the “easy” way out. It was hard not to just say “Well Tara, if you make yourself sick you can always just start again with good decisions”. Bulimia is NOT the easy way out. Making good decisions is not a precursor to making bad decisions. I never thought of myself as having food binges. I never thought about the amount of food I was eating because I was always looking at the end result. As soon as I get uncomfortable with my food intake I go immediately to the only way I know how to fix it.

Fuck that.

I fixed it the hard way.

I win.










Pink thinks I’m perfect…

5 02 2011

Made a wrong turn, once or twice
Dug my way out, blood and fire
Bad decisions, that’s alright
Welcome to my silly life

In my lifetime, I’ve made quite a few wrong turns. As early as I can remember I looked for ways to make myself feel better about who I was: I abused my body to feel better about myself. I lost my virginity before I even knew what it meant to have one. Instead of playing with barbies I was playing with boys because they gave me the attention I so desperately sought and never received from a mother who had no idea what it meant to even be one. I began smoking before I even hit 5th grade because it gave me a sense of belonging  with the misfits I began to hang out with because they understood me better than I was understanding myself.  Instead of spending hours outside on a playground or playing on a soccer team where parents are suppose to lovingly watch you interact with kids your own age, I was spending hours inside my mother’s bar sitting on the last bar stool closest to the back door (in case someone from the liquor board came in), interacting with adults who showed me that wasting away doing nothing all day but drowning your sorrows was where my life was headed.

Mistreated, misplaced, misunderstood
Miss ‘No way, it’s all good’, it didn’t slow me down
Mistaken, always second guessing, underestimated
Look, I’m still around

In my last year of junior high I began a “relationship” with a women who was twice my age  (I was 15) and twice as fucked up mentally as I was. She said she loved me. I believed her. I believed a lot of things people said. I was gay bashed and ridiculed by my classmates but I was loved and when you’re a kid trying to figure out your place in the world that was all that mattered.

High school led to a path of self destruction that would live with me for most of my adult life. I began to find comfort in food in ways that I didn’t find before. I found what I was looking for: Control. Bulemia and I became up close and personal friends. I didn’t eat because I was hungry or looking to hide an emotion I couldn’t deal with. I was eating because I could. It helped me feel emotions for a short period of time and then when I was ready to take control, I made myself throw up. I was making myself sick upwards to 5 or 6 times a day. In those short minutes of leaning over a toilet bowl, life became clear.

You’re so mean, when you talk about yourself, you were wrong
Change the voices in your head, make them like you instead
So complicated, look happy, you’ll make it!

By the time I was one year out of high school, I was a drug addict. A meth head. Tweaker. Speed Freak. Now I didn’t need food and bulemia to feel in control. To feel beautiful. To feel loved. I found it in my new little friend: Crystal. We were the closest of friends. She never let me down. Always there for me when I needed her and even when I didn’t need her. When I wanted to end the relationship, she wrapped her arms around me and said we would be together forever.

But then my mother got sick. The one person I had been looking to for love, guidance, understanding, and a little help to survive in a world I didn’t very much like left me here to fend for myself. I was 20. I was lost. I hated everything about me. I hated everything about her. I hated everything.

Filled with so much hatred…such a tired game
It’s enough! I’ve done all I can think of
Chased down all my demons, I’ve seen you do the same

For the next 20 years of my life, I survived to the best of my ability. I moved away from my hometown. My brothers. My drugs. I left it all behind because this was not the life I wanted to lead any longer. I really was trying to dig my way out blood and fire. I couldn’t give up the bulemia (or it couldn’t give me up) but everything else I left behind and never looked back. The bulemia got worse but I was in “control” and when you’re just a kid trying to make a place in the world, a little control goes a long way.

The whole world’s scared so I swallow the fear
The only thing I should be drinking is an ice cold beer
So cool in line, and we try try try, but we try too hard and it’s a waste of my time
Done looking for the critics, cause they’re everywhere
They dont like my jeans, they don’t get my hair
Exchange ourselves, and we do it all the time
Why do we do that? Why do I do that?

My environment changed. I put myself through school and finally graduated college at the ripe old age of 30. I was in a good relationship (or so I thought) and for the first time in my life I was a “functioning” adult. But the voices in my head that told me I was worthless were loud and clear. I was my worst critic. I didn’t like anything about me. As the hatred for myself grew so did my body. Instead of making myself throw up because I wanted to be in control I was throwing up because I wanted to feel pain. I would eat until my stomach hurt and then purge until my throat bled. It was no longer a love relationship I had with bulemia. It was pure hatred for who I was staring at in the mirror.

270 pounds.

40 years old.



Morbidly Obese.

Enough was Enough.

In hindsight when I look back on my life I am lucky to be here writing this blog post this morning. A deck of cards was dealt to me that came with a few extra jokers but I played the hand dealt to the best of my ability. I survived the first 40 years of my life to finally begin living what could possibly be the next 40 years. All of those childhood desires to love who I see in the mirror are finally being sought after. It hasn’t been easy. Some days the light at the end of the tunnel seems so far out of my reach but it shines brightly and it has yet to fade away. Instead of turning away from my potential and the life I am supposed to lead, I run towards it every time I strap on my running shoes. Every time I think I can’t, I find the will and the love to know that I can at least try my hardest and if I fall short it just means to get up, brush myself off, look deep within myself and know that I can.

Every time I feel less than perfect…

Pretty pretty please, don’t you ever ever feel
Like you’re less than fuckin’ perfect
Pretty pretty please, if you ever ever feel
Like you’re nothing, you’re fucking perfect to me.

Pink tells me otherwise.





It’s not a bed of roses but the flowers are still pretty…

31 01 2011

I am on vacation.

While this usually brings visions of lying around in the sun (which I did for a few hours) or spending endless hours shopping (I did a little) or running around trying to see all the sights that (insert city here) has to offer, it usually means one thing for me:

Being out of my comfort zone.

Add to that the reason I am on vacation (husband is having surgery) and it could be a recipe for disaster. However, I’m happy to report that the over all feel of this vacation has been one of success. Yes, I’m eating out multiple times a day. No I haven’t made the best decisions each time I’ve eaten. I indulged one night in celebratory food consumption with my husband = good. I also binged one night and ended up laying in bed with a stomach ache = bad. I stocked my hotel fridge with veggies and greek yogurt = good. I opted to eat out more often than not when I could have easily made a healthier option at the hotel = not so good.

I have run multiple times this week = good. I went to the gym (and will return tmw morning) = good. I got the nerve up to go down to the pool in my swim suit and NOT wear a towel = good. I convinced myself my new size 1o pants would no longer fit after eating beyond my comfort and then following it with a dairy queen blizzard (stinking thinking) = bad (the pants fit just fine).

The longer I am away from home, the more stressed out I am becoming. The vacation is over in two days and I will return to my normal sense of control = good. I miss my dogs. I miss my cats. I miss my home. I miss Godfather, my gym and packing my food.

But this isn’t about what I don’t like about my vacation. This is about what I do like. I liked that this has been the best vacation when it comes to my state of well being. Yes, I’ve looked in the mirror and been mad at myself for some of my choices but I’m not anywhere near where I was when I went to Ohio last June. Yes, I thought about making myself throw up while laying on the bed holding my aching tummy after eating beyond what I’m used too, but I didn’t. I let myself sit with feeling uncomfortable and let the voices play through their tapes (“you did it again”, “you’ll never get it right”, “throwing up will make everything better”, “you can eat more food if you throw up”, “you’re stupid for thinking you’re ever going be successful”) and when they were done screaming in my head, I moved on to the best of my ability. I liked being able to get up on a beautiful Sunday morning and run a 1ok virtually with my friend Kelly (startingmy45thyear). I liked being able able to go to the gym (less than two blocks from hotel) and sweat it out on the stair machine and then text Godfather that I did his sprint training and like it even more that I know I’ll return to the gym tomorrow to  sweat it out again and probably get in one last run before I get on the plane Wednesday. I liked putting on my bathing suit and sitting by the pool without covering up with a towel and while I didn’t like the look of my extra skin on my thighs, I didn’t care because my 165 pound body deserves to be in a bathing suit: loose skin and all.

Is this the best vacation of my life?

No, but it’s the best one since being on this LCJ and that’s saying something. I still have two more days here in Arizona. Two more days of learning to ride without my training wheels. Two more days of wobbly steering and feeling like I might “dump my bike”. Two more days of moving forward because backwards is no longer an option for me.

And if I “dump my bike”…

You better believe I’m getting right back on that mother fucker!


23 01 2011

You know how when you get on a new piece of equipment or enter a work area you see caution signs all over the place? The one’s that tell you to “Wear a hard had” or “Make sure to read all the instructions before use” or the one’s that tell you the obvious things like “Plug in to operate” or “Don’t put hand under blade while in motion”…

I wish this journey would have come with a huge fucking caution sign.

A big blaring yellow one that popped up the moment I decided to make a change in my life. One that would be so big I couldn’t miss it and it wouldn’t go away until I had read every word of it, understood everything it said and then when I gave my nod of understanding it would *poof* be gone and I could do what I came to do.

It wouldn’t just pop up once. It would pop up numerous times in my journey. Hell, maybe even once a week day hour every few minutes. Just something that would give me a warning that what I’m about to attempt may need some extra instructions or for bloody hell Tara, don’t put your hand under the blade while it’s moving.

I feel like this last week or so should have come with a big old fat caution label on it. I don’t necessarily feel like I’m spinning out of control today (like I did last week) but I’m having a difficult time getting off this merry-go-round of confusion, anger, sadness and plain old frustration (at myself). I’m either having some really great days or days so insanely bad, I literally want to punch an old lady in the face (yep, I just said that).

Riddle me this: Why did I go and put on a pair of size 10 pants last night, have them fit, get excited and then feel horrible about that success (or maybe the idea of buying more clothes – anxiety), eat beyond comfort level then top it off by eating a piece of cake (I don’t even like cake!!!). WHERE WAS MY CAUTION SIGN?

Okay, let’s get totally honest here…

I was told that the first few months of maintenance was difficult. I did NOT realize it would be this difficult. It’s like I’ve been given a piece of machinery and the instructions are in French  (with no pictures). It took me 11 months to put this machine together and now that I’m trying to use it, it’s awkward, malfunctions and after 3 months of riding it I still don’t know where the brake system is located.

Yet, I keep trying to use the machine. I get up every morning and look at it in the mirror and wonder if today is the day I will fully understand how to get this body/mind to work properly. I wonder if today is the day I can take the “training wheels” off. Make good decision. Be proud of the accomplishments and to stop beating this poor newly acquired body up when something doesn’t go quite right.

So, here’s my gift to you today.

Print it.

Keep it.

You’re going to need it.

Bad choices yesterday.

Do not control what I do today.

Only I control what I do today.

*puts on hardhat*

I’ll be out running if you need me.

My Tribe / #7daychip / Great Stair Climb 2011

17 01 2011

"The Warriors" (one of my favorite childhood movies)

My friend Ryan (nomorebacon) wrote a really great blog post last week about the Power of the Tribe. He was referring to the power of coming together and helping a fellow blogger (journeybeyondsurvival) get a  therapy dog for her chickadee. It was awesome to watch everyone come together and in the blink of an eye raise the multiple thousands of dollars needed to get her the four legger she needs to lead a great life.

I am part of that tribe.

That tribe is a part of me.

I’ve been in a bad place the last couple of days. Normally I could chalk it up to it being “that time of the month” but this time it was purely depression sinking in. Big events are looming in front of me and my husband and with that comes more stress than I was am ready to handle (though handle it I will). On top of that a feeling of being stagnant in my journey and it was a combination that brought some dark clouds over me and my emotional state of not well-being.

I don’t really know how to reach out to people. When I am on top of my game, (the game of the  LCJ) I feel confident people want to talk to me, be around me and it’s easier for me to put myself out there to be vulnerable to what others bring to the table. When I am far from being on top of my game I shut down. I begin to think  people don’t want to be around me. That they don’t care what I feel or think. That I don’t deserve to be a part of my tribe.

That’s where I’ve been this week.

This post isn’t about where I was.

It’s about where I am.

It’s about my Tribe.

When I started to descend into the darkness of feeling bad about myself I immediately received texts  and twitter messages from people I know in real life and people I’ve never laid eyes on and only know them in 140 character conversations. All checking in with me to make sure I was okay. I wasn’t. But I was honest about where I was. They didn’t turn their back on me. They didn’t ignore me, or make me feel like I was being a bother. In fact, they sent me messages like:

“You are NEVER alone”

“I love ya T, stay strong”

“What is today (scale of 1-10 on my depression)?”

“Sending you love, compassion, hugs”

“Blues are okay, just don’t derail your progress. Talk it out, don’t eat it out. We emo eaters must be careful.”

“Sunshine and stars are ALWAYS there. Sometimes we can’t see them behind the clouds and darkness”

“I wish my depression could meet your depression and kick one another’s asses!”

I’m realizing I need this tribe more than they need me and I’m beginning to understand that I can no longer down play the power of having people in my life that lift me up when I am not able to do so for myself. That being said, I’ve also come to understand that while I can work out on my own and break my own sweat there is one other tribe member that I’ve been missing and have decided to go back to seeing Godfather. I don’t need him to tell me how to work out (I’m pretty good at it on my own) but I do need him to give me the all important (important to my emotional psyche) pat on the back and the “good job kid’ that I’ve been missing like you wouldn’t believe. I haven’t really kept the blogging world up on his where abouts lately because I was still getting used to not seeing him every day. He has since moved to Innovative Fitness. I’ve come to understand that he is as much a part of my tribe as anybody else and it’s important to me to keep having him as my trainer.

My tribe is important to me.

My tribe is essential to my success on this journey.

I am essential to my success on this journey.

I am fighting back.

On a scale of 1 – 10 today.

I am a solid 5.5

And that is outstanding!


Another thing I’m learning about this LCJ is when I don’t have a goal of some sort, my oomph for being on this journey is pretty much suck ass. This last week was proof of that. I went from doing something nice for myself (getting my toes did) to trying to buy something nice for myself (shopping fiasco) to eating all the crap in my house to purging to saying some very hateful things to myself and finally sitting under one of the darkest clouds I can remember having. One of the reasons for this downfall? I’m not really involved with anything at this point. This is one of the reasons I’m going back to seeing Godfather. Seeing him on a regular basis will keep me focused on making great decisions. It’s also one of the reasons I’ve decided to join the #7daychip challenge put on Brad Gansberg. As a recovering addict, I am well aware of the recovery chip idea and I think it’s a fantastic tribe for me to join. I have a dysfunctional (unhealthy) relationship with food and with my own thought process and I think this will be a great way for me to be aware of both while attempting to earn my #7daychip and beyond.

The great thing is I get to define what standards need to be met in order to earn this chip. After much thought I’ve decided on the following:

*I will not eat mindlessly (no random snacking without first making sure I’m hungry)

*I will drink at least 64 oz of water each day

*I will take my vitamins

*If I think something negative about myself I will say at least three things I like about myself in front of the mirror.

*I will eat consciously ( I will thank my food for keeping me strong and making me healthy)

*I will not eat any chocolate


In case you missed it I started my Great Stair Climb of 2011 at the beginning of January. I am on a mission to climb 13,428 floors (the equivalent of climbing the Empire State Building 132 times). As of today I’ve climbed 16,125 stairs or the equivalent of 1075 floors. This means I’ve climbed the Empire State Building approximately 8.7 times.

I am 8% of the way there!








Someday I’ll get it right…

16 01 2011

Until then I’ll stumble along on this path…

This path called life.

It’s been a rough week for me. Emotionally, physically and just about every other “ally” you can think of. What started out as strong and full of fight on Sunday morning, has pretty much deflated and turned to mush on this Sunday  morning. This blog post is purely for me and my need to work some shit out. I forget sometimes that the reason I started this blog was so that I could record what I was feeling and going through, not to just get as many subscriptions, views and comments as possible. I’m not writing as much for a few different reasons: one being lack of time due to work constraints but also because I’m spending too much time focused on whether or not I think someone is going to actually read this shit. One of my biggest flaw is that I am too wrapped up in what others think of me.

The other big flaw:

I’m too wrapped up in what I think of myself.

It would be different if the next words coming out of my mouth were “I think too highly of myself”, “I’m better than everyone” “No one is going to be as good as me”. Instead the words are more like “Fuck Tara, not again” “What the fuck is your problem” “Are you ever going to get it right?” “Why do you even try?”

That’s where I am right now and I feel like I’m here more often than not these days. I’ll have a great day emotionally and physically and before I can blink an eye, I’m feeling so crappy about myself I can’t even look in the mirror.

On Wednesday I went out with Val (Seattlerunnergirl) and Sharla (262journey) for a “girl’s night” out. Now to know me is to know I’ve got little to no experience on being “a girl”. I can put on a dress. I can put on some nice shoes. I can cross my legs like a lady but hanging out with friends I consider girly girls and doing girly stuff makes me feel like an ox in a very small glass room. I don’t think it was the actual act of getting a pedicure done that caused the angst but rather the idea of doing something nice for myself that made me feel pretty that caused the angst.

I get my toes done and feel really pretty. I feel good about hanging out with them and not having a panic attack. I pat myself on the back and call it a win kind of night. Thursday I wanted to keep the “girly” stuff going so I head to Macy’s with a gift card I received during Christmas. I felt confident that I was going to find something girly other than underwear and off I went…

It didn’t go as planned.

In truth, it was the demise of where I am this week and my feeling of “it’s never going to be right with me”. I spent over an hour looking for something in the woman’s department and in that hour I went from “Tara, you got this” to “Tara, what the fuck are you doing here? You don’t belong here. You’re not pretty enough to buy this stuff”…

I left angry.



Instead of dusting myself off and moving forward, I went home and in anger ate all the crappiest food I could get my hands on. As soon as I started to eat, I knew I was going to make myself purge. I haven’t felt that desire since June and I tried to talk myself out of it. Then I got really mad at myself for even being in the position to think about purging.

I thought I had this shit under control.

I actually had a conversation with myself about what would be worse: keeping the food in my stomach and thinking horrible things about what I ate or get rid of the food and think horrible things about myself for purging. In the end I didn’t keep the food down and my emotional state has been declining ever since. To say it’s declining solely based on the act of purging wouldn’t be accurate. It was the catalyst but it is not the reason I’m still feeling out of sorts even today.

I’m slowing way down emotionally in hopes of being able to get a grip on what’s going on inside my head. My weight is up but only because I’m super stressed out around money and up coming events (we are going to AZ at the end of the month for husband’s surgery) and as of last night his truck broke down and now we’re trying to figure out how we’re going to pay to get it fixed.

I am definitely the bug.

Not the windshield.

It’s hard to convince myself that “this too shall pass”. I know it will. Historically speaking it always has. It’s just taking a lot longer this time. I’m trying to keep calm and stop thinking that I’m going back to a lifestyle that is full of hate and self sabotage.

I know it won’t happen.

It can’t happen.

Just keep swimming.





Where is the pot of gold?

10 01 2011

I got a comment from my last post “I want off this Path” that has had me thinking pretty heavily the last couple of days about this LCJ I’m on (we’re on). I wanted to share it with you because I think it’s not only one of the most important parts to understand and explore about this journey, but as I get farther along I come across more and more people that feel the same way.

I wrote about wanting to get off the proverbial “path” of this journey. I wanted to just be normal. Not have to think about weight, or moving or trying to figure out why I eat the way I eat and my relationship with food. I didn’t want have to wonder if the next bite I put in my mouth was going to send me into a panic attack / guilt  ridden episode or even a triumphant hoorah. I just wanted to go through one day without being consumed with this fucking journey…

Then I got the following comment from a friend of mine over at CalorieKing:

“I know that my comment is at risk for coming across wrong, so if it reads that way, I give you my sincere apologies… but THANK GOODNESS you feel that way! It IS hard. It IS a struggle that when the shiny newness of a new goal wears off, what is left is the rugged struggle. Don’t get me wrong, I’m am very sorry that there is a struggle for you. It’s just that you are such an inspiration – such a “superhuman” force who has achieved what most people fail at – that if YOU have these issues, it means there is hope for the rest of us too. The fact that I can recognize that your feelings of wanting “off” are normal and that you are to be commended for sticking with it even when things are hard… that gives me permission that I’m not a failure for feeling the same way. That just because I struggle doesn’t mean I’ve failed, but that I’m experiencing the same emotions as someone who I admire. You give us hope, and for that I THANK YOU”

It was followed with this message sent to me from the same person:

I had left a message on your blog yesterday and I’m afraid it came out wrong.  I noticed that it is still in moderation – please feel free to delete.  I just think so highly of you, your journey, your achievements, and your amazing ability to articulate what is going on in your heart.  Even when it’s anguish, you are able to speak so clearly.  I admire all of that.  And so the “thank goodness” part wasn’t at all because I thought you should feel that way.  It makes me hurt reading about your hurt.  It was a feeling that someone who is so AMAZING can be so raw and relatable – that if you, a superstar, can achieve and still have real emotions, then there is hope. Anyway, I probably made it worse and I hope I didn’t make you feel bad.  I wish you the very best.”

I knew when I read her original comment it was never intended to be the way she thought it was coming across. I knew exactly what she was trying to say: Even in success there is struggle and that is something we can all relate too no matter where we are on this journey.

Let me repeat that:

Even in success there is struggle.

Last year when I started this journey I had such a grandiose fantasy of what it would be like if I ever got down to goal weight. It would be awesome. All my emotional problems that I carried for the first 40 years of my life would float away as if I was a child letting go of my helium balloon. I would feel nothing but joy as I skipped from shop to shop, indulging in my every clothing whim. I would shine bright every time I sat down to eat meal knowing I would be in absolute control.

The pot of gold was waiting for me…

Wait a minute…


There is no pot of gold?

You mean I’m going to get to goal weight and I’ll still struggle? I won’t let go of my emotional problems? I’ll still cry going into clothing stores and spend hours and hours looking for something to buy only to leave empty handed? That bright light is actually my phone back light shining as I tweet my way through a meal and use the hashtag #isitevergoingtogetanyeasier?

You’re joking right?


I’m not joking.

There is no pot at the end of the rainbow.

The reason there is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? Because the rainbow never ends. Let me repeat that: THE RAINBOW NEVER ENDS. Am I happier? Oh hell yes. I am more present today than I have ever been in my entire life. Am I stronger? Oh hell yes. My physical and emotional armor is thick and ready for battle. Am I more brave? Oh hell yes. I know now that having the courage to try is the stepping stone to actually succeeding. Am I less fearful? Oh hell yes. I know now that facing my fears makes them dissipate faster than if I turned my back on them.

Do I still struggle with this Life Changing Journey?

Probably more so now that when I didn’t give a crap about my life. I care about me. I care about my well being. I care about my emotional health, my physical health and about where my path is taking me. Turning to food or letting depression creep up on me like an old lover, is no longer an option. Remaining present and open to my emotions and feelings is the ONLY OPTION now. Yes, there days when I want off this path. Will it ever happen?


Are you looking for that pot of gold?

I wish more than anything I could tell you it will be waiting for you. I  wish I could tell you the grass really is greener over here. It’s not. Does that mean you throw up your hands and stop moving forward? Does it mean you hit the snooze button and sleep through another morning without breaking a sweat? Does it mean  you sit on the couch and wonder what is the point of taking control of your life?

On the contrary…

Stop looking for the pot of gold and focus on following the rainbow.

It’s beautiful.

It goes on forever.

It’s worth every step.

I want off this path…

4 01 2011

This is a life long journey.

Some days I am prepared to fight the good fight. I eat consciously. I move consciously. I live consciously. Other days I feel like crawling into the refrigerator and eating my way through every emotion I’m trying to forget. Some days I want to sit on the couch, deaden the feelings and slip into the background and be unseen.

I’d like to say this week has been the former.

But it’s been the latter.

My emotional plate has been over flowing and in turn it has made the plates from which I eat over flowing. I’d like to point the finger at the recent holiday season but what I need to do is point the finger at who is to blame: ME. I’m eating mindlessly. I’m eating often. I’m eating when I’m not hungry. I’m eating because I’m bored. I’m eating because I’m sad. I’m eating because I’m frustrated. I’m eating because my relationship with my husband has been a little strained. I’m eating because (insert whatever the fuck you want here cause it’s causing me to eat).

I try making excuses that it’s okay.

“I’m still under goal weight”

My initial goal weight was 170 and today it’s at 167. Granted I’ve been able to maintain the weight loss for the last two months but 170 was just an arbitrary number. I felt really good when I was at 162 and I would like to shoot for 160. Over the last two weeks it’s been steadily creeping closer to 170 and I don’t like the way it feels.

“I’m trying to eat intuitively”

Eating intuitively means eating when you’re truly hungry and not based on emotions. This has not been happening. I’ve been eating purely out of emotion more often than not. While I wouldn’t say my panic around food has been at an all time high, it’s been pretty high up there. I’m still packing more food than I probably need and instead of making it last throughout the day I’m eating it all within a few hours.

“I’ve lost 105 pounds so I deserve to eat”

I can fit into a small shirt (so I deserve to eat). My pants are loose (so I deserve to eat). I ran 7 miles (so I deserve to eat). I didn’t eat any chocolate (so I deserve to eat).

But to be honest, it comes down to my emotional well being isn’t well and it isn’t too much being right now. I’ve put myself into a position of being stressed out, over worked and once again turning to food to help cope with the emotions.

Yes, I am aware it’s happening and so I’ll pat myself on the back for that. Yes I am emotionally stronger and more consciously present than I ever have been so I’ll pat myself on the back for that too. Again, I know how I feel today (this week, this month) may or may not be the way I feel tomorrow (next week, next month) but just once I would like to wake up and say to myself “This is the end of my emotional journey” and be done with my feelings.

A life long journey…

That some days I wish I wasn’t on.