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 263andcounting.com 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…

YOU ARE NEVER GOING BACK!

My name?

My name is 160.

It’s nice to meet you.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

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The Great Kilted Run / Mush

24 05 2010

I’m not even sure where to begin talking about my experience yesterday. It was fantastic. It was emotional. It was hard. It was awesome. It was challenging. It was fun. It was inspiring. And it was damn near the toughest thing I’ve had to do in a long time (except for today’s session with Superman…keep reading).

When one is getting ready to run their very first race, I highly suggest preparing by donning a Transformer band-aid to remind yourself WWOPD!

Unfortunately this placement didn’t last very long since I was a nervous wreck and sweated it right my wrist on the way to Seattle. No worries though I’m a McGyver athlete so I rigged it onto my finger with a strip of 3M/Scotch lint roller (RAWR!).

I ran the race with my friend Elizabeth. This would be the first time I’ve actually run a long distance with someone else. Elizabeth would prove to be a great running partner. She’s getting ready to do an ENTIRE MARATHON (Rock and Roll San Diego) June 6th. Unbelievable!

Then I got my number.

I’m seriously thinking about having that number tattooed on me.

 

10 minutes to race time!!

Donning our skirts!

If you look closely I am dressed in about 3 layers of clothing. It was freaking cold out there that morning (about 48 degrees) and it didn’t look like it was going to warm up any time soon. With the wind coming off the water it felt like it was going to start snowing on us. I’m wearing my shirt from 1/2 marathon, a regular t-shirt and then my Great Kilted Run shirt. I look bulky. I think about what I looked like when I only had one shirt on six months ago and I’ll take this 3 shirt bulkiness anyday.

The race had about 400 participates. We took our place sort of in the middle and just as the race is about to begin, Elizabeth says to me “We’re going to walk the first minute”…

 Huh?

No wait, I want to run. I mean I knew we were going to do a walk/run interval but I thought it would start out with running. I was wrong and it was the best piece of advice she could give me. It did three things 1) it got us warmed up 2) it gave the faster runners a chance to pass us and most importantly 3) it gave me a chance to work through the nervousness of running my first race and forced me to slow down and not jump the gun and start too fast. The minute came and went and we were running. I was hoping for a 40:00 minute race but with our 1 minute walking intervals I was able to keep a pretty good pace. The last time I ran a 3.1 mile distance it took me 43:00 but now I was with Elizabeth and she helped to keep me paced.

All in all the race was a blast. I got passed by runners. I passed runners. I walked when it was time. I ran when it was time. The last mile was the hardest but I continued to talk myself through it and breath. I saw the finish line and I crossed it with a vengence. My time – 37:40. Two minutes and twenty seconds faster than goal and five minutes faster than my last personal 5k (I think the mile sprints every morning are helping too)

And then I almost threw up.

Elizabeth looks smashing. I look like I’m going to fall over lol.

Then I got back to my normal self.

Nice hair!

Then it was time for Bagpipes, beer, and cute dogs!

Not only did I survive my first race. I left there with a smile on my face.

And my hair back to normal!

My next race is slated for June 12th (Sound to Narrows). Now that the first one is out of the way I won’t be nearly as nervous (at least I hope). I’m shooting for another under 40:00 run but I’m not going to try and best my time of 37:40. The route is much different. Kilted run was very flat most of the way (with a few inclines). Word on the street is S2N has a much longer incline during a portion of the run. This Sunday I may run it just to get a idea of what to expect. I’ll go back to running my mile sprints and longer runs on the weekend until the 12th. I’ll reevaluate where I want to take this running business and push myself toward a 10k. I’m hoping to knock one out before the end of summer.

Who would imagine I’d become a runner?

____________________________________________________________

So what’s a girl to do when she’s just run her first 5k? How about see Superman the next morning and damn near get my ass kicked? I’m not sure what I was thinking. Hell, I’m not sure what he was thinking. No lower body work but man oh man did I work my arms to the point of mush. Seriously. Mush. As I write this I think my forearms are having a meeting about whether or not they are going to cramp up on me at some point tonight. Don’t get me wrong, it was pure awesomeness as usual. I think it was just a little frustrating because I was still in la la land over my run and now I’m in the middle of the gym trying to do a bench press and it’s harder than I thought it would be. He let me work through my frustrations and didn’t once tell me to stop because he thought I couldn’t do it. It was me that thought I couldn’t do it and in the end he pushed me and proved me wrong.

He checked my measurements today and while I forgot to write them down I am smaller in all areas. Some places  (calves, arms) I’m one inch smaller. Other places (waist, thighs and shoulder) I’m up to three inches smaller. Not bad for a month’s worth of work.

Not bad at all.





Race Day…

23 05 2010

I slept as long as possible but I am up before the rest of the world on this Sunday. Its race day. I’m not sure why I can’t equate what I did last Sunday (a half marathon walk) to what I’m about to do in a few hours but it doesn’t feel the same.

Today I run. 

I run with a new body.

I run with a new mind.

I run with a new heart. 

I run with new muscles.  

I run with a new life.

Start Strong.

Finish Strong.

 

 

 

Believe.

 

 





Food as part of the solution, not the problem / Pre-OWiS week in Review

21 05 2010

Dang it!

Its Friday already.

Seriously, did someone come here and steal my week cause I’m not sure what happen to it. Seems I woke Monday and then BAM its Friday. I tried to look for a pause button on this crazy ass week but I guess I accidentally put it in the last bag of clothes I donated to the Goodwill.

Before I get to the week in review, I wanted to share a small (yet victorious) epiphany I had today while shopping for my weekly lunches at Trader Joe’s. I’m pretty sure Seth (Fit with a Purpose) would classify this as an NSV or Non-Scale Victory.

My food choices are now part of the solution.

They are not part of the problem.

When I was at Trader Joe’s, I was looking at all the frozen entrees and I realized at one time I had 5 different items turned upside down and I was comparing nutritional value.  Not just calories but everything: Fat content, sodium amounts, protein values. It was like second nature. Six months ago I would have just gone into a store willy nilly and put stuff in my basket without a thought to anything but how it would taste in my mouth.

I see food as fuel.

Not as a way to make me feel better emotionally.

I looked down at my basket full of veggies, flax seed, greek yogurt and delicious Trader Joe’s frozen entrees and I just stood there, thinking about how different things are for me now. How every decision is conscious and deliberate.

Conscious and Deliberate.

Nothing in my life was conscious and deliberate before this journey.

Life just was.

I’m not saying the battle with food is over. I’ve not yet been in a situation where there wasn’t at least a healthier option to food. I haven’t been in a room alone with a birthday cake. I have wished my protein filled fish was a cheesy slice of pepperoni pizza from dominoes, but it quickly faded without incident. I’ve consciously had Baskin Robbins ice-cream that led to unconscious S & P (snacking and picking) so I know it is still a learning process for me.  But that’s the great thing, I’m learning. I don’t know what macronutrients are, but I’m starting to learn. I don’t know exactly how many grams of each macronutrient I should be consuming, but I’m starting to learn.

Food is part of the solution now.

I hope it is for you too.

_____________________________________________________________

This week has been…well I’m not really even sure how to describe it. Major milestones were hit. Humbling lessons were learned. New adventures tried. I guess I can only use Valerie’s (Seattlerunnergirl) word:

AWESOMETASTICNESS

Saturday – I saw the biggest weight loss since starting this journey. I also received a letter from a friend I’d lost contact with for some time.

Sunday – I participated in my first race event. I walked the Capital City Half Marathon. My number was 1469. My running shirt was a large! It was awesome!

Monday – I ran my fastest mile ever out of frustrations with Superman and then I learned to never complain again.

Tuesday – I gave an anatomy lesson.

Wednesday – Was just a typical Wednesday…however I did see 7 mph on the treadmill that morning, but I had to take a break from running in anticipation of my first 5K. I will be revisiting that speed again soon (oh hell yes I will).

Thursday – Just your average Thursday, if  your Thursday includes deciding to do a TRIATHLON! Oh and of course I talked about my own tipping point!

Today – A great session with Superman, a great 2 mile walk to stay limber and I am learning to like taking pictures of myself!

This was taken today.

Just for comparison, here is a picture from a year ago.

So the week in review is done. This is the part where I try to predict whether there is going to be a gain or a loss come tomorrow’s weigh-in. The scale has been all over the place this week. It did get back down to 213 this morning so I can’t really say what I think is going to happen. Here’s what I do know for the first time in this journey: Regardless of what the numbers show me tomorrow, I could give a RAT’S ASS! That’s right, I don’t really care. I know my first gain a few weeks ago was overly emotional but mixed with a family crisis it was understandable. I made it through and pushed forward. I’ve lost 50 pounds so far and I am starting to suspect my weight loss is going to slow down now that I’ve added weight training. I may even see some gains along the way.

  • I am not gaining because of lack of movement.
  • I am not gaining because of bad food choices.
  • I am not gaining because of lack of determination.
  • I am not gaining because of lack of self pride.
  • I am not gaining because I can’t move forward
  • I am not gaining  because I am afraid.
  • I am not gaining because I am depressed.
  • I am not gaining because I am weak.
  • I am not gaining because I think I can’t be successful.
  • I am not gaining because I want to give up.
  • I am not gaining because I don’t have any fight left in me.

So take that scale! And for the rest of you, I’ll see you in the morning!





T-minus 6 days!!!

18 05 2010

Short post today. Then off to catch up on blogs. Six days left until race day!

HOLY MOTHER OF ALL THAT IS PURE!

Six days left. I’m trying not to think about it. Impossible. I’m thinking about it all the time right now. Is this normal? I feel like I should be making some major plans but right now I’m just worried I won’t wake up in time to drive to Seattle that morning.

Okay that’s not true I am making some major plans. I need to adjust my work out schedule for the rest of the week to give my legs a rest. The muscles along the shins are really sore…

Oh wait, here is a great opportunity for an anatomy lesson!! Okay so these little red delicious muscles are your Tibialis Anterior and today mine are super sore. I know why. I probably shouldn’t have run that super fast mile yesterday but I did. I had good reason. It helped clear up some frustrations and I needed that more than anything.

So now I need a game plan to help me recover. I’m going to modify my time in the gym for the rest of the week. No elliptical, no Arc trainer and as much as I hate to say it: no running for the rest of this week. I love that one mile run before each workout but unless I see some major improvement in the next 24 / 48 hours I’m putting a hold on it.

That being said, I am still going to the gym this week.  Tomorrow (Wednesday), Friday and Saturday I will swim to my heart’s content.  Thursday is Superman and he is aware of my upcoming run so upper body for that day.

So, any last minutes words of wisdom from my VBB(s) out there? Any advice on first run anxiety?

Speaking of Superman we had our session today.  I have to steal Seattlerunnergirl’s word in order to describe the 60 minutes I spent with him:

AWESOMETASTICNESS

I lifted weights, I got to pick up and slam down a punching bag (yes the big one), I rolled around on the floor doing push-ups (girl push-ups) and leg lifts while he yelled “FRONT, BACK, GO, STOP and KEEP MOVING” at me, and I got to swing around on gymnast rings. A total party package if you ask me!





Moving on and moving forward…

9 05 2010

I allowed myself 24 hours to be emotionally distraught over my first weight gain and today I’m ready to move on and move forward. Here are some things I know to be true about my life right now:

  • I do not weigh 263 pounds
  • I am not living the life of my brother
  • I am not sitting in front of the computer for hours and hours on end
  • I am moving more today than I ever have in my entire life
  • My muscles are getting stronger
  • I look forward to getting up in the morning
  • I am inspired by folks that have fought this war before me
  • I am inspiring folks that are just beginning to wage their own fight
  • I am emotionally stronger than ever
  • I am focused
  • I am looking forward
  • I am a runner
  • I will do whatever it physically takes to never go back to where I came.
  • I am in a better place today because I am learning to love who I am and what I can offer this world.

24 hours is over and it’s time to get back to this fight. Last week was chaotic and emotional but it does not dictate how I move forward. It does not dictate the dedication to my own life and becoming a stronger, faster, more emotionally stable person.  The experiences of my family members are not my experiences today. I know what it’s like to feel despair and depression. I know what it’s like to have to convince yourself to get out of bed only to return because you can’t function in the real world. I know what hopelessness feels like but not today…

NOT TODAY!

This morning I strapped my running shoes on and ran because I have hope.

I finally ran an entire 5k without stopping. NOT ONE STOP! I wanted to. I cried because I wanted to walk but today’s run was about moving on and moving forward. Running towards a new life and away from an old one. Running toward change and away from mediocracy. Running toward living life and away from emotional death. What my brother chooses will not deter me from my choices.

EVER!

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Superman called today and said the following: “Hey there favorite client of mine…just called to tell you to be prepared to get dirty tomorrow during our session“…I have the best.trainer.ever!

 





Friday Wrap Up / And ohhhh a yoga mat

30 04 2010

It’s that time of the week again folks. The time where I review the last seven days in preparation for OWiS #18. I do this to help me remember this journey isn’t about numbers but about becoming a healthier me. It’s also about taking control of my life and moving closer to what I was born to be; an athlete.

However, I am soooo close to 219 that this particular weigh-in is pretty much about the number. My calorie intake has been impressive (as per Superman).  My work outs have been intense (Minus Monday of course) and  I would like nothing more than to say goodbye to my 220’s  tomorrow morning. If not, it’s okay. I just keep my head down and keep moving. I am moving in the right direction and that my friends is the point of this journey.

Let’s get started

Saturday / Sunday – I declared these two days “NO GYM” days. Saturday I had some pent-up energy from sitting in a workshop all day so I ran up 10 flights of stairs. Sunday I decided to forego using a running program any longer. I felt constricted and needed to find the freedom to decide what worked for me. I took my run back to the streets and SHAZAM, I ran 5.5 miles!

Monday – I shared some personal information about my DISLIKE for change and my workout suffered because of it.

TuesdaySuperman proved himself to me once again. I learned a new mathematical equation (craptastic Monday = fantastic Tuesday) and I rocked it on the elliptical for an hour! I also pledged to run a real 5k (May 23rd) three weeks before my original 5k  (June 12) because Tony asked me too.

Wednesday – I officially became a Weekend Warrior. To celebrate I swam a mile. I went a little extra on this WWC and incorporated 25 other people to join me. William Wallace would be proud.

Thursday – I think I upped my game with Superman and for that I am tickled pink. Not only am I tickled pink, but I’m also painted blue for the upcoming WWC!

Friday – That leads us to today…I had a fantastic run!! I ran for 3.1 miles of which I only walked once for 45 seconds. This is a massive improvement over what I have been doing.  I ran 2.5 miles before walking…5 months ago I couldn’t run a block.  Then I swam a mile and I’ve been pooped ever since 🙂

Looking back over April, it’s been a very cool month. I ran almost 30 miles and swam the equivalent of 8.7 miles. I lost a total of 10.4 pounds (which is the second highest loss since starting this journey). I am looking forward to what May brings (besides the flowers) and I think the WWC is a great way to get started.

Tomorrow is another NO GYM day but I’m taking it one step further and declaring it a rest day. My husband and I have not had a day off together in over 4 weeks and I’m not about to waste this one sweating at the gym. I’ll weigh in, go back to bed and then enjoy the day with the man I love.

____________________________________________________________

I won my very first giveaway!

My VBB Jeremy over at Stellar Path won a really cool yoga mat from a previous giveaway and liked it so much he contacted the company to see if they would be willing to sponsor another giveaway on his blog. They agreed and I am the lucky recipient. The company is called Aurorae Yoga and the reviews from Jeremy are stellar (pun intended)! I’m really excited. There is a Sunday Yoga class at my gym that I’ve been too intimidated to go too but this is just the ticket to get me into that class.

I went with the Solar color.

I’m going to have to start thinking of my own giveaway here. I’m thinking bubbalicious and some old rubber bands….Hmmm, I better keep thinking.

See you all in the morning!