Sunday, June 6, 2010

Then... and now.

Wow. Has it really been four months since I posted anything? Life has been so hectic lately that blogging has seemed to take the back burner.. But never fear, I have not forgotten about blogging... just been on blogcation, you could say.

The subject of this blog is a very personal one.. something I think a lot of people can relate to and deal with on a daily basis. For those that don't know, I have struggled with weight issues since childhood. I had very low self confidence and that followed me into adulthood.
Here is the story of how I went from doing all the wrong things to changing my life and finally being happy with - and accepting - how I look.
After getting married at the young age of 19, it seemed to get worse and I ballooned to my heaviest weight ever - a whopping 225 pounds. I was miserable and not happy about how I looked. I made excuses for not exercising enough or eating the wrong things. I was "busy" and couldn't make the time. At least, that's what I told myself.
Finally, in 2005 I had grown tired of constantly packing on the pounds and knew something had to be done. I had a friend who had been successful in losing weight by taking the appetite suppressant phentermine. After months of working out at the gym (primarily elliptical and lifting weights), I decided to give it a try. I noticed quickly that it was not only working, but the weight loss motivated me to become more stringent with my diet and exercise. I was seeing results and couldn't be happier. I managed to lose about 60 pounds in a year and was thrilled. Then we decided it was time to think about kids and low-and-behold, I got pregnant. That 60 pounds came back all too easily.
After my son was born, I was nursing and obviously could not go back to taking the phentermine. I started out doing the same things I had done before - elliptical at the gym, sometimes 4 or 5 times a week and a circuit training program offered through my work. I was able to shed about 30 pounds but soon plateaued and could not lose any more weight.
I started looking for that "quick fix" drug again that would help me drop the pounds but after trying and failing with a few, I decided to quit throwing my money away on these short-term solutions and try something new entirely: running. Keep in mind, I am one of those people who loathed running. I always made excuses to avoid it but when it came right down to it, I simply was out of shape and it was HARD. I started out doing a route in the area where I lived that was a small circle amounting to about 2 miles. Mostly walking, with occasional bits of running. Gradually I was able to work up to stints where I was doing more running than I was walking. A funny thing also started to happen... the weight was melting off of my body. It was thrilling and addicting, all at once. I had finally found something that not only challenged me, but provided results as well. Running for me went from being a loathsome activity to a new love and obsession. I was always looking for ways to improve my time, push my limits and challenge myself.
Never one to set small goals, I signed myself up for the Bryce Canyon Half Marathon in February 2010. After doing so, I decided to start out my "Race career" by testing my limits with a 10-miler up Emigration Canyon, ending at This Is The Place State Park on April 3. The day of the race there was 3 inches of snow and ice on the ground, the air temperature a bitter 28 degrees. I think windchill was about 18. Determined to not back out, I made my friend Pattie run that race with me and have not looked back since. Each race I have completed has resulted in a faster time, moving up in the list of finishers. My most proud accomplishment thus far is completing the RAGNAR / Wasatch Back Relay this past June with only about 24 hours notice before the race. Although my portion of the relay was a mere 13 miles of the total 188 miles my team ran, I was just happy to be able to say I am one of the elite few who can say they have
My journey continues and so does the weight loss project. 75 pounds later and I am working hard to keep my fitness level at the maximum. It truly is a lifestyle change and I am living proof that it CAN be done. NO EXCUSES.
With my high school friends back in 2004.
With my niece Kacee in 2004 at my heaviest weight.
With my friends Betsy and Sira, along with a man I credit for much of my success. Tom is a boxer and certified trainer who has helped motivate and push me since 2007. You can find out more about the work he does at his website, Running a 10k in May.
A very happy me on a beach in Cancun. For the first time in my life, not embarrassed to wear a swimming suit in public!
The group I ran with in the RAGNAR/Wasatch Back Relay in June 2010.


Cynthia said...

Woot Woo! So proud of you! You're lookin' hot! We all have our excuses (especially me) but anyone who wants it bad enough can succeed. Congrats!

Michelle said...

Congrats! that is a major accomplishment. Running has never been my thing (I get horrible shinsplints) but I admire those who do it, even if I tease them at times.... My sister just ran the RAGNAR as well, I think it was her first time and she is hooked.