KITHKINCAID   37,478
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Hottest Day and FIRST 5K!!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

It is THE HOTTEST DAY EVER in Chicago today. I'm on lock down in my office in the air conditioning. I need to go home soon, but I don't even want to step foot outside right now. But all I can think about is running.

To my surprise, I got a message in my Spark inbox today from LOTUSFLOWER (Kathy) www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.as
p?id=LOTUSFLOWER
- also from here in Chicago. She was inviting me to run the Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Race with her on November 6th.

The email exchange went something like this:

KATHY: I really want to run this one, although I've never run a 5k in November, I've heard it's easier than in the summer...I wanted to pass this along in case you wanted to run with me, or meet up, etc.!

Hot Chocolate 15k/5k
Chicago IL
November 6, 2010
7:30 AM
15k-5k
info@ramracing.com
www.hotchocolate15k.com

ME: Oh my gosh - my heart just started to race even reading that! Could I really do it? I don't know!!! I wasn't planning on signing up for any races until NEXT race season, but November could be doable...

Serendipitous really, but I got a seat on the bus yesterday with a copy of Chicago Athlete magazine sitting in it talking all about the Chicago Triathlon and I just ate it up - I am SO ready to be at the point where I can train but I'm trying to go easy on myself and not try to tackle this running thing too fast.

Let me think about it. I'm kind of excited - and I'd love to meet up and run with you!!!

KATHY: Well I totally think you could do it, but I understand wanting to wait until the next race season, too. If you started C25K this month, or even next month, you'd have 6 weeks to train - there's about 11 weeks until the race.

When I did my first 5k I was exactly 4 weeks out from the race, so I knew I wouldn't be done with C25K, but I ran all but 30 seconds of that race. Then I just finished my second one last week and ran the whole thing, due to my busy work schedule I still have one more session of C25K to run before I technically "graduate".

Just think it over and let me know, I'm 99% sure going to sign up for it, but am ready to run with you whenever YOU are ready. You know your body best. I'll be here for you to motivate you, inspire you, run with you, and cheer you on whenever you are ready.

ME: I just finished Week 1 of C25K actually, so I've already started, but I know because of the heat and my schedule I'm going to repeat Week 1 again until I feel like I've had a "good" run. I'm only running 2 days a week right now because of my swim and Zumba schedule as well. But when I read comments of other people who have started and can only get through 2 of the 8 intervals, I feel really good about where I am. I'm heavier than I wanted to be when I started, but I have been able to run all 8 intervals from the first day. Just worried about upping those intervals to more than 60 seconds right now!

I think I SHOULD sign up for it. It's 12 weeks away, so even if I repeat a couple of weeks, I could still do it. And so what if I have to walk part of it? I'd still be doing it. Plus - running my first race right before the end of race season will only make me that much more pumped to start next year! AND it's called the Hot Chocolate 5K...haha - yes please!

I think I'll do it. Eek! So what do I do - just email the address and request a sign up?

KATHY: Yaay! You CAN do it. You are doing awesome already with C25K. I SO want to try Zumba, there's a class at my gym, I've been a bit intimidated by it...I need to just try it.

I could only run 2x a week and sometimes 1x a week, but it's so worth it. You are doing awesome!

Here's the direct link to register for the 5k. AND you get a very cute chocolate brown sweatshirt!
www.hotchocolate15k.com/register/

I'm going to sign up today too! I run pretty slow, a 12 min. mile pretty much. We can always start off together and see what happens!

ME: OK - signing up right now! I think I decided to run it BECAUSE of those "Will run for chocolate" sweaters we get! Super cool. I have no idea what I run, so I just put in 12 min mile - hopefully I'll get there by that point.

Here's the deal - I sign up to run the 5K with you and you take the Zumba class! It's SO much fun. Well - I lie a bit there - it's a big ass kicking, but I love my instructor and I SWEAT like nobody's business, so I think that somehow equates to fun :)

So there you have it - 2 Chicago ladies, 2 challenges - I run the 5K with her, she goes to the Zumba class at her gym. Isn't this FUN??? We're going to need lots of support, so be sure to drop by her page and give her some Zumba love. And anyone who wants to come run with us in Chicago - the more the merrier! I even have room at my place if people want to come in from out of town! I'm all about making this an EVENT!

Ahhhh! I just signed up for a 5K!!! Holy crap. I'm a runner. I AM DOING THIS!!! Just not today on the hottest day of the summer! Today is for air conditioning and rest. Training starts tomorrow.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BUTTERFLYBLUE67 8/13/2010 9:12PM

    Woohooo...it will be fun. One of the members and I ran a 5 k last week. We had a blast. It is awesome to meet someone from sparks and then run a 5k together because you both know the challenges on getting to where you are. Mdeal72 and myself are also going to start a 15 week 1/2 marathon training also on the 23rd. I think the support from each other will be great.

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LOTUSFLOWER 8/13/2010 7:36PM

    YOU ROCK! You can do it, yes you can!!! I know because I did it and if I can run it, being SO not a runner (in my previous life) I have total faith that you can do it!! Can't wait!!!!!

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PELESJEWEL 8/13/2010 7:28PM

    emoticon That totally ROCKS. Two of my SP friends getting together in Chicago! That ROCKS! I may want to come out and do the 5k with ya! emoticon emoticon

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CONDZMOMOFJJQ 8/13/2010 5:16PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Thanks for sharing this amazing story!!

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TEENY_BIKINI 8/13/2010 4:56PM

    Yes! You are doing this.

You are amazing.

Oh heck yeah!!

So proud of you, hot stuff.

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GURTHA123 8/13/2010 12:11AM

    me and my sister are also going to do our first 5k on november 6th! but in Salt Lake City not chichago... You can do it... and i just started zumba my first class was yesterday... Congrats on sigining up for you first race!

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MUSTANGMISSY 8/12/2010 10:32PM

    That is so freakin' awesome! I know you do this! Go for it!

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TANSHAN1 8/12/2010 10:22PM

    Congratulations!!! You CAN do this!!

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RED_WRITINGHOOD 8/12/2010 7:42PM

    You can do it girl!! Sounds like a great way to spend some time with a fellow sparker!!

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KT-NICHOLS-13 8/12/2010 6:59PM

    You are going to love the race! I still smile like crazy thinking about my first 5K and I love my race shirt - "I run for chocolate and champagne." You are going to do great ... and yeah, it doesn't matter if you walk a bit - you are still doing it! I calendared next years race the day after I finished! AND, I just did a search to see if there were any end of season races out here. I found one on Thanksgiving Day.

Loving the challenges! I hope Kathy enjoys the Zumba class. It's on my list of things to experience too but they don't offer it at my gym. I'm looking for an inexpensive class!

Wish I could get to Chicago in November!!!!

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WYND10 8/12/2010 6:06PM

    I am so proud!!! And a perfect thing to run for....CHOCOLATE! :) You are going to do this, and MAN that is so damn awesome. I need to start running. I want to feel as excited for me as I am for you right now!!

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JENJESS48 8/12/2010 5:51PM

    You are such an inspiration! I hate running, but I'm inspired to do C25K just so I can try this race and meet you! (And visit my folks, who live in Lake Geneva.) I don't know if I'd be able to run the whole thing, but I want to try.

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OREOSMILE 8/12/2010 5:47PM

    love it! it's great that you've got some local support in your 5K effort! You can do it!!

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Quite Possibly the BEST DAY EVER!!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

First and foremost, this is a HUGE THANK YOU to all of the wonderful Done Girls who have wished me continued success and who support me endlessly every day! Being Done Girl of the Day is an absolute honour and one of which I am very proud!

It wasn't an easy start to the day, but I successfully finished W1D3 of C25K! There will absolutely be a W1D10 at this point, but hey - I made it to 3 and that's what's important right now. It really was too humid to run this morning - almost 100% humidity at 7:30am. Holy crap Batman. My face was so red when I came inside to the air conditioning I thought I looked like an overgrown cherry tomato. But I survived and was then gifted with an amazing show of support from all of my wonderful friends.

Today I am also saying GOODBYE to one of my 2 student loans. I have officially paid off a $10,000 loan and I am SO EXCITED about that. That in and of itself feels like a 100 pound weight has been lifted. Only one more to go and I will have complete financial freedom! Something I have never felt since leaving home.

This looks like it's going to be my year. I have made so many personal advancements in my health, my wealth and my spirit. Look at me go! I really feel like the sky is the limit at this point. I have goals and ambitions and positivity in my life. And though things aren't perfect all the time, I don't feel as though the struggles are as bad as they were before I found Spark and started making all these life changes. When I think of what my life will look like a year from today I get excited. There are so many wonderful things in store and I can wait to experience each and every one of them - losing 100 pounds, paying off the second loan, starting to save for a house and a car, advancing in my career, shopping in regular sizes, running my first 5K, maybe 10K?...the list goes on and on.

Thank you - ALL of you, who are following me, cheering me on, supporting me and making this journey fun and enjoyable!

But I also want to thank ME for believing in myself. It's not easy to do sometimes, but when I look over my shoulder at the road behind me, it makes all of this SO worth it!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HSMOM2FOUR 8/13/2010 9:29PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ANDIEJZ 8/13/2010 5:32PM

  U rock, Girlfriend!!

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TEENY_BIKINI 8/13/2010 4:59PM

    I am so so so so proud of you. There is nothing like paying off debt. Wow. What a year. Huh? Who knows what next year will look like - but your future is so bright, you probably need some of these....

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SANDYBRUNO 8/11/2010 7:06PM

    Congratulations on finishing your race! Second congratulations on paying off one of your student loans! I was excited when we paid our house off. You are definately on your way to success.

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CHARLENERAE12 8/11/2010 1:49PM

    Woohoo! Congrats DGOTD! And congrats on paying off your loan! Sounds like a fan-freakin-tastic day.

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MADEBYMARZIPAN 8/11/2010 10:52AM

    Congrats on paying down that student loan! We're still in the "piling it up" stage instead of paying it down :( Hubby graduates with his master's this month though, so it'll start heading in the other direction!

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ADAMST3 8/10/2010 10:23PM

    Woo Hoo! I'm praying for your continued..."rebirth" so to speak. One can't help but feel your warm and genuine personality. It was a pleasure to celebrate with you today!


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CRISPINI 8/10/2010 6:47PM

    Awesome! Congrats!

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DLEE27 8/10/2010 6:44PM

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MANLEYSANDY 8/10/2010 4:17PM

    Congrats! What an accomplishment...I just started back to school at the rip age of 40, so my loan payoffs are a long way off, but know it is an investment in my future so it is worth it!

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PRGREENEYEZ 8/10/2010 3:38PM

    You have inspired me today Congrats Done girl let this feeling last as long as you want it to!!! emoticon can you please explain what c25k and W1D3 mean?? Thanks emoticon

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WYND10 8/10/2010 2:25PM

    Woo hoo!! I am so happy to hear about your well deserved good day!

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KT-NICHOLS-13 8/10/2010 2:19PM

    Three Cheers for the Best Day Ever!!
It really must feel amazing to have that loan paid off. Congrats!
Starting and sticking with the C25K program is also worth a cheer. I started week 7 yesterday, an amazing feeling!
You got this girl ... what an amazing year you've had thus far - I can't wait to hear about what happens down the line.

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KARVY09 8/10/2010 2:11PM

    What a fantastic day for you and well deserved! Keep up the fantastic work on running!

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KITHKINCAID 8/10/2010 2:07PM

    I wish mine could help me with a mortgage down here (in the USA) - unfortunately, all of my student loans are in Canada which does NOTHING for my American credit regardless of how fast I pay them off. I plan on getting bank letters from my Canadian bank to prove my credit, but I'm not sure what the US lenders are going to do with them. Kind of a bummer since this would definitely favour my credit report!

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THENEWCINDY 8/10/2010 2:00PM

    congrats in the c25k and the loan. I loved it when I payed several off but I am keeping some as it helps with getting a mortgage.

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Breakthrough

Friday, August 06, 2010

I woke up early this morning to do W1D2 of C25K. To be honest - it SUCKED. The only thing that keeps me doing this running thing right now is that when I'm not running, I think/feel like I want to run. But while I'm doing it - WHOLE other story. First of all - waking up earlier than 9am just isn't my thing. I'm a night owl, and I'm blessed to have a job that doesn't usually require my presence earlier than 10am (I've been pushing it to 11am lately because I tend to stay until 7pm or later most nights anyway). When I DO wake up early, I'm a grump. I get a big case of the "I don't wannas" that can carry forward into my day. So getting up this morning to RUN, no less, was tasking in and of itself. I also had no idea what to eat. I didn't want to eat anything heavy before running, but I knew I had to have something in my gut so as not to pass out half way through, so I gulped a glass of almond milk and threw myself out the door before I could change my mind.

Now I've been reading enough about running and lurking around the group pages long enough to have picked up on some of the "running dialect", but what didn't help this morning was that for whatever reason I got the word "Bonk" stuck in my head. At about sprint #6 of 8 all I could think was "Bonk, Bonk, Bonk". I know what bonking means - I wasn't bonking, the almond milk was doing its thing. This was just my brain's lovely way of telling me that I wanted to stop. But I didn't really want to stop. I didn't really HAVE to stop. I knew I could do it. So although part of my brain was yelling "BONK" through Robert's C25K Podcast, a smaller, more meaningful part of my brain was also yelling "Push", "You can do this", "Look how far you've come!" It was a noisy morning in my head.

After a shower, some real food, and pulling on my "skinny" jeans with ease (my 22s fit beautifully now, but are actually even starting to gape at the waist already), I found myself sitting on the bus on my way to work, the Glee soundtrack playing through my Ear Candy headphones - and I started to cry. Before, when I would get public rushes of emotion, I would choke them down, wall them up and bottle away whatever feeling was coming to the surface. But this morning, I just threw on my sunglasses and let the tears roll. I was happy. These were not tears of frustration, or loneliness, or need. These were real, honest tears of joy and personal satisfaction. Yes getting up at the butt crack of dawn is horrid. But look at what I did. Look at what I'm accomplishing. And look at how it's making me feel. (I did say previously that my version of exercise euphoria is cracked out - sometimes I giggle like a teenage girl - apparently this morning I felt the need to cry - random, but I dig it).

Since investing a lot of time and energy in personal counseling, I am careful to not choke down emotion anymore. When a feeling bubbles to the surface, it's important to recognize it, understand it, and let it have its moment - it's there for a reason, and it's like a gift from your subconscious to your conscious state with a card that reads "I'm here too". I have spent too many years fighting back tears (happy and sad) and walling up my feelings for fear of embarrassment or being singled out - and ironically enough, those years have brought me nothing but a fat exterior that both embarrasses me and singles me out on a daily basis. To think that all I ever had to do was FEEL to not eat instead of eating to try to feel something. I had it all backwards.

So I had a breakthrough on the bus. I'll take it. It means I'm healing. I'm getting better at this. I'm moving forward. And deep down there, somewhere in the sludge, the feeling bubbles are slowly coming to the surface.

*Smile*

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JRIMM4 8/10/2010 12:39PM

    Sounds like an amazing morning! From the grumbling 'get ups' to the breakthrough on the bus.

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JR

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WOLVEY1919 8/10/2010 11:07AM

    This is just a seriously awesome blog. You are so amazing! Great job and good luck! Congrats on being THE DONE girl.

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MANLEYSANDY 8/9/2010 4:16PM

    Great job! Thank you for sharing....

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ALESHABEE 8/8/2010 2:55PM

    emoticon blog emoticon Thanks for sharing! You are doing amazing things and I'm proud of you!

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TEENY_BIKINI 8/8/2010 1:41PM

    Wow. Not choking down emotion is such an awesome accomplishment. I am so happy for you - you are really pushing the inner boundaries and that takes wild amounts of courage.

I am so proud of you for getting up early to run - 'cause girl getting up early is just not my thing. But I have to admit when I make that early morning gym workout that triumphant feeling follows me all day long. So I get it.

Isn't it great about the 22s gaping at the waist - there is nothing like that feeling of pants falling on down. Keep 'em falling, gorgeous. Sounds like fun to me :)

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ELAPOINTE 8/8/2010 10:01AM

    i don't remember how i got to your page this morning, but it may have been the best thing i've done in awhile. i see your pictures and see your progress and *FEEL* every word you type...your story is great, your thread is inspiring, and i can't wait to see how far you can go! its weird to have these excited feelings of triumph for people you've never met, but i love it. your success with spark is inspiring! keep up the good work - i'm jealous you're running, i'm not there yet...or maybe i'm psyching myself out...who knows...but you've inspired me! thank you!

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RED_WRITINGHOOD 8/7/2010 8:43PM

    I know what you mean by feeling like you need to run. I start feeling the same way sometimes. Unfortunately I'm not supposed to... but I must admit I do sneak in a few bursts here and there. You are doing so wonderful though girl!! You are definitely one of my inspirations!!

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MUSTANGMISSY 8/6/2010 9:46PM

    You are such an inspiration! Every night I set my alarm to get out of bed before everyone else so I get a workout in and every morning I hit the snooze. I am in awe at the drive that you have to get done what you have to do. You're doing awesome with the c25k. Just take your time with it and have fun. I'm still bouncing back and forth between weeks 3 and 4 for like 3 weeks now! All in due time.

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KT-NICHOLS-13 8/6/2010 5:53PM

    Shades of my own story. Thanks for sharing and bringing me back to my own reality. You are amazing

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LAKEGIRL76 8/6/2010 5:49PM

    Great job! I am up for W1D2 tomorrow. I am actually looking forward to it. I noticed that you called the running part a sprint. Yesterday when I did day 1, I definitely didn't sprint, it was a really slow jog, but it felt good to be running- which is a really odd feeling for me. Maybe try and slow down on the running part and it might seem easier until you get more used to running.

Good Luck!

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PINKCOCONUT 8/6/2010 4:38PM

    So glad you had that breakthrough. You're doing amazing things and it'll only get better. I agree with the other folk, try a banana or something or apparently eating right before you go to bed is also good for morning runners!

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KITHKINCAID 8/6/2010 4:24PM

    Totally would have had a banana this morning, but the scientist ate the last one in the house yesterday. My bad - I should have told him I was saving it for my run this morning. I also had the advice from my work friend who runs to eat a granola bar with water which I could have done. I know I'll find that thing that works - it just always hurts to consume calories before actually "consuming" calories for the day...I have VERY long days to get through and even spreading things out is leaving me hungry at the very end of the day. Working on it!

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CHARLENERAE12 8/6/2010 4:16PM

    Yay for you! Way to go. I totally get the "butt crack of dawn" thing. And I usually have a banana before morning workouts, but everyone is different. You'll have to find what works for you. :)

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WYND10 8/6/2010 4:11PM

    Jenn I love your open and honest blogs. This brought tears to my eyes, for myself as much as for you. You're doing a fantastic job! And look at all you are learning along the way. I applaud you. I cheer you on. I am pleased to call you friend.

You've made me think that perhaps I should start the c25k again. I've been avoiding it since it hurt my leg so much last time. Thank you for being an inspiration.

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OREOSMILE 8/6/2010 3:59PM

    Wonderful that you pushed through it! I find that my biggest battle is just getting started in the morning. It helps when I go to bed knowing exactly what I will be doing (no vague notions of working out), when I set out my exercise clothes the night before, and even when I insert the DVD ready to play if I've decided to do a video. Let's me just roll out of bed and start doing it before the excuses start seeping into my brain!

I often don't eat at all before working out (just being hydrated is enough), but if I do want something, I usually stick to a banana or a low-fat bran muffin. When I work out hard I get a little queasy and having a full belly is never a good idea then!

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KARVY09 8/6/2010 3:52PM

    You are amazing. And please, let me tell you how much easier it gets once your body gets used to it. Even much thinner girls have trouble getting started with running, so please don't let the toughness of these first few weeks deter you. You can do this!!!

Try a banana or another piece of fruit. That's always what I go to for my morning runs.

Have a great weekend!

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Blame It On The Rain...Or Lack Thereof

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Monday nights are my walk-home night. I get in my 2.5 miles before I succumb to the power of The Bachelorette on t.v.

Yesterday I was already having trouble with the whole idea of walking home. I was tired and I really didn't want to miss a second of the highly anticipated (by me) season finale. As I attempted to sneak out of the house without my running shoes in tow, the scientist says to me "Aren't you walking home tonight?"..."Yes" I say tentatively. He looks at my feet in my cute little gladiator sandals... "In those shoes?" Drat. Foiled. I grabbed my runners and a pair of socks, shoved them in my bag and went about my way.

Even though I realized by the time I got to the bus that I had also forgotten my iPod at home, by the time I got to the end of the day I had convinced myself that walking home would be the best thing for me anyway. It wasn't going to be that bad - I could hoof it and still make it there in time to watch Ali choose between her two dream guys. Decision made - I was walking home.

In roll the ominous looking storm clouds. Seriously? I had just finished convincing myself that I was going to get my exercise in and I was actually liking the idea for the first time all day. Did I mention they were ominous? I didn't have an umbrella, so disappointed, I opted not to risk a severe drenching and hopped on the bus home.

30 minutes later - no rain. In fact, by the time I got home, the skies seemed to have cleared. The sun wasn't exactly shining, but you couldn't call the few drops I felt on my head a "severe summer storm" - thanks a lot local weatherman. I could have walked and I would have made it home unscathed! But now it was 5 minutes to show time and there was no time left to exercise.

I felt guilty. I had to do something. I just started the "1000 Fitness Minutes in August Challenge" and so far I was doing poorly. Well...then I was just going to have to do something after watching t.v. But what? It was going to be 10pm by the time the show was over (with the special 'After The Final Rose' segment as well). It would be dark and I didn't want to be out in my neighbourhood after dark alone. Walking for only 30 minutes would be fine, but that's not much of a burn for the day.

I finally decided on the best and fastest option - W1D1 of C25K training. Despite my fear of starting the program, it seemed like the easiest choice and at that point in time I was out of other cardio options. I already had the program downloaded onto my iPod. It was something that I could do relatively quickly and still feel like I'd gotten a good workout in. And I could rope the scientist into going along with me so I wouldn't be alone! Perfect. I was doing it! I threw on my sports bra and workout pants and laced up my runners.

And then I did it! I officially started the Couch to 5K Running Program! No turning back now. And it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. Granted I was sucking air like nobody's business by the time round 8 of 60-second runs came around, but I made it through. And my exercise euphoria afterward was ridiculous. The scientist thinks it's funny. He says it's like I'm high - literally. I get very giggly and think pretty much everything is HILARIOUS. Not a bad way to end the day :)

This is me becoming a runner. All because of a little rain. Or lack thereof!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 8/6/2010 11:52AM

    That sounds great! I'll be starting my c25k soon. Good for you!

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RED_WRITINGHOOD 8/4/2010 11:04AM

    Good for you girl!! I think it's wonderful that you push yourself that way... self motivation it is a wonderful thing!!

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WYND10 8/4/2010 9:28AM

    You're a Superstar!

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ALLYSNEWLIFE 8/4/2010 9:20AM

    Woo Hoo, way to go making a great turn around for the day!!!!

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SANDYBRUNO 8/3/2010 9:30PM

    Our weather has been 100 degrees. I've been walking at stores. I walked at Lowes last night. One of the guys who works there said 4 times around is a mile. I'm hoping to walk again tonite.

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MUSTANGMISSY 8/3/2010 9:24PM

    Woo Hoo! A biker! A swimmer! Now a runner! You kill me emoticon

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KT-NICHOLS-13 8/3/2010 7:53PM

    Sounds like the universe was talking to ya. So glad you got started and loved it. Tomorrow I will be on W6D2 of C25K. I'm loving it. Now if I can only get my breathing regulated. :O


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Who Wears Short Shorts?

Monday, August 02, 2010

Um, I do! :)

I was out for breakfast a few weeks ago with a friend of mine. She's about 30 years my senior, but also a big girl, and we have a fun camaraderie together. She's totally kooky like me and we seem to really get each other. I showed up for breakfast in one of my favorite summer shirts - a black and white, cap sleeve, printed v-neck. I was feeling particularly pretty that day. The sun was shining, I looked great, and I had the use of the car (which always makes for a good day). I was feeling very "Carrie" in my own City - all 280+ pounds of me.

"How cute are you?" she exclaimed as I walked to the table. "You look GORGEOUS!!!" and then "You're just so brave to show your arms like that...I could never do that".

I shrugged. I have always shown my arms. And legs. I stop at the belly because I won't go around wearing a midriff-bearing top with my multitude of rolls, but the rest of me is pretty fair game within reason. I buy nice, good clothing that FITS, and otherwise I have always felt that as long as I feel good in something, there's no reason to be ashamed. I'm a big girl. I have been for the majority of my life. I don't feel like covering up my fat and floppy arms with a t-shirt or long sleeved top on a HOT day in the middle of the summer is hiding much. The sweat from being too hot in my "too many layers for the weather" clothing would eventually give me away anyway!

I guess you can see it in one of two ways. Either I have continually showed my skin because I've been in denial for so long about how big I really am, or that it doesn't matter how big I am, I'm confident with the woman I put out in the world. Both are true, and depending on how I feel in front of the mirror every morning, I honestly do lean toward either one or the other.

A couple of years ago I was getting ready for a pretty big interview at work. My boss at the time had set up the interview (my position with her company was ending and she was trying to help me secure a new title with the new company) - but she was also one of those women who couldn't keep her opinions to herself and felt it necessary to make occasional comments about my chunky appearance. I was wearing my favorite red tank (the one I just took the photo in the other day) and was feeling very confident in myself and my abilities as a future employee of my now, current company. She gave me a look from head to toe and said quite emphatically "I hope you brought a jacket to wear over that." Now, I HAD brought a jacket (the voices of my mother and grandmother in my head wouldn't let me out of the house without one that day) - but what business it was of hers to question my fashion sense I have no idea. Yes, my arms were large (larger then than they are now for sure), but I was in enough denial about how my fat arms might look to a future employer and confident enough in my own ability to wow my future boss by my credentials alone that I left that conversation bruised. Why couldn't I get a job because of my weight? What did my being BIG have to do with my abilities as an employee? I had never let my weight get in the way of any of my job tasks with her in the past, so why should she care so much? Wasn't she the same woman who had marveled at my ability to run up and down a ladder to the roof to check out a problem with the HVAC just a few weeks ago? (Yes, she made a comment about that too from the bottom of the ladder - I may be big, but I've always been relatively fit). I was angry. Though other bosses had danced around the "issue" before, she was the first of my employers to actually ever call me out on my physical appearance. And it wasn't until that very moment that I realized that it actually COULD matter when it came to getting a new job.

Well - I nailed the interview, got the job, and sanctioned a 20% raise. But that didn't stop me from the realization that were it a different type of person interviewing me that day, were it the type of person that she was, my fat arms may have lost me that job.

I still feel the sting of her words when I catch a glimpse of my visible fat in a store window or hallway mirror. I still have a momentary flash of terror whenever I suit up at the pool and have to stand there with my saddle bags hanging out of my one piece with the gaggle of skinny girls waiting for the lifeguards to unlock the doors to the pool deck. But once I'm gliding through that water, once I'm breathing in rhythm with my fat-arm strokes, the fear goes away. And not ONE of those girls would dare make comment on my rolls when I show them who's boss in the water. I don't mess around during my swims and I think I have surprised more people than I have offended with my cellulite. And the same goes for my job. I'm smart. I'm capable. And I don't let the fat hold me back.

Today I'm sitting at my desk in an adorable blue halter top (the turquoise colour of the water in my background image to be exact) and short shorts. And I feel great. I wouldn't wear this outfit to an interview, but for a hot, summer day in Chicago, it's a perfectly acceptable outfit for a day at the office. (I DO love working in a casual atmosphere every day!)

At the end of the day - it's not about what you're wearing (as long as it's tasteful). It's about how much of the real YOU you allow people to see. I choose not to hide. I think it's disrespectful to the fabulous person I am inside. So what if my arms flap a little in the breeze, or if my thighs rub together - I'm growing more comfortable every day in my skin and that's something the whole world should see!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALESHABEE 8/8/2010 3:00PM

    Awesome blog...you exude confidence!!

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SOON2BEMCKEE 8/6/2010 4:02PM

  Awesome Blog!!!

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CHARLIE2213 8/3/2010 7:20PM

    you are awesome, i so envy your confidence!!! as wynd10 said-- share with me??

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APATRICIAO521 8/3/2010 12:59PM

    awesome blog! You do what you are comfortable in! You are so right. Keep doing what you are! You rock!

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TANSHAN1 8/3/2010 12:50PM

    I so totally agree..I can & DO pull off most of my fashion (or not) choices by sheer attitude & confidence.

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LOSING107 8/2/2010 10:32PM

    I totally agree, that just b/c a person is overweight doesn't mean they should hide their body. I hate my arms right now, and it's a big deal for me to wear stuff with really short sleeves. You're an inspiration. emoticon emoticon

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TEENY_BIKINI 8/2/2010 9:44PM

    Wow. What a fantastic blog. I know this is ancient history now - but how dare she. I just love when people have comments about things that are simply none of their beeswax. I am sure you look/ed fabulous. I get the looks up and down all the time before I lost weight and now - I have no idea what the heck they are lookin' at but I just don't care anymore. I just try to look my best and I do strut like crazy - LOL. Us divas gotta strut and that's all. I had to grow into where you are now - but what a beautiful freedom that we are so worth.

I am so glad you are you and you showing that beautiful skin in all its glory. Go gorgeous go.

PS - I just love my turquoise. Betcha looked hot :)

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SANDYBRUNO 8/2/2010 5:44PM

    I have to agree with you. I have always worn swimming suits, tank tops and shorts. I've had some casual jobs where I wore sleeveless shirts and shorts. You sound confident. That is a good thing. I don't think it is so much denial as it is confidence. You can't be too confident.

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OREOSMILE 8/2/2010 5:28PM

    well said!

I don't quite have your confidence with baring my fleshy bits (although this summer my arms are starting to make an appearance at work), but I aspire to get there. I'm starting to move from buying clothes that skim to buying clothes that fit and show off my curves a little more.

very inspiring blog post!

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MUSTANGMISSY 8/2/2010 4:33PM

    You've hit the nail on the head! It's not about your size, it's about how you feel about yourself that matters, regardless of what you're wearing. I love your attitude and confidence. THAT is what makes a beautiful person. Not the size of their arms or the shape of their legs. You go girl!

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WYND10 8/2/2010 3:28PM

    This is a wonderful wonderful blog and a fantastic message. You're amazing, so glad you let it shine through. Can I borrow some of your self esteem please? :)


Also, why aren't you a SparkPeople Motivator yet??? GET ON IT PEOPLE.

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KT-NICHOLS-13 8/2/2010 3:18PM

    Simply ... BRILLIANT! You go girl, I feel the same way. If we wear it with confidence and it fits it just works!

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