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From Pudgy-Wudgy to Athlete: My Journey

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

When I was about 5 or 6 years old I started putting on weight. A little tummy at first, and then a big roll around my middle, followed soon after by another roll just above the first and some jiggle to my thighs. My family used to lovingly (? I can't believe I just said that - teasingly would be more accurate) call me Pudgy-Wudgy, in part because I loved that rhyme about Fuzzy-Wuzzy the Bear. I would laugh, but inside I was sad.

From 3rd grade through 9th grade I put on more weight, and had very little regular activity in my life. I longed to play sports and be active but mine were a family of intellects - homework and reading came before play and there was never any time or money for organized athletics. I remember wanting ice skating lessons since I would love to go skate on Friday afternoons with some friends (admission was $0.25!) but I was told that wasn't an option. I wanted to join little league and learn to play baseball, but girls weren't allowed to in those days and my mother scoffed at the idea. I would take my bike out and ride by myself until I was told I was wasting time that should be spent practicing piano (I'm tone deaf for heaven's sake! What were they thinking?). I finally gave up and accepted the idea that I was a "smart kid" and that sports were a waste of time; I didn't understand that this very notion was causing me inner turmoil! I ate to comfort myself, thereby reinforcing the notion that mine was not a body that was meant to move.

When I went to college I "tried on" the mantle of "athlete". I took every P.E. course I could, from beginning tennis to skiing and scuba diving, and I started moving more. I would use the pool during recreational swim and imagine what it would be like to be on the swim team... Eventually, I made that dream a reality, and while I was not very fast I showed up for every practice and worked doubly hard to make up for my lack of experience. I even got selected to play on the school's first-ever woman's water polo team. Maybe it was because of my work ethic, or maybe it was because no one else knew how to play water polo either so the playing field was level, but I had my shot and I embraced it! I refused to let my lack of speed compared to the other swimmers keep me from playing - I studied the rule book and I practiced my passing and defending skills, finding my niche as a starting right wing. Those were some of the happiest days of my life!

From the time I graduated college until two years ago I vacillated between periods of regular fitness activity (swimming, canoe racing, running, weight lifting, skiing, scuba diving, cycling) and serious couch potato status (and morbid obesity). I had a hard time shutting off the messages that kept playing in my head..." You're smart not athletic... Sports are a waste of time... Reading is more important than playing... You're never going to be good at sports, focus on the things you are good at, like school..." Through it all, there was a little ember of desire to be active that refused to die inside of me.

5 years ago I nearly died from pulmonary embolisms. The saddest part is that when I was short of breath climbing the stairs I assumed it was because I was just so fat and out of shape. I was too ashamed to tell anyone about it - until I nearly passed out trying to stand up 3 days later. Turns out I had multiple blood clots in my lungs and they had been piling up for at least 3 days! It took me a long time to recover and once again find the energy and determination to be active, but when I did I decided that I wanted to run a marathon. I started training at aged 47, having not run at all for many years, and 8 months later I crossed the finish line of the LA Marathon!!

Since then I have completed another full marathon and 8 half marathons, my first duathlon and assorted shorter races. I've returned to weight lifting and am in my second year of mentoring other runners as a pace group leader for a marathon training clinic at my local running club. I have left the morbidly obese label for good and am on my way to a healthy weight and BMI, but more importantly, I have fed the fire within me and now believe unequivocally that I am an athlete!!

"Go confidently in the direction of your dream. Live the life you have imagined."
Henry David Thoreau

"I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past"
Patrick Henry

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

S318830 11/9/2009 1:33PM

    Awesome blog. I'm so glad you were able to beat back the message of sports and athletics being a waste of time. I'm ashamed of your family for teasing you with that nickname and not giving you any encouragement to be active.

You've had an amazing journey. Good luck with your rehab.

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GLOBALKEEWEE 10/28/2009 11:07PM

    You have made an amazing journey, Tammy...and it continues. Only seeing you as you are today - a bright, vibrant, beautiful, competitor - it is hard to imagine you as you described being before. This is the real you, in part because of the struggles you have faced and the person you have decided to be. I am proud to be your SparkFriend!
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SLGREER 10/28/2009 11:20AM

    Thanks Tammy! I am so glad that you are here and healthy and able to share and support us in our journey's!

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PAMTHEDREAMER 10/25/2009 5:19PM

    Thank you so much for sharing your life long journey Tammy. It was truly inspirational. My admiration for you has grown even more! You ARE smart and you ARE an athlete and a courageous person who dared to make her dreams come true. You are awesome my friend! emoticon

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FHAMWEY 10/24/2009 8:02PM

    Your story is amazing! Thanks for sharing it. I can't believe all that you have gone through and how much you have accomplished. I hope some day we can enjoy a run together. Felicia emoticon

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KAYAKID 10/24/2009 12:23AM

    Tammy, Your story was an inspiration - I guess each of us has a story similar to yours! I think that is how the majority of us got overweight. Lots of us, I think this started has far back as High School. Thanks for sharing your story! It takes lot of courage to share are entire stories. Wow! you are one incrediable woman and are doing great and showing all those who saw you overweight that you can change. Great Job! I am so impressed!!! It is my honor to know you!!!!

Mike

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JENNIFER124 10/23/2009 9:48PM

    i never knew all these aspects of your "athlete story"... its pretty obvious that from an early age you were an athlete.. just didnt get to do much of the activity part.. but you had the heart and drive.. and still do.. i think that is what i admire most about you.. you dont give up.. you keep going.. that really keeps me on my toes and something i strive to keep being.. congratulations on your two marathons and 8 1/2's... so impressive == never lose your "stubborness" to keep on keeping on..

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EVETROY 10/23/2009 6:59PM

    You must be one of the toughest, most stubborn women I know! Thank God! Those voices from our past are really to quiet, aren't they? I am so grateful to know you and glad you have discovered your athlete. We should never let ourselves be limited by others. You rock! emoticon

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MISSJCISRUNNING 10/23/2009 6:46PM

    Awesome blog Tammy!!! I was just telling my sister-in-law this afternoon how I was teased/tormented into believing I was clumsy and klutzy and would never be able to do anything physical!!! I also came from a family that valued education over sports!!! It's amazing the things we believe when we are younger and how it can carry into our adult lives!!! I am soooo grateful that I was able to break free from that thinking and become the athlete I am today!!! Jackie!!!

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SORGIN 10/22/2009 10:16PM

    Wow. I am speechless. The fact that you had PEs and almost died leaves me -well, speechless. (I first wrote "breathless" but that's a really bad pun.) I know that recovery had to be difficult and I am so grateful you survived to be HERE and part of my journey!

You are living proof that circumstance doesn't have to define you. What defines you is your attitude. You are a rock star in my book. You have one kick-a$$ attitude and I am very lucky to count you as a friend.

You were teased about your weight and encouraged to be cerebral. You broke free from the labels. YOU did that. Nobody else did it for you and that's what makes looking forward so much better than looking back.

Boy, I struggle with forward momentum. I get so stuck in the past. So thanks for the reminder that some things are better left in the dust and that the secret to life is to keep moving forward (and to always take the high road).

Indeed, you ARE AN ATHLETE! And I am so grateful for your friendship!

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NAVYMOM133 10/22/2009 9:46PM

    Thank you for sharing, Tammy. You are a great story-teller, I loved the part about your days as starting right wing in water polo. I can imagine the immense feeling of joy to be succeeding at something you always wondered and dreamed of doing. And as another poster commented, smart AND athletic. So it took that big scare to get you into serious motion, you're there! You just don't stop, and I've learned a big lesson from you.
I think we all have the "up-bringing voices" that we need to file away, in some form or another. Work-in-progress is just fine!
emoticon Melly

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BECCACOATS 10/22/2009 11:10AM

    Well sweetnes, what can I say?? Those voices from the past are always going to be there and we need to ignore them..

You are NOT that fat person anymore and I know someday you will believe it.
Your accomplishments defiently outweigh all of that forsure.

Tam, thank you again for sharing your story. It is a big inspiration to many and also shows that YES! we can have a dream and even reach it when staying in the direction of the dream. You Did!!!

The song however will always play on your heart, yet now you can smile and be thankful it is just a little reminder of the past and how you became an Athlete!! I know that isn't how you see yourself yet I and others see you as one..

I am very proud of you Tammy! I am impressed how you overcome your pains and struggles and always make it to the finish line!!!

My hat is off to you
emoticon
Becki

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FINDYOURSPARK 10/21/2009 11:13AM

    What a great story! There is nothing wrong with being smart AND athletic! Lucky you to be both! Keep up the good work.

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FAITHFULSTORIES 10/21/2009 9:26AM

    Tammy,

I feel like I understand you so much better now. Thank you for sharing your amazing and inspiring journey, and don't ever forget YOU ARE AN ATHLETE!!!!

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MOMWEIGH130 10/21/2009 8:10AM

  Thank you for sharing your very inspirational story!

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FUNNYSUNNY123 10/21/2009 8:09AM

    Thank you for telling your story. Very inspiring.

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BSTAKINGACTION 10/21/2009 7:50AM

    This explains so much, Tammy! No wonder you struggle with feeling like you're not doing "enough"! You are carrying a load of luggage with you and and are being chased by demons that are going to be hard to shake. But, shake them you will. Putting all this down in words is the first step to being able to let go of it all and focus on the road ahead.

Look at how much you overcame....being "branded" by your family at a young age is no light thing to have hangin' on your back! Amazing. You are an incredibly strong woman and are going to get EVERYTHING you want through sheer determination.

Your quotes say it all.

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WILD4STARS 10/21/2009 5:36AM

    Great story. What an inspiration you are.

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LORT-C 10/21/2009 12:43AM

    What a story!!!!

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ROUXZQ 10/21/2009 12:13AM

    WOW Tammy, I knew you were awesome, but I didn't know this about you! You are an inspiration and a true athlete. I am so glad I got to meet you in person this year. I really enjoyed talking to you in Long Beach.

(bows down Wayne's World style.... "I'm not worthy...I'm not worthy!")
Denise
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SKISINCO 10/20/2009 11:00PM

    WOW! You are an impressive, determined woman and I would be thrilled to have you as a pace leader. You are proof that if you put your mind and the effort in, you can achieve what your heart desires. Thank you for sharing your story.

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KATAKITOMOTSIN 10/20/2009 10:56PM

    A totally inspiring story! Keep up the great job. I am working on just being healthy and getting my BMI down to where it should be.

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Conquer the Bridge... then Cruise the Beach...

Monday, October 12, 2009

This is the theme for the CA Dreamin' Racing Series, comprised of three events (Marathon or Half-Marathon Distance) done in three cities within a specified time frame. This year I started with the Surf City Half Marathon in Huntington Beach in February
I then went up to San Francisco in July
and yesterday I completed the series by running the Long Beach Half Marathon.


The cool thing about this series (other than the fact that you run three races in three different cities!) is that you get a HUGE medal of the state of CA and a really nice running jacket when you finish the series. In fact, the volunteers at the booth where you claim your "prize" were cheering each individual as they approached to receive their medal! Imagine - a dozen people calling out your name and clapping and hooting and hollering and congratulating you - THEN getting this hung around your neck... AMAZING!


I have to admit that had they not enticed me with the extra clinkage and clothing I might not have done all three races this year... but since I signed up for them months ago I wasn't going to allow anything to get in my way of finishing, not even lack of training or injuries.

What I learned during this series is that I can do anything physical that I set my mind to. I learned that sometimes that means adjusting my goals. The only way I could lose was if I quit! I learned to find joy in a slow race, to not compare myself to others every step of the way, to celebrate small victories. I learned that sharing these experiences with Spark Friends and running buddies makes for powerful memories. I learned that a kind word given to another runner is just as rewarding as a kind word received. Most of all, I learned that I can still set goals and reach them!!! That may sound minor, but right now that is a huge lesson for me in my journey and every time I look at my medal I will remember the feeling of success that I got when they hung that around my neck!


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MISSJCISRUNNING 10/16/2009 11:50AM

    Tammy you are a true champion!!! I am inspired and awed by your determination and drive!!! I am sooo happy that we met and have become friends!!! Jackie!!!

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SORGIN 10/13/2009 10:27PM

    Clink! That is awesome! In spite of some pretty big odds, YOU DID IT! Congrats!

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NAVYMOM133 10/13/2009 3:25PM

    Oh, and you need to update your profile pic emoticon

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NAVYMOM133 10/13/2009 3:22PM

    Tammy - This blog really means a lot to me. You've been such a shining example of how to cope with an injury and KEEP ON GOING! it's pretty easy to let an injury derail, but you did NOT do that - you didn't give in but kept up instead. You didn't wait around for life to heal you but met your goals and commitments head on. I'm so glad to share this journey with you. Beautiful Series medal for a beautiful lady!
love,
Melly

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ROUXZQ 10/13/2009 12:34AM

    Tammy, you are awesome! It certainly was a fun series, especially with Peeps like you. It was no small goal to accomplish what you did. You should be proud. I certainly am proud of you. And you looked so good doing it too!
De

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FHAMWEY 10/12/2009 11:56PM

    Those are not minor goals!!! You did amazing things this year! You have so much strength to battle through all your injuries and still accomplish that! Wear that jacket proud, girl! You earned it!!!

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PAMTHEDREAMER 10/12/2009 10:50PM

    What an awesome accomplishment! YOU are AWESOME! Congratulations Tammy. emoticon

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PATTYJEAN44 10/12/2009 10:28PM

    Big congratulations on finishing the series, meeting your goals, and gaining knowledge about yourself and what you can achieve! What more can we ask for??? It was great to meet you Saturday night (even though I wish we could have had more time to chat), and I hope to get another opportunity to get to know you someday!!!

Take care, and hope you keep running strong!!
-Patty

Comment edited on: 10/16/2009 1:14:00 AM

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BSTAKINGACTION 10/12/2009 9:44PM

    Oh, Tammy...I'm amazed, awestruck, proud and immensely glad you found your way into my world! What an inspiration! Good for you, kiddo! You have been through so much this year, and I am so glad to have been around for it all! Well done!

That medal is somethin' else, girl! Wear it proudly!

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WATERMELLEN 10/12/2009 8:14PM

    What an achievement! Love the concept, the medal, the jacket logo-- AND the fact that you DID IT!

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GAELENEC 10/12/2009 7:20PM

    Awesome awesome job! You are amazing, and you're encouraging the rest of us to shoot for the moon!

Thanks for sharing.

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KAYAKID 10/12/2009 7:20PM

    WTG Tammy! You did 3 Hm in the same summer/fall - How awesome is that and did you ever think that is was possible say 3 years ago. You are doing great! Are you going to NO, right that will be another fun time! I couldn;t remember if you were going or Jackie - maybe both of you are going. Well I ramble on!!! Congrats and you should be so proud - That is one great Accomplishment!

Your running spark Buddy/ or someday to run with you
Mike


Comment edited on: 10/12/2009 7:22:53 PM

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LILHLFPINT 10/12/2009 7:10PM

    (whoo hoo! you are amazing. i don't know how you do it but you manage to push yourself through - no matter what. go, tammy!)

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I admit it: I'm FAT

Thursday, October 01, 2009

I started writing this blog half an hour ago, but as I got to the part where I accept the truth about my weight my system froze and I lost the whole thing... Is there a message there? I don't know, but I'm going to face my fear anyway and try to write this again...

You see, I've been trying to kid myself for a long time. I have known for 30 years that I'm fat. I also know how to lose weight - I've lost HUNDREDS of pounds over the past 30 years, but haven't kept them off. I keep gaining and losing the same weight (plus a few more pounds gained each time I diet). I have avoided being photographed like the plague because pictures present irrefutable proof of what I've tried to deny - that I AM FAT.

I've been all too ready to believe the kindesses of other people. They tell me "You're not fat, you're just a big girl" and "You're so tall, you carry your weight well" and my favorite: "You're not fat, you're an ATHLETE". Yeah, right.

When I've lost weight and heard "You look fantastic!" I wanted to believe that too. I mean, who doesn't? But then there'd be that occasional picture of me, forcing me to face the truth. I may have lost weight, but I was still fat. So I'm here to face my fear. I am about to publicly announce the numbers so that I can be free of the shame and move forward with my weight loss... drum roll please...

At my heaviest I weighed 230 pounds. I might have even weighed a bit more, but I rarely got on the scale. This is the largest number I remember.

I managed to get down to about 215 a few years ago, and stayed there for awhile, but I was definitely NOT happy. I was wearing a size 16-18 and finding myself wishing I was thinner... I had my body fat measured a number of times at that weight and was always shocked by how high it was, but then I would immediately go into denial (my favorite coping mechanism!). I was thin once, for a short period of time in college, and I had my body fat measured hydrostatically. It was barely 19%. There was NO WAY I had gone from that to 37%, right? WRONG. I had. Of course, the fact that I was about 75 pounds heavier might have something to do with that...

Then in January of this year I found SP and started a weight loss challenge at the gym. In 12 weeks I lost 25 pounds and 25.5 inches off my body, and I have managed to keep 21 of those pounds off for 6 months. I'm comfortable now. I can go shopping and buy the clothes I want in my size without much trouble, I feel good and I'm constantly being told I look good. Until I'm photographed again...

Interestingly, in some pictures I think I look fine, but in the vast majority I see that I still have weight to lose. I'm tired of seeing my arms waving two minutes after my hands stopped. I'm tired of having to look at my rear view before I go out, to make sure my back fat isn't bulging. I don't like the jiggle around my thighs and knees when I'm photographed crossing the finish line of a race. If I were in the normal range for weight and BMI I would be more willing to accept these physical battle scars as reminders of where I've come from, but the truth is I'm STILL considered OVERWEIGHT. I've left OBESE behind (I hope forever!) but its too soon to allow this feeling of complacency to rule my life.

As of this morning, I weighed 192 pounds, down from 213.5 in January. I need to weigh 173 pounds to get out of the overweight category. I started another weight loss challenge at the gym and have 9 weeks to reach my goal of 183 pounds - the halfway mark to healthy.

There. I've said it. In writing.

Hopefully I can now wrap my head around that number instead of giving it the power over me! It is NOT unattainable; it is NOT extreme. Nor is it ridiculous, as I usually tell myself it is... (out of fear I'm sure).

Thanks for your support, I'm on my way there!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SORGIN 10/12/2009 9:01AM

    First, congrats on your long look at yourself. I think our journeys are so similar it's eery. I also know how hard it was to write this. It's not easy to admit or to use the word "fat." I still can't use that word. I know I have a problem because I'll take 10 photos of myself before one is "acceptable." And it's the weight, the double chin, the big thighs, the flabby arms, the big butt that I think don't exist if I find the "perfect" photo. So I kid myself too.

Like you, I've lost weight, feel better and have rested on those laurels for a while. Sometimes I feel great. Most times I look in the mirror and think, "Yuck" and quickly pat myself on the back for the 30lbs. I've lost to rid myself of the feeling.

I love how you are turning this into a positive. It already was one in that you've maintained your weight. You've done it in spite of some pretty big odds, injuries and training. That's something to celebrate. But I understand too; that it's not a reason to quit or rest on the heels of that celebration. It's just a reason to keep going. It's further proof that you have the meddle and moxy to finish the job.

You are proving that you CAN maintain. So truly, maintenance will be easy once you reach your goal. You've been on trips, vacations, attended family and community events. You've navigated it all and maintained, not gained.

Like you said, you have the knowledge. You know how to lose weight. I'm right there with you. I know what I need to do. It's just these last few terrible habits that I need to let go of. I suspect it's the same for you.

You are already well on your way with new resolve. You've already lost several pounds since writing this. So you are proving that being honest is the key to healthy living. I know it wasn't easy but I hope your recent success is showing you that it's worth it!

Thanks for writing this and I look forward to continuing to walk this journey with you!

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WATERMELLEN 10/10/2009 8:41PM

    Great blog -- I'm 5'9" too and also 230 at my heaviest -- so I can definitely relate to what you're describing so eloquently!

My sense is: you're going to do this thing once and for all.

Nutrition tracker is the key for me!! Everything I eat must be recorded, and I have to weigh myself to catch every 2 pound increase before it gets worse. Fitness tracker is also good but -- I had to stop fooling myself that I could exercise myself "thin": it is NOT possible for me ever to work out enough so that I can eat as much as I would like to!

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TEACHERMOMFIVE 10/9/2009 4:58PM

    You made me cry. I am in the same place right now. It's hard; but we support each other in our efforts and that makes all the difference. Like Melly says, "We are all in this together."

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BSTAKINGACTION 10/8/2009 6:58AM

    Geez. I leave town for a mere few days, my friend goes and takes a HUMONGOUS leap of courage, and I'm nowhere around to hug the dickens out of her. Well done here, Tammy.

As many have said ...you're definitely not alone here. We've all been or will be at the point you've reached. Its a necessary step. I love the plan and I know that, just as you attack those marathon miles, you will attack the demise of the excess pounds. Sometimes we just need a reality check and the right moment of clarity.

I'll be right there with you! You can do this!




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GLOBALKEEWEE 10/6/2009 7:35PM

    T-
I actually read this last week but didn't have time to comment then, but promised myself I'd return...

All I really wanted to say was 'thanks', because I have had precisely the same thoughts you expressed here, but frankly was embarrassed to admit it even to myself. I've always been 'the big girl' or 'my big friend', and as I rowed marathons I tried to pretend I looked like everyone else (and my stats of heaviest weight, 'stable size', etc. are IDENTICAL to yours). THen I started losing weight and get the occassional "you look great" which is to say that I looked really not-so-great before. But "great" today is still, well, FAT!

Big hug of understanding to you...
emoticon
-C

Comment edited on: 10/6/2009 7:36:06 PM

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BECCACOATS 10/6/2009 2:20PM

    Isn't it amazing how no matter what we do we still see ourselves as that FAT girl, we still hear the words as you stated and we still do not believe them..

Yes we look at the pictures and see the FAT girl still even though we are smaller.. Oh it's not 2 minutes the arms quit moving it's... You get the point.. We sit and hope the rolls don't show. Glad it's sweater season..right!

Tammy Why are we not willing to give ourselves the credit and be able to look in the mirror or photo and see what others see? We are so heard on ourselves.

I Love your honesty and feel you stated what a lot of us feel deep inside. I remember Bev giving me a complement and I came back with a Thanks but I don't like how I look kind a statement.. It was then I realized I was hurting myself and others.

I hear those same remarks all of the time.
Thank you for sharing your story and Courage.. In reading this I again remember I am not alone and as Melly Says.. We are in this TOGETHER!!

Your drive and determination will get you through the next challenge and in no time you will be at your goal weight..

Thank you emoticon For sharing this wonderful story
emoticon
Becki

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FAITHFULSTORIES 10/4/2009 4:19PM

    Tammy,

I greatly admire your honesty, but I find it painful too. I stand 5'9" tall and weighed 194 pounds this a.m. I, too, am an athlete (something I'm quite proud of), I've always been a big girl and I am tall. These are facts. Not bad ones, in my opinion, just statements. If there is one thing I know for sure, it is that if I focus on the numbers, they get bigger. For me the only thing that has ever worked is honesty and an acceptance of who I am at each stage. The second I focus on the scale, I'm done. I honestly know that I have extra pounds on my frame, but I love myself anyway. I honestly know that being an athlete, tall and big boned are a bonus in the weight category as we're allowed "extra" without it showing as much. Would I like to be thinner, sure, but until I accept myself for who and where I am, going forward is a trial. I wish you well in your journey, but I hope you, too, will find that the scale is not where it is at. You are so much more than a number - you are an inspiration and a success.

Faith

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JENALEX1 10/3/2009 4:27PM

    I know exactly where you are coming from in this adventure in your life. There is always that defining moment (that happens several times to most people) when it just hits you in the face about how "fat" you really are.

It sounds to me like this moment really means something to you. Just focus on how you feel and that will be all the motivation you need to get to that amazing hot body that's in there.

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PAMTHEDREAMER 10/2/2009 4:26PM

    You said it! Whew!
No matter how you look at it youve been on a journey and journeys are full of up and down hills, battles and adventures. You've learned a lot along the way and gained a lot. I have no doubt you will reach your goal. I believe in you!

Cheers
Pam:)


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ROUXZQ 10/2/2009 1:19PM

    Do I hear an echo? These are some of the thoughts I harbor as well, like soooo many others. You are NOT alone in this. But do remember, you are STILL much healthier than someone your height and weight who doesn't exercise. Your honesty with yourself is healing, and putting it "out there" will lift your burden and help move you into action. You can do this, you have support.
Denise

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EVETROY 10/2/2009 1:07PM

    Tammy - I am absolutely sure you can reach your goals! But please do not minimize the fact that you ARE an athlete. Honesty is good but don't beat yourself up with it.

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NAVYMOM133 10/2/2009 7:38AM

    Tammy - this is it, you're taking stock, laying it on the line and then accepting the 9-week challenge to move on with the next phase of your healthy journey! You HAVE been successful so far. You've kept 21 pounds off since January and have remained very active with your running overall (sidelining injury notwithstanding). You know, that injury could have been your 'justification' to let up and lose ground but you hung onto that 21 pound loss!
I am totally confident in you and your resolve to see this next push forward to a successful conclusion. I'll see you at 183 in nine weeks, ok??
emoticon emoticon emoticon
Melly

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GMO_JEN 10/2/2009 1:14AM

    Amazing blog! I totally relate to what you wrote. I love denial, and it is so easy to forget until I try to jeans, or see a picture. I think it is awesome that you are training and working so hard to reach your goal. You are incredibly motivating-Good luck!

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COFFEE-MATE-Y 10/2/2009 1:06AM

    Just want to mention that it's not just about the weight. You may be "fat" BUT.... you must remember the athletic ability that you have! How many other people at your weight/age can do what your doing? From the sound of it your doing fantastic. Dont just let the size of your belly dictate your feelings on everything.

KEep on doing what your doing. Focus. And look at all the positive things you've done and how far you've come so far!!

:)

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SPRING4FAL 10/2/2009 12:39AM

    I admire your courage. It isn't easy to be honest with ourselves sometimes. I am very proud of you for the success you have had with SP and keeping it off for 6 months is NOT easy. None of this is but you have a great foundation and it is time to get the nutrition piece in check and you will be on your way to that goal weight. YOU CAN DO THIS!!!! You have amazing drive, commitment and determination. You have forged through things/circumstances that I wouldn't have been able to. Make sure you give yourself the credit you deserve and yet keep focused on your goal. Nothing can stop that determination of yours, this I am certain!

Leah

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LATINBABE1 10/2/2009 12:32AM

    This is a great blog.....I know exactly what you are talking about when it comes to denial. When I was heavier..I thought I didnt look so bad...yeah! who was i kidding!! Good luck on your journey and thanks for the posting this blog.

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JENNIFER124 10/1/2009 9:25PM

    good for you.. sounds like you are getting down to work~~~ putting out those numbers is a good way to get rid of the shame.. they are just numbers but another tool to gauge how healthy you are..You can do this!!! Jen

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TRACYMB33 10/1/2009 9:10PM

    fantastic post! I think any overweight person would identify with your journey in some way. It's so crazy to me how I could look in the mirror everyday and ignore how big I had gotten but when I saw a picture of myself I was horrified! I'm here if you need any support, keep up the great work!

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MISSJCISRUNNING 10/1/2009 9:03PM

    I admire your honesty...it's not always easy looking at ourselves honestly!!! That is how I managed to wear the same jean from 145 to 175... and was shocked when I finally got on the scale!!! I mean...really...what was I thinking!!!

You have so much strength...channeled in the right direction and you are unstoppable!!! I'm here if you need anything!!!

Jackie!!!

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Disneyland 1/2 Marathon... or, the Race of the Month

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Most of you know that I have been struggling with knee pain since mid-May. In spite of this I have entered and completed one race per month since the OC 1/2 Marathon on May 3rd. Well not exactly one per month, since I ran both a 1/2 and a full Marathon in May and I skipped August and went on vacation instead, but nearly so since this last one was the first weekend in September. Anyway, these are minor details, right?

Sunday's race at Disneyland has one of the most impressive (and heavy!) medals I've ever seen. If you run for "clinkage" (thank you GlobalKeewee and BoilerinAZ for this term) this medal can't be beat!

The race is also very well organized and is relatively flat (only a few short hills). After a week of brutal triple-digit heat and high humidity, coupled with area wildfires, Sunday morning was cool and cloudy. I almost couldn't believe the chill in the air when I left my house at 4 a.m.
My husband and I discussed our race plans - mine was to walk as much as possible (famous last words that I've been saying all summer) and still finish below the 3.5 hour cut-off time; his was to just finish, preferably in the same time, since he has been skimping on his training all summer long.

When we arrived at the pre-race area it was only 4:45 a.m and the race began at 6... so we mingled with the crowd, said hello to old friends and took advantage of the photo ops!

If you're wondering about my unusual headgear, they are princess ears, complete with veil! I "earned" them by running the Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon in FL this past March... and by completing this race I would earn a second award, the Disney Coast-to-Coast medal.

As I was greeting friends from different areas of my life... SparkPeople, my running club, my Disney WISH friends... I realized that I knew a LOT of people there! Does this mean I'm actually a "part of" the Southern CA running community? Imagine that!

My dh and I entered our corral and hung out with friends there and he decided that he wanted to stay with me, until at least mile 10. By his own admission, Bob is not a fast walker. He either has to run or he has to stroll - there is no speed walking for him. Since I was planning to walk at a sub-16 minute pace (a stretch for me, I'd rather be running) he said he would just run very slowly while I was walking and then we would both run together when I was running. We started out doing 1:1 intervals (so much for me walking the entire race!) with some extra walk segments whenever I felt like my knee hurt too much to run anymore. Bob would pull ahead of me and then I would run a bit and catch him and we'd go side-by-side for a bit, then it would start again. We were holding a 13:25 pace through mile 7, and that included stopping for a few pics! (Pocohantas and Meeko) (Hula Dancers) and (Mariachi Band)

The best part of the race for me has always been running through the parks - but now that I've done it a few times and have also done a duathlon through the parks I am a bit jaded - and found myself excited this year when given the opportunity to run around the infield at Angel Stadium. The lower tiers of the stadium were packed with spectators cheering and our images flashed on the jumbotron as we turned home plate.
The roar of the crowd was energizing, which was a good thing, because at this point I was walking far more than running! Our average pace had increased by about 20 seconds per mile, which may not sound like much but really is, if you do the math (the increase occurring between miles 7 and 9 but affecting our avg over all 9 miles!).

When we left the stadium the sun came out in force and the going got tougher. I wasn't in any mood at this point to take pictures! I remember passing the mile 10 marker, but it seemed like it took an hour to reach mile 11... which I must have run by in a fog because mile 12 was the next one I noticed! This part of the race is neither pretty nor entertaining, although I do recall lots and lots of cheerleaders encouraging us... My knee was pretty much shot and I was nauseous, either from the pain or the abundance of fluid I had taken on (last year I cramped up badly at mile 9 and had to gut it out to the finish - I hoped to prevent that this year) and Bob was just plain tired. Our friend Sol offered encouraging words and we forged on, knowing we were almost done. Seriously, was there any other choice? Not for me!!

Since Bob and I had stayed together we decided we should cross the finish line holding hands, as we did in our very first race together (the 2008 LA Marathon). He grabbed my hand with about .25 mile to go, and we started running... in hindsight, I'm wondering what the heck was he thinking? To run the last .25 holding hands? Hello? As if it wasn't hard enough already! But we pushed/pulled each other along and before you knew it we were done! YAY!

The irony of this race is that we finished in the exact same time that I ran it last year - only last year I wasn't injured, I was using much longer intervals, and while still new to running I had at least done a moderate amount of training. This year, with the exception of the races I ran, I have taken the summer off to lick my wounds, and yet...

I'm quite pleased with my 3:05 finish, averaging 13:58/mile, considering the adversity I had to overcome and the fact that I took some time to enjoy the sights this time emoticon

After the SF 1/2 last month I was quite sore for the better part of a week - NOT my usual status post race - and I was really worried that would happen again. I am pleased to say that I woke up this morning with very minor soreness and took the dogs for a 2 mile walk!


Next up... the Long Beach 1/2 Marathon (in 35 days!).

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WOLFKITTY 9/13/2009 8:22AM

    WOW!! You look *so adorable* and your story is AMAZING!!! :D Congrats on getting through that race - with flying colors, no less!!!

Take care!
Jocelyn

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S318830 9/11/2009 3:04PM

    Great report. Congrats on the awesome medals! Where do you keep them? In sight, or stored away somewhere?

PLEASE take it easy on your knee! I understand the need to live up to your goals, but this race report sounds like maybe it's worse? I hope I'm wrong, and I'm totally open to being told I'm wrong.

It's quite impressive that your time was the same this year as last year considering the circumstances. VERY nice job!

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PATTYJEAN44 9/10/2009 7:27PM

    Hi! Thanks for the comments on my blog. I just joined the California Dreamers team and was so excited to see so many sparkers who did Disney this year!! Sounds like you had a very positive race despite injury, and your enthusiasm definitely came through in your blog. WELL DONE! Maybe I'll see you in Long Beach in a few weeks!?

emoticon
-Patty

Comment edited on: 9/10/2009 7:28:45 PM

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NAVYMOM133 9/9/2009 10:18AM

    Hi Tammy,

Wow, this looks like yet another fantastic experience in your racing career!! Great pictures, great story but I have to say, "Amazing! You are amazing!" Nothing will stop you, Tammy.
I, too, LOVE the 'clinkage'!! What a riot! Both seriously, those medals are mighty nice. Very proud of you working through your knee and Achilles issues and doing what you love to do. Especially poignant crossing that Finish line with Bob. Funny, can see how it might have been awkward - the mechanics of it - but SOOOOOO wonderful.

emoticon Melly

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RUN.OR.RUST 9/8/2009 5:19PM

    Yay Tammy!! love the medals, I have to put this race on the list for next year. What a fun race, love the pictures and your princess ears. congratulations.

Comment edited on: 9/8/2009 5:20:23 PM

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GLOBALKEEWEE 9/8/2009 1:28PM

    Good race report. Thanks for explaining the pink ears, I was pretty confused by those (three little pigs? breast cancer bear? AH Minnie goes Princess.)

P.S.I LOVE the camo running skort!!

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LISELUV 9/8/2009 1:21PM

    great job!!

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EVETROY 9/8/2009 1:04PM

    Crossed the line holding hands? That is awesome!!!!!

Sub 16 minute? I think you managed that! You did GREAT!!!!!!

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TEAMDIRTDOGS 9/8/2009 12:45PM

    that is some impressive clinkage! i love the one w/ walt holding mickey's hand. my 13 yr old told me on saturday, on our 6.5 mi "family run", that she wants to do the disney half next yr.
("sweetpea, you know you cant run this without a dog attached, right?")
glad to hear you are doing so well post race. BTW, love the dog pack. makes them look like they are "on the job" doesnt it!

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BSTAKINGACTION 9/8/2009 8:09AM

    Whoo Hoo, Tammy! I'm so happy for you!!!! I so needed to read this after Sunday's run. Thank you ALWAYS for sharing your experiences!

And hugs to Bob for being such a wonderful partner to you!

Intervals rock and races can ALWAYS be run in our own way!



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TRILLIUM22 9/8/2009 8:03AM

    You sure are doing a great job. I hope that knee of yours gets better. A race a month is quite an accomplishment.

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KAYAKID 9/8/2009 2:42AM

    What a great blog- You had a fun time! congrats on finishing and getting the hardware! You are doing good keep itup. I do need to meet this race on my wish list. Next year I will be running HTC hopefully. If we get in if we don't maybe I can put this on my running schedule. thanks for the blog and your comments on my blog. enjoy and rest.
Mike


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Home Again

Monday, August 24, 2009

I returned last night from a 7 day Alaskan Cruise. While it was fun, I'm sorry to say that it didn't live up to my expectations, and I was a little bit disappointed :( Don't get me wrong, I had a good time, its just that in my head I had built it up to be the best cruise ever... we were on a ship we had sailed on before and had loved; I was going somewhere I'd wanted to go for a very long time; I was with my family, and I was thinner than I've ever been for a cruise! I guess I just thought it would be the end-all experience.

Instead, I found the ship had deteriorated somewhat in both service and quality, the food wasn't as good (and I still managed to gain weight :( ), we didn't meet many interesting people and I missed my daily support from my spark friends! I found it very hard to turn my attitude around without my girlfriends to "talk" to. I found myself slipping into old eating patterns and hating myself for doing it. My body responded accordingly, which didn't feel very good, and by the end of the week I was ready to get home and get back with my program.

I hope in a week or two I'll be able to put the experience into perspective and relish the good times, the shore excursions and the family time. For now, I just want to go to the gym!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JENNIFER124 8/30/2009 2:11AM

    funny... my husband has been pushing to get away this week and i am bucking him... i just am having this adverse reaction to leaving my supports.. i can TOTALLY RELATE!! its great to have you back and i am happy you are fitting back into your routine... Jen

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PAMTHEDREAMER 8/27/2009 10:36PM

    Gosh I have high hopes for the Alaska cruise I will go on someday with dh. Too bad. Like you said though, perhaps you'll look upon it better as time passes.
Glad you're rearin' to get back into the gym and to chat with your Spark buds!
Take care
Pam:)

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MISSJCISRUNNING 8/26/2009 10:30AM

    Glad you're home and ready to get back into your routine!!! This shows that the changes you have made are really lifestyle changes and not just being on a diet!!! See you soon so we can really celebrate!!! Jackie!!!

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LILHLFPINT 8/25/2009 10:56PM

    (welcome back! i'm truly sorry it wasn't everything you'd expected - i've never been on a cruise and i've got huge expectations myself.)

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EVETROY 8/24/2009 7:14PM

    I've missed you!!!!! What a bummer! Expectations can do that though. We expect so much and then it is so easy to be disappointed. I've had the same thing happen with vacations, movies, books, restaurants, etc. Also, being out of the routine is always tough. As much as a vacation is good, it is also anxiety provoking. Anyway, I can't wait to see you! Are you still coming rock climbing on Saturday?

Eve

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SUBSMITH 8/24/2009 4:27PM

    The gym is a great way to burn those feelings away... and leave only the precious ones worth keeping. If you get a chance, share some photos of your shore excursions. My DH and I have wanted to go on an Alaskan cruise; but never have the extra cash or time off. :-(

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SORGIN 8/24/2009 4:25PM

    Chin up, sweetpea! I hate it when vacations go like that. I've had experiences like that too and the only word that describes it for me is - unsettling. Maybe it's partly due to your attitude. Maybe not. Either way, I'd write a letter to the cruise line and let them know you weren't happy with the experience, that their service and food quality weren't up to their usual standards. Don't worry about gaining weight from the cruise. You expected that and I haven't talked to anybody who hasn't gained weight while on a cruise! I know you got in a lot of walking time so just give yourself a week or so to start seeing some turnaround. You WILL see it too. Don't forget that. I missed you tremendously and am very glad you are back! Now I can exhale. I look forward to catching up!

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NAVYMOM133 8/24/2009 3:38PM

    Hey girl, glad to have you back! What?! Not what you'd hoped? Well, if I was you, I would get out the bumper sticker that says, "A Bad Day of Cruising beats a Good Day at the Office!" heh heh. I currently DON'T have a countdown ticker going till my next cruise yet, so just sayin'.... ah, but Tony is turning 50 next year! Hmmmm....

Anyways, joking (and seriousness emoticon) aside...

WELCOME HOME!!! So glad to have you back on board - yukyukyuk...

XO,
Melly

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TEAMDIRTDOGS 8/24/2009 2:32PM

    welcome back (to the heat!) and the girlfriends! was on Victoria today and it was so blazing hot and humid the white dog was wheezing like a billygoat. she is now passed out on the carpet.
sorry the cruise wasnt up to yr expectations. we ve been to alaska a few times and i have *always* eaten too much.....i get seasick even on the inside psg and the only thing that helps the nausea is um, eating!
hope that gave yr knee a chance to heal some more.
again, welcome back!

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BSTAKINGACTION 8/24/2009 2:23PM

    I'm so glad you're back....and really sorry it wasn't what you had hoped. I missed you! I think vacations do that for me too. Although I do have good times, they serve to make me anxious to get back to my "way of life". I always come back motivated and energetic to tackle new projects or finish old ones!

Anyway, it'll be good to see you on the boards again...now, get to work woman! Drop and give us a couple pushups!

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