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Could there be a runner within me? (and other breakthroughs)

Monday, September 17, 2007

I have always been envious of runners. I've never been able to run, not even as a child. It has always been one thing or another, asthma or obesity, holding me back; and I'd pretty much resigned myself to being one of the perpetual power walkers on life's race track.
Well, folks, I'm nothing if not determined to break every misconception I've ever had about my fitness level, or lack thereof. Every day, I have been out there TRYING to crack this nut... jogging. I was really pathetic, making no gains at all for over two months, but still kept trying. After all, there has to be SOME physical benefit for perseverance. Isn’t it a form of high intensity interval training, to jog in short bursts, then stop and walk again? I might not ever be a REAL runner, but I was still absolutely committed to burning that extra 30 seconds worth of calories. It was better than NOT doing it, right?

I posted about my lack of progress back on August 20th. Here is part of that desperate post:

“Whenever I start jogging, I start breathing heavier. It seems like after about a minute, I am sucking air as hard and fast as I can possibly suck, and still not getting enough oxygen to meet the demand, so I stop running.
I see other newbies running 5K in 6 weeks. Well, it's been about 5 weeks for me and I'm still working on 5 blocks. I'm starting to feel like I will never run.”

I got some replies, but nothing clicked. Several people expressed “breathing problems” and reassured me that it would get easier.
Well, tonight, a wonderful thing happened. I discovered my pace.
I made a concerted effort to jog as slowly as possible. Not as easy as it sounds, but I needed to try something different. It worked! I had a breakthrough.
By focusing on jogging SLOWLY, I was able to relax completely, and fall into a natural, easy rhythm. It didn’t hurt. I was able to breathe. I stopped hunching my shoulders. For the first time EVER, I made it to the end of the block… and kept going. Another block. And another. Then four, then five… each step becoming more elated and proud of myself. My husband started running to catch up to me, and called out “You’re doing it honey, you’re doing it!”
I could have kept going, even on the uphill those last two blocks back to the house, where the cat was waiting for us on the front sidewalk, and upon seeing my Rocky Balboa, hands-over-head-in-triumph dance, BOLTED into the back yard. My own kitty didn’t recognize me, running.
I can’t ever remember being more overjoyed with myself, for not giving up on running, and trying to find a way to live my dream of an active, fit life. That is exactly what I want to tell anyone who wants to know “my secret”. Don’t give up!
I can’t WAIT to do it again tomorrow!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WITHSPIRIT 10/12/2007 8:48AM

    It has been a while since I have visited your page and it is nothing short of wildly awesome!!!!!!!!!!!! I have never seen such a fit person as you are in the 230's - WOW! What can you look like at your goal of 180 ??? You have much to be proud of =D Lisa

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EKLIEBERT 9/25/2007 2:48PM

  This just made me cry. I'm such a softie! I think it had something to do with your husband encouraging you. Mine would do the same for me (if I could run- I have the same problem). Anyway, Congrats to you! Keep pushing!

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PHEBESS 9/24/2007 12:39PM

    OMG NB, that is wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!! Beyond wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!! YAY for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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TRECECOOKS 9/22/2007 2:04PM

    What an awesome accomplishment!! You must feel so proud of yourself! Keep up the terrific work and never give up!!

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DAVENPLK 9/20/2007 9:41AM

  You are awesome!!! You have overcome so much in your life. How wonderful you must feel to be able to say that you are officially a 'runner.' Congrats to you.

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SECRETFUN 9/18/2007 8:25PM

  woohoo! (current exercise, dancing a jig for NB!)

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SMURFETTE0725 9/18/2007 12:46PM

    I ♥ you, Janine. ('nuff said!)

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CAPUSCINE 9/18/2007 12:21PM

  Oh my, you almost had me in tears, until I started laughing at the thought of your cat running into the back yard.
Your perseverance is inspiring and a reminder to me to never give up in my own goals.

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SHORTY20 9/18/2007 11:34AM

    Janine that is fantastic!!! You'll be running those 5Ks in no time, just stick to it and go at your own pace. You never cease to amaze me!

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KATYBETH 9/18/2007 10:05AM

    OMG!! That's totally awesome! What an accomplishment :)

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LISASAYERS 9/18/2007 8:04AM

  Congrats!!!!! I envy you! Thanks to bad knees, running is not in my future. Short jaunts...but that is all for me!
Keep up the great work!

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FAFA9302 9/18/2007 1:38AM

    Excellent. I used to be a runner when I was in college and I know exactly what you mean. When you finally get over the hill there is nothing better. I can't wait to be a runner again either. Congrats!! Your perseverance paid off!!!

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"Your whole attitude has changed."

Saturday, September 15, 2007

I have heard this several times lately.
While I do have a different outlook about many things, when I hear this type of comment, I always think it says much more about the OTHER PERSON than it does about ME.
Every time someone says this it me, I bite my tongue, because I have a very different theory.
I’m thinking…
YOUR whole attitude toward me is different.
YOUR view of me has changed.
YOU are finally interested in what I have to say, and YOU are no longer uncomfortable looking at me long enough to have a conversation.

The conversations are also changing. They are more serious. They are more inclusive. I am privy to words and topics I would not have been, a year ago.
Whereas before, my glib comments were mere comic relief, they are now analyzed with great interest by my superiors, as subtle proverb from an underutilized, experienced, industry insider.

Yes, losing a significant amount of weight changes you. Losing a significant amount of weight changes everyone else, too. Until you have gone through it, you just can not fully appreciate how MUCH changes in your life. I am more important. I am more respected.
Furthering my business has always been a major motivator for me in this journey. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NOTBLUSHING 12/23/2009 11:23PM

    Memory lane....

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DAVENPLK 9/16/2007 10:01PM

  Yes, everyone treats you differently....but have you thought about how you treat yourself differently as well. I have completely changed my self-image, and I project a much healthier outlook to others. You are doing awesome!!!!! I love reading your blogs.


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MEYCHEY 9/16/2007 9:26PM

    Thank you, NOTBLUSHING. I joined SP about 3 weeks ago and discovered your page. I really appreciated your message about water intake. Message received.

What I'd like to say is you are a real inspiration to others. Not only regarding health choices, but as a strong young, woman who knows not only waht is right, but what is right for her. Additionally, you were describing me when you wrote about people who don't meet your eyes in conversation because of weight alone. That was me. Never mind the back story, I'm on the road to health in more ways than just my weight.

Stay strong. You will always be beautiful.

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SECRETFUN 9/16/2007 4:16PM

  I agree with smurfette

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HAPPYWALKER 9/16/2007 1:03PM

    Excellent blog! It's so true that people treat you differently when you lose weight. I believe that when I lose weight, I do act differently because I am more confident and I command respect. But there is also a sad but true discrimination towards overweight people. Other people tend to feel superior and look down on you. When I was once interviewing for a different department within my company, the manager had the audacity to say, "I see you're overweight. I view an overweight person as undisciplined and I would not want an undisciplined person working in my department." That was in the 1980's when I was much more self conscious and timid, so instead of reporting him to personnel, I cried myself to sleep that night after binging out on cookies. Wow! I guess you hit on something for sure in me. Thanks for posting makes me see how far I've come inwardly. People may not change how they treat me, but I sure have changed my expectations and how I deal with it. Mary

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SMURFETTE0725 9/16/2007 11:40AM

    Very insightful Janine. You should write a book about your journey & this topic ....

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NESSA79 9/15/2007 10:22PM

    Me too, I can't wait to see what your future holds too. You are doing such a great job. Keep it up! I am very happy that you joined positive sparkers I really think that is great that you are taking care of yourself. Keep up your great work, I am here for you if you need me.

Vanessa :)

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Giving away "someday they'll fit again" clothes

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Now that I'm finally small enough to fit into them, I decided I will never wear them, because I hate them.
They LOOK like 1980's pants: high in the waist and tight at the ankle. Not flattering in the least.
Todays lower rises and wider legs look SO MUCH better on me, and I won't look dated wearing them. Even the dresses are going... the ones with the big shoulder pads. I look like a plump Joan Collins wearing them.
So yesterday was a major laundry and closet purge day (again). They're going bye-bye.
Hello new wardrobe!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LISASAYERS 9/5/2007 12:55PM

  OMG...I was laughing when I was reading this...remembering the huge shoulder pads we used to wear...we looked line linebackers! ROFL

I don't think high waisted pants flatter anybody...nor do the skinny leg jeans...just makes your butt look matter how skinny you are!

I'll never wear high waisted pants again...yet the low rise are hard to find where I live...unless you shop in juniors. Hello! I want to be a hip looking 40 something...not a 40 something trying to look like a teenie bopper! I end up getting all my pants at Victoria's Secret...they carry longs!

High waisted pants didn't go well with my belly button piercing either! Got that when I turned 39.

OK...enough rambling...thanks for the walk down memory lane!
Make it a great day!

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In celebration of losing 100 lbs...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

I went shopping tonight. Yep, the pants are loose again, and I need new bras. I went to my usual place, Lane Bryant.
Unfortunately, I didn't get into as small a bra as I picked up (maybe it's good that the cup size is holding steady???) and they didn't have the size I needed in the style I wanted. Oh well.
I wandered over to the "SALE" sign on a display of some sharp looking bermuda shorts. Feeling confident, I picked up the last size 14W and slipped into the fitting room.
They fit perfectly.

I'm so happy about that, it's ridiculous. I can shop in regular stores now. And THAT, my friends, is a MAJOR triumph.


The dog and I went for our walk just before lunchtime today. Not the best time to go, as it's pretty hot by then, and trees are few and far between at high noon. As a precautionary measure, I walked a slightly different route, hoping to find a shadier path; and came across a crew of men working on a big landscape job. I noticed one of them staring at me.
As I got closer, I had to circumvent the equipment that was blocking the sidewalk. The guy was still eyeballing me, so I smiled and said "Good morning!" to him. He smiled back and said "You're beautiful."
It was a good day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

QUIZSHOW 9/7/2007 12:01PM

    Congrats!! I bet it's great wearing the smallest size in the store.

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PROFGANJA 9/6/2007 4:41PM

    You're amazing and I am not only proud of you, but feel lucky to know you. Congrats and it's true--you ARE beautiful!

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2008LYNN 9/5/2007 9:09PM

  OMG, it was a spectacular day!!!

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SECRETFUN 9/5/2007 6:16PM

  14W! congrats!

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SHORTY20 9/5/2007 2:31PM

    Congrats Janine!!!!

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HAPPYWALKER 9/5/2007 9:52AM

    Congrats on a great accomplishment!!! Hooray!! To me, fitting into smaller sizes is so much more satisfying than just seeing a certain number on the scale. And going from a 'larger sizes' store to a regular store is a great triumph! Turning heads....well, that's the icing on the angel food cake!!!!! Nothing feels as great as that! Keep up the good work. Mary

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DEB0413 9/5/2007 7:55AM

    You're really impressing me, girl!! Congratulations! And to be called "beautiful"! I'd be getting that guy's number!!! (And I'm 52 yrs old! and happily married! lol!)

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PHEBESS 9/4/2007 10:49PM

    You ARE beautiful!!!!!!!!! And if I were there, I'd take you out for a big giant salad to celebrate!

And OMG, you are at my size now! Go Janine!!!!!

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

“You got fins to the left, fins to the right, and you’re the only bait in town…”

Let the ogling begin.
I walk with my dog for at least an hour every day. I live in a beautiful park, where acres of open green space and rolling wooded nature preserves surround the inner city neighborhood. Part of my circuit takes me through the vita-course, where there is a jogging path and fitness equipment stations. Many people use the vita-course, for not only exercise, but social networking.
I don’t USE the course; I walk around it, because dogs are not allowed. I do, however, stop at the fountain and fill her bowl. She drinks, and does her level best to get in some social networking with anyone she sees.
As much as I try to discourage her, and continue our exercise, SHE wants to mingle. She tugs one way, and I tug the other, until eventually we’re out of there.
After 8 months of this, I recognize the regulars. Some of them recognize me, and say hello; and some of them clearly don’t recognize me, but say hello anyway and react as if I’m there to meet Mr. Right.
More and more, I get eye contact. I get smiles. I get “Good Morning!” I get long stares from cars. I get squealing brakes and honking horns. As I become smaller, I become more visible.
And while I’m thinking of it, spandex pull-on pants are NOT fat pants. They are work-out pants. I didn’t wear any when I was fat, but I live in them now. Teeny, tiny, spandex pants, with teeny tiny spandex tops.
I smile, as the voice inside me thinks, “My DOG is pleased to meet you. You may pet my DOG.”


So, I'm looking through my favorite old plus-size shopping sites online, getting a teensy bit bummed that I won't be shopping at them anymore. I'm looking at the cute sleeveless halters, and spaghetti strap numbers that I wear all the time, and I realize how much nicer my arms are than all the models.
I mean, I know I'm still fat and all, and so are the models, but their arms just have no tone. And I think back to when I was a teen (which some of these models undoubtedly are), and how I didn't have very good arms then either.
I have much more muscle now. Even with the fatness, my muscles can be seen... and I love it. They look luscious. Soon, my arms will be rocking all that muscle for the whole world to see, and not just me, standing in front of the mirror.
I love my arms.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

QUIZSHOW 8/30/2007 10:43AM

    You look amazing!!! And yeah, when you finally realize you're in the hot chick zone, it is a little disorienting. I was getting irritated at people looking at me until I realized I looking pretty good now!

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KERRIGIRL 8/29/2007 1:08PM

    AMazing tone to those it girl!!! You look FABULOUS!!!!!!


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CAPUSCINE 8/29/2007 12:24PM

  After reading such an inspirational post last week I had to come back for another read. You have me smiling because you absolutely ROCK!
As for your arms - nice muscle tone!!

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DAILYTATTLER 8/29/2007 10:58AM

    I noticed your muscular arms in your progress pictures. Very nice. Most plus sized models tend to be older (according to my research). So feel good because that means that you are just hotter than they are!


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SECRETFUN 8/28/2007 8:36PM

  WOOHOO! :-)

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PHEBESS 8/28/2007 3:17PM

    You look gorgeous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And, apparently, the men of your town think so too!!!!!!!!!

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