Monday, November 25, 2013
Self image and self worth is something that i've struggled with a lot in my life. Even as the weight melts away, it's still a constant battle with myself. It can be debilitating.
This past weekend i was at he gym with my running partner. She and i work well together. We encourage one another to strive for better. We are open and real with one another. What we say to one another may sometimes be difficult, but we know it's rooted in love and respect for one another. She's a sister to me. Well, we were at the gym and after our workout we were walking back into the locker rooms and the locker room is FULL on mirrors - floor to ceiling mirrors! And there's no escaping your reflection. And i made a simple little comment..."these mirrors are weird." She asked me why i thought they were weird. I told her that whatever it is it makes it appear as though i'm smaller than what i really am. She looked at my reflection in the mirror and said, "no...That's exactly what you look like." I just stared at my reflection and as the tears started to swell up in my eyes i quietly said, "really?"
You see when i look in the mirror i still see the 320+ pound woman starring back at me. Not all the time but a good amount of the time. So to see this smaller woman in the reflection was an eye-opener for me.
I've talked about self sabotage before and how i get to a point in my weightloss and then get scared to actually lose the weight so i gain it back. This is mainly because i'm scared of the unknown. I only know how to be the fat girl. I don't know what it will be like to be healthy and smaller. A big part of me is terrified at the thought that i may be exactly the same. It's so easy to blame things on my weight. I didn't get asked out because of my weight. I didn't make the cut because of my weight. I was this or that because of my weight. My weight became my excuse. And i was terrified if that excuse was missing, and everything else still remains the same then the issue is just me. Then i'm not ENOUGH of whatever it is...for me that's something that i've worked against my entire life.
I grew up in a household where i wasn't loved or cared for. Beatings were a regular part of my life because my parents hated their lives...not so much us kids but just their own misery. I married a man that didn't love me because i felt i didn't deserve more...you get what you pay for, right? He cheated from day one and i kept a blind eye to it. He was verbally and emotionally abusive. He used scare tactics but never actually laid a finger on me. My entire life has been lived with this belief that i was the problem...that i was just not enough. I can remember many nights laying next to my husband and him talking out loud and saying things like, "I wonder what it would be like to lay next to a skinny, beautiful woman." I never said a word about it. This was just something i was used to my entire life.
After the divorce i dated a man for almost 9 months. it was to soon too fast. I should have taken time to heal. But because i didn't I walked right into the same type of verbally abusive chaos. So i ended it because i needed my sanity before it escaped me all together.
I decided not to date (not that i really had offers). It was around that time that my employer decided to transfer me from Chicago to Dallas. I gladly took the offer...i needed a fresh start. In moving here i had just me to depend on as i knew no one at the time. This was what i needed to heal and learn to love myself. I needed to find value in myself before i could ever allow anyone else into my life.
So two years ago i started on this journey (It took me almost 2 years of living here on my own to finally start making changes in my health). It was in these last two years that I learned my value. Others may not always see me as they should but that's ok because i love me. I'm not perfect in any way, but i do know how valuable i am.
Seeing my reflection in that mirror this weekend was just another swipe of the cobwebs. The cobwebs are removed so i can see a little more clearly now.
There are things that i do for friends because i know what it feels like to not have it done in my own life. I have a set group of friends that i tend to text every night. Even if it's just my sending them something with no return. It's my way of letting them know that someone cares about them. That someone is thinking about them. I struggle with that all the time. Does someone out there ever think of me? Does someone care about me? It's hard and i often have to battle with my past - a time when i knew i wasn't cared about. A time when i questioned if i were to be missed if i were gone...dead. Would anyone ever miss me or think about me. I don't want my friends to EVER feel that kind of hurt...so i reach out and i give them that little something that lets them know they are cared about and loved and that someone (me) is thinking about them. That's what i want.
Self image and self worth are a battle. Even if you lose the weight we need to work on losing the negative self inflictions and perceptions.
Thursday, November 14, 2013
All too often we only celebrate the HUGE accomplishments, but those small victories are what gets us to those large accomplishments. You don't just wake up one day and realize you've lost 100 pounds. No, more than likely every week you steadily saw the scale produce a number that indicates some of your hard work. Remember the scale is only one measurement of success, there are so many others. So why don't we celebrate all of the small victories along our journey that leads to the ONE accomplishment we all hope to achieve?
So i'm going to do that for myself.
a few years ago, this was me...
I was miserable...i was lonely (even though i was married)...i was uncomfortable. Everything i did took so much effort to accomplish. Walking up the stairs hurt my knees, made me sweat up a storm and i always felt as though would pass out. I didn't feel loved...the truth is how can someone else love you if you don't love yourself. I didn't love myself. In fact, i hated looking in the mirror. Every time i did i felt sad looking at the girl that was staring back at me.
This is me today...
While i'm no where near my goal, I am so much happier with my life and with myself. I've learned and continue to learn to love myself. I've realized that i'm extremely goal oriented. If i set a goal for myself, hell or high water i'm accomplishing it! I'm more out-going then i ever have been..and those stairs...so what, give them to me!
A few years ago this was me...
I did very little activity. In fact, if there were social gathering centered around sports or any type of physical activity i automatically took myself out of the equation by not attending. I didn't want to embarrass myself. I didn't want to get the "pity" pick. I didn't want to cause a team to fail. I never even tried.
This is me today...
I'm all about the activity! In 2012 i did over 15 5k's for the year and this year alone i've completed a few 5k's, a 10k, 2 half marathons and the Susan G Komen 3-Day, 60 Mile walk...whew! I feel amazing! Not because i did all of these events, but because i WAS ABLE TO COMPLETE each of these events. I never thought i would ever be able to do the things i can do now. I've even taken a liking to running and am aiming to run (the entire race) my first 5k in 2 weeks and then continue on from there.
There are so many accomplishments over this past year or so...
* Good-bye 300's
* Hello 250's
* Completed many races and long distance events
* Got out there in the real world
* Fell in love with the person that I am
* Accepted me for me...perfect or not
* Encouraged 4 other women in my life to move more and go further...they've all accomplished amazing things over this past year
* Advanced from walking to running
* Went from a size 26 in shirts/pants to a size 18/20 in tops and a 20 in pants
* Feeling more confident in myself
Every victory, whether small or large, should be celebrated. I remember the first, the VERY first time i started to run i celebrated running for those few minutes because i knew what it took for me to get there. It was a mental battle. I was nervous...i didn't want anyone to see the jiggle of my belly or thighs. But i can always laugh at myself and i did. Let's be honest. As a bigger woman, people KNOW i'm big and will jiggle...so i needed to get over it. And you know what? So often when i'm running people will just call out, "Good job" and "keep it up" or "looking good." I love it!
Victories are anything WE decide to celebrate. So celebrate NOT having that second cookie. Celebrate knowing when you are full and walking away from the food. Celebrate the pants you just wore that didn't place a permanent line across your waist. CELEBRATE EVERYTHING!
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
I had my alarm set for 4:00am but who can sleep with so much excitement? I was up and ready by 3:30am. Opening ceremonies didn’t start until 8:00am! The team I joined, Pink Soles in Motion, rented a charter bus to take us to the opening ceremonies and we needed to be on the bus by 5:00am. We were going to arrive in style. We were the first ones on the scene with the exception of the crew and volunteers.
This is a father/daughter walking team! We loved them…they were SPUNKY!
Even the Plano Fire Fighters were out there supporting us walkers!
And why wouldn’t I get festive for the nightly activities? Let’s be honest…when do I EVER pass up a chance to put on a costume of some sort? Our team, being the LARGEST team, took up an entire row of pink tents and we decorated our area as a Pumpkin Patch of Hope. BTW…we won 1st place for decorating!
Day 1 ended with us walking just over 23 miles. I went to sleep that night a little proud of myself and ready to take on Day 2.
Day 2 started bright and early. What was on the agenda for the day? 20 miles!
Now Carrollton’s fiercest firemen were on the scene to cheer us on! Could we really pass up the opportunity to take a picture with them?
Sometimes you just have to laugh at the silliness!
One of our team member and a dear friend celebrated being a 10yr survivor while out on the walk!
Even Santa Claus took time out from his busy work at the North Pole to support us!
What I REALLY loved about Day 2 was that I had so many friends come out and cheer me on!
Day 2 was done and I logged just under 44 miles.
At the end of the night our team celebrated being the top fundraising team and we were provided with GIGANTIC cupcakes and special seating.
Oh yes! You better believe I partook in a cupcake. This girl burned over 8000 calories EACH day…I DESERVED it! OK, maybe deserved is a strong word…I WANTED it! We also learned chair yoga!
I went to bed that night with sore feet and ankles. I knew Day 3 would be the tough one. We always trained for two back to back long walks. BUT never a third.
This was it! This was the day that I would complete walking 60 miles in 3 days. This was the day that I could check off one more item on my bucket list. This was the day that ALL of my training would pay off. This was it…the final count-down.
The excitement was in the air…
I will confess. This third day was brutal. While I had a smile on my face for every picture taken, what was not captured were the tears that were pooling nmy eyes. From mile 3 through mile 11.2 (lunch stop) I was in PAIN. My ankles were so sore that every step I took I had to make a conscious decision to keep one foot in front of the other. Training always called for two back-to-backs. The third day was a pure physical and mental challenge. I just kept telling myself that I trained too dang hard to stop; that I did NOT want to HAVE to do this agin (choosing and having to do something are two very different things); that I wanted to cross that finish line KNOWING that I accomplished something so huge. My will power HAD to beat out what my body was telling it to do.
During our lunch stop this amazing 18yr old girl who is a part of our team AND as a senior in highschool is focusingon sports medicine, stretched me and adjusted me enough to where I could walk semi-pain free! I could now smile and mean it….aaahhhh sweet relief!
We had but 5 miles to complete the 60 mile trek. We were determined!
The Harley Davidson crew are part of the Pink Soles in Motion Family and they came out on Day 2 and supplied mimosa’s and on this third day they had celebratory beer at mile 58! Since I do not drink beer I simply took pictures and drank my water.
DRUM ROLL PLEASE…
JUST ONE MORE MILE TO GO!
Guess who just completed 60 miles in 3 days? THIS girl did!
This was THE most physically challenging thing I have ever done. And I am so dang proud of myself!
Will I do it again? Maybe, but not in 2014. What I am doing in 2014 is volunteering for this event. I will be out there making sure that the thousands of walkers have what they need to complete their journey.
Here are some additional pictures for your viewing pleasure…
NOW…I want to show you what training can do for you. I attempted to walk the 3 day back in 2009 but I did poorly with my training. And my feet paid for it. The first two pictures were from 2009 and the third picture was taken after this event.
Again, thank you all for an amazing experience! I could NOT have done it without your support.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
I enjoy making things with my hands. I'd rather create it myself than purchase something someone else has made...even if the cost is a bit more. I want to make things my own. This past weekend i completed a wall project...
To some people this wall may be a showcase of the events i've completed. To show off the BLING i've received for completing certain events.
That's not what it is to me.
For me, this is my inspiration wall. I can easily sit on my bed and stare at this wall and just ponder how different my life is NOW compared to just a few years ago.
A few years ago I could barely walk a mile without wheezing, being short of breathe and having my feet hurt. Today I can run and BREATHE and enjoy life as if i'm living it for the first time. I can go further and faster and my heart loves me for it.
A few years ago i hated...actually, i secretly longed to belong to some sort of group where i could fit in. I never thought it would be a competitive group such as this...the running world,all these races i've been in, the people, for the most part, are encouraging. They see me, still a big girl, out there giving it my all. THAT'S WHAT IT IS ALL ABOUT and they know it!
Just to try...just to gather up the courage to try and dare to be more than what you thought you could ever do...
I can easily stare at this wall and the tears will start streaming down my cheeks...
I'm MORE than what i ever thought i was...
I'm more than what I thought i was capable of doing or being...
AT some point I realized I was more and I decided to go after it. I decided to stand up, put on my shoes and just get out there. That's where it all starts..just winning the battle over ourselves to just TRY.
So this wall is so much more than the bling and bibs that hang on it. It's the dreams that went behind each one of them. It's the goals I set for myself before any of the bibs ever came into my hands. It's the notion that I am more and capable of more. It's a showcase of love...of dedication...of dreams...of goals...it's my wall and it tells me that i decided to love myself and think of myself as something greater than i once believed.
It's my wall of inspiration...it's my love letter to myself...I finally told myself that I loved me enough to change my life...
Monday, October 21, 2013
I'm not just changing my weight. When we start this journey we tend to just think about our weight changing, us getting thinner, and maybe purchasing new clothes in the "regular" department stores. It's rare that we consider ALL of the other changes that may take place.
Almost two years ago all i wanted to do was lose weight. Thats all that i focused on. I had no clue what changes would come from that one simple thought. Fast forward two years and here's what i've just come to figure out for myself. Yes, the weight loss will change my physical appearance. Yes, i can purchase better looking clothes in smaller sizes. BUT...
I did not realize that my mindset would change. please allow me to explain...
It used to be that regardless of my emotion I just wanted to eat and eat lots of whatever it is. I'd easily pick up a large pizza and devour it all by myself. It was never a problem. Somewhere along the way the fast food, drive-ins and quick pick up food items fell to the side and I fell in love with cooking and baking with all sorts of veggies and meats.
Even when i'm having one of my days where i just want to curl up on the couch, I will not turn to my pizza for comfort. Odd how that happens out of the blue.
DATING & MEN:
At 320lbs I thought i had to take whoever wanted me. I didn't really have a "type" of guy, he just needed to be breathing and be interested. I basically had zero self esteem so it did not matter to me.
I'm still far from where i'd like to be at weight-wise, but I have changed my outlook on dating and men. I now find that I am attracted to men that want the same things out of life. Men that can appreciate and understand where i'm coming from and where i'm going. Men that may be on this same journey with me. I mean really - who's going to understand you better?
At 320lbs i was scared to talk to a man. I just felt so judged and belittled. AND this was without ever talking to someone! It was all in my own head. I had this attitude of being defeated before i ever even tried. But things are changing.
When you start moving away from your comfort zone somehow this new personality starts to emerge. I'm still the same person i've always been, i'm just not as scared to show it. Why? Because when you start living your life the way you actually want to live it you start feeling more confident, more powerful, more comfortable in your own skin. You're no longer scared to death of allowing people to see you for who you actually are...i'm not scared in that way any longer.
When i started out it was all about just going walking or going to the gym...maybe throw in a few video's. BUT once i started rally moving things started to pick up and i found a new love! I did my 2nd 5k in April of 2012 ONLY because i so badly needed to replace the memory of my first ever 5k that took place in 2009. What i did not realize was that by doing that 2nd 5k i started falling in love with races.
In 2012 alone i completed over 15 5k's. In 2013 i've completed 2 5k's, 1 10k and 2 half marathons. I'm scheduled for the Susan G Koman 3 Day, 60 Mile walk in less than 2 weeks, and i'm registered for 3 other 5k's before the end of the year. In 2014 i'm registered for a 5k, a 10k and 2 half marathons already. My plan is to attempt my first sprint tri by the end of 2014.
What started out as something so small and simple has blossomed into something so much more.
So while my outlook on food, fitness, dating and men has changed quite a bit the biggest changes have come from within.
When i look in the mirror i no longer see that sad, lonely girl looking back at me. She was always so lonely and down. She didn't think anyone ever cared for her so she didn't care for herself. BUT now when i look in the mirror I see a woman that is strong, and confident, and is seeking out new challenges everyday. I see a woman that loves herself and respects herself. I see a woman that wants more out of life then whats just handed to her. She has a smile on her face and it doesn't easily or quickly fade away. I see a woman that is growing stronger everyday. She has determination and a commitment like no other.
Don't get me wrong...i still have those days where the voice in my head wins out and i feel like that girl from 2 years ago. But more and more that voice is being quieted and replaced with the voice of a warrior.
Here's the flip-side to these changes...
I need to remember that I'm making changes to myself...that does NOT mean that others are changing. And sometimes when we change, it brings out things in others that we may soon realize we do not like or agree with or will want to put up with any longer.
How many times are we in a relationship - whether it be a friendship or greater - and once we start changing we wonder why the other person isn't enough for us any longer. It's hard...it's difficult...it can hurt when we start to improve ourselves, and we start to change the way we view life and those we care about are still in the same spot we were in a few years ago. What do we do? Relationships are tough...so where at one time the two of you had EVERYTHING In common, now you realize that you are no longer on the same page. So much has changed. Sometimes you MUST fight to keep the relationship alive...and other times...
Who knew that by losing a bit of weight would bring about so many changes...
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