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My History: Struggles and Successes

Sunday, April 15, 2012

So, I feel the need to reflect after what was, for me, an amazing victory this morning.

I grew up always feeling bigger than other girls. And for the most part I was. I was always one of the tallest in my class, it seemed clothes like jackets never fit right, always tight in the shoulders (I just decided yesterday that I think I might actually have broad shoulders...not sure. How does one know? well if I did I didn't know it then). I was actually in dance, tap and ballet, some jazz from about 4 years old to 9 y.o. After a year or two I went to just ballet. I was the youngest girl on toe (that's what I've always called it, but really it's en pointe or something lol). My dance partner Mandy was 15 I think. Poor girl. But, I loved it and was devastated when I had to stop classes. My grandpa had even put in a bar (barre?) down in our basement for me to practice with. Now even at this point I was not one of the skinniest little dancers. I don't think I was even husky yet. I was a good proportionate size, but with being tall and all I always felt bigger. My legs weren't toothpicks - they were...shapely. I even remember my grandma telling me once not to let anyone ever tell me my legs were to big haha. Anyway...Oh yeah, and me even doing ballet on toe was I guess an accomplishment, according to my mom, because when I was born my feet were curved and I had to wear casts on them for a while when I was a baby. We think this is why I've always had problems with severe foot cramps, sometimes calf cramps. My WHOLE life. It'd happen in ballet, or when I'd be swimming, while sleeping, etc.

Growing up I could never keep up with my big sister. During the summers she rode her bike everywhere, I could never keep up. I wasn't good at anything physical in school. I was the last person to do a mile "run" in elementary school, which consisted of me giving it my all...but mostly walking. I pretty much gave up on being active because I just thought I wasn't good at it, I just wasn't an athlete. I didn't realize that I had a form of asthma (exercise induced, aka reactive airway disease). That's one reason I got out of breath so fast. I couldn't push myself long enough to get better at anything. Also, as an adult I've discovered I'm a competitive perfectionist. WHAT??? I always thought I was a lazy procrastinating slacker. But I finally figured out the reason I never competed is because losing was SO hard for me to deal with. If I didn't win something I felt worthless and like a loser, so I just stopped trying at pretty much everything. Lame.

Also, my mom has always been overweight (well, not in her younger years, but as far back as my memory goes - probably the whole having kids thing). She tried a few crazy diets. I remember one where we ate dry toast, cottage cheese and canned beets. Oh and some plain tuna. And there was Herbalife. There was slimfast. Who knows what else. She was always unhappy too. My parents got divorced when I was 4 and I really think that made a big difference. Looking back I feel like that was when she gave up on a lot of stuff. BUT NOT going into all that on here. The point is that I always assumed, since my mom and I looked more alike than my mom and sister, that I would end up just like her. Overweight and unhappy, and divorced.

So that's the mindset I was working with throughout life. I'm a lazy loser who sucks at doing everything and I'm destined to be fat and unhappy.

Now something that I think is important is that I realized over the last few years (Lots of realizations in recent years - always working on self improvement) that BECAUSE I always thought of myself as fat (I hate that word! I don't ever use it anymore, but that's the accurate word for how i thought of myself then), I became what I thought I was. This is how I know this...So basically after ballet was done I just gained weight. There were lots of other factors, I was unhappy etc. But I got bigger through elementary school, and into middle school, high school I actually lost some weight, not on purpose, a mixture of not having lunch money and I also smoked some...So glad I quit that! I'd also go for walks sometimes at night just to get out of the house, and sometimes smoke LOL. So it was by accident.

I was my smallest when I met my husband. I'm 5'10 or 5'9" and I was 165 then. Oh, I miss that number LOL. And I have hips - the smallest I can remember ever wearing was a 13/14 or 15/16 more usually in juniors or 14. This is why I don't think I'll EVER be much smaller than a 14. I was 18, it was the summer after I graduated. We went out for dinner almost every night it seemed. And I'm talking places like Fridays and applebees, etc. I started out eating small portions, but before you know it I was matching pace with my now husband who is a super fast eater. Suddenly my clothes were "shrinking in the dryer" at the apartment we moved too. and it was becoming more apparent how some styles and brands of jeans would fit smaller! LOL If only I wasn't so deluded and actually realized I was gaining weight...

So the pounds kept packing on. I went on different diets. At one point after we bought a house I was up to 225. I lost 25 on Atkins, and 17.5 on weight watchers after that. That was my last "small" number I recall. I gained that all back plus more over the years. I still had issues with depression, mainly after my miscarriage. I actually first signed onto Sparkpeople in 2006. I think I got on once LOL. We got a treadmill. I used it a couple times. The most I could ever jog was 2-3 minutes at a time. And that was after Rockstar energy drink LOL. Moved to a new house, about 5 years ago, after a while I was 250. I read The Beck Diet Solution - great info, seriously, but never got very far. Read the Power of your Subconsious mind - about positive thinking basically. Those things helped some. I'd get up in the morning and get on the treadmill and walk while reading a book. I was cooking food out of healthy cookbooks and paying attention to portions. I lost 10 lbs....

I got pregnant. I knew I'd finally get pregnant as soon as I dropped a couple lbs LOL. I was tired of waiting until I was healthier. I knew people larger than me who had great pregnancies and I knew if I kept waiting it'd never happen. I didn't gain much weight early on in the pregnancy but by the end I was over 300. I've never told anyone that. Blood pressure jumped, got induced 3 weeks early, that didn't work, went in on 9/8 and finally had a c-section on 9/11/09 and my precious beautiful funny smart amazing love of my life was born. Thanks to him being out, losing swelling, and some breastfeeding (well, pumping) early on I dropped some weight immediately. I was stuck at 275. Went to weight watchers again the summer after he was born. Was having asthma issues, so just eating less, not working out at all, lost 25lbs. stopped for who knows what reason. over the next year gained a few back. Got on Sparkpeople in fall of 2011. dropped a few lbs, worked out a lot, started tracking....fell down the stairs and broke my big toe. Gained some weight back. Toe never healed right (well, xrays show it did...) can't bend it, hurts to try, but once Dr said it was in fact healed I knew I had to get working out again (I was scared of breaking it again or something). Got kids to watch full-time starting first week of January 2012, 2 weeks later got back on here at 257 and got exercising. Once I got into a routine with exercise, started cooking healthier meals, Then started tracking. Now I'm at 235. Oh I want to see those weights again that were a part of my past. 225, 200, 195, 180, 175, 170. etc. I know use an inhaler before running, but not before workout dvds. Building up my endurance with not only my legs but breathing. Someday hope to run without using inhaler. We'll see. ALSO super important is that I met amazing people on this site over the last few months. There is a decent chance I would have given up already if it weren't for all of you cheering me on, being hilarious, making me want to come on here...I just can't thank you enough!!!

So here's why I'm writing this all. I started the Sparkpeople 5k your way Rookie Running 8 week program. I started out at over 250 lbs running on my old treadmill (the weight limit is 250 - I figured I was close enough!) I started struggling to jog 1 minute at a time. I did it 3x per week, crosstrained (workout dvd's) 2 x per week, and did full body strength 3x per week. Some of these overlapped, I left 2 complete rest days. I wanted to get strong and fit, not just drop weight. I wanted to make sure everything was getting worked and make sure to prevent injuries. So after 10 weeks (I redid a couple weeks when I didn't feel ready to move on) I came to week 8 right after being sick and having other issues. The last week. The first two days were walk 1 minute, jog 4 minutes 8 times which was rough. The last day, which I did today, was to jog 3.1 miles - a 5k. WHAT???

I knew I'd need to take walking breaks, after all I had only jogged 4 minutes at a time up until today. And I jog SLOW. 40 minutes (the last 2 days of week 8) would only get me 2.5 miles. I was planning on over an hour. I knew it wouldn't be ideal but I was going to do it anyway. So here's what happened

After my 5 minute walk to warm up I reset the treadmill. Started jogging. switched the screen so it didn't show time, just distance. had my ipod going and just jogged. Every once in a while as I just kept going and going I'd check the time. I was literally grinning like a fool for quite a bit of this 5k. I...

jogged for 23 minutes straight!!!!!!!! and went 1.5 miles before having to walk.

WHAT?!?!?!?! OMG I can't believe it still!!!!!

Then walked 2 minutes, jogged another 8 minutes - still amazing for me, walked 3 minutes, jogged 7 minutes, walked 3 and ran the last 3 minutes 55 seconds until it said I went 3.1 miles. I won't make you figure it out - I did my 5k in 48 minutes 55 seconds. OMG. I now have a personal best to work with. AND I did it not only in under an hour, but under 50 minutes. Now I know a lot of people on this program were around 30-38 minutes for their first 5k, but I don't care. I jog slow. For me this was AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! with my 5 minute warm up and 5 minute cooldown I went 3.61 miles and spent 1 hour on the treadmill. burned over 100 calories more than my goal for the day :) I can't tell you how proud I am of this. Oh my god now i'm gonna cry...

For someone who always felt worthless, depressed, furthest thing from an athlete ever, always fat and lazy and hopeless...To do this??? To complete the program?? to stick with this for 3 months??? Yeah, tears are literally streaming down my face as I type this. I feel HOPE. Hope that my son will never feel how I felt. Hope that I'll be healthy and fit and active and a great example for my son. He wanted to get on the treadmill when I was done. That was great! I have realized I'm NOT destined and doomed to be fat for life. I'm not doomed to be unhappy and get divorced. My husband and I have been together since 2000. We were married in 2004. We are still HAPPY. We joke and laugh and talk still. I am making my own destiny, and it includes health and happiness. I might even become an athlete :) Or maybe I already am?? I think as of today I'm going to call myself a runner. I jogged for 23 minutes straight at 235 lbs with asthma, with no history running or playing sports, with a bit of a cough still from being sick.... Just imagine what could happen in another 3 months, another 20 lbs? And longer?

I am just really proud of myself today. And when I'm feeling down and hopeless someday, I'll come back and read this and remember what I've been through and what I accomplished. I can NOT stop. My healthy happy destiny is waiting for me...

emoticon to you all!


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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • TANYA602
    This was the perfect read for me today and kept me preoccupied thinking about you as I was on the elliptical. We could be twins from different mothers! I am so proud of you for really finding your strength and exceeding the goals you set. How cool that you are feeling so positive and strong after a run! Congratulations! And I look forward to cheering you on thru these next 20 pounds!
    2164 days ago
  • SUE5007
    emoticon Congrats! Keep up the good work!!
    2166 days ago
  • JAYDEE16
    Katie, you have NO idea how much I can relate to your childhood, and your beliefs about yourself not being athletic and therefore not really giving yourself a chance to try. I SO get it, and how hard it is to get over that belief! That little "you can't" voice is always in there, even still. But I'm here to tell you that voice is WRONG. You ARE a runner, you ARE an athlete, and you ARE AMAZING!!!

    Hang on to this feeling, because THIS is the truth. Those days we feel unawesome (nope, not a real word) are just the result of interference and noise and that ugly, nasty internal naysayer.

    Congrats, congrats, congrats on finishing your 5K program - you ROCK!!! I am so impressed and so proud of you! What an accomplishment!!!

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    There just aren't enough emoticons. :)
    2166 days ago
    Holy Crapoly!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot believe I missed this shizzy yesterday!!!! (BUMMER FACE!!!).

    This, literally, made me cry! LoL I'm not PMSing any more, so you know how truly inspiring you must be to achieve this feat.

    I'm SO damn proud of you words cannot even begin to be enough.

    I'm so very touched that I get to share in these experiences with you and get to know you and travel this road together, so to speak. It's an amazing ride, and I cannot wait to see what happens in three months!!!

    You are my hero today, dear katie!!!

    Lots of love!

    2166 days ago
  • CC3833
    Soooooooo proud of you!!! Woohoo!!! This is an incredible story! I'm glad that you finally are realizing your self worth. And that distance and time is amazing you definitely could run me into the ground!

    I understand your happiness about your son wanting to get on the treadmill. My "step"-son goes to the kickboxing classes with us. After class we let him get on the mat and use the pads and things. I was soooo proud of him on Thursday because he actually was punching the pad correctly and he learned how to do two types of kicks... JUST BY WATCHING US!!! (He is only 3 years old.) Children are really amazing they are very observant of their surroundings.

    If everyone in our SP community is an example for the children around them, they will develop great healthy lifestyle from the very beginning and they will never have to feel the way we felt about ourselves. GO US!

    Keep up the great work. And I also give alot of credit to my Sparkfriends. I don't think this journey would be as successful without them...
    2166 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/16/2012 10:40:13 AM
    Like many others, I am so proud of you! Isn't it amazing what we can accomplish if we set our minds to it?! A little determination goes a long ways! You are doing awesome. It sounds like you are becoming stronger both inside and out! Way to go!!
    2167 days ago
    WOW!!!! What a great blog! I am sooo proud of you,too! that's a great time for your run! Keep doing your best,each day...if you stumble then wipe yourself off and get back at it!
    2167 days ago
    You're doing great! Keep it up! emoticon
    2167 days ago
  • VALYNN26
    emoticon emoticon WOW!! You brought tears to my eyes. What an inspiring story. Congratulations on all your hard work!! emoticon emoticon
    2167 days ago
    Katie is someone paying you to make me emotional?? :) You are so awesome! You are so good at blogging!! emoticon
    2167 days ago
    So happy for you!!!
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    2167 days ago
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    Your story has tears running down my face for you!! You are my inspiration for the day!!! I have never been a runner but I am walking to become one..I can totally relate to your whole story and I want you to know just how TRULY PROUD I AM OF YOU!! What a great accomplishment!! Thank you for sharing your story!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

    2167 days ago
    What an awesome victory for you! And an inspiration to others. :)

    It's not always easy to remember this as I have trouble sometimes myself. You are worthy -- absolutely worthy -- of all the good things life has in store for you. Sometimes they come easily & sometimes you have to chase them down, knock them out, and make them yours!

    Go get 'em, girl! You ARE doing this and you CAN continue to do this. emoticon
    2167 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/15/2012 4:20:17 PM
  • ALIWVU121
    Congratulations on your first 5K!!
    2167 days ago
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