Wiping off the salty sweat, and occasional tears, to re-discover what makes me happy.
2011 was the year I decided to get real with myself.
I realized that I've never been truly healthy my whole life. I was thin in high school and the first two years of college, but my eating and exercise habits were not what I would consider "healthy." I was always an athlete in high school, playing sports year round. However, I wouldn't eat the right types of foods. My family never ate together, no one ever cooked, so I would be on my own for meals, which usually meant eating out or eating junk. I would feel guilty after eating a whole box of crackers and 3/4 block of cheese for dinner, so I would go for a 40-minute run at 8pm, come home, not eat, and go to bed so that I would feel hungry in the morning. Yeah. Not healthy.
senior year, 2004
sophomore year, 2006
When I went to college, I put on the "Freshman 15" over my freshman year through the start of my sophomore year. I started to feel very self-conscious and un-happy with my appearance, so I began exercising 3 or more hours a day, obsessing over calories eaten, and literally crying on 60-minute runs because I felt so guilty about something I ate. I did this for all of my sophomore and start of my junior years of college, getting down to 125 pounds. On my 5'8" frame, there was no way I was able to maintain that weight. From all the running and bootcamp classes I was doing, I ended up getting a stress fracture the spring of my junior year of college and, since I couldn't exercise as much as I wanted to, I went the completely other way and stopped working out and counting calories altogether. (I've also realized that I'm an all-or-nothing type of person.) Needless to say, I gained about 30 pounds in 6 months. I didn't look huge, but in my mind, I was disgusting. I literally stopped looking in the mirror. I couldn't stand the sight of myself and I couldn't stop eating. When my mother passed away the winter of my senior year of college, I continued eating whatever and whenever I wanted. I would attempt to go on diets or run, but since I couldn't run like I used to (I could barely run a mile) I would get discouraged and eat some more. This lasted for about three years and I don't know my highest weight because I stopped weighing myself, but I know I was well over 200 pounds. Kirstie Alley said it best: "I was much more disgusting than I thought."
at my heaviest,
I did it!
January 2011 was the beginning of my new life. I decided in order for me to be happy, I needed to get back to what I do best: run! I signed up for a half-marathon with the organization I work for, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, on one of our campaigns, Team In Training. I was given a 5-month training calendar and a race date of May 7, and I was dead-set on following the calendar and completing the race! In the spirit of doing this the healthy way, I decided to get a personal trainer so I didn't get burnt out on just running. I actually love exercising, I literally forgot how much I love it, so it's been relatively easy to get back into a routine. However, where I've always struggled is diet. My trainer as well as the blogs I've been following have helped me come to a balance. I've been learning so much about what's good for my body type, my level of activity, and my personal tastes that I actually look forward to cooking new, "clean" meals. I've also told anyone and everyone about my weight-loss and race goals so they will hold me accountable. Before, I would never let people know exactly how much I was exercising or how little I was eating, but this time around, I'm determined to make it happen for the long-haul and that means letting everyone and their brother know about my plans!
By June 2011, I've lost 22 pounds and a total of 9 inches. I've also completed my first half-marathon (in 2 hours, 14 minutes), PRed at my second half marathon in August (2 hours, 7 minutes) and am currently training for my third half marathon, the Columbus race on October 16, again with TNT. Blogging will also serve as another way of holding myself accountable and show others that it is possible to lose weight and feel great with a little bit of salty sweat (and some salty tears, too!) Stay tuned!