The above photo was me at the end of January this year. This was the exact time that everything was hitting home for me, the time when I could no longer deny my state of mind or state of health.
I added in some light walking fairly soon after my eating was under control then worked my way up to power walking for an hour at a time. After I could easily complete my hour of walking, I decided to up the ante again, so I began the Couch to 5K program in May. It started slowly, alternating running for 60 seconds and walking for 90 seconds. It was HARD at first and I felt every second of my one minute runs, but with each workout I found that I had just a little more endurance than the time before. Soon I was running for three minutes, then five minutes, then ten minutes, until finally, as of now, I can run 30 minutes non-stop. That's equivalent to a 5K, or 3.1 miles, without stopping. That is a HUGE accomplishment for me, a woman who has never ran before except when I needed to get away from a bee or something! Late last week I finished my eighth week of C25K and I feel great. Also, to mark the end of my program, I can say that I have officially lost 50 pounds. 50! All the hard work has paid off. I may not be where I want to be just yet, but I am 50 pounds closer to my goal.
The journey has been fairly easy, but then again, not without its moments of difficulty. I have found that the difficulty is NOT in the food, but in my mind. I can be my own worst enemy. There have been only a couple of hard moments that I've had to contend with. Once in early June, I was having a hard time with cravings and verging on a binge. And, the other time would have to be right now. This week has been hard for some reason. And, it's ironic that my difficult week is also the same week that I finish my C25K goal AND reached the first magic number in my weight loss goals. Maybe I'm subconsciously putting too much stress on myself for things to go perfectly or wishing that things would move along faster than they are. Maybe I'm disappointed that I'm not further along to my goals. I don't know. But, one thing is certain, nothing will get better as long as I entertain these negative thoughts.
That's why I have finally written this blog post. I know it really just skims the surface of what's been going on, and the details surrounding every pound lost and every step taken are many. But, I think that it's time I started sharing more, accepting more help, more advice, more encouragement. It's time to stop doing it alone. Don't get me wrong, the encouragement I have received from my immediate family has been amazing, but for some reason, I feel like I'm still hiding away. Not from the shame of being overweight, but from being scared to fail. So, I'm going to stop hiding away so much. I'm going to start being as honest with others as I have been with myself.
Along with the struggles, I also want to record the victories from here on out. I want to record how great it felt to finally buy a regular size XL shirt instead of one from the women's department or worse yet, one from the men's department as I was forced to do last January. I want to remember moving down from a size 22 pant to my current size 16. I don't want to forget how running has made me feel. The pain of it, the strain of it, the burning in my lungs, the way sweat runs in my eyes, the way my face is as red as it can be, the way it makes me want to cry. But, most importantly I want to record how every run makes me feel better about myself. Self-confidence is being built with every step. I feel stronger and as if I can do anything.
Both of these photos were taken yesterday, 7/15, in the dressing room at the mall. Both dresses were a size 14! I wasn't comfortable enough in them to get them (or comfortable enough with the price tags, for that matter!) but it was fun to try them on!
I also want to record the moments inside the dressing room as I try on sizes I haven't seen in years. I want to try on clothes that I know I'll never actually buy just so I can see what I look like in something besides a tight pair of jeans and an oversized tee shirt. I want to record how nice it is to buy normal sized clothing in regular stores. I want to record all this because I don't ever want to go back to where I was. I was in a dark, ugly place. A place that scared me and I'm sure it even scared those around me. A place where I hid away and didn't invite anyone in. Ever. I'm tired of hiding and of rejecting everyone around me. One thing I've learned these past five months is that I have to DO things differently than I ever have before to get the different results that I desire. That difference is including this bold (for me) honesty about my weight, my feelings, and my struggle. So here I am. Right now. Being completely honest.
Hello World. xoxo