(Not so) Fit-versary: Two Years (Before, During, After, and back to During Pics)

April 30th was my two year anniversary of the day I decided to get fit.  I had big plans for the month of April:

  • I was going to weigh 150lbs.
  • I was going to be in the best shape of my life.
  • I was going to run a marathon.

None of these things happened because little did I know, I was no longer going to have a mother.  Just four short days after my half-marathon on October 4th, my mother became ill.  She was already ill–heart disease, kidney failure, dialysis, but she became hospital-ill.  In January, she became gravely ill.  A month later, she passed away.  And it was awful.  All of it.

I am a binge eater.  A stress eater.  An emotional eater.  A drinker. Bad, bad combo.  From October-January, I ate a little extra.  When I came to visit my mother at least once a week, I would also visit my favorite restaurant and order a burger and booze.  On occasion.  Infrequently.  Once in a while.  I put on a few pounds, but no big deal.

In February, my world blew up.  I dealt with her death well.  I stayed composed when everyone else crumbled.  I made arrangements.  I printed pictures for the tribute table.  I made a video slide show.  I composed a beautiful obituary.  I contacted family members.  I lovingly chose the last outfit my mother would ever wear.  I sifted through jewelry, found her dentures, located her glasses.  I chose flowers, signed papers, wrote thank you cards, and closed bank accounts.

I barely got to say goodbye.

There was no still, quiet moment with a single streaming tear in a solemn room alone with the woman who gave me life.

There was just busyness followed by emptiness.

To ease the pain, I drank.  A lot.  And I ate.  A lot.  I binge-ate, binge-drank, and binge-watched Grey’s Anatomy reruns. As a result, I don’t feel any better and I certainly don’t look any better.  I have gained about 40lbs (I’m TOTALLY guessing because I refuse to get on the scale).  I’ve been getting back into the swing of things.  Running or hiking a local trail after school, body-weight strength training, and eating the proper amount of calories.

So far, it’s been hit or miss.  I’m on the wagon a few days or a few weeks, and then I tumble off that sucker for a week or so and go hog wild (emphasis on the “hog”).

I did take measurements about 2 weeks ago, and I have lost inches, so that’s good.  That’s motivating.  Writing about this is also motivating, not to mention therapeutic.  Once I work up the nerve to get on the scale, I’m sure watching those numbers go down will be motivating as well.

I have set new goals for the summer and fall of 2015:

  • Run a 10k
  • Run a 13.1
  • Run a marathon in October.

Goals are good.  Goals keep a person going.  Goals give me something to focus on.  School will be out soon, and I plan to spend my summer running and getting back into the best shape of my life! 🙂

Where I was two years ago:

I like-a-da foods.

I like-a-da foods.

No chins were harmed in the losing of this weight...

No chins were harmed in the losing of this weight…

I had gained from the 2012 pic, and then started losing again in Apr 2013.  This pic is probably about 245-250.

Approximately where I am now:

Weighing in at about 190 here on April 9, 2014.

Jay Sheets and Marie Pearl…and ME!

Where I want to be:

004

Baby Boomers 12 2014 017

Selfie-alert!

Selfie-alert!

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What did I GO! and do now?

I did it.  I am officially registered for the GO! St. Louis Marathon on April 12, 2015.  This race takes place almost two years from the day that I weighed 297 pounds and looked like this:

Notice how I'm trying to hide behind not one...but TWO people!?

Notice how I’m trying to hide behind not one…but TWO people!?

Hiding again. Oh-so-unsuccessfully.

Hiding again. Oh-so-unsuccessfully.

Over 130 lbs later, I’d say I’m a whole new person–or at least half of what I was.

Fall Pictures 2014 032

Fall Pictures 2014 004

I will celebrate my two year anniversary with a run.  A really, really looong run.  I will be working on a training plan that will fit my schedule and not kill me.  I’d like to try to keep up the fitness level I have now–I can currently run 10 miles with relative ease–and I want to work on speed. In addition to that, I will start my actual marathon training in December.  I will probably use Hal Higdon again.  It was easy and it got the job done.

Goals to reach by April 2015:

1. Lose 20 lbs.  I’m currently hovering around 165.  I’d like to be 145 when I run, but I’ll be happy with anything from 145-155.

2. Run 10 minute miles comfortably. I know my race pace will be slower, but for shorter distances, I want to run faster!

3. Finish my marathon in <5:45:00.

Here’s to a new training plan and more regular blog updates!  Wish me well.

Happy (marathon) running!

Long Time, No Post.

Things have been hectic since I ran my half marathon.  I’m overwhelmed (and underpaid) at school.  I’m teaching two new classes this year in addition to being the Student Council Sponsor (an unpaid position).  We’ve had Pink Out for Breast Cancer Week including a Pink Out game, we held a blood drive on Friday, October 10th, where we met exceeded our goal, and we are in the planning process for the Halloween Dance which is scheduled for next Thursday after Parent Teacher Conferences.  I’m tired just thinking about it all!  At least we have saved some lives in the process!  Have a gander at our spoils:

I vant to suck your blood!

I vant to suck your blood!

It was extra cool to donate and to see so many of my students brave the big, bad needle, since my momma has been in the hospital since last Tuesday, and has received 5 units of blood.  She’s not doing so hot: end stage renal failure, heart failure, low bp, bradypnea.  Lots of other fun stuff.  She goes in to have a cardiac cath done tomorrow because her heart is functioning (ejection-fraction rate) at <25%.  This is worrisome because she just had a cath done a year ago and they put in 11 stents.  It’s pretty unlikely that she has clogged up that much in a year’s time.  They may put in a defibrillator too.  It’s scary–even scarier since I can’t be there due to being so bogged down at school.  My brothers won’t be there either.  I hate to leave her hanging.

The reason this ties into my fitness blog at all is that my mom is the main reason I made a change for the better.  She saved my life (by proxy).  I saw how imprisoned she was in her own body.  She is sick all the time.  She is uncomfortable all the time.  She has so many meds that a nurse has to come refill her pill box for her.  Her eyes are so bad from the diabetes that she can no longer see the lines on her syringes to dose her own insulin.  My dad–a heavy smoker and drinker–is legless and feels as if he is suffocating despite each ragged breath.  I knew at 300 pounds, I was careening toward that same life…if you want to call it that.  I saw my mother’s misery, I saw my father’s helplessness, and it scared me straight.  I turned my life around.

My parents will probably both be gone within the year, but I will live my life to the fullest to honor them.  I know they are proud of what I have accomplished, and I will continue to make them proud. I even have marathon aspirations, so maybe with their motivation, I will actually be able to cross that finish line. I will take them with me for each step of a Sunday afternoon jog.  I will run every race for them.  I do it now, and I will do it long after they are gone. ❤

Run far. Run happy.  Just run.

Crushin’ Goals, People. It’s What I Do!

Today, I finally feel like a runner.  A real one.  (I know, I know…If you run, you are a runner…but still…today…I FEEL like one.)

 

Hey, I can see my feet!  A year ago, I didn't eve know if I HAD feet!

Hey, I can see my feet! A year ago, I didn’t even know if I HAD feet!

 

A while back (a loooooooong, loooooooooooooooooooong while back) I set a goal for myself.  I wanted to run an entire 5k without stopping.  If you are following my progress, you know I was oh-so-close to meeting that goal on Monday.  I ran 2.9 miles and 37 minutes without stopping.  Those were both personal records for this former fatty.  Here’s a pic of me at my first official 5k back in Sept 2013 at around 200-220 pounds.  I probably only ran the first 3/4 mile and then interval ran the rest.  Pathetically.  But that day, you would have thought I had just qualified for the Boston Marathon.  Wins are wins, people.  Celebrate along the way!

 

Winning!

Winning!

 

 

So today I set off for my run with the intention of running AT LEAST 3.1 miles and AT LEAST 38 minutes.  I wanted to beat my previous “record”.  I added a leg of level terrain to the beginning of my run, so that I could be sure to get my 3.1 miles in before that last devil of a hill that leads up to my house (it’s a very, very, very…okish house).

I don’t typically listen to tunes while I run.  I love my me-time and being alone with my thoughts.  This means I become privy to private convos from time to time when people don’t hear me padding the pavement and huffing and puffing.  Today I heard the neighbor laying into her 11 year old son about something or other.  Must have been bad; she told him to quit his crying, and he said his allergies were acting up.  I’m a horrible human being, but I found that hilarious.  Only because I know her.  I know she’s a good mom, and he’s a good kid.  He apparently had screwed up, and she was taking care of the sitch.  I found it so funny because I could just see him as a grown man saying the same thing at the end of a Nicholas Sparks movie his wife made him watch.  Oh, no, honey, it’s just my allergies.  They’re acting up… 🙂

I ran the new leg and then met up with Monday’s course.  I ran down the big hill–the one that’s a pain in my ass….literally!  That hill made my glutes so sore I could hardly get up and down the stairs to do laundry yesterday!  I ran across the dam–BEAUTIFUL!  The way the sun hit the water made it look like diamonds glinting on the surface.  Breath-taking…or…maybe that was all the running that did that.  I ran back across the dam and a car slowed behind me.  I turned around to see and hear my kids waving and yelling hi.  My hubby was home from work and my daughter’s piano lesson.  I cut in front of them and finally had some shade.  I worked my way across the levelish road that led to the hill from hell.

 

Then I reached that bad boy.  I knew I had already killed my 3.1 miles goal, and I knew I had probably already hit my 38 min goal too, but I wanted to kick that hills a** as shamelessly as it had kicked mine on Monday.  Here’s a pic of the beast:

 

Holy Hill part I

Hill From Hell part I

 

Hill From Hell Part II

And Around the Bend…Hill From Hell Part II

 

 

I swear to everything that is holy, these pics do NOT do these hills justice!  I’m pretty sure I sold my soul between this point and the telephone pole, but it was soooo worth it!

 

After the crest, had a little downhill to get my energy back, and I gave myself a pep talk.  Out loud.  I hope no one heard me.  “You’ve got this.”  “Look at that shadow.  You look amazing.”  “You can. You can. You can.”  That last one was chanted with every footfall.

 

I was almost home with one more hill to go.  I made this one my mini-b**ch.  Around the corner, she just keeps going up, but a little more gradually.  That, I can handle!

 

My last bit of downhill before the last uphill push for home!

My last bit of downhill before the last uphill push for home!

 

You can see my car’s shadow on the hill…lol.  I don’t take pics when I run.  I drive it later to get mileage if I don’t already know it, and to snap pics for you fine folks and my fitness motivation group on facebook.

 

Finally, I made it home.  I felt amazing.  When I drove it, I almost cried.  I looked at the odometer.  4.3 freaking miles.  57 freaking minutes without stopping.  That is 20 minutes longer than my longest run, and 1.4 miles longer than my longest run.  I’m so proud of myself.  I honestly couldn’t run 30 seconds a year ago.  It was torture to try. Now, running makes me feel free.  Happy.  Healthy.  Strong.  Inspired.  InspirING!  The hubs even went out for a one mile run later.  I ALMOST went with him, but I decided to go take pics instead.

 

Set a goal.  Work on that goal  Don’t give up.  Just get it done!  Crush it!  It’s a great feeling!  I’d love to hear your success stories! 🙂

 

Take care, buddies!

 

 

Goals this Week

I’ve been excitedly thinking about what goals to set for July.  The one I settled on was this:  For the first week of July (including today, June 30th), I will run for 30 minutes on MWF, and bike for 30 minutes on TTh.  I will do this in addition to any bodyweight/calisthenics I have “prescribed” for that day.  This may not seem like much to some of you, but it’s enough for me.  I tend to do well with smaller goals that don’t seem daunting, and I usually end up CRUSHING those suckers, which boosts my confidence. That’s why in the beginning of this weight loss journey, I made goals like “walk a 20 minute mile”, “button 24s without sucking it in”, “lose 3 lbs to hit that even number”. It MUST work because 14 months later, I’ve lost 135 lbs!  My week one goal is actually my goal for all four weeks of July, but I don’t want to psych myself out, hence the one week goal.

So… that’s my current goal.  Along with losing 2+ pounds to get into the 150s!  I’m very excited about that.  The lowest I’ve ever been in my adult life was 159, and I was a very FAT 159.  I’m much more fit this time around!  Anything under 159 will be new ground for this former fatty! P.S. I feel like crap today, and the last thing I want to do is run. It’s only 30 minutes….it’s only 30 minutes…it’s only 30 minutes….that’s today’s mantra.

I’ve also started a weight loss challenge in my Fitness Motivation group on facebook.  My facebook buddies have NO IDEA I have this blog.  I’ve shared my weight loss with them, but not my start weight.  I can’t seem to “own it” yet with people I know…lol.  Anyway, the challenge starts today!  Feel free to weigh in and compete along side us.  It doesn’t cost, and it’s based on honesty.  The winner will be chosen based on percentage of weight loss.

 

On a side note, my biggest reason for changing my life, losing the weight, and getting healthy is my parents’ extremely poor health.  I don’t want my life to end up like theirs.  I will probably post separately about this, but the short version is that my dad, who is already an amputee due to poor leg circulation (from smoking), is in danger of losing his other leg.  He is also getting a lung biopsy today to see if he has cancer.  Boo cancer!

On another, funner (kind of) sidenote, the hubs is getting teeth pulled today.  He is just genetically predisposed to bad teeth despite brushing.  The dentist was going to do it last week, but told hubby it would be “really shitty”, and offered to give him some hardcore drugs so he could come back “as ‘drunk’ as possible”.  Obviously the sissy-baby (I kid!  But when I had a cracked tooth pulled, I was prego with one kid, and had the toddler kid on my lap!), opted for the drugs.  It will be an interesting ride to the dentist this evening!  I may have to video this! lol

Have a great Monday, peeps!  Set a goal. Crush that goal.  Repeat.