It sure has been awhile since I posted on here. I am so sorry. I think about the blog almost everyday and wish I had more time to commit to it. I friend of mine also has a blog and asked me to write something for his blog about running and weight loss. Some of his friends were having a hard time losing weight, even after taking up running. It meant a lot to me that he thought of me. It also reminded me of where I started, how far I’ve come and how hard I fought to get there. Sometimes when people ask for my advice I feel like a fraud. Like I don’t have any right giving them advice. I lost weight and managed to gain some back. But guess what? I’m human! I’ve lived through a lot of big changes lately. And I need to forgive myself, learn from it, and move on. Here is what I wrote for David. Does anyone else out there have a similar story? I’d love to hear it.
So you want my perspective on losing weight and how running played a part in it? I lived my first 34 years as an overweight and unhappy person. I never had self-confidence and thought I was doomed to be heavy the rest of my life. I decided to do Weight Watchers once my weight reached 230 pounds. I thought I would try it, give it 100% for 3 weeks and when it didn’t work (because I really thought it wouldn’t), then at least I could say I gave it my all. I wrote down everything single thing I ate and never cheated. And guess what? The weight started coming off. So I gave it 3 more weeks. And it still came off. I continued this for a few months and then started to slowly add some exercise. It started with a walk around the neighborhood, then I bought a free weight book and did a few of those in my basement. Then I bought a treadmill from Craigslist and walked 20 minutes everyday. Then, I decided to jog a few minutes at a time. Then before I realized it, I was jogging the whole 20 minutes. I still continued to count every weight watcher point and never “cashed” in my workouts for food. Within 10 months I had reached my goal and lost 100 pounds. I did this while through all the major holidays, on vacations, and during my husband’s many deployments. For the first time in my life, I had self-confidence. I had enough self-confidence to enter into my first 5k. Then, my first 10k, 15k trail race, half marathon, and then a full marathon.
I slowly quit tracking my food and sort of did the points in my head. I stayed on track until my full marathon training got under way. Something weird happened. I started gaining weight. Yes, gaining! I was running up to 60 miles per week and was gaining weight!!???!!!! I had this mentality that “oh, I ran 20 miles today, I can eat whatever I want”. I was always hungry and thought I needed to fuel my body, right? I know I’m not alone in this as I’ve spoken to many others who have had similar experiences. It’s a dangerous way to think.
I have had a lot of changes in the past 2 years and I didn’t really handle them well. My husband retired from the military, I had to go back to work, we moved and I’ve had a VERY hard time making friends and finding running partners. I quit running for a while and quit tracking food. And guess what? The weight started creeping back up. So, I’ve rejoined Weight Watchers (even if its only online) and started running again (even if its only on the treadmill at 4 am because I now have to work). I do this every single morning. Where there is no time, you have to make time. I’ve been running consistently for about 2 months now and haven’t lost a single pound. I started tracking my food last week and lost 2 pounds.
So, why run? Running for me is so much more than burning calories. It is a way to measure accomplishment. It’s a way to do something that not many people can/will do. Sometimes when I’m running I just want to quit and I make myself keep going. I tell myself I’m not a quitter and that I can do this. You can surprise yourself in so many ways if you just don’t quit. It’s something I do just for myself. As a working mom, there aren’t too many things that are just for me. I know it’s important to give myself that. It also helps my daughters see me in a strong, positive way. To hear one of them speak about me and my accomplishments makes me smile for days.
I believe the key to losing weight is a combination of many things. You have to commit fully. You have to know it will be hard. You have to journal everything you eat. Be accountable. You have to be active in some way. You have to figure out what made you overweight to begin with and overcome that. There is no quick and easy way. But there is nothing worth having that is easy.