Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My Story

Ok - I realize that many of my run posts have been centered on my diet struggles.  I just noticed that I haven't really touched on what 2010 has been for me.   In January 2010, I weighed in at my heaviest, non-pregnancy weight ever.  208lbs.  On my 5'9" frame, I didn't look like what people typically think of as FAT, but fat I most certainly was.  I had two, 7 month old babies and had given myself a bit too much permission to eat freely while I was breastfeeding (well, I was technically exclusively pumping but the principle is the same on the mommy-front).   As a result, the pounds kept packing on. 

When I stood on the scale on Christmas day 2009, I cried.  It was time to change, but I had no clue how.  I had been through the yo-yo cycle a hundred times in the last 10 years and I knew it was time for a lifestyle change.   The motivation to get exercising came on Boxing Day, when I wandered into Walmart and saw all 4 seasons of Felicity on DVD for ridiculously cheap.  I had been wanting them for years and they had always been super expensive.  I decided that I would buy them, but I was only allowed to watch them if I was on my stationary bike and the pedals were moving.   It was exactly the motivation I needed.

2010 started with me sitting on the bike and watching one episode a day.  It quickly became the favourite part of my day.  Meanwhile, I was also reading "Secrets of a Former Fat Girl" by Lisa Delaney and liked the sound of it.  I wanted to be a "Former Fat Girl", but I didn't want to follow any prescribed diet plan.  From my history, I knew that if I strapped my ovo-lacto vegetarian self into any particular diet plan, I was doomed to fail.  Instead, I decided that I would give myself an allowance.  While I was providing milk to my babies - I would eat in the neighbourhood of 2000 calories a day.   I figured this would give my body enough to nourish itself and the twinners.   Using my DietMinder journal, I wrote everything down.  Diet, workouts, water intake, vitamins.  If it went into me, it was written down.   It wasn't long before the weight started to melt off.

Late in January, a dear friend of mine told me that she had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.   Anna was a marathoner and had been trying to get me to run for years, but I had the usual excuses (bad knees, asthma etc etc) so i managed to avoid it at all costs.  That all changed when she told me her diagnosis.  The first thought through my head was "I need to find a run for lymphoma and do it".  When I told my hubby, he said "But you're not a runner" and my response was "I guess I'm gonna become one". 

I spent the next month looking for lymphoma runs and, finally, stumbled upon Team in Training.  The icing on the cake was that one of the events they offered was Nike Women's.  This was a race Anna had done in 2007 and it felt like the perfect fit for me.   I needed to learn to run before I could register for it, though.  So, in Late February, I started Couch-to-5k (a learn to run program that I had read a lot about).  It was 8 weeks long, but promised that I would be a runner when it finished, as long as I trusted the program.  On May 8, 2010, I started training with Team in Training and on May 9, I ran my first 5K - the mothers day run in Calgary.   By this point, I was 30lbs lighter than I had been when the year began. 

I was no longer breastfeeding and my weight had plateaued so I re-evaluated my calorie allowance and decided to drop it down to in the neighbourhood of 1500 calories.  That gave me enough energy to keep going with my half marathon training and with chasing after two - 1 year olds.   Almost instantly, I lost another 10lbs! 

Ok - here's some picture proof...I really wish I'd had a better backdrop but this still works:


The rest of my summer consisted of another 5K, two 10Ks and wrapped up in October with my TNT half marathon in San Francisco.   Just for kicks, I did another half in November with a team mate (and another 5K in December with yet another on the calendar for the end of the month).   My weight went up after returning from San Fran because I totally slacked off.   But now I am back on the wagon.  I only want to lose another 23lbs and I am giving myself until the start of April to do so.   I am back on the bike every morning (this time, I'm watching "Sliders" - brings back my college days of sitting in my dorm room, watching on an 8inch B&W TV). 

I have also decided that if I am going to look good in a swimsuit in April, as a lounge on the beach in Mexico, I am going to need to do some strength training.  Usually, I am totally into fitness videos for my strength training, but I really couldn't be bothered so I started the 100 pushups program and am working on improving areas I am weak.  I figure right now I can only do pushups using a stability ball...so I will start by doing the program that way.  Then I will do it again, graduating to knee pushups.  THEN, I will do it AGAIN but as a big girl - up on my toes.  Taking 18 weeks to do it will hopefully help me do something I've never been able to do before.   A good goal to work towards.

Nowadays, I am finding inspiration in unlikely places.   I discovered BenDoesLife and I love his philosophy of "Doing Life".   I have also taken to following the blogs and twitter feeds of other running moms.   The Run Like a Mother book has helped me to put my running into perspective and to help me know that I am not alone out there with my time constraints and my wanting to better myself to make me a better mom for my kids.

As for what the future holds, who knows.  All I do know is that my kids deserve to grow up with a mommy who is fit and energetic.  I don't want them to have a fat mom.   I know that the things i am doing right now to better myself and my health with be the things that they grow up knowing and it will make life so much easier on them when they grow up.  Maybe I can help them avoid being fat girls themselves.  Guess only time will tell.

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