Facing Fears and Finding Me: Part Four- One year later!

“My ultimate goal is to be a marathon running, mountain climbing, vegan but if I woke up tomorrow and decided to do all three, I would fail miserably. I first need to be able to run a mile, climb the stairs without getting winded, and make it a week without meat before I can take another step forward.”

I wrote those words last March, a little over a month after I stepped foot on the scale for the first time in about a decade. I wrote again in May after losing 25 pounds and had planned to keep updating on a regular basis, but, since August, other writing has taken priority for me. . .

Even though I had temporarily abandoned blogging about my health and fitness journey, I never abandoned my quest to find me. One year later I am down 56 pounds and feel pretty awesome. I want to share with you–hopefully to inspire you if you are looking to make some positive changes for yourself. No matter where you are in your own health and fitness journey, know that every change you make, no matter how small, is a step in the right direction.

My progress, by design, has been slow and steady. Everything I wrote in Part Two about losing weight? I still stand by it 1000%. Be accountable, get educated, have patience, exercise, find encouragement and support, and most importantly, go easy on yourself! As a person, you are NOT, I repeat, NOT defined by the number on the scale. True change is incredibly hard and takes loads of perseverance. Change is never easy and really scary sometimes, but healthy changes are always worth it. Be courageous in your efforts and you will be rewarded with better health, I promise.

Even though I was grossly overweight when I began, I knew that I would have to continually set fitness goals to keep my motivation up. I did this by signing up for different events with family and friends. The rewards when competing with this way are immeasurable. Finishing a race with your loved ones cheering you on is a beautiful feeling and I couldn’t have made it this far without such amazing support. I am so very thankful for the help and support that I continually receive.

In case you are waiting until you are smaller, faster, in better shape, etc. etc. etc. before you commit to a fitness event or weight loss program, there really isn’t a good enough excuse. (Did you see the double-amputee Olympic runner last summer? Or the 90-year old marathoner?) You can do it. And in case you are doubting what you can accomplish right now, here’s my list from the past year. If I can do this, anyone can.

In March, for the first time in years, I jogged a mile without stopping. At the time, I was at least 225 pounds. Yes, it was ugly, very ugly, but I did it. (Incidentally there was a nurse walking on the treadmill next to me. I knew if I went down, I’d have help!) It was a fantastic day.

In May, at about 215 pounds, I completed the Tough Mudder, a 12-mile long obstacle course. It was raining and about 50 degrees that day but we all finished. We were too cold to drink our free beer at the end but it was incredible anyways. I went home bruised and battered but the sense of accomplishment was so very worth it.

12 miles in the mud and cold!

In June, I ran the Foot Lake 4. For the first time ever, I ran a race the entire way. People that walked half the race finished before me and I didn’t care. I made it. As a bonus, my oldest and my brother ran too. (For the record, Uncle Mike kicked Page’s butt and placed in his age group. We ate pancakes afterwards and it was awesome.)

At about 206, I completed my first running race without stopping or walking. If you think
you are too big to run or complete a race, STOP THINKING THAT RIGHT NOW!
You can do anything you put your mind to, no matter how much you weigh.
Don’t ever forget that!

In August, at 197 pounds, I completed my first triathlon. I survived the swim, passed several people on the bike, and then got passed by all of them on the run. It didn’t matter though, I completed the race under the goal time I had set for myself. The feeling when I crossed the finish line? Indescribable.

After the bike, before the run.

Then in November, a crazy thing happened! My dad, who has never really ran before, joined the fun. I’ve ran two races with him so far and to say that it has been completely awesome would be an understatement. . .

After completing the Frozen 5k last weekend with my dad and Page.
In another 25 pounds or so, I will have reached my goal weight. I don’t have a magic number in mind but I’m guessing I’ll know when the time is right to transition from weight loss to maintenance. To celebrate, I will be climbing a mountain and running a marathon this summer. Long’s Peak in Colorado will be my mountain and the Superior Trail Marathon will be my race. As far as becoming a vegan? Despite some valiant efforts, I have no immediate plans to give up an occasional burger or juicy steak, but, I’m working on it.
P.S. I have only one regret on this journey so far. I didn’t tell my parents the day I completed the tri. They knew I was training but when the day came, it was cool and rainy. I knew I’d probably be out a couple of hours (if I made it at all) and I didn’t want them to feel obligated to stand out there in the rain waiting for me (I made my kids though!). They both let me know afterwards that they were disappointed with me for not informing them and I distinctly remember telling my mom that she could be there next year when she wouldn’t have to wait around for so long for me to finish. A couple of days later we talked about my weight loss and she told me how extremely proud she was of me. She said she would have to “get on the stick” and lose some weight too. That was one of my last conversations with her. . . 
Here’s a story about a 90 year-old marathon runner!
Facing Fears and Find Me Parts 1-3!

Part two: http://prairiegirlsguide.blogspot.com/2012/03/facing-fears-and-finding-me-part-two.html
Part three: http://prairiegirlsguide.blogspot.com/2012/05/facing-fears-and-finding-me-part-3.html


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