Friday, June 14, 2013

The story of a mile

I've never been a runner.  Yes, I have participated in two 5ks this year, and I plan to do plenty more, but don't mistake that as a sign that I'm a runner.  I'm not.

When I was a kid, for P.E. we used to go down to the park at my dad's job with another homeschool family, the Dills.  There was a nice running trail with stops along the way for different areas of exercise.  I enjoyed the exercise stations but when it was time to run I always hated it.  I did, however, have a pretty major crush on Adam, the Dill boy who was my age, and when he took my arm and pulled me around the track, I was happy to acquiesce!  Sure, I'd run if it meant time with Adam!  But without the motivation of a cutie to run with, oh heck no!

When I was at school in Germany, my good friend and roommate Joy used to drag me out of bed when it was still dark and crack the running whip as I complained of my impending death during a very cold and dark torture session.  She was a runner and I adore her, and I needed exercise, so when we discussed running together it seemed like a good idea, but when it came down to it, I admire the determination it took on her part to get me going!  She also got me to do early morning aerobics and many other crazy things I never would have attempted on my own.  If you know me at all, you know just what an accomplishment that is... not only because she made me run, but getting me out of bed in the early morning is no easy task!  But Joy has always been able to motivate me like no other.  She rules.

Obviously lately I have been more into fitness, and I genuinely want to be a runner.  I want to love it.  I plan to do a half marathon someday, and run the entire way.  In my head it sounds glorious.  In reality, I can't run for more than a minute without stopping to walk.  As soon as I start running I think, "Why did this seem appealing?"

That happened this afternoon when I decided to see how far I could jog around the block.  One lap around is slightly more than half a mile, and a few times in the past I have alternated running and walking, but I have never run for more than thirty seconds.  Wimp.  I set out thinking I would run half the block, walk the other half and be done with it. 

I didn't even get that far.  I jogged all of 0.15 miles, to the end of my street, turned the corner and walked the 0.09 miles that makes up one short end of my block.  Then I started to jog again, thinking I'd see if I could make it the full 0.22 miles of the next street before having to turn the corner again, but I really didn't see it happening. 

But then my mindset changed.  Why stop?  I needed to just push myself a little and I knew I could do it.  When I got to the end of that street and turned the corner, I knew I could keep jogging because that street is only the length of three houses.  I would stop there. 

But then I pushed a little further, because there were only five more houses until I got home.  For sure I could make it home!  I had only planned to go around the block once and I would have run more than half of it, which is pretty good! 

Something kept pushing me though, and instead of turning in at my driveway, I kept going.  I made it to the end of my street again and forced myself to finish the last little bit.  Then I walked the rest of the way home. 

I jogged one full lap around my block: 0.57 miles!  I guarantee that is the farthest I have run in one shot since Adam Dill pulled me around the track at Hughes Aircraft when I was 12.  I know it's nothing, but it feels like a huge accomplishment for me!

Ooh, and I also got to wear my workout wristband for the first time!  It has a pocket for ID on one side, and a zipper pocket for keys on the other. I bought it at Victoria's Secret right after I did the Color Run in order to get a Color Run tank top for $5.  We had to buy something in their VSX exercise line, and I didn't want to spend $50 on running pants.

All decked out and sweaty post-run

That says runner.  It may not be true yet, but it will be.

Ooh, I need to put on some mascara.
This is the tank top I got for $5.  I wanted to wear it now and take a picture so I have a comparison shot for later on when I'm an actual runner and weigh less.  Before and after shots are fun!

I feel good right now, with that run out of the way.  I just have one question though: why does running produce so much saliva?  I probably spat 32 times during that run, one for every year of my life!  Hahaha. <--- dork.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

You win some, you lose some

I lost the second Diet Bet I signed up for.  I only lost four pounds instead of the nine I needed to lose in order to win.  I was just too busy with final projects and finals to sleep much for a few weeks, and not getting enough sleep REALLY messes with my body.  Also, what with not having enough time to sleep and all, you can bet that I didn't spend a single minute at the gym.

It's okay to not meet your goals sometimes, as long as you're not back-tracking and you stay focused.  Sometimes life legitimately gets in the way, but it's important not to let a short hang-up turn into an extended period of laziness and gluttony.  It's amazing how quickly it can go there.

It's easy, when I see a little spike in numbers on the scale, to get discouraged and go into a mindset of "well I already gained a few pounds, I might as well eat this bag of M&Ms... quart of ice cream... vat of macaroni and cheese... olympic swimming pool full of whipped cream..." or whatever seems tempting at the time.  Okay, most of that was grossly exaggerated.  Except the M&Ms.  I truly cannot stomach an entire quart of ice cream anymore although there was a day... let's not talk about that.

Actually, yes.  Let's talk about that. Because...

I have a very tall friend who is truly amazing and wonderful and I can't wait for her to find an amazing man to marry and be nerdy with.  She, however, is afraid it will never happen because she thinks she's taller than every man ever.  While I understand her desire for a taller man so that she can feel small and protected, it's just kind of a crazy thing to worry about!  Besides the fact that there are obviously plenty of tall men out there, to convince her that height truly doesn't matter, I frequently tell her the story of my also-tall sister, who swore up and down that she would never marry a guy who is shorter than she is.  And then she met her husband.  He is a few inches shorter than she is, and she genuinely doesn't care.  It just doesn't matter!

So we're talking about my sister the other night, and I say, "would you like to see pictures of them?  Would that make you feel better?"  She exuberantly claimed that she would indeed like to see some evidence of a happy oddly-heighted couple, and I went to Facebook to track some down.  I ended up in a photo album from their wedding rehearsal and while showing her proof that height does not hinder happiness, I found a picture of myself that I had blocked from my memory.  It was not tagged because I didn't want anyone to see it at the time, which is ironic, because I am now going to post it here for all to see.

I commented on it and my mom saw the comment and told me that I look downright skinny in this picture compared to some that she has, and she asked if I wanted them.  In the midst of cringing at the thought, I told her to send them.  I wrote a post a while back with pictures of me from before, but since most of my pictures are in storage, and there aren't a whole lot of digital pictures from back then, the pictures in that post don't really show just how huge I used to be.

Not only do I want to be completely transparent and show exactly what I used to look like and what is possible with hard work and self-control, I also think it's important to keep these reminders for just the kind of situation I am facing now: having lost my footing just a little bit while being tied up with end-of-school busy-ness and forcing myself to power through and not give in to the dark side.  One look at these pictures is enough to send me running to the gym.  In fact, that's where I'm going as soon as I finish writing this.

So here is a picture from the day my nephew Eli was born, March 15, 2010, and then a slew of horribly embarrassing pictures from earlier years.


There is hardcore cringing going on right now.  But I also know that now I look like this:

In this picture, by the way, I am wearing a newsprint skirt that I bought for the Media Arts Banquet at Pierce College, where I am copy editor of the newspaper the Roundup.  I got it on ebay for $1.99 and it is size Large.  That's all it said.  Large.  Which could have meant anything.  I took a small gamble and it totally paid off, and it's my new favorite skirt!


I regret decisions that I made for years and years that kept me fat and miserable.  I look back and I wonder how I let myself waste so many years.  It makes me sad.  All I ever thought I wanted was to be married with kids, and I totally sabotaged myself because of my state of mind.  My twenties are gone, and I spent a majority of that time lost and depressed.  I was not the person I am today.  And yet, it's amazing what God can do with all the ugly and messy and dirty that I turned my life into.

My story is helping inspire a handful of people to get healthy and that makes the whole experience... maybe not worth it, but it makes it beautiful.  It gives it a purpose when I saw only despair.  And it gives me a purpose I wouldn't have had otherwise.  I want to inspire people.  I want to let people know that if I can do it, literally anyone can.  And I want people to know that they are worth it.  They are valuable and they deserve more than the miserable state in which they are stuck.

Food is a crutch for so many, and it masks the real issues that each person struggles with deep down.  It was when I finally let go and let God heal my inner junk that my outer world started to change as well.   Today, I am joyful, confident, and full of direction for my life, which is amazing.  My exact journey is what I had to go through to get to where I am, and I would not switch places with anyone in the world if i was given that option.