Monday, December 5, 2011

My Fitness Battles

I am going to start out by saying that I have been morbidly obese in my life and I have been my ideal weight in my life.  I am going to be honest and say that I have been obese more in my life than not.  Right now, I am categorically in the obese section.  I had a baby 2 months ago, today.  She is an amazing little one and I wouldn't change having her for the world, even if I never lose this weight, she is well worth it to me.

In 2009, I decided to take control of my weight.  My brother and I joined a competition at the YMCA as a team.  It was Jan. 2 and I weighed 233.4.  That isn't the most I ever weighed in my life, but it was a lot more than I wanted to weigh.  I am 5'6" tall.  At this time, I had 3 children, born in Mar 2003, Apr 2004, and Dec 2009.  I lost 40 lbs right before I found out I was pregnant with my 3rd child.  Then I never lost the weight after him.  I decided it was time.  With my brother as my partner, I didn't want to let him down.  In the next 10 weeks, I managed to lose about 38 lbs.  He lost closer to 50.  We came in second place.

During this time though, I went to the YMCA daily, if not twice a day.  I would get on the cardiovascular machines and go with all my heart.  I would see glances in my direction sometimes from people that were fit, that would make me feel uncomfortable.  All the people that worked at the YMCA were nothing but helpful.  They did what they could to help me succeed.  If I didn't know how to use a machine, they would take the time to show me.

I started running during this time.  I was so happy when I first ran a quarter-mile.  Since my brother was my partner, I called him first.  So excited!  He was excited for me.  That quarter-mile was the first of hundreds of miles I have logged on my feet.  He was so supportive of me, he would call and see what I did and ate daily.  I needed that accountability.  As I watched The Biggest Loser one night, they made these people run a half-marathon, unaware.  They found out that day that they would be running.  I figured that if they could run a half-marathon, I could run a 5 K. The furthest I had run before this was a mile.  It about killed me to run the 5 K without stopping, but I did it.  I set the treadmill to the 5 K program and started running.  That was my biggest running accomplishment in my life.

Our 10 week competition ended halfway through March.  On April 9, I had surgery to remove bone out of 3 toes, because I have hammertoes.  That kept me from running for 2 months exactly.  I decided during this time that I was going to do a half-marathon.  I went to Smart Trainer and put in my times.  It came up with a schedule where I would start by running a certain distance at 4.3 mph.  I remember this because of how low the speed was.  I probably wouldn't have remembered it, except I had an older gentleman on a machine next to me that would just keep looking at me in disgust.  It wasn't just one look, it was several.  At this time, on the first day, I was 201 lbs.  Yes, I gained a few when I couldn't do much on my feet.  I wanted to curl up into a little ball and cry, but I hate crying, especially in front of people.  I ran the distance at that speed, and yes, I was a sweaty mess by the end, but I did it with him glancing at me in disgust.

I continued my running schedule for the 16 weeks and then there were 2 more weeks before the half-marathon.  I continued to get glances from people off and on.  By the time my half-marathon occured, I was a rather permanent fixture at the YMCA.  I lost 20 pounds and people were noticing me.  I would get asked about my running and why I was doing it.  I had people rooting for me.  I was the "running girl."  It was mid-October when I did my half-marathon.  I ran it in 2:33:55.  Yes, I am not fast, but I didn't walk at all, and it was a hilly course in PA.  I was proud of myself.  Many of my siblings were there at the finish line, as well as my husband and 3 children.  I felt as if I conquered the world.

I have gone on to complete 2 marathons, several 5 Ks and a few 10 Ks as well as a 17.75K.  Now, after having my daughter, I weigh 206.2 lbs.  There, it is out there.  I am not ashamed of that weight, I have a beautiful daughter to show for it.  I have been taking Prednisone since mid-July, and it causes weight gain and difficulty in weight loss.  I am going to start running again, today.  I will be happy with whatever distance I get.  I ran .83 miles at her 6 week date, and about got sick.  I am going to take it easy and get back up to the half or full-marathon again.

I moved to a new city in March.  I am 1900 miles away from the YMCA that I talked about.  I think that it is important to try out different fitness centers.  I have been to centers that were made for women only.  The problem with that was that they didn't seem to have as much as other fitness centers.  I like to have a pool, free weights, a variety of cardiovascular machines.  I know that there are fitness trainers that seem to abhor overweight people.  I had one in my past.  He tried to kill me, I really think he would have liked to see me dead.  I chose him because I wanted someone that would push me to do my best.  I think he pushed me to see if I would die.  I couldn't walk for a week.  I didn't die, but I did switch trainers.

I would love to get back into shape and become a fitness trainer.  I think it helps if someone has been through the challenges that those of us who have been or are overweight.  I don't wish it on people, but I think it helps people to be empathetic.  I think that being overweight, we have to accept that there are people that are just going to be rude.  We have to know that we will get mean glances and hear rude comments, but we shouldn't let them ruin our desire to get fit.  It is sad to think that we should expect these things, but I have lived through them before, and I will live through them again.  At the end of the day, my family loves me regardless of everything, and that is what really matters.

It is like I tell my loved ones... when I first started running, people would make rude comments and yell out asking why I even bother.  Then they were probably the same ones yelling comments in approval after I had lost the weight.  There are just people like that.

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