Friday, September 19, 2014

The Weight of it all

The weight of you not here nearly broke my back -- Kid Rock, When it Rains

Here's how it all went down:  I lost my sister.  I couldn't breathe.  Every waking moment, I was in pain. Except that the pain felt a tiny bit less raw when I ate a doughnut.  Or drank a coffee drink with extra sugar and cream. I didn't care what I looked like, I didn't care that I was gaining weight, all I cared about was making it through each day, and I wasn't completely sure that I could.

When I made it through a day, or an hour, or a minute, it was sometimes so hard that I felt like I should be rewarded.  I rewarded myself with food, or with the indulgence of not giving a damn about my health.  I didn't exercise.  In fact, many days it took all I had just to get out of bed and take care of the kids.  I had no emotional reserves.  I was constantly exhausted.

Without really noticing or caring, I gained 20 pounds in 8 months.  I was overweight before this, too.

Violet is way more enthusiastic about running than I am, she LOVES it.
This summer I started to come out of the fog.  I stopped constantly rewarding myself with food.  I stopped gaining weight.  But, I didn't lose any weight either, and I still wasn't exercising.

In August I spent an evening with a good friend. As is usual when she comes to town, we had deep conversations about life and what we love about it, and what we want out of it.  I had been keeping an idea to myself that came out during that talk.

"I want to be able to run 3 miles by the time I turn 40." I told her.

"You can do that." she told me.  I was skeptical (This friend happens to run marathons, I'm so proud of her, she is a rock star. I obviously don't run marathons, and I wasn't sure if she remembered what it was like to be someone who was out of shape.)

"I need to be held accountable or I won't do it."  I told her.

"Then text me at the end of each workout. I will be waiting for your texts."

We left it at that. When I got home I downloaded an "album" onto my ipod called "Personal Running Trainer's 8 weeks to 5K".

That first Monday, I got up and did the first workout.  I texted my friend.  She was so encouraging.

Well I can do this week, I thought, but I probably won't be able to do all the workouts next week. But I did.  Another friend decided to start doing it too. I also text her at the end of each run, and she texts me when she runs.  I didn't think I could sustain it but I did, and I am.  I keep doing the next week, and the next, and the next, and the next.

This morning I completed week 7.

You guys, I can't believe I'm actually doing this.

I still don't care so much about my weight.  It takes me a long time to lose weight.  It is going down, but very slowly.  But now I do care about taking care of myself.  I care about feeling good, physically and mentally. I'm finding that it is helping me so much with stress, anxiety, and even grief.

I don't have everything figured out, not by a long-shot. I still have days when I turn to food for comfort. I'm working on that. But I do know that this running program is getting me just a tiny bit closer to becoming the person I want to be.


  1. Thanks to you - two of us are improving our health and attitude ! Thanks for getting me started and helping me keep going!

    1. Me too, Andi! I feel so much better. I don't look much different, but I am healthier. I love it.

      I'm happy for you. I'm happy for your friends. And, I'm happy for me. I can't wait to hear about the first time you get in a foot race with Sam --- and beat him!

  2. I once had a coworker who admitted to be an alcoholic and addict of many other drugs. She'd done some prison time for the drugs and had quite a few other problems of that sort. She was in a very good place when I worked with her - sober and healthy, had recently gotten to a healthy weight. She claimed that of all the addictions and struggles - managing food and weight was the most difficult. So I think every single step you take deserves some celebration and congratulations. You're going to meet that goal, if you haven't already. And probably inspire a number of us in the process. I'm really proud that you're my friend.