I was always the wannabe athlete. I had the build to be one heck of a great volleyball player or swimmer. When I was young people told me I was tall enough to be a model or a great basketball player, all before they even had a chance to know me well enough to know if I was even interested in such things.
As a child I loved music and ballet. I remember in kindergarten being told tall girls were not built for ballet so I might as well go do something more productive with my youth.
In high school I was socially awkward and most definatly unique compared to the rest of the girls in my school. I was terrified to really be around the other athletes because I was sure I was not as good as they were, having not spent years on the court or in the pool. So I played in the band. I was told I was a waste there because I should be on the court where I belonged. No mention of if I liked music or enjoied what I was doing.
As you can imagine, this presented a few conflicting thoughts on my young mind. I was an eater. I ate when I was lonely or angry...sad or frustrated. Unfortunatly, that was often. So I was not only tall, but a heavy, often unhappy tall girl.
When I meat Mr Dad in college I was a solid 190 pounds (my lightest in college) and pursuing my interest in competitive mountain biking and keeping my mind away from the heartbreak of my first serious break-up. It didn't take long for the pounds to creep on when Mr. Dad was treating me to restaurant meals and away from the trails and active life I was trying to lead.
So marriage eventually came and so did the dreaded 200s on the scale. The 210 mark followed within the first year and by the time we had our first daughter in 2005 I topped out at my pregnancy at 265. I never hurt so badly in my life as I did at that weight carrying a baby. I fought the weight by working vigurously at my job as a PE teacher. I played touch football, ultimate frisbee, swam, and managed 300 students and the equipment all myself. It never occured to me the slice of carrot cake and fried chicken I fed myself each day might be keeping my pregnancy weight higher than anticipated.
I gave birth and expected the weight to fall off and back down to the then comfortable 210 range. Who knew taking care of a baby and working full time made you too tired to exercise and cook well?
When the oldest daughter turned 18 months old I was still in the 220 range and feeling awful. I went off to Weight Watchers and they taught me the good ol' point system. I of course lost weight and got to eat all the junk food along the way...just as long as I stayed within my points.
An average day:
Mcdonalds sausage mcmuffin 7pts
instant oatmeal 3pts
lean cuisine meal 7pts
Chicken breast and salad dinner 7pts
As you can see, it was a terrible nutrition profile...but I lost weight. Isnt that what I wanted?
In 2007 I became pregnant with my second daughter and remembering the pain I put myself through being so active during my first pregnancy, I immediatly stopped all active efforts and dropped back into the fast food line two times a day.
Guess what? I gained every pregnancy pound I had lost. I tipped the scales once again in the 260's at the end of my term.
It was only a few weeks after my youngest childs' birth that I began walking her in the stroller. Eventually I ran.
I still ate like crap. I never lost any weight.
My father became very ill in the winter of 2011. We were sure he would not be with us long. To show support and maybe a little desperation (who can do much for a cancer patient 1000 miles away?) I vowed to run a marathon in his honor. I wanted to do something hard, impossible, something worthy of my fathers respect. I also wanted to get healthy and get as far away from cancer as I could.
I trained for 40 weeks for my first marathon. Diligently, I ran according to the ultra novice plan I found on an internet search.
I crossed the finish line at the 2011 San Antonio Rock N Roll Marathon in 5:37 and weighing in at 216 pounds.
I spent 20 hours a week running my tail off. Miles and miles and miles...
I never changed my nutrition.
I was broken. I needed to find the answer and inspiration within myself. I thought I would have that at the finish line of the big race. Instead, I found a bagel and cream cheese.
My answer did come...stay tuned for part 2