There’s Always Time for Truth

A couple of months ago, WordPress emailed to say my subscription was due – to renew my domain name so I could still own refractionofmelia.com and use it. I ignored it for a long time because I had not written in it for so long and had forgot I even owned a blog. But I renewed it, thinking that one day I might write in it again. I guess that’s today.

It has been a year. Almost to the dot – I looked at my last post and it was August 10th of last year. I do not even know how to begin the update. Probably 100 million things have happened in the last 12 month to my health, running, weight, mental health, emotional well-being, and family & friends. It’s just too much for one post. Hell, it might be too much for one blog.

So I will start slow. I can’t guarantee I’ll be here every day writing nor that it will always be exciting. It might actually be depressing and sad and infuriating sometimes but I promise you it will be a story of a journey from top to bottom to even lower than bottom to practically burned to ashes. But it will include success, too. And resurrection. And stories of the most amazing friends and family and forgiveness and support that you will have ever heard. And truth. I promise it will be nothing but honest.

Honesty Truth #1:

Sometimes It Really Sucks To Lose Weight

Honesty Truth #2:  

You Learn Who Your Friends Are When You Set Your Life On Fire

Honesty Truth #3:  

Stubbornness Causes Cortisone Shots

Honesty Truth #4:

You Have To Just Breathe

I started this blog years ago about being obese, losing weight, and trying to run a half marathon. I will now have to begin again with a brief update. Later I will write more about my Honesty Truths listed above but for now, you should know that I am no longer obese. I have in fact lost 100lbs and after being a size 22/24, I am now a 9 or an 11 depending on what type of clothing I am wearing. I will talk about how I did it and how (unhealthily so) quickly I did it and everything & everyone who played a part in that journey. But not today. Today I will end by saying that I hope you’ll read about my journey and comment and question along the way – I don’t mind answering your questions. Today I will end with a photo that is my before/after – the me on the left is at a conference in July 2013 and the me on the right (yes, with a guy dressed as Austin Powers) is at a conference this July 2014. Today I will end with telling you that this blog is going to be about so much more than weight loss and exercise and running – it is now about how I survive/d the fight with demons.

before after

feeling pretty darn proud right now

This morning’s post will not be long – partially because I’m getting ready for the day of workshop activities and partially because I only have one small little update to give about last night’s run.

As expected, I felt the need to get out and do something physically active after the day was done and supper was eaten. I headed back down to that trail and picked which way to go – this time I picked toward a cool bridge I knew was down there somewhere. My intention was to run for 13 minutes, walk a bit, turn around and run back. Except that didn’t quite work out that way. I ended up just running and running – to the bridge, across the bridge, up a boardwalk hill, and then I realized I had been running for 20 minutes straight and it was starting to get darker. So I turned around – without walking/stopping – and ran back to where I started, and then I ran just a bit more. Once I hit 40 minutes, I knew I wanted to do 50 minutes because when my son and I did the 5K distance this past Sunday, that’s how long it took us, walking and running. And that’s what I did – I ran for a total of 51:23 minutes last night without stopping.

I know for most long distance runners, that is not a big deal or the fact that I run at like a 14 minute pace is slow – BUT I DON’T CARE WHAT ANYONE ELSE THINKS. I’m freaking ecstatic that I ran for 50 minutes. I honestly haven’t done that in a long, long time. And frankly, I’m pretty damn proud of myself.

That’s it – just a short post to say that I’m feeling pretty happy and pleased right now. And now, off to a day/afternoon/evening of workshops!

running, losing weight, and body image

I am not ashamed of my body. I realize that according to societal standards, I’m supposed to be all ashamed of being fat (yes, I’m fat – I’m okay with that word, truly) and am supposed wear horrid clothes to hide my fat from public eyes, but I’m not there. Whether anyone agrees or not, I still equate myself with this song:

Okay, so why am I writing about this today? Partially because of a comment someone said to me – something to the effect of “it’s so great you’re running so you can lose weight” or something similar. But, the fact of the matter is, that is not why I started running. I originally started running because first of all, someone told me I couldn’t run because I was obese and obese people don’t run races. Uh, whatever. The other reason is that I’ve never been a real athletic person and I thought this would be a good challenge for me. Then, it became pure mind over matter to see if someone who is obese could run herself healthy enough to run. Notice I didn’t say run herself skinny.

Of course, because I drastically changed the way I eat, and I am running a lot, I am losing weight. In the last handful of weeks, I’ve lost 15 pounds. That’s a lot actually. My clothes fit different – some are too big. And I am excited about this – because it means I am becoming healthier in some ways, but please know it’s not all about being some super skinny woman. In some ways, the fact that it is possible that I may lose a lot of weight and be a skinny woman scares me a little – I’ve been skinny in the past multiple times. And honestly, when I’m the tall, attractive, skinny woman, I’ve been a real bitch in the past. But, I’m much older and more mature now so I’m sure I wouldn’t be that way again (even though one of my largest tattoos was acquired because of said bitchness in past life – -and I do like tattoos…it’s a long story that doesn’t make me look like a real nice person).

So, here’s the conflict that stays with me all the time:  I’m a super proud in-your-face feminist who is happy with whom she is today and I’m also excited about becoming healthier BUT I really hope it’s not for some f’d up vain “you can’t be sexy unless you’re skinny” bullshit. I’m going to have to keep myself in check on this for sure. I don’t want to fall into societal standards about beauty ideals. But I do know that I want to be healthy enough to run a half-marathon within the year and finish a marathon AND Tough Mudder before I’m 40. Yes, a Tough Mudder. Yes, I am crazy. Yes, I will for sure get the Tough Mudder tattoo upon completion.

ANYWAY, I think it’s important for people to know that you CAN run while being obese, overweight, fat, curvy, or whatever adjective you would like to use here. And of course it’s perfectly acceptable to run because you want to or because you want to lose weight or because someone told you could not do it. Whatever the reason, it’s a good one. Part of the reason I write this blog is so others can learn from it – understand that there are difficulties involved, yes (no running shorts in your size for example), but overall, it’s worth it. Trust me.

I suppose I should give an update on stats…

Well, it’s been about 2 years since I started this journey. But not really an active 2 years since I pretty much took a whole year off because of my injured knee.  Here’s your super awesome factual update:

I’m still obese. I’m still wanting to run a half marathon.

Okay, okay, real update is:

September 2nd, 2011

Length of Time Able to Run: 50 minutes

BMI: 34.6

Pounds Lost: 22

Inches Lost: Um, I didn’t measure today. But I can tell you that I’ve dropped 2 sizes

So, there you go: progress! My BMI is still in the obese category, but it’s dropping – I believe when I started it was almost 38.

And, I averaged 13 minute miles this morning which is good for me. It’s a good day all around..except that I have a major craving for junk food today! Sunday I will be doing the 5K distance again mid-morning. I’m hoping to be able to run the whole thing in under 50 minutes – that’s my goal!

Stats Check

Okay, it’s August 21st.

Here we go –

Length of Time Able to Run: 20 minutes with 3-minute intervals in between 5-minute intervals (so, 5 min run, 3 min walk, 5 min run, etc…you get the picture)

BMI: 35.9 (still yikes!)

Pounds Lost: 9

Inches Lost: Sigh. I need to do some measuring today…

Frustration

So, I’m frustrated.

I have two goals in mind when it comes to this journey I’ve undertaken. One, I have wanted to be a runner since I was a kid and just never thought it was an option or a possibility until recently. Two, I want to be in shape and lose weight. You can see how these two things fit together nicely.

The scale tells me I’ve lost weight. Actually, 6lbs in the last weight. I’m excited about that. But – and here’s the part that gets me – I swear my clothes feel tighter. Mainly in the stomach area – it totally feels like I’ve gained weight! Ugh.

Frustration item number two: all I’ve eaten the last week is crap. Yes I realize that frustration items one and two are probably connected. But I don’t know what my deal is lately – and it’s not just crap, it’s unvegan crap. I ate processed nasty pasta the other day with a cream sauce – milk/butter based I’m sure. It’s like I just had a downfall. And then once, that was done, I figured what the hell? Why not eat a piece of unvegan cake too? Ugh. Of course, I’ve been vegan for long enough that my body has weaned itself off the poison that is animal-based food and I was sick the next day from it.

On a positive note, I worked out at the gym yesterday (during what ended up being a horrific storm that caused my university $250,000 of damage!) and then ran a half mile. A half mile! Me! So, that makes me happy. Oh, and I got the job that I had applied for and had been anxiously waiting to hear about…so all in all, life is super awesome.

Just the damn weight and eating crap thing that sucks. My goal is to overcome that overnight. Ha.