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The Fear Kept Me Here

As you all know, I started experiencing pain in my left foot/lower leg one Sunday in late September/early October the evening after a standard 8 mile run with friends.  It’s been almost a year since that pain shot through me but I can’t say that I’m 100% just yet.  Maybe 85%, which isn’t too shabby, but not 100%.

This is the first time I’ve ever been legitimately “hurt” in my life.  I really had no idea what to expect but did know this would be a physical setback.  I didn’t know how much it would hold me back mentally, though.

Doctors told me numerous times (starting in Spring 2012) it was OK for me to start running again.  Every time I’d get back into it, I’d get scared.  I’d scare myself about getting hurt again or feeling any sort of painful sensation that I’d talk myself out of doing anything remotely physical all the time.  Just the thought of getting a new injury or making my current injury worse was enough to drive me to tears if I thought about it enough.  Even if I went for a nice easy run or did a nice workout pain-free, I’d still scare myself out of keeping with it.  I’d then beat myself up about not working out.  If I DID work out, I’d beat myself up over that because I didn’t look as great as other people working out.  My self-esteem was going haywire.

Along with my mind playing tricks on me in regards to running, I got lazy again.  It is WAY too easy to fall back into those old habits of just chillin’ on the couch or sleeping in on a weekend or eating all that crap at your friend’s dinner party that you promised you wouldn’t.  Trust me.

All the things I worked so hard to get started to slip away.  I gained 10+ pounds back since Thanksgiving of last year.  I say “+” because I haven’t weighed in at WW in a month and have been on a crazy downward spiral with food recently.  People still told me I looked great (even though I saw my clothes starting to fit badly again) and I just stopped caring.  I’ve been eating like pure crap on and off for almost a year but really kicked the crap eating into high gear this summer.  My body tells me it doesn’t like what I’m fueling it with by getting indigestion, stomach aches, a chubbier physique, and breakouts but none of those things stopped me.

This was the easy way.  It was easy to not document or care about what I ate.  It was easier to not hold myself accountable for my decisions and to blame my flubs on others.  It was easier to let the fear take control and keep me off the road in my sneakers.

It was easier to be the victim.

Things have started turning around for me, though.  A couple of weeks ago, Anthony said to me that we needed to get back into WW.  Our wedding is coming up next September and we both want to look our best.  He suggested that we kick it into high gear after our much deserved vacation in 2 weeks.

This past week was tough and I definitely ate pure crap throughout, regardless of how the crappy food made me feel physically and mentally.  I’d keep thinking back to the “we start after vacation” line and would go for whatever I wanted.

But yesterday was a turning point for me.

Yesterday, I did The Color Run with 2 of my good friends with Anthony as our cheerleader.  All 3 of us Color Runners have been dealing with injuries that side-lined us, so it was pretty cool and symbolic for us all to be doing this together.  Although it was a “run,” it wasn’t a race.  Nothing was timed and you could go at your own pace.  People of all shapes and ages participated and you could walk, jog, run, skip, or gallop your way along the colorful 5K path.  We ran/walked the whole race together, focusing on having fun and getting covered in colors.  My personal goal was to get through the race pain-free.  I’m happy to report that ALL goals were accomplished!  I felt so great!!!!!

Before going to bed last night after my exhausting (yet fun!) day, I felt no pain in my leg/foot.  This has been common lately, thanks to wearing proper orthotics somewhat consistently.  I thought to myself, “Hey! Tomorrow’s Sunday morning and you dont have anything to do until noon. Maybe you can go on a run in the AM if you wake up!” It was a fleeting though and one that has entered my mind almost every weekend before bed for the past year.  Nothing ever happened that next day, though.  I’d always sleep too late or have a reason not to get up.  Hell, the last time I went on a solo run was a little over a year ago when I was on vacation!

Not today.

Something came over me this morning.  I woke up unprovoked around 7:50 and it wasn’t just to pee randomly.  Even though I was up and running around like mad for 18 hours the day before, I was AWAKE.  I decided to lie in bed for a few minutes to see if I was going nuts.   I started hearing that little voice saying that I should go for a run.  “It looks nice outside!  You’re not in pain from yesterday, either! Why don’t you go for a quick run?” it said.

I grabbed my gear, gave a sleeping Anthony a kiss, and went out for my run.

I have lived in Little Falls for almost 3 years and always wanted to go for a little run though the neighborhood.  I FINALLY did a nice 5K through parts of the Morris Canal and the town of Little Falls.  The sidewalks were in great shape and the sights were beautiful.  Quaint little houses with tiny gardens, lush greenery kissed with morning dew, and Sunday morning sunshine that created a dreamy glow.  My music (a Fear Factory Pandora station probably better suited as a soundtrack to escaping a psychotic murderer) kept me motivated and moving the entire 38 minutes, only stopping at crosswalks and to adjust my running app once.  I kept it low enough to hear the consistent buzz of crickets in the grass and cars cruising through the neighborhood for a happy medium.

I was getting tired and breathing a bit heavy towards the end but I finished my 5K strong.  I finished nearby my apt building, and walked back to my place a bit tired.  I wasn’t hunched over gasping for air, I wasn’t lying on the pavement hoping I still had a pulse.  I was a GOOD tired from a nice solid run that made me breath a little heavier and want some icy cold water.  It made me feel healthy, sweaty, strong, and (best of all) proud.

With all that said, I can say now with full confidence that I am BACK and NOT stopping until I reach my goal physique!  And damn…It feels GREAT!

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Pic of Das Boot

My first attempt at a quick mobile update…let’s see how it goes!

Here’s a pic from my phone of das boot. It goes up to the bottom of my knee and although bulky, is surprisingly comfortable.

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Sidetracked…

3 Saturdays ago, I did my standard long run with some of my runner gals throughout Montclair.  7 miles on a new route that was kind of hilly but a lot of fun.  I felt fine and went out my day like normal afterwards.

That night at a local concert, the arch in my left foot started to hurt.

I figured it was just from being on my feet for too long that day and wearing sneakers with next to no support to the show.

The pain continued throughout the week, getting worse somedays but subsiding on others. I RICE’d every night, wore flats with arch supporting inserts, and even used a medical foot cream for relief.

It all seemed to be working, but my foot never got to that 100% mark.

At the 2 week mark, it still hurt.  And to make matters worse, the pain seemed to be moving all over the place from my arch, to my inner ankle, even to my heel.  I tried booking an appointment with a doctor as soon as I could during the week but all of the recommendations I received didn’t take my insurance or were not in the office that week. I had to wait another week until I could see someone, which finally happened today.

The doctor I saw (who was fantastic and part of a foot & ankle group in Parsippany my mom recommended to me) asked me some questions, pressed on some areas of my foot, and knew exactly what it was.  Before giving me a formal diagnosis, he took some X-rays of my foot just in case and (thankfully) didn’t find any tears, bone fractures, or anything serious.

My diagnosis? Tendinitis.

Basically, what happened to me was this: I somehow injured my heel (this was probably the initial injury from 3 weeks ago after my run).  Sub-consciously, I started walking differently to relieve the pain (which is very true but I didn’t realize just HOW much I changed my walking style).  And the change I made in my walking irritated tendons & ligaments in my foot (thus explaining the shifting of the pain).

He said this type of injury is a preventative injury, which could have been prevented if I did more of something very important: STRETCH.  Chances are, if I stretched more, this wouldn’t have happened.  But I can’t go back in time so I just have to deal with the consequences.

And the consequences (although not as bad as they could be) kind of suck.

4 weeks of immobilization in an air boot.

I have a follow up with the doctor in a month to see how my foot is.  According to the doctor, based on my history I should be fine after this month to run and do all the things I love without any issues.

I know this isn’t nearly as bad as it could have been.  But I still came home and cried like a baby to Anthony.  My biggest concern was the Philly Half Marathon in late November.  I can’t run until the beginning of November, which only leaves me 2 weeks before the marathon to “train.”  And by then, I’ll be 2 months behind on training.  I honestly don’t want to run such a long distance so quickly after being given a clean bill of health so I may end up selling my entry.  It sucks…But I’d much rather give up 1 race to ensure that I can run (and race) for the rest of my life.

My boot (AKA das boot!) is actually pretty sweet looking.  A pain in the ass to walk in, but definitely pretty metal.  I’m going to decorate it later this weekend/week to make it even more badass.  I realized that many of my work shoes are the same height as das boot so I don’t have to worry about looking like a total chump at the office.  I even treated myself to a pair of knee high boots that are the same height as das boot!

As much as this may suck and as much as it breaks my heart to be away from running for THIS long, I’m staying positive.  I know this is for the best and that everything will be OK.   I just need to follow the doctor’s orders and stay positive.

It’s only day 1 but I’ve learned a whole lot already like:

-People can be REALLY rude! I was hobbling around trying to get used to my boot today and was almost mowed over NUMEROUS times by people in a rush to grab things at the supermarket.  It was honestly unbelievable!  At one point, I pulled my pantleg up so people could see the boot with the hopes of them being a little more patient with my hobbling…But no dice.  Ridiculous…

-Anthony is REALLY patient!  This I knew already, but today he’s surely proven it to me.  I love him for that ❤

-I’m going to miss my skinny jeans this month.  What sucks most of all is that I have a pair of Old Navy skinny jeans I’ve been trying to fit into for YEARS now that FINALLY fit me PERFECTLY and I can’t wear them because das boot is too big.  Oh well…Next month for sure.  Happy I have a wide variety of skirts for work and wide leg jeans for Friday – Sunday.  Perhaps I’ll invest in some opaque leggings as well?

I’d like to try and document my daily happenings with das boot here but we’ll see what happens.  Can’t make any promises!

The Elusive 8

For the majority of my life (and by life, I mean starting in high school), I’ve been a size 8.

I maintained my 8 status up until I turned 21, when weekly drunkfests were the norm.  With the binge drunkies came the binge eating at all hours of the night to “soak up” all that alcohol.  Put it all together and you get quite a few pounds creeping up by the time I graduated college.  By May 2006, I was a size 10/12.

After college, I got a grown up job at a big firm where leftover cookies, cakes, sandwiches, and other treats were always up for the snatching.  I sucked down every freebie I could find (hungry or not) and gained even more weight, creeping up to a solid size 12/large in most clothes.

I got annoyed with the gains and in March 2007, did Weight Watchers Online on my own.  I stopped in June 2007 once my 3 month membership was up and because I felt like I could handle it on my own.  In those 3 months, I lost 20 lbs., down from 165 to 145.  I was a size 8 again, too!  I followed the program pretty damn closely (rarely going too buck wild on my free days), which is probably why I was able to lose so much in such a short amount of time.

145 wasn’t my goal…My goal was 135 or 125 (depending on the day) but I was stuck on a plateau and didn’t give myself nearly enough time to break through it.  Instead of sticking with the plan, I threw in the towel and said “OK I’m pretty cool with where I am…Now I can eat normally!”  I ate normally (no tracking, eating things I sacrificed) and was able to keep the weight off for a year.

Then I started dating someone I was crazy about.  He was crazy for me, too, so I began to majorly slack on my good eating habits.  Huge dinners and tons of drinks were the norm.  And since he lived a good distance away, our time together was limited.  Any free time that was spent doing the gym and/or being active was spent eating/drinking/lounging with him.

During our time together, I lost 2 full-time jobs (sucky economy….it happens).  This not only made me extremely emotional but also extremely bored.  Guess what I did to fill the void?  Much cooking, feasting, and drinking.

We broke up in November 2008.  As the dust settled, I realized that I gained ALL 20 lbs back and then some during our 9 months together.  And I was back to being a size 12 again.  Still jobless and depressed, I continued with my poor habits.

I started dating Anthony in January 2009 while he was on Weight Watchers.  I saw how well he was doing and decided to do it with him.  I lost here and there but didn’t stick with it for very long.  Soon after, he stopped doing WW and we both did our own thing with food.

During our first year together, we went out a whole lot and didn’t eat the best things in the world.  I soon was closer to a size 14 in pants and preferred wearing size 14 because those were my most comfortable pants.  The size 12 pants fit but were uncomfortable and didn’t look too flattering.

Around the end of February, I had a meltdown (see first entry) and we started Weight Watchers together.  I didn’t have a weight loss goal in mind but did want to be a single-digit size again.  It wasn’t a goal; just a desire.  One of those, “Gee, it would be SUPER awesome to be back in the single-digits again!” thoughts that I kept in the back of my mind.

With all of that said, I have some exciting news to share.

I AM A SIZE 8 AGAIN!

I’ve been in between sizes for awhile now but can comfortably say that I am an 8 as of now.  Sure, some of the size 8 pants are still a bit too tight but every designer cuts their pants differently.  The vast majority of the time, I’m fitting nicely into size 8 items (pants, shorts, jeans, dresses, etc).

I made this realization on Wednesday night at Marshall’s.  As I was walking to the fitting rooms to try on a tank top, I spotted a pair of dressy navy blue shorts in the Junior’s department hanging on the end of an aisle of clothes.  I saw they were size 8 and decided to humor myself.  They looked a bit short for my tastes and were in the Junior’s section so I wasn’t expecting them to fit.  I just wanted to see what would happen.

Shockingly enough, they fit me perfectly AND weren’t too short at all!  Photo proof is below (along with the tank top):

Size 8 shorts with a medium tank top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even though I didn’t need a pair of navy shorts, I bought them (along with the tank) as a symbol of my weight loss success.  Not only do they fit, but they fit me nicely and I feel ridiculously confident in them.  And that doesn’t happen to me very often !

Today I went to the mall and wandered into the Gap to see what was on clearance.  I found a pair of jeans that were short and straight leg style but were a size 6.  I know the Gap’s sizes tend to run big but I wasn’t sure HOW big (especially since they were the straight leg type, which  tend to run small everywhere you go).  Again, I took a fitting room risk and tried them on.

And again, THEY FIT ME PERFECTLY!  Photo proof:

Size 6! AHHHHH! Also rockin' my once too-tiny Mastodon tee scored at the Salvation Army for 99 cents!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m not the biggest fan of the wash style on these (lots of those “worn in” crease lines) but they fit me like a glove.  It was destiny so once again, I made a symbolic purchase.  I plan on wearing these to my Weight Watchers meeting tomorrow to show everyone that this DOES in fact WORK!

I am so beyond happy that I am FINALLY back in single-digit sized clothing.  Granted, it’s not the reason I decided to lose weight in the first place (and I highly doubted that I’d EVER get back to single-digits to BEGIN with!) but it’s a truly awesome benefit for sure.

4 Months Later and Still Rockin

Ugh…Another huge chunk of time with no updates.  Life can really get in the way.

Since my last update, I’ve lost an additional 8 lbs, putting me at a weight of 155 and bringing my total lbs down to 38.5 or so!  I’ve had a few people tell me it’s a lot of weight and also had some tell me to stop…But honestly, I’m not ready to.  I can’t, anyhow… I’m still 10 lbs away from even scratching the surface of my “normal” weight/BMI!!!!!

Eating right has been the hardest thing for me lately because I’ve been exercising on a regular basis (more on this later).  Since I’m now more active than I’ve ever been, I can afford to slack on my eating habits and still lose weight.  Even though I said I’d get better about tracking/eating better (to see even BETTER losses), it’s tough to do.  When you can have your cake and eat it, too, it’s hard to give up.  I’m trying, though.  And I’m trying harder by getting better at planning meals in advance.  This is the first serious week of meals being planned and executed in awhile and so far, so good.  I hope this helps my progress and also helps Ant get out of his rut!

OK so exercise.  Since I began half marathon training, I’ve officially become a runner because I love it.  No I don’t run 5 minute miles.  No I don’t run every day.  No I don’t run in extreme conditions.  I run a nice 12 minute mile that makes me sweat.  Ideally, 3-4 times a week is good for me but sometimes it can be more OR less.  And I run outside when it’s nice outside (though I have run in extreme heat and it’s not as bad as it sounds).

I met some of the most amazing, strong, wonderful, kind,  and inspiring people in the half marathon group I trained with.  They’re not just my running buddies, either…They’re my friends!  We all pounded the pavement with one another during training and learned just how strong we all were at the Long Branch Half Marathon in May (which I’ll formally document along with my other races in a separate entry).  And after the half, we all continued to (and still do!) run together.  I’m so thankful!!!!!!!!!

Something else fitness-related I’m obsessed with now?

Spinning

I did my 3rd class today and still adore it.  I paid a little extra for my gym membership this month to try out 4 sessions and am so happy I did.  The class is addicting!!!!!  Again, this will probably need a separate entry…I need to properly express the love I have for spinning in general and Marcus, the spin instructor (who is now rocking a buzzed down platinum mohawk).

So that’s not all from me…More to  come soon! Thanks for reading 🙂

(Almost) 1 Year Deep

Tomorrow (Feb 27) is my 1 yr WW Anniversary.

And although I didn’t lose as much as I had hoped for in this amount of time, I am still really proud of myself for the weight I DID lose.  31 pounds so far!

It doesn’t even feel like a year has gone by, which goes to show that time truly does fly.  I remember in the past sitting around and thinking to myself, “If I only changed my habits last year like I said I would…I wouldn’t be looking or feeling this crappy!” And now I can FINALLY say, “I DID change my habits a year ago and I now look and feel amazing about it!  And I’m going to keep it up because this is my new and awesome lifestyle!”

The funny part is that I really didn’t sacrifice much to lose the weight.  Small adjustments to portions and food choices were key.  Also key?  Truly listening to my body and learning my hunger/fullness signals.  All of these things are now part of me and second nature.

It may not be the quickest way to lose weight, but (to me) WW is the best way to lose.  I am living a normal life all while losing weight (and successfully keeping it off).

In half marathon news, the training’s going extremely well.  Tomorrow I do 6 miles!  Last Sunday I did 5 miles in an hour and 15 minutes.  And the week before I did 4 miles in about an hour.  With the pace I’m rockin’ right now, I can finish the half marathon in the allotted 3.5 hours.  The speed will come in time.  My 3 goals for this half marathon are:

  • Finish the half marathon
  • Not die or feel as if I’m going to die at the end of the half marathon
  • Finish the half marathon in 3 hours or less

I got a sweet new pair of running shoes (Brooks) that I’m looking forward to really testing out tomorrow.  I’ve been using them for my treadmill workouts but haven’t had a chance to use them outside yet.  So far they’ve been great!  I also FINALLY got myself a workout watch that beeps every time I’m done with an interval.  Can’t wait to truly test everything out tomorrow AM!

What’s also cool about this training is that I’ve been able to be a little looser about my eating habits.  I haven’t been tracking my food like I should’ve been for the past 2 weeks yet was down 0.8 each week.  This made me think to myself, “I”m losing all while kind of eating like crap…Can you imagine the losses I’m going to see when I truly get back ON the WW horse?!” I’ll keep you posted about this theory.

Half Marathon!

Last Saturday, I decided to do something I’ve never done before.

I signed up to train for a half marathon!

My friend posted on her Facebook that she signed up for a half marathon training group in Montclair.  Intrigued, I went to the training website and read up.  12 weeks of training, seminars, and advice leading up to the Long Branch Half Marathon on May 1st.  The program sounded easy to follow, fun, and doable.

The issue?  Registration was closing the next day and they only had 4 slots left!

That night, I ran into said friend at a party and told her that I was interested in training, too.  She told me all about the program and how excellent past training programs with the shop (Fleet Feet) were.  She (along with other partygoers) were extremely encouraging, which led me to doing the craziest thing I’ve done in awhile.

I got home around 2am and (still half-drunk from the party I came from) signed up for the half marathon training program online.

First training session was yesterday and it went extremely well!  I was ridiculously nervous about this day but honestly had nothing to worry about.  Everyone is so nice and super encouraging!  Definitely the best group of people to surround yourself with when training.

50 people are in this training group and we’re all split into groups (hardcore runners, joggers, and walk/jog combo).  I decided to go with the walk/jog group because I didn’t want to kill myself right off the bat.

I haven’t done any sort of serious fitness outside in ages and the outdoors proved to me that I’m not as fit or speedy as I may be in the gym!  I was actually the second to last person to finish our 3 mile loop!  But whatever…It honestly didn’t bother me because I had an incredible time, was done in about an hour and felt amazing.  I sadly have to miss out on tomorrow’s night run but am going to train indoors until then (unless we have a strangely warm and bright night).

I’ll be doing 2 outdoor trainings a week with Fleet Feet.  1 short training on Tuesday nights and 1 long training on Sunday mornings.  In between training sessions, I have an exercise schedule to follow to help me build up my stamina and continually train.  The training group’s also having seminars every so often to attend about wellness and nutrition.

It’s only Monday but I’m already looking forward to our Sunday morning session.  Can’t wait to share more about this crazy awesome challenge with you all!

Oh and BTW I lost another pound so I’m now at 162.4.  WOOO!