A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

A beginning . . .

on August 15, 2013

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Hi! My name is Jessica and I’m a 35 year old working mom and wife who has spent the last year finally taking steps to improve my health. I’m starting this blog as a way to document my adventures and misadventures as I starting training as a beginning runner and to maintain my weight loss. I’ve lost 111 pounds in the last year on Weight Watchers and just attained Lifetime status this week. I know that maintenance is a huge struggle, as much as losing weight was, and the statistics are definitely not in my favor for keeping this weight off. I’m hoping that this blog will help me be accountable to both my weight maintenance and to my running training plan. Along the way if I can help inspire others who are fumbling their way through learning to run and to lose weight, that’s a great bonus!

I was always on the fluffier side as a kid, but was a dancer in high school and didn’t fall over the edge into obesity until college, when stress and living across the street from Papa John’s helped me gain over a hundred pounds in less than two years. There were large chunks of time when I didn’t step on a scale, but I know that I got up to size 24 clothing and judging from my photos (compared to times I knew my weight) I must have been over 300 pounds. I can remember a couple of brief spurts of watching what I was eating and walking more, but never a very concentrated effort to lose or get healthier until after I got married and we started thinking about starting a family. Even then, my diet was pretty atrocious but I managed to lose about 30 pounds or so just by walking lots. We got pregnant and suddenly, with the health risks of my little growing baby to consider, I was able to watch what I was eating and maintain my weight really well throughout my pregnancy. I had gestational diabetes in my last trimester and was able to weigh and measure my food to keep track of my carbohydrates, all to keep him safe. After O was born, I passed my post-pregnancy glucose tolerance test (thankfully! with my weight and family history of diabetes I was seriously worried) and was at my lowest weight in ages thanks to breastfeeding. As breastfeeding slowed down, I found myself slowly regaining weight.

Finally, on my 34th birthday, I lay in bed with my husband stunned by the realization that I was getting too old to continue ignoring my health. I was 34 years old, morbidly obese, with a family history of diabetes, a history of gestational diabetes that required medication to control (which is a risk of developing diabetes in the five years after pregnancy), and high blood pressure that started when I was 29 years old and required two medications to control. At the rate I was going, I was going to be diabetic in the next five years and on dialysis before I knew it. I couldn’t do that to my husband and to my son. I shouldn’t do that to myself, although honestly like a lot of moms I wasn’t really thinking about what I owed myself at that point – it was more about my guys. My husband lost both his parents to heart disease young. I didn’t want him to go through that kind of loss again if my health continued the way it was and I didn’t want O to ever experience that. I wanted him to have a mom healthy enough to be around and to actually keep up with him! I wanted him to learn a healthier relationship with food than I’d ever had and a more active lifestyle than we currently had.

That night, my lovely husband threw out the birthday cake. I made him put it in the big (gross) trashcan outside rather than the kitchen trash can because I was worried I’d try to salvage it (embarrassing but a distinct possibility given my past behavior). The next morning, I walked into a Weight Watchers meeting. I was terrified that I would be the heaviest person there or the youngest person there or the stupidest person there for waiting so long to finally address this problem. Instead, I encountered people who were kind and encouraging and didn’t judge me as cruelly as I judged myself. It was finally time to stop loving food more than I loved myself.

In the last year, I’ve learned to enjoy veggies and healthy foods. I’ve always hated reading articles about people who’ve lost weight and their typical meals seemed so small and boring! I am not someone who could happily eat grilled chicken, broccoli and brown rice for the rest of my life! Happily, I haven’t had to do that and I’ve lost 111 pounds in the last 13 months. We still eat out several times a week and we still have treats (including free pie at Village Inn every single Wednesday night!) and it is all totally liveable. I’ve really learned to be honest with myself about what I eat, how active I am and what I need to do to move forward.

I’ve also learned that I love to run. I started jogging, painfully slowly using the Couch to 5K interval plans, after I’d lost about 20 pounds and kept it up for the last year. I made a goal for 2013 to complete four 5K runs and I’ve done 3 so far. I’ve decided to sub a 10K for the fourth 5K. For most of the last year, I just tried to run a few times a week without a serious training plan after I’d finished couch to 5K.  The week I reached my goal weight at Weight Watchers, I also managed to jog 4 miles on the treadmill. That inspired me to set a big new activity goal as a way to try to keep on this healthy-lifestyle track now that the weight loss (and the cheers and stickers that come with that) is finished. I was originally looking for a RunDisney 10K because we love Disney and it seemed like a fun vacation/health goal. Unfortunately, the 10K on Princess Half Marathon weekend was sold out. I did notice that the half marathon was still available, but that seemed crazy. Half marathon? Me? I am still very much a fat girl running in my mind, even though I know that’s no longer true (and even if it was – who cares! I’m running).

After sleeping on it, I decided to do it. I had plenty of time to train and nothing worth doing is ever easy, so I shouldn’t be afraid to try! Fear of failure keeps me from so many things in my life, including attempting to lose weight for so long and committing to something like this. I took the plunge, registered for the half marathon and also decided to do the 10K as part of the Omaha marathon weekend in September as a mid-point goal and to get a time for corral placement. Now I’m on a training plan and learning so much about running that I hadn’t thought about before.

With this blog, I’m going to discuss my runs, training plan, and weight maintenance primarily. This will include the things I find helpful, the things I screw up and working all of this into work/mom/wife-dom. I’ll also post about the races I do (including going back to recap the races I finished earlier in the year, in case that helps anyone else). I’ll post any recipes that I try that work or don’t and snacks I find helpful/tasty. I’m all about food that tastes good and lots of it! I’ll post about the mental struggles of losing 100 pounds, which are still a huge on-going issue for me and probably always will be. I’ll also mostly post shorter than this one. 🙂

Hopefully this will all be of use to someone, but if nothing else, articulating these things will be helpful for me. In weight loss and in running, the biggest part of the battle for me is mental!

Every morning that I wake up and don’t have to take blood pressure pills, I am so grateful that I took that scary first step into Weight Watchers, a step to making a healthier life. Even on weeks when the scale wasn’t moving as quickly as I wanted it to, I’ve always known that I was finally taking care of myself and that in itself is worth the effort. It was the best birthday gift and one that I am so glad I gave myself.

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12 responses to “A beginning . . .

  1. Joey says:

    Awesome! Keep it up

  2. I’m running the PHM as well, my first half! I’ll be following you!

  3. […] I didn’t start my weight loss journey with a New Year’s resolution (see my story here), I know lots of people are looking right now for ways to make changes their own diet, exercise and […]

  4. […] we wanted it, not eating loads of it just because it was there. This journey for me started with throwing out my birthday cake almost two years ago and this was a weird little “déjà vu” moment for my family. I’m happy […]

  5. […] those things. I wish I could say that I did it for myself, but it was truthfully for them in the beginning. Along the way, I realized that the changes I made had to be for me and I had to accept that I was […]

  6. […] to the other AIM posts in their blogs). I definitely had a “last straw” moment on my birthday that got me started but I really enjoyed their stories of getting started without that big […]

  7. […] and hitting my goal weight, are also tied to that day. Running on the anniversary of the day I made that scary first step to take control of my weight and my health reminds me that I have the power to continue making […]

  8. […] once piece of cheesecake at a time. You guys know I have trouble with birthday cake of any kind (throwing it out is what started me on this whole journey) and for the last two birthdays, I’ve used the justification that a) it’s my birthday […]

  9. […] lots left. That’s a novel occurrence in my life. 🙂 It was odd to throw it away again – definitely a throwback to the beginning of this process. My good deed this week was helping a bunch of high schoolers navigate the airport in Omaha on […]

  10. […] little corner of the internet for TWO years now. On August 15, 2013, I wrote my very first post (here) talking about myself and why I was starting this blog. I will say that my reasons for the starting […]

  11. […] back at the beginning our blogging. Coincidentally enough, my first blog post was titled “A beginning.” Not the most creative title but definitely a beginning to something that has been bigger […]

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