Since moving to Colorado one year ago, I have lost 50 lbs. I can’t believe it. Where the heck was I putting it all? I’m tall, I have big hips and most of my friends tell me that I carry my weight well. But really, did I need to be carrying 70 more lbs of me ‘well’, such skill I have. I know it sounds lame, but I had no idea, really. I had weighed myself often enough, and complained about wanting to lose a ‘little’ weight, but I just got too comfortable seeing the numbers on the scale go higher. It wasn’t resonating with me that I was not only overweight but I was unhealthy and out of shape. I still have 20 lbs to go, and I’ll get there.
I was never athletic, though I always wanted to be an athlete. There was something about being ‘strong’ that called to me. I didn’t want to be skinny, I wanted to be strong.
After coming to the obvious realization that I needed to do something about my weight, I joined a local weight loss program with a friend. If it wasn’t for this new friend, I’m not sure that I would have even gone in the first place. She was my weight loss cheerleader, she never judged and she was always supportive. A great friend to have on any life changing journey.
I soon started walking and loved it. There are trails everywhere and the views are amazing. After a few weeks on the trail I felt like running. Me run? I laughed out loud at the thought of it, I wasn’t a runner, I’m awkward and I don’t know what I”m doing. I know…just put one foot in front of the other, but sometimes it’s not that simple.
My new friend and I signed up for a Mothers’ Day Event, advertised as a “9k” but really a “10k”, though I wouldn’t have known the difference, I had never run an event before. I loved it, my friend was great, though I struggled a little bit because I knew she could have easily ran ahead of me but she stayed with me. I felt like I was holding her back but she assured me that she was fine and preferred to stay with me. After the event, I thought, “So, what next?”. Well actually that was my second thought, my first thought was ‘holy crap, I did it’.
It wasn’t until a couple of months ago that I nervously hit the ‘submit’ button and registered for my first 1/2 Marathon. The motivator for me was that it was with the JDRF team. I had been wanting to do the JDRF ride, but seriously folks, I don’t even own a bike. Really, I don’t know how they let us into Boulder. I don’t have a bike, I was overweight, we don’t have a dog and we don’t have a Subaru. (Now, don’t get your undies in bundle, I make that reference in the nicest way). So when JDRF sent out an e-mail that they were doing the Disney event for the first time, I didn’t even hesitate. I could run, raise funds, we could take our kids to Disney for the first time, and I could see my family. Perfect.
Since registering I have had some long days on the trail and some problems with my IT band, but in the midst of it all I always feel motivated, at least once I get my butt on the trail. To keep my mind on other things I started to unofficially run for different children and Mom’s I knew. One day I ran for Logan, the next day Jack, Gracie, Addie, and Reagan. The thought of them and their strong spirits helped me on those days that the trail seemed like it would never end and when my legs felt like they were filled with cement. I vowed to honor someone on every run, ride or walk. Selfishly these amazing children and their incredible Moms will keep me going at times when I’m not sure I have it in me. Honoring them and advocating for them is the least I can do. (If there is someone you would like me to honor please send me their name and a brief bio, I would be happy to give them some of my training miles and help advocate for them).
There are days when I’m running on little sleep or days when I have more phone calls than usual from the school because Logan’s numbers are challenging, or because he is feeling ‘off’ but doesn’t quite understand it. I know Moms that put in long days and sometimes even longer nights caring for their children with special needs or spending hours, days and nights at a hospital. Looking back at the early days and then years after Logan’s multiple diagnosis’s, I realize that I was not taking care of myself. I had become a terrible stress eater and was completely unaware of my health and how poor it had become.
So how do we keep ourselves healthy if we don’t have a healthy lifestyle in place? How do we put ourselves on our own list of people to take care. I want to keep this conversation going, let me know how you keep going, how do you stay healthy? What are your challenges? How can we best support each other as Mom’s, as friends, as sisters and colleagues?