Monday, December 31, 2012

A New Year....A New Adventure

Have you ever felt like you were running in place and getting nowhere fast?  I have!  Many times in my life.  Juggling the demands of my job, my kids, my marriage and all the bumps that come along I have had my share of moments that I wondered how I was ever going to get to the next thing.  My current struggle has been going on for a while now and I feel like I’m on the treadmill and I’m racking up the miles but I have nothing to show for it.  In an effort to motivate myself and possibly get encouragement from people going through similar issues I decided to dip my toe into the wonderful world of blogging. 

A little background on me.  I am 43 years old and I am 5’10 and weigh 260 pounds according to my scale and 269 according to my doctor’s scale.  I am going to go by my scale because it is nicer to me.  J  When I was in high school I was a stick.  I mean super skinny, to the point where I was teased about it often.  Here’s a picture.  (No comments about the big bangs, it was the 80s) 

Then I married my best friend and when I was 23 we had our first child.  During that pregnancy I developed gestational diabetes and I gained a lot of weight.  Here is a great picture of me and all my puffiness.  We used to joke about how I looked pregnant from head to toe.  None of this cute little tummy and the rest of me stays skinny nonsense. 

A couple of years later I had bouncing baby #2.  No gestational diabetes this time but there were other stresses going on during this time and I had started having my love affair with food as a stress reliever.  The summer before I turned 30 my hubby and I decided to plan a trip for our 10th anniversary.  I had less than a year to get a bikini body back and I was determined!  At that time I weighed my top weight so far of 225 and was wearing a size 18.  I cut out all sugar and bread for 6 weeks and then slowly added back in whole grains and counted calories.  I also began to exercise and the weight just dropped off. 

Here is a picture of me on our trip to the Cook Islands.  I was looking good! 

I had my third baby when I turned 31.  After baby #3 was born I was able to exercise and eat well and lost most of the baby weight and kept it off for a couple of years. 

Then the big stress arrived.  The family business was struggling and over the course of a couple of years as we tried different avenues to keep things running we eventually made the decision to stop the business.  Because of this stress I once again turned to food.  It was my coping mechanism.  It wasn’t too noticeable at first because I was able to stay active and that helped.  But then I went back to work full time while my husband went back to school to begin his new career (we hoped).  Working full time kicked my butt (and made it considerably bigger).  It was just easier to grab something at the diner next to the office for lunch rather that make something at home.  Soon I was eating a huge Costco muffin each morning and greasy food for lunch, not to mention lots of French fries, a personal favorite.   My weight skyrocketed.  By the time we moved to our new home, in a new city because of my hubby’s new job (Yay!)  I was well on my way to my heaviest yet.  Then I went back to school and while I was excited to be on my way towards my dream job it wasn’t a schedule that worked well for thinking about fitness.  Not to mention that it was a wee bit stressful.  And if you are noticing a pattern here, I don’t do so well with stress so, surprise, surprise, I gained more weight.  I got up to my heaviest yet which was 265.  Unfortunately this was on my scale at home so I shudder to think what it might have been at the doctor’s office. 

I know this is long but I promise after this they will be shorter. 

Two and a half years ago my husband made me mad.  My husband had gotten into running to keep healthy for his job and also began doing sprint triathlons.  He and some friends of ours signed up for a 6-mile trail run in February in one of our state parks.  When they got back, all muddy and full of stories, I said that maybe next time I should go along too since they had so much fun.  My husband said that wouldn’t be a good idea, I wouldn’t do very well cause it was hard. 

Now I should point out that I have a fantastic husband who is my very best friend.  We have a great relationship and I am very blessed to have him in my life.  That being said, he does occasionally say things that, being a man, piss me off, me being a woman.  This was one of those times. 

Usually when I get mad I do something about it.  I decided to lace up my sneakers and start running.  Ha!!  Make that walking with occasional wheezy, death invoking jogging happening.  I started out on the track and I would walk the straight parts and then jog the corners.  I thought I would die at first cause lack of air tends to make one feel like death is imminent. 

I can still remember the day I ran an entire mile without stopping.  I cried.  It was a slow, agonizing process and I’m sure it didn’t look pretty.  Lord knows I didn’t feel pretty doing it.  But I did it!  That was the best moment!  A month later I did my first 5K.  I came in dead last and I didn’t run the entire thing but I finished! 

My sister-in-law talked me into doing a half marathon the following spring.  I signed up and begin training for the Eugene half marathon.  Over the winter the weight was slowly coming off.  Not as quickly as it had when I had lost weight when I was 30, dammit, but it was still coming off.  I was eating sensibly and running three or four times a week and feeling good. 

I ran the Eugene half marathon in 3 hours and 7 minutes.  Not a fantastic time but I had two goals going in, to run the whole thing and to not be last.  I accomplished both goals.  Just like when I ran my first mile without stopping, when I got to the finish line, I cried.  My husband was in the stands taking pictures and being my biggest cheerleader.  He was supposed to work that day but he took the day off to cheer me on. 

Then in June I hit a roadblock.  Things got weird.  I was still running and eating sensibly but suddenly the weight was coming back on.  I had gotten down to 215 pounds but over the course of a couple of months I gained back 15 pounds.  I kept it at that for a few months but was still running so I was getting frustrated.  To add insult to injury I was also feeling really, really tired.  Tired all the time.  Go to sleep tired and then wake up tired.  That really sucks when you are working, running, and keeping up with an active family.  I was still running through all this. I did the following races:

  • Cascade Lakes Relay 2011
  • Runaway Pumpkin Half Marathon 2011
  • Silver Falls Half Marathon 2011
  • Corvallis Half Marathon 2012
  • Eugene Half Marathon 2012
  • Cascade Lakes Relay 2012
Heres a picture of me last summer at the Cascade Lakes Relay.  It was HOT!!!

Last April I finally went to the doctor and we began the journey of trying to figure out what the hell is wrong with me.  Since last April I have had blood tests, sleep study, visited a nutritionist and had more blood tests.  Nothing has really been found yet. 

This fall I gave up.  I was gaining weight again so I quit running and ate whatever the hell I wanted.  Not a good choice because I made a bad problem worse.  I went from 235 up to 255 in just a few months.  Half my weight gain is a mystery and the other half is because I’m stupid. 

Right now I am taking a super high dose of Vitamin D and Vitamin B-12.  This seems to be helping with the tiredness, a little.  I’m on vacation until January 7th.  We will see how things are when I go back to work. 

The purpose of this blog is to help me.  I am doing this for completely selfish reasons.  I need to have a way to vent when I’m frustrated.  I figure that I can’t be the only person out there that is doing everything they are supposed to be doing and still can’t lose the weight. 

I have never worked so hard, for so long, at something and not be successful at it eventually.  I am that stubborn.  This sucks!  My doctor assures me that it is not in my head and there is something not working right in my body.  Unfortunately the process of figuring it out is taking a very long time. 

Thus the title of the blog “Running in place and getting nowhere fast” because that’s how I’m feeling right now. 

I have signed up for a 10K later this month and I’m also signed up for two half marathons this spring.  This summer I will be participating in the Cascade Lakes Relay for the third time.  I am going to work really hard at keeping up my training whether I am losing weight or not.  This might be hard with the whole tired thing but I’m going to work really hard at it.  I will also be working really hard at keeping my diet the healthy and reasonable one that I worked out with my nutritionist.