I know what you’re thinking – you have probably been anxiously awaiting the release of this blog. After all, the world really doesn’t have enough people blogging about fitness, lifestyles, clothing, etc. I will be the first blogger of my kind – ha!
Honestly, I have been wanting to start a blog for a while now; I just didn’t know if I would have anything interesting enough to say in it. I am still not sure that I do! We already have such bright and driven people writing about how hard they push themselves and the cool things that they do. I, my friends, am probably not as cool as them or probably even you for that matter (even though my guess is that you’re pretty cool). I haven’t lost 250 lbs or climbed Mt Everest. I am actually kind of a scaredy cat. I’m the girl at Crossfit that is afraid of hitting her mouth on the bar during pull ups. According to my friends, I have also become the girl that obsessively talks about Crossfit like a lot of people these days. In other words, I’m completely ordinary. I’m not a phenomenal runner, I don’t have a crazy amazing talent and, quite frankly, I’m not a great writer.
But I’m trying.
A friend of mine recently pressed me (really REALLY hard I might add) on why I wanted to start a blog.
Why? Why? Who are you trying to talk to? What is the point? Why do you need to put that out on the internet? What good will it do for the world?
(Yeah, he’s intense but he’s also pretty great so don’t get too far ahead of yourselves.)
To be honest, I have no idea why I want to start this blog. I don’t know what good, if any, will come from it. I am not sure if anyone will ever even see it. I just want to do it. I like talking about my experiences while working out – good and bad. I enjoy talking to people that I think are like me and don’t have everything come easily to them at the gym.
For me, reading other people’s blogs is a lot like when you see an outfit on Pinterest and it looks so good on the Pinterest model but you try on the exact same thing and somehow look like you got caught in a crazy rainstorm and had to borrow hand-me-downs from your awkward cousin, Bertha. I just wanted a place where I could talk about my real experiences while working out and living life or whatever. Fitness doesn’t come easily to me but I’ve gotten to a point in my life where I like that about it.
So to come up with an answer to my friend’s questions, I guess my unrealistic hope would be that this blog would find someone that is in the same place mentally that I was a year ago and it tells them that they’re not alone. Maybe even encourages them to find something about fitness that they actually like and inspires them to work out for something other than trying to look like that one Pinterest model?
I supposed I should give you a little background information on myself. I’m 25 years old and living in the Chicagoland area. About 14 months go I was at my heaviest weight, 218 lbs. I’m down to about 175 lbs now, which is the smallest that I have been at my full grown height of just under 6’. I was pretty close to this same weight back in college but I was a pant size larger. I just keep reminding myself that muscle weighs more than fat… right?
I have been obsessed with losing weight my entire life. I started taking my first diet pills when I was 15 and took them pretty consistently up until the age of 24. I find this interesting considering that most of the boxes have a small print that discourages taking the weight loss pills for more than 6-8 weeks (oops). Needless to say, I kind of messed up my metabolism – go me!
Around August of last year (aka the 218 lb era), I decided that enough was enough and it was time to make some changes to my body AND my mentality. I nixed the diet pills – which I had been taking around that time at the recommendation of the guy I was seeing (ouch!) – and signed up for my 3rd half marathon. I had run my first half marathon when I was a senior in college and had the time to dedicate to running/training but never really got into and somehow found a way to plow through the negative feelings in order to finish that race. I finished my 2nd half marathon in Connecticut (I used to live there for work) with the boyfriend that I had at that time (a boyfriend that once took me to the McDonald’s drive thru to make up for fighting with me). It was TERRIBLE and I had promised myself that I would never EVER sign up for another race again. But, I set aside my doubts and signed up for a half marathon the following April.
By now you should have learned a few things about me:
- I had an unhealthy obsession with losing weight for a long time
- I was never really that out of shape given that I was able to run 2 half marathons without much training – but I felt terrible
- I have a terrible taste in men
After signing up, I started training religiously. I got on a treadmill 3-4 days/week and committed to going 5 miles, even if I had to walk a bit (or a lot) here and there. Oddly, I lost my appetite around that time and not in a healthy way. I kept eating because I have always been very conscious of eating disorders given my self-awareness of the obsession I had with weight loss but I definitely didn’t WANT to eat. I also didn’t eat well necessarily. I didn’t want to diet – dieting never worked for me. I wanted to be healthy but I just didn’t know where to start.
Honestly, it all sucked for a long time and I hated it. I trained because I felt like I had to and not because I wanted to. I didn’t enjoy being on the treadmill or running next to that girl at the gym that was on the treadmill next to mine before I got there, ran faster than me and was still running by the time that I was done. I also felt embarrassed about the way I looked at the gym and overall uncomfortable.
I was introduced to Crossfit in March of this year. I tried it out with a new boyfriend that I had at the time and truthfully only signed up to spend more time with him. It was awkward for me at first. I felt uncoordinated and definitely was not anywhere near as good as the other girls at the gym. I often found myself comparing my skills to theirs and getting frustrated when I realized I was so far behind. However, I stuck with it and powered through. My coaches and then-boyfriend had advice about eating and even helped with my running. I got into the habit of going to Crossfit 3x/week and doing a long run every weekend with my boyfriend – it really helped having a partner to keep me in check when I first started. To the dismay of many of my friends, I still give him a lot of credit for where I am today even though we are no longer together (but we are still gym buddies – woo!). It is really hard to start doing something that challenges you and actually stick with it or at least it is for me. I was very fortunate to have been dating someone at that time in my life whose priorities seemed to be aligned with mine.
I finished my 3rd half marathon in the pouring rain at 2:14:58. That’s a 10:17/mile pace. It isn’t the greatest time but it’s mine and I worked my ass off to get it. I’m proud of it. I felt so good after that race and it kind of reminded me that working hard toward something really makes it all worth it. Especially because a lot of my thoughts during that 2:14:58 were a lot like this: f*** this. Why am I doing this? Who does this? Why did I pay $90 to run 13.1 miles? I could have run this for free or not at all. What the hell was I thinking?
When I go to the gym or run nowadays, I try to remind myself that if it isn’t hard for me than it doesn’t count. Every time I want to do only 18 box jumps instead of the 20 listed on the workout, I remind myself that the only person that I am cheating is me. I really try to push myself to the next level because all it proves to me is that I’m stronger than I was before. I also remind myself a lot that difficult moments are just that – moments – and they will pass. I do that whenever I have a hard time in general, not just at the gym. It surprisingly helps me through a lot of things.
For the first time in my life, I can’t credit my weight loss to diet pills because I didn’t take any. I own my improvement – that was all me. It’s an amazing feeling for me.
I ran another half marathon a couple of weekends ago and actually finished at a worse time than the one I did in April – a whopping 34 seconds slower. Hey, at least I’m consistent! I felt like I was so in control of my breathing while I was running and that was my biggest win from that race. My sister asked me after the race if I would ever do a full. I told her that I would not. I would never EVER do a full.
Guess what I just signed up for…?
You guessed it – I’ll be doing my first full marathon in April.
More things you’ve probably learned at this point:
4. I curse a lot in my head when I run.
5. I always end up doing the things that I promise myself I will never do again – hopefully this doesn’t start carrying over into bad habits, eh?
So, I hope to use this blog to share with you all of the crazy terrible and crazy awesome experiences that I have while I train for my full marathon and continue to do Crossfit (maybe even some competitions here and there?). I will likely share other things as well when I’m feeling inspired, which is not all that often…ha!
Until next time!