I would like to introduce you to another member of the Ragnar Relay team. Some of you may recognize her as "Frickin' Fabulous at 40"--she has been a long-time reader of my blog and she always takes time to comment. I really felt like she was my friend before I even asked her to join our team. She truly is "frickin' fabulous" ;) Here is her story...
My name is Linda and I have been overweight/fat/obese, whatever you want to call it, ALL my life. I think the only time I was considered a "normal" weight was at birth! I have lost weight, only to stop working out (for some reason or other) and therefore stop caring about my nutrition, which led me to gain it all back and then some. (For me, exercise keeps my diet on track.) This time was different.
I went to the doctor for my annual physical and there were a couple issues. One concern was my blood pressure. That can't come as a surprise to anyone. I was 37 going on 38 years old, weighing 229 pounds at 5' tall. My mother had a quadruple bypass in at the age of 61. It was only a matter of time for me. The thought of leaving my children too soon terrified me. I was tired of feeling exhausted and looking terrible. I was disappointed in missing all of the things I kept myself from participating in because of my size, like parasailing in FL back in July 2009. I no longer wanted to be an observer in life.
On August 17, 2009, I put my mind to it and just did it. I ate less and I moved more. I didn't cut out complete food groups, (read: JUNK!), I just ate less of it. I tried not to eat anything after dinner. I did a lot of exercising at home to my Leslie Sansone DVDs and walking outside with the kids I babysit in the double stroller.
I've always enjoyed watching 'Biggest Loser,' wishing I was the one losing 9 pounds in a week! I hoped it would inspire me to get on track. I'll never forget the conversation I had with my husband while watching Tara Costa of Season 7 dominate that marathon in May 2009. He asked me if I ever considered running a marathon.
Well, considering I hadn't even been thinking about losing weight at THAT time, I was no where near running a marathon, but the IDEA of running a marathon always sounded intriguing, an awesome item to cross off the bucket list. My husband said if I ever did it, he would do it with me.
When I started taking care of myself, that conversation kept playing over and over in my mind. So, after losing about 40 pounds, I started going to the track in March 2010. My husband would come with me to encourage me to keep going, even when I couldn't run 1/2 a lap. (I'll never forget when I finally ran an entire mile, I turned to my husband and asked him if he was proud of me and he said he was proud of me just for starting.)
I would just keep trying to add distance every time I went out there. On June 5, 2010, I ran/walked my 1st 5k in 42:42. After that I picked up the Couch to 5k program midway and continued to train at the track. On September 10, 2010, I ran an entire 5k with a time of 34:39. I was in love with running!
My weight loss had stalled a bit, so I signed up with My Fitness Pal on April 1, 2011. I have since lost 35 more pounds, for a total weight-loss of 75 pounds. I have run five 5ks, including the Damon Runyon 5k at Yankee Stadium, (a dream come true to run on the warning track at Yankee Stadium!!), a 10k in September, and now I am training for my first half-marathon, the Diva Half-marathon on 10/7/12!
Then it's on to the Ragnar Relay in Key West in January with 11 other runners who have amazing, inspiring weight-loss success stories. While in Key West, I plan to finally parasail without my weight getting in my way. My husband's and my dream of running a marathon together is starting to look like it will become a reality, if I can get my husband to train for it! If I'm going to dream, I'm going to dream big--I have my sights set on the NYC Marathon!
|Wearing her "skinny husband's" jeans ;)|
You can read Linda's blog at Frickin' Fabulous at 40.
One more thing (on a related note): Remember how I mentioned that our adventure may turn into a documentary? Well, it looks like that is now more of a reality! Media Meld Studios is going to turn our weight loss stories and our Ragnar adventure into a film to hopefully inspire other people like us "before" to start moving. The website for the film isn't up yet, but you can check out the Facebook page if you'd like. They've already interviewed a few team members, and they will be coming to Michigan soon to interview me. I will post all about it when it happens.