On Sundays, I will answer some readers' questions in a post. If you have a question that you would like me to answer here on the blog, just send me an e-mail with the subject "Q&A", and I may include them in a future Q&A post. They don't have to be about weight loss or running--anything is game! (Remember, I'm not a doctor or dietician, or any sort of medical professional--I can only answer questions from my own experience).
Q. I was wondering how you have found out about all the races you've run. Is there a website somewhere where I could look them up?
A. Most of the races I've done, I heard about from friends. But there is a website called Active.com that lists tons of races, and you can search by your zip code or city. I like looking on Active.com because you can get an idea of how big the race is. The site links to the race websites, so you can check it out and look at photos from last year's races.
Whenever I go to buy new running shoes from the running store near me, I check out their "wall of races"--they have dozens of fliers for local races. Some of those interest me, so I'll grab a few fliers and look them up online when I get home.
Q. When you were losing weight did the compliments ever embarrass you?
Maybe its because I still have such a long way to go, or embarrassment
that I let myself get so overweight, or even that, yes I've lost
weight...but I could have tried harder or skipped a dessert and lost
more? But the compliments don't motivate me, they just embarrass me.
A. Definitely! I was still very overweight when people started complimenting me, and I was embarrassed about accepting a compliment. I realize now that it's because I had very low self-esteem, and I thought that as an obese person, I didn't deserve to be told that I was "pretty". Jerry even started calling me "Sticks" after I had lost 10 pounds--I was horribly embarrassed about that! hahaha
But when people give you compliments, it's not because they are forced to--accept the compliments graciously, because they really do mean what they say! You're worthy of compliments, even if you feel like you "could have lost more" or "tried harder". You're obviously making strides to improve your life, so that is definitely compliment-worthy!
Q. I saw that you wrote in an entry that you first decided you wanted to
run a 5k when you were around 220 lbs, but you didn't start training
until you were at 190 lbs. Is that because you were worried about the
impact on your joints? I'm holding off on running until I hit around 195
for that reason, and I'm wondering if your rationale was the same.
A. Honestly, I didn't give a single thought to my joints before I started running. The reason I didn't start exercising sooner was because exercise always--and I mean always--made my weight loss slow way down. It was frustrating, so I held off as long as I could. I knew I was going to walk the half-marathon in Indy, so I had to start training for that. After that was over, I just kept going and instead of walking, I added running. You can read my whole running story here on my running page.
That said, I didn't have joint problems when I was overweight, so that's why it wasn't a factor for me. But if you have issues with your joints, I would definitely get your doctor's advice regardless. If your doctor gives you the okay, then it should be just fine to start now. Make sure you check out Carly's story--she started running at 350 pounds! She has now lost over 100 pounds and has run a half-marathon. Amazing, right?!