It's Okay to Laugh

You may have noticed that I haven't been writing much lately. I promise it's not because I've been sitting in bed all day, bingeing on ice cream and Netflix (as lovely as that sounds!), haha. I've just really been enjoying the last little bits of summer, and I've been trying to make some fun memories with my kids.

I feel like with my recent epiphany about my summer weight gain, I also had a change of attitude with everything else. I want to really, truly, enjoy moments in my life that seem to be flying by. My kids, for example--can you believe they are 12 and 10 years old now?! For some reason, I've been very aware lately that they are just growing into little adults right before my eyes. And I'm not ready for that.

When I first started my blog, I loved writing every day. I loved taking and posting photos, too.

Summer running

Things have been getting very busy around here! Noah started cross country this week, so we've been getting up on the early side for his morning practices. It's a nice way to ease into the 6:00 wake-up times for the school year :)

His team meets at a local park for an hour, so rather than drop him off and pick him up after, I just stay and get in a run myself. I've kind of gotten away from heart rate training lately--not intentionally, but it's just been inconvenient. Renee asked me if I wanted to do a long run with her last Sunday, but she doesn't like to go slower than a 9:45 pace... I wasn't even sure if I could do that pace for six miles right now, in this humidity, so I did a little "trial" run a couple of days before.

Winding down summer

Summer is winding down so quickly, and it seems like there is still so much to do before school starts! I've been trying to pack in some fun times with the kids before we head to Virginia Beach. They start school the day after we return home, so I've also been trying to get everything ready for that.

I can't even tell you how many times I've been fishing in the last month or two. Eli has been kind of obsessed with fishing lately, and even though I'm not a fan, I'm glad that he has such a big interest in an outdoor activity that doesn't involve modern technology ;)

He's actually been getting super creative by making his own lures! He keeps asking for odds and ends around the house (an aluminum can, staples, a wine cork, etc.).

Seven year weight loss anniversary

August 19th. To most people, it's just another date. This date is actually just as meaningful to me as my birthday, or wedding anniversary. On August 19, 2009, I got on the scale and saw 253 pounds on the display. I would like to say that I felt completely motivated to change my life, but, in fact, I was feeling drained and like, "Here we go again."

I can't even put a number on how many times I'd tried to lose weight before. I started "dieting" in fourth grade, and was pretty much either dieting or binge eating for the next 18 years or so. I really never even knew what it was like to eat "normally"--it was always one extreme or the other. Sometimes I was successful at losing weight before gaining it back, and sometimes not.

Still, I never ONCE lost weight and kept it off for more than a couple of weeks.

Accepting the summer weight gain

A few weeks ago, I said that I would post a weigh in on August 19th--the anniversary of when I first started losing weight back in 2009. I'd hoped that I'd use those few weeks to lose some of the summer weight I gained, and I'd feel really good about getting on the scale.

Well, tomorrow is August 19th, and I haven't lost a single pound since then.

In fact, I've actually gained a few more pounds. Recently, my weight has been hovering between 139 and 141. Yes, Friends--that's over my goal weight (133), and nearly 20 pounds over my lowest weight from March! That's roughly a pound a week that I've picked up since March.

Jerry and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary on Tuesday. When he got home from work, we decided to walk to the bar near our house with the kids, and on the way, I asked Noah to take a picture of us.

A week's catch-up

I didn't realize it had been so long since I wrote! I actually started this post on Friday... and then Saturday... and then Sunday... finally, I'm getting it posted on Monday. Jerry's been working a crazy schedule (crazier than usual, I mean) lately because of a special project at work, and it's been hard to adjust. I've also been stressing to the kids how important it is to limit their screen time (video games, iPads, etc)--so I'm trying not to be a hypocrite by being on the computer for several hours a day ;)

They go back to school just after Labor Day, which is coming up so quickly! We will be heading to Virginia Beach in just over two weeks, and Eli is so excited he can't stand it. In the spring, I remember feeling like it was going to be so easy to maintain my weight over the summer this year, before heading to Virginia Beach.

Future running plans

I can't tell you how different my mood is from just a couple of weeks ago. I feel like I'm back to the "normal me with mild depression" instead of the "me with a bad depressive episode". I don't think I've cried in several days--unless you count yesterday, when I cried from laughing so hard! (There was a post on Facebook that contained several pictures of kids and the funny things they did--I was wheezing from laughing so hard.)

Looking back at July, it almost feels like I was a totally different person for the entire month. I felt terrible (I even toned it down for the blog just how bad I felt, because nobody wants to read that kind of negativity). I felt like I would never get back to the normal me, and now here I am. I feel so relieved.

National Sister Day

Well, yesterday I woke up feeling pretty good about myself, so I decided to step on the scale for the first time in about a couple of weeks... and it wasn't good. When my depression was really bad last month, control over my eating just went on the back burner. Since I had already broken my binge-free streak, I didn't care that much about staying on track. Then, when Caitlin was here, we did a lot of eating out--lots of my favorite foods that I usually reserve for a high calorie day.

My clothes have gotten tight, and based on the fit, I guessed that my weight was probably approaching the high 130's--but I didn't want to get on the scale to confirm it. I've had a really good week, however, so I hoped that when I got on the scale yesterday, I would be back at my goal weight. Unfortunately, we all know that weight loss doesn't work that way! ;) We spend weeks or even months losing a few pounds, and then when we so much as smell junk food, we gain it all right back in just a couple of days.

Success Story Saturday: Lucy's Story

I am so excited to share this first post (hopefully of many to come) of Success Story Saturday! Over the past several years, I've gotten so many emails from readers who share their own success stories with me, and these stories are just so inspiring. I've read about people who have overcome injuries and tragedies, bounced back from pregnancies, defied medical odds, lost half their body weight, went from couch potatoes to marathon runners, and so many more.

I had the idea to start sharing these stories periodically in a series called Success Story Saturday. While Motivational Monday focused on the small goals and accomplishments on a week to week basis, Success Story Saturday is for those big accomplishments that we put lots of blood, sweat, and tears into. The culmination of all those smaller goals leads to one big success story!

Air quality alert

As you can see, I did not do my Wednesday Weigh-in yesterday. I actually haven't gotten on the scale in over a week! I've been doing really well the last few days as far as my eating goes, so I'm afraid if I get on the scale and see that my weight is up from eating out all last weekend, I'll just have that "screw it" mentality. Usually, I'm pretty good about not letting the scale get to me (mentally), but right now I feel kind of vulnerable, considering everything that's been going on lately. So I'm going to give it a little more time, and then I'll do my regular weigh-ins again. 

It's FINALLY here!

It's been over four years in the making, and I am relieved to say that the documentary, From Fat to Finish Line, is FINALLY available! I had nothing to do with the making of the film, other than the fact that I was one of the subjects (and I put together the team of runners)--but this is a big day indeed. It was so crazy to see the documentary on the iTunes movies page today!

I've been writing about it on my blog for, well, YEARS now; but, if you aren't familiar with the documentary, here is a brief explanation: In 2011, a reader of mine named Rik contacted me about my lower body lift surgery. One thing led to another, and, in short, we put together a Ragnar Relay team of 12 people who had all lost a lot of weight and become runners (our team lost about 1200 pounds total).

The documentary shares a little of each team member's history, and shows how we all came together as a team to run the 2013 Ragnar Relay Florida Keys. This was filmed over a period of a year, and then hundreds of hours of footage was condensed down to a single film. If you'd like to watch the film, on Amazon (digital or DVD). I think it may be available on some other VOD platforms, but I'm not sure. It will be on Netflix later this year (we don't have an exact date). (If you pledged money toward the film, you will get your DVD shortly as well).

I hope you enjoy the film if you choose to watch it!   I learned that producing a film is an actual art form, and the producer is the artist. Angela (the producer) has been fantastic through all of this--I can't even begin to imagine how much work it was to make this film!

The best thing to have come out of this film is that I have met some of the most amazing people that I never would have met otherwise. I've also had some crazy opportunities that never would have come my way--being on the Today Show and in Runner's World magazine, for starters! This whole experience has been so surreal. Sometimes, I feel like I'm not deserving of all these opportunities, but I have to remind myself that I earned this. I worked SO hard to lose the weight, to become a runner, and to keep the weight off. I've had so many successes and struggles over the years, I've lost count of each ;)

Speaking of struggles, I've been feeling a little better the past week or so as far as this depressive episode goes. It's interesting, because you would have thought that Chandler's passing would make me feel even worse. Before Caitlin came for the weekend, I was worried that I would be a terrible host considering my mood lately; but almost as soon as she arrived, I busied myself to make sure that she was having fun, and I almost forgot about my depression. I had so much fun over the weekend--it was just what I needed!

I don't feel 100% back to normal yet, but I do feel like that dark depression cloud is lifting, and I'm hopeful that I'll feel back to normal soon (a few weeks ago, I felt like it would never end). It's interesting--I've cried over Chandler several times over the past few days, but it felt like "normal" crying, from grieving a beloved pet; but, when crying from depression (for no reason at all), it doesn't feel "normal". I hope that makes sense--it's hard to explain!

I wasn't eating well at all while I was feeling so bad, and I've actually been afraid to get on the scale--I think it's been over a week since I weighed myself. Over the weekend, I took Caitlin to a lot of my favorite restaurants, so I was eating junk then, too. I don't feel bad about what I ate on the weekend, because it wasn't emotional eating; where before, I was eating to make myself feel better.

Interestingly, after Caitlin left, I was craving some healthy foods (probably because of the junk I ate over the weekend)--I made a giant fruit salad (just cantaloupe, honeydew melon, and grapes), so I've been eating tons of fruit. I've also eaten more salad in the past few days that I have in the last six months, haha. For dinner last night, I made a recipe I found on Pinterest for Southwestern Chopped Salad. It was SO good!

Anyway, Jerry started a super crazy project at work yesterday that will continue over the next few months; and since he's going to be working so hard, I promised myself that I would work just as hard at being my best self. I'm back to counting calories how I was doing before, and I'm following a running schedule again. I'm going to finish our bathroom project, which will take a while. And I'm going to do my best to ensure that the kids have a great last month before school starts!

I am beyond thrilled with my new therapist--I've seen her twice now, and I actually really look forward to going again. She validates my feelings, and I love that I can tell her anything without feeling judged. She gives me "homework" to do, which has been helpful in keeping me focused.

I haven't really decided on a running goal for fall, but I'm following a half-marathon training plan for now. If I decide that I don't want to do that distance, then I'll switch to a 5K plan in the fall. Right now, I just want to get back into a running routine. Also, my therapist suggested that I replace one of my runs with swimming each week (I have chronic back pain due to arthritis and a couple of bone spurs). I think I may take an adult swimming class this fall. I've always hated swimming, but maybe if I learn how to swim properly, I'll actually enjoy it. If nothing else, it will be good cross training!

I am so glad to report that I am feeling better, and I hope that those of you who could relate to what I was going through are feeling better as well--if not now, then soon! Thanks for being patient with my not-so-happy posts lately. I tried to keep them positive, but it's hard when I'm not feeling very positive. I can't even tell you how much I appreciate the support from so many readers!


A weekend with Caitlin

Thank you so much for your kind words on my post about Chandler. I'm still sort of in disbelief that he's actually gone. He's usually the first cat to come running into the kitchen when I feed them, and it's been so strange not to have him there. This morning, Monica jumped up onto my bed, and for a second I thought it was Chandler, and then remembered that it couldn't be. Having  my friend Caitlin here for the weekend helped my mood a lot, though!

Aside from the heartbreak of losing Chandler over the weekend, I did have a lot of fun with Caitlin. I met Caitlin because she was a reader of my blog, and she emailed me back in 2012 to thank me for my posts about my skin removal surgery. She said she had lost well over 100 pounds (I later learned it was actually 240 pounds!! She's very modest, haha) and she had skin removal surgery as well.