Saturday, June 7, 2008

My Story.

I've spent the last 10 months of my life on a journey...a trip to Healthville. Not really, I am not some nutsy health freak. I don't eat all organic. I'm not a vegan. And, forgive me, I do occasionally consume alcohol. But I really have spent a lot of time over those months thinking about my health and making it a point not to end up like so many others in my family history with high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, obesity, etc. I set out with the knowledge that just about every one in my mom's lineage dies of heart disease and most people past a certain age have had heart issues. On my dad's side, obesity and diabetes rages on with a vengeance. And, at 29 I was on the fast train towards all of those problems.

This is hard to admit, but, just over a year ago I weighed in at over 255 pounds.

When I downloaded the photographs from Holden's 8th birthday party, I didn't recognize myself. I did double and triple takes, wondering who that lady in the green shirt was. Then wondering why the camera was messed up. Then maybe it was the clothes that I was wearing. It's a sad fact that I never wanted to see those pictures. But, at the same time, they were incredibly motivating. It was then that I jumped into a little bit of action. By July I had dropped about 20 pounds, simply by limiting my food just slightly. I had an allergist diagnose me with a wheat allergy, and stopped eating that. By the end of that month my husband had me convinced to try the Atkins diet since it was pretty much the same thing. Then when the kids started back at school in late August, I started to run.

I used the Couch to 5K program that is on and barely made it those first 60 seconds. I did the Week 1 program for 2 weeks. I was in terrible shape. But I didn't give up. After I began running the weight started to melt away. Thanks to some neighborhood friends, I got the guts to sign up for a 5K. And in November I ran my first 5K, then the Dallas Turkey Trot and had lost 2 pant sizes. I was eating carbs again, but in moderation. By December I was running 6 miles and had dropped 4 pant sizes. I was eating relatively normally. But my knee was a mess.

I saw an orthopedic surgeon who diagnosed me with Chondromalasia Patella. My knee cap is in the wrong place, tracks incorrectly, and has chewed up the cartilege underneath. I was told to stop running. Or run in great moderation. And congratulations, you get to deal with this for the rest of your life. Well, what he didn't know was that I was already signed up for a 10K and wasn't about to give up.

I trained my ass off for that 10K. I was running almost every day, and at one point I think I was logging 20 miles a week. On January 6th I ran the 10K with my best running buddies. But after that, I stalled out. Big time. I think my body suffered from exhaustion. I was tired. I was miserable. So I took the running down a notch but my eating really slipped.

I started going to a Physical Therapist, based on advice from the Orthopod. Which was the best move I ever made. Within a few weeks she got my knee straightened out and I was experiencing hardly any knee pain. And so I upped my training again.

Just in time for my hip to flare up. The Physical Therapist thought it was hip bursitis and so we began treatment for that. I gradually got back into running distances again, and was upping my mileage. I learned that to increase the miles I could run on one day, I needed to do it less times through the week.

On my 30th birthday I finally got through one glass ceiling: I hit the 8 mile mark.

Of course, just a week later, I had a pretty severe back injury. Based on my chiropractors evaluation and the X-Rays, I got sidelined again for another 2 weeks. And my eating really slipped. I was eating wheat. Lots of good junk.

Now, I've been given the green light to start back in, just in time for this monstrous heat. Since my injury I haven't to run more than 4 miles. But I am considering my food more. I'm eating much better, for the most part, and really considering things.

10 months into this journey I am down about 78 pounds and have gone from a size 22 to a size 14. That's something I need to keep reminding myself of. Because I don't feel ANY different. And when I look in the mirror, I still see the same reflection. It always surprises me when anyone compliments me or comments on my change.

I would LOVE to lose another 40 pounds and get into a size 8, but it's not going to be easy. I am not going to lie, the first 75 pounds were pretty easy to lose. These last 3 pounds have been a LOT of work. But I'm not ready to give up.

Someday, I want to run a marathon. I know that with decreased body weight and a lot of will power it can happen. Well....I hope it can. As long as these knees don't give out on me ;)