Tuesday, February 7, 2012

What a Difference a Year Can Make...

"You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try."
    ~Beverly Sills

I couldn't tell you the exact date.  I did that on purpose - failed to note my "start" date.  Because - seemingly hundreds of times before - I had done just that. Drew a line in the sand on "x" date, sure that things were going to change.  And they would. For a day. A week. A month.  

Until old habits returned.  A few pounds lost, quickly replaced, often with more.  

And it just got too damn depressing.  Looking at a "before" picture, only to realize that the "after" was worse.  Looking at the "before" stats, realizing that numbers were not moving in the right direction.  Before I was fat.  Now I was fat and filled with shame and embarrassment.  A failure. Again. And again.
So, it was approximately one year ago that I mustered up my courage and made a commitment to myself.  I was going to stop driving myself into the ground.  Stop putting myself last. Stop making excuses and start making a difference.  Give my kids a mom they could play with and be proud of.  

It started very small. Little changes. Smaller portions.  More veggies.  No eating after dinner.  

Fortunately, I started seeing some progress right away.  Not huge figures.  A couple pounds here.  Another couple more the following week... but dropping.  It took another couple of weeks for me to decide that I needed to make a regular commitment to exercise.  Again, I don't know the date.  Sometime in late-Feb or early-March I went for my first run. In the cold, in the dark.  Only could make it a minute or two at a time.  But would drag my butt around the darkened neighborhood for 20-30 min, 3 times a week.  Then started doing the Couch-to-5k Program and set my sights on a 5k race in early May.

I ran that 5k in about 36 minutes (?).  I thought I was going to die and wanted to puke at the end.  Seriously.  
And yet, I was so stinking proud. I didn't care if it was slow or ponderous or terribly awkward looking (b/c it was all of those things).  I did it.  It was evidence of a change I had NOT given up on.  

This past Sunday, I ran 10 miles at around 10:45 min/mile pace.  Not speedy by most standards, but a huge improvement in a year.  I ran the entire 10 miles without walking and I didn't need to puke at the end. :) I'm training for the Riverbank Run 25k in May.  A year ago, I would have said 15.5 miles is impossible.  

But it's not. 

Today I hopped on the scale.  And the numbers finally showed what I've been anxiously waiting to see the past couple of weeks.  In the last year(ish), I have lost 50 lbs.  Fifty.  That number just astounds me, and yet it doesn't.  That's less than one pound per week, on average.  If I had thought about losing less than one pound a week a year ago, I probably would have quit in frustration.  It's so hard for so little reward!  What lies we feed ourselves.

I am here to say that 50 lbs in a year is rewarding.  Dropping 3-4 sizes is rewarding.  You know what's even better?  That feeling after completing a 10 mile run.  That feeling of racing and wrestling with my kids.  That feeling when they tell me I should be famous because I can run 10 miles (yes, they are easy to please, but still).  Knowing that they are all proud of me and supporting me, not matter what my size.  

I told Mark this morning that I'd hit this milestone.  He hugged me and told me he was proud of me.  But he seemed a little surprised.  Maybe that's because he has always thought I was beautiful.  I didn't need to lose this weight for him and that has made all the difference as well.  But I needed to do it for me.  I am starting to see what he sees...

And I'm proud.


  1. Now that's a post everyone should be reading!!! Very moving, touching...and Purposeful!

    It shows in that pic!!

    You're Awesome...keep it up!

  2. You should be proud!!! Truly inspiring Cat. I've been on a similar journey since sometime last Sept. and I've only dropped 12 lbs so far (another 18 to go); it's sometimes really frustrating to see the changes happening so slowly and it's easy to want to give up... but each day is new, thsnk goodness! :)

  3. I am so crazy proud of you!!! You have come so far in a year. Love it! Take it from me... keep it up and in another year you will be just as amazed. HUGS!!!!!

  4. What an incredible year... way to go! Caroline told me to check out your post, glad to have found you! I also just started a series of "purposeful running" guest posts, so if you'd like to contribute to that, let me know. :)

  5. Wow. I found your blog thru SparklingAdventures.com. I was looking up Christian Unschoolers and stumbled across all this today. Just wanted to give you a big cyber high-five!Sounds like you've had quite a year. Very inspirational!! And exactly what I needed to hear today.

  6. I am SO proud of my godchild.
    You are a determined hard working young lady.
    I am so proud to know you.

    Also you have inspired me.
    I too have tackled the weight and exercise program.
    I want to be heathly.

    I have lost about 20 pounds since the start of November.
    And I am doing the Couch to 5K program, hoping to return to doing a 5K race in March.

    Thanks for your example to all who know you.

  7. I just read this, and I can't tell you how inspirational this is--you are! Thaks for this Cat, and AWESOME job! You are a rockstar, and I'm really really proud of you.