Before I get into my post, if you are one of my Facebook friends or family members, welcome to my health/running blog. I thank you for taking the time to click the link I provided to hear my story and possibly follow as I continue down this frustrating, yet rewarding, journey. This post may shed light on a lot of areas you have always wondered about and why I would react the way I would. If you feel this post is trying to make any of you feel guilty, that is in no way what I am trying to do. I am only writing this because I know there some of my friends/family, as well as those I have never met, who may be struggling or afraid to get started on the path to a healthier self. I am here to tell you that it is possible and that you can do it. Yes, it is hard. Yes, you will want to quit. But if you are truly ready for things to change, you will not let yourself quit.
On to the post.
Today is my birthday and not only am I celebrating turning 27, I am celebrating a pretty big milestone.
A milestone that has been the result of hard work and discipline the last 9 months.
An awesome milestone.
An exciting milestone.
A triple digit milestone.
After nine months of changing my eating habits (and HIIT circuits, running, and yoga) I have done it!
But I will get to that later.
About a week ago I decided I would celebrate my birthday, and my healthier life, by running the National Veterans Day 11k Run in San Jose, CA. I knew I was in for a challenge since I had only really ran 5k races (minus the title 9k with my mother) and have not completely mastered those events yet. But, I knew I had to do something different for my birthday. I needed to do something that represents the person I am now and not the person I was.
Ghosts of Birthdays past paint a picture of me sleeping in until whenever I felt like getting out of bed, having a huge high-calorie breakfast, an unhealthy lunch out at a restaurant, followed by an unhealthy dinner out at a restaurant with some kind of overly sweet ending. They also paint pictures of an unhealthy and out of shape girl who could never 100% enjoy her day because she was too self conscious to enjoy the company she was with and the celebrations around her. A girl who would smile despite trying to remind herself to stand up a little straighter so the picture comes out better and when it is tagged in Facebook she will not be as embarrassed. A girl who went out of her way to cover her face or hide away so pictures would not be taken. A girl who couldn’t even look back at the event without criticizing herself.
But today I can say I had a great birthday. A birthday I can look back on and be happy and proud of.
I woke up at 4am to prepare for and travel to San Jose for my run. This is the earliest I have had to wake up for a run and with this being my first fall run I was met with a harsh chill throughout the house. Just pulling the covers off of my had me thinking twice about running this morning. I kept calling myself crazy and would rather stay in my bed. But the voice of reason stepped in and pointed out that I had already paid for the event and I shouldn’t waste my hard earned money like that. So I got out of the bed and began to get ready.
I figured I should walk into the bathroom and step on the scale just for the sake of knowing where my weight was for my birthday and. I tapped my foot to turn it on, sighed as I reflected on what I had for dinner the day before and how would it reflect in this moment, stepped on, and began to guess what the number would be while I stared at the tile wall in my shower. I counted to five and looked down.
I was speechless.
I stepped off and let the scale turn itself off and I did it all over again.
I looked to my chart and then back at the scale.
I had worked so hard since February and finally lost 100 pounds.
(It still doesn’t feel real 16 hours later.)
Time was being wasted reminiscing on the intense workouts and my first run and I needed to finish getting ready.
My mom was gracious enough to drive me to the race because I was terrified with the distance. I was worried I would somehow become injured or would not be able to stay awake or drive home. So she was my companion for the drive and my cheerleader in the 42 degree weather.
The race was pretty intense. Despite the cold there was a good turnout of runners. I made my way towards the back and before I knew it, the race had started. It was hard to not become slightly emotional when you are alone and have a chance to reflect on why you are participating in this race. I have friends or family that have served, friends I have lost, family I have lost (past or present) all so I can wake up each day and live my life as I see fit. We were given miniature flags to place at random points in our race so we could leave our mark as a “Thank you”. I chose to carry mine to the end. I decided if these men and women can give it there all and their 100% so should I. I would not part from the flag until I finished.
The ultimate goal was to finish the race, and I did that.
The second goal was to stay standing and celebrate that I finished the 11k and am starting a new year and a healthy new life.
Today, I accomplished both.
To all the men and women who have served, I thank you.