This was taken three years ago, in Fall 2008, during my student teaching semester. At that time, I spent eight weeks working with 3 and 4-year-old children who have autism, which was an amazing experience professionally, but when you weigh 337 pounds, getting down on the floor and interacting with enthusiastic pre-schoolers all day is pretty difficult physically. My mom and I had just returned to Weight Watchers (her idea, mostly), and although I did manage to lose some, I didn't really get serious until over a year later, after my sister's wedding.
I enjoy revisiting these pictures every once in a while, because they are excellent reminders when I'm struggling, just as we all do sometimes. In preparation for the Chicago Marathon on October 9, I am using Hal Higdon's free online training program as a guide, mostly with my long runs on Saturdays. Today, I was scheduled to do 12 miles, but due to lack of time, I was only able to complete 9.2. I am also coming back from a minor ankle sprain that kept me away from running for about ten days. I knew I had made a mistake by not eating something before this morning's run, and I felt a little disappointed that I was too tired to go farther. People tend to be very good at getting competitive with themselves, and it's easy to let yourself get too caught up in it.
That's when I remember that three years ago, the only time I ever ran was to chase a screaming 3-year-old down the hallway, and even though it was only a few feet at a time, I could barely keep up. The clothes I'm wearing in the picture above? Well, I picked them out from either Lane Bryant or the plus-size section at Sears, and it was one of maybe three outfits that I alternated among in sixteen total weeks of student teaching, because I couldn't find much that fit (and wasn't exactly eager to spend the time looking). I loved working with the children and spending time with them, but I was unhappy all the time. How can you feel good about yourself when you know you're not healthy, and worse yet, when you know you're not even really trying to fix it? It took a long time to connect with a weight loss regime and feel motivated enough to keep with it, but it feels good to know that I am getting there now.
It's a lifelong journey, but I am absolutely not going back to where I was in that picture--not if I have anything to do with it! That's what moving forward is all about...knowing that you've taken the first step, and being happy with what you can do right now. So you might wish you had worked out a little longer or harder, or you wish you hadn't slipped up and eaten this or that, but if you went and did something, it's worth being happy about that.
This afternoon, while my parents and sister are at the Jimmy Buffett concert, I will be hanging out here with my grandma, savoring the air conditioning and watching "The Sound of Music" on Blu-ray. The von Trapps are even more fantastic in high definition!!! My mom and I were supposed to run into Dominick's and pick up dinner for later, but we got too busy, so Baba and I will be ordering a pizza instead. How very, very convenient ;) I have already told myself that I am going to have three square slices, along with fruit and a salad...and guess what? I just typed it here, and I'm going to be publishing this in a few minutes, so there's no going back! I happen to be very good at sneaking extra slices of cheese, sausage, and green olive (yummy) at 10:00 in the evening, or sometimes even in the middle of the night, but this blog is one way to stay accountable, and I'm seizing the opportunity. So you see? You guys are helping me out here! Rosie Krajewski is going to control her portions and add salad to her meal. Are you reading this, Mom???
I will top off this posting (and all others after it) with a question, because it feels more productive than just talking about myself the entire time, and once again, the best part of blogging is when other people get involved, offering their thoughts and sharing how they get through similar situations in life. What is one thing you can do today, for the sake of your health, that you will look back on later and use as an incentive to get over the next hurdle? It really does not have to be anything major, because as we all know, the little things add up over time and are worth remembering! You'll be surprised how much it helps to just write it down and get it out there for others to see. You'll be that much more determined to stand by your words, and you'll be helping someone else at the same time! Talk about a fabulous two-for-one deal :)
Now I am off to be a couch potato for a few hours...the hills are alive! :)
This is a random picture of my dog Ditka just being himself...adorable and cuddly! Ah, the life of a puppy...wouldn't you love it if you could just be lazy all day and never lift a paw?
UPDATE: Well, unfortunately, I did not adhere to my "three slice plan" with the pizza, but I had four, which is pretty close. This is still a huge improvement from the 10 + slices that I used to put away, so I'm okay with it...and I figured it would be fine as long as I admitted to it!
As for the salad...um...yeah. The salad. Let's talk about that :) I only finished about half of it, mainly because we don't have the thousand island dressing that I like, I was too lazy to make some, and I was afraid it would cost too many calories, anyway. In the coming weeks, one of my goals will be to work on my relationship with salads. Nothing is impossible!! At least I did well with the fruit. My taste buds like fruit!