Popular Posts

Thursday, March 8, 2012


I was pretty excited when my friend stumbled upon Athlinks.com.  This is a web site that has been tracking my fitness stats for me, for free, without my knowledge.  Granted, its missing a few races, but it felt nice to have quite a few in one place, and to be able to compare myself, to my biggest competitor, Me.  Now, with all that said, off to burn some major calories!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

TRUTH...letting go, and moving FORWARD!!

So I find myself in dire need to just write all my thoughts down.  How I've been, and what I'm thinking.  Truth is...I have been struggling hard.  And people come to me thinking I'm that girl that has it all figured out.  I just don't...yet.  I have full confidence that I will, very soon, but I'm not there yet.  I have come to a very clear conclusion though.  If I am EVER going to maintain life long success, I'm going to have to put an end to my "All or nothing" mentality.  It was prevalent when I weighed 297 lbs, when I weighed 164 and now as I sit somewhere in the middle of the two. 

Yes, I have proven, I know how to lose a large amount of weight, very quickly. 
I lost 133 lbs in 13.5 months from Feb 14, 2007 - March 28, 2008.
I have proven that if you set your mind to something, you can do anything.  Yes, I have ran two full marathons, and countless half marathons.  I AM determined.

I kept my eyes on the prize and nothing, and I mean NOTHING stood in my way. 
And at the time, that meant leaving my son in Kids Korner at the gym for 2.5 - 3 hours a day.  Some argue that I was bettering myself for him, so it was ok.  Look.  It has to be about how I feel about it, not anyone else.  I feel like that was excessive, and although it worked before, it doesn't work for me now.  I have two sons now, and I love them dearly.  Working full time, I don't get to see them enough of my waking hours a day as it is, so going to that extreme just doesn't seem plausible anymore.  It also meant, ignoring those around me who cared about me, and hurting some close friends in the process.  People saw me change in two ways.  Physically for the better...but mentally I was still a mess.  I pushed people away, treated them as disposable, and was on top of the world, felt better than anyone around me that wasn't doing exactly what I was doing.  Stupid and immature, I know.  But at the time my head was so inflated, I couldn't see past the end of my nose if anyone even remotely tried to point it out to me.  I looked great, felt great, shoot, I was the epitome of Awesome, no way around it.  I just never saw the way I was treating others... :/

So.  I get to my goal weight, and then what?  I can't see it.  Not one bit.  I look in the mirror and still see a fat girl.  SOO self critical that today it makes me sad just to think about it.  Wearing a size 6/8 and starting to become anorexic.  I seriously did not know that putting food in my mouth, chewing it, and spitting it back out was the beginning of anorexia.  Praise God a friend was nearby when I did it one day, looks at me, and started freaking out.  "What did you just do?!" I remember the look on her face that day.  And her reaction.  "You can NEVER do that again.  That is NOT OK.  That is a sickness, Valerie.  If you want to eat something, budget your calories and eat it, you don't EVER do that again."  I thank God for that day.  I had fooled myself into believing that there was nothing wrong with what I was doing.  She was so appalled, I never did it again.  Not once.

So then a different switch in my head flipped.  I was at goal weight, that meant I was "normal" now, right? I can eat whatever I want now that I'm thin, right? Wrong.  But before I realized that not only was that irrational thinking, but self destructive, I had gained 20 lbs in 2 weeks.  That's right. 20 LBS IN 2 WEEKS.  Ouch.  But then I got pregnant with my second son almost immediately after that gain, so it was relatively easy to disguise that I had gained that weight, I was having a baby!! YAY! :)
Chase was born Feb 26, 2009.  I signed up for the NYC Marathon (my first marathon) for November 1, 2009.   Talk about brutal.  I had a C-section with Chase, so it was 12 weeks before I was allowed to exercise.  I seriously felt behind the game, and was a BEAST about my training.  Shoot, how could you not be straight up scared and determined after signing up for your first marathon?!  I became a marathon runner for the first time November 1, 2009.  I weighed 207 lbs when I crossed that finish line.  What a lot of people don't understand about distance running is that running that extreme amount of miles makes you SO hungry.  I wouldn't even call it hungry, I'd call it ravenous. 
Long story short on running...up to a certain distance, it's the best for weight loss.  After about 5 miles or more, you have to fuel so much, it almost seems counterproductive to weight loss.  Most marathon runners will tell you they gain, rather than lose during marathon training.  Anywho, my story continues.

So, for about the last 3 years I lived my life comfortably around 190 lbs.  More than I wanted to be, but not enough that I ever made real efforts in changing it.  I was comfortably uncomfortable, if that makes any sense.  I was able to keep running marathons, did my first triathlon, and all would seem fine, on the surface.  That extra weight always nagging at me...but I just couldn't shake it.  And never addressing the root cause.

And then in November of this year, just after the Philadelphia Marathon Weekend, my personal life was shook hard.  Praise GOD He was there for me the whole time, but our family went through straight up hell and back.  We were flooded back in September when the flood came to our area, and our landlord never came to even look at the damage, let alone fix it.  The entire place started falling apart, we lost water completely for 3 weeks, we were infested with mice to the point of coexistence, all while I was the only one working.  Trying to think about Christmas, a new home, and going through litigation against our landlord.  The story goes on and on, but the long story short of it is, GOD ALWAYS PROVIDES.  I'll NEVER stop singing His praises for all He has done for me and our family.  And I had to be REALLY STRONG to get my family through all we went through.  Somewhere along the line, I turned to food for comfort again and didn't even realize it was happening.

Many of you know I tried out for the Biggest Loser.  Well, I would have won, I have no doubt about that.  But I thank GOD every day that I didn't make it.  Because it's tough not feeling like a fraud and a failure each and every day with this extra weight back on with just the eyes of those around me who have been here since I was obese.  I actually had a coworker ask me the other day, "What happened after the Philly Marathon, what did you do, just give up? You've put on a lot of weight." OUCH!! And boy was I pretty upset to say the least!! HOW DARE SHE?! But honestly, why wasn't I asking myself that very question? What had happened? Did I let the world catch up to me and just give up? That is SO not who I am.  But I keep going all or nothing, and it's destructive.  And now my one and only goal is to work on breaking that cycle.
I have to tell you, when I posted this picture of me on FB the other day, I felt like a failure when it blew up.  But the truth is, I am both of these people, and I put it up as a reminder of WHO I AM!!

#Anewmeforever's Photo

The difference this time? Before I did it ALL on my own accord.  Took all the credit.  You might see that something has drastically changed in me, and that's that I have invited Jesus to take the lead in EVERY area of my life over the past 3 years.  And He has NEVER failed me, not once, nor will He ever.  This post is not intended to preach, believe me, but I just want to point out I wouldn't be who I am today without God carrying me through.  He is the lead in my life now, and so I've decided to FINALLY surrender my weight issues, my all or nothing tendancies, just all of it over to Him.  I was good with giving Him the rest of my life, but trying to hold onto this because I thought I knew how to do it on my own.  He's been great at showing me that once you tell Him, "It's ALL yours God" you better actually mean it.  So, I don't have it figured out, but He definitely does!!! 

My racing schedule hasn't changed.  I'm just going to have to work harder to make it happen.  And I want each of you to know, I AM PUTTING IN THE WORK.  Because I am NOT a failure or a fraud, and I have NEVER been.  I'm screaming "Death to the Yo-Yo Life!!" #Fat Man Unleashed because I'm putting an end to it here.  I will CONTINUE to AMAZE and INSPIRE you ALL, BELIEVE that!! I just wanted to level with you.  That felt amazing.  And now I can move on, and write the next chapter of this journey.  If you like what you read, keep reading, there will be more to follow.  RISING FROM THE ASHES!!

I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.  Phillipians 4:13