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Fat To Fit And More

A Journey from Fat to Fit through Running

Surgery

I had a consult last week with mainlineplasticsurgery.com and have nothing but great things to say about them.  The staff and the doctor were amazing.  I am in the position of not knowing what to do.  I really want to do this.  I know that it is looked at as vain and that I am only doing this to feel better about myself.  Is that true, well yes, but it is not the entire truth.  I also feel that it will help to improve my overall heath.  I have skin that just hangs.  I have to wear compression pants (workout clothes) almost all the time and not because I like to because I have to in order to feel somewhat normal.

Jeans are ok most of the time, but I still feel the skin in there (I know gross).  It isn’t noticeable to other people but it is for me.  I don’t wear cute underwear because well I need to wear the ones that hold the skin in place otherwise the jeans won’t fit correctly.  All things that are just petty.

Here is the thing, I have worked my ass off, literally to change.  I have done everything I could possible do and I am no where near where I need to be but this is what I want.  I have a difficult time seeing how far I have come because every time I look in the mirror I see the old me, I see the skin that hangs.  I feel that everyone else can see it.  I have stopped wanting my husband to love me because I feel to disgusting in my skin.  I don’t feel I deserve to be loved or to be happy because well I did this to myself.  I let myself go for years.  I allowed myself to eat my emotions when I knew there were other options.

I have been so stuck with my life that I just didn’t care and now that I do maybe me looking this way is a form of punishment.  Again, no one else can see this it is a personal thing that I know exists.  Fitting I guess that I work in the mental health field as those are too often the hidden illness’ that no one sees and no one gets.  So, at the end of the day, I want to have this surgery.  At the end of the day I can’t afford to have this surgery.  It will cause issues in my marriage because it will cause financial issues.  Won’t it cause issues though because of the resentment I might hold for not being able to do it.  I don’t want to feel this.

I want to work hard again to finish losing the weight but no matter what I do, the skin will not go away.  The skin will remain and maybe I need to hold it close because it is the scar I have to remind me that I have done so much and where I never can go back to.

Why

Why am I so focused on skin removal surgery?  I went for a consult today at a great facility in PA.  I know the surgeon so I figured I would give it a shot and see what he had to say.  On a plus side I am great candidate for surgery.  I am no longer “morbidly obese” his words not mine (yeah) and all should be fine.

The downside continues to be the cost of the surgery.  With it being just over $9K there is no way that I can afford to do something like that.  I am raising two kids and trying to run a successful business.  My husband has a good job but we just don’t have that kind of money to spend on me.  Now people would argue that I have put in a ton of work to get to where I am and why not be happy etc, etc.

I guess my response to that is why can’t I be happy in the body I am in and be proud of the skin and the scars and the extra because it represents how far I have come….  The issue is I guess what I see every say when I look in the mirror. I don’t see the me everyone else sees I constantly see the me who was well over 230lbs and struggling to tie my shoes or to play with my girls.  While I know I am not that person today that is what I still see and seeing that is often very difficult to wrap my brain around.  The skin causes other issues.  If I am not careful I get sores and it makes clothes shopping very difficult.

I can’t guarantee it but I am almost positive some of my injury could be contributed to the skin as well.  I have back and hip issues that I have finally had a doctor agree that this is part of the problem.  However I can’t get the insurance to see it that way.  It has been suggested I travel to Boston there potentially is a team of doctors there that will try and help get it covered by the insurance but that is a distance to go and why can’t the doctors here do the same thing for me???

Setbacks

The past week has been riddled with setbacks.  I seem to have re-injured my hip last week.  I did too much cardio and knew it and yet the next day still got up and tried to do a leg workout.  Well that was all I needed to know that it was a bad bad choice.  I immediately started limping and well haven’t been the same since.  I have struggled with this injury for over a year now and I fear that I will not be able to run long distances.

I watched friends post about running NYC yesterday the race that I was suppose to run.  The race that I was training for and wanted so bad to run.  I thought all day yesterday I should have just run.  F it who cares about this injury I should have just done it.  What if I never get this opportunity again, what if I can’t train, what if I can’t ever run this distance?  All these scenarios going through my head all day.

Yes I know that if I had done it I would have further injured myself, yes I know that there is still a possibility that I will be able to train and run this race next year ( I deferred my entry to next year).  So I was suppose to do a 5K on Thanksgiving and not sure if I will be able to do that or not at this point.  Hopefully but not overly impressed with that as an option.

Plan B, get healthy, start building miles again starting 12/5 this gives me 8 weeks to build up a base again.  Then I will follow a 12 week training plan to hopefully run a half on 4/22.  If all goes well (fingers crossed) I will have 2 weeks off and then will begin a Galloway training plan for NYC.  Galloway plans or decidedly longer but it will give me an opportunity to slow build my mileage and train smart.

In the meantime, I am going to continue to focus on my nutrition.  I have added vitamin D, Omega-3 and MCT oil to my diet. Trying some new food also.  I am going to continue to strengthen my upper body and core as this will be key in the endurance of running a marathon.  I will continue to do yoga both in class and on my own as much as possible so that I can strengthen the muscle that is damaged.

I have a plan and while it may have to change six billion times between now and the completion, I feel better that I have a plan.  I am going to try and continue to try and fit the trainer in my schedule also although the cost is crazy I feel like I still need that piece to keep me motivated to keep hitting smaller goals.  Here’s to stop making excuses and start focusing on all the things that I can do.

New Start

Today was the start of something new.  I was able to do a leg workout with minimal modifications. To say I was excited was an understatement.  While I could have slept in and found excuses to not get up at 4:30am and go do it, I did not.  I got up and went.  Here is the thing though I am scared.  I am scared of getting hurt again so I am being cautious about what I am doing and how I am doing it.

Today I started slow, nothing major.  Weighted calf raises (something the PT is very adamant that I do to get back to running),  leg press, goblet squats, sumo squats, walking lunges and wall sits.  Then 30 min on the elliptical.  Sounds like a lot but it really wasn’t. Total workout was about one hour.  I have been given the ok to “run” as long as I do intervals and I increase my speed and mileage very slowly.

I asked yesterday if I might be ready to run a half in April.  PT thinks it would be doable if I build back my mileage slowly over the next few months before I would have to start a training plan.  I am going to look for longer 8-12 week plans so that I can train effectively for this and not overdo it.  I am hoping to be able to do a 5K for Thanksgiving (haven’t really put that out there until now).  We shall see though I don’t want to push my luck.  I am resigned to the fact that the two races I have left for this year I will not be able to do.  They are in the next couple of weeks and my body is no way ready for that and doing it would just set me back even further.

For me this decision is huge as normally I would just push through and let the chips fall where they may no matter what the consequence.  How do you think I got to where I am today??

As far as the eating goes, it is good and bad.  I am sticking right around the 1200 calorie mark, yesterday I was under the day before over so it really is a back and forth.  When I do go over it is never by much.  I do notice though that eating less seems to effect how I feel in the am getting up and working out.  I am more lethargic and feel like I have less energy.  I am sure I will get over that soon enough.  The hope is that this will be short lived and that my body will start to realize I am not in maintenance and the weight will start coming off again.

So I feel like I am starting over, a newbie just getting started in the world of working out and eating healthier but I can do this.  I am not at the beginning and I have more knowledge then I did two years ago.

Unbroken

Was over my calories by less than 100 yesterday. My choice for dinner this week was a littler higher in calories than I thought so I am trying to adjust my other meals without feeling too hungry it is difficult. I will get there. Need to pay more attention to meal prep though and what I am cooking.
 
Good news from PT yesterday. I can start doing a little more, I was honest that I had tried to run and he was actually ok with it. Wants me to keep the intervals (I do anyway) and not do it for too long. So no Perfect 10 for me in 2 weeks, not that I anticipated doing it but I think a part of me was hoping I could at least do the buddy race and run 5 miles (yeah right). I can start doing squats with weights and if I can tolerate those then I can move to back squats (best news I have heard in a long time).
 
Today was going to be a leg and cardio day but I woke up pretty sore. PT really did a number on me with deep tissue work and I am feeling it today so I made the decision to not push it. Also my trainer did a killer shoulder work out yesterday that I am feeling today. I changed my work schedule recently as well for my daughter. So I am working 3 nights in a row until 8 or 8:45 those nights. While it doesn’t seem like much I don’t get home until almost 9:30 on the late nights and waking up at 4:30am is rough. I am definitely feeling my age lately.
I have been away from here lately.  I have been feeling pretty broken and just trying to put the pieces back together.  The hip injury has sidelined me for so long.  My weight loss has been stagnant and I have actually gained a few pounds which is a source of embarrassment for me.  I am getting back on track the best way that I can.

Don’t Need Running

 

I have had two very different people in my life tell me within two days that I “don’t need” running.  Let me back track a little.  As I have mentioned previously running has been my go to for the past two years.  When I started this journey of fitness it was what I latched onto, probably because it was easy.  Don’t laugh I know a lot of people don’t look at it as easy.  I think I mean easy as it was just a natural thing to do. So in these conversations I discussed how I am scared of falling back into my old patterns.  Scared of not exercising of eating crappy again not going to the gym etc.  I was reminded that even injured I am still doing things.

So two unrelated people both told me I “don’t need” running.  I guess I have looked at running as the glue that holds this entire process together.  What am I without it?  How do I define myself? How to I continue to exercise? Today I was reminded that while running I have been in this awful plateau with my weight, so therefore running has not really helped me.  In addition to this injury.  Of course this is my trainer speaking and well he hates that I run as does every trainer I have encountered.  I am trying to wrap my head around the idea that these two people are correct.  I don’t need it but I want it.

So how do I make strength training just as important, how do I find the same enjoyment in that as I do in completing a half marathon.  I think that is the issue.  When I finish a 13.1 mile race that takes me 2 hours and 45 mins I feel I sense of holy hell what did I just do.  I haven’t gotten there with my strength training.  While yes I see improvements and yes I see that I can do more and my form is getting better, what else is there with that?  So again it is back to the idea that while I don’t need running I want it in my life.

We all have wants though. Most of want to be thinner, want to richer, want to be happier.  All wants though and not needs.  So how then do I wrap my warped brain around this idea, how do I accept this idea and move forward.  There are plenty of people who have actual needs that they can’t obtain and wants much greater than my want to run.  I have to look at the fact that there are still so many things I can do (well not today the pain is crazy).  I can still pretty much live my daily life minus a few bumps in the road as I figure out where to navigate.  The pain is pretty bad today but that is from PT yesterday and I know within a day or 2 I will be back to normal, whatever normal is now.

So I need to keep perspective that it has been 2 years, I have stayed relatively the same weight for over a year now and that is probably harder than losing, to maintain.  While I wish for more I have to thankful for where I am at.  I do not need running but I miss is and want to be able to do it.  Refocusing my goals though and not beating myself up because of things that I am not able to do at this moment.

Enough

I just want to put the last month behind me.  The anger with myself for not going to the doctor I trusted sooner.  The anger for not pushing the prior doctor to really see what was going on.  The fear of what if, because what if is here now.  I am sick of wallowing in my own self pity over my decision and the idea of not knowing what the future holds.

I am almost 39 and decided to start running at the age of 37 while weighing over 230lbs.  What the hell did I think was going to happen?? Did I honestly think this was going to be easy? That I would not have any injuries?  I am still not where I should be weight wise, while I am down over 60lbs I am not near where I need to be. I know that some of my injuries and issues are caused by my weight.  No one has outright said that to me but at the end of the day it is obvious.

I try my hardest under the circumstances and I don’t always succeed but I have worked my ass off for 2 years.  I think that is why I am so frustrated.  I have seen the work I have put in the effort, the amount I go to the gym and yet I have been stuck at this weight for over 6 months (well over).  Ok great, that means I haven’t gained anything and I should be really happy, but I haven’t lost either.  I haven’t lose any weight!!!  I work out almost every day, I don’t eat nearly as poorly as I used to and yet here I am stuck.

I have had ENOUGH!!  I don’t want to be in pain anymore, I don’t want to hurt just sitting here typing this.  I want to feel better.   I am sick of feeling like crying over stupid things because I can’t do something.  I want my life back.  It’s time to refocus.  Gain a different perspective.  But how do I do that.  How do I gain a new focus when the one I have had is all I have known for these past 2 years.  It is what has got me through the struggles of life learning how to take care of myself, how to focus on the new good parts of me.  I know I sound like a broken record but this is difficult.

I am not giving up on running but I can not focus on that right now.  I am going to continue to rehab but I am not going to push it.  I am not going to push PT to let me run or even ask for that matter.  When my body is ready my body will be ready.  I am going to focus on the other parts of me that need work.  My upper body, my core and my mind.  Focus on the things I have control over.  I can get a stronger core ( I will need that to run a marathon), I can get a stronger upper body (who doesn’t want that) and I will learn to get out of my head more and trust the process.

I will continue to focus more on my nutrition and all the things I can do versus the ONE thing that I can not do right now.

Excitement then Fear

On Friday I got news from PT that I could start running on a modified schedule.  So to start week 1 I can do a run of .25 miles a walk of .25 miles and then repeat one time and that is all. So that is a total of 1 mile and I can do that 3-4x during the week.  Every week that increases for approximately 7 weeks or until I feel 100%.  Talk about sheer excitement just that fact that I can run.

Now granted there are some stipulations, the run needs to be run/walk intervals, no treadmill and I need to tape my leg.  So again, pure joy at hearing this.  I was so excited to get up this morning and try to do this.  Then I woke up and fear set in.  Fear of the unknown, fear of my leg hurting, fear of me not being able to run at all.  So I said you have to do this at some point.

Got up, got dressed and heading to a local park that has a soft gravel trail at about 6:40am. I figured the earlier the better as the humidity here has not been great.  Anyway, I did it.  I did one mile and I followed all the rules.  I did it in 13:24 which may sound pretty dismal to most but considering when I started 2 years ago I was slower than that I will take it.  I think I am afraid to admit though that I might not have been ready.  My first few steps I felt a little twinge and got scared but I said I need to give it time.  It has been 3 weeks maybe it just needs to warm up a little.

Needless to say I think I am realizing that my fears have come to fruition. My leg does not feel right, I have been getting pains in the back of my leg most of the day even when sitting.  I am ok just walking around taking it easy but it is not pain free.  Maybe it is just because today was the first day, who knows. Tomorrow I might wake up and feel great and feel like I can do it again, but right now I don’t think I can.

PT gave me the ok to do the 5 mile race I have on the 9th as long as I was feeling ok, and after today I don’t think I can do the 5 miles, not if after 1 mile I feel like this.  I can’t risk getting anymore hurt and really jeopardizing my ability to train for NYC (which I am doubting I will be able to do). I am angry, sad, frustrated and just want to cry today.  I can’t explain why this is so difficult for me.  I wish that I could.  At the end of the day I know that I can find something else to make me happy, something to replace running and to make me feel good, but I don’t want to.  I want to be able to run without the pain.  I want to be able to enjoy the miles I know I can do.

I want to train for NYC and be able to finish that marathon and now I feel like those dreams, those goals are failing and may never come true.  I feel defeated in the worst way. I should have waited, I shouldn’t have pushed myself so hard to do this.  I should have just given myself the time to really heal.  I have no one to blame for this but me and I think that makes this even worse.

Failure Means Success

“Failing at a workout means you succeeded because you gave it your all” (Trainer Brian @crunchnorthbrunswick.com ) Interesting concept considering my entire existence as of late has been based around the fear of success.  You see I don’t mind failure because I am so used to it.  I have tried and failed at getting healthy more times than I can count.  So in reality I am not afraid of failure it is the success that scares me.

As a kid, my dad was pretty hard on us.  It was always if you got an A- it should have been an A, you made varsity well great but why aren’t you starting.  I grew up trying to always please other people instead of focusing on the person who mattered most.  Today’s training didn’t just show me how to improve my upper body strength it showed me that even failure can be success.

I have succeeded in these past 2 years because I still get up every day (almost) at 4:30am and go to the gym or kickboxing. I have made this a true lifestyle change.  It actually pains me that I can’t do as much as I want to do.  Getting injured wasn’t a failure, the not taking care of it wasn’t good, but the injury itself wasn’t and isn’t a failure.  I trained and completed 4 half marathon’s last year that isn’t failure because I didn’t finish in the time I wanted.  I succeeded because I got out there and tried something new.

In all of my failures I have somehow succeeded because I am where I am at today because of them.  So in my fear of success I have been successful all along.  I have chosen to do the things I do, live the life I live and have the business that I do.  All of those came out of fear and then success.   I chose to get healthy out of fear of leaving my daughter’s without a mother.  Of dying young like my brother did.  I choose to run and work out because it makes me happy to do something for me.  To accomplish new things, to lift a new set of weights to do more pushups then I could before (pullups is an entire different story).  I choose to go into private practice so that I could be home with girls in the mornings and have the flexibility to be there when they need me at school and camp events.  All of my choices in life have led me to where I am today.

So why then do I see my self as always failing.  Simple, I am the most critical of myself and my choices.  I often see myself as a failure of a mother because my daughter acts out or doesn’t listen, I see myself as a failure of a wife because J isn’t always happy.  I am a failure as a business owner because my practice is not busier, I fail as a woman because I am not the perfect size or have the perfect hair etc.  You name it and i will probably tell you I am not good at it.

I guide people all the time to be easier on themselves, to love themselves, find the good in what they do.  You think I would be able to do the same thing.  I am trying harder lately and hearing that today just made me stop and think.  “Failure is success”.  You can’t fail if you didn’t try and personally I would rather try than to sit back and let the world keep happening around me.  I did that for 30 something years and it didn’t really get me that far.  The past two years have been rewarding in so many ways and have some amazing people and friends along the way.

FAILURE IS SUCCESS

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