Tuesday, May 12, 2015

This Is The End!!!!

Calm down, I'm not talking about the rapture, just the end of my blog. I am on the fence if this thing will continue on in the future, if I will start a new blog that will be a little bit of this and a little bit of other stuff, or if I will be done for good. No matter what happens, it won't be weekly as it was, because I am not that disciplined, and this summer is already filling up with summer classes that I need to take and causes that I would like to volunteer for.

Since I am not sure the exact fate of this blog, I wanted to take a second and just write a thank you to everyone that has followed it. To be honest, I didn't expect to get all that much out of this experience, but thanks to all of the feedback I have gotten from those of you that keep up with my blog, it has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. As I work on this week's post I see that I have had over 1,000 views on this little blog. I know that in the grand scheme of the world wide web, that number means nothing, but to me it means the world. I have had many people tell me that I have inspired them to start working out, start running, eat better, and to just get more active in general. For a lady that has been heavy since her tweens, it is completely insane to think that I am inspiring anyone to do anything physical.  SO, thanks for reading, thanks for laughing, and most of all, thanks for making me feel like I am making a difference, in even the tiniest of ways. I didn't realize how much this assignment would mean to me.

Now, this is my last post for my class, and this blog is supposed to be about being active, so I guess I should do what I came here for. Besides, I was getting a little too mushy. In the spirit of what my first post was about, I feel like it would be cool to round this baby out full circle and tell you all about the 5k I ran in on Sunday. The Mother's Day 5k took place in picturesque Prospect Harbor. It didn't boast a lot of participants, but it was a good crew, and a lot of familiar faces. The coolest thing about this race is that you get to run right out by the ocean, and up to a lighthouse, then turn around to head to the finish line. Freakin' Maine. Am I Right?! The next coolest thing about this particular race was that I was able to demolish my old time. I am still kind of wondering if it is possible that they forgot to start the timer and remembered after a few minutes had passed, but hey, I'll take it. It's great to see that I am getting better at something that I am totally cool with never being good at. I am still not comfortable doing the whole before and after thing with my pictures, but I did think it would be neat to look back and get a picture of myself from my first 5k, the Color Run at the end of September, to the Mom's on the Run 5k from May 10th and compare the two.

I am only smiling in the second photo because the race has just started. If this was a finish line photo it would be possible that it would just be me, dry heaving.  

Both of these versions of myself should be, and were, proud of their accomplishments as I crossed the finish line. I cringe a bit whenever I see a camera pointed my way during one of these races because I know I am not going to be happy with the image I see later. It's frustrating to feel so proud, and empowered about reaching a goal, only to let some stupid ideal of what is beautiful screw it all up after the adrenaline dies down and I am scrolling through the tagged photos of me.

This is so accurate it's eerie.

I think that when I was at my heaviest, I assumed that losing weight would turn me into some supermodel version of myself. Now granted, I still have a lot left to lose, but I can tell already that this ideal Jenn, doesn't exist. There is no magic wand that will erase 3 pregnancies, my frizz prone hair, the "Friend Family's Bingo Lady Arms" or the "Freeman Family's Big Nose". At some point you have to realize that you just can't make yourself into something that you aren't. I will never be skinny, but I can be fit and healthy. I will NEVER have a beachbody. It's impossible. I don't have the genes, or the jeans, no matter how little I decided to eat, or how much I work out. I'm just not built that way. I may never see myself as beautiful, but I can look in the mirror and be proud of the changes I have made. The greatest part of this whole journey is that I am finally starting to believe all this stuff, instead of just saying it.

I could go on and on about all the things that I hope to see you all do, and all the changes I hope we have made in the coming months, but I'm running out of time. I think that this means that somewhere down the line, I may have to do this whole blog thing again because clearly I have more to write about.

Why Mr. Rogers? Because that man could wear the hell out of a cardigan and tennis shoes. That's why.   
Thanks again for reading my silly little blog, and making me feel like I had something worth reading.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Damn You, Governor's!!

I know that this is supposed to be a blog about me being active, but I also like to think that this is a bit of a blog about my journey of becoming a healthier person too. I have a lot of friends who have started reading this, and some of them are encouraged by what I share, while others are there to encourage me to continue to push myself. It is because of this support that I feel like it is only fair to be 100% honest when I post these, and for these past 2 weeks, if I am going to be honest, it would be that I did next to nothing. The last really active day that I had was when we climbed Cadillac Mountain. I went up that mountain full of motivation and determination, and it seems as though I left all of it at the top. I knew that the week would be rough because we all had the week off together, and I knew we were using this time as a "vacation" which would mean we were out and about a lot more, which always means eating out a lot more. So, long story short it wasn't a great week for being active, or eating sensibly.

It all started with a damn coupon to Governor's Restaurant for 1/2 off a slice of their chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting. First of all, the word "slice" really doesn't describe the triangular hunk o' diabetes that you get there. Don't get me wrong, it is a glorious thing, but one of their "servings" could probably feed a 3rd world village. It's a behemoth of disgusting beauty, and I was getting it for half price, baby!

This is not an actual picture of the cake, as the real cake wouldn't fit on this blog page.       

It was all downhill (or down-mountain) from there folks! The weather never really materialized to be nice enough to run, and I have been trapped inside the ball of stress that is the last 2 weeks of this spring semester, sitting at a computer writing papers, while my butt ever so slightly starts to resemble what the seat of my chair looks like. My vice has never been alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes, but I could freebase a fresh load of bread or a pan of brownies like I was Keith Richards. This is not a good combination.

By the way, THIS is about how blissed out I was after eating that piece of cake.

Last week I eased myself back into better eating habits, and at least got in my hoop class, and it was HARD. It's almost comical how hard it is to get yourself back on track after you have messed up for a week straight. What I had to keep reminding myself of, was that the whole week that I took off from watching what I was eating, and not exercising, I felt miserable. My body knew I was giving it more junk than fuel, and it wasn't happy. The thing is, you never remember that stuff after the fact, because you are so focused on the mental anguish of feeling like you are depriving yourself in the here and now. These moments can make or break your success. They can completely derail you, and they will. So, I focused on what I really wanted. I wanted to feel good again. I wanted to feel proud of myself again. I wanted to keep wearing clothes I hadn't been able to before. I had to, and will continue to have to, remind myself of these things.

Please know this is from and SNL sketch and not my real-life daily affirmations.

Some people can be the kind of people who go all out, shakes for breakfast, lunch, and a sensible dinner. Some can do the paleo/Atkins no carb/low carb thing. Some can do the whole raw food thing. Some can eat next to nothing and workout like a fiend. I am not these people. I LIKE carbs, I LIKE cooked food, I DON'T want to drink my meals, and if you are going to tell me that my world cannot have the occasional cupcake in it, then I don't want to live here anymore, and I will probably stop calling you a friend because, cupcakes.

I can't sustain myself on one of those diets for the long haul, and my friends, I am in this for the long haul. For me, there has to be a balance to all of this. So, sometimes I am going to screw up and have a week where I do terrible, but when I compare that to the months of doing well, that have helped me lose almost 80 lbs. and more importantly become a healthier person, I have to know that what I am doing for me is right.

Why am I bothering to write all this down? Because we all mess up. So many of us feel like when we do, that's it, we are done. So what if you have gained back what you lost? So what if you have gone backwards and can't run, bike, lift, as much as you used to? It feels terrible when that happens and defeating to know that you have to go back before you can get to where you once were, but these moments are a test. It's great to reach a goal, or a milestone, but to me, a real measure of your strength is when you screw up and then fight your way back instead of letting the defeat take you down for good.

Don't give up. Keep going. We'll get there. And we will celebrate, maybe even with some cupcakes.