Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Courage to Start

How in the world did I ever get into this situation in the first place? 245 5'6" tall - that gave me a BMI of 39.5. Severe obesity. If my BMI had been just .5 higher I would have been morbidly obese.

Why am I telling you all my numbers? Because I want to lay it all out here. I want you to know exactly where I came from. I want other people to know that they, too, can lose weight. They can become fit. Never think that it is too late.

I wish I had taken a picture of myself the day I started losing weight but I didn't. I don't have a picture of myself at my peak weight but this is of me when I weighed 231 lb:

That striped sweater - it's maternity. And I was NOT pregnant.

This is another one at about the same weight:

I felt unhealthy. I had a lot of aches and pains. My fasting blood sugar was over 100 - usually around 110. I couldn't do all the things that I wanted to do. I couldn't keep up with my children. Even taking a walk left me very winded. I had yo-yo'd back and forth in the past. I know that I needed to get the weight off. I wanted to get the weight off. I was determined to get the weight off.

I started out at . It's a free online program where you can record your food and activity every day. You are given a calorie range to try to stay in every day based on your current weight. It is a good program and I started to lose weight.
This is me at 215:

After about 6 months I was down around 200 lb:

Then I stalled out. I just didn't have the drive or motivation anymore. I used Summer as an excuse. "I don't like summer, I don't feel well when it's hot, when it's cooler I'll buckle down and start losing again."

This went on for about a year.

I was happy with my loss so far but knew that it was not where I wanted to stay.

Eventually the numbers started creeping back up. When I realized that I had gained 10 lb I knew I needed to do something different. I needed to get my motivation back. I was NOT going to gain the weight back. I had friends who were losing weight with Weight Watchers. I had gone to WW in the past but had always quit and gained the weight back when I went back to my binging ways. I wasn't crazy about the 'points' system - I had liked the old exchange system - and I wasn't crazy about the idea of paying.

But I also knew that I wanted to have a place to get support from others who were going through the same thing. My youngest was about to start preschool and I thought that would be a perfect opportunity to go to meetings. I had also heard that there was a new Points Plus program and that it placed a much bigger emphasis on balance and healthy choices than the old program did. One day, a few days before school started, I got a flyer in the mail that said for the next few weeks if I bought a Monthly Pass I would get the 2nd month for free. I took it as a sign. On September 7, 2011 I walked into the local WW center and bought a monthly pass. I weighed in. 216.2 lb.

I followed the program and went to the meetings. I found that I like the new Points Plus program. I also found out that I really like going to the meetings. The weight started coming off again. 5lb...10lb...5%...

Then in October I got the idea that I would like to run in a 5K. Our local YMCA has these 5/10/15K events throughout the year and it looked like fun but I never thought I'd be able to participate. I don't run. I can't run. I hate running. But I decided that I wanted to be able to run a 5K.

I had heard good things about the Couch to 5K program. It's a 3 day per week program that alternates running and walking to gradually ease you in to running 5K. On October 18, 2011 I became a runner. I did the Week 1 Day 1 training which was alternating 60 seconds running, 90 seconds walking for 20 minutes. It was amazing! I felt wonderful! I found myself looking forward to my running days.  Me!  The girl who had always HATED running!  The girl who "couldn't" run! I joined Daily Mile and posted on the newbie board asking for friend requests. I became friends with several wonderful people on there and have received so much support.

Meanwhile, the weight was still coming off. 15lb...20lb...

This is me this past Thanksgiving at 195.4lb:

That's right! I made it to "Onederland!" I had not weighed under 200lb since my first pregnancy so this was a BIG deal!

As I got more and more into running I realized that I did not want to stop at 5K. I set a new goal to run a 10K sometime in the spring of 2012 and to run a Half Marathon in October 2012. I graduated from Couch to 5K on December 17th and started Bridge to 10K on January 2nd. I registered for a Half Marathon that is on October 21, 2112.  It's going to be a lot of hard work but I am ready to take on the challenge!

So here I am today. It was weigh-in day at WW. My weight this morning was 189.4!!! I'm getting there. I'm about 5lb away from being overweight. I never though I'd be so happy about/looking forward to being 'overweight'.

I am so excited about this new phase in my life!

If you have ever had an interest in running I say go for it! Even if you have never run a step in your life, do it! Couch to 5K is a wonderful program. Believe me, it has to be if it got me running! I also recommend Daily Mile - you can track your workouts and get support from some wonderful people. If you do decide to check it out, look me up, CindiP. I always love meeting new people!

I hope that you enjoy reading about my Road to 13.1. Now I want to leave you with some words from John "The Penguin" Binghan: "The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start."

May you have your own miracle.


  1. Love this! :) You go girl...
    If you ever want a copy of a "before-before" I have quite a sassy bikini pic of you on the beach at age 21 ;)
    Now I need to get to work on myself as well! can't wait for May and the 5K...

  2. Great recap and first blog!! What a wonderful story and I'm glad you've found a way to get healthy and make this a lifestyle change for yourself!! Bet your husband and family are loving your new found energy too ; ) -mid

  3. Great start! I look forward to following your journey. You can do it! You'll feel so great crossing that finish line after 13.1!

  4. Thanks, guys! Yes, I think they do like the extra energy. My boys like that I can climb the rocks with them as well.

    Amanda - Me in a bikini??? Those days seem so long ago. I may do a before before post one of these days though so hang on to it. I can't wait for May either - that 5K is going to be so much fun!