Sunday, October 5, 2014

To Share Your Story, You First Have to Tell it

So many people have asked me about my motivation for running that I think it's about time that I start writing a blog! I actually started this blog nearly a year ago when I was training for my first half marathon but I never got around to actually writing. Now, a year later, I think I'm ready to write a little more regularly. Currently, I'm laboriously training for my first full marathon and there's a lot that I've learned that I feel like I need to share.

This blog will not be one of those blogs where I tell everyone that running is the greatest thing ever and that everyone should do it every single day. Actually, at times, running sucks. Sometimes it's so cold, you think that your nose and finger tips are going to freeze off before you hit the finish line then it starts to snow, and just about that time you get the urge to go and you have no idea where to find a bathroom. That is not fun, it's not all sunshine, rainbows, and happiness. Runners are gross, as my lovely fiancee says, we spit, fart, snot, and slobber a bit. But in our defense, it's hard work being a runner!

Me, before my very first half marathon.

But, at other times, running is glorious. It's those runs that keep me going. The runs where the sun is kissing your cheeks, your full water bottles are ice cold, you have just enough sweat rolling that you feel accomplished, you're feeling like a million glistening bucks, and then your GPS beeps for the wrap up of the last mile.

I started running regularly in July 2013, I completed my first 5K and I was hooked.

Me and my marvelous best friend, Cortney, ran the Maymount Glow Run, July 2013 on what felt like the hottest day in history. It was amazing to have Cortney be part of this day, my very first race. Oftentimes, I don't know why she puts up with me, I'm constant busy and barely have time to hang out. But every single time I need her, she's there.

Before I started eating and running, January 2013, I was 192 pounds. Previously, I was having medical troubles and the doctors told me that if I didn't get my blood pressure down, I was going to go on medication. I was 22. I've always been a bit 'wew-wewy', as my mom says, which is just a way of saying that I'm a bit of a homeopathic believing, earth loving, alternative living, hippy chick who is repelled by doctors. So, needless to say, blood pressure medication was not in my plans. I spent a couple months in a food-induced, denial coma. I ate copious amounts of food and I felt horrible.

The transformation happened soon after I went on an amazing cruise with my then boyfriend, now fiancee, Thomas to Key West, Cayman Islands, and Jamaica. But do you know what I wanted to do the whole time? Sleep and eat. I didn't want anyone to see me in a bikini, afraid that I would burn their retinas. Who knew that cruises had unlimited food all day and night? Perfect entertainment for a vacationer that is trying to avoid the shame of their well-cushioned body. So I dove into the endless buffets.

We had a good time but I had held back. I didn't try the boat's water slide because what if someone saw me!? I was embarrassed by my weight but I was even more ashamed that I hadn't enjoyed my vacation to the fullest because I felt so down on myself. And then I saw the pictures....

Cruising on the open seas!

This is not to say that everyone should do what I did or feel how I felt. It's simply how I felt. If you don't feel good about yourself then it's really hard to live life to the fullest. I'm not saying that everyone should be a runner, weigh what I weigh, run like I run. Goodness no, the world would be so dull if everyone were the same. Be yourself, find your own way. But if I can inspire another person to be happy with themselves then all of my writing will be completely worth it.

I tried to go to Weight Watchers at least three times before I actually walked into the store. I couldn't bring myself into the Weight Watchers. I guess I thought that if I went in there that I would never be able to eat anything I liked ever again. I would diet for the rest of my life and chocolate would be a thing of my past. For anyone that has ever tried or wants to try WW, it's not like that at all but that's for another post.

Before WW, I thought that I could find a miracle that would help me lose a bunch of weight without doing anything. What a load of shit! I'm still mad that there's no way to sit on my my couch, read books all day, have food delivered to my door daily, eat everything that I want to eat, when I want to eat it, and never, ever exercise.. like ever.

Even after starting WW, I thought I could just eat my daily points and never exercise. I had lost about 30 pounds on WW when I started to hit a plateau. FINALLY, I realized that I'd have to take my butt outside and get moving. At first, I started by walking with my dog. Then, in a WW meeting, someone mentioned that each day they just walked to the next mailbox. So off I went with my new mantra: Just one more mailbox.

Honestly, I still live try to live and run that way.. Just one mailbox at a time. I'm not very patient. The biggest thing that running has taught me is patience. You don't start out running marathons. You start out by walking to the mailbox then maybe, just maybe, if you're ready and if you have a little bit of grace from the heavens then you'll be able to do what you want to do, what you need to do.

Now, one year and nearly 9 months since I started WW, I have lost 68 pounds and I'm truly happy with myself. There are days when I feel bloated, unhappy, and overwhelmed but overall I'm happy with who I am and who I've become.

I'm hoping my blog will show readers what I've learned from running and explain my journey from, what I can only describe now as, self-hatred to a little more whole, open, understanding, fulfilled person.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Alisha, I just wanted to say how much I love your blog. I love your honesty and your willingness to share your real feelings and experiences. I am so proud of you. You inspire me. Maybe I can get motivated to get up and start living again. Hugs!