One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

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The Calm After the Storm

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Many of you will laugh of how I define "calm" but this weekend was exactly that for me. I had my fill of life stressors this summer. Selling a house, building a new one, starting a new job and dealing with the death of my father was more then enough. I’m not seeking a pity party but it was one rough summer. I’m not sure I knew what I was getting into when I started this whole process!

Let me see if I can start at the beginning of this fabulous weekend. No laughing at my definition of calm. :)

It all started Friday night after work when we met a big group of our friends at a local restaurant. Four couples, four kids ranging from 4 weeks to 4 years. It was fun! Afterwards we came home, put the little guy to bed and started to unpack the bedroom. We were on a mission, staying up late to finish a majority of the job.

I’m happy to report… We now actually have a bedroom! Yes! Who would have thunk such a simple thing would be make me so happy!

my new bedroom

Saturday morning I woke up early (thanks to the kid who knows we stayed up late.. HE JUST KNOWS) and I got right to work finally finishing the kitchen.

my new kitchen!

(notice the little guy stealing candy when I turn my back lol)

After a few other major milestones in unpacking the toddler and I ran out to run some errands. This is when I wish we have an unlimited stream of money to buy everything I want for the new house! Between Bed Bath and Beyond and Ikea I could easily spend my next paycheck in a matter of minutes. lol

Saturday night ended with a fabulous dinner with some old friends. Just "the girls." I ordered a veggie burrito and then the five of us shared some gourmet chocolate. Let me just say dark chocolate and bacon…. YUM! Milk chocolate and curry… not so much. :) Just read some of the combos here… very interesting and one square of each was more then enough. I can’t believe I’m saying that… I’ve been known to eat my weight in chocolate. Literally. These "gourmet" ones were so interesting and complex that too much just wasn’t good. Not sure if that makes sense but I don’t know how else to explain it.

OK, now here come the most amazing news ever…

Sunday started with a run. Not just any run but my last run before the marathon next weekend. My training pretty much dissolved when my Dad died. I tried hard to maintain at least one long run a week and even that was hard once we moved again.

It goes without saying I was/am EXTREMELY nervous to run 26+ miles especially since I’m not a "runner" (I still have a hard time labeling myself that) and I haven’t been training. So this morning I set off to run my longest run yet. Not for the physical aspect of it but for the mental. I needed to prove to myself I could do it.

And "do it" I did!

From house to destination was 10 miles. Once I got there I had to turn around and run back for a total of TWENTY MILES!

Equipped with a hand held water bottle and nothing else. I started with loads of energy. It was a week since my last run and I swear my body was craving physical activity.

The first 3 miles were pretty easy. Only one problem.. I had to pee. What can I say… bladder has never been the same since having a baby. So I stopped at a gas station and the cashier was nice enough to let me use the rest room.

A little while later, around mile 4, I witness something I never imagined I’d see outside of a nature shows on NatGeo. A hawk came swopping by me with some sort of critter in it’s claws. I watched as it flew across the street and out of site. I was awed. It was a strange site especially in the middle of a very populated suburb.

The next few miles were a blur. I was lost in thoughts and music. I was really enjoying the time to myself and I really just got lost in my mind. I needed that. I really needed that.

Soon I was approaching my landmark. See, I didn’t set out to run 20 miles. My goal instead was to run to a specific point. I was actually estimating it to be about 9 miles but to my surprise it was exactly 10.

At my midway point there was a Barnes and Noble’s, I snuck in to use the bathroom.. AGAIN. Told ya.. it’s just not the same. :) I also stopped at a 7-11 to fill my water bottle with some gatorade. I didn’t eat anything before hand so I was thinking some sugar and electrolytes would do me good.

I have to say I felt fabulous at this time. I was happy with myself for reaching my destination and I only stopped once to walk for about a minute to get there.I was so smitten I forgot to check my iPod before hitting the road again after my short break.

I ran and ran and ran so happy that I felt so good I was toying with the idea of not checking the distance. So I didn’t before I got tired. Then I hit the button and to my dismay the Nike+ voice said back to me "10 miles".

I was like… uh… no.. I hit the 10 mile mark like a half hour ago.

I didn’t realize that my pee break put the Nike+ on pause. Here I ran about 3 miles and it didn’t record a darn thing. I was more then disappointed. But I kept on running. I mean I didn’t really have a choice. I had to get home. :)

A couple of miles later I stopped to fill my water bottle one last time (I knew there were now more convenient places the last leg of the run.) This time with just water.

The next 3 miles I surprised myself. It wasn’t until about mile 17 that I really started to lose steam. Sure there were a couple of walk breaks mixed in but overall I was keeping a good pace. That is until the last mile.

I was out of water and out of energy. I would work myself up to a trot only to fizzle down to a walk within seconds. Physically I was tired. Mentally I was exhausted. I had a little pain in my right knee and to be honest, my ass cheeks were numb. lol It didn’t matter that I was getting close the endorphins didn’t kick in until I actually SAW the house. Then I kicked it up a notch.

I walked through the front door and said…. "Waaaater PLEASE!"

I was then greeted with a "Moooooommmy!" and a BIG hug. :)

I couldn’t ask for a better ending.

Immediately I tried to synch my iPod to get my stats minus the 3 miles I missed and to my dismay again, the iPod would not synch. I still can’t get it to synch. So I have no visual of the run or even the real time. I’m estimating it about about 4 hours and 15 minutes but I’m not sure. But I don’t really care and I don’t really care how long it takes me next weekend. The point is I can do it. I’m not an athlete. I’m not trying to break any records. I want to prove to myself that I can do anything. It doesn’t matter what people told me or what I grew up believeing. I am a strong, capable, motivated women and gosh darn it, I can do anything I set my mind to. (When I reread that I couldn’t get Stuart Smalley out of my head. lol)

THAT is what I’ll be taking with me next Saturday to the Baltimore Marathon and THAT is what will get me across the finish line.

After the run I hung out with the family a little bit before drawing a bath. It was wonderful to sit in a nice warm bubble filled tub. So wonderful I dosed off for about a half an hour until the little guy woke me up demanding Scooby. :)

So Scooby he got. (can I just say I LOVE that he loves scooby. We’ve got all the originals on DVD and it’s so much fun watching them with him.)

After a bit more relaxing I straightened up and cleaned the bathrooms. Never in my life did I think cleaning a bathroom would make me so happy but it did. It represented the shift from unpacking to living. We now have a home again! I can’t tell you how happy that makes me.

Once the husband was done working on the yard and I with the bathrooms we set off to a local farm for pumpkin picking and a hay ride. I swear the little guy is more excited about Halloween then Christmas! He’s been begging for a pumpkin for weeks!

After pumpkins we went out to dinner and did the grocery shopping based on my new white board planning approach…

the board

I haven’t hung it yet but this white board is going to have a prominent place in my new kitchen. I like the idea of looking ahead at the coming week. It’s comforting.

Once the groceries were put away it was bath and bed for the little guy and now I’m relaxing writing this and watching Mad Men.

So even though my weekend was jam packed it was jam packed with things that made me feel good, organized and prepared for the week and THAT is the calm after the storm I weathered this summer.

Don’t expect to hear from me consistently this week. I’ll be spending most of my free time working on FitBloggin. I hope to make some big announcements about speakers and presentations! There are lots of things in the works.

I will however be back to post about the marathon details including my running mix and final thoughts before the big day! Even though I know it’s going to be difficult I’m really looking forward to the experience.

Ok, I gotta run. Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!



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Discussion

There are 32 comments so far.

    Priyanka

    October 5, 2009

    That is one awesome weekend Roni! Regarding your marathon, just keep it cool.As they say it is the journey that is important and not the destination. Just enjoy your marathon run!!!

    Valerie

    October 5, 2009

    Ummm…. you ran 20 miles. That makes you an athlete! You must feel on top of the world! I felt like that after I finished my sprint triathlon. Haven’t done much since but I did it! You should check to see if there are any in your area next spring! A new challenge now that you’re about to check off the box next to marathon! :)

    Niki F

    October 5, 2009

    Whoooo-hooooo! Congrats on your LONG run! What an achievement. Glad it gave you the confidence you need to go and run your marathon and enjoy it! (Well, if you can ENJOY a marathon!)

    Happy to hear you are settling in your home. We moved last summer with three little kids and I told my husband I am never moving again! Your house looks gorgeous too! Enjoy you week!

    Andrea

    October 5, 2009

    Congrats on your calm!! I don’t know what to say for the marathon, except Good Luck!!! I’ve been a loyal reader for a while now, and I know I don’t comment very often, but I had to today. I just wanted to say: Stop thinking that you’re not a runner. Isn’t that part of the self image thing that you always talk about?? If you put on weight, you wouldn’t be okay with calling yourself “fat” right??! What’s the difference, in being negative about what your body is and being negative about what your achievments are!! Be proud of your accomplishments and call yourself a runner, because I know we’re all so proud of you!! So Good Luck for your marathon, Runner Roni!!

    Mara @ What's for Dinner?

    October 5, 2009

    It sounds like a FAB weekend!! And you know? “Calm” has changed meanings over the years… what I used to call “calm” I now call “boring”! Cant wait to hear about the marathon!

    roni

    October 5, 2009

    *hanging head in shame” lol

    Andrea you are SO right! Why do I have such a mental block with recognizing my ATHLETIC achievements! I think it’s a combination of confidence and shock of how far I’ve come. Thanks for the reminder!

    sarahbb

    October 5, 2009

    Congratulations on 20 miles! That’s seriously amazing. And incredibly inspirational.

    LIsa

    October 5, 2009

    Congrats on a 20 miler. You are ready. Most training programs jsut get to 20 a week or so before the marathon. You’ll do great.

    Cheri

    October 5, 2009

    That is great Roni!! You ARE a runner! I’m doing a 10 miler on Sunday… but no iPods allowed. My Nike + has given me trouble, too and I have had to go in and move files from “synched” folder to “latest” folder and then try to re-synch. Also I had to do the soft reset on the iPod. Frustrating because the apple software and the Nike + software have some issues. BUT, it doesn’t matter! You did TWENTY MILES!!!! Amazing!

    Jennifer

    October 5, 2009

    Have you ever used GU gel on your runs? It really helps with energy and the expresso flavor has a good dose of caffeine. It is recommended that you have one GU after each 45-60 minutes of running. Also sports beans are a nice little treat and some flavors have a bit of caffeine. It’s a nice little treat and at least mentally it helps knowing it has carbs and caffeine in it.
    Good luck! I’ve run one marathon (07 Chicago with all the heat/water problems) and I’m doing Nike Women’t 1/2 marathon in San Fran on the 18th.

    Cynthia (It All Changes)

    October 5, 2009

    Like I said on Twitter…you did something most people don’t even attempt. So who cares if you walked some and won’t break any records..YOU DID IT!

    And I know the calm that a clean house can bring. I’ve actually cleaned my house when home sick because I couldn’t rest seeing the mess.

    McLauren84

    October 5, 2009

    Totally agree with Valerie! Roni, you are ABSOLUTELY an athlete, without any doubt! You are such an inspiration to me. You are going to rock your marathon!!

    Alison Hlathein

    October 5, 2009

    awesome!!!

    Lauren

    October 5, 2009

    I’ve found that the Nike+ was not that accurate for me, even after I synced it at the track, over and over again. I’ve recently purchased a Garmin GPS watch and I love it! Might be worth the expense if you plan on keeping the running up. I love mine! Good luck next weekend, I’ll be running my marathon at the end of the month, Marine Corps.

    justrun

    October 5, 2009

    I’m so SO proud of you and your long run. I know some will say you shouldn’t have done the 20 the week before, but that mental aspect is HUGE and I’m glad you did it. Just get plenty of rest, hydration, and good fuel this week and you’ll be fine. And, bring something to eat with you for the race. Jelly beans, apples, granola bars, something. That’ll help you immensely in the last 10 miles of that marathon. Good luck! I’m so excited for you!

    Also, your house looks beautiful!

    merrymishaps

    October 5, 2009

    Once I was able to salvage what I thought was a lost Nike+ run by updating my iTunes. (also make sure there are no updates for your Nano). I hate that it does fail from time to time! For me, it’s secondary to my Garmin, but I still love tracking with both.

    You are officially allowed to call yourself a runner, no doubt about that! Joggers and non-runners don’t go 20 miles!

    I know it’s a bit too close for changing things at this point, but you really should have some form of nutrition (not just Gatorade) on any run longer than an hour … Gu, sportbeans, etc. On my one and only marathon, I learned too much sweet stuff is NOT good and will carry pretzels or crackers next time!

    Jennie

    October 5, 2009

    Love the white board! I keep a grocery list on the side of the fridge so I can jot down what we need as we run low or run out of it… works great for condiments and other pantry supplies since they aren’t always on our mind until we need it and we’re out (last night i used every drop of my rice wine vinegar) at the top of the list i write down dinners that id like to have and assign a day for them after i get home based on ingredients and how well they keep. I try to shop every two weeks though. My grandma goes ever further and had a map of the commissary and rewrites her list so that she doesn’t have to backtrack, or miss something. I love how everyone plans different. One day when I have a nice kitchen maybe I can have a white board too :)

    Pubsgal

    October 5, 2009

    Roni: 20 FREAKIN MILES!!!!! WOO HOO!!!!! Had to delurk here to say yep, exactly what Andrea said. But don’t just take it from us, Merriam Webster says so, too: You ARE a runner, because you run. You ARE an athlete, because you train in running, which is an exercise that requires stamina and strength…not only have you trained, but you put your skills to the test by entering events. (Oh, and besides, if I can call myself an athlete without smirking or outright guffawing–which I can now, but yep, it takes awhile for the formerly couch potato’d such as myself–YOU certainly can! ;-)

    Hilary

    October 5, 2009

    Roni – Good Luck on Saturday!!! I’ll be thinking about you and saying a prayer… I’m very much looking forward to the inspirational story you’ll have to tell afterward – I know I will enjoy reading it just as much as I enjoyed reading about the pre-marathon practice run!

    Kerry

    October 5, 2009

    You did all that, AND ran 20 miles?? You are definitely an athlete! Great job!

    I was talking to some coworkers about how I wanted a big whiteboard in my house, and they laughed at me, but I think it’s a great idea. Meal planning works.

    Alison

    October 5, 2009

    Wow, sounds like you had a fantastic weekend on so many fronts, and so many different fronts! Congrats on getting your house in order, I moved in June and I still have a garage full of stuff waiting for me to deal with, motivation is wanting to park in the garage before it might snow! :P
    Great work and good luck and best wishes on that marathon, you are there, you have it all you have to do is cross the finish line and notice wow, you ARE a runner!

    Katie (A Running Start)

    October 5, 2009

    20 miles??! Roni you ARE a runner – wear that title you earned it!!! Can’t wait to see what your playlist is. I always get great ideas from you :) Congrats on unpacking – it feels so good to start to feel settled and “home”

    lainb

    October 5, 2009

    YAY YOU! I bet little guy will want to run with you one day. :-)

    Marie

    October 5, 2009

    Good for you! That is a huge accomplishment.

    I always have to stick close to home to exercise also, after 5 kids, I have a huge bladder problem! (: Glad I am not the only one!

    Rebeca

    October 6, 2009

    Wow! Congrats! 20 Miles, organized home… a child who likes one of the best cartoons ever… Sounds fab :)

    Laurie

    October 6, 2009

    Congratulations!!!

    alea

    October 6, 2009

    Roni, I’ve been reading your blog for a while now (and watching your videos – LOVE them! :]) and just wanted to let you know that you are such an inspiration to me!

    Way to go on the 20 mile run! Want to know what impressed me most? That you went home and cleaned your bathrooms after that run! :)

    Good luck for the marathon!

    christina

    October 6, 2009

    wow… amazing! I work in the city – so glad Im off Saturday because the traffic will SUCK!

    You will do awesome on saturday!!!

    Melissa

    October 6, 2009

    Wow! I’m glad you had a nice, relaxing weekend. Wish mine was less busy, but I know my calm weekend is coming. By the way, Love this website!

    Zoey

    October 7, 2009

    The inside of your house looks beautiful! Congratulations on the run, you will rock the marathon coming up, I just know it.

    Oh- and I see that you have butternut squash fries on the menu- we just had those with dinner last night. I am so glad that you introduced me to them!

    chicken soup

    October 7, 2009

    I just started reading your blog yesterday, I don’t comment on blogs, but something about your’s has drawn me in. I genuinely feel happy for you, I think it is great that you can have such a full and enjoyable life and that you conquered many obstacles…ie. becoming a “runner”;) dealing with moving and most of all with your Dad’s passing. I am so sorry to read about that.
    Your home looks lovely, and going to the pumpkin patch with your family sounds like fun, I can’t wait to go with my kids, hubby and hopefully my Mom and brother when they visit me.
    I think what is so great is that you live in the present and that is probably the key to living a full, happy life.

    Becky

    October 9, 2009

    Roni.. you will do great! I can’t wait to hear about your first Marathon! I’m training for my First Marathon In June… your words are the motivation I need!