Monday, 12 November 2007

A bit of my story - (l-o-n-g)

I am going back to work tomorrow, and that will be a good thing. I went to the gym and did 3 painful miles on the treadmill this morning... 34:16. I must use the treadmill more often because it forces me to really run and not admire the birds, the scenery, and the fresh air. In other words, I don't enjoy it at all, but I think it is good for me.

I have recently left scroogy comments on people's blogs about weight loss. I realize that I should not have done that. My story is not the same as everyone's. But maybe I should explain a little about where I am coming from on this.

I was a skinny child. I didn't much like to eat. When I was a teenager I started to gain weight, but quickly put an end to that by starting to smoke many cigarettes. When I met my first husband, I was 22 years old, 5' 7", and weighed 125 - which I considered shapely - certainly not thin. I was very comfortable in my body at that point. When I was 24, I had my first child - I got up to nearly 200 lbs., but lost most of it in a matter of a couple of months. But I started gaining weight, staying home as a housewife, having moved from Chicago to a tiny town in New Mexico.

In January of 1977, I joined Weight Watchers for the first time. I lost weight and got down to like 145 - which I was happy with. Then I got pregnant with twins! They stayed with me full-term... they were born on their due date... I gained 40 lbs., but by the time I got home from the hospital, I weighed less than I had when I got pregnant (having twins is a lot of work!)

I started running when I was a 28 year old young mother. I loved to run. I never ran a race until I was 35 though - but I am getting ahead of myself.

By 1987, I had gained some weight. I joined Weight Watchers at 160 lbs. on June 30, 1987. Isn't that dreadful that I still remember that date?! I adhered to that program like my life depended on it. I dropped 20 lbs. by September. I looked fabulous! Well, I ignored people who told me I looked sick and I thought I looked great! I was still 5'7", weighed 140 - and wore a size 8. My ribs showed through sweaters and it hurt to sit down because I had absolutely no ass whatsoever! I became a "lifetime" member of Weight Watchers.. you know what the maj0r benefit of that is? You can rejoin without paying membership fees! Woo Hoo! So, when you double your weight, you can just go right back to Weight Watchers and tell them you are a "lifetime" member!

At that time, attaining your goal and keeping it for 6 weeks made you "lifetime". Then the thing was to add back in foods until you started gaining weight. Well, I felt like hell was unleashed. I ate like I had never eaten before in my life. I wanted nothing but sugar and fat. I didn't gain weight for a while, but by the time I started gaining weight, I was totally the f*** out of control.

By the beginning of 1989, I weighed over 185 lbs. So I went back to Weight Watchers. I lost weight, then got sick of it and started eating like the last days of Rome again. In this mix in 1990, I quit smoking! The the pounds really started adding up!

In the early 90's, I was still very heavy, but was race-walking - I was dang good at it. I was able to WALK a 12 minute mile. I was entering races and having the time of my life. Then, I had a hysterectomy. Then I somehow had 2 ruptured cervical disks and stopped doing anything but taking pills and eating. In 1999, I had anterior diskectomy and fusion of C4- C6, complete with bone grafts and titanium rods.

By 2001, I went to the doctor for something and the scale said I weighed 204 lbs. Two-Hundred and Four Pounds. So, back I went to Weight Watchers. I think I lost 25 lbs. Then I would gain it back, and then I would lose it, then I would gain it back, and then I would lose it.....

On August 21, 2003 - I knew I had to do something drastic. I was fat and miserable. I walked 1 mile up a nearby street - and then turned around and ran 5 minutes downhill. I thought I was going to die. My shorts were all wadded up in my crotch, and my underpants had flipped under my belly. It was gross. But I kept doing the 5 minutes... until I tried 10 minutes. Then once I ran 10 minutes, I knew I could run a mile... so I did. I ran a mile a day for a while, then I made it 1.5 miles a day.

In the meantime, I was starting to feel great! I was losing weight. I was eating sensibly and losing weight. I wasn't losing tremendous amounts of weight - but I was back in a size 14 - which means you can buy pretty clothes in normal stores.

I met someone who had registered for a triathlon! I decided I could do this too! So I registered. I worked out 2 times a day - swim, bike, run... swim, bike, run... by that summer I was able to be in a triathlon! And I was wearing a size 12! And I could eat like a human being.

Not the glutton or the dieter - A Regular Human Being. Who can have a slice of cake at a birthday party. Who can have a piece of pizza with the gang. Who does not have to make excuses for not eating - or eating everything in sight.

I have now completed 4 triathlons. In 2007, I wanted to run a half-marathon - and I did - two of them! I still wear a size 12. I wear tight blue jeans and feel really happy about that!

My weight fluctuates around 170 lbs. Did I already tell you I wear a size 12? 170 sounds like a lot, but my doc assures me that I am very fit. My lipid panel looks better than it ever has in my life. My triglycerides are in the normal range for the first time ever!

I am happy about my health and my body. I am happy to be healthy enough to run 13.1 miles! I am happy to be able to swim, bike, and run my way to getting triathlon medals! I am happy to be able to walk up a mountain with my granddaughter!

I don't look like a model. I look like the best 55 year old Mary I can be. I refuse to buy into someone else's idea of how much I should weigh or what I should look like. And I refuse to ever weigh another boneless skinless chicken breast!

So, that's my weighty story.... sorry it is so dang long!

11 comments:

Wes said...

That's a great story. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to "better" ourselves, but being happy with ourselves is absolutely a priceless base from which to operate!

Way to go Mary! You are extraordinary!!

Sue said...

That's what is so great about exercise, you are able to have those little treats without the weight piling on. You sound like you are happy where you are now - and judging from your recent shopping expedition, I would be too!

J~mom said...

My story is so much like yours. I have been a weight watcher member three different times and while all three were successful I put the weight back on each time. That is why a year and a half ago I decided to try something different and run.

I love your story and most importantly that you are happy where you are at!! I am so glad we can share this journey!! Thank you for inspiring us!!

Marcy said...

Mary I'm so proud of you!! It took a lot of guts to put digits out there. I can related to you as far as the being thin and getting pregnant and being 200lbs after your first child. That was me exactly. Not once but twice. I've weighed everything from 200-110 (I'll never be THAT thin again but that's ok. In fact I'm probably better off ;-) )

You rock Mary!!!

ws said...

thanks for sharing Mary. I especially enjoyed the end when you asserted that what everyone else thought was irrelevant.

Debbi said...

I swear you and I are twins. The time frame, the numbers, the multiple trips to WW – all of it is so familiar. That means pretty soon I'll get the acceptance you have, too!

I was cleaning out an old purse today and found my WW Lifetime Membership booklet. I was afraid to look in it. And even though I pretty much know I'll never go back to WW, I doubt if I'll be able to throw it away.

Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

This part of what your wrote speaks volumes -

"I am happy about my health and my body. I am happy to be healthy enough to run 13.1 miles! I am happy to be able to swim, bike, and run my way to getting triathlon medals! I am happy to be able to walk up a mountain with my granddaughter!

I don't look like a model. I look like the best 55 year old Mary I can be. I refuse to buy into someone else's idea of how much I should weigh or what I should look like."

RIGHT ON!!!

Adam said...

Great story. I have thought that maybe I would like to try some type of triathlon.

Your story gives me some inspiration.

Karen said...

That's a cool story - thank you for sharing it :o)

Jess said...

That's a great story. But adds one more thing for me to fear about having kids.

coty said...

Exactly what Wes stated is so very true "but being happy with ourselves is absolutely a priceless base from which to operate".