Saturday, June 27, 2015

we have come so far!

Friday, June 26, 2015

A step forward or back?

As I type this I have just started vacation!  I am desperately in need of a break and it is finally here.

Part of this vacation we will be camping.  The last few years, for at least a couple weeks before going, I would obsessively scour websites of where we could hike and would be looking for the longest, most challenging trails I could find.

I would be thinking about finding time to run and worrying about not getting miles in.  I would be thinking about the S'mores I would want to eat by the fire and the calories and how to work those off.

And this year?  I'm not.  I want to relax and eat too much and just enjoy being on vacation.

So I am so supposedly concerned about my weight and yet, that's my attitude.  Is this an evolution or am I just diving headfirst back into old unhealthy habits?

I truly feel I have no perspective on that right now.  But I want to be fit and healthy while also being more accepting of myself.

Wish me luck!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Meet Bernie!

Bernie is a follower of this blog who is willing to share her story here.

She is 5’6” and 44 years old.  Bernie started her journey with a highest known weight of 213 pounds in September of 2012.


She did not use any pills or supplements in her journey and did not have surgery.   Instead she logged her calories on myfitnesspal and the pounds started to melt off.

For exercise, Bernie discovered Zumba and became hooked! 

She now maintains between 135-140 pounds.  Doesn’t she look amazing?



I have serious envy over those legs!!

Congrats Bernie on your amazing success and thanks so much for being willing to share your story.

If you want to celebrate your success here, please contact me at

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Challenges (for me anyway)…

Mr. Achilles was less than impressed with my run yesterday and let me know it this morning :(

So for my lunch hour, it was back to walking and I decided that I would walk down to my favorite grocery store and get something for lunch.  It is a short 1.5 mile walk down a main street to get there.  But in that 1.5 miles, I passes the following:

  • A local pizza joint
  • McDonald's
  • Taco Bell
  • Arby's
  • Jreck Sub's
  • The Tilted Kilt
  • Kentucky Fried Chicken
  • Dunkin' Donuts
  • Friendly's
  • Denny's
  • Burger King
  • A Japanese Steakhouse
  • A Chinese buffet

I have never eaten at a Taco Bell or Tilted Kilt.  But with those exceptions, I would have LOVED to stop at Every. Single. One.  of those places and stuffed my face with piles and piles of unhealthy foods.

Since 2010 I have stopped at Mickey D's a bunch of times for their $1 coffee.  I have had a salad from them maybe twice and have gotten a salad from Wendy's 3-4 times.

Other than that, I have eliminated fast food from my life.  I haven't eaten a fried French fry - not one! I haven't had a wonderfully processed burger.  5 years!  And yet?  Even having removed it from my life for this long and knowing how TERRIBLE those foods are - I wanted some badly!

As I walked back from the grocery store with my healthy lunch in the bag, I wondered how normal people - those that have a healthy relationship with food - how they handle fast food. Do they want it, too, and just choose to eat healthier?  Do they see the signs and smell the delicious grease and it just doesn't effect them?  Do they just not want it?

Because that idea is just so foreign to me. I seriously cannot conceive of not wanting foods like that. If I could eat whatever without consequences, I would eat at places like that every day.  I know I "shouldn't" want to, but I do.

Maybe it's like the alcoholic who can't imagine having a couple of beers and walking away.

And I guess it doesn't matter, anyway.  If it's been 5 years and I still want to eat shit, I probably always will.

But as I tell my clients, no one has to pay a price for their thoughts, only their behavior.  And by eating what I did:


A "very veggie" Dole salad topped with scallops - total calories 230 - I felt good about my choices. And I won’t have to pay the price physically or feel the guilt mentally.

But, boy, I wish I hadn't even wanted a fucking cheeseburger... 

Monday, June 22, 2015


In AA they say that FEAR stands for 2 things: 

Fuck Everything And Run
Face Everything And Recover

A couple short weeks ago I was like Fuck Everything.  I wanted to run away (no pun intended) - to give up.  I almost did – in fact, those thoughts have not left my mind entirely.

Since then I've been trying to climb out of this mindset.   But it hasn't been easy like I want it to be...

The Achilles has felt pretty good.  I've been biking and walking - so far this month I've walked 81 miles - this includes some short bursts of running I did last week with Archer.

I decided today would be a test - head out at lunch - run slow - see how it goes.  It seemed like a good idea last night when I was packing my duffle bag - the only way to know if I could run would be to try running, right?

And this morning - being fucking crazy like I am - fear and anxiety sets in.  What if it hurts?  What if I can't do it?  What if I FAIL??!!

Thus began the arguments in my head. The rational part of me said to just try it and if it hurt I would just walk.  What's the worst that could happen?  But I still felt FEAR.  I'm telling you guys - as nuts as this is, I had actual heart in throat anxiety as I got out my running gear and started to change.

I headed out the door - it was sunny, hot and humid.  I started to run and immediately felt some minor discomfort.  The drama queen part of me screamed "I KNEW it!  You have to stop!  You'll never run again!  This is horrible!"

But mentally I gathered myself, concentrated on slowing down, and kept going.  I never run without headphones but today I left them at the office – I wanted to be in tune with my body.   I challenged myself to make it a mile.  That mile took FOREVER.  Just as my watch beeped to let me know I was at that mile, I felt like I was getting into a groove and kept going.  It felt...weird.  You would think that I have been running long enough that it would just come back but I was concentrating so hard on my pace and feeling for pain, it was unnatural.

I made it 2 miles and was pretty content with this, but wondered if I could do 1 more.  About 2.75 in there was some pain, so I quit at 3.1 - 27:53 which is slow for me, but not terrible.  Although you know how it is - a part of me is disappointed in myself...

I iced when I got back while doing notes on the computer.  The Achilles feels fine, but we'll see how it reacts later tonight.

I think the bigger victory for today is not that I ran, but that I faced my fears and that I'm not giving up.  I know there are those of you out there which MUCH bigger challenges and obstacles.  Facing your fears - kicking the ass of self-doubt - not giving up and running away - making choices to face our issues and recover - that's the winner's circle.

Fitness-Motivation blog pic

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Review: Mello Velo Bike Shop

When I started thinking about buying a bike last fall, I asked around and heard great things about Mello Velo Bicycle Shop located in Syracuse. So Marc and I made a trip down there. I had just started looking for a bike, and not being sure if I was even going to like biking after not having been on a bike in - wow - like 25 years - I didn’t want to spend very much money. I ended up buying a cheapo hybrid from a big box store.

That worked fine to get me back into the experience of biking. But when I injured myself running - yet again - and decided that biking was going to the top of my list for fun and fitness, I wanted to purchase a quality road bike. Mello Velo was the first place that I thought of.

Because of time and location, I first visited a couple of slick high end bicycle shops. My experience was less than ideal. This included the one guy who looked me up and down and suggested that the most important factor in buying a bike was that it was in a “pretty color”. Seriously?

Another place had literally hundreds of bikes on the floor and what appeared to be dozens of storage boxes out back presumably filled with bikes. We were greed by a super enthusiastic woman who was a total slimy saleswoman. It appeared that she was only slightly interested in what I was looking for and immediately escorted me over to the most expensive and high end bikes that they had in my size. She also told me that it would be “nice” if I came back some time dressed in full bicycle gear, including shoes that I could clip in, so that I could properly test ride a couple of bikes - or, they could certainly sell me some. Yeah, I’ll get right on it.

So off to Mello Velo we went. Located in a small area of downtown Syracuse, we were actually able to find parking out front. We climbed the narrow staircase of the older building to get to the shop. At the top was curled a Shiba Inu, who disdainfully looked at us and expressed no interest whatsoever in our sweet talk to him.

Looking to my left I could see a whole section where employees were diligently and efficiently working on bikes and bike parts. To my right was a whole array of bikes packed closely together. This was no super slick box store! I could see the door that led into the attached café where the serve extremely healthy foods. We didn’t eat there, but the café also has a great reputation in the community.

I was greeted by Steve and told him that I was looking for a road bike, and that I couldn’t afford something really expensive. I gave him a brief recap of my running injury and how I had been riding a cheap hybrid, but that I thought I was ready to make the jump to a road bike. I shared that, quite frankly, I was nervous about riding a road bike.

Steve assured me that they could help me out. He knew immediately what they had in stock in my size and, without wasting any time, showed me to the bikes. He pulled out a beautiful Raleigh and pointed out some of the features that this bike had. Moving on, he then took me around the corner to where I saw another closely packed section of bikes - this was their used section.

He pulled one off the wall - a Trek Lexa - that looked to be in mint condition. As I looked that over, he pointed out another, Trek - this one an older but still in great shape Midone. He explained the history on each bike, who they had belonged to, and how the shop had acquired the bikes. He assured me that he had gone over the bikes, tuned them up and made absolutely sure that they were in great condition.

Trek Lexa SL T:


He told me that they stand by their bikes - new or used - and would never sell something that wasn’t a quality product. With their used bikes, if something goes wrong, they want to know about it and will fix it.

He suggested we bring all 3 bikes down to the street where I could ride them and get a feel. So we made our way downstairs with the 2 used Treks and the new Raleigh.

We went over to my vehicle so I could change into sneakers from flip-flops and get my bike helmet. Because Marc and I planned to ride later that day at Onondaga Lake Park, we had both of our bikes with us. Steve noted my cheapo hybrid and was not at all judgmental about what I was currently riding - he acknowledged it was indeed a low quality bike but that it had certainly made sense for me to purchase a lower end bike when I was first starting out.

We then went across the street to the residential streets. I was embarrassed, but had to ask him and Marc to tell me how to work the gears as they are very different on a road bike than my hybrid. Steve gave me a quick lesson without patronizing me at all. I loved that he was treating me with respect as someone who is reasonably intelligent and physically fit - just not used to this equipment.

I went to mount the Trek Lexa and he suggested that the seat needed adjusting and whipped out his tools to quickly and efficiently adjust the seat. He told me that he was going to adjust it a little lower then ideal because I was new to road biking and he wanted to make sure that I felt safe.

I took off and rode around the street, practicing shifting and braking and turning and just getting a feel for the bike while Steve and Marc chatted. I repeated the process with the other 2 bikes. Steve asked me about my experience and seemed genuinely interested in how each bike felt to me. He said that he gets so many people in who “have to” buy a certain brand or a certain set up because “their friends told them that this is what they need to buy”. He said that he disagrees with this and each person needs to get the bike that they are most comfortable with.

Being totally indecisive, I wanted to ride the bikes again. I felt absolutely no pressure to make up my mind. Steve was relaxed and I didn’t feel that he was hurrying me at all. I rode again and eliminated the Trek Midone. I couldn’t decide between the new Raleigh and the used Trek Lexa.

Steve then recapped the differences in the bikes and pointed out the pros and cons of each one - including taking into account the price. I did not feel that he was trying to sway me towards the more expensive Raleigh - he was just giving me the honest assessment of each bike. He then said that he would take away the bike I had eliminated and give Marc and I some time to talk.

I still could not make up my mind and told Marc that I wanted to go to lunch and think about it some more. When we shared this with Steve he was totally cool with that and said that he did not want to put any pressure on me and wanted me to be completely happy with my decision. He encouraged us to go eat and then come back if we wanted and get my new bike.

So that’s exactly what we did - we ate (personally, I ate roughly my body weight in cinnamon breadsticks from Pizza Hut) and talked about the bikes and then with the decision made we headed back to Mello Velo.

I chose the Trek for my first road bike. Steve told me he thought that would be my decision and quickly rang us up - sending me an e-mail receipt and encouraging me to contact them with any issues at all. He also suggested that since it was a lightly used bike that it might need some additional adjustments once I rode it for a while so if we were making a trip back down there, bring the bike so he could give it a tune up.

I have had the bike for a few days now. I’ve ridden about 90 miles so far. It rides like a dream and I am thrilled to have a high quality bike! Although I chose a used bike, I am confident that it will last me as long as I want to keep it, and that, if there is a problem with the bike, Mello Velo will be there for me. Marc will be upgrading his bike, and if and when I want to upgrade again, this is the only place we will go to.

To recap, I can’t express how happy I am with Mello Velo and their sales. If you live anywhere near the Syracuse area, please go to them if you want to be treated like a PERSON, not a wallet. You will be happy you did. You will get exactly the bike you are looking for. You will also be supporting good people who own a local business.

And please let them know that you learned about them from this blog!

One happy customer!


You can also find Mello Velo on Facebook and Instagram!

Please note: This review is entirely my experience and opinion. When I was sold this bike, Mello Velo had no idea of my “story” or that I maintain a blog. I was NOT offered any sort of discount or benefits for publishing a positive review.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Calling all success stories!

Are you interested in sharing your success?

So many people think that it can’t be done.

Seeing success stories – the before and afters – it helps inspire and motivate!

Whether you’ve hit goal yet or are still working on getting to goal – I want the world to celebrate you!

So if you are interested, please contact me at

And I’ll give you further instructions on how to send me your pics!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Change and evolution…

"Jen, you need to check out the Runner's World Facebook page!" was the e-mail I got from someone today.

So I did and saw that they had reposted an article about me and several others who lost weight and are runners.


I stared at the pictures.  The "before" is from the party Marc and I had in the summer of 2005 to celebrate our marriage.  The "after" is from 2013 after I won a local 10k.

I realized I don't feel like either of those people right now.  Although I am upset and worried about my weight gain I am a far cry from the woman who stood there smiling and weighing 300+ pounds.  I also don't know that I am the slimmer runner who ran a 44 minute 10k pain free and got a trophy.

It's so surreal to see myself featured on a page like this - with words like "incredible" used.  I truly don't think of myself or the changes I've made as amazing or incredible or inspiring or anything like that.

I am simply someone who was headed down a very unhealthy path and chose to make a life change.  I didn't overcome a great tragedy or dig my way out of horrific circumstances like some people - the truly amazing - did.  People like that - like the breathtaking dancer featured on So You Think You Can Dance this week - who was horrifically maimed in a car accident and almost lost her leg and who now dances like a dream... She and those like her are the ones that those kind of adjectives should be reserved for!

But if anyone looks at those pictures of me and my fellow former fatties and it makes them believe that they, too, can do it?  That's kind of awesome, right?

And if they find their way to this blog and begin reading and see that I am totally fucked in the head I hope they're not disappointed.  I hope they see that you don't need to be perfect to change your life for the better - you can be a beautiful disaster...


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Mirror mirror...

What do you see when you look in the mirror?  How about when you see photograph of yourself?  

Do you think that what you see - the imperfections, the loose skin, the stretch marks, the age spots, etc - is what other people see when they look at you?

I ran into someone today who was telling me how horrible she looks.  I looked at her and squinted trying to see what she was talking about - which I couldn't find.  And later I was thinking about how pretty she is and she doesn't even know it, because she's too busy picking herself apart.

I found myself almost... annoyed...

Suddenly is occured to me - WHAT IF - people think they same thing about me?  What if people don't see the things that I tear myself up about?  Along the same lines, what if - for example - when I'm talking about the horrific amount of loose skin on my thighs, other people can certainly see the loose skin, but they don't think it's nearly as bad as I make it out to be?

I wonder if people that I find incredibly gorgeous - Sophia Vergara is an example - I wonder if she looks in a mirror and sees something about her looks that she hates...

We all have something, right?  We think our hips are too big, our noses too wide, a crooked tooth, skin too pale, blah blah blah.

Can you - can I - look in the mirror tomorrow and just like what we see?  And then just eat right for the day and.exercise some - not because we hate our bodies but because we love ourselves.

Doing this would not keep us from trying to improve on areas - like me needing to lose at least 15 pounds.  But, at least for this crazy bitch, it would be quite a change - uncharted territory... and my mind could use a change of scenery...

Monday, June 15, 2015

Weekend challenges…

Yay!  It's the weekend!!!!!

That is Fat Jen's refrain every Friday around 4 PM.

Do you guys struggle with overeating on the weekends?  Because I know I do!  I can be totally on point all week and then the weekend hits and it's like I think that foods don't have calories on Saturday and Sunday!!

Oh wow - what if we lived in a world where that was true??!!

But alas it is not.

The good thing about the weekend is that it offers opportunity to burn a hell of a lot more calories than on weekdays when I work a desk job.

Yesterday for example, I was out the door by 9:15 taking the dogs on a 4 mile walk before it got too warm for Chakotay who just can't take the heat.

The previous day, my nephew Jon had used his truck to get mulch for my flower beds.  So as soon as I got back from the walk, I started weeding the beds and laying mulch.  Then it was time for lunch.

After lunch I mulched some more and then Marc and I headed out and did a 30 mile bike ride.

So the days activities certainly burned a bunch of calories!

BUT.... (as opposed to my huge butt)

Did I really burn enough to justify the gigantic cheddar bagel slathered with peanut butter?  Hmmm... I’m thinking no…

And then it's the picking that's killing me - at work I have a small refrigerator. I have my water in it, I put each day's lunch in it.  What else?  A couple of mustard packets and some relish.  So there's not much to pick at.

But on the weekends?  Much harder!  Ain't nothing wrong with grabbing a handful of raisins.   But grabbing a handful 7 times?  That becomes a problem!!

It's better now that it's warm weather - it was a bigger issue during the winter when I was stuck inside.  But clearly I've established some very bad habits that I have not been able to conquer...


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Introducing Pegasus!


I took the leap and bought a road bike.  It is a used 2013 Trek Lexa SL Triple.

I got it from a reputable bike shop in Syracuse – I’m going to talk more about them in a later post – they were AWESOME.

I wanted a nice bike and didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg so used was the way to go.  It is in excellent condition and coming from a reputable shop, I know that they will stand by the bike if something goes wrong -  unlike if I just bought it off of someone from Craigslist.

However, even a used nice road bike costs a LOT of money – at least a lot for me, and it was a hard decision to make. 

I tried running a bit while taking the dogs for a walk earlier this week and it is clear that I still need some healing time, because it was a no-go… Looks like biking will definitely be my exercise of choice for a while.

So I am telling myself that this is a good investment and that I will definitely use it and that I am worth the money – at least that is what Marc kept telling me when I was expressing concern about spending the cash Smile

We just got back from a ride to buy some corn on the cob at Walmart – it’s around 14 miles round trip.  Riding a road bike is going to take some getting used to – from the handlebars to the thin and more touchy tires.

But I can tell already that this is going to give me more of a cardio workout than my hybrid – I can go faster and switch between the 30 gears MUCH  easier which lets me pedal at a more steady pace.

So why is the bike named Pegasus?  Well, because I am a dork, and this bike is a Trek and the USS Pegasus is a ship from the Star Trek series. Not just any ship, but – for anyone reading who is a Trek geek like me – it is the first ship that William Riker served on. 

In addition – the mythological  Pegasus is pretty awe-inspiring, don’t you think?


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

What it takes…


GUESS WHAT??  The big mystery is solved!!  How did I - how does anyone - lose weight?  By eating fewer calories than what you are burning through activity. 


And, in other shockingly revolutionary news, if you eat the SAME amount of calories that you are burning you will maintain! 

It seems so simple in black and white.

It does not require never. ever eating M & M's.  What it also does NOT require is running 30 miles per week.  But, like the serial killer who has, somewhere along the line, equated sex and violence, I have made the wired connection in my brain that running and being thin are inexorably linked.  And that without running, the only choice is obesity.

Which is, of course, nuts.

I have not run since the aborted disaster that was the May 30th race.  What I have done is biked and walked and lifted weights and have done yoga.  Do what you can with what you have, where you are, right? 

My Achilles is so much better that obsessive-compulsive Jen tried to get us out running today.  Rational Jen realized that would be a mistake and put a halt to that idea.

In fact, today I faced the reality that I may not be able to be a super-runner in the future.  And, even more shockingly, I am almost okay with that.  Now don't get me wrong, I still desperately want to be able run.  But running 15 miles for a long run on Sunday?  If that part of my life is over, it might not destroy me.  Being able to go out and run a 10K might – just maybe – be good enough. 

It seems as though I am mending not only physically, but mentally, too.  I knew that was true this morning. when I opened a HUGE box of empty urine bottles and pulled out the bag they were contained in.  I assumed the bag was strong.  I assumed wrong - oh so wrong.  The bag ripped open and a TIDE of empty urine bottles exploded all over my office.  I must have done 200 squats picking those suckers up!  I CHOSE to see this as an early morning workout rather then being upset about the not so natural disaster.

And my eating has been completely and satisfyingly in control.  Feeling in control is a good thing.

So today I believe in me and my future.  I might fall back into blackness tomorrow but for today....

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

With friends like that…

I've told you guys how emotionally touched I get when someone who reads this blog takes the time to reach out and supports me when I've been struggling.  That was something I never ever expected when I started blogging - that anyone would remotely give a shit about my ups and downs.

By the same token, now that I see the world though different eyes, it is shocking to me how cruel and thoughtless people can be who know me and claim to care about me.

Today I got to work and as I pulled into the parking lot I see my friend, the avid runner, power walking across the street.  He veered off heading over to me and pulled out his Fitbit to tell me how many steps he had in already.  "You been running?" he asked.  Here I am limping along and I tell him he knows how badly I pulled or ripped the Achilles and "I can barely walk, let alone run!"

He then shares with me that every day that I'm not running I'm losing fitness and when I DO run, I'll have basically lost everything I have gained and will be - for all intents and purposes - starting from scratch.

Talk about preying on my worst and most intense fears!  He then skipped off while I felt like dropping my bag, sitting down in front of the Dollar Store and bawling.

I'm trying to keep my head up - I walked at lunch and once I got warmed up the Achilles was nothing but an annoying ache and I barely was limping.  And I've been pricing road bikes, but holy hell they are expensive!!!  Way out of my price range for a quality bike.

I swear that some people get a bizarre and probably subconscious thrill from bringing others down.  I try to not let it effect me, but it does.

I know someone who is able to just let things roll off her back.  Last week, in fact, she got reamed out by someone for something that wasn't even her fault.  She was pissed, but clearly saw it as this other person's issue and didn't take it personally.  Me?  I would have been a sobbing mess.  I told her I needed lessons on how to be that strong!

What about you guys?  Are you sensitive like me or what?


Monday, June 8, 2015

Giving up…

There is obviously a part of me that doesn’t want to – even can’t give up.  Because I continue to attempt to keep up with my fitness and make good food choices.  I just am failing miserably…

I have always been opposed to any of these “fad diets”.  And I’m not about to get into one now.

But I did happen across an article today by someone who was talking about how weight loss should be tackled taking into account life stages.

And it said for menopausal women, we need to limit our intake of carbs, but increase our fat intake.

I try to eat healthy fats, like fish and nuts.  And I take a fish oil capsule a day.  But I do have a relatively low fat diet. 

I wonder how much of my extreme trouble getting back on track could at least be somewhat hormonally driven.

5 years ago is when I started this whole journey – which is not very long.  BUT since I was 38 then and am 43 now?  That’s a somewhat pivotal point in the life of most women.

It’s a interesting thought.  Or maybe I am just looking for excuses to why I am eating myself back into obesity…

For anyone who is interested, the article is here:

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Ride for Dignity

Today Marc and I rode in the Ride for Dignity.  It is a bike race to benefit Dignity Boxes which are provided to people after natural disasters.

It was my first biking event.  Getting up and getting ready was much different for me then when I do a running race.  I was not nervous or hyped up for some reason.

We got to the event and saw many more people then we expected.  There were 2 options – a 50 miler and a 25 miler.  We had signed up for the 25, so by the time we got there, the 50 milers had already started their race.

We signed in and then milled around.  I looked to see if anyone I knew from the running events were there and I didn’t see anyone.  Most people had expensive road bikes, so I was a little insecure about my cheap hybrid.

There were also a few teams – all dressed in their team outfits and they stuck together.  It felt cliquey to me.

We lined up and were off. 
VIRB_0215-00-00-00-000 I have only ridden with Marc and I was a bit nervous riding with a bunch of other riders.  We made the first turn and people were all grouped together and the teams that ride together all the time were yelling out things to one another and that only made me more nervous. 
But we then got into a groove and I noticed immediately that there was going to be a lot more back and forth than in a running race.  Given conditions, some people are better during certain sections and so they would go flying by me, only for me to catch up a mile later and pass them.

About 10 miles in, a group had gone out front, there was a whole grouping in the back, and literally between was Marc, I and another woman.  I had tried to convince Marc to ride at his own pace and not let me drag him down, but he insisted that he wanted to ride with me.

We must have passed her and she passed us 7-8 times.  It was a continuous back and forth.   She had an extremely nice bike and I noticed how obvious it was that, unlike running, equipment makes a HUGE difference.  The people with nicer, expensive bikes – especially the ones designed for road racing - could definitely surge ahead.

As Marc and I cruised down a long stretch with just the 2 of us I told him that I have decided that I want to get a better bike.  My Achilles is healing, but is still extremely swollen and painful and I even walk with a pronounced limp – as painful as it is for me to accept, I’m not sure when – or if – I will be able to resume running.  So I would like to have the equipment to ride further and faster if biking is going to be my primary form of exercise.

Riding with others had pushed me to go faster than normal and about 17 miles in I started to fatigue.  Shortly after that, we came around the bend and I saw that we were about to hit a relatively short, but extremely steep hill. 

I struggled to make it up, and it didn’t help that we had been fighting a strong wind all day which we were now headed straight into.  When we got to the top I saw 3 riders stopped and at first I thought the one woman was hurt, but I guess she was just spent from struggling up the hill.

We continued on and were in open farmland and the wind just HOWLED straight at us.  We passed a larger woman who had been in the front pack and she was making the most horrible noises.  She was actually almost screaming and moaning at the same time – in a different context you might have thought they were screams of ecstasy.  Marc looked at me and we were both like “awkward”! 

I passed the girl that had passed us many times as she was really having trouble against the wind, and, as I had made it my goal to beat her, mentally claimed victory – hoping that I could maintain my lead over her until the end.  

We took the final turn and cruised DOWN a steep hill to the end, crossing the finish at 25.15 miles with a 1:45:56 time – that’s an average speed of 14.2 MPH – faster than my normal and not bad, especially considering the wind.
We then headed in for the spoils – a spaghetti dinner…
The guy who organizes this is a hippy dippy “everyone is a winner!” type guy, so the prizes were randomly drawn, not based on finish.

I am happy with how I felt, although there is not the same sense of accomplishment that I feel when finishing a running race maybe it is just my general feeling like shit that I can’t pull myself out of lately.

We hope to ride in a more intense, much larger bike race in July – we’ll see how I feel after that…. 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Keys to a kingdom…

For everyone who has lost weight, there is an individual story and individual reasons for losing.  When I was first on this journey and would see someone post on sites how proud they were for losing 14 pounds and getting to their goal weight or struggling to lose 10 pounds I would want to reach through the screen and pound the shit out of them for worrying about what I perceived as such an insignificant amount.

Of course, my perception is completely different now.  And I've come to realize that there is no right or wrong with anyone's personal journey.

What I do know, though, having interacted with hundreds of people who have lost weight over the last 5 years as that those of us who were morbidly obese have our own special mental demons we deal with.  And sometimes I forget that people who have not been morbidly obese - even those who have fought with their weight - don't understand at all.

When I was obese, people - strangers - would scream things at me from cars.  I got so used to hearing "Moooooo!" when out walking I came to almost expect it.  There were also comments from family and strangers alike - both to my face and behind my back when they thought I couldn't hear.  Each time was like a knife in my heart.

Several years ago I got on a plane and took my seat.  The guy next to me and his maybe 4 year old son were in the other 2 seats.  The man gave me a horrified look as he saw me settle in  and tapped his wife who was in the row ahead and loudly informed her that he was going to look around for another seat so he would "have some room".  On the flight home a petite Asian woman kindly offered to share her tray table with me for my drink since my stomach was way too large for the table to come down.  I'm not sure which experience was more humiliating.

One Christmas my uncle gave Marc and I a gift certificate to Texas Roadhouse.  I had never been there before and they only had booths.  I had to literally pull my fat in with my hands and squeezed into the booth - I was in agony the entire dinner.  I couldn't even breathe.

And then there was the time that I needed to drive Marc's car - a Honda - and my stomach pushed so much against the steering wheel that even with the seat all the way back - I couldn't turn it.  Marc just stared at me as I sat there so ashamed.  We made it home - barely - with me cranking the wheel with both hands at every turn.

How about the time I went to the amusement park and the bar wouldn't close over me on a ride and the guy came over and had to brace himself and pushed as hard as he could to make that bar click, while everyone else on the ride stared.

I could go on and on with stories like this.  And being obese comes with special things that no one thinks about - like not being able to reach around to wipe yourself or having to hold fat up to wash in the shower.

And then I lost weight.  People don't stare at me and giggle to one another when I eat in public.  I can buy my clothes at regular stores.  I don't live in fear of not fitting in a tight booth.  I can walk without sweating and being in constant pain.  I don't have to worry that if I fall in the snow I can't get up.  Men howl instead of moo at times.  I walk with confidence instead of shame.  I don’t think daily that Marc deserves better.  I have earned keys to the kingdom.

It’s great – but for someone like me there is the constant and ever-present TERROR that it could all disappear.  That I am living on borrowed time and as easily as this new life was given it can be taken away.  I sometimes feel like obesity is just waiting to strike again.  An inevitable destiny and that this has been a cruel joke – let her experience a fantasy and then yank it away.  And I will be back to the old life.

I'm not looking for sympathy here  - I have to own that I CHOSE that life and I have choices now.  But I hope it does explain why even minor setbacks - like not being able to run - throw me for such a loop.  Why in my mind gaining 20 pounds is a disaster.  It represents so much more then it would seem to...

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


I turned 43 today.  As you guys who read this blog know, turning 42 was emotionally hard and somewhat scary since my father died at that age.  I expected to make it through 42 and then be in a really great place when I entered 43, but as you know, I’m in a very rough way right now.  The best laid plans, right?

In an attempt to pull myself out of the darkness, I worked this morning and took the afternoon off.  My wonderful, patient and understanding husband had said to me that the day was mine and we could do whatever.

I met him for lunch at Panera Bread – one of my favorite places.  And then we unpacked the bikes he had brought.  My Achilles is still in really bad shape and I was so nervous that biking would aggravate it. 

We took off and the Achilles barely made a peep.  We stopped in Sackets Harbor at 17 miles to split and enjoy my free birthday pastry that Panera was kind enough to give me. 


And then we took off again.  We ended up going 34 miles and my Achilles didn’t complain at all what a relief!  My first ever bike race is this Saturday and knowing that I will be able to bike pain free and not have an embarrassing disaster of not finishing like last week is a load off my mind.

And, of course, Marc went way overboard and showered me with gifts.  How can I be ungrateful and spoiled at the same time?

So, I’m not out of funk.  But I’m trying so hard to get there.  I can’t promise what tomorrow will bring, but to feel even a glimmer of hope? 


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Alive but not kicking…

I fully intended for last week's post to be the last one in this blog.  But I have to make another post to sincerely thank everyone for their kind words and support for me.  For anyone to take the time to reach out to me - a complete stranger - has been absolutely emotionally overwhelming in an already highly emotional time.

I wish I could tell you I'm in a better place, but I am so not.  I was determined to run in Saturday's race and had convinced myself that 2 days rest would make it okay.  I made it exactly .60 of a mile before something popped and my entire foot had pins and needles in it and I got to experience the absolute fucking humiliation of limping back to where I started and scored a DNF.

I celebrated over the weekend by eating everything that wasn't nailed down and then complained about how fat I have become.  Have you ever heard of anything so unbelievably pathetic?

I haven't made the idiotic choice to run since then, and it's getting better.  However I am absolutely convinced that my running career is over.

Yesterday we received some very bad news about Marc's dad.  Marc and his father then returned from the doctor's office to find dad's cat in really bad shape and rushed him to the vet's where, after some tests, it became clean that there was no choice and Timmy had to be euthanized.

I am without even a glimmer of hope and I am of zero use to anyone reading this.  There are inspirational bloggers out there who you can find that are true success stories.  Not sad sacks like me.

I will not be seeing a therapist who should tell me "If you don't want to be fat, stop fucking eating so much, you cow!" I either need to get my shit together or stop complaining - and apparently I'm not prepared to do ether right now...

I really want no one to worry about me or spend any time thinking about how I am.  I know everyone out there has there own stuff they are going through and being concerned about me is not a good use of your valuable time!!!