Do as I say, not as I do

I’ve been struggling with something for awhile now and I can’t keep it bottled up anymore. I’ve tried to be upbeat and positive about this whole sprained foot fiasco. Oh wait, you don’t know about this do you?

Yeah, that’s right. I never blogged about it. Why? Well, I kept putting it off… and off… and off… until I started getting bitter today about he whole thing. Sure, I tweeted about it and made posts on DailyMile, but I never really blogged about how it made me feel. Here goes.

I was scared.

My left foot pain is getting worse, not better. I’m so scared something is wrong that will knock me out of training for Napa. Please send some healing thoughts/prayers my way. Pretty sure I’ll be going to the doctor today. 🙁

I was relieved.

FOOT UPDATE: It’s a sprain of sorts. I have to take it easy and I should be able to still run/walk the Wine Country Half Marathon. Basically, taper is starting a week early. 🙁

I was sad.

feeling like I won’t get to RUN a 5k… ever. #jth says I can jog or walk SLOWLY on thurs. #fitmke #sadmke

I was bitter.

all of you running the storm the bastille tomorrow can suck it.#bitter #sadface #norunningtilnapa

Last month, I had to “take it easy” for the Great Milwaukee Race. I wasn’t supposed to run. But, I didn’t want to let my teammates down so I ran a bit (this was before I knew the foot was sprained). Then I had my long build-up run/walks for training for the half marathon. I did 8 miles… then almost 9… then just over 10 miles. All on a sprained foot. Yep. I am pretty badass. Or stubborn. One of the two.

Luckily, the diagnosis came a week before my taper was to begin, so instead of doing my last long run/walk of 12 miles… I started taking it easy and tapering back early. On the one hand, awesome. On the other, crap.

I had a “come to Jesus” conversation with my trainer via text message the day I went to the doctor. Here’s how it went:

Me: This sucks.

John: Why? It will be fine!

Me: Because I want to do it all 🙁

John: U will just not this week, u wanna be fit for life, not just a couple of months, right?

Me: Yeah. You’re right. I know I need to listen I just don’t want to. Haven’t had an “easy” week since I began training for the half

John: That could be part of the reason u are hurt at the moment.

Me: Prolly. Guess I’m just afraid of going back to my old routine of nothing. Know what I mean?

John: I will drag ur punk ass out of ur house and make u workout if u do!

Me: Deal.

I have tried to accept the fact that I had to stop running. I have tried to accept the fact that I had to drop out of a 5k two weeks ago. I have tried (and failed) to accept the fact that I can’t run the Storm the Bastille 5k tomorrow. This race is especially hard for me to miss because back when I decided to start this journey, my goal race was to run the Storm the Bastille on July 8. Sure, I am freaking doing a half marathon next week, but I can’t help but feel like a complete failure. My one, measly goal – Run the Storm the Bastille – #amyfail. Yes, my goals have changed. I can do 3.1 miles in my sleep. But I haven’t actually RAN a full 5k yet. This has been a psychological barrier for me and I have been eagerly anticipating the chance to show myself I can RUN a 5k.

Then there’s this whole all-these-people-donated-money-for-charity-because-I-said-I-would-do-a-half-marathon-and-I-went-and-overdid-things-and-may-have-put-the-whole-race-at-risk factor. Yup. I’m doing this whole get healthy journey for me. And I am worried about what my family and friends will think if I fail miserably next weekend. When I started training, my goal was to be at a solid 15 minute mile pace (4mph). I’m quite certain if I was able to run more, I would have no problem maintaining this pace. However, due to all of my training setbacks (including the knee problems a few months ago), I have been logging a solid 16:30-17:30 walking pace. So now, my new time goal is in the 3:30-4:00 range. I know I shouldn’t compare myself to others… but I have friends who are in the sub-4:00 MARATHON time range. And I’m just praying I can do a sub-4:00 HALF MARATHON. It’s a kick to the ol’ ego, that’s for sure.

I need to stop putting myself through this, but I can’t help it. There was a time (just months ago), where I couldn’t understand why some of my friends were working out ALL the time. They were running 7-8 miles FOR FUN. My idea of a good time was ordering a pizza, drinking a 6-pack of beer and watching basic cable Law & Order: SVU marathons. My idea of a good time was certainly not training for a HALF MARATHON. SVU Marathons are much more entertaining.  Now, ordering a pizza, drinking beer and watching SVU Marathons is still high on my list of fun times… but the times I’ve been able to run – actually RUN – I can’t describe the feeling as anything short of euphoric. It’s amazing what the human body is capable of. And I know mine is capable of running.

I know I need to listen to my trainer, my coach, my doctors… but I can’t help feeling like I’m a failure. I feel like giving up. I feel like putting on my fat pants. I feel like burying my sorrow in peanut butter M&Ms, fruity cocktails, microbrews, high-carb, high-fat meals… (and trust me, I have done this in recent weeks). But I know that is giving in. I can’t fall back to the old Amy. I can’t let the old fat girl win. The new fat girl is so much more fun. She feels better. She can walk up flights of stairs without losing her breath. She is 10 days away from completing a half marathon (at 250 lbs, none the less). She needs to get over herself, put on her big-girl underwear and stop being such a baby.

I guess what I’m trying to say is… don’t be stupid like I’ve been. Be smart. Accept your setbacks. Grow a pair.

Weigh In Wednesday: Debbie Downer edition

I’m trying to figure out how the above chart translates into a 1lb weight gain. I don’t get it. I’m really struggling today. I’ve been floating between 261-263 for 5 or 6 weeks. I’ve really been cranking up the workouts and last week I introduced biking into my routine to switch things up. I really don’t want to start journaling my food intake. I REALLY don’t. But maybe I have to.

Add that to my desire to run but inability to do so and you have a depressed Amy. I have found it difficult to manage the desire to run with the realization that if I try to push too hard, I’ll screw up all my training for the half in Napa. I have to keep telling myself that it’s ok to walk. Never in my life have I WANTED to run. So this desire to run is new for me. I am having issues dealing with it, because in my life when I want to do something and I put my mind to it, I DO it. I don’t wait around for things to happen.

I’ve also been yearning to adopt a dog. Most people my age have baby fever. I have baby doggie fever. I fell a li’l in love with a three-legged cutie at the humane society. I told myself that when he would be ready for adoption, if his adoption fee was less than $250, I would adopt him talk to my landlord and beg him to let me adopt him. I mean, look at that face. How could he say no to that face? I mean, really. Isn’t he the cutest? Well, Max went up for adoption today. His adoption fee is $450. I can’t justify spending that much to adopt a dog. I certainly wouldn’t have the extra funds to provide him the life he deserves. So you could say I’m upset. I almost started crying at work today when I heard the news (I’ve been in close contact with the humane society peeps since I found out about Max and his story).

Needless to say, I’ve had better days.

Ok, well I need to stop this pity party real quick.

Thanks for letting me vent.

How Social Media (@dailymile @twitter @facebook) saved my life

Social media saved my life.

I’m not being melodramatic. I’m completely serious. Social media saved my life. No, I didn’t get lost only to be found with the help of friends on Twitter and an iPhone app. I didn’t use social media to help me figure out what terminal disease I had. Social media did so much more.

Social media saved my life in a way I could have never imagined. Social media encouraged me to take better care of myself. Social media guilted me into working out. Social media introduced me to some amazing people. Social media used these people to make me a better Amy Kant.

I know I’m not the only person to meet life-long friends through social media. When I first joined Facebook in college (it debuted at UWM my senior year), I never thought it would be more than a tool for me to reconnect with friends and coworkers. When I joined Twitter in 2006 (or was it 2007?), I didn’t expect it to introduce me to the most amazing people I’ve ever met (If I were to list all of you, this post would never end, so consider yourself tagged). When I joined DailyMile in January, I thought it would simply be a place for me to log my exercise. And when I started this blog, my only intention was for it to serve as a diary of sorts, where I could document my journey to being a better me.

They saved my life.

I know that if it weren’t for Twitter and DailyMile, my life would be fast-tracking to a bad place. I was on a downward spiral to dying young. I was 100+ pounds overweight. I couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs without running out of breath. I had a hard time tying my shoes. I ate too much. I never exercised. I always drove even if my destination was nearby. I ate what I wanted when I wanted and ate my food so fast I rarely enjoyed it. I frequently enjoyed greasy, fatty foods with little regard to their calorie counts. I drank tons of (diet) soda and coffee. I always had some type of snack at my desk. Second or third or fourth helpings were always a possibility. Usually, they were a probability. I hated going places with friends where I would have to walk with them because I knew I would have a hard time keeping up without losing my breath. I wore dark colored clothes so I wouldn’t draw attention to myself. I tried to stand in the back of group photos. I tried to be the happy fat girl. I wanted to not care about my outward appearance. I saw a therapist semi-regularly. I was bloated. I saw a bleak, lonely future. I was anemic. I had hypothyroidism. I had high blood pressure. I needed to get tested for sleep apnea. I was tired. I was scared. I was 27 years old. I was dying.

Now, while many of these statements are still true to some extent, I can confidently say that I am no longer dying. I’ve lost 13 pounds. I’ve lost 18.5 inches. I’m working out 5-6 days a week. I did a 5k. I’m training for a half marathon. I can walk up a flight of stairs without reaching for my inhaler. I walk if my destination is less than 1.5-2 miles away. I’m cutting back on the unhealthy food choices, in favor of eating better and in smaller quantities. My desk snacks are organic fruit strips or granola. Third or fourth helpings are out of the question. I quit soda and caffeine, except for the occasional coffee or Sprite Zero. My clothes are falling off. My therapy appointments are few and far between. My blood pressure is back to normal. I have hope. I see a brighter future.

How did social media save my life?

It was my Twitter friends who encouraged me to see the doctor when I was freezing cold and exhausted all the time last fall. It was the “you need to change your life” talk with my doctor. It was seeing all the DailyMile posts feeding to my friends’ Twitter and Facebook pages. It was FitMilwaukeeIt was you.

You inspired me. You encouraged me. You blogged about your own fitness journeys. You encouraged me to join DailyMile. You made me want to be a better person. Yes, you. You all did that. I would marry you if polygamy was legal. I am so humbled and extremely grateful for Twitter, DailyMile, Facebook and all of you bloggers. You are the catalyst that jumpstarted my life. You made me feel alive again.

Thank you, from the deepest depths of my heart. I wouldn’t have started this journey (or kept with it) if it weren’t for each of you. I owe you my life. #truth

The one with the dog attack

Today was the most bizarre day of my life. First, I got to spend the afternoon with Danny Gokey, taking photos while he had a photo shoot and then shot a commercial for Wisconsin Vision… (see the pix here).

It ended up being almost an 11-hour workday. Whatevs, it happens. So then, I headed off to West Allis to have dinner with my parents and get my walk in for my half marathon training.

I changed into my workout gear and suited the dogs up in their harnesses and leashes and we were off. We kept a good pace going and even ran for a bit (which they LOVED). They were behaving so well. I was so proud of them. And then, it happened.

We were about 2/3 of a mile into the walk and this little french bulldog came barreling out of a house towards my dogs. He sort of tried to smell them and then he went right after Bandit. He had Bandit’s entire lower jaw IN HIS MOUTH. So of course, I’m FREAKING OUT trying to get Bandit out of his grip and keeping Gizmo from beating the shit out of this dog. Seriously, Gizmo looked like he was out to kill. All the while the owner just stood by the garage calling for the dog to come over. Finally I looked up at her and said, “would you come get your damn dog? He’s eating my Bandit!!!” It took both of us to get Bandit out of his grip. I have the battle wounds to prove it. I checked Bandit over and he wasn’t bleeding or anything so I grabbed him up and headed back home. And then I lost it. I called my dad to come meet us. I was sobbing uncontrollably for a few blocks on 84th street just south of Lincoln. My arm hurt so I pushed up my sleeve and I saw a pretty gross looking tooth mark but wasn’t really worried about me.

I sat on the sidewalk and cried and tried to tweet what happened (see above). My hands were shaking so much and my heart was racing (at least I got a decent heart rate going on my walk, right?). My parents came and then my mom took the dogs and my dad walked back with me to the house to get the owner’s info. The dog is fully vetted and she’s going to send me the paperwork to prove it tomorrow. The owner had the BALLS to ask me how I knew it was HER dog that bit me. I replied, “BECAUSE YOUR DOG HAD MY DOG IN HIS MOUTH.” Bitch.

I don’t need stitches or anything so I’m not calling the cops. If Bandit would have been bleeding or I needed stitches, I so would have busted her butt for the incident.

Hopefully tomorrow’s workout will be less eventful.

oh, so after this all happened, I cleaned up my wounds, my parents took me to Subway (we WERE going to grill chicken)… and then I went to Rodiez’s Running Store for a shoe clinic with Team Challenge. As I was headed home I got the most amazing phone call. My aunt is on the way to Mayo Clinic. They found her a liver!!! EEEEEK! Our prayers have been answered!

Weigh In Wednesday: Milestone, achieved

First things first. I lost 1.4 pounds in the last week, bringing my total weight loss in 6 weeks to 10.6 pounds. Not too shabby. 🙂 I updated my inspiration board too! I was e-mailing with my mom about this today and she said to me, “Do you realize that you’ve lost 10% of the weight you wanted to lose?”

Holy crap. I totally have.

I’ve also lost 4% of my total body weight in 6 weeks.

10.6 pounds is the equivalent of:

  • 42 sticks of butter
  • 5 liters of soda
  • 7 dozen eggs
  • 3.2 chickens
  • a 6-pack of beer
  • a 12-pack of soda

In case you were wondering… 🙂

Now, on to even BIGGER NEWS!

I started Couch to 5k this week. If you’ve followed my dailymile training, you know I’ve been struggling. Today was different.

I ran y’all. I RAN. I ran 100% of the time I was supposed to. I F*cking RAN. This is HUGE. The last time I did C25K, I averaged my running “speed” at 3.7-4.0. This is walking for y’all, but was jogging for me. Today I ranged between 4.1-4.7!!! It wasn’t until I was in the last running leg that I realized what I had just done.

I started sobbing, while I was running, on the treadmill, at the gym, during peak time. It didn’t matter. I was running. I did a li’l stretching then decided to head home. I got to my car. I started crying. I got home. I walked in the door, told my sis and started sobbing for a good 5min! She gave me a much-needed hug and said she was proud of me. It meant the world to me.

I ran today.

Hells yeah.

Will to succeed

One of the things I know I will struggle with for awhile is thinking I’m fatter than I really am. Hell, my li’l description on this blog says “I’m not a skinny girl in a fat girl’s body. I’m a fat girl in a fat girl’s body.”

Today I was reading one of the many health/fitness/weight loss blogs in my RSS reader when I came across this post from For the Love of Skinny:

When I weighed in there was a new woman at the desk, and of course as soon as she saw my achievement of 70lbs she got all excited and said…can you guess…”OH MY GOD YOU MUST FEEL LIKE A DIFFERENT PERSON!” Yeah I get this a LOT. That night though I just smiled and said “you know, not really” which my WW leader over heard and she came over to chat. We started talking about how it takes a while for you brain to catch up with your body. She told me about some study they did with like 100 woman of varying sizes that they put in a room and told them to stand in a long line from biggest to smallest. The women had to silently without help from each other find their spot in the line. In the end only a very small percentage of the women actually understood what size they were, some guessed too small, some to large. The women that were the most off were the ones who had lost a  significant amount of weight, these women were blind to their own size. I feel like that right now.

I can totally relate. When I’ve lost weight before, sure, I’ve been happy and felt better… but there was always a part of me that knew I’d never be completely happy with my outward appearance.

I’ve always tried to be the “I’m-so-happy-I-don’t-care-that-I’m-fat-and-love-to-make-jokes-about-how-fat-I-am” girl… but deep down I’m really the “I-hate-that-I’m-fat-but-don’t-know-where-to-start” kind of girl. Sure, I know what it takes to lose weight. If you don’t know, then, well, did you go to school? I always knew that eating healthy and exercising were the keys to success. You have to do both to be super successful. But it’s that turning point, that determination, that will to change that makes the biggest difference. After a decade of unhealthy choices, I’ve made the decision – no, the commitment- to change. I’m not TRYING to lose weight and get healthy. I AM LOSING WEIGHT AND GETTING HEALTHY.

Trying is attempting with the intent to fail.

Will + Determination = success.

Part of me fears I’ll always think I’m fat. Honestly, a li’l part of me always will, because once that’s in your mind, it’s hard to break. But I’m trying determined to change.

A walk down skinny lane… and fatty place

First, we begin with some cuteness overload.

That’s me and my first dog Sammy, circa 1985. Wasn’t I a cute li’l kid?

Moving on… I was looking through some old photos from high school that had been posted on Facebook and couldn’t help but think, wow, that was ME.

In the Photo #1 below, I was probably about 130-140. I think this was freshman or sophomore year of high school. I was thin, but not real thin. I’ve never been “that” girl. My friends were always smaller than me and I felt self-conscious all the time. I thought there was something wrong with me because I wasn’t as thin as the others.

The next three photos are from my senior year of high school. Photo #2 was my costume for the play and looking at this photo now, I yearn to be that size again. But in 2000, I hated that I was a 12/13 and the other girls were 2s, 4s, 6s, 8s, whatever. It didn’t matter that I was at a good weight for my height (I probably could have lost a few pounds, but still, I looked GOOD). I just didn’t think I looked good. I’m guessing that in these three photos, I weighed in the 165-180 range, but if you asked me, I would have said 145 or 150.

Photo #3 was my show choir dress senior year. Yes, show choir like GLEE. I was that girl. 🙂 But I was also one of the biggest girls in the choir. Sure, I had the biggest boobs too, but that didn’t matter. I was always the biggest. I was never paired up for songs where the guys had to lift up a girl. See me standing on that box? I was a “wallflower.” Not good enough to be in the front. I sometimes thought this was because of my size.

Photo #4 is when I had a huge solo as Dorothy at our spring concert. Again, I was bigger than some of the other girls and suspected that the only reason I was chosen as Dorothy was because of my long dark hair. I struggled with self esteem issues back then, even when I was absolutely beautiful. I mean, look at these photos. I was a healthy, young girl. But I thought I was fat because I wasn’t the same size as everyone else. I wasn’t fat by any means.

As I change my life… I look back at this time with shame. I also wonder, if I thought I was so fat back then, what would the 17-year-old Amy say of me now? She’d probably die of heartache.

Sidenote: how did this girl not have a serious boyfriend in high school? I mean, really. WTH. More on my love life in a future post.

As I got older and drowned my sorrows in food, I started to learn some fat girl tricks. Fat girls, you know what I’m talking about. When someone wants to take your picture, you find a way to block the fat – by whatever means possible. It could be a table, bag, book, scarf or even your friends. I don’t know why I thought these little tricks would work. People know you’re fat. You can’t hide it… so why do we try? The worst part about all of these photos? I probably weighed 210-240 in them. That’s more than 25 pounds LESS than I weigh now. I would die to wear those “fat” jeans again. A size 16 or whatever they are would be a dream come true right now.

So, there you have it… the good… the bad… and the ugly. I kid, a li’l bit anyways. I don’t think I’m ugly. I do think I’m pretty (or at least I have some good features). Gosh, if I was both fat AND ugly, there’d really be no reason to change anything. Ok, I’m not really that shallow, but you know what I mean. Looking back and seeing what I was… and looking and seeing what I’ve become is a huge wakeup call. I don’t want to let the 1998 Amy down. She never thought that she would gain more than 100 pounds in 12 years. She had bigger dreams for herself.  It’s time to make those come true.

Good news… and bad news

Today was, well, interesting. I had a doctor’s appointment for a checkup and got to talk to her about how I’m trying to change my life. She was very proud of what I’ve done in the past two weeks and even asked, “How did you lose that much in 2 weeks?”

My answer?

“I exercised.”

We both laughed and she replied, “Yeah, well that’ll do it. You’re a step above me!”

I have a long history with my doctor. I have been going to Dr. H. since I was 12; I basically grew up with her. She is my mom and sister’s doctor too, so she totally understands my family and always asks about them when I go for an appointment. She knows I’ve struggled with my weight since my very late teens, and knows I’ve tried every diet in the book (even ones she doesn’t approve of). She’s seen my weight creep up and up and up for the past 8-9 years to where I’m at right now. She doesn’t judge. She is very compassionate and knows what a heartache this is for me. Dr. H. knows about my anxiety issues (and prescribes me Xanax as needed). Bottom line – she is amazing. I can honestly say that not wanting to lose her as my primary care physician has been a thought when I’ve considered moving. I just have a really good connection with her and I know that she genuinely cares about me – this isn’t just a job for her.

But I digress.

(oh, there’s a li’l tmi in the next paragraph: you’ve been warned)

So, today Nurse D. took my blood pressure, to see where I’m at since my physical in December (when it was first documented as being high). Today my blood pressure was 149/96. If you don’t know about blood pressure, I can assure you that is not a good number to see. I had never had even the slightest high blood pressure reading before December 2009. This is all so bizarre. In December, Dr. H. mentioned that the first thing to go if my blood pressure stayed high was the birth control pill. (here’s the tmi) Late in December, she told me to stop taking it, which should make my next “time of the month” a blast. I’ve been on the pill for years to help regulate my lady business. Cramps were out of control and I felt like I was losing gallons of blood. (end tmi)

ANYWAYS, so I went off the pill a few weeks ago in the hopes it would lower my blood pressure, but as you can see from my reading today, it was high again. I am supposed to go back to see Dr. H. in a month for another BP check and if it is still high, I will have to start taking medication. High blood pressure medication at the age of 27. Unreal. I held my shiz together til I got to the car and cried my eyes out. I am TOO young for this. I can’t believe I let myself get this fat. I don’t want to die.

Unfortunately for me, even when I do lose the weight, the high blood pressure problem may continue, as there is a long line of family history of blood pressure issues. My mom and my uncle were both on high blood pressure meds in their early 20s and they were both at very healthy weights when they were diagnosed.

So, I’m scared and upset which I’m sure is not doing anything to help my blood pressure (what a catch-22). My doc said we need to get this taken care of or I could have some major problems ahead of me.

So, there you have it… the good news, the bad news and a li’l tmi.

Putting on a brave face but crying on the inside

Right now I feel like jumping off the bridge anyway.


Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dannyman/ / CC BY-NC 2.0

But I won’t. Well not this weekend anyway.

I digress.

Tonight was the #fitmke Weight Loss Challenge kickoff and official weigh-in. And BOY did I weigh in. LIKE WEEEEEIIIIIIGHHH in. Before I post the numbers, I would like to mention the following:

  1. He made me keep my big winter boots on
  2. I’m fat
  3. I was a bit dehydrated (apparently, if you’re not well hydrated, it throws off the body fat % number…)
  4. I’m fat
  5. It was a PM weigh-in and you typically weigh more in the evening (or so I’ve been told)
  6. I’m fat
  7. I have a thyroid condition that has definitely contributed to a massive weight gain over the past year.

That said…. I weighed in at 274.2. Holy !@#($!#$%@$!#*(&! I wanted to cry, but I stayed strong. THEN, I was dragged kicking and screaming had the privilege of getting my body fat percentage taken. It was 45. I am almost HALF FAT. !@#($!@(#$$%&^%^&*%@#$!@#$. But, please keep #3 in mind.

The trainer didn’t take measurements, so I did that when I got home. My sister helped me cuz I could not measure my arms for the life of me.

I’m going to keep track of everything on the Stats page… so if you want to see the damage, click on over. WARNING: content may not be appropriate for the young or faint of heart.

What has this taught me?

I am in need of some SERIOUS changes in my life. Y’all need to keep pushing me, because all I want to do right now is to drown my sorrows in large amounts of alcohol, ice cream and deep fried goodness.

Did I ever mention I’m an emotional eater? Cuz yeah, I am.

I seriously SERIOUSLY want to give up. But I know y’all have my back (all 274.2 pounds of it) and instead, I’m going to steam some veggies. It’s time to say a big ol’ EFFFFF U to the fat.

One more thing. If we’re on a plane and it crashes in the middle of nowhere, I give you permission to eat my fat ass when I die.