I love Disney. I mean, I LOVE Disney. I grew up in Jacksonville, just three hours Northeast of the mouse and currently live even closer. I can’t count the number of trips I’ve taken. One of my best childhood memories is when they picked my family to get a sneak peek at Epcot during its construction. I recently celebrated my first annual 39th birthday. I am married with two sons, 13 years old and 2 years old. We meant to have them closer together, but I struggled with getting and staying pregnant, I had two early losses and then had an ectopic pregnancy which ended up rupturing and required emergency surgery to save my life.
I’ve always struggled with my weight, typically being about 25 pounds overweight but physically fit, because I do actually love exercising. After the birth of my first son, I put on another 30 pounds which I just couldn’t seem to shake. Through the struggle for another baby, I ended up at my highest weight of 235. I suffered from acid reflux, achey knees, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and just feeling like crap most of the time.
In January 2010, I decided my weight was hurting my fertility, got serious about my diet and by focusing on whole, healthy foods, got my weight down to 205. Still very overweight (obese actually, although I hate and detest that word), but it was enough to relieve most of my weight related health problems. That March I got and stayed pregnant and ended up with gestational diabetes which I kept under control with a doctor directed low carb diet. I ended up gaining no weight during the pregnancy and had a natural, fairly easy (compared to my first son who required FIVE hours of pushing – and he’s still just as stubborn!) delivery of an 8lb 2oz baby boy in December 2010. The only downside is that just like my first postpartum six months, I ended up gaining 30 pounds despite nursing and (sort of) watching what I ate.
Working full time at a demanding & stressful job while mothering a teen and an infant gave me the excuses to pamper myself with TV and snacks and lunches out at work. Not only did most of my clothes not fit, my blood pressure started to climb into the borderline range again. Suddenly I realized that I really wanted to be around for my kids and my grandkids. Once the baby turned one, I realized it was time to commit to my health and fitness. I went to my doctor and she recommended exercise and the South Beach diet. I used to run but my weight + running = messed up knees. This time I decided to try to start slow – definitely against my personality.
I started the South Beach diet in February and started walking the same day. The SB diet was pretty easy for me to adapt to since, after the first two super strict weeks, it’s a lot like the gestational diabetes diet I was on for six months. I also really enjoy exercising, but I have, in the past, started too fast and gotten injured. My plan this time was to walk for 3 months before even considering adding running intervals. And I did it! I walked 3 times a week, generally for 3 miles for 3 months, losing about one pound a week.
Around that time, I was looking for an inspiring goal event and found the Disney Princess half marathon. Disney + running + awesome medal + princess costume = awesome! Now I had something concrete on my calendar to keep me focused and accountable.
I started to add run intervals in May, starting at 1 minute and working my way up to 5 minute run/1 minute walk intervals. My goal is to get to just straight running (except for the water stations, I am not coordinated enough to drink from a cup and run at the same time), but I’ve accepted that will not happen in time for the Princess Half.
I’ve started this blog to share my successes and failures, moments of bliss and lessons learned with anyone who is on this same path. In addition to trying to lose weight, get healthy and fit and become a successful long distance runner, I also am in the process of paying off an excessive amount of credit card debt. I didn’t just turn to food when I was dealing with infertility, but that’s a story for a later post.
I’m really looking forward to sharing this journey to health and fitness. There are so many things I let my weight hold me back from doing. Time to grab that adventure, I want it more than I can tell!