This past Sunday, I completed one of the items on my Mighty List – running a half marathon. I’m incredibly proud of myself for accomplishing this goal. If you’d have asked me a year ago if I would ever run a half marathon, I would have looked at you like you were a crazy person.
I started running again (I ran track in high school) last February to lose weight. Little did I know that one year later I’d be running 5 days a week, 10 and 12 miles at a time! My cousin Meghan knew that I’d been running (due to my excessive running-related Facebook updates, no doubt), and around Christmas time, she asked if I wanted to run the Divas Half Marathon with her in San Francisco. I agreed, as did my sister in law, Jessica. We had 4 months to train, and this past Sunday, May 6th, was the big day. I was anxious, but confident.
I finished up with a chip time of 02:19:43. It would have been faster had I not stopped to pee (and wait in line at the port-a-potty!) around mile three. I’ve been cursed with a small bladder! I finished 185 out of 639 in my division, 899 out of 3,558 overall. Not too shabby for a first timer. When I crossed the finish line, I was elated. So much so that I (almost) started crying. It was such an amazing feeling. But this story wouldn’t be complete without talking about my weight loss journey.
Although it’s incredibly embarrassing and humbling, for the sake of honesty and transparency, here’s a photo of me from December 2010.
Some life altering events that I’d rather not disclose on my blog occurred shortly after this photo was taken. I went through a period of personal reflection and growth, thinking about everything from my career to my lifestyle choices. It was at this point I knew I had to make a change for my body and health once and for all.
My weight has fluctuated a lot over the past 10 years or so, but I was at my heaviest in the photo above, tipping the scales at 188 pounds. I’m only 5’3.” My goal was to lose 45 pounds, and hopefully fall within the ‘normal’ range of the Body Mass Index (BMI). When I started, my BMI was 33.3, which is considered obese. A normal BMI is anywhere from 18.5–24.9.
I didn’t take a miracle drug or have surgery. Instead, I lost the weight the old fashioned way – through diet and exercise. By July of 2011, I had lost 26 pounds. That’s my beautiful niece, Liza, by the way – 11 years old and almost as tall as me!
By October, I was down 33 pounds. Here I am at The Happiest Place on Earth!
Christmas Eve, 2011 – one year after the first photo was taken, down 39 pounds.
After the marathon, May 2012, down 45 pounds.
A little before & after side by side.
I still have a few pounds to go to fall within the normal BMI range. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past year, it’s that I have the power, dedication, commitment and heart to achieve my goals!