My Journey

Greetings all! Friends, family, random strangers stumbling upon this blog! All are welcome here..well most of the time anyway 🙂

This blog is my space to share my journey with anyone who is willing to listen…or just purely bored enough to read my ramblings (its most likely the latter, but I’ll PRETEND you’re really interested so I can preserve what little ego I have). I started this blog years ago as simply a journal space for myself.  A way to get myself to write down my thoughts because I absolutely SUCKED at keeping a handwritten journal. It has progressed over the years as different life events have taken place. It once was a place for venting, then a space for tracking my progress when I began my new obsession with running….and now its a mingling of everything going on in my life. And that is to be expected right? Our point of view shifts with new adventures and opportunities?

So who am I? Well let me take this opportunity to really introduce myself. My name is Amy and I am a 27 (nearly 28, holy hell..we shall move as QUICKLY as possible past that statement) year old female who is currently residing in Seattle, Washington (soon to be San Diego, CA). If I were to choose words that describe the person I am today I’d probably end up making a VERY long list (which would include auntie, sister, daughter, friend, runner, dancer, teacher…..I”m already rambling here). I’m fairly quirky, opinionated, stubborn and often a pain in the ass (just ask my older sister…love you Sister!).

My journey thus far has seemed to be quite the winding road. Taking me through multiple cities (Ashtabula, Las Vegas, San Diego, Seattle and now back to San Diego), as well as through different jobs (accountant and now dance teacher/coach) and phases in my life. I’ve always been a fairly active person. I’ve been on a dance/cheer team since the time I was 5, all the way through college and then beyond. Dance, music and performing has always been a part of who I was. The only time I felt absolutely complete.

Dance team my senior year at USD
More dance team love – Junior Year
Vegas with the girls  – post USD graduation

However, after college I found that my activity level dropped substantially given the fact that I took on a job where I basically sat at a desk for 14+ hours a day, sometimes up to 7 days a week (no weekends for THIS girl!). I found myself completely INactive, eating like crap, and having absolutely NO energy during the little downtime I had for the things I used to love. Well needless to say that after 3 years of this routine I found myself substantially heavier and unhappier than I’d ever been in my life.

I was avoiding mirrors because I couldn’t stand to look at myself. Finding ways to get out of being in group pictures. Wearing long sleeves or baggy clothing to try and hide the weight gain. I was utterly ashamed of myself. Where I had gotten to. That girl wasn’t ME. That girl in the mirror who looked like she might have a portion of what I USED to look like. In fact, I’ll finally admit that I found myself weighing over 210+ pounds at my heaviest. This is something that I’ve admitted to only a rare few people. Why? Because when I admit that number I feel ashamed. I worry about the judgment that comes along with that number. That people will look at me with disgust, not see past that number. They won’t see the person I was before that and the person that I am now. Just solely the number I used to be at one portion in my life.

Summer before I began my weight loss
Notice the hiding down into the water?
A rare photo…that I don’t like to see the light of day…me on the left.This was the weekend I hit bottom. The time I decided I couldn’t live that way anymore.

But here’s my new point of view. I can’t change it. I can’t hide from it. Because hiding from it only allows me the potential of one day going back down that path. To hide from who you were, mistakes you may have made, allows you to NOT be held accountable. And I refuse to do that. So there it is. My worst. And by admitting my worst I’m hoping I may be able to help someone else who reads this to face their worst.

Well around the same time I hit that mark was when I had decided to leave San Diego and venture on to a new city and begin a new adventure. And with that was a new lifestyle, although it took several months of being in my new city to get there. Several months and working in a job where I was no longer there 14+ hours a day. No more working weekends. I was eating healthier and starting to be more active. It was a gradual process. As with any weight loss program, at least any ongoing successful plan, it takes time and dedication. I began watching what I was eating. Eating more salads and veggies. Not denying myself the things I enjoyed (in particular things like peanut butter or ice cream!). Just making sure that I ate in controlled portions.

Now in the beginning I was much more strict with my food intake because I knew my own limitations. I’m not one who has typically done well with self control. So I didn’t stock things in my house that I couldn’t trust myself to not overdo it on. And so for the next 6-7 months I continued on this path. There would be times when I wouldn’t see the scale move and would think…EFF why I am doing this? But I kept pushing through, with the support of my family and friends. Knowing that the way I was feeling was still better than anything I had felt in the last 3 years.

It was walking (only walking) at least 60 minutes a day 6 days a week. I didn’t try to do anything crazy with my workouts when I started this. Because trying to run with all that extra weight wasn’t going to work. Running had NEVER been my thing even when I was most fit. I was just getting out and being active. Eventually adding in some ab work, maybe some squats…dance classes. And that was how I did it. I used to look at people who would tell me these types of stories and never believe them. I would never believe that just WALKING could give the benefits I’d been given. But I lived it. And it is the truth.

In those 7 months I lost 60 pounds. 60+ POUNDS!!! I dropped 60 pounds and 8 pant sizes. Walking 60 minutes a day and eating healthier. From a size 16 to an 8…..I read this and immediately wanted to delete the last few paragraphs…and the photos above. I want to delete it because sharing this information about myself is terrifying. Worrying about what someone might think of me, of what I allowed myself to become. You can’t avoid the judgment when you face the truth. And there will ALWAYS be judgment. No matter what people say to your face. And those words, even if unspoken, terrify me. I worry that people I care about will be disgusted by what I was. Because not everyone saw me at my worse. And I worry that when they see it they won’t see me for who I am now.

BUT I won’t delete those things because this was who I was. It may have only been over the course of a few years, but I refuse to go back. And so I make sure to REMEMBER this. And I remember that it didn’t all come off in a day. It took time. It took patience and faith that I COULD DO THIS. Patience at times when the scale wouldn’t move. Joy at the times when all of a sudden 5 pounds would drop in a matter of 2 weeks. I choose to remember this journey, but I try not to let it own me. And I choose to remember and share this even though I have fears of what people will think because I know that the people who will judge me or shy away from me because of what I was are people that don’t belong in my life. They may be people that at one point I thought were integral to my life, but if they can’t accept me (and that means EVERY part of me – past, present, future) then I don’t want them in my life.

My 26th birthday – 3 months into my weight loss
End of July 2010 –  4 months
Alex’s 1st birthday party – November 2010 – 7 months, 60 pounds and 8 jean sizes later.

collage

When I came out at this end of the weight loss I’d been doing I made myself stop and really assess what had gone on in my life over the last few years. The weight gain, the weight loss. What had caused it, what triggered the motivation to change back to a healthier way. You can read a brief synopsis (or what I THINK is brief) here… Seattle – 2011  But in the end what I found throughout my journey was some introspect into my own mind. My entire life I had a GOAL. I was always working TOWARD something. Graduating high school, getting into college, graduating college, getting a job….then after that all of a sudden my goals seemed to stop….or at least somewhat. I didn’t have anything definitive that I was working toward. And that is one of the things I think most caused me to flounder and gain the weight. Yes I worked ridiculous hours…but there was something MORE than that.

I hit the point where I was lighter and in a smaller jean size than I’d been even throughout most of my college career. And I was pretty content. Now my mission was maintaining it. Keeping myself where I was and knowing that I could live a happier life. A fuller life. For the next 7 months I maintained that weight. I played around with my diet. Allowing myself to have more indulgences than I did during the first 7 months. Continuing my walks, but not living or dying by the fact that I was out walking 6 days a week. Specifically because it was winter in Seattle and walking for 60 minutes in the dark cold rainy weather wasn’t always appealing. And I was in a relationship. I let myself get comfortable and just be

Then came the spring/summer of 2011. The relationship I was in came to an end, my roomie was moving back to Minnesota, I had just started a new job. My whole world was changing. So I decided to give myself something new to focus on. A new challenge. Because I’d come to see that I didn’t do well without a focus. And my new focus was RUNNING. Oh holy hell…running?! HOW did I choose this? No idea…I needed a physical challenge. I was beginning to get flustered with how clothes were fitting me. I hadn’t GAINED weight, but I could tell my body was not as toned as it had been when I was walking every day.

So I decided to run. And I hated running. I couldn’t run a mile at that point and the longest I’d ever run was 3 miles. Yet here I was not only deciding to START running but aiming for a HALF MARATHON.   Have I said holy hell yet?! You can read about my crazy decision here…Half Marathon – Here I come!

That was in July 2011…its now June 2012… I’ve got 4 half marathons under my belt and on the schedule for the next year I currently have 2 half marathons and my first FULL MARATHON. I’m sure there will be others added to the slate but for now I think that is more than enough don’t you?

Christmas 2011
Before the Vegas R&R Half…my first!
After Nisswa Half – April 2012
Color Run Seattle – May 2012
June 2012 – Washington Coast!
Have you gotten bored yet? Ready to pack it up and head home? If NOT then I give you PROPS! If you didn’t catch it at the beginning I TRIED to mention I am a rambler! So you at least had SOME warning before you ventured in to this autobiography.
Well that all brings us to the here and now. A place where I’m the most fit I’ve ever been during my life. I’m confident in myself and what I want, and ready to take on a NEW challenge (I’m all about challenging myself if you couldn’t tell).  So WHAT is my next adventure? Well I guess you just have to read the blog to find out….
DAMN I’m TRICKY!! 🙂
Happy Reading!
Xoxo
Ames

4 Responses to “My Journey”

  1. happsters February 23, 2013 at 7:28 PM #

    Just came across your blog and love it! We’re based out of San Diego too 🙂

    • martinkristyk March 28, 2013 at 8:53 AM #

      Great blog– I’m looking forward to following!

  2. Amy May 1, 2013 at 1:39 PM #

    I’m also very much goal oriented. Though unfortunately this was not why I gained the weight. I was always a bit heavier. It did however help me lose the weight. Now I like to keep the next challenge in front of me. I’m really happier that way.

  3. lehorse May 14, 2013 at 1:39 AM #

    Hi Amy thanks for following my blog, Wow what a journey you have been on looking forward to seeing how you progress 🙂

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