Wednesday, March 23, 2011

[27] Lifestyle Makeover Icon

My sister, Susan, has been one of the pillars of my weight loss support. Over the last year and a half, she has cheered me on, run a 5K with me, and even ChEARed me on at the Disney Princess Half-Marathon last month. After I finished the Princess Half, I received a text from my sister saying that I inspired her to give running a try, and congratulating me on finishing my second half. I never thought I would inspire anyone to do anything to be perfectly honest. 

Unfortunately, she also witness the straw that broke this camel's back at Christmas 2009, the comment that lit my motivation ablaze:

"Karen, you are the slightly heavier, yet still gorgeous older sister..."

with my gal pal Andrea (left) in photography class (summer 2009)
The words hit me like a gun shot. I saw red, and not only beause it was on Christmas Day after dinner. I had a Japanese friend over for a 'nice, American family Christmas', and I was humiliated in front of him. I remember taking a beer and sitting outside on the porch, ready to cry on a beautifully sunny, Florida afternoon. At that point, I had just started using Nike+, and I remember returning to New York and hitting the icy roads nearly every morning purely out of frustration and anger. In 2010, I ran 401 miles. When I looked at my 2010 Nike+ Rundown on Nike Running, I realized that I nearly ran the length of my homestate of Florida (445 miles). Only 13.1 of this was the Nike Women's Half-Marathon. Paired with the CAIFR and the Resolution 5K, that was still less than 19 miles worth of racing (18.69 miles to be exact). The remaining 382.31 miles were training. That's a lot of training, but I have to beat that this year.

Regardless, sometimes I feel my motivation waning. I want so desperately to reach 130 pounds, but I am worried that the perfectionist in me simply pushes too hard sometimes. I've tried Weight Watchers several times over the last ten years, but the most successful (and healthiest) weight loss took place when I lived in Japan. I had 'The Beast' (my red, granny bike from Jusco), and later 'Belle' (after Beast kicked the rust bucket), and rode them all over Tottori from Spring til Fall. I miss the convenience of having bike paths, superwide sidewalks, and bike racks everywhere.

Though I am close to White Plains, I can't seem to find a bicycle route I feel comfortable taking to WP. After the recent passing of marathoner, Sally Meyerhoff, who was hit while riding her bicycle, I am concerned about riding with the traffic. New York drivers make my crazy enough when I am behind the wheel! I may just have to suck it up and try discovering a  safe route. The construction on I-287 at the entry of WP from Anderson Hill Road is still in full effect, and I haven't really paid attention to the pedestrial potential of that area. Three things are certain: I will need a good helmet, a sturdy back pack, and a solid bike lock. Oh, and sun screen (SPF 50+), so four things. I am trying to figure out how to get to other nearby haunts sans four wheel drive, but again, lack of sidewalks and crazy drivers are making it difficult.

A few days ago, my beautiful Seester, tweeted an awe-inspiring post by Ms. Bitch Cakes with regard to her first outdoor run in NYC. You have no idea how high my envy meter spiked simply by looking at her before and after photo in the banner. Before I even started reading, her story hit me straight through the heart. Having struggled with my weight and food since college, it was interesting to see a true Weight Watchers Succcess Story. I know that Jennifer Hudson is the current face of WW (and she looks stunning), but being a celebrity spokesmodel still makes her type weight loss feel like a lofty, unattainable goal at times. Admittedly, while I was still on WW Online, I prematurely wrote about my future success, hoping that posting it on my victory wall would keep me motivated. Alas, that approach failed miserably.

Reading through her blog, I was blown away by the sheer depth and painstaking organization of it. There is certainly no shortage of information! I love her use of charts, tracking programs, technology (Yeehaw for Nike+ Users!), snapshots, and most importantly her weight loss progress photos. Her information based format jolts the geeky girl in me awake and shows me the potential of what is possible. In a word... Wow. That's all I can say. I'm woman up and admit my jealousy for her outstanding organizational skills, great photographs, stay put makeup, and entry into all those NYRR races I've been too chicken to participate in! However, I will not short change her victories at all. I shall aspire to work as hard as I can to become a foxy lady.

I may not be able to upload such soul bearing photos (largely in part because I work in a conservative, private school), but I would like to start making friends with the mirror again. I think it is high time for me to go through my photos of the last eight years, and start picking out ones to show my journey. I recently ordered a digital photograph from the two half-marathons I ran as well. Although they are only four months apart, you can see the difference in my weight (roughly fifteen pounds). I will upload them once they arrive. I did realize that I need to start running outside more, as I am pale like Casper the Friendly Ghost! I refuse to hit the tanning bed, so I better hit the road for a little Vitamin D, and give the treadmill a rest for a little bit.


  1. Your weight loss has been awesome and inspirational to witness. Because we live so far away from each other, I see you in snapshots, and every single time I see you, you look thinner and more toned. Great job!

    I must say though that you've been beautiful every step of the way. I completely understand not being friends with the person in the mirror, but rest assured that the rest of us have thought you always looked awesome.

    I raise my glass to you, chica. Excellent work.

  2. Rusty, from the first time I plopped down in that desk next to yours, I knew we'd be long time friends. You've always been honest and supporting of all my crazy hair brained ideas, and it means so much that you're sharing this journey with me. It means the world to me to have people in my life who understand precisely what I am struggling with.

    It is times like this I wish I still lived in the same part of town so I could give you and Ally a hug... and rub Tuxie with my feet. I am so thankful we can support one another not only through running, but in achieving out lifestyle makeover goals.

    You, Sir, are a rock star. I salute you!

  3. You are an inspiration to a lot of people chica! Love you :)

  4. Megs, thank you so much!! Having a gal pal (and now fellow runner) like you in my life has pushed me not to give up. I can't even begin to express my gratitude. Thank you for being a constant force in my life. xoxox

  5. I can't wait to run in central park with you! Sistorial Weekend 2011

    P.S. BK Bridge!!

  6. I am so excited about your coming to visit! I will check out the facilities at New York Road Runners. If anything, we can drop some money at a hostel so we can use their shower facilities, so we don't have to schlep back and forth.