Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Post that Kinda Hurts to Write...

I'm putting a lot of myself out here on this one...I'm a little nervous...but it is time...

Bob on WMTW the morning of the Lake Auburn Half Marathon
(borrowed from the LAHM facebook page). 

See this guy here. He kinda rocks. He is my coach. Not only is he an amazing athlete and race director, but he is also a straight shooter. He calls it like it is. There is no sugar-coating when working with Bob. It is, what it is. 

I've been training with him for a little over 2 years now, but have been running with the Tuesday night track group he coaches for 6 years now. He has taught me how to run without my shoulders touching my ears and without swinging my arms across my body (still a little work to go on this front). 

But his biggest contribution to my running hasn't been to my running form, or his pushing me out of my comfort level by scheduling me on crazy lactate runs (even though those have been of killer benefit). Nope. His greatest contribution has been to my diet, and hence, my overall health. 

Right after I started training with Bob, I scheduled a consultation with him(courtesy of Donna - thank you!) to have him help me with my diet. I knew I ate junky food and in way too much quantity. I knew my diet was bad. But I kept getting stuck in the same rut - count the calories...try to be the over-achiever and reduce by more (type-A personalities can relate to this)...end up overeating a few days later. I needed a wake up call. 

I got it. (Thanks Bob). 

He started by taking my weight (145 - my highest, I wanted to cry) and then by taking measurements of my belly, legs, arms, everything you could think of. But then, the real kick in the gut came. The look on his face when he took my body-fat measurement is burned in my head to this day..and I NEVER want to see that look again. Honestly, it hurts too much to even write the number here, but let's just say it was VERY high...I had no muscle...I was a jiggly blob of 145lbs. You may think that it harsh, but that is how I felt. If I thought I wanted to cry upon seeing my weight, now I really wanted to cry. And like I said before, there was no sugar-coating. My body fat measurement was way too high. 

So Bob gave me a lesson in weight loss 101. Don't count calories. Make 5 "eating rules" for yourself and follow them. Focus on eating when your hungry, eating quality food, and keeping a healthy proportion of protein to starch each time you eat. 

I did great for about 3 weeks. And then failed. Again. But the seed was planted. I was not happy and I felt like crap. But I kept researching online about nutrition. I have come to call this next year in my life my "gathering information phase." Then, a year later, it all clicked...and I haven't looked back since. This past week, nearly 2 years and 3 months after that dreadful meeting with Bob, I have finally hit my goal weight Bob gave me. 127 lbs. And, I did it all safely. No starvation. No skipping meals. No depriving myself (you do NOT want to know how many trips I took to The Whole Scoop for ice cream this summer). 

People who have seen my transformation over the last year or so may think I have an ego right now. And (I am sorry for this...), but I do. I am damn proud of myself. From the 14 year old girl who hid food (not well either, I thought I was so sly, I know mom knew), used any excuse to skip a meal and refused to go hang out with friends for fear that there would be food there - I have come a long way. My hands shake and my heart is beating out of control as I write this...but I know it's time. It's time to recognize the journey, and the ups...and the downs...that have brought me to this point.

 I do not remember what made to eat again 2 years was very similar to the switch that went on last year when I knew I had to change my eating habits. It just happened. All of the sudden. Too fast. And then...I struggled the other way. Overeating. Too much. The cycle of not eating, overeating lasted until my move to Maine..and from then on it was just overeating. 

But ya know what. That cycle is done. And I am confident it is done. I feel great. I eat when I'm hungry now...not because I am sad, upset, name any emotion here. And I don't deprive myself. Food is my energy source. I have a healthy relationship with food. And yes, I am proud of myself. I actually enjoy food now too, instead of just "enjoying eating" (not sure I would call it enjoying...but I thought I needed was a drug). 

I have no idea why today was the day where I needed to get this off my chest, but it felt right. Maybe it was seeing that 127 on the scale this week and knowing it was a good number for my health and that I was healthy. Maybe it was because I ate ice cream three times this week and didn't feel guilty about it one little bit. Maybe, it was because I keep running into more and more people who are struggling with food, in one way or another, and my heart goes out to them in a way I cannot describe. I've been there. I get it. You are not alone. And as I sit here, finishing this post, my hands are still shaking. And I am just hoping, that maybe, just maybe, someone out there will read this, and it will make them think. Life is too short. Take care of yourself. And, don't be afraid to be proud. Ever. 

Me at 16. Near my lowest. 

At my heaviest...a picture
I've shared before.
Running the Lake Auburn Half today.
127. Bob's goal for me. HEALTHY!


  1. jamie this is wonderful. thank you for putting it all out there. from someone who has previously struggled with their weight I can understand. you look fabulous and you are beautiful and strong. congrats on your race today and all the hard work you've done to get you where you are now.

  2. Brave, inspiring, raw... one big step toward physical health and two giant steps toward spiritual health. Thank you for sharing.

  3. You are a rock star! You look FABULOUS!! I wasn't a food hoarder/hider, but I over-ate and ate out of emotion. Baking out of stress and depression around the loss of my mom. Then I heard her voice whispering loud and clear, "Julia Robynne, DON'T BE LIKE ME! Do as I say, not as I do!" A statement I absolutely despised growing up. Little did I realize that it had such a ring of truth to it! She didn't want me to grow up like her, not because she was a bad person or anything, but because she too struggled with food which consequently consumed her life and took it at the young age of 58. Thanks for sharing this!