What are you running from??

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So let me just say that I am writing this post with my “runner self” in the drivers seat…even though that part of myself has been in the back seat this past year.

Why do you run??

To lose weight? To maintain your weight? To have some “me” time? To prove something? To “be a runner”? To think about the days events? To clear your mind?

To free your mind?

Since I have stopped running I have noticed a MAJOR downfall in my mental health state.  And it’s not just the pity party I throw every now and then for myself because of the weight gain….

This may come as a shock to some of you…but I’m not perfect.

I know. I am so sorry.

We have all done things or made choices that we are not happy about….I hate and try to never use the word “regret”, but sometimes we step too far outside ourselves and well, our decisions get engraved into our souls. I’m not perfect and I have admitted that I am not when the question has risen inside myself.

But there is still something in us…we wish we did this. We wish we did that. We wish that DIDN’T happen.

I used to deal with all of these emotions through running.

I ran for those I love.

I ran for my “sins”.

I ran for my strength, which grew with every step, every breathe, every finish line.

I ran because it let me prove that I was strong.

I ran because, next to having sex with my husband, it was the closest I got to getting off.

I haven’t ran in months.

Right now I just want to run for myself.

But I can’t seem to.

Can I run for myself?? C’mon….I was ALWAYS running for myself…these emotions were just part of it. But something has changed. When I started running years ago I didn’t have all of the experiences and triumphs that I have had over the last 2 years in my belt. And I think I use those blessings against me…constantly comparing….constantly wishing I never stopped running in the first place.

Truth is….I’m scared. I’m scared to run again. I’m scared to run into my emotions. I’m scared to run into myself.  I’m scared of starting and quitting.

But I know I will run again.

You never just “run”…

What do YOU run for??

Where is your line??

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I am a beer drinker.
I love beer.
I’m pretty sure you are all in a panicked shock right now…deep breathe….

There’s nothing better than coming home after a long day at work, a 3 mile walk or a 5 mile jog or a walk upstairs to the bathroom, and relaxing with an ice cold beer, Beer. Mmmmmmm.

I know, with my recent FB page I created for this blog, I have learned that A LOT of people love beer the same way I do. So I’ve either found a group of people who generally love beer and can make it work in their life style, or I am building my very own epic AA meeting.

There is a line. A line where habits become dangerous. Do we cross that line?? Abso-fucking-lutely. But WHERE is the line??

The line I think is different for everyone. Each person has their own line. I think of binge eating. I have moments of binge eating. Usually after many beers and I tell myself “Food will cure all future ills.”. But that’s not really binge eating.

Binge eating is taking food, hiding it, shoving as much as you can in your mouth, till you are sick. It is an awful and sad disease. I send my best thoughts for anyone who has/is suffering from this awful sickness.

Just like binge eating…beer drinking has no clean line. Even when I was at my goal weight and racing like crazy I was pouring back the yummy craft beers. Sure, I had moments where I took it too far. But those were rare. Those were moments like “Ooops, I ordered that deep fried appetizer…don’t want to waste or money?!  ;) “

HABIT 

This is where the line is drawn….habit. It is a habit for me to come home, drop my purse and the mail and go to the fridge and grab a beer (not even a good one…I’m pounding Coors Lights again like back in the day..I am so sorry). Some days I don’t even want to…I don’t even think about it…I just do it. And that IS THE LINE. It is a habit. And while it is something that I will never break free from (because I don’t want to!) I need to work on making the habit work for me, like it did before when I was actively living a healthy life.

My drinking…yes…out of hand in terms of my weight and overall well being.. Am I an alcoholic?? No…believe me, I’ve looked into it.

I DID lose 101 lbs while drinking beer...good beer!!  Fuck, I was a beer runner to watch by Draft Magazine in 2011

The line is where you draw it. You just have to be honest with yourself. Some people can’t control their drinking or eating...sometimes you feel out of control of the line. Some need discipline and strict restrictions. You have to find YOUR line. I found mine... I've been way past it. I knew it from the start. Look at any of my success stories and they read that at the start of my journey I was all ”home, sweats, beer, sleep”…and that’s exactly where my line has been for many, many months.

So what happens now?? Do I give up beer?? NEVER!! I re-define my line. I let myself enjoy my brews without hurting myself or my body in the process. It has been, can be, and will be done. There’s a line of shit you can take…food, drink, family, friends stress, work, that bitch at the grocery store…There's a line where you pull your "habit" up to (beer, wine, food, and yes, I'd even include exercise in this) and say "OK, we do not go beyond here!".

 Find your line…walk the line….

I’m a dirty girl

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When my amazing photographer asked me if I wanted to do a “dirty shoot” I said “OH HELLZ NO!!”

I mean you do realize that a good majority of the days I think about how lovely my body would look if it was dead right?!?!? I don’t want to immortalize all the rolls, flaps, mountains, fat, lard…yuck…no one wants that to be forever imprinted on a photograph…(side note: what an AWFUL and horrible thing to think and say to yourself!)

But then I realized something. I was marring a man who has seen me…thick, thin and thicker.

This was not just about me. This was about him. This was about us. This was about ME.

Finally saying….NO MATTER WHAT SIZE I AM, I AM B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L! I AM S.E.X.Y!! (Did I/do I really believe this?? I’m working on it damnit!!)

So I said “Yes!”  She gave me the option to back out the day of if I wanted to.  But as you can see…I pulled whatever courage and confidence I had and tried to pour it out for her…for myself….for Frank…for all women & men with body issues…

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All photos above by Kristin Chalmers Photography

Her and I had a moment. A moment I think she understood. A breakthrough for me. A moment only the two of us will ever understand.

Yet, I didn’t get into it as hard as I wanted to.

I didn’t have the confidence that I had during my WW shoot, but then again I was still struggling with my body image while in LA, I just didn’t realize it.  But I look at these photo’s and think Hot Damn!!

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I’m not going to lie…looking at these still till day send me into a deep hole of regret, upset, and anger…but I am working my way AWAY from that hole.  All of that did not, and does not define me. I may have looked good…but did I *really* feel good?? Yes, I sure fucking did…I just didn’t know how to ACCEPT feeling good and how to turn more than a year and a 1/2 of maintenance at my goal weight into something that I could feel OK with past all of what was happening to me.

So during my “dirty shoot”  I was playful and fun…which I guess for a wedding dirty work shoot is good. 

When I was at my goal weight I dreamed of doing a shoot like this. I even staged photo’s. I wanted SO bad to work with local photographers to immortalize my “goal weight sexiness”…I wanted sultry, seductive, slutty pictures to share with The Frank.

That never happened.

This happened.

And I would not exchange it for the world.

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And according to the The Frank, neither would he ;)

(P.S. These photo’s are “sharing” approved by The Frank. The rest are for his eye’s only he says.)

The races that never were...

9 comments
I should be on my way to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania right now. We should be checking into the same hotel we checked into back in 2010. I should be making sure that I brought a cooler of beer with me so we don’t have to spend $12.95 on a 6 pack of Coors Light from a Chinese Takeout restaurant (weird ass beer laws in that state. You won’t see me living there!). My stomach should be filled with excitement and fear…but not as much as it was in 2010 when I went to Philly to run my first ever ½ marathon.

When I got a coupon deal earlier this year I said to myself “YES! This is the race! This is the race to get me running and focused again!” So I signed up with pure glee and excitement. Just like I have with all the races I have signed up for between last year and this year. How many have I actually participated in?? 1….a Color Me Rad run. Which was fun…but I don’t consider those races nor do I add runs like that to my “race list”.

See, the truth is, I haven’t really ran much since my marathon in October of 2011. Right after the marathon I went to LA to do all the WW campaign stuff and when I came back from that is pretty much when I kind of started my voyage into the downward spiral. Yet I still continued to sign up for races, hoping that it would give my running mojo a swift kick in the ass.

But it never did. And it still hasn’t. I should have run the Utica Boilermaker for the 3rd year in a row, but I backed out on that. I should be running the Wineglass Marathon in Corning, NY this year but I won’t be doing that either. And I can’t defer this year because I signed up for this race last year and deferred. See the pattern people??

So what does this mean?? Does this mean I am never going to be a runner again?? HELL NO!!

There are a few reasons why I am not on my way to Philly right now and while laziness is surely #1 there are other factors too. Money is a big thing right now. Even though we already had the hotel paid for we needed that money back. And our truck needs some work that we can’t afford to fix right now and the gas would be outrageous. But I’ve also been scared to run. Let’s face it…running at this weight is hard and can be kind of scary. The last time I went out (don’t ask when cause I don’t remember) I remember getting about half way down my street, breaking into an asthma attach and having my legs go numb and I could barely walk the couple of feet back home.

A battle I have been fighting with myself is the battle of “Well I used to!”
 Well I used to be able to run a 5K in under 30 minutes!
 Well I used to be able to have cheese and beer and not gain 5 lbs!
 Well I used to be able to fit into a size 6!
 Well I used to be able to touch my toes!

Well, I can’t do those things anymore. But it does not mean that I won’t ever be able to do them again!

When I started running I did it on my treadmill. I signed up for my first 5K after I could run about 2 miles straight. My first 5K would also be the first time I would run outdoors. But I was running and walking and building a base. The way it SHOULD be done. I’m an idiot to think that after almost 2 years of not running that I can just step out the door and start running 9 or 10 minute miles right off the bat. I mean really, I am much smarter than that.

But it’s also fear. Because while it’s exciting that I get to have NEW firsts, I also fear that I will always constantly compare them to before. If I ran the Philadelphia Rock ‘N Roll half this year, would it have been as exciting, more exciting, less exciting???? Who knows.

These races will be here and someday I will be at their starting lines again. When I am really ready, not because I feel like I needed a race to make me ready.

A comment I made during my WW online interview was that this whole journey (not just running, but losing weight & developing a healthy lifestyle too) is a marathon, not a sprint. Well folks, I said that BEFORE I actually ran a marathon and let me tell you…running a marathon can suck ass at times!! But as you hit walls, as your feet start to give out, as you vomit at mile 19, you just keep going. You might start going a little slower and you might start taking a few breaks for a minute here and there, but you keep going and eventually you cross that damn finish line.

I won’t lose weight every week. I won’t always make the best meal choice. I won’t always move from the couch to treadmill. But that is OK, because I’m moving forward, putting one foot in front of another. And someday these feet will do that during a race again.

Best of luck to all my friends and everyone else running the Philadelphia Rock ‘N Roll ½ marathon this weekend!! Run like you are being chased by zombie named Rocky ;)

Feeling Feelings

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I am just going to start this post and pretend like it hasn’t been ages since I last posted. OK….so lets get back into the swing of things, shall we….

A conversation took place a few weeks ago on the world wide web about the importance of tracking and what we should track. As a Weight Watcher member, I know that tracking my food intake (and Points+ values) are most important, along with my exercise and checking off my good healthy guidelines (water intake, veggies, fruit, etc..).  Some people track their measurements.  Some people track how hungry they felt when they chose to eat or after they have finished a meal.

And some of track what a lot of call NSV’s (non-scale victories). I know that I did that a lot! The first time I could fully cross my legs, my first 5K, first time I could wrap a towel fully around my body.  I remember having these moments and feeling pure joy. Usually I relayed my pure joy all over the internets so it would be a moment that would live on forever (I mean, what else is the internet for other than our own personal time capsules right?!). 

Problem is, these feelings of excitement and victory never really last long. They were usually placed with a new negative thought about something I haven't accomplished or something I couldn’t do yet.

Now, having gained my weight back (120 lbs to exact) I LONG for these feelings back!! It’s these feelings and I wish I felt that constantly throw me off course and cause me to throw in the towel that day, and the next day, and the day after that, and then next week, next month….so on and so on.

During the conversation that was happening I said that I wish I had kept a log as I was losing weight, specially in the beginning of my journey about the feelings I felt that I HATED!  The feelings I felt that I LOATHED! The feelings I felt that I wanted to change.

So here they are…

  • Walking up the stores and not being out of breath
  • Changing the kitty litter boxes and not have to stop because I think I’m having a heart attack
  • Being able to cross my legs
  • Not having to shop in the “plus size” section (I mean plus size, not size 12 or 16)
  • Sitting on the couch and not immediately throwing a pillow over my stomach
  • Having my picture taken
  • Constantly feeling that I might be having a heart attack
  • Not being on medication for BP and anxiety
  • I miss wearing shorts and feeling comfortable in them
  • I miss wearing my favorite outfit….a pair of skinny jeans and a slim black sweater
  • I miss feeling comfortable naked
  • I miss feeling sexy
  • Caring about my appearance
  • Having decent clothes to wear
  • Carrying in the groceries without breaking into a sweat
  • Wanting to go out
  • Not afraid of being seen in public by people I know
  • Wrapping a towel around my body
  • Not worrying if I will fit comfortably in a chair or not
  • Being able to reach for things without feeling like I’m straining
  • Tying my shoes without cutting off my air supply
  • Not having to put powder and creams on certain places
  • I miss having energy & not being tired ALL.THE.TIME.
  • Not get out of breath and get sore muscles taking a shower and shaving my legs
  • Being able to wear all the cute high heels I have
  • Miss wearing bracelets that actually fit my wrist
  • Just feeling comfortable in general

There are more feelings I am sure. But these are just a few of the feelings I feel on a daily basis.  And as you can tell I am fighting a pretty nasty beast daily. But I know that I am not alone.  I am not the only one who is feeling these feelings.  I know that the only way to beat these feelings, or achieve them, is to get my shit together and stick with it!!

Maybe by experiencing these victories before and now knowing how much they really meant to me (mentally & physically) it can make the journey this time stick! It will always be a battle.  It will never be “done”.  It is a marathon, not a sprint…and this time, I got a backpack on my back that is filled with the tools I need to get me where I want to be!

P.S. After many years I have finally gone and done it…I created a Facebook page for the blog.  Please feel free to ‘Like’ the page here: https://www.facebook.com/okjustonemorebeer

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