October - What a great month (seems like a bit of a theme...)
I love high school soccer season. My brother is the head coach of a team and my sister is one of his assistants and the JV coach. So, needless to say, I spend a lot of time at soccer games in the fall. I love watching the games and cheering them on. Even better? It gives me even more of an opportunity to hang out with my nephew and nieces. The thing I've noticed the most this year that is different from previous years is that I can't wait to get up and play with them. I chase the girls along the bleachers and I love playing on the field with Cooper at halftime.
I was so excited to be walking in the "Light the Night" walk at Sawyer Point in early October to support my sister-in-law's nephew and the rest of her family. It was such an honor to be able to walk with them. It was so fun to not be the one walking super slow. In fact, at times, I was running with my nephew and niece. Or I pushed an empty stroller. Hey - everyone needs a job. I didn't mind :) To look around and realize how blessed I am to have the amazing family and friends that are in my life along with my health gave me a great feeling inside.
That weekend I was running in my first 5K. I had absolutely zero thought that I would run the whole thing. I had just started jogging in June. But, completing a 5K was one of my goals for the fall so I had to do it. Luckily, the path was pretty flat and I had an awesome cheerleader, friend and co-runner with me the whole time :) I didn't set too difficult of a goal. I wanted to finish in under 40 minutes. When Kira and I got close to the finish line I noticed that it hadn't even been 35 minutes. When I crossed the finish line in 34:59, I almost cried. But I was so excited. I didn't run the whole time, but it was a majority of running.
I lovingly call my nieces "double trouble". They are only 5 months apart in age and are so much fun to be around. One of the things I've realized throughout this journey is that, although the girls won't remember the old me, when they struggle with things as they get older, I can reflect back on all of my experiences and hopefully help them the way so many people have helped me.
I remember getting strep in October, not getting 100% better and then coming down with Bronchitis. Anyone who knows me knows that is pretty typical for me. But, I was frustrated. I wanted to workout but for about 3 days I just didn't have the energy. I missed a couple of days of work and I was just frustrated. I finally felt better on a Wednesday so, given the way I had been eating and not moving off the couch, I didn't expect much on the scale that week. Imagine my surprise when I lost 3 pounds that week! I had eaten fairly normally (probably worse than normal), not exercised and this happened. I couldn't explain it but I was more than okay with it! In 9 months I had lost 91 pounds. Happy and Proud aren't strong enough words for how I was feeling.
By this time, I was feeling like a completely new person. Losing 91 pounds, running for decent periods of time and so many other things that I never would have imagined doing a year ago. I remember being so excited to get our family pictures taken the first weekend of the month. I couldn't remember the last time I was excited to get my picture taken professionally. I felt like I finally fit in with my family and that I didn't stick out like a sore thumb. What an unbelievable feeling.
Boot camp also started back up that week. I was lucky enough to have a half day at work the first day so I got there for the whole thing. It was fun to do something different and see the people I hadn't seen since May. And, I was able to do so much more than I remember being able to do in May. It's really crazy to me how much my life has changed in such a short span of time.
Later in the month I went on a field trip to the University of Kentucky with a group of seniors. While the two hour bus ride wasn't the most fun I've ever had, I really enjoyed the entire day. The best part was the campus tour. A year ago I would have been out of breath and dying tired from walking as much as we did. Yes, there should have been a sample dorm room on the first floor (that's for you Kira) but I was amazed at how much easier it was to walk up the stairs.
I started to hit a plateau with my weight loss. I knew it would happen eventually but I was hoping I could just avoid it somehow. In the past, this is where I would have struggled to keep going but I just kept pushing myself. I kept eating right and working out and I knew my body would eventually figure it out.
It's November. Of course that means Thanksgiving. It was so fun to be playing with my nieces and nephew, still eating snacks and stuff but not going to crazy and just enjoying dinner without feeling so full that I thought I would fall over from a full stomach. Plus, at that point, I had lost 94 pounds. To celebrate, I made each of the kids pose for a picture with their weight then do one with all 3 of them and me with a sign with their combined weight. I had lost more weight than the three of them combined. Crazy.
December - The most excited I've been for the holidays in several years. My life has changed in so many ways. I honestly can't describe everything I feel about it. Never, in a million years, could I have said to anyone a year ago that I would be the happiest and healthiest version of myself that I've ever known in December 2013. Renee' took an interest in me, my life, my struggles, and celebrates every achievement (big and small) with me. I'll never be able to repay her for what she's done for me. But, the funny thing, she doesn't want me to. We're friends. When someone is genuinely happy for you and wants to know you for who you are, that's a true friendship. I haven't had too many of those in my life but I feel so blessed to have found friendships like that in the last year.
And - I've lost 95 pounds. 100 - Here I come!!
One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood.
The greatest gift of life is friendship and I have received it.