Keeping it Real

Starting this training cycle almost 20 weeks ago, I was feeling weighed down both emotionally and physically. Part of me is ashamed to share the “before” photo below, but I try to keep things real around here so I’m putting it out there. Plus, I have to celebrate how far I have come in a relatively short time. Anyone who has been reading for a while knows that I have a history of struggling with my weight. While I have had a lot of success at weight loss and maintenance over the last 7 or 8 years, “after” is never guaranteed to stick – this is something I have learned the hard way more than once.

1185120_10153240438575454_1390744996_nThat photo on the left from the Angus Glen Ten Miler was a wake-up call; I didn’t realize how bad it had gotten (hello, denial), but it certainly explained why I was feeling so terrible and struggling so much with my workouts. I have deep-rooted food/diet issues which I am not going to get into here, but it was a slippery slope and that is how I was able to gain ~25 lbs over the course of about a year (most of which last winter).

Thankfully I was able to take control again and claw my way back to healthy, happy me. That “weighed down” feeling has lifted both emotionally and physically and I am so thankful that I was able to find my way back to the right track over the spring/summer. I have a little ways to go, but all of my clothes fit, running feels good again and most importantly, I have my confidence back.

photo1I am so grateful to everyone for supporting and accepting me through all of this. There was a time that I was embarrassed to wear my running clothes in public, but I always had friends ready and waiting for me without judgment. The people who stuck by my side and encouraged me as I struggled to keep up with a formerly “easy” pace, celebrating each small success with me along the way – I couldn’t have done it without them. Hubs, of course, supports me 100% through all of life’s ups and downs (no pun intended) – even if living with a beanpole for a husband can be hard on the self esteem at times. 😉 I made the mistake of trying on a pair of his shorts one day; let’s just say it’s a good thing there is no photographic evidence of that.

What started as a demoralizing and humbling process has become such a rewarding experience. And we’re just getting started! (…again)


22 thoughts on “Keeping it Real

  1. You are awesome! Way to keep it real. And, nice work…..I need to use you as inspiration to get the last bit of baby weight off. Then, eventually, start working on getting that speed back.

  2. I’m with you! It’s so much harder to maintain than to lose, at least for me it is. I have to remind myself every day that eating in a way that makes me feel good is a far greater reward than the junk that makes me happy for 5 minutes, and still I find myself sliding down the slope all too often. You look great and you are such a strong athlete! Yay you! and CHEERS to feeling good 🙂

  3. I’ve had very similar issues with weight and food and I still have to be vigilant even now. It’s such a hard balancing act when you’re an endurance athlete working out how much to replace vs how much you’re using. I tend to want to eat all the wrong stuff when I’m training hard because I feel like I deserve it. I’m glad that you’ve managed to get it under control again. You’re looking great!

  4. girl – i am still in the “before”. i’m a solid 15-20 lbs up from “my prime”. looking pretty hot i know! (i do say that some is muscle from the weight training i do, but i know a chunk of it is, well, chunky). you are one of the most determined people i know – i know you can do anything you set your mind to!

  5. You look great Marlene and all your hard work is paying off! Keep it up and hopefully this winter you can maintain all this awesome speed and endurance you have!

  6. Congrats to you on taking back control. I also think that our own self image is worse then any of the perceived images others have on us, most of the time! I saw you in the spring and thought you looked great. I can’t believe you were 25 lbs heavier. Feeling good about yourself is the most important thing though, and I’m glad you are back in that space! You’ve been running great lately and it’s always great to read about your experiences! Awesome.

  7. Thank you for being real Marlene. It is important for everyone to realize that running bloggers aren’t perfect – they’re human. We all fall off the wagon, struggle with runs that should be easy, and often times, people exclude that from their blogs when that is exactly what they should be posting about. I am glad that you recognized that you had gotten off track, and were able to have a ton of willpower to drop that weight so fast. Got any tips for the rest of us struggling with the extra pounds?

  8. Love your determination and open, honest approach to this subject. I’ve learned myself that weight is hard to lose but easy to “find”

    You’re clearly back on track to get where you want to be. Best wishes to stay the course. 🙂

  9. this was such a sweet post! i’m so proud of you and totally relate to your struggles and the slippery slope. even though you look amazing no matter what, i’m so happy you’re feeling better. 🙂

    and the bean pole husband thing…so unfair, isn’t it?

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