Motivation Monday: Lauren’s Story!

Hello friends.  Well what a week it has been.  Since last Monday I have been super sick with a whole host of symptoms.  From 103.5 fever to massive cough that has kept me from sleeping to pink eye.  I have just been a big mess!  And this past weekend the Hubs and I also traveled to PA to see family and friends.  It was not the best time to travel due to me being sick, but we managed!  More on that a bit later.

Anyways, I missed LAST Motivation Monday because I was too sick to do anything except lay on the couch.  But I was so inspired by my dear friend Lauren’s story, that I can’t wait another week to share.  She actually shared her story on her own FANTASTIC blog a few weeks ago and SO much of her story resonated with me!
I met Lauren first through the Elf for Health challenge in 2013.  I was lucky enough to be paired with her and a friendship was born!  Last April we finally got to hang out IRL at the Cherry Blossom race!  It was pretty fantastic, and SHE is even more fantastic in real life too!
Laurenfotor0408110037Laurenphoto-5 .

Lauren is such a special person to me.  She is beautiful inside and out, and always makes me smile.  She has inspired me in so many ways, and here is just another way in which she has inspired me to not give up on myself.
Here is her story:

I’ve been holding off on writing about my new fueling strategy for a few reasons:

  1. I hate talking about food.
  2. I hate talking about weight.
  3. I hate talking about food and weight.
  4. I hate talking about how much I’ve hated talking about food and weight for the last 20 years.

And my hatred runs deep friends, real deep.  On #4, I just didn’t feel like internet rehashing my whole, torrid experience with weight, body image and running.  But, as I started on my own fuel better, feel better 2015 extravaganza, I found that other people, sharing their experiences really helped me.  So, in an effort to help someone else, maybe, I’ll tell you all about my experience.

And for that you’ll have grab a {healthy if you feel like it} snack and settle in.  This is a long one.

{link to that here!}

When I started college I was overweight.  I think I was overweight in high school but I honestly had no idea.  I was so happy and such a positive self-image.  I had awesome friends, I was gearing up to go to a college I was so excited about and my family was {and is} supportive. How I looked and especially how much I weighed literally never crossed my mind.

10987453_10205004844595229_2771521942824708805_o

I loved those pajama pants.  I think I also won something.

Then, I got to college.  I lived in a single dorm {no roomate, holllerr!} and my floor was filled with really awesome girls, some of whom I really connected with.  One of their favorite things to do was talk about how much they ate or didn’t eat.  Or how much they exercised {a lot}.  Suddenly,  I was looking at myself differently.  Sure I was still happy and independent and all of the other stuff but now I realized that I was overweight.

I think it’s worth noting here that I do NOT fault my new freshman friends or college or living in a dorm with what happens next.  I think that you are a product of your environment but most of all you’re in control of your own actions and behaviors.  And that was the light bulb for me — I wanted to be in control of my body.

11038895_10205004844635230_6158661998412852623_o

hi Eric!

The summer after my freshman year, I stayed in the single dorms and worked two jobs and took classes.  I also took the opportunity to start counting calories and working out.  I started by walking on the treadmill 30 minutes every day and lifting some of the weights in the gym I saw the other girls lifting.  On calories I would just write down what I ate and, with out doing any research or talking to a doctor, decided to try to eat less than 2,000 calories per day.

And the weight started to fall off.  And the compliments started to roll in.

I kept restricting my calories more and more and continued to exercise.  By the end of the summer I was able to run 3 miles {!!} without stopping and I was eating 600 calories a day.  This summer started my love of running and my love of controlling how many caorlies I ate.  Usualy the fewer the better.

In the fall, I joined my sorority and was convinced that it was because I was finally thin and therefor pretty, not because I am nice or fun to talk to and tell ridiculous stories.  I continued to restrict my calories and run.  I was wearing clothes I never dreamed I could wear, meeting people I loved and getting attention for all the wrong reasons.  People would constantly tell me how great my body looked.  I was lean {gaunt} and strong {starving} and people LOVED to tell me how impressed they were {with my calorie restriction and abuse of running {which I loved so much}.

11050652_10205004845435250_5155935014547453220_o

ugh, I don’t even look healthy.  I do however, miss that belt

That spring, when I was home for the weekend, I went for my run.  I tried to keep the pace I normally kept {this was before I knew anything about cadence, paces or running really, I just knew it made me skinny} and I couldn’t. I got home and complained to my mom that I wasn’t able to run as fast or as far as I normally could.  She looked at my with that worried mom face and said, honey, I don’t think you are fueling it properly.

Wait what?

But I’m skinny!  People like me!  What about this fuel.  You want me to eat more food?!  Food is the enemy!

For the rest of my university experience, I struggled, but I was able to eat and exercise in moderation.  However, every pound I put on caused extreme anxiety.  By the time I gradated and started graduate school I was an anxious ball of worry.

1796888_10205004844715232_9006046888747904781_o

I really liked that choir dress

That first year of graduate school threw me into a tail spin.  And instead of restricting my intake, I would binge.  By the end of the year, I gained about 45 pounds.

10995766_10205004844555228_4571723600933547506_o

MB loved that shirt.

I moved to DC and during that time, I completely gave up running {sad}.  I was using food as a way to deal with all my issues:  I missed MB, my life was listless and I was just sad.  When MB came around {hooray!} and moved in with me, he was like look you, I love you no matter how you look {not super great, let’s be honest} but I can’t marry someone who doesn’t eat fruits and vegetables {at the time, my diet consisted of anything fried and liquid cheese.  And diet coke — old habits die hard} and I knew I had to get it together.

10857353_10205004844755233_7058196487264936012_o

engaged and pumped about it.

So, I started Weight Watchers.  And I lost 50 pounds.  I found running again and I ran my first half marathon.  I was the lowest weight I had every healthfully achieved.  Then I thought I could keep it together on my own, no more Weight Watchers.  I resented the way that I had to count my points.  No one else has to do this, I would think to myself.  I know how to eat.  And I run!!

1935408_1159048670807_2596366_n

totally normal

But I didn’t.

By February of 2013, I was well into my 30 races.  I told myself since I was running so much, I didn’t need to watch what I eat.  Anymore, ever.  As the 30 races ended and I set my sites on my two marathons, I was turning to food to deal with depression and anxiety.  I kept telling myself I could eat whatever I wanted, I was running 125 miles per month.  And the queso, and chips and cookies weren’t telling me I was bad at my job.  After Big Sur, I was realized that there was a problem, I was a running a lot but I was not fueling properly.  And I was legit depressed.

big sur

happy!

It all came together when visiting my new doctor, she said that she was worried about my weight increasing {about 4 pounds within a month}.  We talked about my history and what was going on with me.  She gave me two options — outpatient therapy or Weight Watchers.  {she also put me on an anti depressant, which helped a lot}.  I looked into the outpatient therapy but it was very expensive.  I heaved a huge sigh and looked into Weight Watchers. Again.

I went back to my doctor, and told her that I didn’t think it was for me, tracking points.  Other people don’t have to track their food.  She very patiently responded:  do you manage your finances?  Yes, MB does.  Do you manage your task list at work?  Um, yes, I definitely love making lists and crossing them off.  So why don’t you manage what you eat?  Um.  I don’t know, because I don’t want to?  Why not, she wondered aloud.  It might help make you feel better.  Maybe just by changing that mindset of feeling sorry for yourself.

FINE.

So I went to my {second} first Weight Watchers meeting at the beginning of October.  Since then, I’ve lost 22 pounds and I finally feel in control of my fueling.  Rather than thinking about Weight Watchers as a diet, I’m completely, 100% committed to it as a lifestyle.  Like forever.  Tracking points, going to meetings {for support.  which is wonderful.  I love the meetings} will be how I manage my fuel from now on.  My running has also improved.  Turns out when you’re not hauling around extra weight, you run better.

used to restrict calories and over exercise.  After I got help, I started getting depressed, swung the other way, was binge eating and gained 50 lbs and stopped running.  Then I lost it again.  Then I started binge eating again ever though I was running.  Now I’m back on Weight Watchers, lost 22.2 pounds and I feel super.

FullSizeRender (4)

I don’t take enough bathroom mirror selfies

There’s really no way to end this without being weird or trite.  So that’s the end.  I hope,if you stayed this long, and you needed a boost, that this helped.  The one thing I’ve really taken away from this is that I am worth taking care of, that I have to manage my food intake to run healthy.

Thank you Lauren for sharing your story! And for inspiring me once again!

If you have a motivational story to share, please let me know.  You can email me at chocolaterunnergirl (at) gmail (dot) com.

IMG_6537

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s