Timelines and Landmark Dates

Tina wrote a very personal, heartfelt post recently called Timelines. I was impressed with her openness and honesty about personal things in her life and the challenges she’s faced. I could relate to her personal stories about bingeing and using food to make herself feel better. And it got me thinking…where was I way back when? How far have I come? Sure, I write about the challenges I faced, how I lost the weight and how I’m keeping it off. But what about specific landmark dates? Here goes…

Where Was I 10 Years Ago?

I was 21 years old, living in Portland with my boyfriend of two years. We broke up and I moved back home to Seattle for the summer. It was a harsh, painful summer filled with eating, grieving and depression. I worked two full time jobs for four months to save money to move out on my own again. I didn’t have a single day off from working that summer. It was a good distraction. Working all the time meant I had no downtime to brood. It also meant I had no time to exercise or eat right. I ate a lot of fast food on my way to and from jobs. There was a Taco Bell and a Subway right by my evening job and that’s where I ate my dinners.

After a few months I’d saved up enough money for move-in costs and I transferred my job back to Portland. I found an apartment by myself in the quaint Multnomah Village area and I lived my life. I worked full time, I started eating my feelings. It took a few years to gain the weight. I was living my life alone, making new friends in Portland and got a new job. Life was pretty good, despite the depression and eating.

The weight crept up steadily, almost unnoticed.

Where Was I 5 years Ago?

I was 26 and weighed over 250 pounds. Earlier that year I’d had a revelation about my life and where I was headed. I’d just gotten home from a vacation in Chicago, surprised at the photos I saw of myself.

2006 - 250 Pounds

I had another wake up call and realized it was time. It was time to make a change and that’s when I started to lose weight. I started swimming and then I tackled the hardest part: the food. Counting my calories was natural and easy for me. It became a habit in my life immediately. Sure I had some challenges but it worked. I was on my way. It is hard to believe it was only 5 years ago…

Where I was I 1 year Ago?

I was running the Hood To Coast Relay race and celebrating my 2nd anniversary with  Michael.

I was happy and in a healthy relationship with an evolved, understanding man. I was also celebrating the 2nd anniversary of maintaining my 100 pound weight loss! I had been maintaining my weight loss for so long it was second nature. I still counted my calories and I grew to love fitness. I loved biking and hiking and still swam.

Not much different from where I am now, I think.

Where Am I Today? 

I’m finally in a place where I am at peace with my body, my weight (for the most part) and don’t feel that urge to “try and lose those last few pounds.” If I do, I do. If not, who cares? I’m enjoying my life as it is: working out, getting my fitness in through recreational activities, and eating good food.

On August 21, 2011 I biked 72 miles in the Portland Century. It was a challenge I set for myself, unsure if I could do it. But I did.

Where Will I Be Tomorrow?

I want to continue maintaining my weight loss. I’m thinking about going back to school. I’m writing a book–maybe it will be published someday. Since I was a pre-teen I’ve been writing stories and dreaming about being a published author. I hope that dream comes true.

I have dreams of other challenges:

  1. Biking a full Century–the full 100 miles, baby!
  2. My hope is that in 2012 I swim across the Columbia River!
  3. I want to run again.
  4. I want to do a triathlon.

Having goals to work towards keeps me alive and happy.

QUESTION: What are your timelines and landmark dates?

What Does Fitness Mean To You?

I missed the Twitter #fitblog chat on Tuesday because Michael and I were taking advantage of the sunshine to work in the yard.  I was bummed to miss it because it was hosted by Skinny Emmie and the questions were great ones.

So here are this week’s questions:

Q1. When you were younger, what did “fitness” mean to you? What does it mean now?

As a kid, fitness meant TORTURE for me. My parents forced me to do gymnastics one year. I hated it. I hated wearing a leotard, I felt self-conscious and I was afraid of heights, which made the high-bar not much fun for me. I think I was about 7 years old. All I remember about that time was a lot of tears and fears.

Then when I was 9 I did a season of soccer. I hated that too.  I joined because my childhood friend was way into it. I hated running in front of people. I felt awkward and self-conscious and honestly, soccer was really boring.

I was always a swimmer as kid and took to the pool like a dolphin. I was happy when I was on the swim team for a short time as a kid. Then I did synchronized swimming. That was fun too. Eventually I realized I’d much rather swim laps by myself, so that’s what I would do. I don’t know why I ever quit as a teenager. I wish I’d kept up with that.

Clearly this means that I am not one for team sports. Even as an adult now, fit and into fitness, I dislike group activities. I’d rather do solo things like swimming, running or biking.

My attitude towards fitness has changed a lot with getting healthy. I feel much happier in general and have a positive outlook on life. I love working out. Lifting weights has changed how I feel about my body. All great things!


Q2. Was there anyone in the past who influenced your healthy lifestyle? Family, friends, celebrities, etc. Any influencers now?

Not really. I was never into sports as a kid, and didn’t really feel inspired by celebrity athletes. It wasn’t until I became an adult and got way into fitness that I started to admire and be inspired by athletes. I’ve named a few of my favorites before.

  • Lance Armstrong for cycling
  • Personal friends who are runners and continue to amaze me with their impressive accomplishments!

Now I appreciate the hard work that professional athletes do.

Q3. Are there any exercise trends that you wish would return? What have you secretly wanted to try?

I really want to try Zumba–but I am uncoordinated and I hate taking classes (see Question #1 where I describe my hatred of organized sports). I also want to take Body Pump to see what all the fuss is about but again…it’s hard for me to motivate myself to do classes.

Q4. Fast forward 5 years into the future. What will you have accomplished fitness or blogging wise by then?

Five years from now I wish I’ve accomplished a lot of things. Fitness wise:

  • I want to complete a Century Bike Ride (hopefully that is this year)
  • I want to do a Sprint Tri (I think that will be next summer’s goal)
  • And I’d like to finish writing (and hopefully publish) my book!

Thanks Emily for the inspiration! I really came to the conclusion that my hatred for organized sports hasn’t changed much since childhood! 🙂

QUESTION: How would you answer these questions?