My name is Noelle and I am so excited to join the Sweat Pink family! In real life, I live in upstate NY with my wonderful husband. We just celebrated two years of marriage in August.
Here is my fitness story (the kind of short-handed version)….
In high school I ran all the time…but in my senior year, I got burnt out…. I did the usual thing once college hit, and gained some weight, then lost it, gained and lost.. but I was never as content–or as healthy–as I was in my high school Cross Country days…
After college, I moved to DC and started working out again, but something still wasn’t right. Throw in a bad ending to a high-stress relationship and my high self-esteem was shot. I was working out for the wrong reasons and not taking care of myself. I wouldn’t say that I had any sort of eating disorder, but I had a very strained relationship with food and my body.
Fast forward a year, I started dating my husband…and moved back to Upstate NY. I ended up abandoning my strict workout schedule…but at the time, it was what I needed to regain a more normal relationship with my body and with my appetite. This caused me to gain a few pounds, but I felt healthy.
After I got married, I gained a lot of weight….like 20 lbs within two months (yikes!). I was feeling incredibly uncomfortable, but just told myself it was in my head. I had always been active, so it wouldn’t take long to come off… unfortunately, a month later, while celebrating the hubby’s birthday, I saw a picture of myself… and I barely recognized the person in the photo. I looked as uncomfortable as I felt.
I knew that I had gained weight (I weighed in at 198 lbs), but I didn’t realize that I LOOKED like I had gained weight… I’d always taken pride in the fact that I had never fully shown what my actual weight was… so this was a blow to the ego. I finally broke down and bought bigger pants, two sizes bigger than what I was used to wearing…that hurt even more.
Don’t get me wrong, although the husband is a chef, we still ate clean and healthfully…my issue was portion control…I was in the mindset that I was eating healthy food, so it was okay to have a second…or, ahem, a third helping. And …. I was wrong.
So, I started running again. I had always come back to running but never stuck with it…for whatever reason…and I knew I needed to change that. I also joined myfitnesspal and started logging what I ate… I wasn’t counting calories like a madwoman, but I was keeping track of what I was eating and I was paying attention to how MUCH I was eating…. thankfully, my husband was super supportive, and even started running with me.
Since that day (almost 2 years ago), I’ve lost 35 lbs (28 since I first started tracking calories) and I am down to a size 8 from a size 14.
It’s taken me an incredibly long time, I realize, but that’s just how my body works. My mom calls me an “easy feeder,” because my body is able to adapt so well to whatever I throw at it… looking at it that way, that’s pretty amazing…but makes losing a few pounds tricky!
According to my BMI, I still have about 10 lbs to lose, but I am comfortable and I am healthier than I’ve been in a long time.
I’ve run a few races, including some local runs, the Army Ten Miler and the Adirondack Ragnar Relay.
On September 22, I ran my first full marathon in Schroon Lake, NY. It was one of the most difficult and rewarding things I have ever done and I’m already scouting out my next marathon.
I’ve rediscovered my passion for running and hiking and just enjoy being outside and moving in general…and THAT is beautiful thing.
The thing that really clicked for me is that being healthy is not about being thin…it’s not about losing weight or conforming to what someone else wants you to look like. It’s about being comfortable with your body and knowing all that it can do.
It’s being strong and being able to push yourself.. having that knowledge and that power will make you unstoppable.
Today, I am constantly amazed at what my body is able to do. I’m so blessed for the ability and the strength I have gained (and, I should add, my amazing support system) and I’m constantly in awe of it.
If you focus on getting stronger and being a better version of yourself, loving the view in the mirror (or in my case, a photo) will automatically follow.
So, that’s my story… I normally blog at Noelle’s Notebook. Stop over to check it out!