Saturday, January 22, 2011

Body Image

I've now lost 30 lbs of weight. I've pretty much focused on this weight loss as an athlete. I've looked upon every body less of weight, that's less weight I'm dragging up a mountain.

I went from a size 14 pant to back to a size 8-10.

I say 'back' because I've been here. In my original weight loss, I believe I hit 150 lbs (and around a size 6) in 2006. Then I got a bit smug, started running longer distance, believed I would lose weight "since I was running more". Had a mid-life crisis. Started drinking more. Wasn't following WW. Still believed I could just "shave off" the 3-5 lbs I had gained. And then the next. And the next.

Well, before long, I was looking at pics of myself saying "Damn I am getting fat" and now I am practically DNF'ing every race...because I am so slow. Because of my weight.

This is midyear 2009, at the "No Frills Just Hills" FA. At the end of June 2009. I SAW how fat I was..but still did nothing about it.

As I kept ballooning, in weight, the more frustrated I was becoming.

It was the URINEO FA in December 2009, I think, that my epiphany was made. I was tired of being last in every race.

After January 1,my switch was flipped.I started back on Weight Watchers and got a running coach. I was accountable to someone in the long lonesome months of the winter. I started to make sure I got a workout in, 5 days a week. I started to become more accountable with WW.

I lost weight. (When you follow the plan on WW, it generally does work!!!!!) Losing weight makes you so much more positive to follow the plan.

I kept running, even in our sucky last winter weather. Good thing I have a treadmill.

I did DNF my spring race, the Laurel 77 miler. But I was okay with that. It was a good effort. Hot conditions. Blisters.

I got my redemption at the Ring, Labor Day Week. 71 miles on the Massanutten Trail. Last finisher, fastest time for a last finisher. (It didn't impress me at all when I did it, now when I look at times, I'm pretty pleased.)

(Still losing weight) I subsequently ran a sub 5 hour Akron Marathon, two weeks later, followed by a PR at the YUTC.

It's amazing how much faster you can run, if you aren't carrying around a 30lb sack of dog food. Go ahead. Try it. Pick up a 20 or 30 lb of dog (or cat) food and then imagine carrying that through a 50K. Or a 50 miler. Or a 100 miler. And then chuck it aside and see how much faster you could run without that. That's what I've been carrying around.

Oh yeah, the body image part. Until I bought some new pants, last month, I had not put the whole "smaller Kim" in my head. Then all of a sudden my size 8-10 pants start fitting. I try on three winter coats-that I have not worn in 3 years because they were too small-they fit again! (Talk about a cheap shopping trip there. "New" coats all of a sudden.)

I look in the mirror, and think, good God, you ARE smaller!! It was almost disconcerting. I had been more focused on the scale number, about getting that weight off so I could become a faster runner, that I hadn't been looking at the shrinking woman!

Maybe because I have been at this size before-and made poor choices and gained all that weight-that I am more appreciative of it this time. Maybe? Maybe because I am a few years older and wiser? That I know how hard it was to lose the weight this time? Although as a note, I did lose 30 lbs in one year by staying mainly "on plan" with Weight Watchers. Maybe because I walked the walk, instead of just talking about it-I was able to lose more weight in one year than the previous two or three.

What's next? Well, I still have plenty of weight to lose. I believe 150 lbs is a good weight for me. Any weight I get off will make me a faster runner. My BMI index is still in the "obesity" range. (I think the whole BMI index is just bullshit myself.) And there are some old clothes in my closet that looks like they will fit me again!


  1. Way to go! What a great feeling to go shopping in your own closet and to feel such improvement in your running. Thank you for sharing and inspiring us.

  2. Congrats Kim! I've noticed the weight loss in your pics lately. But the greatest reward must be that improvement in performance. Your dedication to all facets of your training will certainly pay off at Massanutten! : )

  3. Kim,

    I've been very impressed and motivated by your solid and consistent effort. You are lookin' good!

    I like your analogy about the dog food. I got a 12 lb sack of maltodextrin the other day and I told Kadra the same thing. I put it up to my belly and started running around the house (she already thinks I'm nuts) and a few pounds really makes a huge difference.

    Keep up the good work both with the running and diet!

    - Adam


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