Sunday, September 28, 2014

On not being obese

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This summer, I hit a milestone. I just went from the 'obese' BMI category to the 'overweight' category for my height. I feel my chest tighten just thinking of the word obese. It's a scary whisper in my head and a heaviness on my heart. It was never how I thought/think of myself. It's a word that scares the crap out of me. I've always known I was bigger, but I just never thought of myself as 'obese'. I was 'chunky', 'just a bigger frame', and a 'great example of a corn fed American' but never ever EVER obese.  At this point in my life, I'm able to admit  I was obese because denying my obesity would be denying a lot of awesome things that I did when I was that size. Changing so many years of habit took a lot, but I had to accept that it happened and was a part of my life so that I could move on to the next chapter.

Things I've done as an obese person:
  • Hiked the Inca trail 
  • Ran 6 miles 
  • Biked 40 miles 
  • Became an overweight person
Things I will do as an overweight person: 
  • Bike 150 miles 
  • Run 13.1 miles
  • Become a 'normal' sized person 
My transformation has changed how I think of myself. I've always known that I'm smart/kind/important, but what was missing was a physical manifestation of how I see myself.  I've been overweight my entire life and my body became part of me. What else could I do? I accepted my size and focused on honing the fat person archetype.  I became the girl who was smart, funny, and a person who reveled in the excess of life. I decided if I embraced the excess, the fact that my body had so much excess would just be accepted. It helped me be okay with myself. In the end, it wasn't about how others viewed me. It was about feeling safe in the world.

I think the best part of this journey is seeing that I can be all the things I want to be, do all the things I want to do and still have a healthy existence. They don't have to be mutually exclusive (who knew?!)! Today, my life is balanced in a way that I never thought possible. The confidence I have in my discipline and spirit is something I never imagined I would have. I used to watch people achieve their goals and wondered what inadequacy I had within myself that prevented me from getting where I wanted to be. There is a hopelessness and loneliness in knowing that you are the only person in the way of your journey. In the beginning, I was most afraid that I would have to give up so much to get to this point and I wasn't sure how I could do it. In truth, I did have to give up a lot, but it was undeniably worth giving up all of those things over staying who I was. I've also had the support of so many people. It's incredible how excited other people get about you achieving something you are determined to achieve.

This transformation has made me think about all the other places in my life where I could channel my ambition and make something incredible happen. I get chills just thinking about what's next.

20lbs and counting. Half marathon training begins. :D

*The quotation above is from a character named Socrates who was a gas-station attendant in a book published in the 1980s by Dan Millman. The quote was not from the renowned Greek philosopher. :)


Wednesday, September 24, 2014


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27, you were hard and wonderful at the same time. I feel like this year was emotional spandex with so much stretching and adjusting, but also so much settling in. Let's start the highlights:
  • Stopped being obese. Because it was time. I made a decision to go for it and I did it. It was harder than I thought it would be, but the rewards have been amazing. I have so much more confidence in my discipline and determination than I ever thought possible. The amount of support I've received during my journey has been amazing. Weight loss isn't the most glamorous thing, but my people have all made me feel like a champion! Year 27 was a showering of love, waves of tears and so much growth. 
  • Biked 150 miles with Waves to Wine and my friends supported me by donating 1200+ dollars to the MS Society. To say I am moved would be an understatement. My tribe of humans rock my world. Barreling through it all alone would have been a mistake. Year 27 taught me that I could do it and doing it with friends made it all the better.  
  • Traveled to Asia for the first time. Went to Japan and stayed at the Ritz for a week and then a quick weekend in South Korea to visit Meagan in Busan. It was a trip I hadn't planned on, but surprises are the best. I ate the craziest beef dinner in Tokyo. Bull penis was out of my comfort zone, but year 27 wasn't about staying in comfort zones. ;)  
  • Started a new job that has been a really awesome career adventure. Leaving Gmail was hard, but YouTube has given me the scope and challenges I'd been looking for. Change is hard, but I leaned in and it changed my life. 
  • Watched my best friend graduate from medical school and start her residency. What an inspiration for me. She's a constant reminder that long journeys pay off. 
  • Met my godson for the first time. Seeing my best friend with her family and happiness made me beam with joy. I'm so lucky to be part of their story. This world is an amazing place. 
  • Met many of my friend's babies, new husbands, and more for the first time. Seeing people important to you hit milestones is what this life is about. I am in awe every step of the way. 
  • Went to Jackson Hole and New Hampshire to celebrate my friend's weddings. They were beautiful and moving and so much fun to boot. I got to sleep in a NH sleep away camp just like in the movies. It was so neat. The Jackson Hole wedding included a trip to Yellowstone. I even saw a grizzly in the wild. But more importantly, I got to watch my friends declare their love for their person in front of everyone. 
  • Went on a crazy trip to the Rivera Maya with my team. I went ziplining! I had previously been afraid to do it, but I faced my fears and had such a great time! 
  • Traveled to NYC, Vancouver, Austin, Seattle, Salt Lake City, and Portland with people I love and to see people I love. 
  • Closed 27 out with a bad cold, but with dinner with my favorite people. It was perfect. 

Hi 28, you have big shoes to fill. I wouldn't doubt you for the world. We've already got a trip to London, my first half marathon, and so many more things planned. Let's do this.