So here I am, a first time 3-Day walker taking on this momentous challenge and feeling a little bit like a fish out of water at times.
I started 2010 with the grand idea to improve the quality of my life. Here I am, 32 years old, 5'8", 290 lbs – taking my body and my health completely for granted. What was I thinking letting myself go so far? I really don't know. I have a great husband, two healthy and active boys and I'm doing what with my life? Nothing really. I'm an okay mom in that I take good care of my kids – they have healthy food to eat and we have a good relationship. I'm an okay wife. I treat my husband with respect and let him know every day that I appreciate him. Nevertheless, I'm not invested in this life of mine fully. I spend way too much time sitting on the couch watching TV, talking to my kids from the couch, reluctant to get off the couch sometimes. I was and sometimes still am a lump on a log! Even though I'm considered morbidly obese (yes – that is the ugly truth) – I don't have diabetes or high blood pressure or many of the other afflictions common to those that are overweight and I'm just sitting here saying, "Okay thanks body. Let's just see how much more you can take?" So again, what was I thinking?!?! So, like I said I'm okay but certainly not setting a good example for my boys or caring nearly as much about myself as I do for others and that's got to change.
Here we are, five months into 2010 and I'm not that much different. I haven't lost much weight, although I am working on it. I have been training, following a 12-week training plan to get me walking 3 miles per day – and therefore ready for the official 24-week training program which starts next week for the Arizona 3-Day. I have been fundraising, reaching just about 80% of my goal (which is the easy part for a fat person!). But I'm noticing that I do feel different and I'm being to forced to listen to my body in ways that I never did before. I listen carefully to what a hot spot on the inside of my right foot means, a pang in my left hip, inner ear soreness from my ear buds! But instead of complaints, I'm hearing "Thank you!" I'm hearing, "Man, this is kinda uncomfortable but holy moly it feels good to be moving again but please take care of me so I can keep it up."
As the final days of my 12-week training program come to an end, I am faced with new challenges. I haven't really been taking water with me, which is a no, no, I know! My mouth gets very pasty and I start to get headaches. I'm having a hard time find a waist pack that will fit my nearly 52" waist. I am also needing more than one sports bra (washing it every night just isn't a reality) but it's very difficult to find something that fits my 44" DDD chest! I'm noticing that my panties start buggin' after a few miles and large women lingerie is pretty pricy. But instead of feeling like these are insurmountable challenges, I feel grateful that I get to be the person latching on to a store clerk and sharing my woes so I can find just the right waist pack or non-slipping panties! I feel proud that I'm doing something to become an active participant in my life and no longer the person that's just looking for the nearest fast food restaurant.
I have met so many wonderful people on this journey so far. Some that are eloquent yet hilarious writers like Cat at FatGirlWalkin' and some that give the brutally honest advice we all need to hear, like John's post about potty breaks at 60miles3days. All of these people have helped me feel like I am part of a community – no matter my size or my ability – I'm here and working toward the same goal as so many others. There are also those who post about their personal experiences with cancer like Tracy Dart at Team Tracy who writes about being "Whatever it takes girl". I have been "the least I have to do girl" and now – having met so many wonderfully amazing people – I'm ashamed to have taken my precious life for granted. I WANT to be "whatever it takes girl" from here on out! I deserve it, my kids deserve it, my husband deserves it and I OWE it to all the men and women out there that can't!