The "chubby" pic was taken in July 2006. My husband was on his first deployment, we were a young military couple, going through a lot of changes. I worried constantly, and had waaayyyyyyyy too many Oreos, along with anything else I could get my hands on. I've heard at least a million times that chubby people don't know they are chubby until they see a pic of themselves. I'm here to tell you, that is oh so true. I honestly didn't have ANY idea I was that big. For real. Yeah, my clothes didn't fit like they used to, I kept having to buy bigger sizes because "the dryer shrunk them". I went to Six Flags with one of my best friends before returning to Germany to welcome my husband home. We had our pic taken before we entered the park and didn't get to look at it until we were on our way out. I would NOT have bought the pics, but she wanted them as a token of our trip before I went back home. It was a great pic of her though, I mean really, she's beautiful. On the inside, I didn't want the pic but I reluctantly agreed. I didn't want to tell her why I didn't want them. I actually never said a word.
I took the pic back to my mom's, where I was staying while in America, and hid it. I took it back to Germany and hid it in my panty drawer. No one could see it. No one. It was that day when I returned to Germany I decided to change my life. Forever. I went to the PX, bought a scale and tape measure. I weighed and measured myself. I cried. I was so upset with myself for letting it get that far. I went to the gym, which was free by the way. I started to run, which was ugly in the beginning! I lost 10 pounds before my husband returned home at the end August. He never said anything about my weight. I'm honestly not even sure he noticed, I think he was just glad to be home and safe again. He was smaller than me. I have always been the smaller one. That motivated me even more to lose more weight. After I had lost 20 pounds I showed him my "chubby pic" and he was shocked. It was still shocking to me. He never said a negative thing about the pic, all I got was a "Wow Babe".
No one told me I was fat. No one said, "hey you look like you put on a few pounds". I actually got mad at my mom when she didn't tell me. I asked her months later why she didn't say anything. Her response? She didn't want to upset me because she knew I was going through so much with my husband being in a war zone. Yep, I was. It was a hard time for me mentally and obviously physically.
After my weight loss, I decided not to go back to that girl. That girl was unhappy, sad, and depressed. Now I'm not saying being overweight can make everyone unhappy, sad, and depressed, but that was the way I personally felt. I ran to lose most of the weight combined with a strict diet. It was much easier to control my diet in Germany. I realized how much better I felt, how my face started to clear up, and how my clothes started to fit better.
I remember once walking to the grocery store in Germany after I had lost the weight. I walked there, no problem, and on my way back, with my backpack loaded with groceries, I was so out of breath. The walk was so hard coming home. I got home, weighed my backpack, it was 15 pounds. Wow, I thought, I used to carry 20 more pounds than that around with me all the time. I was shocked at how out of breath and tired I was after I got home carrying that extra weight, after only three blocks.
Not only do I still have this pic of me, I have all of the measurements I took every month from 2006-2007. I lost so many inches and about 35 pounds within that year. I still look at that pic, and the papers I wrote all those numbers on. I even have notes I wrote in my running journal on how I felt.
The pic and notes remind me that even on a "chubby" day now, I'm not even close to where I used to be. I've come so far. On the days when I have a bad run, or I don't go as far on the bike because I'm tired, I'll pull that pic out of my panty drawer (yep, I still keep it there!) and I know it's because I probably worked out hard the day before, or I just need a rest day, and that's okay.
My second pic is from Run Amuck, June 2012. Six years ago, I would've never even fathomed competing in a race of 3.5 miles that was pretty much pure obstacles. It was a race that again proved I'm pretty freaking awesome, and I'm so very capable of competing in races just like that!
My husband has been on three deployments since that first one. I've been a runner since, and I've even competed in races while he's been gone. I don't think that deployments are ever easy, but I can make it a little more tolerable by running. I can just concentrate on breathing, and in reality, deployments are all about the breathing...for me anyway.
So that's why I used run.
Now I run to be fit and feel good. I love the feeling I get after a good workout. Oh, and to have the occasional handful of Oreos...
Why do you run?