Hey there HungryRunnerGirl Readers! My name is Theresa and while I do not have a blog of my own (yet, who knows, maybe someday!), I’m an avid blog reader myself. I have been a HRG reader for a while but only started commenting here recently. I reached out to Janae to share my story with her and she encouraged me to share my story with all you readers out there so…here it goes.
I’m a running/health freak now, but I wasn’t always that way. I’m 26 and very athletic, and am at a great size for me, but I wasn’t always that way. For most of my life, I was quite overweight. My largest was almost to 400 pounds at the age of 22. I decided months after graduating college that I had had enough of being the way that I was.
I began slowly, just simply walking on the treadmill for an hour a day. It was quite difficult even managing that, but I was determined. I made a complete overhaul of my diet as well. Educating myself about calories, portion sizes, etc. The weight slowly started coming off. I signed back up for the gym and began going daily, trying out different classes and machines. I really enjoyed being active. I lost around 120 pounds in the first year. I then lost another 80 pounds throughout the next year after that. I unfortunately became overly obsessed with calorie counting and exercising…essentially overexercising and undereating. I was cranky and moody and STARVING all the time. I was also unhappy because I was feeling terribly bored and cooped up being in the gym all the time.
One random September afternoon in 2008, I decided I wanted to go for a run outside and see how long I could last. It was beautiful outside, windy, with leaves all around. I ran a full 3.5 miles that day and I was in love. I signed up for my 1st 5k in November and ran it in 27:00. I was ecstatic and I couldn’t get enough of it.
Running was the thing that forced me to take a step back, and look at how I was treating my body. My self-esteem was still very low, so I would beat up on myself constantly (which was in the form of starvation). I quickly learned that I could have more energy to run if I would just eat more. I started to eat a more fully balanced diet and decided to sign up for a half marathon in September 2009. Gradually during training, I put on an extra 10 pounds. I was okay with this honestly, because I didn’t feel my body was meant to be that small. I was pretty bony in some areas, and my period wasn’t coming regularly. As soon as I started treating my body better, I felt really good, and became regular again.
Training for the half seemed daunting, but I threw myself into it wholeheartedly. Running was giving me a natural high, a certain euphoria that I wanted more of. I ran my first half in 2:17…it was raining but I loved every single moment of it. At this time in my life, I had become engaged to a boy I had been dating since I was 17. I loved him very much, but I was still unhappy. He loved me when I was bigger, and I know a part of me felt obligated to stay there. Besides that fact, he was not very supportive of my running goals and he had no problem allowing me to be very hard on myself about a lot of things. Running kept me sane, but I felt myself numbing out emotionally over the state of my relationship. I called off the wedding and broke up with him in October 2009.
I felt myself on a downward spiral. I threw myself into running, logging miles and miles in hopes that I could avoid the turmoil I was feeling over everything else. I let myself sink into a dark place emotionally. I began drinking more and slacking off on the hardcore workouts that I used to never miss. At this time, I met Kevin. He grew up in the town that I was currently living in and didn’t have a care in the world. He had suffered from leukemia as a teenager and it had almost killed him (he had heart failure and was in a coma for months, I was in disbelief as he told me his story) He was also a borderline alcoholic. We started dating in December 2009. We fell for each other quickly and this love was very different from what I had with my ex-fiance. He was caring and supportive in ways that I had never experienced before. But his lifestyle was obviously influencing my once very healthy lifestyle.
I was still running, but I was also drinking much more then I had in the past. I began to feel the physical repercussions of what I was doing to my body. My body was rebelling against what I was doing to it and I knew that I would need to make a choice between continuing this lifestyle, or rededicating myself to my running. I decided to take a break from drinking and signed up for the Philly Rock and Roll ½ marathon in September. Kevin decided to support me and began his journey to sobriety (To this day, he has been sober a full year) After a couple weeks, I began to feel stronger. I was excited to be in training again.
Running was proving to be an essential tool for my emotional and mental stability. Kevin cheered me on as I ran the race in 2:14. That 2nd half was what really solidified what running was for me. It was all about balance in myself. It is one of those important passions to me that make life fulfilling. It taught me to truly take care of myself in a healthy manner. Kevin is one of the big loves of my life and running is my other one. I wouldn’t have it any other way!
THANK YOU SO MUCH THERESA for sharing your story with us. Seriously, the best part about blogging is the friendships that are made and the things we can learn from eachother!!!
I hope you have an amazing Sunday!!!