Wow. Just. Wow.  I came across this picture when I was looking for something else this week.  It is so hard to comprehend how heavy I was at this point. This was my heaviest and I am sure I do not know what those numbers are. I had divorced the scale for a completely different reason during those days.   This picture is from my son’s college graduation in 2008.  I had to stop running due to a back injury.  I was forced to rest and heal. Keeping the SAD (Standard American Diet) while being idle physically caused immediate inflation and I quickly gained weight.  The added weight was not helping the healing process either.  At the same time my body decided to throw in some wacky pre-menopausal changes. I am sure it had something to do with the sudden change from distant training and finishing a half marathon, to coId turkey, absolutely no exercise. I injured my back on the day I finished the 2008 Ocala Half Marathon. I was standing on one leg trying to pry my shoe off my other foot in front of me and fell on my tailbone.
 This is a picture from after the half marathon, January 2008. After the injury my exercise was seriously halted. My diet on the other hand did not halt.  I even considered my diet then, healthier than most. Unknowingly it was adding to the problem.  I did not realize then how very grain and carb heavy it was and how that was affecting my weight gain.  I understand it now.  By May 2008 as you can see, I was quite heavy.   In a short time from the end of January to May, just 4 months.  I went
From This                  To This
     I was extremely frustrated with the weight gain at the same time was dealing with unpredictable cycles continually too close together.  It got so difficult I sent all my medical records and test results to a friend who is also a gynecologist and surgeon to discuss surgery and removing what I did not need. Logically, I wasn’t using it anymore.  I had joked about running so much that my uterus finally had enough and was dropping out.   In reality, I was exhausted and defeated.  I gave in, broke down and unloaded one day on a close friend. This friend pointed out that they had never seen me so defeated. Their serious concern and care helped me back to a fighting stance. So precious are friends that are honest with us, challenge us, and help us back up when we have taken a knock-out hit.  After many discussions with my doctor and my friend, I decided to try and work things out naturally first, and give it time before making any surgical solutions.  It did eventually even out, and though I am still experiencing some pre-menopausal symptoms they are much more normal and manageable.
     I finally got back to gradually increasing my cardio, and then I easily fell into my old routine of yo-yo weight gains and losses.  This led me back to the vicious cycle of more chronic cardio. I was trying desperately to burn the calories in. I know now that is a ridiculous theory, and absolutely impossible. Please watch video “Sugar; The Bitter Truth” from the post “Challenges”.   During that season it was all strife, struggle, and constant contention to try and stay fit and a healthy weight.  It wasn’t until May 2011 when I started CrossFit and began a Primal nutritional lifestyle (Primal 101), that my desired results were achieved and maintained.  This is just some more of the story before this story; My Success Story.
     Many of you have seen some of my success here, but I wanted you to know I identify and understand the struggles. I know what it is like to feel defeated.   I know how especially hard women can be on themselves.  My desire is that you understand and identify with your own unique beauty.  My hope is that you aim for health not perfection.  Your strength is in your individuality and owning it. I admire the beauty of women. I look around and have opportunity to embrace many of you. You all inspire me young and old for so many different reasons. Your own goals are reachable and attainable. When the day is dark and defeat is loud, be determined not to stay there.  Face the direction you need to go, and move towards it.
”You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who’ll decide where you go.”
- DR. Seuss