Owning My Journey

I was going to post a generic Three Things Thursday today, but I’d rather post something of substance.  I’ve gone back and forth on posting this since it’s more than just a surface level post.  It’s uncomfortable posting something more personal, especially when you don’t know who is reading (or you know that family is reading!).  I’m giving credit to my October Challenge ladies on this one.  I cannot tell you how much strength and inspiration they give me everyday.

It’s no secret that I have struggled with my weight for most of my life (and most of this blog).  I was that kid that went on Jenny Craig in middle school.  Yes, really.  I was heavy even though I played multiple sports and stayed active.  My house was generally full of good, healthy food, yet somehow I was the only one in my family that was overweight.  Slow metabolism, poor food choices/portions, who knows, but it doesn’t set you up for a good mentality.  I still have a very tenuous relationship with food most days and it’s something that I’m working on.  I have that same relationship with my self esteem most days and that is also a work in progress.  Furthermore, it’s something that I am very ashamed to admit.  Who would want to show that vulnerability?  In an effort to overcome it though, I am owning it.  I’m human.  I have flaws.  And that’s okay.

I see people posting transformation pictures and “Weigh in Wednesday” posts.  As I peruse them, I sit there and am inspired.  What courage to be able to post actual weights and pictures!  To not scrutinize every picture and toss it aside unless it is absolute perfection.  I also sit there, burning with envy.  What I would give to have that courage!  To end the cycle of shame and self consciousness.  To gain strength from vulnerability.  To own where I am at and take pride in my accomplishments without qualifying them with my weight.  To feel worthy and equal to others despite the number on the scale.  I’m a half Ironman.  I’ve finished 2 full marathons and a dozen half marathons.  I am a runner and a triathlete.  I am accomplished.  I am strong.  At this exact moment in time, I am enough.

My first triathlon. I’d be lying if all of the spandex required of triathlon didn’t terrify me.

That’s not to say that all change is bad.  Striving to improve yourself is admirable and keeps you from being stagnant.  But it’s all about maintaining perspective.

Will I be a kinder person if I am 20 pounds lighter?

Will I be a more compassionate person if I am 20 pounds lighter?

Will the people around me love me more when I am 20 pounds lighter?

Will my dogs love me more when I am 20 pounds lighter?

The answer to all of the above is a solid and resounding NO.

You know what losing weight will help me do?  Fit into smaller pants.  Run faster.  Bike faster.

After my first half marathon. Fifteen pounds lighter than today and a heck of a lot faster. I’m a happier and more well balanced person today though.

Unless I allow it to control me, my size does not make me who I am.  I really hated crossing the finish line on Sunday and knowing that the only reason I didn’t run a sub-2:30 was because I told myself I couldn’t do it.  I wasn’t confident enough to push myself to be the best runner I could be.

I am tired of letting my insecurities control me.  

I don’t like who it makes me.  I don’t like what it says about me.  Who wants to be self conscious and anxious all the time?  Who wants to do less than they are capable of?  Who in their sane mind would voluntarily choose that!?  What is wrong with me!?  I don’t want to be that person.  So this is me taking it back.  At the end of the day, I really like myself.  I’m strong, accomplished, and confident.  And dammit, people like me!

Stolen from Swim, Bike, Mom.

Stolen from Swim, Bike, Mom.

What’s even better is that I can pinpoint why I am ready to own my journey now: I can’t do superficial.  I don’t care about fitting into single digit pants and I really don’t care about a specific number on the scale.  You know what I care about?  I want to crush my next half Ironman.  I want to complete a full Ironman one day.  I want to finally go sub-2 hours at a half marathon.  I want to try and qualify for Boston one day.  At this exact moment in time, I am strong and capable.  I have a lot to be proud of and I can hold my head high.  But I’m not satisfied.  I want to be stronger.  I want to be more capable.  Because if I can complete a 70.3 in 7:25 when I’m 205 (yes, I’m putting that out there), I want to see how much faster I will be when I’m 180.  Or 165.

So this is me giving up.  Giving up my doubts, my insecurities, and my negativity.  And I feel lighter already.

Finishing my first 70.3. Could I sit and tear this picture apart for reasons that I hate it? Sure. But I’m going to love this picture. It was the finish line of my first half Ironman and that’s pretty freaking awesome.

Happy Thursday!


Owning My Journey — 24 Comments

  1. What an incredible post! I love everything about it. I can relate to those insecurities. When I started my blog I had to force myself to post the “hideous” pictures…now I am glad I did. But am I ready to put my actual weight out there?? Yikes! What if my husband finds out how much I weigh and leaves me immediately and takes our dogs with him?? Seriously, Anna, get a grip 🙂

    You have so much to be proud of and you are going to keep adding to that list. And I, for one, am super excited to watch you go. Thank you for your blog and all the encouragement and inspiration it spreads!

  2. You were awesome and cute the moment you were born and have continued to get better every day since then. Never imagined that I would say I’d be proud to have a “Crazy Penguin” in the family, but I sure am now! The world is definitely a better place for having One Crazy Penguin in it. <3

  3. Really awesome! You are certainly inspiring many people out there.Just be yourself and continue doing what you have been doing all along. You always show how you enjoy your journey and I love that. I can’t imagine you in any other way than how I met you. You are awesome and achieve incredible things. Keep up the energy because it is contagious.

  4. Fantastic post! You deserve to be happy at whatever weight! I can completely relate to your struggle and appreciate your honesty.

  5. What an amazing and brave post. My weight is something I struggle with as well, so I can totally relate to everything you wrote. You ARE good enough! And I’m sure you will accomplish all of your goals no matter what your size.

  6. This is exactly what I need to hear this week/this month/every day for the rest of my life. 🙂 Seriously, this is such a great reminder that those negative thoughts just weigh us down and we need to chose, every day, not to let them. Brava!

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  8. Girl, you are inspiring. I think most women, regardless of their weight, have felt insecure and uncomfortable in their own skin at one time or another. I know that I went through moments of panic when I knew that I would be wearing tight spandex if I wanted to do triathlon. At some point I just realized that I needed to accept myself, embrace my strong body, and live my life. Thank you for being so honest as this world needs a lot more “realness” and empathy.

  9. Yay! What a great post! I love this! 🙂 I am happy you are doing this and know that you ARE enough!

    It’s odd how people think that issues will be fixed when they lose weight – maybe some health issues, but that’s it.

    I’ve always been happy at whatever weight I am at, and only ever try to lose it to do one thing you mentioned – race faster. LOL!

    • I love when people get this! It gives me warm fuzzies. It’s also been fun watching people’s faces when I tell them that I am losing weight for triathlon and not just for the wedding. It’s like blasphemy!

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