Did you just fat shame me?

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I got fat shamed a few weeks ago and then the place tried to guilt me into continuing with them. No Lie.
I came across an opportunity that talked about balancing nutrition and exercise in a contest format and I jumped at the opportunity. They were looking for women who wanted to lose 50 lbs and the winner won $1000! Not only did I join but I brought on two friends.

Oh, man was I so excited to get started. I talked about it at run club, I sent in my sports bra and compression pant pics (never have I shared those with a stranger) and filled out the forms. Then things went downhill. I had a suspicions go up when my contact asked me if they could offer me some advice. Then BAM, I was told right away I was doing too much and they suggested a plan more suited to my body (a.k.a. weight). He asked if he could be honest and then said at my weight I shouldn’t be doing so much running.

The too much running I’ve been doing? Leading a 10k clinic. Which you would imagine the fact that I was leading it implied that I had some experience with the distance.

Before I did anything I asked my two girl friends if I was over reacting. I know I can be overly sensitive when my weight is a concern, before I even had a chance to respond to the companies email, both my friends pulled out of the program and the program director was calling me.

Luckily for me, I was at work and since it was a Tuesday I had to rush around to my strength class before leading my clinic. I also needed time to think.

These question’s I filled out didn’t ask about my past, they didn’t know I’d lost over 60 lbs and have kept it off for a few years or that I’ve been running for four years fairly consistently and pain free (pending my current ankle issues). Why did this man feel he was able to pass judgment on me without knowing the full story?

The owner of the company tried calling me several times over Facebook video, when that didn’t work she messaged, asked if she should even try calling again. She promised the employee would be pulled off my program, how it will be so great for me to participate and how his comments came from a place of concern since she was recently diagnosed with issues in her knees from running for years.

That night at my run clinic I had a mini panic attack. Running up Montreal Road (good times) luckily the athletic therapist I’d been seeing happened to be with me at the time and she offered some sound advice. Why was I letting someone who did those crazy fitness bikini contest pass judgment on me? I was going to be spending a lot of money on this six month thing and if it was already bad, how much worse could it get?

When I finally responded to the owner’s message I said I wasn’t comfortable with the language or the processes that were set up and that I didn’t think this was the right program for me (and therefore also pulling out my two friends).

The reply I got back was shocking, she told me how she had lost sleep over this (maybe she cried herself to sleep that previous night as well?) and how I would regret not participating and my friend’s lives would be negatively impacted by this.

Say what??

Did she seriously try to guilt me? Instead of responding with compassion and positive language did she really shame me further?

Oh the responses I wanted to write. Instead I just asked her to remove us from the program. Thankfully none of us had sent in any money yet.

The whole experience left me stunned…. Sure I’m super overweight. Yes this was a program to lose weight but I was so excited to have something that helped me figure out when to eat and what, to help fuel my crazy schedule. I couldn’t believe how violated I felt. Then I got angry, I got angry for letting these people get into my head when I am surrounded by so many amazing health professionals who have helped me reach my crazy and ridiculous goals without shaming me or making me feel less than.

Fuck her and that negativity. I’ll spend (oh and the money I spend) my hard earned dollars somewhere else! And I did, the next day I put down the first payment for a Triathlon training program.

My words of advice? If something seems off, push harder. Don’t settle for someone who makes you feel less than. Especially if you are paying them. I’m so glad I dodged that bullet.

My friends and I, we will be fine.

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Rekindled Love Affair

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I looked down at my legs amazed at the strength they seemed to possess, carrying me up over the hill just past five am. Where did they come from? How could I have taken them for granted. Why am I just seeing them now?

How long has it been since I even acknowledged them positively? The last time I might have been the first year of high school, where as teenage girl, I cried over having to buy size 13 jeans but they were long and I was tall. It also didn’t hurt the blonde hair was barely there.

Then I dismissed them but they never left. They stood by me through high school, undergrad, moving away from home, more school, more work, not much exercise. Waiting patiently while I sat for hours, not making a noise when I complained how cumbersome they were, how nothing fit. Everything was short, my calves were too large so I couldn’t get tall boots. My things needed pants with stretch If they were to fit there and on my waist.

Running didn’t rekindle my love affair, in fact it might have driven me further away. How my legs ached, training for my first ten k I would come home and beg my partner to massage them. I hated how they jiggled when I ran or bruised if I didn’t wear compression pants or why couldn’t they go a little bit faster?  They took a beating as I pushed through more training…conquered the half marathon, found strength training, yoga, spin classes, and perhaps the highlight of my day, my bike  commute.

Here I was, just like every other morning no matter what I put it through the night before. I knew they would later carry me home. They did all this after a weekend filled with mountain climbing and running.

I found myself with a lump in my throat on that early day. I watched my legs spin, overwhelmed with how strong they had become, how they were never far away enabling me to get where I wanted to go.

#thankyou #gushymomentover

Toronto Oasis Zoo Run 5k

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It finally happened- my sister & mom asked me to do the Oasis Zoo Run with them. There had been some talk about doing a run together but they finally picked one and we suckered my last sister into participating.

I was unbelievably excited. I got us all matching water bottles because they only had one water station at 3.5 and I booked my train ticket into Toronto. Running has transformed my life and I really wanted.

My family was nervous, not only was it (mostly) their first race but they received an email prior to the race that explained if they took too long they would be pulled off the course. As someone who has done a lot of races and is typically slow I’m well aware of cut off times but this email was particularly harsh and really left a poor taste in my mouth.

But race day was here. It was HOT and the zoo has some mini hills so it was unnecessarily harsh. My family who hadn’t done much training rallied but I think they might have suffered some consequences. First off… for the next race we do. I’ll be giving them all non-cotton socks. Every one of them had cotton socks on and if you have run a bit, you know cotton is rotten.

We freaking finished it and I hopped on a train to head back to Ottawa so I could run with my clinic Sunday morning.

Oasis Zoo Recap:

The course is nice, you are running beside animals!

The first water station being at 3.5 wasn’t ideal… especially with the super hot day.

The atmosphere is great, tons of costumes and great volunteers along the route

Neat medal – this year was a panda (my spirit animal).

The t-shirt wasn’t a tech shirt whereas two years ago it was. What was up with that?

An amazing post race buffet

The course start and end was a bit confusing, especially trying to work our way out.

The pre race organization was well executed…. Including race kit pickup and parking was a dream!

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Start a blog I thought

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For September,  I thought I would test out keeping a bullet journal. As the month went on there was some things I was killing it at. Like water, 98% of the time I was hitting that goal.

Then there was this one:

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Or two depending how closely you look. Not only was I not going to Goodlife but I wasn’t blogging. Not that I haven’t had a lot going on, but I struggle with the the idea of “worthwhile content”. I miss writing though, it is such a great way to process and internalize. Have to rectify that for October.

Does anyone out there bullet journal? What do you track?

Wait… I can do that?

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Run for ten minutes

Run a km

Run a 5 k

Run a 10 k

Run a half marathon

Commute to work on a bike (and enjoy it)

Lead running clinics up from Learn to Run to Half distance!

Hike and not break anything

climb the steepest hills (on a spin bike)

 

Book Review – Women Who Tri; A Reluctant Athlete’s Journey into the Heart of America’s Newest Obsession.

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Book Review – Women Who Tri; A Reluctant Athlete’s Journey into the Heart of America’s Newest Obsession.

A few days into my staycation and I’m adapting quite well to sleeping in. I had two goals for the week, well three if you include cleaning. First is to get my tri training on track, June was not a very productive month training wise and to get up to par for the August tri, I need to start putting in the work. So far it has been a lot of driving and not a lot of moving but I have some time.

Second was to read, I felt I like it had been forever since I just sat and read.

So here we are. I’m not exactly the target market of this book. I lack the multiple children trying to squeeze in the hours of training, despite my weight I’ve been lucky with a lack of illness but I still laughed, got a bit teary eyed and really enjoyed this read on my patio chair with a beer in hand. Alicia found a solid mix of research, warm-hearted honesty commentary and snap shot into a varying women exploring how strong they can be.

There were times I was taking pictures of the content to send to my partner, especially those pages about being Triathlon widowers or divorcees! I got a bit choked up with the stories of how many people who saw her competing and joined in on their own fitness journeys. I felt mind-boggingly grateful for how lucky I am to have my health. It might have given me a bit of a boost to get on that horse today and do a workout.

The honesty about the pricing of triathlon training is very off putting. For my Try a Tri I just used everything I already owned, no special equipment at all but it looks like that might change as I get deeper into the sport but for now… I should go out and get my run in.

Chafing and crippling disappointment

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In hindsight, I might find my title a tad dramatic but as I sit here slathered in diaper cream with my elbows propped out I stand firm.

 The Lowdown:

In Ottawa it was Race Weekend, thousands and thousands of people flock downtown to run varying distances starting at 2 k and heading upwards to 59.2 k. This was going to be my first PB one year after my epic and tearful joy of crossing the finish line in 2016.

I started the training off with what I felt was a reasonable goal of 2:30 (last year was 2:55 after hot weather and a long bathroom line wait). As I missed a couple of key long runs and started to experience some calf tightness I thought 2:45 was still a solid goal.

Sunday morning, I lined up at the back of the crowd, and took in the excitement as the giant Canadian flag passed overhead. I was nervous but no matter what the race distance I always had those butterflies. The gun went off and after a slow walk to the start I was off. The first couple of km’s felt light and easy not very usual for me because usually I trudge through the first 3 – 4 k before my legs remember what they are supposed to do. It was so hot. Not cancel the race hot but the sun was in full force with no cloud coverage and I was sweating. I took the opportunity to run through every sprinkler and dumped some water on my head at every water station at about 8 k. Which was probably my downfall.
Last year’s Race Weekend, everyone knew it was going to be hot. There was talk about canceling the race, so that tempered my expectations. I went into it knowing that no matter what it was going to be a PB and I was going to take it easy because I didn’t want to be the one on the side of the road. This year it was going to be warm but it looked manageable. I even went with a water belt instead of my trusty water backpack.

At about 10 k I started to notice how uncomfortable I was. There was definitely some rubbing happening. As a plus size runner and avid dress wearer I know chafing. I am armed with an array of supplies to help keep it at bay but this morning I had failed to prepare. I thought I was safe wearing an outfit that was considered tried and true over multiple training runs. I was wrong. My arm was getting raw from rubbing on my shirt, underneath my bra was beginning to cause such unpleasantness that I took to tucking in my t-shirt below it, my legs ached in a way that made me think I forgot to wear pants.

What was happening?! Why was I falling apart like this? I would try to run for several minutes only to slow down to try to ease the discomfort I felt. I watched my time goal slip away.

Less than 3 k left to go. I looked at my watch and saw if I could run the last bit I could at least beat last years time… I rallied for a bit but it wasn’t enough. I accepted what was happening and moved as quickly as I was physically able to the finish line. I was just over 3 hours. Looking at my pictures, I can’t believe I crossed the line.

Crossing the line, I was so angry with myself. I replayed every thing I did wrong in the last 16 weeks. I wasn’t eating as well as I could have. My practice run was a disaster clothing wise. I hadn’t nailed down a solid nutrition plan. My mental game wasn’t in check after two weeks of bad runs. I wasn’t stretching or foam rolling enough.

Going into the evening I tried to shake it off. I was in a foul mood, a toddler who throws a tantrum in a grocery store. Thankfully my roommate is a truly kind person who met me at the end of the race as a surprise, tolerated my incessant whines and slow walking. Then drove me to the drug store to get the diaper cream to help soothe the chafing I experienced.

Eventually I was able to rationalize with myself. This was second half race, I had grand ideas of crushing last year’s time. I forgot that Sunday morning I got up and ran a freaking half marathon. Despite some crazy hours and life stressors I got up and ran a half marathon. In the first real heat I’ve experienced this year. I ran I half. I have to cut myself some slack.

Today, the chafing is terrible. I can barely cope with the sports bra and I’m walking like a line backer. My clothes are covered in white cream BUT my muscles feel fine. I have no residual aches, even though I ran a half marathon yesterday. I also have a second half just 16 weeks away to prepare for. Another chance to work the program to get to the goals I want to achieve.