Happy Belated Birthday!

I learned my lesson in regards to neglecting the blog…go away for a couple of days, and miss its first birthday, which was apparently February 25. Oops! To be fair, I did say in the first post that I am not very good at keeping up with blogs.

I thought in honor of the blog’s first birthday, I’d share some interesting and/or amusing stats with you as well as reflect a bit on how I have changed over the last year.


Some stats:

  • Total views: 12,134
  • Top day for views: June 18, 2013 with 2,217 views (linked from runsforcookies.com Motivational Monday post)
  • Top 5 countries for views: USA, Canada, Sweden, New Zealand, and the UK
  • Most viewed post: Race Report: Double Creek Half Marathon with 1,268 views

Some noteworthy searches that brought people here:

  • “homemade running fuel” is the top thing that brings people beyond the blog’s actual name, which I find interesting because I’ve only talked about possibly using it, not made my own or anything.
  • Runners up: “tempo run 2” and “I ran a half marathon now what.” The second one makes sense; the first one would make sense, but why the “2,” and why have more people searched for “tempo run 2” than “tempo run” and found this blog
  • Strangest searches that have led to this blog: “there were two girls want to shovel our driveway but i am hesitant to let them” and “sheetz belles cocker spaniel,”
  •  Favorite bad grammar search: “why arnt there no pigs at pa farm show 2014”

Looking back at my early posts to reflect was interesting. It seems like last year at this time I was struggling with some of the same things, like working out despite the weather. I was also doing better at certain things, like planning ahead for days where I might overeat during the week.

I would like to note that I have changed a lot in terms of fitness and maintenance in the last year. I think I weigh about 5 lbs more, but I am way stronger and have made other huge fitness accomplishments, like finishing 2 half marathons. I’ve also faced some major fears – last year I was scared to run my first 5K and I was terrified of treadmills. – but now I’ve run several races and I wish I had a treadmill or a gym membership so that I didn’t have to go out in the cold!


I’ll end with an update on Misty the cat: she went to the vet yesterday and received a clean bill of health! She traveled well in the car, but did not like it very much when either the vet or I touched her tummy and scratched us both. Hopefully I did not have the most embarrassing animal of the day yesterday!

Misty accepting her fate now that she is in the carrier.

Oh, and fun story about the carrier: I forgot to buy one when I was at Walmart (or they possibly didn’t have one?) so I was running around everywhere trying to find one. I couldn’t find one at any of the stores I went to, so I finally relented and went to PetSmartCo (not sure which one) like 10 minutes before they closed. I luckily found a pretty nice one on clearance…but then their computer system crashed. I felt super bad because I had to keep everyone like 10 minutes after close to buy the damn thing. Then, the second I offered to buy a temporary cardboard one and leave them cash for it (I only had like $9 on me) the system came back up! At least I got a lot of compliments on how nice her carrier was at the vet.

Send Misty good vibes! She is sore and lethargic from all of the vaccines and has been laying in this spot since like 6 pm last night 😦 Don’t worry TOO much, though, she has been becoming more active (read: has shifted on the blanket and eaten) this afternoon.

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Winter? Guess it’s Time for Workout Videos

A few weeks ago, I signed up for a fitness buddy on r/xxfitness and had almost completely forgotten. I finally messaged my buddy yesterday and was complaining about my winter workout woes. At first, she didn’t know what to recommend – she apparently lives in one of those typically warm southern states or something. She then had a great idea – workout videos! I was also pushed towards this choice by Amazon Prime Instant video, which chose yesterday to remind me that I haven’t been using my instant video privileges and that there are a bunch of workout videos on there. It was like the stars had aligned!

I used to do workout videos all the time when I was first trying to lose weight. I still remember the first time I tried the 30 Day Shred. It was maybe 1-2 months after I started my weight loss journey and I had gotten up to running a whole 5 minutes in couch 2 5k. Surely if I could run for 5 minutes I could do 6 minute circuits…or so I thought. I think I texted Kris halfway through the first circuit to tell him I was afraid I was going to pass out and to come check on me if he didn’t hear from me in half an hour. I then laid on the bed, unable to move, for quite some time and did not reattempt it until the fall. I think it was in October/Novemberish of that year that I was finally able to get through all 3 levels in 30 Days, and I haven’t really used workout videos much since then due to running or having gym access instead.

This puppy is better at mountain climbers than I was.

I don’t have a lot of home equipment  – a yoga mat, steps, and some 5 lb weights – so videos that make use of very minimal equipment. The Jillian Michael’s videos are perfect for this. She does bother me a little bit with some of the comments she makes about how women’s bodies should be or assuming how we want them to be, but they are good workouts and I know she is pandering to an audience who predominantly wants her to say those things. Today I tried her “Banish Fat Boost Metabolism” video. The title alone annoys me – doesn’t all exercise help you to burn body mass but also build muscle (thereby boosting metabolism)? It had great reviews on Amazon, though, and requires no equipment at all, so I decided to go with it.

I would actually highly recommend this video. As with all of her videos, it is a very good mix of strength and cardio, which I enjoy doing to avoid boredom. It is REALLY long and I almost did get bored, but I felt worse giving up on the video than I would have after say 20-30 minutes of circuit training on my own. I had to make it to the cooldown, not fast forward! If a 45 minute workout isn’t your thing, though, you could probably easily shorten this by skipping 1 or 2 of the SEVEN circuits (some are easier, some are harder). I was really glad that I did it because it really kicked my ass, even though it should not have. I mean, I’ve run for far longer than 45 minutes…45 minutes of jump squats and crunches should be a cinch, right? Again, I underestimated the video. I am super sore was out of breath, sweaty, and half-assing some moves halfway through. Anyone seeing a pattern?

Even if I have workout videos to keep me in shape, I am hoping to get back outside soon. I feel like such a baby complaining about the snow, cold, and wind, but even Belle drug me home after about 2 blocks today when I tried to take her for a “real” walk. It was just too windy for her, apparently!

New Year’s Resolutions

Time for the obligatory New Year’s Resolutions. Last year I made only one: to run a half marathon, which I was able to complete! Though this may have been my only legitimate resolution, I did have several other goals I set over the year and achieved (such as completing said half marathon in under 2 hours). This year I figure that I can start out by trying to plan out several of these smaller goals in addition to bigger resolutions.


Running Resolutions and Goals

  • Complete as many races as I did last year (5). The only race I had been seriously planning to do was the Indy Mini, but I’ve had to change that plan as I won’t be in Indiana in May. I’m glad I procrastinated on registering! The main race on my radar right now is the Capital 10 Miler, now. I would also like to do another 5K so that I can finally get an official time under 25 minutes; another half marathon just so that I can force myself to train up to the 13.1 miles again (and maybe decrease my time); and a 10K because I’ve never actually done one (the trail race was a quarter marathon, and was actually a bit long, so more like 7 miles than 6.2).
  • Run more miles than I did in 2013. According to Runkeeper, I ran about 818 miles last year (I’m sure I forgot some, but we will have to go with that number). Looking back at the data shows that my winter months (Jan.-Mar. and Dec.) were very low so I bet if I could increase those I could get up to 900 miles. I will see how well I do at the beginning of this year and adjust from there.

General Fitness/Health Resolutions and Goals

  • The obvious one: continue to maintain my weight loss for another year. Perhaps I should actually weigh myself for the first time in like a month so that I know where I’m starting. Ugh. Hopefully the Wii is still working, I’d hate to buy a scale.
  • Eat more vegetables. I don’t like this one that much because I like quantifiable goals, but it needs to be done. I basically eat no veggies except spinach and carrots and I eat maybe 2 servings a day. Oops. I think this is especially important as I am trying to incorporate more vegetarian meals into my diet – I don’t want to become a carbivore!!
  • Take a 50 mile bike ride. Kris and I did 20 last summer with almost no training so I am hoping we can work our way up to this goal if we actually try.
  • Try to strength train at least once a week. I hate strength training and do it very sporadically, but I know it helps to prevent running injuries and is healthy for me in other ways because it increases not only my strength but also my bone density.

Other

  • Read a novel. I’ve read a grand total of 3 books since starting graduate school in 2010: Under the Dome, The Hunger Games, and Game of Thrones. Graduate school messes up your ability to read for fun. I actually cried and yelled at Kris one time when he suggested I try to do so because the memory of enjoying it in the past was so painful. I’ve read about 100 pages of Clash of Kings so I could start by picking that back up again. I also looked up the hours for the library, which I feel is amazing progress.
  • Step outside my comfort zone with friend-making. I’m really outgoing once I’ve been put into a social situation so once I am in one I make friends easily but I am bad at setting them up because I get anxious about new experiences. I feel like while I’m here in Harrisburg I should try to join a club or something. I’ve thought about joining a gym at least, but that isn’t really the best for friend making unless you do classes or something, and it’s kind of pricey. Even my super introvert husband is in a local Warhammer club, I’m sure I could come up with something!!

Good Riddance, 2013

2013 has not been the best year. The year started with the sudden death of my grandmother, who I was very close to (my mom and I lived with my grandparents until I was 8). It also included my husband having numerous medical issues, numerous bad luck type expenses (major car issues, part of my bike being stolen, etc.), and me having to give up on my goal of earning a second master’s degree. I’m sure I’m actually forgetting bad stuff in that list, to be honest. The year also had highlights, though, so I thought I’d go through a few of them to remind myself that while it was probably one of my worst years, if I look at the big picture rather than focus on these small problems, the year has been pretty good!

January

  • I finished my first quilt! My grandmother taught me how to sew and got me into quilting. Normally I just quilt small things (table runners, purses, etc.) but she bought me the materials to make my own quilt and after I found out that she had cancer (October 2012) I made a goal to finish it before she passed away (don’t worry, I did, and she saw it over skype). In 2014 I plan to finish some of the quilts she had been working on.

The awesome quilt. It had some issues with the binding, but whatever, it was my first quilt.

  • I returned to graduate school! I had taken off fall semester of 2012 for my husband’s medical issues and was able to return for both semesters in 2013. Leaving once and returning gives me hope that I will return and finish eventually!

February

River on her first day home, being a pit-ball.

March

  • Every year my roommate and I try to throw an epic fancy cheese and wine party. We had it this year for her birthday and as an added bonus made it a masquerade!

Selfie in my sweet masquerade mask.

  • Ran my first 5k! You can read all about it on my race report!

April

  • I replaced my running shoes for the first time.

  • Played hookie from an academic conference to go see Sue (and other, lesser dinosaurs and I suppose a few other things) at the Chicago Field Museum.

  • Ran my 2nd 5K and almost broke 25 minutes (I have done it a few times in training, but never officially in a race).

Pre-race selfie.

  • Won an outstanding teaching assistant award for the political science department. Mostly because I had the patience to not yell at kids who didn’t know that Obama is not a dictator (regardless of your opinion on him, he still has to deal with Congress, so he is not factually a dictator). Hopefully my roommate wins outstanding independent instructor award this year for the patience she exhibited dealing with kids who were not only ignorant but argumentative about it (like, yelling at her for displaying statistics from reputable sources because they just “can’t be true” levels of ignorant and argumentative, and that is just the tip of the iceberg).

May

  • Independently taught my first upper-level statistics course. It was intense to teach 2 hours a day for 4 weeks but I loved it!

Bathroom mirror selfie before my first day of teaching.

  • Belle and River were introduced (because Kris came to visit in Indiana). Belle did get injured while there due to having a panic attack, but it had a silver lining: River became nicer to her because she was trying to protect her, and I bonded with my students after explaining to them that my poor doggie bled all over their exams.

Belle and River slept on this bed while Kris and I slept on an air mattress.

My roomie observed that this photo shows their true nature: Bellie begging for belly rubs and River slowing encroaching on my space.

Injured Bellie 😦

  • Two friends of mine got married and Kris was able to attend the (awesomely geeky) wedding with me.

Guests were asked to wear their Harry Potter house colors. We represented Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw!

I won the Tardis cookie jar centerpiece (as I said, awesomely geeky) and was gifted the Corgi for watching their furbabies during bachelor/bacherlorette festivities.

June

  • My roommate and I moved into a nice apartment that did not have awful maintenance men who pretend to fix your AC (ours was broken in the old place for 11 months, including months where it was so hot the dog starting throwing up).
  • Kris and I got bicycles!

Don’t worry, I bought a better lock!

  • Ran my first half marathon and beat my goal of finishing in under 2 hours! I don’t actually have any really good pictures of this, as the pro photographer didn’t catch me. There is a picture of me crossing on the post, though.
  • Finally took our delayed honeymoon to New York, where we went from loving to hating Brooklyn in the course of an afternoon and saw Wicked (which was amazing). But seriously, Brooklyn, we could only take so much hipster and you guys were apparently too cool to sell us overpriced craft beers (we were ignored in a bar).

On the Brooklyn Bridge.

They seriously gave us these cups for wine. And filled them with about 1 inch of wine.

July

  • I turned 24. Not the most exciting of ages. Really I just want to be 25 so I can save on car insurance, though I will miss saying that I am in my “early 20s.” At least I got a nice present – a GPS watch!

  • Chopped my hair off! It is so much nicer for running to be able to tuck it into a hat like a dude and wash and dry it in minutes (I can seriously blow dry my hair in under 2 minutes). I also get tons of compliments on it!

  • Kris and I went to another wedding. I mostly am posting these pictures from weddings because Kris and I are adorable. 
  • With my birthday money, I accessorizedmy bike.

August

  • Celebrated our one year wedding anniversary!

Cake from Kris’s family.

September

  • Quit the horrible second Master’s program (this was both good and bad).
  • Acquired my first running injury by falling down a hill (read:cliff) while trail running.

October

  • Ran my second half marathon. Again, it was in the rain and quite unpleasant. At least I didn’t do worse the second time around!

I look so thrilled to be there.

November

  • Made a mini-Thanksgiving for roomie/BFF and I.

  • Road-tripped to South Carolina for Thanksgiving after being stuck in the Cleveland Airport for hours.

Belle hating her harness.

Evidence of civilization.

  • Forced Kris to do his first 5K – a turkey trot – with me in record low temperatures for the area.

December

  • Got to come home to Kris and Belle to celebrate the holidays and got tons of awesome Christmas presents!

  • Kris and I plan to celebrate the new year by hanging out at home with Belle (if there are fireworks we don’t want her to panic) drinking wine and eating butternut squash and black bean enchiladas rather than the traditional pork and sauerkraut (that is the tradition in this area). I don’t really hate sauerkraut THAT much but my family always picks on me about it so I basically don’t eat it out of spite. Amusingly, I told my mom I couldn’t make it because I don’t have a crockpot and then I wound up getting a crockpot from her for Christmas.

See, when you look at it that way, the year doesn’t seem half bad! Not only did I run my first race, but I ran 5 races and was able to maintain my weight loss (well, within a reasonable range of about +/- 5 lbs) all year. Here is to hoping that 2014 is even better. Happy New Year everyone!

Christmas: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I really meant to have a post about Christmas earlier (like, on Christmas day), but let’s just start by saying that my Christmas this year was um… interesting. I basically felt like doing nothing for about 2 days afterwards and just really started being productive yesterday. I think at some point in there I cleaned my kitchen? I did try to take down the decorations, but they just sort of laid under my coffee table for awhile (most are properly put away now!).

Let’s start with the really bad new first, so that the post gets happier as it moves on: on Christmas day, right before we were going to eat lunch, my husband had a completely random seizure. He has had some medical issues in the past that can cause seizures, but he has never had one before so we really weren’t expecting it and so it was terrifying and confusing at the time. Luckily he is already a patient at a great neuro practice nearby so I am hopeful that they will be able to figure out what is going on.

In general, he is fine – he left the hospital after only 2 hours with a diagnosis of a sinus infection – but the whole incident has really thrown a wrench in all of our plans. In Pennsylvania, if you have a seizure, you cannot drive for 6 months, meaning that I have to shift my plans to finish up my PhD out in Indiana a bit so that I can stay here with him. I’m still trying to figure some details out but things are starting to fall into place and get back to normal. I must say I am surprised at how weird it is to have to drive him around – the first 3 years of our relationship he did not have a license so I thought it would be like riding a bicycle! Then again, this is me, and my return to bicycling was clumsy, so I am fairly certain I am going to forget to pick him up from work at least once. Sorry honey.

I was also surprised at how hard this incident hit me in terms of my weight loss maintenance. Typically, structure helps me to deal with stressful situations and I loosen up on my diet when trying to relax. For example, I somehow managed to stick with calorie counting pretty closely during Kris’s previous medical adventures, while taking exams that would determine whether I earned my master’s degree or not, and even at funerals!

I don’t think I’ve actually gained any significant weight, but this Christmas was the most off-track I have ever been. It started when it was snowy in the days leading up to Christmas – I was really down on myself about not being able to run and having trouble eating the low amount of calories that resting/doing super boring home workouts permits. I then decided that I would let up on calorie counting at my parents’ for Christmas because I was already slipping and it would be difficult to do there and I could get right back on track when I got home. I think I wasn’t TOO bad about what I ate there in general but to me not having the exact amount of calories quantified always makes me feel like I’m probably eating enough to gain 10 lbs a day.

Then, I went home on Christmas day completely stressed out and accompanied by 2 gallon bags full of homemade chex mix and no less than 4 dozen Christmas cookies.  Once again, reflecting on what I’ve eaten today in comparison to the days I wasn’t counting here shows me it wasn’t THAT bad, and I have been sticking with running the whole time, but I still felt miserable and off. I think part of it is that there are additional personal worries for me compared to past problems – I was really looking forward to the class I was going to teach, and this would have been my last semester with not only many of my friends I have made at school, but also with my roommate/best friend and her dog. I’m starting to calm down about all of that, though, which is helping.

The silver lining to all of this is that I have been reminded of what wonderful family, friends, and mentors I have. Everyone around me has been 100% supportive and helpful. It was especially nice to be reminded that my family is always there for me. Last time Kris had medical problems and I had to take time off from school they eventually came around but initially were far less understanding and supportive. I am also glad that I get to spend some extra time with Kris and Belle, who I would otherwise be missing terribly pretty soon (though I will probably have to spend a different period of time away from them instead). I have really had a lot of time to think about my priorities, and while spending time with them has always been high on the theoretical list, it certainly has renewed importance.


Apologies that the first half of this post was so depressing and self-reflective. I just felt weird not talking about it at all on the blog, especially as it is directly impacting my attempts to maintain my weight loss. If I’d had a perfectly normal Christmas, I’d probably be making jokes about how I have to burn off the few extra calories I consumed eating cookies, not reflecting on the reasons I didn’t count calories for about 10 days and how that made me feel  (it really felt much longer – to say only 10 days makes it sound like it wasn’t even that big of a deal!). Now on to the good things!

  • My mom and I made a bunch of wonderful Christmas cookies and homemade chex mix! Some were really messed up (not the chex mix, it was perfect, as always) but we still had fun. Our turtles, for example, failed because we cooked the condensed milk on high instead of low (we decided to call them sea monsters). My mom nearly had a panic attack over making sugar cookies. And my grandpa bought the wrong kind of Reese cups for the peanut butter cookies so they looked like aliens.

I actually have photographic evidence of this.

  • Belle actually opened her own Christmas presents! She never does this, which is weird considering that she is pretty destructive. She got some treats, a stuffed alien, and a stuffed horse head with red eyes that we have dubbed “demon horse.” We forgot demon horse there so there are no pictures. Here, we bought her a stuffed duck that she ignores. Go figure.

Opening presents!

 

She also got to BE a present!

  • Presents! Most of the presents I got for people went over well. Even my biggest “flops” weren’t that bad – I made Kris some custom etched beer glasses and they didn’t work so well, but he liked the gesture and I will be able to make more in the future when I am more practiced. I also bought “texting” gloves for my dad that don’t work for texting, but are still nice gloves. Now I just have to find gloves that are able to text, be warm and durable enough for someone who works outdoors in the winter a lot, and fit his aesthetic (read: camo). I’m sure I’ll have fun with that!
  • More presents! Kris and I also got a number of exciting presents! He did really well buying me a new flipbelt to carry my stuff while I run (it works PERFECTLY, I highly recommend. He also got me a couple of sweaters and blouses (he really prides himself on being able to find clothes for me, and because he does a good job, I find it adorable). We got a number of things for the kitchen that I will be able to make exciting stuff with: a wine rack, a crockpot, a food processor, and a KITCHENAID!!! EEE!!! (It is that exciting that it can make me go EEE in a mostly depressing post like this). We also got some new bedding (my parents got us a down comforter and we bought ourselves new stuff to go with it).

The new mixer versus our old one that was broken and only went one speed.

 

The wine rack. My mom was super worried I wouldn’t like it because it was from a secondhand store, but I think it is perfect!

 

Belle enjoying the new bedding (less than 2 minutes after it was put on).

Throwback Thursday – Thanksgiving Edition

In one week it will be Thanksgiving!

Kris and I are still planning to do our Turkey Trot, and I think I’m going to go out tonight and get some supplies to make these turkey hats. I was going to just buy some at Target, but they seem to have run out. The good thing is that I think I can make these with nothing but construction paper and cardboard, and they should fit over our winter hats, which we will need because mother nature hates me and there is supposed to be a high of 43 in Charlotte on Thanksgiving Day. My only concern is getting these into my luggage without smooshing them for my travels!

Lately I’ve been feeling kind of stuck fitness-wise. I’ve been hovering at the upper end of my normal weight range all semester, which I’ve whined about before, but that doesn’t mean it has become less frustrating. If I really think about why I’ve been stuck lately, it is probably because I’ve been pretty much in hardcore training mode all semester and I’ve made a lot of big changes. I’ve run two races, started bike commuting, and went straight from half-marathon training to weight training while maintaining 15-20 miles per week of running. I’m probably stuck because I haven’t had much of a break! Looking back also really helps me to remember that I’m not a complete failure at weight-loss maintenance, though, so I thought that with the holiday coming up, I’d look back at the last few Thanksgivings in order to remind myself of that.

Thanksgiving 2010 – my first year of grad school, and before I started losing weight (actually before I reached my highest weight, I think):

Sorry that pictures that I post of you are almost always unflattering, Kris 😦 I promise he doesn’t normally run around with his eyes closed! To be fair, this is a particularly bad picture of me as well – my hair is super frizzy! I think we had just woken up.

One year later – Thanksgiving 2011, about 6 months after I started losing weight:

See! Much better picture of us both. And an especially good picture of Belle! For a real fun comparison, I am wearing this same sweatshirt in my high weight photo on the progress pics page.

One year ago – Thanksgiving 2012. This is also the first year that Kris and I had our own Thanksgiving due to me having to work at Target on Black Friday. Note that I do not really look any different than I do now (which reassures me quite a bit). I also know that I have made huge fitness progress. Today I ran an “easy” 5K in 27 minutes; last November, the only 2 5K runs that I logged on Runkeeper were over 34 minutes each!

Cooking!

We made cornish hens, green beans, and sweet potatoes. And pie, but for some reason that isn’t pictured?

Hens!

 

Our awesome table ready for us to eat!

Things I Learned About Being Overweight by Becoming Thin

Let me just begin by repeating for the 1000th time how much I love fall! I have been eating pumpkin oatmeal for breakfast everyday for like 2 weeks and the weather is now just perfect for biking and running most days. Yesterday it was a little dreary, but at least the temperature was nice! I was very glad to be able to bike to the gym today, especially, so I wouldn’t have to contend with game day traffic on campus (though for some reason there were about 1 million gym bros to contend with at the gym).

This was good, because today started out kind of poorly: I had been planning on making some Christmas presents, but I haven’t actually used my sewing machine in like 6 months. The other day, I was trying to gather up materials to make these presents and discovered that I had left my interfacing, quilt batting, etc back in Harrisburg. Luckily, my wonderful husband was able to mail this to me so that I didn’t have to go spend upwards of $9/yard on this crap again. I decided that today would be a good day to reattempt work on these projects…only to discover that my cutting mat and rotary cutter are still in Harrisburg! WHAT?! I can’t believe that I basically brought none of the things I need to sew with me. After writing this post, I’m probably going to go venture to Hobby Lobby to see if I can get a new mat. *sigh*


Another interesting thing that happened today was the inspiration for this post. I was on Reddit this morning (of course) when I came across an askreddit thread asking overweight people to discuss issues that the overweight face that most people are not aware of. A good question, but, being that this was on Reddit, most of the answers were either people being all like “I don’t understand how overweight people can literally be the worst” or people talking about their weight loss journey/issues with weight loss without really providing a unique answer to the question (many were just pointing out how hard it is to lose weight; I would say the majority of people are aware of this problem, even if they can’t understand it fully). There were two types of responses that struck me, though: overweight people pointing out issues that I never was aware of even as an overweight person (this has happened to me at other points in life, too) and people like me who have lost weight talking about the things they learned by losing weight. This made me reflect – what things have I learned about being overweight by losing weight, either by reading about others’ experiences or by noticing a changed experience myself. I have mentioned several of these before, but I feel like they are worth mentioning again. Warning: the last two “bullet points” are really more like paragraphs, because they are complex points I want to make.

  • Apparently people go around judging the food purchase of the overweight. Now that I hear this, I’m not surprised – people tend to be quite judgey – but it never occurred to me that this might be happening to me when I was overweight. Also, now that I am aware of this, I notice it all the time, and I am certain it happened to me, but that I was just oblivious.
  • My clothes and shoes wore out faster when I was overweight, because they never quite fit right. My feet were too wide and made my shoes loose; the arms on my sweaters would stretch out from pushing them up; my beltloops would tear from trying to yank on my pants; my jeans would tear from my thighs rubbing. I never realized this would stop happening when I lost weight!
  • Chairs. I was aware that some overweight people have trouble fitting in certain chairs/break them sometimes, but I thought these concerns did not apply to me because I had never had those problems. Well, I might have “broken” one chair. My office chair did this weird thing where the adjuster broke and it would just wobble around, and I assumed I broke it due to being over the weight limit, but I checked and at my highest weight I was at least 10 lbs under the weight limit so it could have just been a fluke. After losing weight, though, I realized how much better my chair experience really is now. I fit in airplanes and buses better; I can sit comfortably on almost any random chair (though (though I need more padding, now!); I can fit into tiny cars  more easily; and I sometimes even have room to set things beside me on chairs!
  • Overweight people are often invisible to/ignored by society. In a way this was good, because not all attention is good attention (I will say though that the amount of street harassment was fairly equal because now instead of being outside as a “fatty” I am outside as a runner and both are apparently displeasing to rude men). Strangers are way more likely to hold doors for me, talk to me (and hit on me, ugh), and just in general be nice to me than they were before. And I don’t just mean random strangers – this is especially true at clothing stores, where I receive SO MUCH more help now. I never noticed this one because it is difficult to notice lack of attention, I think.
  • On a similarly related note, people that you know treat you way differently (not necessarily nicer, just differently). I mean, I guess I was somewhat aware of this, but I understand it a lot more now that not everyone I know knows that I was once overweight. When you are overweight, everyone just kind of assumes you really dislike yourself and that you are really sensitive about it. And I’m sure everyone is to varying degrees, but most other people tend to think it is like the number one thing on your mind. Like, if you make factual statements like “I can’t find anything in this store because they do not carry my size” they freak out. The worst is when you mention briefly being fat and they continue to reassure you that you are not fat. There are two reasons that I think people do this: they are either afraid of indirectly insulting you by not disagreeing (like, they think you will say you are fat, they will just sort of nod or something, and then you will exclaim “HAH!” Got you! You said I am fat you meanie!”); or they are possibly quite unaware of how large you actually are (I am guilty of doing this to people myself). As I said, I was aware of this as an overweight person, but now I really understand how weird it is because of how comfortable people feel asking me about my body, now. They think nothing of asking me what I weight, what size I wear, etc., and they accept most comments I have to say about myself because they don’t feel like they need to reassure me. The last holdout seems to be my legs. Every time I factually mention that they are big and I have trouble finding pants, people still freak out trying to tell me that it’s ok. Newsflash everyone: I am aware it is ok.
  • An extra bullet point for lessons I probably still have to learn