Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Guest Blogger - @shilohwalker and Finding Your Limit

FYI…total disclaimer here…this post isn’t meant to be ANY sort of medical advice, suggestions, etc…nobody should start a workout program without first checking with their doctor, yadda yadda yadda…

A little less than a year ago, I had to go shopping for clothes and I was disgusted with myself to realize I’d crept up in size again. From a 22 to a 24. I’d been a size 20 for years and I was okay with that…not dancing on the moon happy, but okay. Less okay with a 22. Then I hit the size 24. And um…well, lets just say I wasn’t okay. At all.

In November of 2009, I decided I’d had enough. I didn’t like who I saw in the mirror and it had nothing to do with what society says I should like. I wasn’t happy with what I saw. I didn’t feel healthy, even though I didn’t generally eat that much, and even though I was fairly active—I hit the YMCA often, I worked out, I wasn’t a couch potato.

But I was a size 24…and I was fed up.

So I did something about it. It wasn’t a diet, because guys…one thing I finally figured out…diets do not work.

It’s all about changing how you eat, how you live, those ‘lifestyle changes’ that you hear? Well, that’s how you lose weight, and the first step is finding your limit. Whatever sets you off, because it has to be for you. Doing it because somebody wants you to, because somebody else thinks it’s a good idea or even because you think maybe it’s a good idea…that’s not going to do it. You have to find your limit—that point where you are just fed up and you’re not going to keep going on the way you have been.

For me…it was a size 24.

I changed how I eat. While there’s no ‘set’ diet plan that I follow, the ‘white food’ diet where you cut out the ‘bad’ carbs like potatoes, white bread, etc is close to what I do. I eat lean meats, lots of veggies, yogurt, that sort of thing.

I’d been ‘trying’ to run off and on for a while, but once I hit my limit, it wasn’t ‘trying’ to run. I made myself to do it. And um… please, don’t say… Oh, hell, I can’t run. I’m asthmatic, I’ve got a knee I messed up in a car wreck when I was twenty and back issues I deal with off and on. If a doctor had told me I couldn’t run? Then yeah, I wouldn’t have tried. But that’s medical advice. Me thinking I can’t run? Different story. Because two years ago? I thought, Oh, hell, I can’t run…I’ve got asthma, my knee is screwed up…etc, etc, etc.

The word can’t is one colossal word—because if somebody believes they can’t…well, there ya go. Deciding you can is what shrinks that word down to size.

I decided I could run. And I did.

First I started at about an 1/8 of a mile, then I’d walk an 1/8, then I’d run an 1/8, then I’d walk…until I’d gone an entire mile. Four or five days a week.

Then I was able to slowly work it up to running ¼ of a mile, then walking ¼ , then running, then walking…then ½, and so on, and so on. I’m now up to where I can run three miles several times a week. Once, I even managed four. And sometime in the next year or so, I’m going to running in one of those 5k/3mile mini marathons. Just to prove to myself I can.

Two years ago, I was one of those people who would have said, Oh, I can’t run.

I’ve had a few people tell me that with my knee bothering me or my back bothering me, I should try a different exercise, but actually, running has helped. I still hate it. But since I changed how I eat, since I started running, my asthma has improved, the weight loss has taken strain of my knee so my knee is actually better—walking upstairs no longer hurts my knee the way it used to, and running doesn’t hurt my knee the way it used to. My back doesn’t hurt the way it used to.

And I still hate running.

I love French fries. I miss McDonald’s sweet tea.

Making these changes hasn’t been fun. It’s hard work.

But…I’m down more than 55 pounds and I’ve gone from a size 24 in womens to a size 14/16 in missy’s. I’m out of the plus department. Bra size? From a 42C to 38D. (Yeah, I don’t get that either).

I look better than I have in years, and I feel better than I have in years. So while I’m running (and hating every step), I’m loving the way I feel now, and I love going shopping for new clothes.

Is it easy? No. But it’s easier now than it was before I hit that size 24. Because that size 24 was my limit. I was done with it. That’s how you decide to make changes, I guess. You find your limit…and start making changes.

Shiloh Walker, twitloss lurker, griper, reluctant runner


Trish on October 13, 2010 at 5:39 AM said...

When Dara posted she had a guest blogger and for us to guess who it is, I was really hoping it was you! :) I actually had written my tweet, my guess is Shiloh, but I didn't want to put it out there in case I was wrong. And to my surprise, it's you!!

I have followed your journey and it has inspired me. As you know I started this dreadful running thing and I hate it.

Remember, "It's the hate that drives us!"

My limit was a size 26 and looking at photos of me from a Christmas party in 2008. I kind of threw up in my mouth a little. I was obese and looked uncomfortable, although I don't remember being uncomfortable. But as I have lost weight, yes I was so uncomfortable and miserable. This feels so much better.

Every time I don't want to run, I remember you do it. You do it all the time and makes me think yes I can.

Thank you for tweeting about it and giving me great advice. It has helped have helped me!

Trish on October 13, 2010 at 5:39 AM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dara Young on October 13, 2010 at 7:42 AM said...

Thanks for such wonderful post Shiloh! Keep making tracks...and we'll put up with your whining-- uh, I mean support you all the way to the end! Way to go!

Shiloh Walker on October 13, 2010 at 8:47 AM said...

I hear you, Trish... I can't even say it was pictures, though. I don't do pictures-but seeing that the 22s didn't fit and that I needed the 24s... I HATED it. More, I WAS uncomfortable... I was having trouble keeping up with my kids sometimes-my asthma aggravated that, I know, but it was like... ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. If my gripings helped, I'm glad. :) I know how hard this is-I still have another 20 or so I want to lose, but it's so worth it, just feeling better.

And yes, Dara.. *G* I'll keep whining. Lets call it what it is. ;o)

Thanks for having me!

The Book Pimp Blogs on October 13, 2010 at 10:07 AM said...

Thanks for the fabulous guest post! I've told you this before Shiloh actually more than once. It was your "griping & whining" tweets about running that finally gave me courage to attempt it at the gym. I now run 4-5 miles 3x a week and I have never felt prouder of myself. That was in April and I was well in excess of 200lb, bad back, blown out knee and obese (easily a size 24-26 back in March before I decided to get serious about losing weight) - so you are right-never say you CAN'T! I've also lost over 80lbs since March and hope to keep losing more and logging more miles. Thanks to all the #twitloss rock and provide inspiration daily.

Shiloh Walker on October 13, 2010 at 10:33 AM said...

Damn! 80 lbs... go you!

Liza on October 13, 2010 at 12:29 PM said...

I joined Weight Watchers when I hit 200 pounds and a size 24. I'm now down about 50 pounds and am finally ok with my picture being taken again. I started running in April after seeing all the #twitloss post on twitter. I ran my first 5k in July(couch to 5k training), my first 10k on Labor Day and I'm running my first half marathon on Nov 13. I still have another 30 pounds to lose, but know it will happen, even if it takes a little longer than I would like.

Shiloh, all your tweets about running made me believe I too could give it a try. I met you at RWA in July and you looked awesome!

SpazP on October 13, 2010 at 5:11 PM said...

This is fabulous, thank you for sharing! I always say that change happens when you just can't stand one more day of things staying the same - very similar to your motto of finding your limit and saying enough.
I found myself with 30 pounds of excess weight when I hit 30 and I started running then too, I'd never run before. I did very much the same thing you did, walk/run intervals for longer periods of time. I always announced to the world prior to 3 years ago that I couldn't run either. But before I knew it I was training for a 5K, then a 10K then I got a little admittedly crazy and ODC and went on to run a Marathon. Running leads to scary things! LOL But I digress...
I enjoy following you on Twitter when you tweet about going on your runs. It's a struggle, and I'm sorry you still HATE it lol lol but the beauty of it is that if you keep your eyes on the prize (feeling good about yourself) then it's worth that hour of shit. Even if every single run is you proving to yourself THAT YOU CAN DO IT. Keep up the awesome work!


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