Fat Gal Fitness

Theresa. 24. Alabama. I lift. I run. I've lost 100+ lbs and I'm not done yet. This is about a fat gal on a quest for a healthy life.

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Wooooo!! My first ever 8k race!! I got second in my age group! :D

It was an awesome race. Robert and I drove over to Asheville to visit Heather and Drew for the weekend. I looked into races and realized the Hendersonville Apple Festival 8k was this weekend and only about 30 min from their house. So I signed up! We got in about 1:30 this morning, I slept 4ish hours and then headed off while everyone else slept.

It was a great race. Several hills to contend with, but a great route and really friendly organizers. I had several jerks use me as their pace rabbit and it took everything in me to not want to destroy them. But I got through it. Haha

I’m really pleased with my pace and just everything about this race in general. I didn’t walk the hills even when the jerks did, and it was an awesome experience.

Yay running!!

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Visiting my friend in Asheville for the weekend. Got in at 2 am. So naturally I got up at 5:30 to drive to Hendersonville to run an 8k. While everyone else sleeps, I shall run 5 miles with a bunch of strangers in a town I’ve only ever driven through. Hello, new Theresa. You keep surprising me. Also, we are tired. Couldn’t you have planned a little better?

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Last night, I spent my evening in a building in the middle of Woodlawn in Birmingham in an amazing dialogue with Molly Barker, who is the founder of Girls on the Run, and at least a dozen other people from the Birmingham area about the state of politics, the idea that we have the power to change it, and what we can do to enact that change in our own lives. It was amazing, to say the least.

First of all, Molly is a phenomenal human being. Take a minute to watch some of her Ted Talks, and read up on Girls on the Run and the Red Boot Coalition. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Right? See, she’s amazing. What she has done is amazing. And to sit in a room with her and listen to all of these people who have so much hope for our future, and who genuinely believe they have the power to enact change was incredibly encouraging.

I think the thing that stuck out the most to me last night was this idea that we all have these little boxes that we live inside and that we place other people inside. There’s the girl box, the student box, the straight box, teacher, friend, mother, brother, pastor, drinker, black, white, every sort of box you can imagine. And we have these checklists of what it means to live in that box. And if you don’t check off each piece, it’s like somehow you’ve failed. Somehow you don’t measure up to that label that has been placed upon you. And it creates all of this pressure to live up to these imaginary ideals and limitations that society has placed on us. And Molly spoke about how her mother broke out of these boxes, how she decided she would no longer live inside of them, and what it means to do so.

And that’s when I realized that that is exactly what this whole journey has been about. It’s what this tumultuous time in my life has been leading up to; it’s been breaking free of the expectations that have been placed on me and having the guts to live outside of the labels and assumptions that people have. As I lost weight, it was about shedding the label of fat girl. As I got stronger, it was leaving behind the title of novice. Embracing the fact that maybe I do know what I’m talking about. And it’s resisting the temptation to fall into these comfortable roles that life in the South naturally sorts you into.

I refuse to accept the notion that I have to be a certain way in order to be considered feminine. That I have to wear heavy makeup, avoid sweating, speak in a certain manner. I don’t have to smile when you think I should, laugh at a joke because you think it’s funny, or massage your ego by playing dumb.

I get called the “resident feminist” a good bit. I know my friends mean it in jest, but it’s a title I wear proudly. I’m in the process of finding my voice and finding who I am in so many areas of my life, and as I grow and learn and see what it means to be a young female, there isn’t a chance I’ll stay quiet about that process. Yep, I lift “like a girl”. I run “like a girl”. And I live my life “like a girl” whether it’s your idea of what it means to be a girl or not.

I’m doing my best to live with intention. That’s the word that keeps coming back to my mind over and over again. It’s making decisions, not just letting life happen to me. Living where I live was intentional. Getting involved with leadership at church was intentional. Every workout, every meal is intentional. Sometimes all I “intend” on doing is enjoying life. But living with intention means that I stay tuned in to the bigger picture. To the God-sized plans laid out for me. And sometimes I’ll get sidetracked, and sometimes my intentions won’t line up the way they should, but none of my decisions should surprise me.

I guess what I’m saying is that in the grand scheme of things, we are all just searching for our purpose. For what we were put on this earth to do. And as long as we keep living the lives we WANT to live, instead of the lives our environments and circumstances try to force us into, we’re going to make it. We’re going to be okay, and we’re going to keep destroying those boxes.

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That is the greatest photo I’ve ever taken.

This morning was AMAZING. Run and bike “brick” - just doing one right after the other. We hit up the Northport river walk, since this was my first bike ride in well over a year and a half, and I wanted a nice, easy route where I didn’t have to worry about lots of people or cars. I’ll do some other routes with more hills and such, but it was the perfect place to begin.

Apparently I’ve suddenly discovered my faster pace. The goal this morning was 30 min run, 30 min bike. I managed to cover 2.6 miles in my run, and right about 7 miles on the bike. I felt great through all of it. I hit that magical new faster pace in my run, and transitioning to the bike was easy. I forgot to put my helmet on (oops) but other than that, no issues. Took a minute to figure out the gears, and I’m not positive I was in the right one, BUT it felt good. Hopefully I can increase my speed a bit over the next few weeks.

I’m SO pumped. That’s really all I can keep saying…I’m just really, genuinely pumped about this tri. It’s SO new and SO different and I’m sure I’ll be a hot mess throughout it, but it feels so good to be doing something new.

OH. My tri clothes came in yesterday. Y’all. I have hot pink shorts, and my top has pink stripes. They both have flowers on them. I’M AWESOME.

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Today was the first day of training in the pool. I was honestly a little nervous, because I have awkward frog swam like a grandma my entire life. We always had a pool growing up (my mom refused to live in Florida without a pool) but we never seriously swam; it was just messing around, floating, being idiot kids. SO yeah. Wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into.

Also, fun fact, which I’ve mentioned before, I don’t float like I did 120 pounds ago. Turns out, fat is super buoyant. Get rid of that, you start sinking a lot quicker. So I just didn’t know what to expect.

It was WONDERFUL. I’m terrible, it was exhausting, I drank half the pool, which is horrifying on so many levels, and I vaguely felt like I was drowning on several occasions. But y’all, I did it. I swam, like a “real” swimmer would, like a triathlete would. It was slow, it was awkward, it was awesome. Sam is helping me with my form, and remembering to breathe, and basically how to swim properly, but he seems confident in my ability to complete this triathlon without dying. And he hasn’t steered me wrong yet, so I’m inclined to believe him.

I told y’all this new “phase” is about self-love. And I think that’s exactly what this triathlon is about. A year ago, I wouldn’t have dreamed of cramming myself into a sausage-y one piece bathing suit and getting into the pool at my place of employment, where not only will strangers see me, but people I have to see everyday will see me. I wouldn’t have even attempted to start swimming, start biking, or been able to convince myself I could do a sprint triathlon in a month. But I am confident in myself now. I am confident not only in my body’s ability to carry me through this, but my mental ability to try new things. If I fail, I fail. It won’t wreck me. I struggled this morning. A good bit. But that didn’t discourage me; I’m ridiculously excited to be trying something NEW. That’s huge.

Sorry (not sorry) about the cheesin’ bathroom swimsuit pics. This thing is all sorts of weird, but man does it stay put. And I never thought I’d be able to put on a swimsuit like this and think man, this actually looks good.

I’m excited about what’s to come. I’m excited to continue swimming, continue getting stronger, faster, better, and to open myself up to all of these new experiences. The greatest way I can find to celebrate some serious self-love is to press on and embrace all of these new things I want to try.

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This morning was SO GOOD. I got up at 5:15 and was apparently so pumped to have someone to run with again that I flew through my morning routine and was ready to go at 6:02. Haha oops. So I piddle around for a minute and then headed to the river walk. Aaron met me there. SOMEONE else was supposed to but apparently slept in instead ;) so we headed out. Aaron is the one who talked me into the sprint tri next month. I still don’t REALLY know what I’m getting myself into with that, but regardless, I am PUMPED. Sam is clutch in helping me prep for it, since it’s kind of his thing and he’s awesome, etc.

ANYWAY. Back to the run. I was feeling really good this morning, so I figured I’d just go until I had to stop to get to work. I ended up hitting 45 minutes, ALMOST four miles, and I still had enough gas in the tank for at least another few miles. So that’s really exciting. AND I managed what I’m fairly certain is my fastest pace to date. YEAH!

The weather was pretty nice this morning, before the sun was fully up. So it was a good combination of attitude and atmosphere to get a nice, solid run. Felt SO good after not getting to run at all this past weekend.

I’m going to Asheville this coming weekend to visit Heather and Drew, but you know me, and I can’t go on vacation without a game plan. So I’m driving to ATL Thursday night and Robert got me a visitor pass for the local gym so I can swim Friday morning before we leave. Then I’m doing the Hendersonville Apple Festival 8k on Saturday morning so I can get a decent run in. And I’ll probably bring my bike and figure out somewhere to ride around at some point. I’m SO excited to go. I get to see my cousins, hang in Asheville with awesome friends, and get away for a bit. It’s going to be lovely. :)

Anywho, there you have it. Such a wonderful Tuesday morning run! :D

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Y’all. I tracked everything I ate religiously on MyFitnessPal for 383 days straight. THREE HUNDRED EIGHTY-THREE DAYS. For over a year, anything I put in my mouth went on my app. I measured, weighed, portioned and made sure I was recording accurately. There were some days I just guessed, but for the most part, everything that has gone into my body for the past year+ is on that app.

UNTIL SATURDAY. This weekend was crazy busy, Saturday being all out (amazing) insanity. Between driving, the wedding, cleaning up, night swimming, bad/no reception and sheer exhaustion, I forgot to track what I ate. And just like that, the streak ended.

To be fair, this has happened once before. Before my 383 day streak, I think I had hit about 4 months and then had one day I forgot so it started over. So yeah, Probably 16 months minus two days is how long I’ve been tracking.

But now that it’s broken, I have this weird urge to stop being so obsessive about it. I know how many calories are in things now. I know what a proper meal should look like. I know what makes me feel good to eat, what makes me feel like crap. Do I honestly need to be calculating everything so exactly? I am still trying to lose weight, but seeing the numbers in front of me has stopped mattering so much. Yeah, I’m trying to eat around 1700 calories a day but you know what? Sometimes I’m really freaking hungry, so I’m going to eat 1800…or maybe even 2000. *gasp* And sometimes, y’all, SOMETIMES, I’m just going to go CRAZY and eat pizza and drink beer and if I put it in a tracker the poor thing would explode.

I don’t know what I’m saying here. I don’t think I have a point. But I’m strangely free of the grip that MFP held on my life and I’m not sure what to do about it.

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