As you all know, I am running the New York City Marathon with an amazing group of women. I had a chance to connect with one of those women through twitter and exchange fundraising and training ideas. When I connect with fellow BGRs, I am always intrigued and motivated by the personal journeys that led them to start running. So, I was delighted when Dana offered to share her story with us. Enjoy.
"I'm big boned."
" I'm not fat, I'm fine."
"I get it from my mamma!"
These were a few of my comeback statements when people would say "oh, you have such a pretty face" or "you have a beautiful smile". It didn't bother me because I believed everyone of those statements--well, maybe not the big boned one-until my husband did the unthinkable. He caught me on camera.
My journey to living in a body that I loved and loved me has taken me many years, about seven to be exact. I had always been overweight or thick as we call it in the south. I was fine with it. It added to my womanly curves. However, after having two children my curvy body began to rebel against my poor eating habits and lack of exercise.
It wasn't until I walked out of my doctor's office with a handful of prescriptions did I begin to challenge my way of living. I was twenty-five and taking more medication than my mother. I had issues with blood circulation due to being overweight. I had joint issues due to be being overweight. I had backaches and pains due to...I think you get the picture.
My doctor tore the last prescription off the pad and looked me square in the eyes. He said "Dana, you have to lose some weight. Your 5'2 frame can't handle the stress and it's only going to get worse."
I nodded my head. But it wasn't until my husband caught me on camera that I made the decision to get in better shape.
I was in the yard playing with my kids. We were running around and he swept past me with the camera catching it all. As we watched the video later that night, I was in shock. That wasn't me. It couldn't be.
I stumped out of the living room and bolted to my bathroom. It was me all right. I then began to take notice of the less than obvious changes in my appearance.
My shirt and shorts were both maternity clothes. The pants had the elastic waist. I walked to my closet and I didn't own a belt. My dresses looked more like house clothes and most of them were maternity clothes too.
I looked over my shoulder and saw my husband waiting for an explanation. I couldn't voice my concerns and crying would just make the situation worse. Instead, I asked for help.
The next day I began walking thirty minutes three times a week. Rain or shine. I did that for about a month before I decided to join a weight-loss program to help with my eating.
My walks eventually became jogging and now I am training for my first marathon. Nearly sixty pounds later I haven't looked back.* * *
Dana Pittman is an author and marketing strategist. She is one of several women training to run the NYC Marathon with Sistas Run NYC in November 2010. Follow her video log as she trains at www.danapittman.com.