Friday, May 20, 2016

Confessions, Goals, and Hope for the Future

Typically, I try to keep my articles upbeat and uplifting with a dash of humor and sarcasm... because that's generally me and what I am good at.  But if I am going to be completely honest with myself about some things I am struggling with right now, I need to be upfront and honest to you.

 Additionally, this is a really hard post for me to write.  I'm really putting myself out there today, about something I am combating.  I hope that you will be patient with me, loving, and understanding.

Those of you who have been faithfully reading my craziness these last eight or so years, have followed me though many, MANY adventures!  From student housing (the original Nutshell) to the Army life. From just 2 kiddos to 5.    Y'all followed us across the country from Utah, to Oklahoma and on to Tennessee! You've watched us and cried with us as struggled with our boys' special needs, and you've cheered with us in all their growing successes.  You have been faithfully following us in our daily shenanigans and all our adventures in public school and now homeschool.  You've been with me and supported me through all my weight loss and fitness journeys, from barely being able to walk up a hill to running up mountains and half marathons! You've watched our family grow and laughed with us, weep with us, and celebrated with us. I can never thank you enough, my dear friends, for all your love and support, and I hope that in some small way, our lives have touched yours too.

I have always been up front and honest.  I am not ashamed to admit my failures, my struggles, and my life lessons.  Every time I write things down and share them, I do it for me.  It helps me to put things into words and organize my thoughts. This blog has helped me grow in more ways than I can ever begin to say. So, I am going to start my journey of healing once again by sharing with you some of the things I am going through right now.  I could really use a "You got this, Cat!" or "Praying for you, girl!"

 It is true that I have been very, VERY busy lately with the new baby and all the homeschooling going on.  I feel immensely blessed to have 5 healthy boys, a beautiful home, a loving, hard working, studly husband -- but some times I feel that if I share my struggles and even complain a bit, I am being less than grateful for the wonderful things in my life. This simply isn't true. I want you to know that I am SO grateful for all my many blessings.  I have a good life, and I love it.  And I owe God for all that I have.

 All that aside, the main reason I haven't blogged very much in the last couple years, is that I don't feel good about myself.  In fact, I am so humiliated by the way I look right now, I hardly leave the house. And even the very thought of leaving it makes me panic.

There, I said it.

 I worked very VERY hard to get my weight off originally, then again after I had number 3.  I was able to keep it off and maintain it for 3 years!!  I had no problem doing it.  But I don't know if it was my thyroid, my age, or just the fact that I was having kid number 4, but the weight gain with that baby was almost 100 pounds.  I kid you not.  I ate EXACTLY like I did while I was maintaining.  I ran the WHOLE pregnancy.  In fact, if you remember, I ran myself into labor!  I was absolutely flabbergasted each time I went in to weigh.  The doctors would roll their eyes whenever I told them I was eating right and working out.  They gave me this whole lecture about calories in and calories out until I wanted to punch them in the nose!!  It isn't that easy!  My body has really been through the ringer with these babies and my metabolism and thyroid are shot.  When I found out our surprise baby was on his way, my heart just fell.  Sure I felt very blessed that we were having another even if it wasn't planned.  I know that God knows I can handle it.... Every baby is a blessing and a miracle.... but my selfish side knew I would be packing on more pounds, again.  And I did.  Although, this time I only gained 35... which makes the running total of 135 pounds gained in two years.

 Moment of absolute truth:  When I weighed in AFTER I had baby number 5, I was a DEVASTATING 325 pounds.

Three hundred and twenty-five pounds.

 Let that soak in.

 Less than 3 years ago, I was in the best shape of my life running a half marathon.  Today, I am in the worst I have ever been in.  And I am so ashamed, I can't even look in the mirror.  I don't know that face I see there. Who is that sad person that stares back at me?

When I left Utah, I was at my best, now, next month we are going back to visit family and I am absolutely sick about it.  I love my family and want to see them more than anything, but I am so embarrassed about my appearance. And the most frustrating thing of all, is that I worked harder than I ever have to keep the baby gain down and it was like my body just totally freaked out.  It doesn't seem fair!  And it kills me to think that my family and friends might be judging me for it.... even though I know they love me and probably wouldn't judge me... but I judge myself.  

Sometimes, I think God is letting this happen to me because I took too many selfies when I was feeling good about myself...  Don't say I didn't warn you! Seriously. Now, I won't let anyone take ANY pictures of me. At all. In fact, I can get downright nasty about it.

Now, on the up side.  Those of you who know me, also know that I am not a quitter.  I don't just roll over and take it.  No. I stand up and face my issues and gosh darn it, I do something about it!!! Change begins with US.  This begins with me.

These last few weeks, I have stopped feeling sorry for myself and started working out again.  I know what I can and can't eat, and I have been cracking down harder on my portions than I ever have before.  I have taken into account that my metabolism is slower than it was after having two more kids and have adjusted properly.  I am taking the bull by the horns and getting my life back!

I have finally started getting out more, and try to swallow my humiliation that all my church clothes are ill-fitting and make me look like a sausage.  Instead of hiding on the back row, I force myself to sit up front and comment at least once. I am, as the military calls it, embracing the suck and soldiering on.

 I make myself put makeup on at least twice a week -- allergies permitting.  And I do my hair... Sometimes.

 Baby steps, my friends... baby steps.

 But I got this.  Only I have the power to change my life.  Pull myself out of this dark place I found myself.  Sure, it wasn't all my fault, I tried my best to keep the weight off.  But it WILL be my fault if I don't do something now.  I need to believe in myself again, feel like I am worth it... and you know what?  My boys think I am worth it, and my husband, bless his heart, tells me every day how sexy and beautiful I am, and he thinks I am worth it.  And I know that the Lord loves me, he knows my heart, he knows my pains, and he knows my will to not give up!  With all of their help, I can do this!

 I don't need to be skinny -- I just want to be able to run again and feel healthy and good about myself again.

 Already, I am starting to believe in myself again... and writing this post is my first step to really facing this head on.  I'm going to do this... I know I can!

 So here are my starting goals and I am counting on y'all to hold me to this:

 Run a 5K without walking by the end of June.
 Run a 10 K without walking by the end of Aug.
 Run a Half Marathon by Thanksgiving.

 That's it.  I'm not making any weight loss goals.  In fact, I made Ben hide the scale.  I am focusing only on my fitness... and the weight loss with come with it, I am sure.  I truly believe that if I give it my all, I will be feeling like myself again by Christmas!

 Thanks for being here for me!


 PS:  Just in case you have it in mind to mean well and try to get me to join your Beach Body whatever, the answer is no.  I love you, but no.  I know exactly what I need and how to get it.  And if I don't, my husband is a personal trainer.  I don't want any diet pills or promises of a quick fix.  There are no oils or body wraps to fix me.  It's hard work, exercise, and sacrifice.  Plain and simple.  And when I cross that proverbial finish line, I want the satisfaction of knowing it was all me that got me there.  And I say this with all the love I have and no snappiness intended.


Jill Reading said...

I was so glad to see your new blog posts this week. You don't know me, but I have been following your blog since you lived in Utah. I think you're pretty impressive. Five boys, home schooling, keeping your household running smoothly, moving across country. I think you're doing phenomenal things. I'm sorry that your body hasn't reacted well to your last two pregnancies. Good luck with your goals. I think that your plan is very sound. Best wishes!!!

Tara said...

Girl, I hear you! I get super fat when I get pregnant no matter how much I eat right or exercise. For some reason my body just packs on the pounds. I'm sorry your doctors were so annoying about it. It is frustrating having to lose 50-60 pounds every few years, I just have to keep reminding myself that those babies are so worth it. Good luck with your training, you've done it before, you can totally do it again!

Amy said...

You can absoutely do this Cat!! YOu have done it before and you can do it again! Good for you for making that big decision to change your life. I made that same decision about a month ago... and I refuse to give up or turn back. We are all cheering you on! Call me if you have a weak moment or need some accountability! A really good book that I have been reading is called You Are What You Eat, and has been one of the best healthy eating books I have ever picked up. It isn't a diet book... nor does she say what to eat or what not to eat. It is all about your perception of food. I have a food addiction, so I needed to address my issue at the subconscience level. It has truly helped me. Let me know if I can do anything to help in your success! Love you Cat, you are beautiful inside and out :D

Ariana said...

You are so awesome, Cat! I love your amazing "can do" attitude, and I know you will reach your goals! Thank you for your example of honesty and strength. You have motivated me to set new fitness goals for myself, and I love that you are focusing on increasing what your body can DO and not on how much it can lose. I am going to try to do the same. Thank you!

Ms. Tami said...

Cat, you've got this! You are not alone in it, either. I can relate to much of what you're feeling. Just know that your body is merely a vessel housing your spirit, and your spirit shines! You have made me smile on many occasions! How can I support you?

Ruth Cowles said...

I am with you on the weight and needing to get it off. You have always been an example to me. Thank you so much for sharing. :)

Ruth Cowles said...

I am with you on the weight and needing to get it off. You have always been an example to me. Thank you so much for sharing. :)

Bridget said...

I am a fan! You can do it Catherine. I'm sorry that it has been so hard lately, but you have such a strong will and can do anything you choose to. You are a fantastic Mom and I know you will be able to conquer whatever you put your mind to. Be patient with yourself and go get a pedicure or something fun once in a while for all you have on your plate. Go Cat!

The Mom said...

I don't have a ton of advice, just words of encouragement. Don't give up. When we give up is when the adversary wins. If you slip, get back up and keep trying. Heavenly Father loves you!

The Mom said...

I don't have a ton of advice, just words of encouragement. Don't give up. When we give up is when the adversary wins. If you slip, get back up and keep trying. Heavenly Father loves you!

Jason and Leah said...

As a fairly new LDS military wife (2 years), I found your blog and you had so much info that helped me so much! I was so grateful to your blog and I enjoyed reading your new posts. I was sad when they stopped coming but understood life gets busy (I have a blog and I just started blogging again). Thanks for being so open and honest about your life, it helps so many others more than you think. <3

Jessie said...

Our bodies do so much for us! They do the very best they can to protect us from toxins, difficult emotions, stress, and even manage to produce small and noisy little humans who stress us out more even though we love them to pieces!! Weight gain with pregnancy is supposed to protect us and our babies from harm.
I think your determination and abilities make an amazing person- if anyone can't see that they're missing out and obviously don't know you.

Marisa said...

Cat, your fitness journey and challenges inspired me so much when I started following you several years ago. You are beautiful no matter what the scale says! I wish you the best in your new goals. You've been successful before, and I know you can do it again!

Damaris said...

You're amazing Catherine! I know that if anyone can do this, you can! I hope you keep blogging - it's fun to see what you and your family are up to.

Jennilyn said...

Six kids, my baby is almost 15. I am happily married, LOVE to cook & eat...LDS and 275 lbs. (and nobody knew that but my doctor & husband. YOU having the courage to say it made it easier for me to stand up and admit it). I believe bodies are an important part of the plan and necessary to make covenants, but I am struggling to get it right. I really appreciate your honesty and good example. Thank you for blogging. I agonize over buying clothes that fit NOW, just to be comfortable. It is easy to rationalize that this weight isn't permanent and I can change, so I don't want to invest in something now. But the best buy I made was a polyester 4x dress that fits me fabulously NOW and I wear it every single day I teach seminary. It helps me feel confident, like a power suit. I figure I can cut it down and make a skirt out of it WHEN the weight comes off. It has become a "uniform" and seriously--nobody cares or comments. Pamper yourself. You are amazing as you are now. You are a wonderful writer, an amazing inspiration to more people than you know. Hugs!

Linda Tuesca said...

You can do it Cat!

Jessica Carpenter said...

I think a summer running challenge is in order! You are strong and have a will power that can move mountains! I remember that summer we trained together and you were a beast! Time to bring the beast out girl!