Friday, February 21, 2014

I said "yes" to the dress!

The day finally came.

I'm totally that girl who has been planning her wedding since I was very young. I had it all planned out, I just needed to snag a dude who had good taste in jewelry. Luckily, I did that, and last weekend it came time to dress shop for THE dress!

I had a dress in mind since I was 17 that I saw online at David's Bridal. I was in a 3 year relationship from high school into college and looked online all the time for dresses and venues. When Pinterest came around, my obsession quickly (and easily, thanks Pinterest!) grew to have my whole day planned before I had any bling on my left hand. Then....someone wore MY dress. How dare them!

Fast forward to June 2008 and I met my Kyle. I've said it once and I'll say it a million times in our life - I knew he was "the one" at our first kiss (insert "ewww's" here). I was done for...head over heels, and I didn't care how long I had to wait, I knew I'd be his wife one day. 5 long years later of dating, moving a million times, him graduating and moving 2 hours away, me graduating and moving 2 hours away with him and life finally settling down - he got me the most perfect ring and made me feel everything I was supposed to feel in that moment where someone wants to very publically declare their love and tell the world they want to spend their whole life with you.

After the shock wore off and I stopped staring at my hand my thoughts turned to venue and the dress that would be most appropriate for our location. I always pictured a huge, tulle, sparkling, bedazzled cupcake dress. However, with the weight I've lost I realized these would just swallow my new shape and at the same time I was terrified of a fitted dress and if I'd even be able to get into a sample size at all.

All fears aside and notions of what I thought I wanted out the window, my entourage and I met up last Saturday morning in the Bridal District in a suburb of Cincinnati named Reading (also the hometown of my MOH!) at a shop called Bridal & Formal. I knew my sister had gotten her dress there along with pretty much everyone else in Cincinnati and heard they had a large selection of gowns. I brought along my step-mom, grandma, sister, MOH and one of my two other bridesmaids was also able to be there with me.

They had a trunk show going on where designers send some of their new line for a short time, and my dress actually came from this showing! My lucky day!

I had heard about how they had all of these dresses but the customer service wasn't great and you got dressed in a big open room with everyone else trying on dresses at the same time and I was a little scepticle going into the appointment. We arrived and met my consultant, Maura, and she was the sweetest! I told her my budget and what I thought I wanted but that I was open to whatever was going to look best on me. My girls and I took to the racks and pulled a few gowns. I had 2 pictures of dresses I knew they had at the store and was disappointed that they did not have either dress available to try on. Plan 2 was just to go with the flow, and that's what I did.

The consultant gave me everything I asked for and the second dress I tried on of the 8 or 9 ended up being the one I chose! I got "jacked up" as they say on the show Say Yes to the Dress, got on the platform and utilized the web cam to show and get my mom's approval as well. I said when I had it on the first time that it was something my Aunt Lisa would have chosen. In January we remembered her on the 10th anniversary of her death and a few weeks before getting engaged my grandma actually mentioned that when it was time to go dress shopping one day that she would really like to come with me as she never got to have the experience with Lisa. I wouldn't have had it any other way and our shopping day fell on what would have been Lisa's 54th birthday. We all agreed we felt her with us and there was no other explanation for how I came upon that dress other than she was there.

(No, this isn't what I'm wearing, it was $700!)

No, I didn't cry, and no, neither did my group, but I had my "bridal moment" where I knew it was the dress for me. I can't wait to wear it - 294 days to go!

Friday, February 7, 2014

I'm so over winter.

This whole thing about being "in training" over the winter… it stinks.  All I want to do is put in my headphones and take off out the door running but it's not as simple as that.  It's currently -1 here in Ohio and it's a far cry from the random 55 degree day last weekend that I did get to run out the door.  Believe me, I took advantage of that day knowing we had a snow storm coming this week.  We got another 4 inches of snow and 1/2" layer of ice to cover it overnight Tuesday into Wednesday morning.  Yuck.

I've got the Heart Mini half marathon coming up in 5 weeks and haven't run outside at all since December before this last weekends run.  I'm just glad I dropped back to the half for the Flying Pig because the tougher training schedule plus this terrible winter means double digit treadmill miles for multiple weeks and that is just brutal.

So what else has been going on?  I donated all the bag of clothes this week!  I took them to Goodwill and packed two carts full.  It feels good to donate and I hope someone is thrilled to see clothes with tags on them.  Nothing better than finding a good deal on some brand new or hardly worn clothes!

I'm also going to a pediatric cardiology conference at Disney's Yacht and Beach Club resort with some of my coworkers in 2 weeks!  I was excited to be chosen to go and hope to learn a lot to bring back to my unit over the 5 days I'm there.  Plus, getting away from this cold will be awesome!

I'm going to another conference in April for a weekend but it's for a different reason, one near and dear to my heart.  I was contacted a few weeks ago by the chairs of the Huntington's Disease Youth Organization to see if I was interested in being an ambassador and educator in my area for the young people who live with HD in their lives.  I was thrilled to be asked and of course, accepted!  I will be headed to Minneapolis and we won't talk about how the Mall of America is about a mile away :)

Lastly - next weekend I'm going DRESS SHOPPING!  I haven't lost the weight I wanted to before trying on dresses but I'm much more confident going in knowing I'll have options to try on and I'm excited to spend the day with my family and two of my girls and hopefully will say yes to the dress!  I've obsessed over the show for years and I'm hoping to have my "bridal" moment.

That about wraps things up for me!  Next week with it being Valentine's day, dress shopping day, and Kyle's birthday (my brother-in-law's too!  They share the same day!) followed by leaving for the cardiology conference and having 13 whole days off will be a nice break and lots of fun.  Much needed after the way the year has started.

Did you have the "bridal" moment?  Ever have to train while out of town? 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

2014 (un)official race schedule!

Now that we're into February and I'm totally feeling this "year of the half marathon", I decided on my race schedule a few weeks ago and wanted to share!

Now... that being said… 5 of the 9 things I want to do are on weekends I work.  I only work every 3rd weekend so that's pretty impressive that it worked out like that.  I got one covered already and another I work Saturday night shift and could theoretically run a half that morning and work that night, I've done it before in training for the marathon last summer.  Anywho… here's my events for 2014!

March 16 - Heart Mini Half Marathon (Cincinnati, OH)
April 6 - ORRRC Half Marathon (Xenia, OH) - I got invited to a conference this weekend so my already paid for registration is out the window - I'm excited about the conference though!
May 4 - Cincinnati Flying Pig Half Marathon (Cincinnati, OH)
June 29 - Mason Sprint Triathlon (Mason, OH)
August 24 - Emerald City Half Marathon (Dublin, OH)
September 20 - Air Force Half Marathon (Dayton, OH)
October 4 - Run Like A Girl Half Marathon (Columbus, OH)
October 19 - Columbus Marathon Half (Columbus, OH)
November 1 - Mason Half Marathon (Mason, OH)

I've officially registered for 4 of these so far and am waiting to do the rest as paychecks become available and hopefully can trade the weekends I'm supposed to work!  It's going to be a busy race season but I'm excited because doing a race every 3-5 weeks means once I get to my high mileage in a few weeks that it won't be too bad to maintain my distance and hopefully can set many PR's this year!  That, and my first sprint triathlon will be an exciting time too just 8 weeks after the Pig and I have an 8 week training schedule that will be a nice change of pace in the middle of all these 13.1's. It'll make the summer and fall go by quickly and that means the wedding will be here before I know it and I'll be at my best shape!  Getting excited!

Will I see any of you at these races?!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

My closet is a lot different now.

If you're anything like me, I'm pretty particular about hangers.  They have to face a certain way and I like the ones that are pink, plastic, and have the inserts for sleeveless shirts.  I get mine at Target typically and over the last few months all I've done is buy hangers and clothes that now fit me.  My pants were constantly falling down, my "flowy" shirts made me look like I was wearing a garbage bag, and not to mention my workout clothes were literally sitting in clean piles on my closet floor because I had no where to put them all.

I kept buying hangers as I was slowly collecting these new things that now fit and would run out constantly. Kyle kept saying to go through my clothes and get rid of everything I wasn't wearing anymore.  I don't know why I kept avoiding it - okay...except I do.  I have been scared ever since day 1 of this journey that I would regain every ounce of weight I had lost along the way.  I'd see the scale at 245 pounds again and be pissed at myself for not keeping anything to wear because now I'd have to go re-buy my "fat" clothes, and I did NOT want to do that.  So I kept putting it off, putting it off, putting it off…. then my OCD kicked in and the mess that was my closet and pretty much all of my personal space was more than I could handle.  I decided today was the day to say goodbye to my former self and move on.

Insert the biggest breath of fresh air your lungs can inhale.  Now exhale.

I was overwhelmed by the task and I have quite the closet.  I mean, I have a walk-in and a full 4 drawer dresser PLUS had workout gear in a hanging thing from my closet rack that is meant for shoes that was overflowing, plus the piles of clothes on the floor that I talked about a moment ago.  Shoes… I'll start with shoes.  So I packed up my old shoes I no longer wear (goodbye, Crocs!… and old running shoes.  Tear. I don't miss those men's wide shoes but they were where I started… pink laces and all.  I wanted to donate to KindRunner but they didn't have my shoe to buy from them and return my old pair with, sad!) and started there.  Next - on to dresses and long sleeves.  I kept my one comparison dress - the purple one shoulder number - just for future pictures.  Yep, I did.  I literally got rid of more dresses that I haven't worn in over 2 years either because they were down right ugly or were too big.  Dresses I bought for vacation this year that I never wore because they were too big by the time vacation came around went with tags on them.  My wallet cried a little, but I'm happy knowing when they are donated this week someone will have something really cute to wear this summer.  The rest of my shirts I decided if they were XXL, I hadn't worn it in over a year, or anything from Lane Bryant, it was time to go.  Mentally, letting go of my Lane Bryant stuff was as liberating as cutting up the credit card I had for that store.  It was a very safe place for me and I was usually always the smallest size or next one up from smallest when I shopped there and it made me feel good.  I wasn't THAT big, but I was.  I nicknamed it "Lane Giant" and laughed about it at the time.  I'm glad the store exists to give plus size women a chance to have some fashionable choices but I'm glad that part of my life is over.

10 bags and a few hanging dresses make up my former self.  10 bags of sadness.  10 bags of hiding from the truth.  10 bags of plus size.

I stood in the pile of clothes before I bagged them and began sobbing.  I was literally mourning the loss of myself.  But really, I hadn't lost myself - I found myself.  In the sea of XXL, of 20/22 jeans I literally cleansed myself of feeling like I wasn't good enough to be healthy or a "normal" size.  I always thought I would be a big girl, my family is made up of big people, so that's who I was supposed to be too.

I thought about my run yesterday.  I ran outside on February 1st in a t-shirt. Minus pushing a bit for the last 5 minutes, I comfortably ran 5.33 miles without a thought.  I woke up and was excited to go to Zumba.  I thought about my Weight Watchers weigh in this week and was excited to continue my Tuesday meeting followed by Zumba after on Tuesday night.  Those were my thoughts - not anything my former self would have been excited about.  I am forever changed and I think that alone is amazing.  I decided to change my life, and I have.  I am a very different person than I was a year ago and I can't thank myself enough for that.  But I will - in new gym clothes, my next pair of running shoes, the FitBit on my wrist, and the healthy lunch I have planned for tomorrow.

Now that I've done the great purge once, I think next time will be easier.  More of a celebration than the mourning.  Next time I'll get rid of more things and likely some of my current go-to favorites as they get too big.  I am continuously a work in progress.

Have you gotten rid of all the things you couldn't wear anymore?  Was it a happy time or a sad time?  What's been the hardest part after losing weight for you?