Miss me?

Hi Everyone!

Wow…it has been a while since I have blogged and so much has gone on in my life! So the last blog I wrote was on the eve of my 27 birthday. I spent the year prior focusing on me…losing 85 pounds…finding my inner happiness…and trying to really understand what it is that I love about myself.

I promised myself that in my 27th year that I would start putting myself out there. I did just that…after I wrote that blog in July, I started putting myself out there and meeting people. I even met someone who for a while, I had something nice and long term with. I started thinking to myself, “find happiness within yourself and you’ll find happiness with someone else.” AND I DID! It felt great to finally be able to put my own walls down, love myself, and love someone else. Now…that ended and I was crushed.

I found myself not working out, eating right, and loving myself. I was missing everything that I had worked so hard to achieve. WHY?! WHAT?! ARE YOU CRAZY STEVE! You worked your ass off and the power of someone else took over you.

I constantly think to myself…you are being ridiculous. Love yourself. Be yourself. Don’t let anyone else bring you down. Why do I tell you this? Well…it all happened like 4 days before the most difficult thing I did in my entire life! Which was run my first FULL MARATHON. Yeah…talk about total mind games.

So I ran my first marathon. Well, I shouldn’t say I…I should say WE! I ran with two of my work friends Krista and Aimee. I would not have been able to do it without them! When they say “mind over matter” they mean it. It is a total mind game. I walked into that marathon more determined to find myself and say to myself “you can do anything that you set your mind to” and it was f****ng hard.

Let’s relive a little bit of it shall we…

  1. We had to wake up a 2:30AM to be at the start line by 4AM
  2. I thought, “hey it’s Florida…it’ll be warm” so I only packed a long sleeve shirt, short sleeve shirt, running shorts, and running tights. THANK GOD I PACKED THAT! It was 35 degrees the morning of the race.
  3. I had to take Motrin twice throughout the race just to keep the bottoms of my feet from hurting too much.
  4. I had the worst mental road block at mile 22. I couldn’t get myself to work past it from 22 to 26.

Yeah…that is a lot of negatives…but here are some positives:

  1. WE FINISHED!
  2. I got a KILLER medal
  3. I got to meet MICKEY MOUSE
  4. We experienced the most magical place on earth for four glorious days
  5. So many of you followed our run using the Facebook Live feed and kept us going with your positivity and love

Will I ever run a marathon again? I’m not sure…but today, we signed up to head to Disneyland in November to partake in the Super Hero Infinity Challenge! We will run a 10K and a Half Marathon in 2 days and receive 3 medals! HECK YEAH! If you know me…you know I am in it for the medal.

Over the next month, I will find running again and train for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon. I will love myself again and start to take care of myself in the way that I used to. We should all just be people loving people and finding the best in everyone. Don’t dwell on the negative. Don’t live in the sadness. Grow from every situation, find your silver lining, and when all else fails…hit the pavement.

I’ve missed writing this and I am hoping to keep it going for a little while longer.

If you’ve come back to reading this…thanks…I’ve missed you!

Steve 🙂

The Year of Me..

Happy Fourth of July everyone! I figured there is no better day to reflect on my journey than on the even of my 27th birthday. I am not sure why but 27 is making me feel old. OK, CALM DOWN READERS. I get it…you are all sitting there at your computers or your phones cursing my name out right now because of the comment that I just made. Buttttt…let me explain.

So if you have been reading my blog, you know that recently I have talked about being cheated out of so many years. I literally feel like I am about to turn 2 in a turning 27 year old body. My outlook on life, my physical body, and my attitude is infant in nature and yet I am nearing the dreaded 30’s.

This year has truly been the year of me. I can remember when I first met my future sister in law a year ago and she was grilling me on my life. I had just begun my weight loss journey and I remember telling her “this year, I am focusing on me. When I am 27, I’ll focus on the we.” And I am sticking true to that so far..

26 really has been a year of self discovery for me. I have learned to love myself. I have learned to be happy with every time success in my life. I have learned to leave my job at 3:45 and make time for myself. I have learned to love fitness. I have learned to love healthy choices. I have learned that the inside is the best part of you but the outside can match. I have learned that you can’t change yourself for anyone else but you have to do it for yourself. I have learned that it isn’t about a timeline, it’s about the journey. I have learned that anything worth having takes time.

And now, I go into 27. I continue to push myself. I will run more 5K’s and 10K’s. I will run more half marathons. I will run my first marathon. I will continue to lose weight. I will continue to tone my body. I will continue to strive to be on the cover of Men’s Health magazine as an inspirational story. I will continue to try and make Bye Fatlicia a famous blog that inspires other people to believe in themselves, give up on the negativity of the social media based world, and strive to just be better versions of ourselves.

Here is to 27. The year of we. Continue to strive to be the best that you can be. Continue to have your cheat days. Continue to inspire someone who you wouldn’t normally inspire. Just be you. Be happy being you.

Cheated.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about these last 10 months. I haven’t been losing weight lately but mostly maintaining. I realize that I need a change in my diet again and that I need to continue to change up the workout routines.

BUT…

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about my own happiness and how this journey has really made me into a new person. Have you ever looked in the mirror and just smiled at yourself because you genuinely liked yourself? Yeah…I am having that moment every time I look in the mirror lately.

I have always been one who gets uncomfortable in new situations. I have a huge freak out internally when I am put into a room with people that I don’t know or I start a new job or I get dragged to an event with a friend and that friend is the only person that I will know. I struggle with confidence A LOT.

I would sit in a room and think, “oh that person is judging me in their head about how fat I am and how I can’t fit properly into my clothes.” And you know what…they were right. I was fat. I couldn’t fit into my clothes. I looked like Jabba the Hut sitting in clothes that were a size or two too small and trying to play it off as bloated.

Over the last month I have realized that I cheated myself out of so much of my life. I spent so much time hiding behind sweaters, standing in the corner, silently listening to people have fun, not going out on a Friday night, not dressing up and going out on Halloween, not going swimming, saying that I “hate water” because it is unsafe to not know what is inside the ocean.

Well…I’m DUN. Yeah you heard me, DUN.

I am tired of feeling this way. 26 years of my life that I will never get back being “happy” with myself.

This is the face of a genuine smile. Of someone going out and having the time of my life. Enjoying myself because I feel good about who I am internally and externally.

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Do I have a long way to go? Yes. But am I happy with my progress? Yes. And I am finally done with cheating myself out of life. Do you cheat yourself out of your own happiness? I used to sit at my desk in my classroom until 6:00PM and then go home at night and go to bed after working endlessly on bettering myself in my classroom. Why did I do this? Because this was something that I could control. I could control my classroom and my teaching. I could not control my eating and my weight.

I don’t stick around my room anymore. I get my work done in the time needed. I put in some hours here and there when work needs to be done. But I focus on myself. I enjoy reading books. I enjoy exercising. I am enjoying being a new me. I am enjoying being happy.

Don’t cheat yourself out of your life. We live in such a judgmental world. A visual world. A swipe right and swipe left world with many filters to make us look better. We are all beautiful people. We owe nothing to anyone but ourselves.

If you can’t be anything at all…just be kind. Be happy. Be better than you were yesterday.

This shooting in Orlando has made me realize a lot of things about my own life. We can’t really believe that anywhere is “safe” anymore. You can’t go to school, the movies, the club, the grocery store, anywhere. We live in a world where people are unhappy because of other people. Stop being sad and hurt by other people and look at yourself for you. We all need a “safe haven.” A place that we can feel safe and truly happy and no one should compromise that for us.

Stay strong. Stay happy. Stay healthy. Live every moment with a smile on your face.

Steve

Kennywood 10K

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, then you recently saw me with my medal after the Rollercoaster Race on Sunday. If you don’t follow me…and you are a reader not from my circle of friends, here is the picture I am talking about!

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I need a t-shirt that says, I run for the medals. That was part of the reason that I signed up for this race in the first place. I did not grow up earning trophies for my baseball teams or soccer teams. I didn’t place in a mathlete competition…so now, it is my time! I took that medal with pride as I crossed the finish line.

Now, I had looked at the course map prior to this run and I knew going into this race that I would be spending very little time inside the park. The race map only showed a small portion of my run inside the park and you spent more time of run in the park if you only ran the 5K. I was only 1.5 miles into the race when we split with the 5K runners and I shed a small tear as I saw them split from us and head towards their finish line!

Below is a picture of the race map so that you can see just what I am talking about. IMG_2569

We started in the Kennywood parking lot right by the entrance to the ticket booth. Now, the speakers were set up at the finish line which was probably .25 of a mile away from the start line. So we are all standing there waiting for the start of the race and you can hear a very distant recorder of the Star Spangled Banner. I immediately wanted to start singing along to get people more excited about this race but instead, we all stood around very confused as to what was happening. I stood further back in the start line, too, so I can only imagine how hard of hearing the front of the line was.

The funny thing about races to me is the amount of different people who come out to race. You have those who get all geared up, show up early, and warm up by running laps around the parking lot. You have those who picked up their packets early and sport their race day t-shirts. You have those who bring their families and walk the race. And then you have those who are like me. Those who love to run but aren’t that great at it yet. We try, we walk sometimes if we need to, but we are in it for the love of doing something great for ourselves. We aren’t at the front of the line and we aren’t at the back of the line either.

Race started and we began a loop around the parking lot. Not my favorite. Then it was out into the neighborhoods of Duquesne. Some people were outside on their porches to wave to us and cheer us on. After a loop in the neighborhood, we headed back towards the park and right at the one entrance to the park, we split and headed down the highway. Going away from the park. Crying inside of the emotional overload. Questioning why I didn’t do the 5K. Praying I would see someone running the 10K who was behind me and I wasn’t last.

Then I headed down a very large hill. Thinking — YES! A HILL! This is awesome! I am going faster! Then…immediately after happiness came shock, TERROR, and death inside. I had to run back up this hill. I saw someone leading the 10K pack, looping me. They were returning my way. Running fast. Running like I dream to run. I hated that person…mostly out of jealousy.

I got to mile 3 and the loop back up the hill and I ran THE MOTHER EFFIN HILL! I RAN THE WHOLE DAMN THING! And I was proud of myself. I got to the top of the hill and I walked a little bit. I gave myself a well deserved break. .25 miles later, I was back at it. I hit mile 4. I saw the Steel Phantom in the background. All was good.

I hit the park at mile 5. Only 1.2 left. The park was refreshing. No one was in it yet. No lines. The faint smell of fried food. Rides I had never seen before. Rides I haven’t seen in a long time (like Kiddie Land), and rides I so wanted to just jump on and enjoy.

I finished the race in 1:09. Not my best 10K and not my worst. It was pretty average. I have not run much since the Half Marathon. I only logged 33 miles last month including the half marathon. I think I ran a total of 6 days in the month of May. My best 10K was 1:01. I was much slower than that. Is that okay? Yeah… Can I do better? Hell yeah…

I am still proud of it and I am still glad that I did it. Will I do it again? I don’t know. I am not sure that I loved the race.

You’ve seen me post about my race wall in my house. Every time I get a new bib or a new medal, I like to frame it and hang it in my house. It makes me proud every time I hang something new in my house. What I love most about this wall is that there is still a lot of blank space. I’m not done. I won’t ever be done. I enjoy the fact that I can still fill up the wall.

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I like that I’m not done. That it may never be full. I have way more to work for and I am not ready to give up. I have the Great Race to look forward to in September. I am hoping that I find some more races this summer to sign up for and continue this journey.

Thanks for the read. I am so glad that I have people who enjoy being on this journey with me. It wouldn’t be as fun or as rewarding without you guys.

Steve 🙂

May’s All You Can Eat…

So it has been almost a month since I’ve updated my blog and May has proven to be a hard month. I ran the Half Marathon on May 1 and felt disappointed in that moment that I finished 10 minutes later than I should have….fast forward to today, I’m not mad anymore. I’m proud of that medal hanging in my house and I’m proud that I finished.

You see, over the last month I have not lost 1 pound. I haven’t gained a pound either but I haven’t lost. And that’s been difficult for me. I so want to be that person on the cover of Mens Health Magazine. But let’s be honest…it hasn’t even been 10 months yet.

I am considering it a fail that I didn’t lose weight this month. But I’ve lost 80 pounds in 9 months. So I need to consider that long range a win. Even when it isn’t a long range…it’s not even been a year.

My year goal weight was 210. To lose 101 pounds by August 1. And you know what…I can do it. I’m going to work harder this summer than I have worked this school year to get more scheduled, more knowledgable, and more excited about the person I’m becoming.

I’ve realized something this month. I’m becoming a person that I never thought I’d be able to be. I thought I was going to look into the mirror for the rest of my life and hate who I saw. I can’t believe I don’t have that feeling anymore.

I was at a wedding the other day and had an amazing conversation with a really good friend of mine. He asked me “what advice would you give to someone who is trying to do the same thing as you?” And my answer was “don’t get so mad at yourself all of the time. And enjoy every little success.”

I joined a challenge group for Beach Body during the month of May and it definitely kept me accountable. I checked in every day. I worked out every day. I ate right most of the time. It was a great experience for me to see if it was something that felt genuine to me. I’m not sure if I will do one again because it did not feel authentic to my journey but I admire those want that journey and can be lifted up by others to carry on! I also admire my friend who was my coach through that process. She’s a mother of 2, a teacher, and a coach, and she is killing it every day at being an awesome human being. That’s hard enough for people to do without responsibility.

I don’t even know what to title this blog entry because it is all over the place. I do know those…I’m heading into June 1 leaving a rut. I’ve been in a rut. School is bogging me down, grad school is killing me, and the scale has been a death trap of emotions. I have 2 months now to get my shit together and to prove to myself that I can achieve the goal I’ve set out to do.

27 is the year of me to put myself out there more. 26 was focusing on me. I was selfish in 26. 27 I’m out there.

I’ve hid my whole life behind baggy sweatshirts, cardigans, and any layer that would hide me. I hid in my house on a Friday night instead of going out. I made excuse after excuse because I didn’t want to go out and be judged by everyone else for being so fat.

I’m done with that. D-U-N! This is me. Take me. Leave me. I don’t care. Feeling what you are on the outside and what you are on the inside to be the same is such a new thing to me.

But I like it. 🙂

Finished the Half!

So, this is not a pity post. And I thought about waiting a week to write this post some could get over myself, but I didn’t want to forget my memories and figured I should get them down. 

I didn’t sleep last night. I probably closed my eyes at 11:30 and was up at 3:30. I finally decided to get up and just drink my morning coffee and eat my bagel. At this time, I also drank some water with an energy pouch in it. I’d never done it before and I regret either doing it today or not doing it leading up to this day. 

I left my house around 5:15 and headed downtown. Once I parked, race bib pinned on, I headed over to the Corral’s for the race. This put me up to about 3,000 steps for the day. 

I saw a friend from high school who I haven’t talked to in maybe 5 or 6 years, at best, and he said something about reading my blog. I think I forget how many people might actually be reading this? 

So I check into my corral and immediately go into line for the bathroom. This is pee #4 of the day. And yes, I have 2 nervous #2’s leading up to leaving this morning. TMI…whatevs! 

Kady and I patiently waited for about a half an hour for Corral’s A, B, and C to be let out of the gate. It was around 7:28 when I crossed the mat. At this point, it was raining, I was soaked, but I was happy. 

I ran many roads that I haven’t seen in forever, including the CCAC campus where I took a summer class, much of the west end which I haven’t visited since college, and south side! 

I did well my first 9 miles. At mile 9 my chest started to hurt and my breathing got the best of me. I was worried so I stopped to walk even though I told myself that I wouldn’t walk today. 

I’m a total head case. When I stop to walk it’s all over. And that’s what happened. From mile 9-12 I spent time walking and running on again, off again. 

My goal was to cross the finish line in under 2:30. I didn’t do it. My head for the best of me and my chest beat me today. I finished in 2:40. I know it’s only ten minutes. I know I should be proud I started. I know I should be proud I finished. And I am. I’m so proud of myself. But small ounce of me is still hanging on to that dream I had to run the Half in under 2:30. 

I’d run a half a mile and my legs would quit on me. They’d start walking on their own. All while I’m yelling at myself, “this isn’t want you planned to do! This is NOT what you’ve worked for!” But…it is. So what. So what if I walked a total of about 1.75 miles today. It is what it is. I still ran almost 12! 

So, here’s to next year. Here’s to training for another half marathon in the fall. And a full marathon in the winter. And a PR in the Pittsburgh Half next year. 

All roads led to this moment. And now I’m paving my way to better roads. With more happiness and more success. 

The crowd carried me today. What awesome energy in the greatest city alive! 


Until the next race! 

Steve 🙂 

All roads lead to this..

I can’t believe it. Tomorrow is the day I have been waiting for since October. In a random whim, I decided to sign up for a Half Marathon on October 15, 2015. At that point, I was still early in my weight loss journey and I had only been running outside for a few weeks. Now keep in mind, when I first started running outside, it was .10 of a mile of running and about 1.5 miles of walking before I quit for the day. What in the world made me think I could do it?

I’m not sure I’ll ever have the answer for that…but here I am. The day before my greatest running achievement so far. I am down 80 pounds, running 11 miles without stopping in 2 hours, and ready to tackle the last 2 miles in under 30 minutes.

Goal for tomorrow: Look like a wet dog and finish in 2:20 or less.

I have been reflecting a lot these last few days leading up to this race. In August, I was 311 pounds, laying on the couch after work most nights instead of working out, and not even thinking about eating an entire bag of potato chips in one sitting. I was miserable. I was stupid about my health. And I didn’t love myself or care about myself.

It is super motivating for me to look at that old person because it reminds me of who I was and how far I have come, but I really do hate looking at that unmotivated tubby who cared more about eating an entire pizza than running for two hours on a Saturday morning.

I have never felt better. I am pushing myself further than I have ever pushed myself before and I smile a lot. I laugh a lot. I feel accomplished.

Tomorrow, in whatever time I finish, I will finish that race. I will run 13.1 tomorrow and I will feel accomplished when I am finished. Tomorrow, I will continue this new journey of my life and smile because I continue to accomplish so much each week.

Tonight, I ate pasta. And chicken. and a potato. And it was SO GOOD. And tomorrow, I will eat a bagel in the morning. An everything bagel. And I will breathe on everyone to clear my path to run to the finish line.

I have my gear for tomorrow.

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To everyone running tomorrow, best of luck. I hope I see you out there. I hope to celebrate you as you pass me, cross the finish line, or need a helping hand. We are in this together and I couldn’t be more excited about it.

In my truest fashion, I have decided to continue to push myself with a Disney Marathon this January. I don’t know if I can do it..but I didn’t think I could do a Half Marathon on Pittsburgh Roads. I signed up for this Half Marathon before I had run my first 5K. 2 5K’s, a 10K, and this Half Marathon later, I will push myself to run a full marathon (and some other races before that for practice).

I figure, if I am in the happiest place on earth, where dreams come true, won’t I be able to do it? And if Mickey Mouse is cheering me on through four theme parks…I have to be able to do it! So bring on those short run days of 10 miles and long run days of 20 miles. I am ready for this. I can do this.

If I don’t push myself, I’ll stop trying. If I stop trying, I’ll gain weight. If I gain weight, I’ll start to hate the person that I am again. And I am tired of that. I am tired of hating the person in the mirror every day. Today, I got out of the shower and genuinely smiled at myself today…for the first time in a long time…because I am happy with myself. I have worked hard. It is time to give myself some credit.

Don’t ever give up on yourself. Our happiness is the most important thing. If we can’t be happy and celebrate ourselves, how can we truly celebrate someone else and all that they have to happy about? We can’t.

Love yourself. Push yourself. Strive to be a better version of yourself everyday.

Good luck tomorrow, Runners! 🙂

Steve 🙂