Run or Dye Race Recap

Y’all. I had a BLAST this weekend at Run or Dye.

Seriously, thank you Run or Dye folks for hooking me up with two free entries to the race in East Rutherford.

And when I say race, I mean, a sincere effort to run for a few minutes, followed by a few minutes of self loathing at my complete lack of fitness right now, followed by total enjoyment of a beautiful spring day.

In short, the Run or Dye race was everything I could have hoped for in a color run. It was an exciting, no pressure race event that left me sufficiently covered in colored fun. That doesn’t sound awkward at all.

Yes, the race fee was a little high, but I honestly would have done it (and felt good about it!) had I not been gifted the entries.

Packet pick up:

From the start, it was obvious this race would be more about having fun than going for a PR. I headed to Road Runner Sports in Paramus on the Friday before the race and was greeted with a short line and blaring music. Everything moved swift and smooth and in no time I was hooked up with two bibs, two draw string backpacks, two shirts and a couple of tattoos and rubber bracelets.

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Race day

I had read online the night before that runners would be let out in 5-minute increments between 9-11 a.m. so there was no rush to get there for the 9 a.m. start time. I made it to MetLife stadium around 9:10 a.m. and paid $10 to park. People were already covered in color when I showed up to the start. There was a small area to buy water and swag, but otherwise no vendors like I’ve seen at other community races.

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Even though I was only there a few minutes after the official start, we were at the very end of the line. I think there must have been over a thousand people in front so I ended up waiting about an hour between the time that I got there and the time I made it onto the course. However, everyone was in such a good mood and there was music and we were taking pictures so I didn’t mind too much.

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It was a beautiful day out and after such a long winter it was honestly good just to be outside. We hung out, made some friends with the people around us and eventually made it to the front of the pack. At the start there was a DJ who kept the crowd entertained and threw out more swag like t-shirts and sun glasses and also kept track of the time to make sure groups went out every 5 minutes.

After all the waiting we were excited to get going and so I ran the first few minutes of the course before my months of non working out set in and I had to walk. The course itself was nothing special. It was laid out with orange traffic cones and zig-zagged through the Met Life stadium parking lot. We came up on the first “color station” pretty quickly and were soon covered in pink.

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The best part was approaching the dye area, a haze of color surrounded everything and volunteers threw the color on you as you went through. People were also rolling around on the ground to get even more covered. The whole scene was pretty surreal.

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All kinds of people were at the race, from little kids in strollers to teens in costumes. It’s definitely a very family friendly event and totally doable for anyone at any fitness level. There is no pressure to run, no elbowing or anything to get through the course.

About half way through there was a water station with bottles of water which was great to see. I was a little bummed there were no bananas or bagels after the race, but I guess I can’t complain considering I didn’t actually run it.

Anyway, we went through a couple more color stations and just enjoyed being in the fresh air and emerged completely covered in color.

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I had to stop on the way home to get gas and got some strange looks from the gas station attendant…

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Post race thoughts:

I have no idea if the race was even a true 5k or not, but we really took our time walking through it. I thought at parts the course could have been better laid out, we saw a couple people abandon the course just to cut through to the dye stations and that was kind of discouraging.

I would definitely do this race or something similar again. It was a fun event for a Sunday morning. It hit all the requirements of being relatively inexpensive, outside, and involving some kind of activity. And, I have to give props to Run or Dye, it was really, really well organized for such a big event.

Also, the energy from the Run or Dye staff and volunteers really made it more exciting. There was what looked like a huge dance party after the race and everyone was so friendly and in such a good mood, the people throwing the dye seemed like they were having a great time. Maybe we just lucked out, but the crowd was so pumped and energetic it made even standing in line waiting to get the start a fun time.

I would definitely do it again but be even sillier with it with costumes and such. I was so worried about post-race cleanup, but the dye came out of my hair and off my body pretty easily and didn’t rub off on my car at all on the way home, though in retrospect, it probably would have been a good idea to bring a towel to sit on.

I’ve been wanting to sign up for a color run for a long time, so it was awesome to be given the opportunity to check out what it was all about and be involved with a positive fitness event that truly is made for people of all abilities.

Did I convince you to go sign up? Have you ever done a “race” like this before??

Oh, hi

You thought I had forgotten about you?

Nope. Not even close.

I had some domain drama. Basically, I forgot to renew it, it expired. Panic.

But I’m back. And with a new theme! Always choosing new themes.

Before that, I had a whole post written about being fat (duh) but WordPress deleted it when it found out I wasn’t actually still registered.

But then Brooke: Not on a Diet posted basically what I wanted to say.

The gist: even though you’ve probably been treated shitty in social situations because you were fat, don’t let that stop you from being open to people.

I run into people that I had known in college and high school a fair amount that I had been scared to talk to for one reason or another, usually because I thought they didn’t want to talk to me. And I thought they didn’t want to talk to me because I thought I wasn’t good enough to talk to because I was fat. Now when I run into people, I have a lot more confidence, and conversations go great, and I feel silly for ever being so scared.

Anxiety is a constant force in my life. I’m a lot better at recognizing it now that I’m not managing it with chocolate. Deep breaths and flattering selfies go a long way.

I’ve had a crazy two weeks. My friend, the jungle keeper, Paul Rosolie, wrote an awesome book about the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest (Go buy it!) that’s getting some serious press so I’ve been in and out of New York City to support him. My best friend is getting married in a month and I planned a bachelorette party for her last weekend, so there was the drinking and the recovering from drinking for that.

But I wanted to pop in and at least say Hi and let you know that if you’re in a place, where you are swimming in the fantasy of being thin, and you think you can’t make friends, be in a relationship, travel, get a new job, or whatever, because you’re a certain size, weight, shape, get over it, get with the fear, and go do the thing you’ve been waiting to do. Talk to whoever you want to talk to. And be insistent in your greatness.

 

Influenster obsessed

This is going to sound sponsored.

It’s not.

I’m absolutely obsessed with Influenster.

I never, never sign up for those websites that promise free stuff for your feedback, but for some reason I did with Influenster. It’s not like one of those things where you have to take surveys about stuff you never use, or sign up for stuff – you literally pick and choose stuff you care about to review and then, enjoy, and share the goodies they pass along.

So far I’ve gotten three Influenster Vox Boxes and have loved every one.

The latest one was the J’Adore VoxBox stuffed with Red Rose tea (caramel flavor..yumm), Hershey’s kisses (which I gave to my roommate to bring to work), and my favorite product so far – Boots Botanics clay mask.

I’ll spare you the picture of my mud-covered face that I snap chatted to my friends, but this stuff is good.

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I’ve been really, really into baths as an act of self care, so I keep an ever-growing basket of fun stuff like scrubs and masks next to the tub for when I’m soaking. It’s absolutely the best.

Influenster also recently sent me my new favorite mascara – Scandal Eyes by Rimmel. Ohmygod amazing. I’m not really into makeup, but I’m super picky about mascara, and this stuff is gold.

Anyway, this is the point where I tell you that I got all of this stuff for free. I get some points on Influenster for writing about my experience and will hopefully continue getting products to try – but if you have some free time and don’t mind linking up all your social media accounts/reviewing stuff you love, Influenster is absolutely awesome.

Run or Dye Coupon Code

Hi ya’ll!

I thought I’d use Hump Day to break up the crazy wordy posts I’ve been putting up to bring you a fun opportunity!

The team that organizes Run or Dye 5Ks contacted me a while ago to see if I would like to participate in an event, and, lucky for me, they were still interested when I emailed back weeks later to say YES.

I’ve been drooling over all the color runs for months now so I’m psyched to be participating in one…and so close to Holi 🙂

Here’s how it works:

At Run or Dye, you become part of the rainbow.  As you run/walk/dance through the course, you will get showered in safe, eco-friendly, plant-based powdered dye at every kilometer…turning you into a technicolor canvas of fun!

Just when you thought you couldn’t possibly be more colorful, you’ll cross the finish line and find yourself in the middle of a colorstorm at our Finish Festival!  You’ll jam out with our awesome emcees as they count down to the moment when YOU get Tie-Dye the Sky and open your FREE color packet to share a bit of the rainbow with your friends, family, and everyone else around you.  The result is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that many people us is the most fun they’ve ever had exercising.

I haven’t run for…oh about as long as I haven’t been blogging, so I’ll definitely be the one walking and dancing my way through the course.

I’ll be participating in the April 13 Run or Dye in East Rutherford but they have races planned all over the country. As part of my participation – I get to also pass on a $5 coupon code to readers. Here’s the code: RUNORDYE5ER

Has anyone done a race like this? Any tips? How do I get home without completely ruining my car??

 

Writing relief

I have to say, after I hit publish on that last post, it felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Like all the buildup I was feeling about my weight, about abandoning the blog, about the fact that I thought people were judging me, all just gone. Poof!

It feels wonderful.

Anytime I get vulnerable in this space, good things happen. Love, gratitude, new understanding.

For me, I grew up never wanting to be associated with anything to do with diets and exercise. I wanted to get as far as I could from anything to do with health or weight loss. I thought being open about my feelings about my weight would be some kind of admission that I had done something wrong, fucked up somewhere in life. I had moments where the rhetoric surrounding the word fat get to me, but at my core, I never really believed the stigma enough to turn on myself, and my body.

Now, I’ve been using the word “fat” for so long that it is in no way negative. There are some days where I feel really uncomfortable with the weight I’ve gained, but I usually eventually come back to a place of love.

All this is just to say that I think the more you can work to embrace what hurts you, the sweeter life can be.

If you’re closed off from your pain, you lose the opportunity to grow from it and have it push you forward. I’m not always great at being comfortable with the uncomfortable, but I’m chipping away at my walls and feeling at home in my vulnerability more and more.

The last few months of being so sad, I’m still not totally sure what that was about. And I can’t be sure that I’ll never go through something like that again. But, more and more, I’m flooded with gratitude for everything I’ve been through.

I used to spend hours worrying about whether I would gain back the weight I lost. I would read article after article about how unlikely it is that I would keep the weight off, and dread the years of struggle I had ahead of me just to maintain.

But now, the thing I was scared of the most already happened to me. I gained weight. It sucked. A lot. But right now, in this moment, as I’m writing and getting a little deeper into it, it’s starting to feel more and more meaningless. The power the weight gain had over me is starting to fade. The love I have for myself is starting to return, and with that alive inside me, I’m not so concerned, or caught up, or obsessed with what my weight will be a year from now.

I used to think that when I binged, I was filling some craving or need I had, emotional or otherwise. But the thought that’s come to me since I’ve stopped bingeing, is that when I do binge, I’m completely abandoning my needs for something that, in the end, is not comforting in the least. I don’t have to read any articles about long term weight loss to know that as long as I choose every moment, and every day, not to abandon myself, and commit to face, embrace, and welcome in the uncomfortable, sad, and sometimes dark parts of myself, I’ll be okay.

For sure that’s the attitude that got me to where I am now, and for sure it’s the attitude that I’ll take with me to a great future.

Blogging full steam ahead

Hi!

It’s me!

Remember?

Maybe you don’t: here’s my story.

I’m back to blogging. I’ve been craaaaaving writing. I’ve been day dreaming about writing. So here I am. Writing.

I don’t want to dwell too much on my um… 5 month break…mainly because (1) the posts I wrote right before I stopped are heavy and scary to read and I don’t want to start crying in the Starbucks I’m blogging from and (2) I don’t think it’s all that productive. Here’s what I’ll say about my absence: I was sad, really sad, crying all the time sad (yes, depressed, whatever), and I stopped believing in my voice, I stopped believing in myself, and I stopped believing that I had anything at all of meaning to say.

Since January I’ve been growing stronger and more stable, and am ready to share again, let people in again, specifically about this aspect of my life, you know, the fat side of things.

The months of crying and general hopelessness and helplessness were also accompanied by a full blown relapse into binge eating. At first I tried to fight it with crazy amounts of exercise, but after continuing trying and failing to keep my weight steady, I gave up completely and fell deep into a state of just…numb existence.

But hey, I’m on the mend now, I’m healing now, and part of healing is to get over the ridiculous amounts of shame I feel for what happened to me, for what I went through. Real talk: I feel a ton of shame and embarrassment that I was depressed. I feel a ton of shame and am generally mortified that I’m currently 20 pounds heavier than my lowest weight.

But, you know what the best antidote to shame is? Being OUT there with what you’ve got going on. During those months of depression I pretty much cut contact with most people in my life, or kept them on the outside, because I didn’t want anyone to see what I was going through. But, to quote someone famous somewhere, ain’t no one got time for that, or something.

I’m done wasting energy on feeling embarrassed that I gained weight and I’m ready to get back to what the original purpose of this blog is: the crazy struggle of being body positive and working toward body acceptance in a crazy culture where being fat is constantly demonized and skinyness is next to Godliness.

Currently, most days, I feel better about my body than I have in months. Despite having some scale-based self esteem issues, I’m mostly doing okay in that area, but still recognizing that loving my body is a daily practice that I have to be and stay devoted to. When I don’t make it a priority, I feel shitty, I act shitty, and I want shitty foods. So, stay on it Jodster.

Anway, I could keep blabbering because I’ve truly missed sharing this part of my life, and I’ve also missed the community of my blog, and of other blogs, and of just, you guys, relating on things I thought no one could possibly relate to because they felt so deep and raw.

So hello, readers (probably just my sisters at this point), I’ve missed you terribly.

Bodylove

I’m scared of a lot of things.

In my last post I admitted that I was scared of knowing the number on the scale. I didn’t weigh in this week because (1) I drank (and ate) a LOT last week and (2) I’m still scared of the power the number has on me.

I’m scared of writing about all these things publicly. Despite how much love I’ve gotten, every word feels like admitting failure and vulnerability.

And that brings me to where I am now, being scared of loving myself radically.

In the process of losing weight, I bought in so hard to the idea that I couldn’t love myself unless I kept losing and kept working toward being smaller. That fucks a person up.

What I had before this weight loss, was this kind of self righteous indignant body love that I could hold up and feel pride in because I was showing off my radical self acceptance. To be fat, unapologetically fat, is RADICAL.

Losing weight is nothing. From having a blog and reading tons of blogs, I know anyone can lose weight (losing a lot and keeping it off, slightly harder), but loving yourself is where the TRUE challenge is. How many women do you know that have tried dieting and lost weight? How many women do you know can say they, without concessions, love their body?

I’m guessing the number for the former is a hell of a lot higher than the latter.

There’s a problem with that. That makes me MAD. It incites rage, for myself, for women, for the world we live in.

I seem to be stuck in a kind of dichotomy where I think committing myself fully to radical self love will mean I will gain weight, which is totally ironic because it’s the whole reason I’ve lost weight.

Committing to self love means not slamming your mind and soul and body with hate talk, fat talk, and negative thoughts. It means not being scared of what’s in your head and that power of your own voice. It means not caring what people think of you as long as you’re being true to yourself.

For a while now I’ve stopped myself at the onset from doing a lot of things that scare me. My writing dwindled, my self love dwindled, my weight loss stalled, binge eating returned.

I need to heal, and healing requires being brave.

It’s so easy to go along with the masses when everyone else is critiquing their bodies and buying into the belief that their size and shape is their self worth.  It’s so easy to get caught up in judgments and comparisons and showing off and getting stuck in the race to perfect.

I don’t have to be. I can be radical. I can believe I’m worthy of love when the media tells me I need Jenny Craig to start living the life of my dreams. I can believe my body is beautiful when the rest of the world is wondering who has the worst bikini body. I can be better than that.

I’ve been listening to the spoken word song (poem?) “I know girls” by Mary Lambert over and over again. In case you don’t know her, she’s the female voice on “Same Love” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. She’s intoxicating. And deeply vulnerable and beautiful.

Listen, and heal:

Weigh-in Wednesday

You guys.

Thanks for welcoming me back with lots of virtual love 🙂

So, I want to be honest about my weight. Because right now, I’m just scared of it.

When I used to post my weight on the blog every week, I did so without any commentary. It was my weight. But, that was usually when the number was going down.

I don’t really know how to get back to the mushy-love feeling I used to have with myself. Posting my weight online obviously doesn’t seem like the ideal way, but being so terrified of the number isn’t helping much either.

So, we’re back here, at weekly weigh ins. Just-a-number edition:

Starting weight: 243 pounds

Current weight: 167 pounds

Total lost: 76 pounds

I can choose to see the weight I’ve gained, or I can see how much weight I’ve lost so far and how much has went into keeping it off. Today is going to be glass half full 🙂 Happy Wednesday!

Pretty Strong Medicine

From my head to your screen

Oh wow, Hi.

This morning I woke up, did all my usual morning things, and as I walked to my car to drive to work I started composing a blog post in my head.

That hasn’t happened in, well you know, a while.

Serendipitously, today someone left a comment on my last post (Hi!) saying “Is this blog over?”

No. No it is not.

And here’s why:

My absence from writing, as I’m choosing to see it, speaks so much about the place I’m in right now.

I got so caught up in a lot of different fears. Fear that I wasn’t saying anything important. Fear that I had no idea what I was talking about. Fear that my words have nothing to offer anyone. Fear that someday, these words I write, would have negative consequences.

What do those have in common? They’re all fears about something that is happening in the future. And they are all stopping me from living in the present.

They are also (I hope!) largely untrue. This blog has provided such a POSITIVE outlet in my life. What is wrong with me thinking otherwise?!

So now that that’s out there, hi, how are you, welcome to my blog.

The last few months have been really up and down for me. I’ve had some great successes mixed in with some moments of feeling really low. Sounds like typical life, right?

Let’s see, where did we last leave off…I was still binging.

Update: Less binging? I’m not really sure. I’ve definitely had less frequent binges, but even one feels like too many.

I had a conversation a few weeks ago that went something like this:

Me: Why can’t I just do all of the things that I know will make me happy and productive all of the time and that I know are best for me?

Her: That’s the human condition right there, isn’t it?

But seriously, WHY. I guess I have to be better at accepting that slip ups will happen. I won’t be perfect at controlling and dealing with and acknowledging my emotions all of the time. I never would consider myself a perfectionist, but when it comes to food/body issues I know that I’m really hard on myself.

Things aren’t meant to be flawless. I’m not perfect at losing weight. I’m struggling a lot to maintain the weight I have lost and every day brings with it a new challenge where I have a choice to make between how I used to live and how I want to live. I don’t always make the best choice.

The thought I had this morning though, and the thought that made me want to write today, is that the one thing I do have control over is how I think and feel about a situation.

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you’ll know I started losing weight out of a desire to live differently and to show myself and my body the love it deserved. But over time, as the weight started to come off, I started to not like my body so much, and not like myself so much.

This morning I just felt really exhausted by this. This constant hatred that I am directing at myself for what in my mind, is failure. Last night I again went to bed with some regrets about my food choices. This morning I woke up with the shame hangover.

What upsets me more than anything, is the perception that gets put out there by the diet industry that weight loss is the answer to your problems and will make your life instantly brighter. I’m mad that I lost weight and I hate my body more than ever before. I’m pissed off that a huge industry is profiting off of keeping women hating their bodies.

I’ve posed this question many times: Can you lose weight and still love your body?

I truly don’t know the answer. And it distresses me because I so badly wanted to prove that it could be done.

There’s something to be said for not weighing yourself, but right now I’m terrified of stepping on a scale and that’s not healthy either. Being petrified of not your knowing your weight is not the same thing as “ignoring the scale.”

I want to be at a place where the number doesn’t bother me, doesn’t dictate how I feel about myself, and I’m just not there. Not knowing what I weigh hasn’t changed this.

For months I’ve said that I’m struggling with my weight, but the truth is, I’m struggling with self acceptance. This is a good thing though, because this I have control over. This I know I can change. This I know can be turned around. This I know I deserve to work to make right.

 “Your problem is you are too busy holding onto your unworthiness.”

– Ram Dass