Running a mile in her (middle school) shoes
Posted: Thursday, Jul. 12, 2012
Photo by: Nathan Abplanalp Photography
Brittany Sajbel is an associate attorney in Concord. Her March wedding planning has hit quite a few bumps in the road, but she remains positive and sane with the help of her amazing fiance, Neil Love, and their two furbabies, Gemma Bean and Kitty Caroline. Contact Brittany here.
Looking back at some glamorous old pictures of myself this week, I realized that there was a time when I was definitely a bit of a Skinny Minnie. In fact, I was kind of a pole for about one year of my life, in the eighth grade. Its interesting to look back at that time, in hindsight, and realize what crippling self-esteem issues I had and still hold on to, to this day.Now, as a war rages on throughout the blogosphere about whether or not Sports Illustrated cover model Kate Upton is fat, I find myself asking am I going to be happy at my goal weight? Will I be content? Will I have done enough?The answer, in retrospect and with consideration, is absolutely. When I was in the eighth grade and I was skinny, I had no perspective on life. I saw other girls around me, in my small world, who wore smaller clothes and shopped at trendier stores than the stores I had to go to in order to find pants in tall sizes and blouses that were long enough to cover my waistband (how were these problems?!). I definitely wasnt fat, but I was different from the norm. As a teenager, different equaled bad and unacceptable. I was unhappy with a body that I would kill for today.Like a girl who doesnt realize the guy she is dating is a loser until well after the breakup, I had a lot of good things going for me that I couldnt see until they were in the rear-view mirror. Now, knowing where I have been, where I am now, and where I hope to be in a couple of months, I know that I will be able to look back at my journey proudly and appreciate the second chance that this competition has given me. At our weigh-in at Flex + Fit last week, I had lost seven pounds, which was a significant step for me. I didnt lose it through a crash diet or any extremes; I actually ate well and exercised. Period. At some point in the last week or so, I also decided that Dr. Atkins was an idiot, and his diet made me grumpy. On the Atkins plan, I ate a lot of things that I didnt want to eat because I was more concerned about losing pounds than feeling healthy. I remembered that my ultimate goal in this competition is not the pounds, but about keeping up with my fiancé and investing in my future. I kicked the good doctor to the curb and began incorporating whole grains and fruits into my diet, and I felt so much better, immediately. As much as I love bacon and hot dogs and their role in losing weight with Atkins, eating things like that around the clock was making me feel icky inside, like when those pictures of McDonalds pink slime surfaced. It will be interesting to see how my new plans mesh with next months weigh-in.In another milestone since this competition began, I ran the first complete mile I have ever (EVER) run. It was slow, coming in it at twelve minutes, but I did it at the end of my c25k workout when I realized that I had just run for five minutes without stopping and I could keep going. I decided to run throughout the cool-down period, another five minutes, and then I realized that I was only two minutes away from a mile. I kept going, and I finished a mile without a break something that I could not have done when I began this journey. In middle school, we had to run a mile around the football field for the Presidents Physical Fitness Test. The physical education coaches would hand you coffee stirrers or popsicle sticks as you completed each lap, and I always found an extra on the ground so that I could stop early. I knew that I would never make it under the time requirement, and the coaches would make you run each day until you were under. Coach Love, my fiancé, would probably be horrified to hear that, but I guess theres no hiding from him now.
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