Written by - Diana, Communications Supervisor at CENCOM out of Illinois.
There comes a moment in everyone’s life where everything changes for the better. Sometimes it’s something good, sometimes it’s something good disguised as bad and you just have to figure out that it was meant to be.
After having my first daughter, who is now 7, I was overweight. At the time I was only about 20 to 30ish pounds overweight. Then I became a dispatcher. Sitting for 12-16 hour shifts on top of eating like crap, because let’s face it, it’s way easier to stop at McDonald’s or get take out on the way to work. I never worked out (unless you consider walking to the fridge cardio). Long dispatch hours made me lazy on my off days. I always used work as an excuse to not work out.
In May 2017, I found out I was pregnant with my 2nd daughter. At my first appointment I had to step on the scale, and I was taken back when I realized I was over 250 pounds. I’m 5’7”, a normal healthy weight for me is 150-160. I had gained 100 pounds and didn’t realize until that moment that I had really let my weight get out of hand. Since I was pregnant, I wasn’t too worried about it. I figured I’m going to gain anyways so I would just deal with my weight problem after. A little over half way through my pregnancy I found out I had gestational diabetes. I was devastated. Now my weight problem was not only affecting me, it could potentially affect my unborn baby. Little did I know that the gestational diabetes was really just a blessing in disguise. I followed a strict diet, checked my blood sugar 4 times a day, and luckily was able to keep my diabetes under control without needing medication or insulin. By the end of my pregnancy I was down about 25 pounds (and that was with a 10lb baby in my belly.)
A couple of months after I had Fallon, the scare of getting type II diabetes was still stuck in my head. I thought to myself, if I could follow a diet and lose weight while pregnant, then I had no excuse not to do it now. I started eating healthy again and going to the gym about 3 times a week with my husband. In October 2018, I ran (actually I walked) my first 5k. I had so much fun I decided that I wanted to keep running (or start running.) I have always thought it would be cool to run a half marathon. Yes, run 13.1 miles, however I never thought I could actually do it. That night when I got to work, I found online the Milwaukee Brew City half marathon that was in April 2019. I registered before I had a chance to change my mind. I had 6 months to train. The next day I started running. I started with a couch to 5k program, and each run, even though tough, I HATED running, I got a little better. Some runs were great, some runs were awful, but I learned to really love running.
Finally, April 13th came. I was literally terrified. I knew, even though I had been running, and losing weight, I never ran more than 4 miles. I was always too scared to. Now I have to run 13 point freaking 1 miles? I honestly didn’t think I could do it, but I’ll be damned if I go out without trying. I laced up and just before the race started, I met a 60ish year old lady who was running her 17th half marathon. She told me I could do it, and I was like hell yes, I can! The first 10 miles were amazing! I loved every minute of it. The views were beautiful. I felt great. I was overly proud that I had ran further than I ever had. Mile 10 to mile 11 was brutal. I walked most of it. I couldn’t for the life of me keep my legs going. When I finally got to like 12, I thought, I have to finish strong. I dug deep and pushed myself. I still remember the feeling of coming around the corner and seeing the finish line. My eyes filled with tears. I couldn’t believe that I had actually done it. The same Diana that was 250 pounds the year before was now down 60 pounds and crossing the finish line of a half marathon. I freaking did it!
See for me, I needed a wakeup call. That was seeing the scale and getting diabetes. It seemed awful, but I’m so thankful for it. That stupid diabetes showed me that I’m capable of so much. I can eat healthy. I can lose weight naturally. I can run 13.1 Miles. If I can do it so can you. Believe in yourself, even when it’s hard to. Overcome the mentality that you are not capable, because you can honestly do anything you set your mind to. It won’t always be fun, or easy, but I can 100% guarantee it will be worth it!
About the Author - Diana is a Communications Supervisor at CENCOM out of Illinois. For more on Diana’s story make sure to check out her guest feature on Within the Trenches Ep. 257 that drops June 3, 2019.