About a week and a half ago, I completed the inaugural DC Nike Women’s Half Marathon, my first half. I’m not going to lie, I walked some, but truly, my only goal for the day, was to finish. The fact that I maintained forward momentum for 13.1 miles still kind of astounds me. Halfway through, I caught myself thinking “If you’d told me a year ago I would have finished a half marathon I’d have told you you were crazy.” The truth is that if you’d told me 20 years ago I’d be finishing a half marathon I’d have told  you you were crazy. As I’ve written here before, I’ve never been what one would call athletic. I was manager of the 8th grade volleyball team because I wrote an essay (on a related note, let me just say a well-served volleyball to the side of the head is not the most pleasant experience).

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I survived!

I admit, I teared up at the finish line. I’ve jokingly told people that I was almost more proud of finishing that marathon than I was of graduating college. I say jokingly, but there’s a kernel of truth there. As my friend Kat said “Frankly I was pretty convinced I’d graduate college. I wasn’t convinced I’d finish Nike when I started training.” I’d only amend that to say “when I started the race.” Basically, crossing that finish line signified the accomplishment of a major goal, and possibly, for the first time in my life, one that I set completely independently of anyone or anything else. I entered, trained and ran that race for me and no one else. That’s not to say I didn’t have a LOT of support along the way, but ultimately, that half was for me (and the Tiffany necklace).

Finisher's necklace!

Finisher’s necklace!

All of this is culmination of something I’ve been wanting to write about for a while, and that’s basically that I have lost an Olsen twin. And by that, I mean I’ve physically lost the equivalent of an Olsen twin (at 100 lbs, maybe a little more), not that I’ve misplaced Ashley or Mary Kate (How could you? they fit in your pocket). I’d love to say that I achieved this through strict diet and exercise, and to an extent, I did. However, I also had some help…it’s amazing what a tapeworm can do!

I kid! Last May, I had gastric bypass surgery. I’ve debated writing this post, but seeing as I’m perfectly comfortable telling almost complete strangers about it, why not tell the interwebs! This decision had been a long time coming. For years I have been fighting a losing battle with my weight. I guess if I’m honest I was fighting a losing battle with myself, my habits and my lifestyle (who knew a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and a small pizza are not a part of a well-balanced diet?!).

I’m not going to lie and say that this whole experience hasn’t affected my self esteem, that I don’t enjoy wearing a smaller size. But more than that, I FEEL better. I sleep better. Walking up a flight of stairs doesn’t leave me winded. I have more energy and I’m enjoying my life more. It’s interesting to look back to a year ago and think of how I felt versus now. Do I still have anxiety over my job? Yes. Do I still worry about things that, ultimately don’t matter? Yes. This transformation hasn’t been the magic bullet that fixes everything by any means. I’m still working on finding the best me (as cheesy as that sounds). So, while I search for that, I’ll leave you with some of my favorite pictures from the half marathon:

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The start/finish at dawn

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One of my favorite posters

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Couldn’t have asked for a better route!

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Crossing the finish!

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