State of things:

1. I haven’t mentioned Jon’s cancer situation lately – mostly because all is well. His last check-up with the oncologist was the last quarterly visit. He’s now doing check-up visits every 6 months for the next 3 years. They still do a CEA level check and a lung scan each time. We’re far enough removed now that I feel mostly ok with the infrequent tests. I doubt that I will ever NOT be afraid, but I’m a little less petrified with each passing year.

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2. I haven’t weighed myself lately, but I’m pretty sure I’m back to close to normal. I’d guess that I’ve lost 5-6 of the 10 pounds I gained (this year) based on my clothes. I have some jeans that I couldn’t wear at all when I was solidly 10 pounds up. Wore them very comfortably yesterday. I’ll probably get around to weighing myself eventually, but I wanted to get my head in the right place first.

3. Jon became super sick around the time of the half marathon we’d registered to run (that we switched to the 5k). We woke up the morning of the race and almost didn’t go because he was hacking and coughing and miserable – which is extremely rare for him – and he’s still dealing with plantar fasciitis. I had been planning to run it, but I didn’t really want to go alone. He took some meds and rallied, so we walked the 5k.

(I told him not to look sick, so I got crazy instead.)
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It was a nice morning. We’d paid and had picked up our bibs the day before at the expo, etc. No reason not to at least walk. Maybe next year we’ll both be up for the half.

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We had about 20-25 of our running group friends over for a party that night since the race was the wrap-up/goal race for most. Fun night. The next session starts later this month, so I’m taking a complete break from running until then to (hopefully) re-energize myself. The next session is focused on strength and speed, which means shorter distances. I’m totally on board with that.

4. I’m still doing a couple of days a week of strength training (one day with a trainer, one with homework). This sort of exercise will probably always be my favorite. I’ve taken breaks here and there over the past few years, but I always go back pretty quickly.

I walk Molly a few miles each day, too. Our neighborhood is great since we have sidewalks, but we often load them up and take them to a nearby part of the greenway to mix things up. Henry can’t make it 3M, so he accompanies only when Jon is along to help (carry).

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5. Molly’s up to 71 pounds. She fits in so well here. Still very happy to have her.

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It’s just a completely different ballgame having a dog so large.

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6. I resigned from my job as of July 1. I’m still working out a semi-PT situation (meaning I love my job and really want to stay at least a few hours/clients per week), but I’m moving ahead with going back to grad school. Some days I can’t believe I’m shaking my life up so much and am terrified of failing, but I’m mostly excited. I gave a talk to a master’s level class last week and had so much fun being back on campus and being in a classroom. It will be a good thing.

7. I was asked to volunteer some time as a facilitator for a support group for people taking part in a community-wide 8-week fitness challenge. It’s happening in a pretty small rural(ish) community outside of Knoxville, so I don’t know what I was expecting … but I wasn’t expecting what I found. I went to the kick-off last weekend and learned that 350 people had pre-registered! There was a line of people wrapped around the building waiting to get through registration to have their pictures taken and measurements gathered, etc.

They divided participants into groups, each headed up by a trainer/coach. They’re offering free nutrition classes, free workout classes all over the community at many times throughout each day, the support group, etc. Completely full calendar of events catering to all sorts of schedules and lifestyles (including group bike rides, a couch to 5k group, crossfit, etc.). I think I understand that participants wear wristbands and sign in to the classes/gyms/activities to earn points for whatever they attend. I am not totally 100% on everything since I’m not actually participating, but I think there are prizes to be won based on effort.

It’s a completely volunteer driven effort and I’m just shocked at what the organizer of the event has been able to pull off. She heard about me from a friend of a friend and reached out regarding the support group since I’m both a therapist and someone who has some experience with improving my health (and losing weight) via better nutrition and exercise. I agreed to do it because I was SO HAPPY to hear that someone considered the emotional aspects of weight loss/fitness/life change and chose to incorporate a space for people to talk about what they might be experiencing and learn from/help each other. I was even more pleased to learn that attendance at the support group counted as a workout (earning points).

We had the first support group yesterday. Of the 350 registered participants, 7 showed up. Honestly? I didn’t think anyone would show. I told Jon I’d give the effort 10 minutes before coming back home if nobody arrived. It was at noon on a GORGEOUS day. All kinds of things happening around town (including local football stuff). It’s a free fitness challenge. Etc.

The support group wasn’t about/for me, of course, but I was so happy to be a small part of it. I loved listening to the participants talk about why they joined the challenge, what they want to gain, what they want to lose, how they hope to change their lives.

I listened to them talk about the struggles associated with being overweight and wanting to make changes and found it all to be so weird. I’m still processing why it was weird, but I think the fact that I’ve lived two lives is something that’s just … weird.

I’m 6 years out from starting down the path they’re starting (!!!), so it’s not as present in my mind – but yesterday reminded me very much that I’ve been where so many of them shared that they are right now – afraid to walk in a gym, unable to buy workout clothes because they’re not made in a size large enough, afraid to fly because of seat belts and buckles. I am so profoundly impacted by my past experiences – as I’m sure is the case for most everyone – but I think there’s something unique about having had a completely different body for so much of my life. I didn’t just lose weight. I gained a completely different way of living and experiencing the world.

Anyway. I’m glad I chose to volunteer my time to sit with this group. I’m sure I’m going to walk away having learned so much.

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