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Why I'm doing this.

First off, let me just reiterate what I've said in the past: when you don't see me blogging, it's because I've put my health and fitness on the back burner in lieu of other things...usually just pure laziness. This stretch of over a month is no exception. I have been eating pretty much whatever I want. I mean, not completely, and I have been running (until recently, as my shin is fairly messed up at the moment, but we'll get into that later). The past couple days have been great (first two green stickers in 19 days, wooo), so I know my healthy side is still rattling around in there somewhere. I'm still working on extracting her fully, so I appreciate you guys sticking with me.

Something really pushed me to start updating again, after I've been so lazy about it.

My younger brother, Bobby, is 25. He has been overweight almost all of his life, and has always just sort of accepted it as something he can't really change, so why bother? In the past, I have kind of helped steer him in the right direction, but he was never really ready. Because let's face it: anyone who is successful with weight loss has to be fully ready and committed. He has never really come to me out of the blue saying he wants to change his life. I've always just kind of suggested and hinted and hoped one day he'd get it. Not that I'm perfect by any means, but I think I have some good solid values about health and fitness, even though I'm not always great at sticking to them. Otherwise I wouldn't be here, right?

Yesterday, I got the call I have been waiting to get for years - not the call that meant I was needed, but the call that meant my brother wanted to take care of himself. I asked him if he wanted a quick fix, or if he wanted a gradual lifestyle change, because I would only really be able to help him with the latter. He said a gradual change. He asked me to help him come up with a meal plan and with shopping lists, and told me that now that he is living with roommates and is finally kind of stepping outside his comfort zone, he wants to change his life. Immediately after that call, I texted asking if I could blog about it, and he said yes.

I worry a lot about my family's health, because I love them dearly. And to see my brother - someone so young and capable - suffer with issues that are complete within his own control and not being able to do anything about it is extremely hard. And I know he has the strength to make some changes. I wrote him a really long e-mail this morning with a few days' worth of meal plans and a shopping list, along with a lot of great tips I've picked up from people, articles, etc. over the years and some words of encouragement that have moved me forward when things are hard. I do hope he sticks with it. I have tried to reiterate that it isn't going to be easy, so I hope he understands that the change will not be overnight.

Anyway. That reminded me of why I'm doing this. It means a lot to me when you all comment and encourage me...more than you know...but for my brother to come to me and tell me this kind of stuff, it's a whole different feeling. I am excited to work with him. Only wish I lived closer. When I was visiting, I told him that if he does the same stuff he's always done, he'll see the same results he has always seen, and that the only way to succeed is to step outside your comfort zone. Deliberately. I think he heard me, because now he is living with people he didn't even know a week ago. He never would've done that before. I'm really proud of him.

Onto the shins: the bottom of my right shin has been really hurting me the past couple weeks. It was starting to worry me that it may be a stress fracture or something more severe than shin splints, so Kittzy let me borrow a couple of pieces of this stuff called KT Tape. I applied it last night, and it seems to be working fairly well thus far. I will keep you guys posted. Thank you, Kitzzy!

Have to make the rest of this quick - I promise I'll write a more substantial entry at some point in the near future (but not too near, as it's my friend Beth's bachelorette weekend). Finally, I wanted to give a special shout-out to a few people:

Laura - You're amazing. Truly, you are. With everything you are handling right now and always, you are still, as we say, kicking ass an taking names like nobody's business. And not only that - you make time for me, which I haven't reciprocated lately and I want that to change. I love you so much, and I don't know what I'd do without your support and true friendship.

Kitzzy - You are my running fairy godmother. Every time I am in a bind, have a new problem, need a swift kick in the ass, etc., you are on it. I owe you so much, and I really appreciate how much you have been there for me over the past couple years as I've struggled to find my runner identity.

George - See above! :p Seriously, you're an amazing science nerd of running. You are eternally optimistic and I need that so much. Your fire is palpable, and I'm so glad I know you. You are always there to give words of encouragement and Courage Wolfs, hehe, and I am more grateful for it than you know. You get it.

Danielle - Your recent postings have pushed me to start updating again too, and I am so motivated by your drive and determination, and unwavering willingness to make health and fitness a big priority in your life. Maybe one day I will try Crossfit too. Thanks for being a good and supportive friend. I love you!

That's all I've got right now, because I have to run. I love you all. ♥ I'm still alive, I promise!


( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 12th, 2012 02:44 am (UTC)
What an amazing first step by your brother! Starting is always the worst part...and it seems to never really get any easier even after you've had to re-start a few times. Not knowing his temperament, if he would benefit from more Arooo! style motivation, the Spartan Blog is currently covering the journey of budding Spartan Chris Davis who started at 696 lbs.

I need to start talking the talk again as well. It seems easier when I put the thoughts out to examine them. This was really a boneheaded week to start back on good nutrition with ugly conference hours and the constant flow of food that brings but if we wait until the perfect time to start...

Thanks :-) I'm just delighted to be along. You go at the whole thing with a zeal that puts a mind to Thoreau: "I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life...to put to rout all that was not life; and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." You understand that this means a life must have long runs, whole carbs...and beignets. :-)
May. 14th, 2012 12:38 pm (UTC)
Thanks, George. I don't know if he'll peruse that, but I'll pass it along. I honestly don't know if he has even started yet...I hope he has, but I haven't talked to him. I just sent him a text asking if he was able to go grocery shopping, but we'll see. I know it will be a process.

Ugh tell me about it, but no, I think you have the right mindset. There is no perfect time to start. In fact, I personally think it's better to start when things are tough, because the beginning is usually when I have my most motivation, lol. You can get back there!

That is a great quote that I am honored to be associated with. :o) And I totally agree about the last part, lol. Thank you!
May. 12th, 2012 03:23 am (UTC)
Okay, I skimmed your tags, read "bobby" as "baby" and was like, "OMG, IS THAT WHY JEN HAS BEEN SO BUSY OF LATE?" Brain fart, I iz wun.

I'm so proud of you for stepping up like that to be an example for your brother. You know first hand that what he's about to embark upon might just be one of the most difficult things EVER, and you can draw on your own experiences to try and ease him into this, and help him in whatever way you can.

I'm sorry about your shin -- I hope the tape helps!

♥ You know I love you, bb. And I DO get that things are busy/cray right now, so don't worry about it. When you're free to type one of our customary novella-sized emails/comments, I'll be here to read it. Your support and friendship means a lot to me too, especially considering the stuff my mom is going through.
May. 14th, 2012 12:42 pm (UTC)
Lol omg no, kill me now if that were the case, haha. That'd explain the weight gain, at least.

Thank you. And I know there is no way I can ever know exactly what he is going through, but I at least want him to know I'm here if he has questions or needs guidance.

It did help! I wore it for three days, just took it off this morning. I haven't run on it yet, but walking is no longer painful, so that's a step in the right direction. I'm going to do some strength training after work today, probably focusing on core, and attempt an easy-pace jog tomorrow for a mile or two. Thanks for the warm thoughts.

Muah. I love you too. And the same goes for you and your mom - I have been thinking about her this weekend. I hope things go smoothly over the coming weeks/months. ♥

(Deleted comment)
May. 14th, 2012 12:42 pm (UTC)
Thanks Katy, I hope you're right. The running has been ehhh lately because of my shin, sadly, but otherwise that is true.

♥ Thank you. Hope you've been well!
May. 12th, 2012 04:12 pm (UTC)
Your brother is at the perfect age where if he made a plan and stuck to it, he could see some pretty nice results.

It might not be a bad idea for him to join a structured program, like Weight Watchers. Especially since you're not close in distance to him.
May. 14th, 2012 12:44 pm (UTC)
I know. He can lose the weight so easily if he just makes a few small, albeit deliberate, changes. Especially because he's a guy! Guys lose way more easily. Damn them.

Yeah, I actually suggested that in the e-mail I sent him. I offered to pay for the first couple months if he was really serious about it, but the closest meeting to him is five miles...he doesn't have a car at the moment and the bus doesn't run by him, so maybe he could work out a ride with one of his roommates? We'll see. He has to make the decision and put in the effort, he knows that.
May. 13th, 2012 12:49 pm (UTC)
Aw yay! That is great to hear about Bobby! He should def. look at MFP or even WW if he wants more structure. He's lucky to have such a supportive sister! :)

I'm glad my posts help push you and that I help motivate you! :) CrossFit isn't everyone's cup of tea, just like running a marathon isn't mine ;)! I'm excited to hear about your marathon training and see you kick the race's butt in January! <3
May. 14th, 2012 12:46 pm (UTC)
Yeah I suggested WW to him and offered to pay the first couple months, but he has to be ready to make that commitment, so we shall see.

Yep, exactly. It just depends on the person. I think I am going to keep my eye out for Groupons for some Crossfit around here - I would like to try it.

Thanks. ♥ :o) I hope it goes that well, lol. Dreading the summer runs, I will be honest...hopefully my mindset changes really quickly. ;p
May. 14th, 2012 01:14 pm (UTC)
Yeah, and if he tries MFP for free he can get a feel for tracking before spending money on WW.

Yeah, but if the runs are early at least it won't be super hot!
May. 14th, 2012 01:18 pm (UTC)
I'll suggest that to him. He has an iPhone so at least there's that.

True, but humidity is worse in the morning. D: Bleh.
May. 14th, 2012 07:22 pm (UTC)
The summer runs do suck, but they are damn rewarding. There is just something hard core about running for hours and being dripping wet at the end. lol
May. 14th, 2012 07:38 pm (UTC)
True. Plus I get to shower, eat, and go back to sleep. BEST DAY EVER?
May. 14th, 2012 07:41 pm (UTC)
LOL! At first maybe, but you'll have such a high that you'll probably not sleep as long as you think.
May. 14th, 2012 02:21 pm (UTC)
I completely understand the family issues. I have family members who are obese, and I have offered to help them with meal plans and easy home exercises, but they just don't want to hear it. They take offense to me saying they are obese, and I try to calm them by explaining the health implications behind their current lifestyle. One of them was recently diagnosed with diabetes, so I was able to provide some great resources on diabetic eating which is basically healthy eating. It's an unfortunate consequence, but I'm hoping the bad news will at least motivate them into a healthy lifestyle. I explained that the diabetes can be reversed if they lose a lot of weight and start consistently exercising.

It's just scary to see our family members living an unhealthy lifestyle, so I get it. It's great that your brother has decided he needs help. I know a lot of people just accept their unhealthy lifestyle, and don't think that a change can happen. That's why I love the Biggest Loser. Sure, those people are thrown into a healthy environment, but a lot of the contestants maintain their healthy lifestyle years after the show has ended. It's not just a physical change that needs to be made, but a mental one also.
May. 14th, 2012 02:29 pm (UTC)
Exactly. It's so frustrating. But I have reached the point where I just do my thing and if they ask for help I'll gladly give it. But I know even for me, no one can tell me when/how/etc. to be healthier - I have to make a serious and deliberate change for things to improve. It's tough to sit idly by when you just want to be like HERE'S A LIST OF THINGS YOU CAN DO, I know. :-/ I struggle with it constantly. My mom actually just got diagnosed with type II diabetes as well. She told me it runs in the family. I'm like, "Do Uncle Russ and Uncle Billy (her thinner siblings) have it? Did your mom have it (my grandma was thinner)?" She said no, only her bigger family members. I told her to stop blaming fate. ;x She got it. She takes meds for that, blood pressure, and a couple other things that would all go away if she just got healthier. It sucks dude.

Yes, I like the show too because it's a wake-up call...and even if it's not truly realistic, it gives bigger audience members someone to relate to instead of people like you and me, who are on the healthy side and talking to people whom we can't 100% relate to.
May. 14th, 2012 07:20 pm (UTC)
That is so awesome about your brother!

Glad I could help find the runner within you :) I can't wait to see you cross that marathon finish line. It will probably be from behind as I'll be dead by then after running a half the previous day lol
May. 14th, 2012 07:38 pm (UTC)
Thanks! :o) Hope he sticks with it and stays serious.

Lol we'll see about that. 26 miles is still a pipe dream for me. Probably will be until the moment I cross the finish line, honestly.
May. 14th, 2012 07:40 pm (UTC)
Nah. You'll run 26 miles in training and it will be glorious :)
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )


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32-year-old Nutella activist, full-time grammar enforcer, and part-time runner. I live for cupcakes, Walt Disney World, terrible puns, the '90s, Harry Potter, spelling bees, pumpkin anything, fluffy animals, and B horror films. I write.

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