Today is my best running friend’s birthday. She is 55 years old. In the last seven years, she and I have lost a combined 70lbs, and we’re closing in on 75lbs lost. She and I were heavy together, and now we are skinny together. We send each other dressing room pictures of ourselves in clothes that we normally wouldn’t have dreamed of even trying on. We bought skinny jeans together just last week.
We do a lot together, not only because we are best running friends, but also because we are mother and daughter.
My freshman year of college, I tipped the scales at 175lbs. I’m only 5’3″ so that was a lot of weight to carry around. My BMI was at the bottom end of the obese scale. I must have hid it well because most people don’t believe me when I tell them I weighed that much.
I asked my mom not too long ago how she felt about my weight issues when I was younger. She said it upset her to see me heavy, but she didn’t really know what to do. She was struggling too and figured it was just our genetics.
My senior year of high school, she was diagnosed with lupus and fibromyalgia. Her doctor told her that she would feel better if she could lose a little weight. She started walking. She started eating better. She lost a little weight.
Then I got pregnant. My doctor told me it was “perfectly fine” for me to gain 20-25lbs during my pregnancy. I did the math in my head and panicked. There was no way I was going to weigh 200lbs when I delivered. No way. So I started walking with my mom. I started going to water aerobics. I didn’t gain 25lbs. I didn’t even gain 20lbs. I weighed less when I got home from the hospital than when I got pregnant.
I was happy to have lost a little weight, so I kept walking and taught myself how to cook. I researched nutrition and started eating a lot better. When my oldest was 15 months old, I got pregnant again, and again I managed to weigh less when I got home from the hospital than when I got pregnant.
By this time, my mom had lost quite a bit of weight and bought a bike. She started riding in addition to her walking. Eventually she started what she refers to as “wogging,” her term for walk/jogging.
Now I’m a slightly competitive person…ok, I’m really competitive. My mom says it’s genetic…from the other side of the family. I didn’t want my mom to be skinnier than me. I kicked it into high gear. Not to be shown up by my 50-year-old mom, I bought a bike too and started riding. I started running. I was diagnosed with moderate to severe lactose intolerance and eliminated dairy from my diet, which allowed me to easily drop 5lbs. I caught up to her and then a little bit more. My BMI is now in the healthy weight range. I weigh less than I did in eight grade.
Do I care that I got to buy size 8 skinny jeans and my best running friend bought size 10? A little bit. But I know if she keeps it up, she’ll be buying size 8s of her own before too long. Or maybe she can have mine, because she’ll push me as hard as always and I’ll be buying size 6s!
So…HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the best running friend a girl could ask for! And to the best mom and the best friend a daughter could ask for! Thanks for always pushing me to better myself and for being an inspiration not only to me, but to every person who encounters you in this life.