My name is Elizabeth. My whole life I have been overweight. Growing up was hard, there was a constant awareness of my size, I avoided sitting on buses, rides,anywhere that I might not fit. I can remember going shopping with my mom when I was twelve and having to not only shop in the women's section, but in the plus-size women's. Today wouldn't be quite as bad, retail stores have figured out that just because you are fat doesn't mean you have to wear a mu-mu, but I still cringe each time I hear a mom tell her little girl, "I'm sorry honey, that outfit is just too small for you." Fast forward a few years. At twenty-one I decided to serve a mission for my church. This would involve a LOT of walking so I began to eat a little better and exercise. My weight in those eighteen months went from the highest it had ever been to the lowest I could remember. Toward the end (this is where the marathon part comes in) I was working with an amazing girl who had been a runner all her life. I was intrigued. Running was always something I completely avoided. Not only because I had never run more that a few blocks in my life, but because...well, when you run you jiggle, and I was particularly jiggly. However, the past eighteen months I had been doing things I never thought I could and it had given me confidence, I didn't worry so much about what people saw when they looked at me but how I felt. I felt I could run. At first I could do no more than two minutes without gasping, but gradually I began to increase the amount I time that I ran, pushing a little harder each day. After four weeks I did something I thought impossible, I ran a mile. Without stopping. It took me thirteen minutes, and I almost passed out, but I did it. I decided then that my ultimate goal would be a marathon. I didn't know when, but I was going to run a marathon at some point in my life. After I returned from my mission, I kept up the running and found a new way to look at food. I ate healthy, meaning portion control, and had treats whenever I needed them, but not too much. The weight continued to come off and for the first time I could ever remember, I weighed below two hundred pounds. It was such an amazing milestone, I couldn't believe it. I felt incredible. I had worked myself up to almost two miles of running trying to get ready for a 5k. I had never felt so good, and then it only got better, I met an amazing man and we were married. Only two months after the wedding, I found out I was expecting our first child. So many emotions ran through me during those nine months. I wanted to be healthy for my family. I never want for any of my children to suffer the sadness that I did as a child. Unfortunately, I also dealt with some baby blues and felt all the old emotions and cravings coming back. And I gave in. It was so much easier to not think about things and just do what made me feel better. Then I convinced myself that I was too busy to worry about exercising. I had a new baby, and we decided to build a house. I never lost the baby weight (by the way, don't listen to people who say "go ahead and eat it, your pregnant, do what you want" it's not true) and with all the stress and my old habits I put on even more. By the time we found out we were expecting our second child I was back up to 240 pounds. All the weight I had lost, all the work, was gone. This pregnancy has gone much better, I made a goal not to gain any weight. Even though I have not accomplished this, I have only put on 15. Much better than the 35 the first time around. As of this post I have only four weeks left and I am deciding now to make some changes. Not only in my eating habits, but in my physical fitness as well. I want my children to be healthy, to make good choices in food and truly enjoy exercise. I want to be able to say, "I've run a marathon" and by the end of this blog, I will have done so. There will be lots of little goals to help me along the way and I will do it!