In January 2009, my friend Kristie embarked on a serious workout goal: she wanted to train and run the Disney 1/2 Marathon in 1 year. Along with co-workers and friends, Kristie began running and walking, eating right, and committing to a healthier lifestyle. I was gigantically pregnant with Evan at the time, and I would drive by Kristie in her blue workout gear as she walked, then ran, the campus where we worked together.

Kristie has an amazing energy about her, but I connected with her in an unspoken way. For, in an office environment where most people are size 2/4/6, Kristie and I were confidently double those sizes.

As Kristie worked out and ate right, her weight melted away. My son was born at the end of March 2009, and when I visited work to see some friends, I saw Kristie. Actually, I saw a woman walking towards me and waving. Adjusting to life with a newborn, I was sleep deprived, for sure, and I didn’t recognize the person waving. It honestly took me a few minutes to realize that the person waving to me — someone who I saw nearly every day — was Kristie.

She was shapely. Thin. Strong.

Throughout the time I’ve known her, Kristie has always been a fashionista. She was always put together, her wardrobe was always so beautiful, and she just wore her clothes so well. While I was still on maternity leave – and while she was packing to move to another state – Kristie sent me the cutest email.

“I don’t mean to be offensive, Liza, so please don’t take this offer this way. But, I have all these clothes that are a size 14 and 16 that just too big and that don’t fit me anymore. Do you want them?”

I believe my email response was: “HELLS, YES!!!”

After I picked up Kristie’s “fat clothes” (lovingly said), I hung them up in my closet. I was thrilled at my new fabulosity — I was going to take over her role as the department fashionista (basically because I was wearing her clothes, right?)! I also said to myself, “I wonder what I’m going to do when I don’t fit into these awesome clothes anymore, though.” I had already thought about running, melting away the fat on my body, and following in Kristie’s footsteps of a shrinking waist.

It’s August 2010. It’s been more than 16 months since the birth of my son. It’s been 14 months since Kristie gave me her “fat clothes.” It’s been more than 8 months since I started running. It’s been a 5k, a 10k, a 1/2 marathon, and a second 1/2 marathon training.

Kristie’s “fat clothes” are still in my closet — some of them are still too small for me to wear.

In January 2010, I committed to running a 1/2 marathon before my mastectomy. I had a very reasonable and very realistic goal of losing weight before my 35th birthday.

I turn 35 years old in 1 week.

The scale is exactly the same. The clothes fit exactly the same.

I know that other things have changed: my health, strength, and peace of mind. In a few months, my body — my breasts — will change completely. I just thought the rest of me would look so different, too.

Change is hard, right? I didn’t sit by and idly wait for things to happen to me. I took charge. I took steps. I put one foot in front of the other — heck, I ran one foot in front of the other.

So, shout out, people – what are some changes you’ve made or have committed to making that are tough? What are some changes you’ve made that are taking a while to move? I know I can’t be alone, right?

Peace, love, and tougher than I thought,


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