I’m Climbing 103 Flights of Stairs… by Choice!

About three and a half years ago, I was running seven miles 3-4 times a week. I was in the best shape of my life. I lived at home with my mom in order to save up money to move to Chicago. My brother would accompany me to the gym and whip my butt into shape. We would spend at least two hours in the gym. I felt great.

Then, in January 2012, my friend Katie told me about the company she was working for. I applied, got the position, and the two of us moved to Chicago in April 2012. I was fascinated with Chicago. We learned the transportation system – usually by getting lost. We tried many different new restaurants and bars. We made a lot of new friends.

But I stopped working out because “I had no time.” Well, my excuse of “I have no time” turned into a year of excuses… and then two years…

Flash forward to about a month and a half ago: I had let myself go. I gained 25 pounds. I don’t care if someone is a size 0, or a size 8 or a size 18. Gaining weight sucks. I had gotten so tired of “but you don’t look like you weigh XX amount.” Or “but you’re still skinny.” I think that is one of the worst things to tell people when they are battling weight issues. I was not skinny. I had gone up 2 pant sizes, and I weighed more than I had ever been. I was uncomfortable. I hated looking at myself in the mirror.

I joined a fitness challenge at work (how many steps can you get per day for 100 days? Goal is 10,000 steps per day), I bought a fitbit, and I found a reliable running partner. Since a month and a half ago, I’ve lost 10 pounds and dropped one size. I haven’t worked out a lot, only running here and there due to conducting a sleep study (more to come on that). My biggest change was my diet. I had gotten into a bad funk of eating McDs breakfast, skipping lunches, eating very unhealthy foods packed with high fructose corn syrup, adding a ton of cream and sugar into my coffee, indulging in sweets way too often… you get the picture. I hated how my body felt after eating these foods. I felt bloated. My stomach always hurt.

I haven’t skipped breakfast in about a month. Maaaybe once or twice. I make smoothies every morning. And no, I do NOT use that Beach Body Shakeology or any other crazy powder concoction. I bring my lunch everyday and use my half hour to go for a walk and then eat at my desk instead of wasting time going to Jimmy Johns or Chipotle or somewhere else that’s sucking up my money.

I’m very proud of the progress I’ve made! I definitely have not blogged in a very long time. I recently posted one about my home. But part of why I didn’t blog a lot was because I had nothing to write about. I was being lazy and depressed and a Negative Nancy. No one wants to read that.

So, what’s with the “climbing 103 flights of stairs by choice?” My bucket lists contains a slew of things that I want to do. One of them is climbing 103 flights of stairs in the Sears Tower. (Whatever, sure yes it’s actually Willis Tower, but everyone knows it will always be the Sears Tower.)

What is the SkyRise TowerUp you ask??

I will be tackling the planet’s highest indoor tower climb at the Willis Tower to raise funds for the nation’s best rehabilitation hospital, according to US News and World Report – the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC)!

RIC provides world-class rehabilitation care to thousands of patients for traumatic brain and spinal cord injury, stroke and cancer recovery, and more. The funds raised through SkyRise Chicago 2015 will directly support advances in patient care and cutting-edge research at RIC.

SkyRise Chicago is truly a special event. It’s the only tower climb in the world to offer two modes of participation – by foot up the Willis Tower stairs and via stationary hand-cycling the equivalent distance uphill. These options give anyone, no matter their level of ability, the opportunity to participate.

In order to participate, I do have to raise $100 (none of that goes to my pocket!). If you’re feeling generous, feel free to click my page (here) to donate! If not, send me some good luck!

The Climb is Nov 8th. I will probably not be able to walk the next day. 🙂

I’ll be posting about my progress! So stay tuned!



27 thoughts on “I’m Climbing 103 Flights of Stairs… by Choice!

  1. 103! Whoa that’s a lot!!
    Apart from raising 100 dollars may I also suggest that you find a body double to switch places with the next day 😉

  2. I enjoyed your writing. Your description of gaining 25 pounds and how you felt sounds like where I am right now. I’m by no means fat, but when you gain that extra weight it sucks – everything you said. I don’t even enjoy shopping for clothes. This was inspirational for me and very much needed. I’m very, very behind on 101 so I may use this as my post about being inspired by a neighbor.

    • I hate clothes shopping as well. I cried in the dressing room when I realized I had to buy bigger pants. It’s terrible! It is however hard to be happy in life if you aren’t happy with your body. I’m not where I want to be yet for my weight goals, but I’m a much happier person because I’m working towards it. Thank you for stopping by! It means a lot that people can be inspired by my posts. I get the feels every time! Best of luck to you in your journey!!

      • Many things in life feel better when you’re happy with your body! What do you use for breakfast? If I make a smoothie I use frozen fruit instead of ice, Greek yogurt, milk, a banana and protein powder. Gosh, that just sounds like a lot of calories.

      • i mix it up. Today was green apple, cinnamon, half a banana, 2ish tablespoons black chia seeds, a cup of almond milk and a scoop of plain greek yogurt.

      • Did you receive a notification that I published a post that related to this post? I included a link to this specific post so I was hoping you would be notified.

  3. Good for you Megan, getting yourself fit and healthy again. As you’ve found, back to basics with nutrition + keeping active will inevitably make you feel great. I’ve been there and have no wish to return. Looking forward to reading about your challenge – find some steps and get training 🙂

  4. I can’t directly relate to the trauma of weight gain, but I have heard many stories about it. What’s interesting to me is that one can maintain or lose weight by simply walking a lot. No need to go to the gym, go on a crazy diet, or anything outlandish.

    I’ve sometimes considered doing the Stairs Climbs like the Sears Tower event, but the timing was never convenient for me, and I’m not a big fan of events that have fundraising requirements.

  5. I had a similar experience. I went from the best shape of my life coming off college track and once I graduated became depressed and worries about life that I gave up on myself. I gained weight and hated everything. It’s hard to pull out of it. It’s great to read that we’re all human and have similar experiences. No one is perfect, but we’ll all trying to be the best of ourselves. Good luck with your climb it sounds like a tough one! I hate the stair climber in the gym, it’s so hard.

    • This happens to so many more people than I ever realized until I started reading through blogs. It’s good too see others be so encouraging with each other. I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog and comment. Best of luck to you as well.

      We got this!!

  6. Good Luck Megan. Hope to hear how you make out. I know about how people say oh you don’t need to lose weight. I went up 2 dress sizes too and it just an uncomfortable feeling. Down one so far. Keep up the good work. Your SkyRise Chicago page looks good.

  7. Good luck!
    Regards from Catalonia, Spain
    Mucha suerte y ánimos para cumplir tu reto!
    Saludos desde Cataluña, España

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