Monday, July 27, 2009

WW and College Update

IT's official!!! I am a college graduate. On Friday I took my last test of my last class. I got a B in the class. The last class was an online Statistics class. Math doesn't come easily for me, so this was a BIG challenge to say the least. I am so proud of myself. I never thought this day would come. It was so freeing. A HUGE weight was lifted from my back. I cried. I will be writing a separate blog post with pics that shares the emotions that I have gone through becoming a college graduate.

On the Weight Watchers front. I stayed the same this week. I was actually very happy with that as I was studying all week, and driving parker from a theater camp in Chicago to rehearsals in Schaumburg Wed-Friday. I was in the car a lot and eating the best I could. I really just did not want a gain, so when they told me my weight was the same as my previous weigh in I was very happy.

Here's to a new week. Here's to being a college graduate and Here's to a healthier me!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Exciting thing happened at the gym

I am so excited because today at the gym two people, count 'em, that's right two people said they had to make sure it was me before they said hi because I looked so different. They could tell I had lost weight and they said I look completely different in my face. Check out this picture of me and Darlene. I have posted it before, but want to show you again. Wow, we have both come so far and will never go back. It was a very exciting day for me and my eating has been going well too. Eeeeeeeeep!!!!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009


I had an awesome week on Weight Watchers. I ate really well, tracked everything I ate, got lots of fruits and veggies in, drank all my water, and just really did a great job. I was not able to work out due to my schedule, but none the less had a great weigh in today. I'm very happy to say that I lost 2.8 pounds. I have been losing and gaining the same 5 pounds for the last couple months. The good news with that is that I never went below my 40 pounds lost mark, so I am almost back to my 45 pounds lost mark. I feel good about how I have gotten back to it and know that I will be successful again. I set short goals for myself and my next goal is 50 pounds lost. I am hoping to reach that by August 8th. My week to week goal in my mind, to help make the big picture smaller, is to just lose a pound of week. My great WW leader Kirk told me to do that. He said anyone can lose a pound in a week, so if you just focus on that one pound you can do it and it's a bonus when you lose more. It really helped me. Thanks for all your support and encouragement all the way.

Todays weight: 263

Next goal: 256.3 That will put me at 50 pounds lost total. I'm also very excited about this next milestone because I will be in the 250's. It's been awhile since I've seen that on the scale.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Born to be Wild

This is a video of my friend's son rockin' out. It just made my day!! Enjoy. Her blog is at

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Overdue Race Report!!! It's a long one!!

On June 14, 2009 I participated in the US WOMEN's TRIATHLON in Naperville, Il.

I swam a half mile.
I biked 14 miles.
I ran/walked 3.1 miles.

Here is my report:

Here I am all set up and ready to go in transition.

I love this picture of Dar and I in transition.

I did not get body marked the day before the event, so after I was all set up in transition I went and got body marked.

It seems that no matter what event I am at, I run into people I know from the YMCA, where I work out. The lady next to me is Leslie. I was her children's pre-school teacher and we see each other at the Y from time to time. The lady next to her is Lois, who works and teaches spinning at the Y. Leslie was doing this tri as her first one. Lois was there to cheer her on.

The race started at 7am and our wave didn't start till shortly after 8am, so Dar and I had fun with permanent markers. Here is Dar's leg. It was her birthday and during her race she got lots of birthday wishes.

My favorite Bible verse, that I love and that helps me through all my events is, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." A lot of people thanked me on the run for having that verse on my leg.

I run my races in honor of children who are living with Trisomy or that have passed away. This race I did in memory of Baby Michael Z. In November, I ran a Turkey Trot, in his honor, just a day after he was born. Two weeks later, after a valient fight, he passed away. I knew that I would do this race for him when I signed up.

Here I am showing off all my body markings and showing off the skinnier me too.

Here we are on the beach waiting for our swim wave to start.. I absolutely love this picture of Darlene and me. Someone recently asked me if this was my twin sister? She is my sister from another mother. I love you Dar.

I have a wonderful friend named Michelle that I met online through our blogs. Two years ago we met in person doing this same Triathlon. This year we were in the same wave. She is an incredible lady and if you want to check her out her blog it called HITTING MY STRIDE. Just click that and you can visit her blog. We saw each other in transition and then didn't see each other again until the race start, so I ran over to my family members, grabbed my camera, ran back in the crowd, and took this picture, seriously like 2 minutes before the tri started. I'm glad I did. I love it.

Here are all of us girls ready to go. Check out my HUGE goggles. LOL I suffer a little bit with claustrophobia when I put my face in the water and I found that these goggles work the best because of I have more of a view. I look like a dork in pictures with them on, but they help. :)

Can you find me? I'm at the back of the pack and ok with that. Even when I am almost last in a race I think to myself, "What are most of my friends doing right now while I'm here at the back of the pack doing a triathlon? They are in bed still." So, back of the pack or not, I'm up and doing a triathlon and finishing.

The swim was tough. We have been having a very mild summer and the water temp was very cold. They even emailed us and let us know that it was going to be ok to use a wetsuit. The only problem is I'm not wetsuit size yet, so I did not have that option. When we stepped in the water it was cold. When our wave started I ran and jumped in and as soon as my face hit it literally took my breath away. It took me a good 5 minutes to get used to it, but 20 minutes later I finished and got out of the water as you can see here in the picture. At my first tri here in 2006 I had a panic attack in the water for the last 5 minutes of it. In 2007 I started to have a panic attack, but was able to breathe through it and not let it over take me. I am proud to say this year NO PANIC at all in the water. I've come a long way. Maybe it's the dorky looking goggles. I don't know for sure, but I was very happy.

After getting out of the water, and starting to jog the longest run to a tranistion that I have ever seen, I realized that my heel was flaring up. The pain was pretty bad and I had one leg that was cramping up. I did not have a fast transition due to this because I had to do some stretching, but soon I was out on my bike for a nice 14 mile ride.

Here I am coming into transition 2. I just rode 14 miles. For the most part it was uneventful except for my left foot/heel/leg cramp. Pretty much from the get go my left foot was giving me issues. It did not like my biking shoes and did not like being clipped into the pedal. The ride is a nice one. It is too loops and not hilly at all. The only excitement was a lady that totally took a turn to fast and hit the curb and FLEW off her bike. She got up, got back on, and passed me. :)

Next off the run and I'm all done. As soon as I got off my bike I almost fell over from the pain in my left heel. I took time to stretch it in transition, but I knew this run/walk would not be easy. I was right. I was on my way and not within two minutes I was debating whether or not I should continue on. I looked down at my arm and saw the words IN MEMORY OF BABY MICHAEL Z. and knew I had to do it for him and his family. This little boy fought for his life for two weeks and didn't win his fight. I realized that I could fight and finish a 3.1 mile walk for him and that's just what I did. I kept moving and eventually the finish line was in sight.

Here I am heading towards the finish line. I was happy to see it and happy to get some encouragement along the way. Everyone was high fiving me. It was great!!

Here's a close up of me having fun with the crowd. I love how happy I look in this pic. Also, for those of you who don't know I am part of a Team called TEAM TRISOMY and the founder, Michael Hennessy, always wears a cowboy hat on his runs, so I have started to do that. We have team members nationwide. You can check out Michael's website at IRONMAN FOR KIDS.I look really happy in this picture.

Here I am getting closer.

I'm almost there. Victory is mine.

I made it across the finish line. Here are Dar and I with our medals. We did it!!

Here is Dar loading our bikes on the rack. We were heading to her house for a victory celebration, but more importantly her birthday celebration with her family.

Besides my cool finishers medal I also got this nice token as a reminder of my race. That's my back and yes, that is sunburn.

It was a wonderful day!! I cannot wait to do it again next year.

Here are my stats for the race:

Melissa Black Swim 21:36 Transition 1 7:35 Bike 1:09:31 Transition 2 6:00 Run 1:00:09

Over all time 2:44:48

Results from 2006, first tri ever: 2:27

Results from 2007: 2:42

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

This is AWESOME!!

It can be yours for only $4,889.99. Click on the price to go to the website. I would love one, but would not be able to be on the phone and on the treadmill at the same time.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Where is this journey taking me?

I am so excited because I am doing a great job on weight watchers this week. I know it's only been since Saturday, but I have tracked everything and that's with even having a BBQ yesterday. Everybody brought food to share and there was a ton of stuff, but all I had was 2 turkey burgers on a special bun, spinach salad, water, veggies, licorice, 2 chocolate chips. I get 36 points in a day and that all came to 22 points. This is the first time at a get together like this that I wasn't concentrating on the food. It was just there as a side to the fun and conversation that I was able to have. Something that is cool is that I brought individual sized bags of chips, and individual sized bags of veggie chips. There were no veggie chips left at the end of the party and there were regular chips left.

I'm really excited to see how my hard work will pay off on the scale next week. I'm really in a whole new mindset with this. I have a weight loss goal that I want to reach by the end of December. If I really get back in the grove I will make it. I'm excited to think about my goal. I'm excited to picture myself 100 pounds lighter. I'm excited to picture myself able to do things I haven't done in years. I'm excited to picture myself crossing the Ironman finish line. I"m excited to have my kids with me on this journey, so they can see me become healthy. I'm excited about what awaits. Anything I want I can have and right now, with God's help, I can lose this weight and begin the next journey in my life.

I'm just wondering what that next journey will be. I was talking to my weight watcher leader today. He has said several times, in our meetings in front of EVERYONE, that I would make a great weight watchers leader someday. He says that what I share inspires others. Recently I was thinking about that and started praying about whether or not that is the route for me. Overweight kids and teens kept popping in my head. I can see myself using my journey to help others. I want to educate parents on how to have a healthy home. I want to encourage obese teens and help them become fit. Whether it is through a camp setting, or some other way I can see my journey helping not only adults, but mainly teens, families, and kids. I'm excited to see myself reach my goals, but also excited to see how I will be able to give back and help others reach their own goals.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Weight Watchers Update

I lost .6 pounds. I had a couple months where I've been fluctuating between the same 5 pounds. I have renewed my weight loss efforts. My weight watcher leader told me to just have a goal of a pound a week, that everyone can lose one pound a week, so that is what I am doing. I am going to try and lose a pound this week. I want to start seeing a loss again every week. I can do this.

Also, just wondering where all my blog readers are? Have you left me for Facebook? :(

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Great Quote

Don't let yesterday fill today.

On the triathlon note I decided not to do the tri on July 26th, but will do the one at the end of August.

Have a blessed day!!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

To tri or not to tri, that is the question.

So, I was planning on doing another sprint triathlon on July 26th, however, I am not sure if I should or not.
I am still having minor heel pain, but I must say that it is WAAAY better than it was. I wear orthotics in my shoes, I'm doing exercises, stretches, massage, and it is getting better. My chiropractor says there really is no reason I can't do the triathlon.

However, I have not been training as I should and it is only 3 weeks away. I know that I could finish it, but would I be happy with just finishing it. I'm a little anxious about this one because it is my first real open water swim. It's not a long swim, but it is an open swim. I know I will have to face this sooner or later to become a better triathlete and make it to my ultimate goal of Ironman, but I am nervous about doing it undertrained.

The other option is to skip this one and go and cheer on my girl Dar and do one the end of August. This is another all female one and my friend Dar is doing that one as well, so I wouldn't have to do it alone. I would have more time to train, lose weight, and take more time to make sure my heel is healing. I"m kind of opting towards this second choice, but still not sure. I need to decide soon, so I can register and get in the mind set I need to.

So, to tri or not to tri, on July 26th, that is the question. What do you all think?

Thursday, July 02, 2009

"How are you doing" or how Joey, from friends, says it, "How you doin'?"

Those are 4 simple words (or three in Joey's case) that we ask people everyday, but do we really want to hear the answer.
I asked someone how they were doing when I called them recently. They answered, "Well,um, ok."
I proceeded to tell them why I called because I did not want to forget. I got all the business done and then
asked them again, "How are you doing? You didn't sound like everything was ok when I asked before."
Things weren't going ok and she had had a hard day at work. I am so glad that I took the time to REALLY ask her how she was doing.
I was in a hurry that day, but took a WHOLE five minutes extra to really see how she was doing. It didn't take that long, I really wanted to know, and still got things done that I needed to.

This is just a reminder when you ask someone how they are doing please take a few minutes to really ask them. When you ask please listen to their answer. They may say great, but really they are not and you can usually tell. Let them know that you care, that you are there for them, really listen, and give them a hug if they need it.

When someone asks you how YOU are doing, if you are having a hard time with something, tell them. I know that HOW ARE YOU has just become the norm for when you are greeting someone, but really asking, really listening, really answering, and really caring could make all the difference in someone's life.