Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Hobbit-starring Parker Black

Parker is in another show.
He is in The Hobbit and is a Hobbit, Wood Elf, and a Goblin. He even has a line. First time ever with a line. :)
It's in Des Plaines at the Prairie Lakes Community Center, 515 E. Thacker St.

The shows run October, 30, 31, and November 1st.
They also run on November 6, 7, and 8th.

You can buy tickets here: Christian Youth Theater

Once there click on Tickets/Shows
Click on NW Cook
Then buy tickets
Once you are in the screen to buy tickets there will be a place to enter a cast members name. Parker is trying to sell 30 tickets to attend a Director's party. Please enter Parker Black for him to get the credit.

Once you buy your tickets come out and have a good time. You'll love the show. They are doing a great job!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

My friend is hurting.

I have a friend that is hurting and I am truly hurting with him.
I do not know and will ever say I know what he is going through.
I want to be able to help him. I want to make it feel better. I want his pain to go away.
I wish it were me going through it rather than him.
I've had pain in my life. I have had to deal with it before. I wish it were me instead of him.
But it's not and the best thing I can do is be there for him.
One thing that I know from my pain is that people mean well when you are hurting.
They try to help. They try to say the right thing, but they don't.
I hope that my friend knows I am trying and my intentions are from the heart.
I never want to be that person that says or does something stupid.
I want my friend to know that I am there for him. I care about him. I am sad for him.
Friend, if you need me to back off please tell me.
Whatever you need just tell me.
I can be a listening ear.
I can give you your space.
I can give a hug if you need it.
I can be a friend.

I want us all to wake up and have this all be a dream, but it's not.
It's reality and one that sucks right now the most for my friend.
Please, please keep him in your prayers and his family and all affected.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

WW Update and My little wager with Ralphie

WW UPDATE: I lost 6 pounds this past week. Last week was a bad week. I gained 3.6 pounds last week. I looked at what went wrong, readjusted, got in the saddle again and lost 6 pounds. That put me at an all time high for weight loss. I'm at 61.6 pounds total. 65 pounds is half way to my total goal and I can't wait. 65 is my next goal for my weight loss.

Ralphie Wager Update: So my friend Ralph and I placed a little wager this week. We are seeing who will lose 20 pounds by Christimas. Hey, Ralphie, I lost 6 pounds this past week. Did you read that Ralphie? 6 pounds. That means I only have 14 pounds to go by Christmas. Start practicing now cause I'll see you in Spinning. It's gonna be me, you, and a spinning bike for 90 minutes. Might want to invest in some padded biking shorts cause me and spinning are going to kick your butt. HAHAHAHA

Friday, October 23, 2009

Public Apology to my friend Megan


My friend Megan over at Project Procrastination, and one of my biggest fans, has written several times about coming out of the water at races and having snot all over her face as she continues to run. I used to think, "Ok, Megan, get it together girl, that is so gross." She has written about this more than once. I really just thought she was exaggerating or just had unusual amounts of mucus. I don't know I just thought she was weird, which at times she is and she'd be the first to admit it, but I digress.

As you all know I have been swimming, in fact, I haven't missed a day yet this week of swimming. I take two master swim classes per week. I'm in the water constantly and you know what? My nose runs like there is no tomorrow. It runs as if my whole brain was filled with mucus and it never stops. Now when I run I have an issue too. I never used to spit and i mean NEVER cause girls aren't supposed to, but guess what? I spit now and I have mucus, lots of it, that decides while I'm swimming to make it's exit. Yesterday, when I got out of the pool to get in the hot tub I felt something on my face and you guessed it, it was a huge thing of snot. I instantly thought of my friend, Megan, and decided I should apologize publicly to her.

Megan, my dear, sweet, friend. I silently would make fun of your mucus, snot, posts and I just want to say I'M SORRY. PLEASE FORGIVE ME. Now that I'm becoming a better athlete I understand. Just one little word of advice. You might want to wipe your nose and face before getting out of the water. :) I love you Megan and appreciate all your support. Can't wait to see you at the Hot Chocolate 5k or 15k in your case.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Broken Heart by Melissa Black

I just got a call from a dear friend.
His heart has been broken.
He'll need time to mend.

As he talked and I listened my heart grew heavy.
The sadness was flowing, it broke the levy.
It ran through my veins right to my heart
it was torn and was broken apart.

See I've had a lot of loss in my life.
I've dealt with a lot of grief and strife,
so even though his situation is not quite the same
I do know a little about hurt and pain.

I told him I'm sorry and I'll be there for him.
I told him I'd listen or go work out at the gym.
I'll leave him alone if that's how he feels
and give him the time he'll need to heal.

So tonight as I head off to bed.
I've got thoughts of my friend and his hurt running through my head.
I'll think some nice thoughts and say a few prayers.
I really hope that my friend knows just how much I care.

Ralph AKA Jillian

This is my new friend Ralph. He is my new work out buddy. We met at the YMCA. I was having a problem with my leg and really needed to stretch it out, so I went over to the mat and I was trying to figure out how to stretch out my right hip/butt area. I have always made it a point that if I don't know how to do something I usually ask an employee for help or someone who is working out. So I scanned the stretching mat and saw Ralph. He was in some great looking stretch and decided he looked nice, so I waited till he was done with his stretch and asked him for help. I showed him what I needed to stretch and he showed me two stretches. They were exactly what I needed. We chatted a little bit while stretching. We talked about Biggest Loser and I told him a little bit about my journey and then I went on my way. I realized I really liked Ralph and that I could use his help in my workouts, so I wrote down my Facebook name and my blog and told him that I update my journey there if he wanted to follow my journey. We talked that night and talked about working out sometime.

Ralph is going into the Navy and has to swim and work on pull ups and sits ups and running for a test he has to take for the Navy and I have to continue working toward my weight loss and triathlon goals. We talked about trying to work out together or swim together, but our schedules were totally opposite. We were finally able to meet up and swim together. We were in the same lane, but just did our own thing, encouraging each other a few times along the way. I have always wanted a workout buddy and now I do. We have now swam together three times and worked out together once. He is joining the Masters Swim class that I take, so my swimming coach can kick his butt. :) Ralph wants to be a rescue swimmer in the Navy so him getting his butt kicked in the pool will only help him with his goals.

Last week as you all know I had a tough week. I told Ralph about it and he said, "Ok, meet you in the gym on Monday. I'm going to kick your butt since you didn't have a good week." All I can say about this workout is that he is like Jillian on Biggest Loser. That's my new nickname for him when we work out. :) Before you all comment that he should be nice. It's really what I need. Everyone is so supportive and encouraging and I appreciate it, but sometimes I just need to hear that I screwed up and I need someone to just say it like it is. That someone is Ralph and I really appreciate it. It was one of the best work outs I have had in a long time and not only was he pushing me, I was pushing him. It's going to be good for both of us.

One thing that came out of our work out was a little wager. We both want to lose 20 pounds, so we bet each other to see who could do it by Christmas. If I win Ralph has to take a 90 minute spinning class with me. He hates biking. If I lose (which I'm telling you now I won't) I have to do a Navy work out called a PVC. It has three parts to it. Something called a Body Builder, lunges, and burpies. It is hard. One thing that Ralph doesn't know yet (this will prove if he reads my blog or not) is that I am going to make him wear a pink shirt in the spinning class and it will say, "I lost a bet to a girl." HAHA If I lose I will do my workout in the middle of the gym and sing IN THE NAVY. He doesn't know that either. It should be fun and we are already having fun trash talking each other.

I just wanted to introduce you to Ralph as I'm sure I will be mentioning him more and more. Tomorrow morning we are getting together to swim again. I will keep you posted on our little wager too. Stay Tuned!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

WW Update and 5k today

WW Update: Not good.

I had a significant gain, but don't want to say how much. I had a lot going on this week and it was my birthday. There was a lot of emotional eating involved. That really bothered me because I have not really emotionally eaten in almost a year. I let my guard down, wasn't prepared, and didn't log my eating AT ALL. I knew there would be a gain and I have learned from it and have moved on. If I focus on it too much then I will let it launch me into a downward spiral and I will not allow that to happen.

I learned from this that you can never get to confident in how you are doing or how far you have come. I had been telling someone recently that I hadn't emotional eaten in about a year. I told them that I really think I have that licked and then BAM, it happens. You can never let your guard down in this journey. You let it down and it is amazing how quickly some of the old habits come a knocking at the door. I am finally taking care of myself, finally losing the weight, and finally taking care of the mental crap too, so I truly believe I am being attacked by all sides to see how I hold up. This past week I didn't hold up very well. This next week and beyond I will. I had a friend tell me it was only a few days and next time it will only be a few hours and the next time will only be a few minutes. I would love to say that there won't be a next time, but that would just be setting myself up for failure, because life happens and there will be a next time. What I CAN say is that when that next time comes around I will be better prepared and it won't last as long. It's a journey, I had 6 weeks of losses in a row at WW, I had one week of a gain. Am I going to let that one week of a gain turn my life, my accomplishments, and my goals all upside down. No I am not.

One thing about having my journey so public that it is hard to have a bad week. Everyone is reading my facebook, everyone is reading my blog. I'm encouraging and inspiring so many and never thought in a million years that I could help others. I was telling a dear friend at Weight Watchers this week that I wish my journey wasn't so public because I didn't want to share this week, but you know what I want to share now. I want to share the good and the bad times. It's real life. It happens. I want to share with you the hurts, the triumphs, the ups, the downs, and everything in between. I want to share so that when you go through the same thing you can remember my bad week this week and you can be better prepared because I wasn't. You can know that you are not alone and that others have the same struggles. I am picking myself up this week, brushing myself off, and getting back in the saddle. I encourage you to do the same thing. WIth that said I have a 5k today.

I want to do a 5k every month for a year. I started last month and today is the day for my October 5k. I REALLY hurt my toe on Friday. A huge chunk of my big toe nail ripped off. It will be a challenge. This morning I woke up with heel pain in my left foot. This will be a challenge. Coach Bob, wants me to get out there and take out this past week on my 5k and kick it's butt. I want to do that too. I want to beat my time of 47:19. WIll I be able to? I hope. Do I want to kick this 5k's butt? I want to. Am I getting up even with pain in both feet and toeing the line? Yes. Would I have done this in the past? NO WAY. Two sore feet would have been an excuse to stay in bed, but I'm not. After all, I want to be an Ironman. I want to swim 2.4 miles. I want to bike 112 miles. I want to run a marathon after swimming 2.4 miles and biking 112 miles. Do you think my feet will hurt during the marathon of my Ironman? Yes. Do you think that it will be hard? YES. So my toe hurting and my heel hurting today is just a test, a test to see what I have, a test to see how deep I can dig, a test to see what I am made of while facing diversity and a test of my desire. I think that today I will pass these tests with flying colors.

This past week is behind me. I ate for emotional reasons and there were days I didn't care. Today I care and I am reclaiming my journey. I am in control. I am the only one that can allow myself to be side railed and I am the only one that can get myself back on track. I'm back on track and ready to sail on to the next phase.

Goals I have made for myself to help me not have a repeat of this past week:

-Track everything I eat. NO excuses. JUST DO IT!!
-Have more fruit and veggies in the house, so I am better prepared for my snacks.
-Make sure I get all my workouts in.
-Remind myself everyday why I want to get healthy and stay healthy.

Friday, October 09, 2009

A poem I wrote recently!!


I'm on the journey of a lifetime
Where I'm fixing the physical part of me and also my mind.

I do not like what I let myself become.
Instead of facing problems I decided to run.

I kept everything in and told everyone I was OK,
but that doesn't work and it caught up to me one day.

I looked in the mirror and didn't recognize what I found.
An unhappy, sad, woman who weighed 306 pounds.

I decided to diet and really went to town.
For years my weight went up and it went down.

Then it went up to 306 for the final time.
I saw a picture of my mom and knew it was a sign.

She died, overweight, at the age of fifty-three.
I did not want that for me or for my family.

I turned a conrer in my mind and journey on November 8th, 2008
and since then I have lost 58 pounds to date.

I no longer emotional eat or want to binge.
I no longer take frequent trips to the fridge.

I no longer live to eat, but rather eat to live.
If you are on the same journey here is some advice I'd like to give:

-Have a person or a group that your accountable to.

-Track all the food you eat, this works, it's true.

-Make sure you take care of all the mental stuff.
It will be rewarding in the end, but right now I know it's tough.

- Set boundaries with others and put yourself first.
If you do this you'll be happy and no longer hurt.

See I'm the happiest I've been in my thirty-five years.
I never want this to go away. It's a feeling I hold dear.

So know that you can do this, I'm living proof.
You'll be happy mentally and your weight will start to disappear, POOF!!!!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

There is no such thing as an off day unless you are willing to accept it-Coach Bob

I woke up today with another headache. It was the 4th day in a row.
I weighed myself this morning. It says I gained 2 pounds this week.
How the heck have I gained 2 pounds when I haven't really changed anything that I've done? I mean, shoot, I went to a Cubs game and had a Subway 6 inch, veggie chips, an apple, and water. I mean come on, gained 2 pounds? I've swam like a fish, biked like Lance, and ran like I did something wrong and gained 2 pounds? I was determined once I had the headache and saw the weight gain that today was going to be an off day for me. I kept putting off the gym. Kept putting off life and felt sorry for myself. I left Bob a message on facebook cause I knew if I left my coach a message saying I didn't want to get to the gym today that I would go cause I wouldn't want to tell him I skipped cause of some stupid crap. (I know the structure of that sentence is off, but you get the point.) He sent me a message back that simply said, "There is no such thing as an off day unless you are willing to accept it." I decided right then and there to get my butt in gear and that I was not going to accept it no matter how much of the morning I wasted. I got to the gym and did not get my whole work out in, but got my swim in and part of my bike in.

I can sit here and mope that I've had a headache for 4 days. I can sit here and mope that the scale says some stupid number. I can sit here and mope and have a pity party, but seriously, how is that going to help me reach my goals? It's not and that is where I need to draw the line. Ok, so I've had a headache, figure out why. I've seen a gain on the scale, figure out why. Learn form these things and move on. I'm losing weight, I'm working out more than ever before, so why do I let these things get to me? I don't know. It's a little of the old me creeping back in and I am here to tell her tonight to get out of here. You are not welcome here anymore. I dealt with you before and became over 300 pounds. You are not going to sabotage me anymore. I refuse to become the person I was and I will fight every day not to become her again. My day started off as an off day and I was willing to accept it, but thanks AGAIN, to Bob, he helped me see that I should not be ok with accepting an off day. Who was making this an off day? Nobody, but myself. I overcame it and turned my off day into a GREAT day!! I have learned from this and the next day I think a day is turning into an off day I will make it the best day ever.

On another note, I found a new counselor, so I start tomorrow at 2pm. I'm not sure what will happen when I get a job, but I found a new one and tomorrow is the day. I did not become 306 pounds by accident. It's not just cause I was eating. There were reasons I was eating, reasons I was not dealing with my emotions properly, reasons I was turning to food instead of help, and I am determined to figure those reasons out. I have never dealt with them. I have,since I was about 10 years old, shoved feelings down and always told everyone that I was ok. I'm not ok anymore. I'm the happiest I have been in a lot of ways, but to continue being happy I need to figure out why I became overweight in the first place. I have figured out that I have not dealt with my mom's death, have not grieved her passing, and miss her a lot.

I gained most of my weight after she died. I am in a grief counseling class with about 5 other people and 2 teachers. We are working through a book and video series. I've only gone 3 times. There are about 10 more classes, so we will see. It's been hard to go and reopen the wounds that were so deeply hurt when she died. I have told everyone that I have been ok all these years, the wounds healed, but not the right way, so as a good friend of mine named Will told me, when I didn't want to go to class, "Melissa, You have to reopen the wounds. They never healed correctly. It will hurt to reopen them. It will hurt to clean them out, but then they will heal properly and there will not be anymore pain." Right now I am at the hard part of having them ripped open again. I don't like the feelings that are coming up, but know that this is necessary in my healing process and necessary for my weight loss journey to be successful this time. Will, thank you so much for those words. You are a good friend.

Monday, October 05, 2009

I am a new athlete

Disclaimer: That is not me in the above picture. I AM NOT that hairy. Just wanted to make sure you all knew that. :)

I have been with my new coach, Bob, now for almost 2 months. One thing that he says to me over and over is, "You are a new athlete." The first time he said it I thought to myself, "yeah, ok, whatever." Then I worked out more, listened to what he instructed me to do, and got a little stronger in my workouts. He said it again. That time I thought to myself, "You know what, I am a new athlete" and smiled to myself.

A while back, Bob, suggested that I take a Master Swim Class. Ok, now when I hear the word Master I think, you know, they've mastered swimming, they are all good, they are all going to kick my butt in the pool, master swimming, so when Bob suggested it, I just laughed to myself. He told me, "you are a new athlete. Sign up for it. You'll be fine." Well, since I pay this man to coach me, and he thought it was a good idea, I went ahead and signed up. I was scared the first time, even had some anxiety that first class. Coach Marsha, my masters swim class coach, is AWESOME. She put me in the beginner lane, which, to my surprise, I was not the only one in there. I thought I would die that first class. There were times that I had to stop and rest after only 25 yards. I did not think that first class would ever end, but it did, and you know what? I survived. I didn't drown. No one laughed at me. Everyone was very encouraging. I was looking forward to the next class. I was a new athlete that day.

Today marked my 7th or 8th Masters Swim Class. I'm still in the slow lane, but I'm getting stronger every day. I swam 2050 yards today. People did you read that? I'll write it again, 2050 yards, that is 1.16 miles. I had to stop and rest, but guess what, not every 25 yards and I had a first today. I swam 150 yards without stopping. 150, that's huge for me, HUGE. I did not think that I was going to be able to finish the last 50 yards of that 150 yards, but do you know what kept me going and pushing? It was a little voice in my head that was chanting, "I am a new athlete. I am a new athlete" with every stroke. This new athlete was able to push and finish her first 150 yards without stopping. I stopped, let Coach Marsha know what had just happened. Every one cheered for me, then I cried. Cried cause I had just done something I HAD NEVER DONE in my entire life. Cried because I have lost 59 pounds, cried because I truly am a new athlete.

Our class goes from 530am-645am, but I wanted to finish the full set that was put out there as a challenge. I stayed and finished it all. It took me until 720, but I did it, so I am not fast by any means, but I stayed, persevered and finished. The old me, first of all, would have never signed up for a masters swim class. The old me, had she signed up, wouldn't have stayed past 645, shoot I might have even made up some excuse so I could leave early, but that was the old me, the woman I don't even know anymore and I never want to meet her again.

As I was leaving the locker room, I passed a mirror. I didn't even recognize myself. I had to do a double take. Then, what might have looked vain to others was this lady starring in the mirror at herself. I was starring at myself because I wanted to remember this moment, what I was wearing, how I felt. I just drank it all in. I was looking at a new athlete in that mirror. I was looking at a new life. I was looking at who I have become and remembering who I will NEVER be again.

Bob, thanks for suggesting to me to sign up for this master swim class. If you hadn't suggested it I would have never done it and I would not have had this break through today. I appreciate you more than you'll ever know.


Friday, October 02, 2009

Not bad for an almost 300 pound woman

Recently at the gym I was doing something that I was able to do longer and a little easier. I thought to myself, "Wow, for being almost 300 pounds this is a lot easier." I stopped myself mid-sentence and realized what I was saying. I've been 300 pounds and almost 300 pounds for so long that, that is what I referred to myself as. I realized that it was easier because I was no longer almost 300 pounds. I'm 249 pounds. That's no where near 300 pounds. I smiled so much after that thought and it felt great.

On another note, I am in the midst of having a garage sale. I am doing it to start the process of purging through the junk in my house to get it clutter free. I'm on my way. One thing I purged was my FAT clothes. I have about 4 shelves of clothes at the sale that are too big. I was folding them and sorting them on the shelf for the garage sale and I totally had this emotional moment. I even cried. I have so many memories in the clothes that I was getting rid of. Some good, some not so good. It was like I was cleaning out the emotional crap too with every piece of clothing I got rid of. It was crazy. It was good. I WILL NEVER, EVER go back to being an almost 300 pound or an over 300 pound woman again. It's a great feeling and a great journey that I am on.

If you are struggling with your weight please know that you can do it. I am living proof and if you need me I am so here for you.

Have a fabulous Friday! I know I will.