Friday, April 30, 2010

Could have, but didn't.

Yesterday I woke up with the worst migraine I have had in a long time. I mean it was so bad, I felt sick to my stomach and thought for sure I was going to puke. I couldn't believe how bad it was, so I took some medicine and went and laid down in the dark to try and alleviate the pain. I woke up a few hours later and still had a bad headache, but not a full fledged migraine.

I headed to the gym to get a swim in. I put my swim cap on, my goggles, and pushed off the wall. My head was pounding. My first flip turn I thought my head was going to explode, but then I got into a rhythm and had one of the best swims I have had in a long time. I swam 2100 yards total. I crushed it. When I got out of the pool my head was a lot better, go figure.

I then headed home to get Parker to take him to his theater class. I knew that I had a bike on my schedule and so I packed my bike into the car. I knew I could ride for about an hour, hour and a half. I was talking to a friend on the phone who was questioning my riding in the wind. We had about 30-35 mph winds yesterday. I told her that I was going to try, I would be careful, and what if it was windy on race day? I couldn't just not race because of winds, so I was ready. I was not going to let wind stop me.

What I didn't realize is that I was going to have bike problems. I spent most of Parker's class trying to get my bike to work, so I could ride. I had problem after problem. After calling my coach a few times and a friend of mine I realized it was not going to happen, so I packed my bike back up and sat in the car, frustrated, while waiting for Parker. Someone said to me maybe it was better that I didn't ride in the wind, but that didn't make me feel better. I wanted to ride in the wind. I was not going to let that be a reason I didn't ride. I was going to face that wind and work through it. Something I would have never done in the past, so I was ticked that I couldn't ride.

What happened next was amazing. I got Parker, dropped him off at home, called my coach and said, "I'm not letting some issues with my bike keep me from riding. I'm heading to the gym to get my hour in on a spinning bike. What workout do you want me to do?" Bob tweaked my outside ride so I could do it inside on a spin bike. I told the kids and hubby good night and went and biked at the gym. It was one of the best EVER spin workouts I have ever had. I'm kind of glad Bob isn't my spin instructor. I was there up until the last second I could be. I got in the car to drive home and couldn't stop smiling.

Here is how the whole day would have played out not that long ago.

Yesterday I woke up with the worst migraine I have had in a long time. I mean it was so bad, I felt sick to my stomach and thought for sure I was going to puke. I couldn't believe how bad it was, so I took some medicine and went and laid down in the dark to try and alleviate the pain. I woke up a few hours later and still had a bad headache, but not a full fledged migraine.

I decided to stay in bed, watch tv, and eat. I wanted to make sure that my migraine didn't come back. I know I was supposed to swim and bike today, but I had a migraine and I don't want to trigger anything so it comes back. Anyway, it's windy out today and the winds are supposed to get up to 30-35 mph. There is no way I'm going to ride in that, so I'll just have to tell my coach that I can't and he'll understand anyway, cause I woke up with a migraine. Oh, Look, Judge Judy is on. Alright.

This is exactly what I would have done not that long ago. I love the new me. I love all the changes. I cannot wait to see what I will become from all of this. Have a great day today and be great today.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


So as you know I have decided to kick some butt this week, my own.
I have been doing it and my goal for the week is to get under 220 pounds.
I weighed myself this morning and I am under 220. I will not be posting my weight until after my official weigh in on Saturday. I want to see how far under 220 I can get.

I was 220 on my wedding day almost 16 years ago.
To know that it has been over 16 years since I have been below 220 is crazy.
I feel like crying, I feel like laughing, I feel like jumping up and down.
I am very close to 90 pounds lost. My son weighs 92 pounds, so I have almost lost a 5th grade boy. HAHA I love thinking of it that way.

My wonderful coach has said that this 220 has been a mental block for me. I now know he was right. I have memories of being 220 pounds. I have no memories of being thinner than that. I mean yes, I can remember stuff from my childhood, playing sports riding my bike, roller skating, but not truly remember what it was like to be thin because honestly I never saw myself as thin. I look at my wedding day pictures and remember being so embarrassed by how fat I was. I was beautiful and it is sad that that is how I felt on such a special day.

I got married young and all through Jr. High and High School I was made fun of for my size, but I look back now and I was not fat. I really wish that I did not believe what I was told. I really let that rule my life right into my marriage and my whole adult life. I am so happy I am getting my weight, and my mental health in order. I am really proud of myself.

I think that getting under 220 was hard because I have never seen myself as thinner than that. Now that I am under 220 there is no stopping me. I want to see just how far I can go in a healthy manner. I am claiming my life back. No one or nothing is going to get in my way. I just needed to get past 220 and I have. Next stop 206, which is 100 lost then on my way to under 200.

It feels great to be back.

As my friend Commodore says, "I am not going to just exist. I am going to live."

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Today I weighed myself. I am 220. That is how much I weighed on my wedding day.
My goal of getting under 220 this week is going to happen.
It's crazy.
That wedding day weight has been an unattainable number out there for years, but not anymore. I've attained it and am blowing past it. I am so proud of myself.
I will hit 90 pounds lost by Mother's Day. What a way to celebrate.
Thanks everyone for your support and encouragement.
You are all part of the reason I am so successful.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Let the butt kicking commence

I decided last night that it is time for me to kick butt, not anyone else's, just my own. I am going to kick my own butt. No coach can do it for me, no counselor can do it for me, weight watchers can't do it. Only I can. I need to kick my own butt because I have been stuck for awhile now. I'm done messing around. Don't get me wrong I am very proud of the 82ish pounds I have lost and kept off, but it's time to move to the next bracket of weight loss. Time to move onto the next bracket of what I will be able to do in life because of the changes.

Last night I just decided I'm done. Done screwing around. I've had this discussion thousands of times with myself. What am I scared of? What is holding me back? Why do I sabotage myself? I still haven't figured out all the answers. My coach has been pushing me to get under 220. I was 220 on my wedding day and not happy with that weight. He wants me to get past that weight because I'm sure he's thinking that number is a mental block and as I thought about this last night I think that he just might be right. Ok, he is right. Coach, you are right. I need to push through and just do it. We all know I can, so this is the week. This is the week that I will get under 220. I've planned my eating, I have my workouts, and I'm kicking my butt into action.

Another thing that my wonderful coach says is that I need to start thinking of myself as thin, as the athlete that I am. That is very hard for me to do as I have not been thin or an athlete in years, but last night I said to myself, "Self, you are AWESOME. You are an athlete. You can do this. Quit putting yourself down, quit the negative thoughts, quit doubting your ability and just do it. You are an athlete, you are a new person. You can do this." I decided then and there to start thinking about how I will be at 153 pounds after losing half of me. I decided to start calling myself an athlete and believing it. I have said I am an athlete before the key is I never believed it. I believe it now.

Back in November of 2008 everything just clicked to start my journey. I can say that on April 25, 2010 I had a breakthrough just like I did back in November. I feel great this morning. I am the only one that can truly kick my butt. A coach, a counselor, friends can try to help, but until I do it on my own it will never work. I have had a huge breakthrough last night and cannot wait to see what's next.

Let the butt kicking commence.

Friday, April 23, 2010

why getting rid of my fat clothes made me sad

I have been having fun purging my house of all unnecessary items. I have been using a group called FREECYCLE. I post what I want to get rid of, people email me within minutes, I put it on my porch and by dinner it's gone and I have blessed others.

I decided yesterday to go through all my clothes and give my "fat" clothes away on FREECYCLE.

I listed all the sizes and what I had. Within 15 minutes, if that, they were all taken.
I still didn't have my laptop back so I was doing all the correspondence by email on my phone and it was a pain.
One lady that wanted whatever clothes I had left had left her phone number. I decided to call her and talk to her instead of trying to email her on the phone.

We talked for a long time. She asked me questions about how I lost my weight and she just seemed like she had no hope. She told me that she had lap band surgery a couple of years ago, but that it wasn't working. She said just because she has it on doesn't mean she can't eat junk. She has figured out that she can still eat Ice cream and drink Mountain Dew and other soft junk food. She relies on a cane to walk.

I encouraged her to just take little steps. Walk more, cut out a little bit of the food at a time. She told me it is hard with kids in the house. I told her how I am teaching my kids and now they are measuring their food and reading labels. I encouraged her to stop drinking the Dew. I told her I know how hard it is and that she could email me anytime for help.

She told me she just can't get her 5 fruit and veggies in. I explained to her that a 1/2 a cup is a serving. When you measure that out it's not a lot. I told her to start measuring out her fruits and veggies. If she buys chips, get baked in individual sizes. Just simple advice that took me so many years to learn.

It felt so good to give her this advice and she seemed to really listen, but it saddened me, it truly saddened me. So many people want the quick fix, the easy way out. I'm not saying she did this with her surgery, but I know several people that have had Gastric Bypass surgery and out of the 5 I know only 2 are happy. The rest have told me it didn't work because it only fixed the physical and not the mental. The two that are happy worked on the whole package.

Surgery, diet pills, fad diets, will never work unless we get to the root of the problem, which is why I am so happy to share about my counseling and my mental journey because it is the reason I am having success this time around.

This also reminded me about a conversation I had a couple weeks ago with a friend after I ate at SWEET TOMATOES. It is a soup and salad buffet. I had my Weight Watchers Food Points book and a piece of paper to write down everything that went in my mouth. Even with that said I went over my weight watcher daily points and weekly points in that one day. I cannot even imagine how many points I would have eaten had I not written everything down.

I was telling my friend about the number of overweight people that were there, some using walkers, some in wheel chairs using their feet like Fred Flintstone to move around, some with canes. How they sat as close as they could to the buffet and that their plates were, seriously, 4-5 inches high with food. Free refills on Soda, all you can eat. I actually got sick watching people eat and to think I was like that not that long ago. I think because it is a soup and salad buffet people think they are eating healthy.

I did great with the salad part. I loaded my salad with veggies, used a low fat dressing on the side. The problem comes in with their soups and the rest of the buffet. Where I messed up was with the soup. I had two helpings at 5 points a cup, the pizza bread. I only had two very tiny pieces, but they were 4 points each and the yummy muffins that went with my soup, three points each. I had 2 or 3 of those and a sampling of their lemon lava cake, 5 points for my very tiny piece. The reason I know all the points now is because I looked everything up online when I got home. I was a very conscience eater (or so I thought) and still messed up and just looking at those other plate amazed me and made me sick all at once.

That same day, earlier in the day, I went to Meijers. I needed to buy some healthy snacks because I was going to be out all day with the kids and we needed to eat. I bought bananas and grapes. What I noticed throughout the whole store was that there were a lot of electric carts zipping around. Every person I saw using them were obese and not just a little, a lot. I looked in their cart and it was all junk food. There was only one lady that I saw that day, who was obese, buying healthy food, looking things up in a book, reading the labels, asking her husband to reach a food with a lower weight watcher points. I wanted to go up and encourage her, but I didn't, but I tell you I was really proud of her.

I walked out of Meijer's very sad, I walked out of Sweet Tomatoes very sad, and then went to a Wolves games with my kids. Since my kids are older I let them go walk around during one of the intermissions between periods. Guess what they had as entertainment? A hot wing eating contest. I'm watching all the men come on the ice to get ready to go. Again, I was saddened, all but one was obese. The reigning champion from 2009 was the biggest. I'm watching these men on the jumbotron, hearing everyone cheering them on, and getting sick and sad all at once. The reigning champion won again. That makes 2 years in a row that he won. He ate something insane like 33 hot wings in a very short amount of time, 2nd place ate 32. He won a sky box for another game with all the food they can eat or something to that affect.

You know what made me proud though is when my kids came back and I said to them, "Hey you guys missed a hot wing eating contest while you were gone." My daughter looked at me and said, "We didn't miss it mom. We were in line for something and were watching it on TV. Mom it made me sick to watch. That is so unhealthy and us kids are being told that scientists are trying to figure out the Obesity problem in America. Uh, mom it's pretty obvious to me." My son agreed. They were sickened by it, they knew it was unhealthy, and not something that should be cheered. It was a proud moment for me as a mom getting healthy, but a sad moment too because of our country and how people just don't seem to care about themselves, their health, and their future.

So on one hand all these things made me sad, but also very happy and proud. I used to be some of the people that I talked about in this post. I used to walk with a cane when my back was really bad, I used to make multiple trips to the buffet, I used to stay at home eating chips and watching hours of TV, I used to let my kids eat whatever they wanted, but not anymore. I am a new woman, a new wife, a new mom, a new athlete, a new person and it feels great. That is why I think I get so sad when I see all of this because I know it doesn't have to be this way and I am living proof of that. You can change, you can better yourself, you can get healthy and be happy.

Friday, April 16, 2010

phone call today

I was on the phone with someone today.
Someone that I have seen a few times in the last couple of months.
We were talking about my journey and they said something to me that made me happy.
She said that she could tell I carry myself differently, I dress differently, I talk differently, I smile more, I laugh more, and seem genuinely happy. She has known me since Tricia was a baby and she is very happy for me. She said that I am a completely different person. That made me so happy to hear.

I noticed recently in the gym, when walking by a mirror, that I was walking taller. I feel happier. I am happier. I have been noticing these things in myself and it was so nice to hear from someone else. I thanked them for sharing that with me and after we hung up, had a HUGE smile on my face.

I am a new person.
I am a new athlete.
I am loving my new life.

Please secure your own oxygen mask before helping others.

On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week I had a lot thrown at me. Phone calls from a lot of different people. People, who in the past, would have sucked me into their drama or should I say, people tried to suck me into their drama and I allowed myself to be sucked in.

It seems that lately, a lot of people from my past are resurfacing. People that I tried to help and in the process of trying to help them, didn't take care of myself.

It's been interesting to see how this is all unfolding. Some of these people have not been in my life for 4 years. They have not been around to see the transformation that is happening. They remember the old me. The old me that would drop everything to help them. The person that would try, no matter what, to make things better. Things that didn't even pertain to me, things that ultimately they had to fix on their own. Four years later they are still in the same boat and I am unwilling to help them this time around. They need to do it for themselves.

So Wednesday morning I called my coach, very overwhelmed. This call came two days after finding out Parker needed vision therapy, phone calls from quite a few people, and just feeling overwhelmed. I was sitting in the parking lot of the gym not feeling like going in. I knew I needed to go in. I knew that if I didn't go in I could possibly fall into my old ways of doing things like skipping the gym and eating like crap. I knew what I had to do, but I was really feeling the pressure of everything, so I called Coach Bob. I was rambling on, getting myself worked up. And Bob, in a loud, firm voice said, "Melissa, STOP IT!!" I stopped talking and listened.

He was proud of me because I told him that I told people NO. He was proud of me cause I was at the gym. He gave me a simple visual that has helped me so much. He asked me what do they say on the plane about the oxygen masks. I told him that they say to put it on first before helping others. He told me that me working out, getting healthy, setting boundaries, doing what I need to do, is me putting on my oxygen mask. I am securing my own oxygen mask. After securing my own mask, it is then that I can help others.

But I also need to realize that I cannot always help others secure their own masks. As I can tell from being back in touch with this person after 4 years. They are pretty much where I left them 4 years ago. I did EVERYTHING to help them, but they were not and probably are still not willing to help themselves. I am a giver. I care deeply for my friends, but the difference this time around is that I now realize that I cannot do for others what they must do for themselves.

It's just like with my weight loss. I've had people telling me for years that I needed to lose weight. A friend of my mom's was even so sweet to buy me Jenny Craig as my wedding gift, so I could "feel better about myself on my wedding day." I've had people "encouraging" me my whole adult life in this area and for my whole adult life I've been trying. Even on her death bed, my mom encouraged me to lose weight and you would think having a mom die obese, would have been what I needed, but it took me about 11 years to get it, gaining the most weight ever, being able to hardly move, and just snapping one day before realizing what I had to do. I had to get there myself. I had to be ready for the change. No one could do it for me. No one could secure my oxygen mask for me and now I'm succeeding at this for the first time EVER in my life and it feels great. I can finally breathe on my own.

Later that same day, after talking to Bob, and working out, I headed to see James, my counselor. We talked a lot about the people coming back into my life and what I am going to do about it. How am I going to handle it? How am I going to stay strong with my boundaries? He was very proud of me as well. He said that the fact that I told people NO, the fact that I still went to the gym, packed my food for the day, and didn't give into the drama that was presented to me. He then asked me a question. . . . . What is the difference between Melissa then and now? Why are you not giving in this time?

It was hard for me to answer. I know that I am a completely different person than I have ever been, but I could not figure out what made me different. I could not give him an answer and then he said think of it this way, "Why did you get involved before? What was in it for you?" It was then that I realized with James helping me that I did these things because I needed to feel good about myself. I needed to feel needed by someone. I didn't like myself very much, so if I did these things I would start to feel better about myself. The only problem is that I didn't feel better about myself.

So back to the question about the difference between me now and then? Well, I feel completely different about myself this time around. I love myself. I am proud of myself. I am not looking to others to feel needed. I am not looking to others for validation. I'm looking to one person and that is me. I am stronger and I now know that I deserve to be happy.

I will never stop being a caring person or helping others, but the difference this time is that I am willing and am helping myself first and it's the first time in my life that I'm totally ok with that. It takes a load off of my shoulders for the first time in years.

I am securing my oxygen mask. I am taking care of myself. I am finally putting me first. That is not bad. That is not selfish. It is what I need to do, so I can help others and it is what you need to do to. Is your oxygen mask secured or are you trying to help others first? If that plane is going down and you are securing everyone else's oxygen masks the reality is, you are going to die. The reality is, if you do not take care of yourself first, you will die trying to help others. I was 306 pounds and going up. I was slowly killing myself, but not anymore and I'm the happiest I've been in years. Do yourself a favor put yourself first. It's not selfish. In fact, it is the most giving thing you can do.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Oh The Places I'll Go

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. You are the one who'll decide where to go."- Dr Suess

This is a quote that a friend of mine put on her facebook. I have been a HUGE Dr. Suess fan for as long as I can remember. Today I read this quote and it really hit home to me. It inspired me to write a Dr. Suess like poem.

I am a new person, Yes siree
I am a new athlete, Oh can't you see.

I can ride a bike with one hand.
I can run a race while listening to a band. (Unless of course IPODS are banned. )

I can eat a power bar in a car
I can run, and run and run really far.

I can run without turning green.
I can run upstairs without twisting my knee.

I am eating healthy so I can be a fox.
I can get my new running shoes out of a box.

I can eat green veggies and ham.
I eat them oh yes I can.

Oh the places that I will go
Nothing ever will make me slow.

Anything that I dream will come true that's the plan
I can do anything, cause Melissa I am.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Can't Sleep.

I am finding that I cannot sleep tonight.
When this happens I usually just toss and turn, but I have too much on my mind.
I've been thinking about my counseling session from this past wednesday and something my counselor challenged me on.
He challenged me to work on deepening my relationship with God.
That has been on the back burner for awhile now.
He said that I am making so many great strides in my life that it is now time to work on this area.
I was raised in a Christian home.
I have grown up in church.
I am an adult now and have been struggling for awhile with my walk with God. Is it my walk with God? My family's? Just what do I believe?
Through my counseling I am figuring out that there are several reasons for that struggle.
I am angry about a lot of stuff that has happened in my life.
I do not understand why my baby sister had to die.
I do not understand why other situations had to happen in my childhood.
I do not understand why my mom had to die at the age of 53.
I do not understand a lot of what has happened in my life.
I do not understand how God could "allow" these things to happen.
My coach has been working with me on reframing certain things in my life.
My counselor has been doing the same thing.
I talked about it in another post.
Was it really a near drowning accident or just a bad swimming incident?
I have started this week to take all the situations that have caused me stress and have started reframing them.
I've started to see that through them all God was there for me. He's still there for me. He has never let go of me.
He will never let go of me. He loves me so much that he sent His son to die for me. THAT's HUGE!!
Someone who loves me that much only has the best in mind for me. There is no way for me to even begin to comprehend His love for me. There is no way for us to understand it. We look at His love through earthly eyes.
We have loved here on earth and been hurt. We have had people tell us they love us and betray us. We have told people we loved them and betrayed them. There are even songs that talk about how LOVE HURTS or is even a battlefield, so no wonder our thoughts on His love for us our skewed.
We might even start to think that way about Him.
We can tell ourselves, "I prayed for my Mom not to die of her cancer and she did. He doesn't love me."
"I prayed for my mom to have a baby and she did, but then my sister died. That's not how love looks."
I started to look at these situations and think what did I do wrong? Why would God do this to me? How could a God that loves me allow things to happen to me like this? He must not really love me. I must have done something wrong. My family must have done something wrong otherwise we wouldn't be going through all that we are going through. But like I said as I look through each of these situations and take away the anger, the resentment, and the bitterness that have been blinding me for years, I see a clearer picture, I see how He helped me through, how the situations I went through have helped others in their lives, how He was there for me in ways I have never seen and I'm happy. Not happy that these things happened, but happy that I can see clearly now, take the blinders off and see things in a new light. It's hard to explain, to put into words exactly.

One thing also that I have been struggling with is getting into reading my Bible again. I really felt guilty about this and James (my counselor) has helped me with that. He has told me that he would like me to find creative ways to spend time with God. He wants me reading my Bible, but not feeling like I have to spend a set amount of time in prayer and reading my Bible. I have grown up my whole life hearing, "You must read your Bible and pray everyday." Yes, that statement is good, but if you miss a day and feel guilty and then one day turns into two etc, the whole point is lost. When I look at creative ways to spend time with God and don't feel so regimented about it I am finding that I want to spend more time reading my Bible and praying. I like to think of it this way, I need to spend time worshipping Him everyday. That can be through music, taking in His nature on a hike or bike ride, reading my Bible, listening to music, listening to a dramatic version of the Bible on CD, memorizing a verse, writing out prayers, and just loving on Him. I also have released the idea of "Having to do it everyday." I should do it everyday, I should want to do it everyday, but if I don't, that's ok. I"ll just do it the next day.

I have grown leaps and bounds mentally. I have become a new person physically and a new athlete and now it's time to work on the spiritual aspect of my life. I have been away from God a lot longer then I would care to admit, but I'm coming around and working through the spiritual issues I have had and am excited about how it is going. I like that I am figuring this all out for myself and it's not someone telling me how or what I should be doing. I am figuring this all out on my own and am enjoying finding my true relationship with God.

There have been some of you that I have talked to during this journey about the spiritual aspect. I didn't know where I was headed. I didn't know how much of my faith was my own or my family's. You have all been wonderful in helping through this time in my life and I appreciate you all very much. Some of you are of the same beliefs as me, some of you are not, but each of you have helped me in different ways and for that I am grateful.

I have been pretty quiet for years now about the spiritual aspect of my life and the reason for that is because of the struggles, and questions I have had, but just like I will be talking about the physical, and mental aspects of my journey, I will also be talking about the spiritual aspects. If you aren't interested feel free to not read, but if you want to follow me on my complete journey then please read. Feel free to comment, but know that if there are any comments that are rude concerning the beliefs that I have, I will delete them. Just like I don't give those of you with different beliefs from me a hard time, I ask that you show the same respect to me. Thanks for understanding.

I'm heading to bed now and hopefully will be able to sleep. Have a great Sunday and be great.

Saturday, April 03, 2010


For those of you still not on FACEBOOK I will update my weight loss here.
I had about a 2 month rut I was in with losing weight. From my blog posts this week you can tell that I have been working on the mental aspects of this. I have decided to no longer sabotage myself. I have decided to take control back of my life. I made this commitment last weekend and my hard work has paid off.

This week I lost 7.2 pounds.
I am at my highest weight loss ever 84.4 pounds and now weigh 221.
My goal for next week is to be out of the 220's.

I'm back and feeling great.

Friday, April 02, 2010


As I wrote yesterday I have been letting my fears rule my life for sometime. I don't know why I just have. My AWESOME coach talked to me yesterday about quite a few things, but the one that stuck out to me most was my "near drowning accident" that I had in high school.

I put that in quotes because Coach Bob had me think of this incident in a new light. He in no way took away from the fear that I went through that day. He in no way took away from the fact that this incident was hard for me and has affected my swimming and my life, but he had me reframe it.

He asked me, "Did you pass out that day? Did the paramedics have to come and resuscitate you? Did you throw up water because you took so much on?" He wasn't doing this to be mean, but to get me to think.

I remember the incident clearly, but I do not remember what happened after it. I do remember that I finished the day with my friends and drove home with them. No hospital, no parents coming to get me, none of that, I finished my day. Bob, helped me reframe this incident as a scary swimming incident in my life. It happened in the past. It does not define me. He had me think about how far I have come in the water, how many yards I swam last week (4000 yards), how I'm a new athlete.

I have decided to reframe this incident as a scary swimming incident and not a near drowning experience. I have allowed myself to live with that fear long enough. Just like I said in yesterday's post. I will allow myself to have the feelings, but I will not stay there. I had fear in the water, I have acknowledged that fear, and now it is time to move on.

I am on my way and will be working on reframing other incidents in my life, so they are just that, incidents, and not incidents that define who I am. I define who I am, not some silly situation that happened years and years ago.

Thanks Coach Bob. You are really good at what you do and I appreciate you.

Thursday, April 01, 2010


I have yo-yoed my whole adult life with losing weight. We all know how that works. Go on some diet, deprive yourself of a certain food group, lose significant weight, start introducing that food back into your diet, gain all your weight back and then some, repeat process, just this time pick a different means to do it in.

I’ve done Jenny Craig, Adkins, A fitness Camp, Adkins again, Slim Fast, Weight Watchers (incorrectly) off and on since 2003, shakes, and a number of other diets. On November 8, 2008 I had enough and went back to Weight Watchers, vowing to do it correctly. That means I would track what I ate, count my points, and NEVER miss a meeting. I also hired a coach this time to help me with my working out, and for the first time ever I got a counselor. Yes, you heard me right, I go to counseling.

I haven’t missed a Weight Watcher’s meeting since that date in November, I kick butt in my workouts, and I have taken my counseling very seriously. This time I am having success. To date I have lost over 80 pounds. I have found that when people know I have lost that much weight , they start to ask the same questions. The first question is always, “How much have you lost?” The next question to always follow is, “How long has it taken?” Next, “What Diet are you on?” Once they hear about my journey I get asked, “Why do you think you are having success this time around?”

They don’t like my answer. My answer makes people uncomfortable. I proudly say, “The reason I am having success this time around is because I am in counseling.” I am finally dealing with the why’s of my weight issue. I didn’t become 306 pounds just because. There have been underlying reasons. They are issues that have been there since my childhood, since my teens, and my adult life. I am learning so much about myself and that is why I am having success. This is not the answer that people want to hear.

Counseling is still taboo in this country. It’s really sad that this is the case. I’m finally ok with admitting that I can’t figure this all out on my own. I need help. If I didn’t I would have figured it out years ago. There is no shame in counseling; there is no shame in needing to take medication. There is no shame in any of it. Yet, it’s still shameful because that is what this country has made it. If you need counseling or have mental illness then something is wrong with you. Well, Duh, if there weren’t something wrong with me, I wouldn’t have weighed 306 pounds.

I have decided, in my own little way, to do something about this. I have decided that I am going to be open about my counseling journey. I will not share all the specifics that I talk about, but I will share different aspects of it. I know that if I am dealing with these issues there is someone else out there dealing with the same, or similar, issues. Talking about it will help me work through everything and will hopefully help those of you out there struggling, but maybe too ashamed to talk about it. My wish is, if I’m open, you will not feel ashamed of needing help and getting the help you need.

I know that the title of my blog is "My Journey to Ironman Wisconsin 2012." You might feel that talking about my counseling is not something I need to talk about on my way to doing Ironman Wisconsin, but it is. Training, getting to the start line, and completing an Ironman is more mental then it is physical. Anyone can train and physically be ready to toe the line, but what are they going to do when the 150 things that can go wrong, do?

If you've been reading my blog you know that I had a very scary swimming accident in high school that made getting into the water and swimming next to impossible. I've been working on that fear and have overcome it in the pool, at least. I will now have to mentally prepare to take what I have learned in the pool, and transfer that to swimming in lakes, and then in triathlons. For me, that's a mental battle that I am working on. My accident happened in a lake, and my swims in my triathlons will take place in a lake. In the past, I would have just avoided this, but now I am facing it and kicking it's butt. I will overcome my mental blocks to toe the line and finish the Ironman.

With my training and counseling I am facing a lot of fears. I just realized that I avoid things when I'm scared. I sabotage my efforts. I decided to talk to my counselor about that. I am having success on my weight loss journey, but at the same time I sabotage myself. I hit another 10 pound mark, and then it takes me FOREVER to hit my next 10 pound goal. My coach, Bob Mitera, challenged me this week regarding this. He asked me why am I scared of success? Am I worried people won't love me still? He told me I need to let go and just do it. I've known this, but it just really hit home this week. I had a HUGE breakthrough on the killer hill he had me run. (You can read about that hill in my last post).

This is just one way I have let my fear rule my life. I sabotage my weight loss. I avoid the doctor. I don't apply for jobs. All things that when I look at them, mentally I know it's silly, but my fears don't think logically. For all of you that know me I have had stomach issues for a long time. I have decided that I need to get this taken care of. I went to the doctor, got an order to go to the doctor, and haven't followed through. My mom died of cancer, colon cancer, that spread to her liver and lymphnods. I don't want to die that way, so why don't I follow through, I don't know, but I don't.

I finally got my teaching degree. I love working with kids. I love the idea of having my own classroom. I love that I will be able to make a difference in a child's life, but I haven't fully completed a job application. I'm scared. The application is overwhelming, I fear the interview process. I know I will do great. I know that the right job will come when the time is right. I know my kids are ok with me working, I know I will be GREAT at what I do, but I let my fear take a hold of me. The fear of the unknown.

I talked to James (my counselor) about all these issues this week. I don't want to let my fears dictate my life anymore. The time has come to take care of this. He gave me some great things to think about and I want to share those with you.

We talked about what do all these situations have in common, at first I thought avoidance, because when I'm scared, I avoid, but then I realized, that the bigger picture is that FEAR is what all these have in common.

He made me realize that when I have fear I have other symptoms.
My symptoms are:
*Numbing my Fear. This is where addication can come in. My addiction was food. I'm not turning to food anymore, so that is why this is all coming to the surface.

Avoidance and Shame are the two big ones for me, but mainly avoidance. I refuse to avoid any longer. I want to face these fears and overcome them. I will face my fears and overcome them.

With my weight loss and sabotaging myself, James helped me realize that I'm scared that people will treat me differently when I'm thin. Through our talk he helped me realize that I'M CHANGING MY EXTERNAL NOT BECAUSE I WANT PEOPLE TO LIKE ME, BUT TO LET PEOPLE KNOW I LIKE ME. I was also afraid that I would change. He helped me realize that I want to be healthy and becoming thinner will help that, but that thin is not my goal. My goal, #1, is to be healthy, live long, and be a productive person, but also to help others in their journey too. With that being said I do not want to change who I am, I JUST WANT MY OUTSIDE TO REFLECT WHO I AM INSIDE. I also never want to become judgmental and prideful regarding my weight loss, so James said, WHEN I'M TEMPTED TO BE PRIDEFUL-REMEMBER WHERE I CAME FROM and that will help me come back to reality.

What I took most out of my session yesterday was this. . . .

I need to let myself have my feelings, but not stay there.

I need to say to myself,

"I have fear, but I also have hope."
"I have anger, but I also have thankfulness."
"I have sadness, but I also have joy."

Today I have decided to move out of the darkness and into the light.

I am going to allow myself to have my feelings, but then I will transform those feelings and be a more productive person. I will not let those feelings rule my life any longer.