Saturday, June 19, 2010

Thoughts on a plane

This blog post was written on a plane while flying from Chicago to Reno to start our family vacation. Here it is:

I am frustrated because I didn't get to weigh-in at Weight Watchers today. I was all set to go before leaving for my trip, but something happend beyond my control and I couldn't go!! :-(

I haven't missed a meeting in 19 months and I do not like that I missed today. I really wanted to know how much I weighed before leaving, so I weighed my self on 'ol unreliable and it says 213.

My goal for the next three weeks on vacation is to be active, eat right, have fun, and lose 8 pounds. That will put me at 101 pounds lost. I can do it!!

Another frustrating thing regarding Weight Watchers is that I forgot my official Weight Watchers folder and member card. Those are the items I need to attend meetings anywhere in the country. I looked up meetings where I would be and was planning on going, so now not only have I missed my first meeting in 19 months, but I'll be missing three. UGH! :( I'm going to call Weith Watchers and see if they can help, but if not that's ok.

Now, I know some of you are thinking, "Sheesh, Melissa, You're on vacation, give yourself a break!" I've had enough breaks in life. I've lived that way too long. "It's the weekend. I'm taking Weight Watchers off." It's my birthday and I'll eat what I want to." " I'm on vacation. I have to eat at all those resatraunts we don't have in Illinois." You get the idea.

There is always a vacation, birthday, weekend, or some celebration. Take those holidays off from eating right and what do you get? An unhealthy, fat, depressed 300 pound woman. I refuse to do that anymore and that is why the whole Weight Watcher thing is bugging me.

On a positive note I was looking over the agenda for our trip and talking it over with the family and some friends. We are White Water rafting, hiking 2 days in Yosemite, possible kayaking, Ocean swimming, hotel swimming, walking @ Disneyland, and a possible 5k or spin class with Bob Harper from Biggest Loser (The last two are just for me.)

Tricia was listening to all this and said, "Mom, when will we rest?" I answered, "When we get home." :-)

I realized this is the first vacation where I will be able to do everything and want to do everything. There is a weight limit for white water rafting. Guess what? I'm 47 pounds below it. Hiking in Yosemite, bring it on. In years past I would have hiked, but would have had to stop and possibly not even finish.

Summer of 2008 was our last big family vacation and the last vacation where I was BIG. I was 300 pounds. We did an East Coast Trip. New York, Colonial WIlliamsburg, and DC. I was out o fshape, tired, feet and back hurting , and constantly maing my family wait for me. This year I have a feeling I'll be waiting for them.

One more exciting thing. Last trip when I sat in the aisle seat on the plane I had to lift the middle armrest and ask for a seat belt extender, then put the arm rest down after seat belting. My hips always hurt after the flight from being squished in the seat. This trip, sat down, didn't even think about the arm rest, pulled my seat belt tight, and had room to spare. I started smiling so big, told Tricia to take in the moment with me and then had her take this picture, so I could always remember this moment. The picture is of me with the seat belt extended all the way. Look how much space there is. That is how much I had to have it extended and it still wouldn't fit. Wahooooo!! Sorry about my hair, that was after a nap on the plane.

All I have to say about this trip is:

California-Bring it On!! Are you ready for me?

Just a side note to my thoughts on if I took off holidays and such. I made a list of every month and all the holidays. If I took them off and ate whatever I wanted I would never lose weight. Take a look:

Jan. New Year's Day.
Feb. Super Bowl and Velentine's Day.
March- St. Patrick's Day
May-Mother's Day and Memorial Day
June-Father's Day, Graduation, Best Friend's Birthday, and our anniversary
July-Parker's Bday, July 4th, family vacation
August-Back to School and Family BBQ's
September-Labor Day
October-my bday, Tricia's bday, halloween
November-Thanksgiving and Keith's Bday
December-Christmas all month

Don't take Holidays and celebrations off. You can do it even through all the celebrations.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Daily Herald Article goes online

I heard from the reporter about my Daily Herald article. It was not supposed to be online, but some readers contacted the reporter because they wanted it online. She asked her editor and today it was online by this after noon. Enjoy.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Naperville Triathon Race Report

Sunday, June 13, 2010 was the U.S. Women's Triathlon Series in Naperville, Illinois. It is a sprint triathlon. We swam 1/2 mile, biked 14.2 miles and ran a 5k, which is 3.1 miles. I woke up a little late and felt a little rushed in the morning, but was off and running and felt fine once I got to Dars. We arrived in tranistion with about 45 minutes to get set up.

Here I am in Transition getting my bike on the rack. It was little chilly when we first got there, but I was warm by the time I set up my tranistion area, so I was able to take off the sweat shirt and just head down to the water in my tri suit.

Here I am by my bike in tranistion after I was all ready to go. Check out my new tri suit. Wahoooo!! Looking good.

Here I am with Darlene. She is the one who got me into triathlons back in 2006. In 2005 I was at a fitness camp and they challenged us to do a race of some sort in 2006 to keep us motivated through the year. I called Dar and told her about that, she called me back and told me that she read about triathlons, I thought she was nuts, but said, "why not?" We did our first Sprint Tri in Naperville in 2006. This triathlon marks #5 for both of us.

Here I am with my great friend Michelle. We met through our blogs years ago. We both were into Triathlons. She has done this tri before, but couldn't this year, but she volunteered and was there for me all day, cheering me on. She loaned me her wetsuit, but I didn't have to use it because the water was warm enough. Michelle, thanks for all the hugs and smiles along the way. They kept me going.

Here is the swim start. Darlene and I were in wave 15. It didn't start until 7:56 even though the race started at 7am. It was a cloudy day, warm, but not hot, perfect conditions for a triathlon. We were a little worried about rain or as forcasted earlier in the week, low 80's and humid. It had rained the night before cooling off the temps. We couldn't have asked for better weather.

Once we get to the swim start and wait for our wave Dar and I have a little fun posing for pictures and creating our own body markings. Here I am posing by a tree showing off the new me in my new tri suit.

Dar and I always write fun things on our legs to encourage others. This year we wrote how much weight we have lost. Darlene has lost 50 pounds and I have lost almost 100 pounds. I could really tell the difference in my performance without the extra weight. It was amazing.

I really like this picture. Words cannot begin to describe how proud I am of myself. We got in line with our wave and kept moving up in the water. I was able to talk to the guy on the Mic and he had annouced how much weight Darlene and I had lost and wish Darlene a Happy Birthday. I was not nervous at all this time. The swim is the hardest part for me and usually I am a nervous wreck. I really was at peace when he told us to go. The swim start was a little rough, got hit a couple times, hit a couple people,but the time had come for me to get this done and finish strong. My swim was great. I felt strong. I did freestyle the whole time. My first triathlon ever in 2006, I freestyled, back stroked, doggy paddled, had a panick attack, and side stroked my way to the swim finish. This time I free styled the whole way and never panicked once. I almost cried getting out of the water it was so great. I have done this race 3 times before. My best swim time ever before today was 21:27. This year I did the swim in 18:25. Yay me!!!! I guess all those flip turns paid off.

After the swim I headed into Tranistion 1 to change for the bike. My friend Michelle was working the first aid station and snapped this picture of me heading into Tranistion. Since I had a tri suit on that I would wear the whole race all I had to do was get socks and shoes on and my helmet, then get out of there. From the end of the swim to the tranisition area is about 1/4 of a mile long. In previous years I walked that, this year, I ran. Booyah. Best tranistion 1 time in the past was 7:30, this year 5:56.

This picture is of me after the bike heading in to transition to the run. I felt really strong on the bike and even had fun cheering on my fellow bikers, telling them how sexy they all looked in spandex. It was fun and it was nice to see that I made people smile. My best bike from years past was 57:47, this year I did it in 54:07. I need to get stronger on my bike, but am very proud of the improvement.

This is me with the kids right before heading into tranistion. I didn't get to see them before the race, so this was my first time seeing them. They are the reason I started this healthy journey and I love that they can come out and see me race. I love them soooo much.

Here I am runnning my bike into the transition area. You are not allowed to ride your bike in the transition area, so there is an area where you have to dismount your bike. Keith caught this picture of me on my way in.

Normally I would not like to have a butt shot of me, but I am so excited by this picture because of just how good my butt looks and in spandex to boot.

After biking I headed into my second tranistion and headed out on the run. I felt very strong on the run. I was determined not to walk any of it and I didn't. I pushed hard to the point, when people would tell me good job I couldn't even answer. I would have to do a head nod or a wave, so they knew I acknowledged them. My mantra became, "You can rest at the finish line." I would repeat that to the beat of my running. As I was running I would start to think of how far I had come and would start to tear up, so I would stop thinking about it. I started hunting half way through the run. I would zero in on my prey and hunt them down until I passed them. It was great. This was the best I have ever felt on a run and my time showed it. My best time from previous years was 55:53 and this year, DRUM ROLL PLEASE, I did the run in 38:39. This is just AMAZING because I have NEVER done a 5k in under 45 minutes. NOW THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!! This picture is of me almost done with my run heading into the finish line.

The path was lined with spectators cheering us on and here I am just around the corner from the finish line.

Parker met me at the finisher's chute and ran in with me. This was a great moment for me to run with him. He and Tricia are why I am doing this and to have him running at my side was great.

When I crossed the finish line I was greeted by Darlene giving me my medal. It was very emotional as we both have overcome so much to get where we are today. I am so happy that Keith kept snapping away. These are pictures I will cherish for a long time. Dar and I both cried at our HUGE accomplishments and it will be a moment I never forget.

I was in tears at this point. I knew at this point I had shaved about 30 minutes off my PR. In reality it was 27 minutes. Isn't that amazing? Oh yeah it is. :-)

I love this shot of the finish line. Can you find me and Darlene?

And here is the reason we race, THE BLING!!

After the race with the kids. I loved Tricia's hat and let me tell you, that made it so much easier to find them in the crowd.

Tricia and Parker I love you so much. Thanks for coming out to the race and cheering me on. I could not do this without your smiling faces in the crowd and your cheers. I love you both so much and you mean the world to me.

The sweet, sweet, family shot.

Me and my honey. Thanks for everything. I love you so much and apprecite your support and encouragement on my journey. Thanks for all the hours I am able to work out and go the gym and thank for accepting the fact that I am part of this crazy thing we call Triathlon. Even when you don't get it, you accept it, and love me through it all and that's all someone can ask for.

My cool babe!!

Check out Tricia's glasses. Who do you see?

This is me after the race calling a few of my friends to let them know how bananas my triathlon was. Don't you think my phone is quite appealing?

This is a lady named Melinda, but her friends call her Millie. We met on the bike. I slowed down and talked to her for a few seconds. She is on an amazing journey herself and has lost 65 pounds already. This is a picture of her crossing the finish line. This was her first triathlon and I am so proud of her. Millie, way to go and way to kick my butt on the swim. She did the swim in 16 minutes.

Here we are after the race showing off our bling.

This race was an amazing race for me. I could tell how much stronger I have become and I really look forward to future races as I continue to lose more weight and become more and more stronger. I really want to take a minute to thank my coach, Bob Mitera, of Kokua Multisports. Bob, I know I do all the work, but if I didn't have you coaching me along I wouldn't be where I am today. I appreicate all you do for me. I appreciate all the time you spend creating my workouts, talking to me on the phone, meeting me at the park to workout and you know what means a lot to me, when you do the workouts with me. You are a great person, a great coach, and a great friend. Thanks.

Another cool thing about this race is that my number was 150 and that is my goal weight. I'm on my way.

Here are my official times for the U.S. Women's Triathlon Series 2010:

Swim: 18:25
Bike: 54:07
T2: 3:06
Run: 38:39
Total time: 2:00:11

Thursday, June 10, 2010

You create your own health.

I recently read on a sign that “You Create Your Own Health.”
That statement couldn’t be any more true.
Back in the day I created my health, my poor health.
I didn’t workout. I didn’t eat right. I didn’t care.
What did I create? I created an overweight, unhappy person.

Now I am creating something new.
I am working out. I am eating right.
I have changed my mindset. I have support.
I am offering support. I am on top of my game.
What have I created? I have created a new, healthy me
and I am never turning back.

I love what I have created. Just like an artist creates
a beautiful piece of art, I have created a new piece of art
and I will continue to create new art every day. I am creating
my own health.

What are you creating today? Are you making decisions that
will create good health or poor health? What can you change today
to start creating your masterpiece? You can get off the couch, take a walk,
cut out one thing that you know you shouldn’t be eating or drinking, or turn
off the TV. These are all things that will start you on the way to creating
a better you and better health.

You Create Your Own Health.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Swimsuit THEN Wetsuit NOW

This is me getting out of the swim at my first triathlon ever in 2006. Um, yeah, not quite sure what to say about this one.

Yesterday, June 7, 2010 I had a friend take this pictures of me in the wetsuit I have borrowed from a friend. This year I'll be looking good coming out of that water. However, I might not even need the wetsuit afterall.

Can't wait to see the pictures next year. I'm very thankful to God for helping me along in this journey. Can't wait to see what He has in store for me.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Two articles about me within 5 days of each other

It's been really interesting how things are happening for me.

I was recently found by a Daily Herald Newspaper reporter. She found me through my twitter account. She is covering the triathlon I am doing on the 13th and wanted to interview me about my journey. We have met and talked and the article will be published on June 10th. I am very excited because I want everyone to know that whatever their dream they can start living their dream through hard work and perseverance. I will post a link when it is available.

Thursday my daughter, Tricia, started boxing lessons. I was talking to her teacher and he mentioned I could workout while Tricia is learning to box. I told him I was on a weight loss journey and we talked for a few minutes after that.

Fast Forward to today I took Tricia back for her 2nd lesson. Her teacher introduced me to a man named Tim Kane. He just so happens to be a reporter for the Chicago Tribune and a website called Tricia's teacher introduces us, tells Tim about my story. He went home and wrote an article about me and it is up on

I have the gift of encouragement and I knew when I started this journey that besides getting healthy for me and my family I was also doing it for others. As I go I want to encourage others in their journeys. With the article in the Daily Herald and my article on I will be able to reach so many people and maybe, just maybe I will be able encourage someone to get off the couch and change their lives.

If you need to make changes in your life you can. Look at me. I'm living proof that it can be done. I am changing my life and starting to live my dream. Actually, it's no longer a dream, but now my reality and I'm loving every second of it.

Here is the article:

She's Lost More Than 90 Pounds and Wants to Lose 60 more

Some days it's hard, very hard.

So I have promised myself that I would always be honest talking about my journey. I would talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly. I wouldn't sugar coat anything, so here it goes.

This journey is hard.
I love being on this journey and some days I hate it.
I hate that even after losing 93 pounds I still have to struggle every day with negative thoughts. Now most days I can overcome them and I no longer believe them, but they are there. From what I hear from two friends who combined have lost over 300 pounds, it never goes away. They struggle daily. Even though they are lifetime members at Weight Watchers and are only required to attend one meeting a month, they attend weekly because they need to. They will for the rest of their lives. I will be the same way.

Last week I hit 93 pounds lost. That is huge. I'm so very proud of this accomplishment. The thing is I didn't really do much to lose the 4 pounds that I lost. I'm not even sure how I lost it. I would love to say I worked hard for it, but I didn't. I've had some health issues come up with my stomach and my back and haven't even been able to workout like I want. So, as exciting as it was and is, I don't even know how it happened. I was hoping for just one pound to hit 90 lost and hit 93.
Today I go back to Weight Watchers. I don't want to go. I really don't. I know I gained a couple pounds. As much as people tell me not to weigh myself at home I need to. I'm not obsessive about weighing at home, but I need to know what to expect as I head to the WW scale. It's not going to be pretty today. I know that I gained a couple of pounds. I don't want to go and face it. I don't want to go and hear the Weight Watcherisms from the people that weigh me in. It's not their fault they are just trying to help, but sometimes you just want to weigh in, deal with it alone, and not hear them say anything. And if the people that weigh me in read this please know that I love and appreciate you very much. This is totally about me, NOT YOU!!

I have been having some stomach issues, and some back issues too, so working out has not been easy the last couple of weeks. Also, and I know you guys hate when I talk about this, but I am a lady about to get her period too, so I know this has all played a role in the couple pounds weight gain, so I am not going to beat myself up, but even knowing all these things, and knowing that life happens, it is still hard and that is why I don't want to go to Weight Watchers today.

November 8th, 2008, started my journey for the final time and I am succeeding this time. I promised myself that day that I would never skip another weight watchers meeting and I haven't. That is why I will go today, that is why I will weigh in today. Because I have spent too many years running from my problems and to food for comfort.

I have not had two good weeks in a row at weight watchers in forever. I was hoping this week would change that, but that is my new goal now. I wanted to have lost 100 pounds by my triathlon on the 13th. That most likely won't happen now, but that's ok. My new goal is to see how close I can get. I'm starting again today. I'll go weigh in and start my 2 good weeks in a row goal over. I can do this and I will. I will hit over 100 lost by my triathlon on July 11th. I have never done a triathlon under 200 pounds and I am determined to be under 200 by July 11th.

What I have been doing this morning as I have all these thoughts is to think of my successes that I have had.

-I have lost over 90 pounds
-I am a size 16/18 28's were tight at my heaviest.
-I biked 31 miles last Sunday and only had to stop at the two rest stops they had.
-Someone found me on the Internet and Interviewed me about my journey to be in the Daily Herald this week.
-I started a group at my church with a friend called Healthy Living: Inside and Out, to help other women in the church get healthy.
-I finally love what I see in the mirror.
-I like having my picture taken now.
-I am starting to be able to see the definition of my muscles.
-This is the first time in years that I can truly say I LOVE MYSELF and I DESERVE TO BE HAPPY and I DESERVE SUCCESS.

Writing this has made me feel so much better and ready to face Weight Watchers.
Have a great day today and be great today.