Friday, February 18, 2011

One Week Ago Today

One week ago today, around this time, I was in the bathroom stall at the YMCA, crying and feeling the sickest I had felt in a long time. I took the weekend off of working out to focus on resting and recouping. Last week was a bad week health wise. I am learning symptoms to watch for, what I can and cannot eat, how hard to push when working out, when to pull back, and when to not work out at all. It's a crazy journey, but I'm learning about my body and what I can and cannot do and what I am realizing is that I can do more and more each day. The more and more I learn, the more and more I can do.

One week ago I was crying in a bathroom stall. Today I am emailing my coach about 5k's I want to do and a half marathon in May. Yesterday, I figured out that there are 86 days until the Cleveland Half Marathon and 185 days until the Timberman Half Ironman. At first I was freaked out by those numbers, then I was excited and today I am super motivated, still a little freaked out, but really motivated.

One week ago today I was crying in a bathroom stall. This week there are no tears. This week I hold my head high and know that I will reach all my goals and dreams. My goals and dreams are turning into a reality that I never could have fully dreamed of. It's even better than the dreams that I have had.

I am going to keep dreaming, keep doing, and keep turning my dreams into reality.

I hope that in the process of my dreams becoming reality I can help others dream and turn their dreams into reality too.

Get off the couch start dreaming and doing. It's fun!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

I saw an ad recently for Valentine's Day and it said, "It's not about loving you, it's about loving us." I actually loved that saying and really started thinking about that. There are a lot of people in my life that I love and I love what they mean to my life, but also what I mean to theirs and how our relationships work together.

To all the people who mean the world to me: My Husband, My kids, My family, my best friend Darlene, my other best friends, Cindy and Sue, my coach Bob and chiroprator Dr. Kev, to my tri friends, my church friends,my WW friends, my old friends, and my new friends, This is for you.

You are the oil for my squeaky chain
my lemon for my lemonade
my sugar (or should I say splenda) for my coffee and tea
A porta potty when I need to pee (hey it rhymed)

You are my umbrella for a rainy day
my disco ball when I need to dance the night away
my cellphone battery when my phone goes dead
my mechanical pencil full of lead

You are the unicorn that farts rainbows when I'm feeling down
My arm floaties to keep me afloat so I won't drown
My chewing gum when I want to eat sweets
My subject line for all my tweets

You put the HEART in I Heart You
Thanks for everything you do
You love me unconditionally to the end
I thank one of you for being my lover( that would be Keith. Just wanted to clarify for all you joksters) and the rest of you for being my friends.

I love you all and wanted to tell you today, Valentine's Day, how much you mean to me. Have a great day and no matter what happens today, remember that you are loved very much.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

WEight Watchers Update and This week's Goals

Last week's weight: 239.2
This week's weight: 237.8
This week's weight loss: 1.4 pounds
Weight When I started: 306.2 pounds
Total weight loss: 67.4

How I did with last week's goals:

1. My goal was to lose 2 pounds. I was very close losing 1.4.
2. I wanted to track what I ate every day and I did. Wahooo. This is huge for me.
3. Hit ll my workouts that my coach gave me. I did until Friday when I got really sick.
4. Work around the house to get ready to put on market. I did not do this as well as I would have liked, so I am going full force with this this week.

This week's goals:

1. Lose 2 or more pounds.
2. Keep Tracking what I am eating. I have tracked for 2 weeks and have lost weight for two weeks. Wahoooo!!
3. Hit 5 out of 6 workout this week.
4. Really work around the house this week. Goal is to get the house on the market by March 1st. Specific areas, kids rooms, my room, basement.
5. Spend time with God.

Have a good week. I know I will.

Friday, February 11, 2011

My new reality.

Today started off like any other Friday. Took Tricia to school and headed to the gym before heading to my awesome chiropractor, Kevin O'hara of Arlington Heights.

As I was driving to the gym my stomach started hurting very badly. It was kind of hurting when I woke up, but not this bad. I was trying to decide if I should still go to the gym or not and then I decided that if I got a stomach ache on race day I would have to deal with it and push on, so that is what I did today, I dealt with it and pushed on.

I headed into the gym and up to the locker room, and got ready, feeling worse. The Buehler YMCA, where I work out when I am in Palatine, has a workout room in the women's locker room and it has a treadmill, so I decided since I wasn't feeling so hot I would work out in there. That way in case I needed a bathroom I had easy access. I'm glad I did that. After three minutes of running and I had another type of running to do. I ran to the bathroom grabbing a trash can along the way.

I ended up not throwing up, but spent quite a bit of time in there knowing my workout was over for the morning. I ended up crying in the bathroom stall. A lady from the Foglia YMCA that I swim with was there and another great lady Charlie was there. They both talked to me until I felt well enough to leave.

I don't know if this was Chron's or if this is me just getting sick (my coach told me the flu is going around right now), but what I realized is that this is my new reality. I may get all the way to the gym and my body won't let me work out. There will be days, like this past Tuesday, when my stomach was hurting and I just stayed in bed and rested. There will be days where I will have no symptoms and will be able to work out like a rock star. I just need to take one day at a time and listen to my body.

One thing today, that I am very proud of, is that regardless of whether or not I had a stomach ache, I still got to the gym and gave it a go. Another thing that I am proud of is that I knew when to stop and call it a day. These are new concepts for me. In the past I would use any excuse not to work out and I also didn't know when to stop at times and would push when I shouldn't have and have hurt myself. So today showed me again, how far I have come in my journey.

Today showed me what my new reality is, but I also know that my reality is that I am an athlete and I will continue to push forward, test my body, and do what I can to reach my athletic goals.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

"Today I inspired myself."

This week I have a goal of hitting all the workouts that my coach put on the schedule. Lately, that has been a hard goal due to some ongoing symptoms with my Chron's, but this week I decided this is it. I am going to do it. I looked at my training schedule and on Tuesday there was a 30 minute run in the AM, weight training and a 20 minute run in the PM.

I woke up on Tuesday having some stomach issues. I did what I needed to do as a mom, but instead of heading to the gym, I headed back to bed, sick. As the morning went on I kept thinking of my goal of hitting all my workouts and of my 30 minute run I hadn't done yet. I was still not feeling well, so was trying to figure out what to do.

Parker got home from school at 3:15 and had a theater class 7:00. I knew that I still could get this run in. I got him situated with his homework, and as soon as Keith was home from picking up Tricia I headed to the gym. I know this run was scheduled for a morning run, but this would have to do.

I got there, stretched, and then hopped on a treadmill. Since being sick most of the fall, I lost most of what I had built up for running. Running for 2 minutes is hard for me now. This run was a 15 minute run/jog and then intervals of 1 minute at a time, fast, recover, fast, recover, for 10 minutes, and then a 5 minute recovery jog equalling 30 minutes total. I know out of the gate this would be hard, but I was determined.

When I start running and it is hard I have to look up and focus on something in the distance. I got into my pace and looked up into the distance and there was a door with a triangle on it and at each point it said, Mind, Body, Soul. What a great thing to focus on.

Each time it got hard, I focused on what I have done in my life to better my mind, body, and soul. I focused on what I have been through and what I have overcome. For my MIND, I have sought out counseling to deal with the loss of my mother and other issues. I stand up for myself, I set boundaries, and I am proud of who I am. I am the strongest I have been mentally in years.

As far as my BODY is concerned, I have been actively losing weight since November 2008. I have had success there and have lost over 100 pounds. This fall was one of the hardest times for me in my life as far as my health was concerned. I was in and out of the hospital for a couple months, had my gall bladder taken out, and finally was diagnosed with Chron's disease. As I stared at the word BODY on that door in the distance I realized just what my body has been through, where it's been, and where it is going to be. I realized on that treadmill that I have been through a lot, but I am not going to let that stop me from reaching my Ironman dream. I was on a treadmill running the best I had in a long time. Even though that very morning I had Chron's symptoms, I was on that treadmill completing my workout, feeling great about myself.

The next word on the door was SOUL. I focused on that word and realized how far I have come in this area of my life in the last 2 years as well. I really was disillusioned with the institution of the church, some of the people of the church, and needed to figure out if my relationship with God was because it is all I've known since I was a kid or it is because it is what I believe. I have come through all of this on the side of my relationship is just that, MY relationship. I am growing more and more everyday and have put God at the center of my life once again and that is very freeing.

As I thought about all of this and my 30 minute run was coming to an end, I could not get over who I have become mentally, physically, and spiritually. It totally blew me away. Every day I am told by one person or another that I have inspired them in some way. I have always been very open with my journey, so that one person out there might change their lives, but I had never truly inspired myself until Tuesday, February 8, 2011. As the treadmill came to a stop, I took a drink, and started to tear up, literally. I looked back up at that door and said to myself, "Today I inspired myself" and it feels great. I packed up headed home with a huge smile on my face.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Weight Watchers Update and This week's Goals

Weight Watchers was yesterday. I love my leader and my friends. It has been the best thing for me for my Weight Loss.
My goal for this past week was to lose 2 pounds. I was close. I lost 1.4 pounds. I know exactly where I went wrong and plan on correcting that this week. I was short on my fruit and veggie intake, but the good news is I wrote down everything that I ate and I mean everything, the good, the bad, and the ugly. I am excited because that has always been really hard for me, but it really wasn't this week.

Another positive is that yesterday after Weight Watchers I went to the gym and then Costco. I went to Costco the day before the Super Bowl and they pulled out all the stops as far as samples go and I didn't have one. I even grabbed one, looked at it, and threw it away at the next trash can. I was very proud of myself. It's the little decisions like this that add up and help me reach my goals. I plan on doing that today when we watch the super bowl. I didn't buy any desserts, I did get Pizza, but have stuff for a Salad, and have fruit and veggies to put out as well. Just because this is normally a day to overindulge I will not and already have a plan in place. Wahooooo!!

So here are my totals from weight watchers.

Last Week's Weight: 240.6
This Week's Weight: 239.2
Weight Loss for the Week: 1.4 pounds
Weight When I sarted WW: 306.2
Total Weight Lost: 67 Pounds.

I'm excited to get back to where I was before I was sick. I was at 200 pounds and ready to go into Onederland. That means that my weight would finally start with a 1. I have accepted this weight gain for what it is. I was sick and gained weight. Now I'm not sick, or at least not as sick, so I'm back at it and I know how to do this, so I'm doing it. Wahoooo!!

My Goals for this next week:
1. Lose 2 pounds
2. Track what I eat EVERYDAY.
3. Hit all my workouts that my coach has given me I haven't done this in a long time. This week is the week for me to do this and the weeks beyond. I'm serious about hitting my goal of a 1/2 Ironman in August, so this is what I need to do.
4. Work in my room, basement, and dining room to get the house closer to getting on the market.

What I did this week that really made me happy is that I took little steps to reach my bigger goals. When you set a big goal break it into smaller goals and it won't seem so overwhelming. You can do it.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

It's been snowing in Chicago

It's been snowing just a tad bit here in Chicago. We got 20 inches, so thought you might enjoy this picture. We are safe and warm and doing well. Have a great day and stay warm out there.

It's not a goal until you write it down.

I was asked by my chiropractor, Dr. Kevin O'Hara of Arlington Heights, this week, "What are your goals?" I really couldn't answer him. I told him I had some. He asked me if I had written them down and I realized I really hadn't sat down and written down my goals for 2011. He said to me, "You know they are not really goals until you write them down."

I've made a 2011 vision board so I have a visual reminder of my goals, but that is really where this board stopped, just at a visual reminder. I havn't gone any further than the visual reminders. I have not sat down and written down my goals or thought through just how I was going to reach those goals, so today I am attempting to do that.

As you can see above in the middle of my vision board there is a heart with the year 2011 inside of it. I have always been a loving person, but I want to be more intentional this year in regards to showing love to everyone. I want everyone whose path I cross to feel like someone cares about them. Whether it's helping an older lady in the rain at Costco, or sending gifts to a single mom with 4 kids. I want to make a difference and show love to both people I don't know and people I do know. I want my kids to know every day just how much I love them. I want them to go to bed at night feeling like, "Wow, my mom really does love me." It's not always easy to love everyone, but I am going to try every day this year to make a difference in someone's life and show them how much they are loved and cared about.

Below the heart is my key Bible verse for the year. My friend, Darlene, shared this verse with me on the first Sunday of January. It really hit home with me. I memorized it that day and have it on my vision poster so I can focus on it everyday. The reason that the verse in is the center of my board is because this year I need to focus on putting God back at the center of all I do. That has kind of slipped to the sidelines in recent years, but I am determined to change that this year. Without God, I am just trying to do this all on my own. "With God, ALL things are Possible."

My theme verse is this:

For God gave us not a spirit of FEAR,
but of LOVE, of POWER, and of SELF-CONTROL. 2 Timothy 1:7

I mean how awesome is that? That I have nothing to FEAR because God is with me. Wahooooo. The next part of the verse fits along with other goals I have. He will give me POWER to do the athletic events that are in my future for 2011 and he will give me the SELF-CONTROL with my eating and things that I need to do to lose weight.

The two major athletic goals that I will need POWER to finish this year are a 1/2 marathon and a 1/2 Ironman. If all goes according to plan I will be doing a 1/2 marathon in May. I just talked to my wonderful Coach, Bob Mitera of Kokua Multisports, just last night and we have a plan to get me to the starting line of the 1/2 marathon. Running is really hard for me as I have just come off of months of being sick with a recent diagnosis of Chron's Disease. In those months I have gained some weight back due to medication and lack of working out. I am losing weight again and am committing to a new run schedule to reach the goal of running a 1/2 marathon.

I am also planning on doing the Timberman Half Ironman in August in New Hampshire. I plan on doing everything that Coach Bob asks me to do to reach this goal as well. That's the reason I have hired a coach. I know that on my own I could not train for these events and reach my goals. Every week I have a new workout schedule, that I don't even have to think about. I just turn on my computer, look at my workout, and get it done. Thanks, Coach.

On my vision board there is a picture of Jillian Michaels from Biggest Loser. She is pointing at me and saying, "I want you to lose weight." I have another saying on there that says, "Lose weight like nobody's business." I have not sat down and looked at what that looks like, how much I want to lose total, or set small weekly goals. As you know I go to Weight Watchers. I have been avoiding the scale because of my recent weight gain. I have finally gotten back on the scale and faced reality. I gained 40 pounds since getting sick in August. Before that I had lost 106 pounds. As of my weigh-in this past week I weighed 240.6. This weight gain has been hard. I know it is because I have been sick, but it is still hard. When I get down I just look at the picture below and realize, even with a weight gain of 40 pounds, I am no where near the person I was, physically or mentally, and for that I am very grateful. This weight gain is what it is and I know what I need to do.

My weight loss goal for the year 2011 is to lose 90 pounds and hit my goal of weighing 150 pounds. When I hit this goal I will have lost 1/2 of myself as I weighed 306.2 pounds when I started my journey in 2008. I am very excited to reach that goal, so this week I made a goal of losing 2 pounds. That is my goal for each week going here on out. As I sit here and write this today I have 15 weeks until the half marathon. My goal is to be 30 pounds lighter by then, so I hope to weigh 210 pounds. It is 29 weeks until the half Ironman. My goal is to be 60 pounds lighter by then, so I hope to weigh 180.6 by that event. By the time I go to volunteer at IMWI 2011 and sign up for 2012 in September, my goal is to weigh in the 170's and by December 31, 2011 my goal is to weigh between 145-150 pounds. This is the first time I have figured this all out and made such a detailed plan with my weight loss. I look forward to the challenge and know that I can do it. Wahoooo!!

I just realized this is the year of 1/2's for me. I will be completing a 1/2 marathon, a 1/2 Ironman, losing 1/2 of me, and doing nothing 1/2 hearted. Once I complete all these 1/2's I will be a more whole person.

I have made it a goal this year to learn all I can about Chron's disease and volunteering and raising money for the Chron's and Colitis Foundation of America. I will be speaking about my Chron's journey 5 times in March. The Chron's and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA from now on) has a group called TEAM CHALLENGE. It takes a group of individuals and trains them to do a 1/2 marathon. I cannot train with them this year due to our move, but look forward to speaking at all their Illinois informational meetings. Not everyone that signs up with TEAM CHALLENGE has Crohn's or knows someone with Chron's. They are just signing up to do a race. I am going to speak to give them motivation in their fundraising and to give a voice to Chron's. I will be one of two people speaking. For awhile I was mad I had Chron's, but now I have accepted it and am going to use it to help as many people as I can in the process and I will start in March at these informational meetings.

There are two words on my vision board that I really want to embrace this year. They are EPIC IMPACT. My goal this year, through my spiritual journey of putting God back at the center of my life, through showing love to everyone I meet, through my weight loss goals, my race goals, and my involvement through CCFA, I hope that I can have an EPIC IMPACT on not only my own life, but the lives of others. I have always been public with my journey to help others, but this year I don't only want to help others I want to have an EPIC IMPACT.

You can have an EPIC IMPACT in your own life and the lives of others. Look at what your goals are, write them down, and make plans on how you will achieve these goals. Once you do that, you will have a bigger impact then you could ever imagine.