Friday, December 28, 2012

Healthy Living during the Holidays. It's possible.

This blog post was written on my plane ride home after visiting family in Colorado for Christmas. I reflect on living a healthy lifestyle even during the holidays. It's a long one, so you might want to grab a cup of joe, sit back, relax, and enjoy.

About a month ago I wrote about having no more excuses in my healthy journey. I had written that blog post because I had gained three pounds over Thanksgiving week. Since that set back I have worked hard and to date have lost 12 pounds in seven weeks. I have really been living my "NO EXCUSES" mantra.

After the whole Thanksgiving debacle I knew I had to get my head on straight for the Christmas holiday season. There would be lots of tests to my 'NO MORE EXCUSES" lifestyle. I had decided that my goals are bigger than any Christmas goodie I could ever eat.

I have worked out with Justin harder than ever this month. If we couldn't meet on our normal day, we would pick another day and meet at 6am. When we weren't meeting in person, he was giving me workouts. When I was not doing what I needed to do, he was practicing TOUGH love on me and it was all coming together just in time for me to travel out of town for Christmas.

I was really nervous about traveling so early in my healthy journey. I met with Justin twice the week before because of not being able to meet with him Christmas week. I found a gym in Colorado where I could workout, so I had Justin give me two workouts to do. I knew ahead of time that I would workout the day before and the day after Christmas. This was non-negotiable. I had really thought through everything ahead of time and I had a plan.

We arrived in Colorado late Sunday night. Early Monday morning I was at the gym doing the tough workout Justin gave me. After working out I headed to the grocery store to pick up some food to help keep me on my healthy journey. I was off to a great start.

Christmas Eve night we headed to my Dad and Step Mom's house. I called ahead to see what was on the menu. I did this for two reasons, to see if I could eat it because of my Crohn's, but also to see if the choices were good for my healthy eating journey.

I brought some food and also ate some from the HUGE buffet as well. I only ate one plateful and passed on dessert. My big splurge was a few pieces of yummy chocolate. It was a HUGE success. In the past my excuse would have been, "Hey, it's Christmas and I haven't been to this relative's house in a long time. I have to eat what's served." There were NO EXCUSES this time. I was doing it.

Christmas Day we had a HUGE dinner again. Ham, mashed potatoes, the workds. My Dad and step Mom brought all the leftovers from the night before. Again, I had one plateful of food, made modifications where I could, like no butter on my veggies, using my own salad dressing, and having cantaloupe for dessert. I concentrated on the conversation more than the food. It was amazing, because I have not missed the unhealthy foods.

There was one point on the trip where everyone was going to get fast food. I brought my own food instead. I did not miss that either.

The day after Christmas I was back at the gym bright and early to do another killer workout from Justin. There were things in this workout that I just KNEW I could NEVER be able to do, but pushed through and was able to do it all. It was a great feeling to know, without Justin standing over me, I could still complete a hard workout. Most of the time, it's totally mind over matter with me. Once I make up my mind that I can do it, I usually can. It might not be the first time, in fact it might take several tries, but I do it. I was very proud of myself. I accomplished so much in this workout, both physically and mentally. This was a huge turning point for me in my journey.

That night we went out to a restaurant that I went to as a child. It's called Casa Bonita. It's a fun Mexican themed place. They have shows and fun things to do. I ordered from their a la carte menu as opposed to the all you can eat menu. I had a taco salad and really focused on my family and showing my kids the fun memories I had from going there. The food was just a side note for me and that felt great.

I stayed up until almost 1am talking to my step mom and had decided that I would not workout the next morning, after all, I had worked out hard this week and had eaten right all week, so it was ok that I didn't workout, right? I went to bed, very tired, and ready to sleep in.

I woke up around 7:30am, which is sleeping in for me. People were still asleep, so I decided to get a workout in. I opted for a 45 minute walk outside instead of the gym. It was perfect weather and was very beautiful. I am so glad that I decided to do this instead of listening to all the excuses that I was telling myself the night before. It was a great walk. Here is the view I would have missed had I stayed in bed.

As I walked and reflected on my trip I couldn't help but smile. I was able to overcome so many obstacles and honestly, it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.

I've said more than once on this blog that most of my issues are in my head. This trip was exactly what I needed mentally. I showed myself I can do this. I can celebrate a major holiday while living a healthy lifestyle. I now know that it's doable and I know this is the way I want to live the rest of my life.

"I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13

Some fun stats from my trip. These stats are from Monday-Thursday.
Fruits and Veggies- 32 Servings
Water- 45 cups

Moral of this blog post: Plan ahead, stick to the plan, and know that YOU CAN DO IT.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses

Today marks three weeks since I started working out with Justin, my new personal trainer. The first two weeks with him were awesome. I lost 7 1/2 pounds. I was and am very happy with those results, but then things started going downhill.

Downhill because of me, not because of Justin. My history with getting healthy has always had a trend. This trend is that I cannot string together more than two weeks of doing well. I end up self-sabatoging myself and I don't know why. I was very excited to get a third week in a row of losing weight, but then the excuses started coming.

It's Thanksgiving week. We all know what happens at Thanksgiving we eat. I did well eating the day of Thanksgiving, but at night cleaning up and putting away all the desserts, I just couldn't help myself.

It's ok though I ate well during the day, so this dessert isn't so bad. As I was putting it my mouth I was telling myself I shouldn't be doing it, but I still did.

The next day the same thing. I had more pie and added whip cream. The next excuse I told myself is that (Sorry Guys) it was that time of the month this past week. You know you always crave salty and sweets. And today when I weighed myself and gained 3 pounds back I excused it with this fact. It's Thanksgiving, it's that time of the month. I already messed up, so I might as well eat it. All excuses. All sound so stupid now that I am writing about it, but these are all things that went through my head this week when making bad eating choices, trying to justify what I was doing.

Third day in a row having sweets, told myself it was because I was down about missing Eli, my friend's baby who died a month ago. Having Eli die has raised a lot of feelings within me regarding when my own sister, Blessing, died. I was the same age as Eli's big sister, Abby, 7. So when I was down this week, I did what has become habit for me, I turned to food and justified it by telling myself it was because of missing Eli. I am truly grieving him and what his wonderful parents are going through, but I need to find a healthy way to work my way through this, through all these excuses.

Since 2010 I have been doing a great job of making excuses. People have been helping me make excuses. "Melissa, you got diagnosed with Crohn's." "Don't forget you moved across the country." "You've had injuries this past year. Don't be so hard on yourself." Not only have these things happened to me, but I have added to those excuses. I have had a hard time making friends here, I have suffered from depression since moving here. When things get hard for me I close down, I don't want to talk about it and that is basically what I have done for the last 2 years. In 2008-2009 I lost over 100 pounds on the way to a healthier lifestyle. After my Crohn's diagnosis things went downhill and I let all these excuses become my inner dialog and I have gained back the 100 pounds I lost.

These are all legit things that have happened in my life, but they have become excuses for me not to do what I need to do.

Crohn's yes I got diagnosed. Yes, the meds made me gain about 40 pounds back at the beginning. Yes, I had to change my diet. Yes, it was hard, but it's been two years and I only have symptoms from time to time now and the meds I am on now do not cause me to gain weight anymore. No more reason for this to be an excuse in my journey.

Yes, I moved across the country. Yes, It's been hard. Yes, it's been a year and still feel alone, but I am starting to change that. Staying in and feeling sorry for myself is not going to happen anymore. I'm set in my volunteer work and enjoying getting out and doing new things.

My depression is gone for the most part. I got back in touch with my counselor that I worked with in Illinois and we are talking through the hard stuff. I no longer can use the move and depression as an excuse to be unhealthy.

My injuries are healed and to be honest I'm sure my weight and the weight gain over the last year didn't help. As I lose weight I know that these two areas, my knee and hip will continue to get stronger and healthier. I will no longer use my injuries as excuses to not be healthy.

I am very sad about Eli dying and it brings up memories of when I was 7 and lost my baby sister. I am choosing to not turn to food to deal with the grief. Eli fought every day of his 5 months to live his life to the fullest he could. My sister, Blessing, lived for 5 days. They both overcame odds to live as long as they could and lived their little lives to the fullest.

My mom died at the age of 53. My mom was the most amazing person you could ever meet. She died of cancer, but I watched her not take care of her health for years leading up to her death and I feel that contributed to her getting sick and passing on.

I no longer want to live like this. Each of these people that have passed on before me lived full lives and fought to stay alive and didn't win the battle. I am here on this earth, doing the things I know the Lord wants me to do, but not living to His full potential for me. If I keep making excuses like I've been doing for the last 2 years I could possibly die young like my mom. Here I am being given more days on this earth and the last couple years I haven't lived to my full potential and this past week used these excuses to justify my bad decisions.

My mom, my sister, and Eli are examples to me of how to live my life and today I am refocusing on what I need to do.

Today was my third meeting with Justin. It was so hard to tell him I gained 3 pounds back. It was hard to look him in the eye. It was hard to realize how my life is full of so many excuses. Justin was great. He didn't make me talk about anything. However, we made a deal that if it happens again I will talk to him. By the end of the workout I did open up a little, but later as I was thinking about it, I realized again, how I was using things as excuses for my bad choices. They were bad choices, that's all there is to it.

I will not dwell on the past. I will move forward, but this time I will look forward without excuses in my way. Today, during my workout, there were things Justin asked me to do, and he said to me, "Stop thinking about it and do it. You're getting in your own way." Boy, isn't that the truth. I just need to get out of my own way and do what I need to do.

My brother Jordan told me this week to "suck it up buttercup."
Jordan, that's what I'm going to do and get this done once and for all.

No more excuses.

I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength- Phil. 4:13

Lord, I give this journey to you. I cannot do it alone, so I give this all to you. Thank you for all that has gone on in my life to make me a better person. I know that you don't give me more than I can handle. Everything that has happened in the last 2 years I thank you for. Please help me use these experiences to become a better person. Please help me not to use these situations as excuses, but as building blocks to better myself. Help me to learn more about you through this journey and become a better person because of it all. In Jesus' name-AMEN!!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Some thoughts on my new journey

Tomorrow I start working out with my new personal trainer, Justin. I go into this workout with mixed emotions. I’m excited because I am ready to take my life back, but I am scared as all get out too. Justin and I have talked about this and he tells me there is no reason to be nervous or scared. Keith tells me that I don’t need to be nervous and assures me that I am going to be “amazing.”

I know that I don’t need to be nervous, but the thoughts of where I was and where I am now creep into my thinking. As I walked on the treadmill this week I realized how far I have let myself go. I realize that turning to food and not working out was not the way to go, but for some reason that is the way I went, but I need to focus on the fact that starting tomorrow morning I am changing, I am working my way back to where I was, but this time I want it to be a change that is for the rest of my life.
And that’s the problem. I start thinking about am I going to be able to do it once and for all this time? Last time I lost over 100 pounds I told myself I would NEVER EVER go back anywhere near 300 pounds again and yet here I am, starting weight, 305 pounds. I was sincere, but here I am. These are the thoughts that are running through my mind as I look to tomorrow for the start of my journey.

Again, this all goes back to my theme verse for this journey, Isaiah 43:18, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.” This is a great verse in theory. It’s a very true verse. We shouldn’t dwell on the past, but how do you really do this? All my thoughts are about where I was before, where I am now, thinking about how I used to do races, and now can barely walk for 30 minutes on a treadmill. Will I be able to do it like I did it before?

None of this matters. What I should be dwelling on is the fact that after a hard 2 years of a Crohn’s diagnosis, a major move, depression, injuries, and dealing with some hard situations with friends and family, I am taking my life back. Two weeks ago I emailed a personal trainer, I met with him for a consultation, and I started eating right again this past week. I need to focus on the fact that I am making HUGE strides in my walk with God and in working with my counselor. Things are really starting to come together for me, but I can’t seem to shake the past.

So what I am realizing this as I type this is that, day by day, I need to change my thinking. Seriously, the past is the past. There’s nothing I can do to change that. I made decisions that weren’t good, but now I’m making good ones. Focus on what I am doing and not what I’ve done in the past. Focus on the positive and not the negative.

Tomorrow I start a new chapter. I work out with Justin and make a plan. I am still really nervous, but am also excited. Excited to start changing my life once and for all. I looking forward to the future and not dwelling on the past. I can do this and I am so glad that you are here with me on this journey to encourage me and cheer me on. I’ll let you know how it goes tomorrow if I can still move.

Monday, November 05, 2012

My first meeting with Justin

Well, today was my first consultation with personal trainer Justin of Pioneer Valley Fitness. He came to my house and we talked over my intake forms and then checked out my home gym to make sure working out at home was the best way to go.

He was very happy with everything and is very happy to train me at home. I'm so glad that we ran across the super deal we did to obtain this home gym. For those of you that don't know we were very fortunate to run across a great deal. For $500 we got a new treadmill that has Internet accessibility,touch screen and an Ipod attachment with speakers. A stand with dumbbells ranging from 3 pounds to 30 pounds, a weight bench, with attachments to do lat pull down, triceps, leg work, a bicep curl bar, the bar for bench pressing, weight plates, an exercise ball, and pads for the floor. We found the ad on Craig's List and showed up to the moving sale very early. The treadmill alone was well worth over $500.

After checking out everything I have Justin did some fitness assessments to see where I was at. I was reintroduced to my old friend the plank and the squat. From what Justin told me I did well considering I haven't worked out regularly this past year. I'm glad he thought I did well because other thoughts were running through my mind.

One of the things that Justin and I talked about was how hard this is for me to have let myself get back to where I was back in 2008 when I started my whole journey the first time.

I showed him the two articles that I was featured in and my "Yay Me" wall. This has been a sore spot for me lately. I know intellectually that these are still great accomplishments, but it has also been a major reminder that I have gained all this weight back too. It's bitter sweet.

Here's a picture of my "Yay Me" wall.

I'm trying to stay focused on my theme verse for this new journey I am on, Isaiah 43:18-"Forget the former things;do not dwell on the past." It is easy in theory, but so hard to put into practice.

This week I am just going to be doing treadmill. Justin and I will be working out together next week, so in the mean time I am just doing treadmill 20-30 minutes for at least 3 days a week. I decided to do it today. It was another rude awakening. I could barely walk and had to slow down the speed. It was hard and after 5 minutes I wanted to stop and this is someone who has done triathlons and run half marathons. It was very hard not to get down on myself.

I need to "not dwell on the past." I need to be proud of my accomplishments. Justin told me because I have had success before my body will bounce back faster and because I have lost over 100 pounds in the past he knows I have the drive to do it again.

I really like Justin. He was very encouraging when I was down on myself. He is excited to really get started training me and helping me with my eating. He has a great support system on his website. I have already been friended by two ladies. One has only been working with him for 5 months and has already lost 50 pounds. The other lady has lost 60. It will be great to be in touch with these ladies. He has his website set up where you can friend other members and chat like on Facebook. It will be a great accountability tool and great for encouragement especially since I haven't made many connections yet here since moving.

My closing thoughts at the end of the day is this:

-I am proud of what I have accomplished in my past. I am going to look at my "Yay Me" wall with pride and not disappointment.
-I made some great strides today with Justin and am looking forward to meeting next week.
-My eating went a lot better today. I'm looking forward to breaking bad habits. I saw today as a glimpse into that happening.
-No matter my size Jesus loves me just as I am and not how I should be.
-With the help of God, Justin, and my counselor I know that I am going to be successful.

Whatever you are going through please know that you can do it. I'm here for you.

Starting Weight: 305 pounds.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

My Fresh Start

Back in 2008 I decided to get serious about getting healthy. I started my journey back to health weighing in at 306.2 pounds. Over the next two year I lost a total of 106 pounds.

One person I owe a lot of my success to is my coach, Bob Mitera of Kokua Multisports. We met working ourt at the Foglia YMCA and I knew we were a good match.

This is me and Bob a month after we started working together. We were doing a 5k.

Over the next couple of years Bob and I worked together towards my goals. He was my coach when I did my first olympic Distance triathlon. It was a rough day out there and he found me on the run and walked with me to encourage me. He then ran ahead so he could be there when I crossed the finish line.

He was there for me throughout my whole ordeal with figuring out my Crohn's diagnosis. We learned together my limitations and race nutrition. He was there for me and helped me train for my first half marathon, which I ran to raise money and awareness for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America. I hope that some day they can find a cure.

October, 2012 was my 2 year anniversary since my diagnosis . It's been a rough couple of years. I was on meds that caused me to gain some of my weight back.

In 2011, we moved from Illinois to Massachusetts. It has now been a year since the move. In that year I have suffered from depression, injuries, and have let old habits creep back into my life.

Off and on over this year Bob has been there for me. The reason I say off and on is due to back to back injuries. We would talk on the phone and he would send me workouts when I could work out.

Despite his effort to help me I just was not able to overcome the mental and physical obstacles that were blocking my way. Over the past two years I have gained back 100 pounds. I feel really ashamed about this and was turning to food to comfort me, which only made things worse.

As you can tell my blog has a new name. I am hitting the reset button and starting fresh in my new healthy journey. I have a theme verse for this fresh start. It is Isaiah 43:18, "Forget the former things;do not dwell on the past." Also, the Bible says that "Love keeps no record of wrongs." I am good at forgetting what others have done, but not for myself, so I have decided that I love myself and I need to not keep records of all the wrong things I have done in the past. Today is a new day and today is my fresh start. There is no looking back.

Part of my fresh start is getting a new coach here in Massachusetts. I will always be grateful for Coach Bob and everything I have learned from him. Bob, not only were you a great coach you are a great friend. I look forward to seeing you in the future at the finish line of Ironman Wisconsin.

Because I am basically where I was in 2008 I knew I needed the accountability of meeting in person weekly with a coach. It's never easy to say goodbye, but I am grateful for all I have learned and know it will be a great foundation for the next chapter in my fitness life.

A couple weeks ago I was taking a walk and saw a sign for personal training. It was on the door of what looked like a studio, so I decided to take down the information and see what it was about. I emailed to get more info and Justin responded. We have talked and both feel like we are a good match for each other. One thing that is cool is that Justin will either train you in studio or at home.

We have opted for in home training since i recently acquired a home gym. He will be coming on Monday, November 5th. We are going to talk, make a plan, look at the home gym, workout a little, and by the end of the session I will have a plan for moving forward. Justin is also a nutritionist, so look forward to working with him on an eating plan as well.

For those of you who know me, you are probably wondering what are my thoughts on what I want to accomplish? What races am I going to do? Do I have a goal weight? Is an Ironman still in my future.

The first and foremost thing I need to do is get this weight down, get injury free, and healthy. In my mind, and this is before sitting down with Justin, I want to take triathlon off the table for the time being. I will start with small races and slowly move my way back up. Do I still want to do an Ironman? Of course I do. I am still planning on doing Ironman Wisconsin. Do I have a year picked out? No. I will know when it's right. Do I have a goal weight? I don't have an exact number because I just want to be healthy. I used to set timeline goals and when the time would come and go and I hadn't reached my goal, I would beat myself up, so I will make goals, but I will probably not put a date with that goal. These are my thoughts as I head back into this.

I'm really excited to move forward and will be blogging again.

Here are a couple of pictures of my new coach off of his website. His name is Justin Killeen. His business is Pioneer Valley Fitness and I'm really looking forward to meeting with him on Monday and getting this party started.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Las Vegas Half Marathon Race Report

This is a long overdue race report. I wrote most of it on the plane ride home and finished the rest of it this week. The pictures you are seeing I did not take. I lost all the pics from my Vegas trip. Sometimes technology is a pain. I found these pics on the Internet. This is when technology is awesome. Enjoy the report.

Sunday night, December 4th, 2011, I ran, jogged, and walked the Las Vegas Rock-n-Roll half marathon. It was the first time ever that the Strip was shut down, at night, for a race. That really drew a crowd. Last year the race had about 22,000 athletes, this year about 44,000. I had never been in an event of this size.

The marathon started at 4pm and the half marathon at 5:30pm. My friend, Sue Hardy, came from Illinois to hang with me for the weekend and cheer me on. We headed down t the Mandalyn Bay Parking lot for the pre-race entertainment, which was Cheap Trick. After we hung out for awhile I headed to my corral.

I was in corral 39, second to last. The race started at 5:30 and I crossed the start line at about 6:12. While we were waiting they had The Blues Brothers singing and entertaining us. That was a fun way to pass the time. The energy heading out on the race was amazing. I was in my Team Challenge gear, so there was a lot of support from the crowd.

It was neat to be running by all the familiar sights of Vegas at night under the bright lights. My plan was to start out a little bit slower and then to pick up the pace later in the race. You never really know what's going to happen until race day. I did about a 17 minute mile for the first 3 miles. I was all ready to keep going at that pace when at mile 4 1/2 my hip had decided it wanted none of this. I had some problems with my hip Saturday morning, but had iced it, stretched on Saturday and all day leading up to the race.

I was still able to slog (slow jog) it to about mile 7ish (not sure exactly) and had to start walking more than running. My goal was to finish in 3:30. At 3:30 I was at approximately mile 9 1/2-10. I was very upset that I hadn't reached my goal, but I new I would finish. Quitting is not in my vocabulary.

During races I wear a jersey that says, "I may have Crohn's, but I refuse to let Crohn's have me." It's really encouraging when people respond to it and it's even cooler when God sends someone to encourage me right at the moment I need it most.

I was approximately at mile 8, on the dark, backstreets of Old Vegas (Where bums were cheering us on) when thought of me not finishing were starting to creep in. I was trying everything to be positive, but nothing was helping. Even though I knew I wouldn't quit the thoughts were there. All of the sudden I hear from behind, "You're awesome" and someone patted me on the back.

I burst into tears because at that moment I didn't feel awesome. I felt like someone who had let herself down. I felt like I had no business being out there. I felt defeated, but then this guy comes out of nowhere and was my cheerleader until we got back to the strip. He was with his friend who had diabetes and despit foot issues was walking the race. My cheerleader's name was Will and I will always remember him.

At this point I had about a 5k left to run (3.1 miles). I was telling my body to push and give it my all, but temps had dropped, it started raining, and my legs froze up even with running tights on. This was the biggest wall I had ever hit. My mind said go, but my body said no. I was really pissed at this point.

My mind went to the dark side at this point. there were very few spectators out, aid stations were being broken down and the bands were already gone and like I said, it had started raining and the wind had picked up.

When I looked into the distance I could see a Team Challenge coach running towards me. He had on Energizer Bunny ears. The Team Challenge coaches run up and down the course helping their athletes, but what's cool is they help all Team Challenge athletes. I had about 2 miles to go and welcomed the sight of a TC coach no matter who they were coaching.

It took me only a few seconds to realize who it was. It was my coach, Brad, from Teach Challenge Illinois Napa. He helped me finish in Napa and now was able to help me finish in Las Vegas. He walked with me for a mile and then headed out to make sure his other athletes had made it in. It was fun to catch up with him and keep my mind off of the pain I was in. Again, this was God sending someone along to help me when I needed it most. He is so Awesome. The picture below is of me with Coach Brad in Napa after the race.

At another point in the race, I have no idea when, a lady came up from behind and said, "You're doing great. Keep it up." She then handed me a bracelet and headed off. I put it on and read it later in the race. It said, "MBFC fit chicks show up to their lives. I have courage. I am strong. I got this." WOW!! Again, totally a God thing. Her encouragement came when I needed it and then when I read it later it was perfect timing.

So with a mile to go I ran and walked until I could see the finish line. Then I mustered up all I could and sprinted to the finish line passing about 10 people on the way in. I was not about to walk across the finish line. One thing that kept me going is I would get my medal when I finished. I fought hard for that medal.

I crossed the finish line and went straight to a medic because I wanted to go to the medical tent and get warmed up, ice my hip, and get something to eat. Before I went to the tent I asked her where my medal was, to which she replied, "They're out, but don't worry they are going to mail you one." I burst into tears and said, "I need my medal." She brought me a marathon medal and placed it around my neck. She said I could have it until I received the other one. I took it off my neck, thanks her, but told her I didn't thing it was fair to the people that actually completed the marathon if I wore it.

Sue joined me in the medical tent until I was able to get going again. We started the long walk back to our hotel, which I think was another mile/mile and a half. As we were walking back I was really upset that I didn't have my medal. Everyone that did the race was wearing them. Everyone was congratulating each other. People would look at me and not say anything, so a couple times I told people, "I finished they ran out of medals." haha. I was bummed I couldn't advertise my accomplishment, but knew it my heart what I had overcome to finish that race and that was enough for me. I would eventually get my medal.

Sue was kind enough to stand in line and get food for me. As she did that I kept hobbling back to our room. I ate and then soaked in the tub. My thoughts turned to my life, my health, and my race. I gave myself a reality check. I WILL NOT do another ace this overweight again. I'm proud I finished, don't get me wrong, but I am not proud of ho, over the last year and 2 months I had let myself go. I promised myself then and there that things would be different in 2012. I looked out the windo at the Vegas Strip and told it I would be back next year to kick it's butt and that is what I am going to do.

I've dealt with bad health, a big move, and most recently some depression, but not it is time to move forward.

I have a good friend named Andy Shetter. In the past when I've been complaining or stuck in a hard place. He told me to:

Andy, I'm ready to SUCK IT UP, do what I need to do, and hit my goals this year.

Stay Tuned, my friends.


Last week I received my 1/2 Marathon Medal in the mail. Isn't it beautiful. It even glows in the dark.