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.