Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Good Bye Fat Suit

Food.  It fuels our bodies.  Gives our strength.  We need it to live.  Yet it is my addiction.  My comfort and confidant.  Controlling my urge to eat when emotional and stressed is a challenge.  Unlike other addictions, we need to eat to live.  Outsourcing the stress and emotion in other areas is critical.  However, we must decide if we are picking up the fork and eating because we actually hungry, or if we are just bored, anxious, bored or emotional. 

The last few weeks have been highly stressful for me.  Therefore its been hard for me to stay away from the foods and other habits that got me to my old size.  I can say that at this point it is all mental.  Awhile back, I made the decision to take time off from the gym when my membership was over.  This was purely just to make sure that my body was healing properly from the surgery, because I have still been having a few issues. 

The time off from the gym was no intention for me to use that as an excuse to be lazy.  My body has been through hell the last few years.  I will be honest.  The amount of weight I have lost, happened really fast.  In my opinion, it happened way to fast, that I am not sure it was exactly healthy from a physical or mental stand point.  Then going from weight loss mode, to marathon training mode with almost no break.  Its not a surprise that I need a break to allow my body to rest from all its been through.  Major weight loss.  Intense training.  Two major surgeries at once.  A lifetime diagnosis.  My body needs to heal.  My mind needs to catch up and process all that has happened.

I tell so many people that I feel like Rip Van Winkle.  I use the day of my surgery as the day I fell asleep like he did.  When I "fell asleep" for my surgery, I was still the fat girl, who had a huge stomach.  It still smacked as I walked and ran, and had to be stuffed in my pants.  When I woke up three hours later, all the skin was gone.  I "lost" three hours of my life that I won't remember as the doctors did their magic to make me better.  When I woke up, I was in a new body.  There is a "zipper" across my abs where my fat suit came off and made me a normal sized person. 

It is a lot to take in.  I am not sure how to handle and process all of this.  It is a struggle emotionally.  I am not what to do some days.  I cry, a lot.  My life has changed a lot the last few years.  Yet it has stayed the same in many ways.  The same in that I still spend so much of my time alone.  Days like today, I still spend my day off alone at home with little contact with the outside world.  I seldom get invites to go out with others, nor do I make suggestions to others to hang out.  Despite my desire to spend time with others, it is still a process and something that is very hard for me. I still feel like the fat girl.

Though many have said they would do things with me, those plans have all fallen through and never taken place.  Two different people have said they would go to cedar point with me, and it never happened.  Indians games were promised and never happened.  So many broken promises and plans have left me with a broken heart and left me not trusting anybody.  Even costing me a professional relationship I thought would never end. 

In the end, it is just a matter of making the right decision for my life and what is right.  Considering all options for my best fit is all that matters, and moving forward.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Learning To Adjust

Today, it has been exactly seven weeks since I had my hernia and paniculocotmy surgery. The first few weeks, I can say, were obviously very painful for me.  Much more than I thought, though I expected there to pain, and struggle with walking upright for awhile.  Yet, I was bound and determined to be able to be up and getting back to my version of a normal life, the best I could. 

Which meant that I was back in the gym a week later, moving ever so slowly.  Though I was just walking, and holding on for dear life on the handles, I was still there, walking at a snails pace for very short periods of time. Yes, for the record, my trainer was on my case about that immediately. Slowly working daily life, and modifying chores was a challenge.  Listening to my body, and what the doctors were telling me to do, I was able to go back to work two and a half weeks post surgery. 

Over the course of the past two and a half years of working with my trainer, Ryan Rose, I have learned how important it is to listen to our bodies.  We live with ourselves, and have to learn to distinguish between soreness and pain.  This is something I am getting better at.  Also learning to distinguish the difference in my body being ready for something too soon, or if mentally, its something I want to do.  It is a struggle sometimes mentally staying behind when my body is not ready, or when mentally I am not sure I am ready for something my body is longing for. 

Post surgery, mentally, it has been a huge struggle.  I have a huge incision across my entire hip and pelvic region that goes from one ass cheek to the next.  Mentally, I think of it like a zipper.  Where I laid down one day, and my fat suit  came off.  In my mind, I fell asleep a fat girl, and woke up an active, thin, healthy girl.  I am trying to get to know the girl in this body again and what she is capable of doing. 

One of the hardest parts for me about this whole process for me, is the attention that I have received from the weight loss.  Like a lot of people, I have a Facebook account and like to post photos of the races that I do or just whatever.  Races, being active are part of my life now, they are no longer part of a weight loss journey.  It is my lifestyle, something that is a hobby and I enjoy. 

I have become  very reluctant to post photos on Facebook anymore.  I hate people making comments about my size still, and that I look beautiful and wonderful.  Many times, it makes me feel very insecure and bad about my old life, because it makes me feel like everyone thought I was ugly, just because I was fat before.  Though I am happy that people are nice to me and treat me like a human now, it should not be because I am thin, active and healthy.  Society should treat people, the same, regardless of what size we are.  Honestly, at both sizes, then and now, I still feel lonely at times and unsure of myself as I go through these growing pains. Yes, I do go see a therapist to help me see somebody so I can get to know the new me better.

I realize that somebody else's opinion of me is none of my business and is only a reflection of themselves.  However, it is frustrating at times, as I try to understand where the person is coming from, before I say anything to them about what may be a well intended comment. 

Adjusting to a life and a body I never had before is hard, and I know I will get through it.  I am thankful that my trainer, Ryan Rose, as been with me through this entire process.  I will admit, he and I do go through rough, painful growing pains.  However, I could have been paired with a more perfect person, and I am blessed by his presence in my life.  Thankful that my friend Casey has stood by my side in this as well.  With out the two of them, I am not sure I would have made it as far as I have in the process. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Loving My Body

One of the things I have been thinking a lot about being off, and recovering from surgery, is how important it is for us to love our bodies, to love ourselves for what and who we are.  Not to be ashamed or embarrassed by our flaws and imperfections. 

I have wondered often if I would love who I am at the end of this journey.  Be proud of the person I am and the accomplishments I have achieved.  The truth this, is that I have had to learn to be proud of myself in each moment, not just wait until the end of my journey.  The same is true for loving who I am.  There is no reason why we must wait to be proud of who we are.

Life is always changing and throwing us curve balls.  It never goes as planned.  So, each day, I have had to choose to love who I am in each moment and accept the daily challenges that come up. 

Post surgery, as I look at my body, and see how I appear to have mis-matched parts, from my perspective.  However, I have worked hard to get to this point in my life. Yes, I still have extra skin on my legs and on some of my upper body.  Will I get it removed?  Only time will tell at this point. I am not a vain person.  I want to love my body as it is.  To have a healthy life, both mentally and physically and accepting it, all of it.  Perfections and flaws. 

There are times I think of Tina Fey.  She is a beautiful, talented comedian and actress.  She also has scars on her face from a childhood experience.  Despite this scar, she has not allowed it to stop her from pursuing a career in the limelight, and has done well in the public eye. 

I was talking to a friend one night.  I was telling her, that sometimes when I have wanted to give up, quit or thinking of posting something negative about myself on social media, I stop and think of her daughter. At no time, would I want my friends daughter to think that its okay to feel bad about herself,  to always view herself in a negative manner or give up.  

We should all be our own best friend.  Talk to ourselves like we would our best friend. We should always improve ourselves, yet do it in a positive and constructive manner.  Not being afraid to highlight our flaws while improving them to be better.

Yes, there are flaws I need to work on.  That is okay.  Admitting I need to improve is always important.  It is also important that they are not denied or left undone. 

It is important to embrace who we are and love ourselves.  Even though my thighs are bigger than what I would like because of the excess skin, I am learning to love that.  Its a battle scar of what I have over come the last few years.  At no time, do I want to get to the point where I am doing things out of vanity.  Its always going to be about my health first, and what is right for my body.  I am just an average girl, on a quest to be a better person in all aspects. 

I don't need a super models body to be perfect and happy.  I just need a body that I am happy and comfortable in.  One that I can life my life in and be okay with it. It is okay to showcase those battle scars and tell the world, "Hey, this is my life, and I am happy with who I am despite my battles."

Monday, June 20, 2016

Believing in Yourself


For much of my adult life, I have lived in Sandusky, Ohio.  Living so close to Cleveland, I learned to love and appreciate the Cleveland sports team.  As I sit here, I am still processing the fact that the Cleveland Cavs have won the NBA Championship! Such an amazing accomplishment!

Those who live in, or near Cleveland, call it Believeland!  It is very fitting because we were all believing that one day, our teams would break the curse and bring home championships to our city.  Well, tonight, it finally happened.

It is amazing what happens when we have faith and believe in our dreams and passions in life.  It also takes a lot of work, effort, dedication and commitment to go after our dreams and reach them, often times going much further than we ever imagined. 

This Championship series with the Cavs bringing home the cities first trophy in over 50 years, is very fitting for what is going on in my life right now. 

After returning to Sandusky after my sister's graduation in 2013, I  started to get serious about getting healthy.  It was time that I was putting effort in to my life so I could just  start living life instead of just existing.  I wanted to enjoy life again and make memories for myself and with others.  I knew the time was right, and the time is going to pass any way.  I had to put the effort in to put my health first.

Its late on Sunday night.  I am tired and should have been in bed hours ago, but wanted to watch my team play.  I have also been preparing for my upcoming surgery on Tuesday.  I have not been keeping it secret from those I see routinely or those that I am close with.  I have, for the most part, tried keeping it off of social media until I knew for sure that it was going to happen, and that it was real.

On Tuesday morning, I am getting a hernia repaired.  In the process, as part of this surgery, a plastic surgeon will be doing the second half of my surgeon removing my pannus, or my "apron" from my body.  So, I can officially say that I am having skin removal surgery on Tuesday. This particular surgery, the panniculectomy, is only removing the skin below the belt, and is not doing anything with the ab muscles and tighten them back up.  It is not taking the skin from my legs, arms or upper body either.  My main concern all along was the skin that hangs past my hip and pelvic region.

Yes, I realize I mislead some of you, and had to lie to some of you to keep it secret while going through the process.  For that I apologize, but I had to do what was right for me in the long run in case the insurance denied the whole thing as it is hard to get this approved and covered.  The hernia had to get fixed, the rest of it was all I had to focus on in getting it approved and doing exactly what was told and following the guidelines given to me.

This long process is finally starting to come to an end for me.  The healing from the surgery will be slow, and painful at times.  However, I have faith that my life will be greatly improved by this.  Finally feeling good about myself mentally and physically feels really good, and it feels amazing to finally accomplish a goal I have worked so hard for. 

I can also say, that I have never been more blessed to have had direct help from my trainer/coach/friend Ryan Rose.  Ryan, as always, thank you for all you have ever done for me.  I love you to infinity and beyond.  You truly have been a joy to work with and such a bright spot in my life.  I am so incredibly proud of you and love to brag about you often with what you do to help others.  You inspire me greatly to be a better person, and to help others be better versions of themselves.

My work and church families, I love you all greatly as well.  Thank you for all sticking behind me and supporting me on a very public journey, and keeping me level headed and grounded.  You all are wonderful to me and am blessed you all are in my life. 

When you believe in yourself, your dreams and life will take you further than you can ever imagine. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. This is something we all hear often through out our lives.  We either go back to toxic people, jobs or what ever situation there is, hoping for different results.  Sometimes, all we need to do is just remove ourselves from the situation and just take the advice of others, or watch others and  try to learn from their mistakes.  Perhaps even try to improve our game plan if we are still going after the dream or goal.

Most of my adult life, I have tried my best to do a lot of things on my own, without consulting a lot of people or seeking advice.  I just lived life the best way I saw fit, not really considering how it was going to affect my life down the road.  Making decisions that I never considered would be needed until now, like ever getting my drivers license.  In all honestly, I don't mind walking, and never thought driving was necessary for me to get around.  To me, its more of an inconvenience to learn at this point.

In the next few weeks I will be under strict doctors care and will be out of work for a couple of weeks. This quite frankly, scares the living hell out of me.  To the point that I was in my managers office crying to him yesterday.  Yes, I was crying in front of somebody.  A man at that, with the door shut.  I was not proud that I was letting myself breakdown in front of him.  However, at the same time, I thought it was necessary to be honest upfront that he know my concerns so that he could guide me in the right direction in the proper steps to take. 

For me to be alone with him in an office was a huge step for me, because seldom allow that to happen with anyone.  Crying, well that is unheard of from me.  To the point that my good friend tells me a lot that I need to learn how to be a female and just break down and cry.   That its okay to let it all go. My manager said that I should not worry about the after math of the surgery, that things will work out the way that they are supposed to, and to reach out to those around me if I need help. 

Reaching out to others for help has been a struggle for me.  Its a pride thing.  It makes me feel weak if I need to admit that I need help or that I cry.  It is hard for me.  Its one of the reasons why I have remained single for so long, because I don't want to feel like I need a man to take care of me, or that I need to be the stereotypical housewife who caters to their husband and gets.  Yes, I would possible want to marry one day if the right person came along.  However, it would be a respectable relationship where we take care of each others needs and love one another. Yes, for the record, there are guys I have been interested in.  However, life works out the way it is supposed and lessons have to be learned in our own time, and our own way. 

The last few years have been a learning experience for me, and I hope to continue to grow and learn many more life lessons along the way.  New ways to learn and reach out to others to help them, and possibly seek help for myself. 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Breaking Out Of My Bubble

Over the last two and a half years, I have felt like I have lived in a bubble.  Not really paying attention to the outside world, except when and where needed for my necessary involvement.  Even now, I am still living in my own selfish world as I strive to make vast improvements to better my life and surroundings.

One of my favorite quotes is "Why fit in when your born to stand out?" Dr. Seuss.   It is fitting for what I have been feeling for most of my life.  For most of my life, I have just wanted to fit in with groups of people, and feel accepted for who I was as a person.  The more I tried to fit in with others, the more isolated and alone I felt, and detached from others.  It was very heartbreaking for me. 

Starting in high school, the more I tried to fit in and feel accepted, the more I turned to food for comfort.  It was just in small doses at first.  It started out so small that back then, I did not know the damage that I was causing by turning to food for comfort.  Food is a necessary for us to live by, yet it is not supposed to comfort us emotionally and mentally. To the point I was considering suicide.

When I got the spot to participate in the FIT Challenge in 2014, it literally saved my life in many ways.  I was ready for a change in my life physically.  Thinking I would be happier if I lost weight, I put myself out there to get help, not knowing how drastically my life would change by blindly going into something the scared the living hell out of me. 

One of the things that I have learned over the last few years, that the only acceptance that I needed was from myself.  That once I learned to love and accept myself, all of me and my flaws, the better my life would become.  The people that are meant to be in my life will be with me regardless of what happens.  Rather from a distance or close by, these people are there no  matter what.

Over time, as I lost the weight, I noticed that I was interacting with more and more people.  Not always so much socializing with all of them and going out, but talking to people in my everyday life.  Rather it was while shopping, at the grocery store or just chatting with somebody at work or the gym.  The shy, quiet girl is still within me, and I still feel her presence ever so often in my life.

However, it is hard to tell, on my part, if others are "real" friends or those who are just curious about my weight loss because I have been so willing to share my experience with the public as I have done the unthinkable and made a very private struggle a public one.  It has made me wonder who cares truly about me as a person, and who just wants something to talk about to their friends.  Because of the past experiences I have had in the past with others, I question every ones motives. 

I am so unsure of the intentions of guys so often when they ask me out, that often times in the course of my conversations with them, at some point, I start to shut down, unintentionally and misunderstand what they are saying, or stop paying attention.  I do this to protect myself to keep from being hurt.  Most recently, I turned down a dinner invite with someone I had wanted to spend time with, replying that I needed to run.  Seriously, who the hell does that?  I could have ran after dinner. However, not fully listening to what was being said, I missed a great opportunity to spend time with someone instead of trying to protect my heart from heartbreak.

Learning to live life and experience all the different types of things normal people do is an adjustment.  I need to know how the good kinds of heartbreak, and know what I like to do with others, instead of living a life where I am always alone.  Some moments in life are meant to be shared, regardless of if that person remains in our life or not down the road.

There is one person in my life at this point, that I am not sure if they will remain, or fade into the background.  This person, I can honestly say, I have loved dearly with my whole life, and am forever grateful for their presence in my life.  I can say I have never felt the same love or bond like I have with this person.

Though I am learning, in this process to accept love and respect from myself, and that from others as I follow my heart into the unknown.  God gives us the people and experiences we need for ourselves, and those who may need us later in life.  I am thankful for had happened to this point in my life.  I have learned so much in such a short time that I never thought I could have. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Make the most of detours

Through out life, we are always changing course. We get a lot of road blocks, detours if you will.  We choose how to deal with them when life doesn't go as planned.  Do we sit and wait for the road to clear? Go around or climb over it?  There are many options regardless of if we see it or not.

Back in September when I was in Dayton for the marathon, I spent time at the expo seeing the different races I could do for this year.  In my head, I had planned on staying on track with competing to stay healthy. It kept me focused.  So far this year, I've done one 5k,and afterward decided to pull out of all future races I planned on attending.

Life would have other plans for me.  Having not done a marathon before, I ran a great portion of the race not knowing I was injured.  I just assumed the pain and soreness would go away and was part of running a long distance.  Plus my body was still adjusting to a significant weight loss. Essentially, since September, my body has been saying, "Girl, let me heal!"  There are a lot of days, especially lately, I'm in pain.

During this time, I'm learning to live a normal life. Getting in touch with myself, and those I love the most. Reconnecting with family and friends I have not spent time with in years because I was ashamed of myself. Also taking time to get healthy from a medical stand point. Getting in touch with doctors to get excess skin removed and relief from other issues I'm facing.

I'm forever blessed that I have such a great support system. My trainer has kept me focused through the entire process and I'm thankful for that as he strives to keep me comfortable through the pain as we move forward to better living.  He's become a good friend and my biggest supporter in this.  The other members of the gym, I am grateful for their friendships as well and ability to make me laugh and give hugs.

This gym and trainer are by far the best fit for me as life gives me detours to deal with.

Friday, April 8, 2016

skin skin go away

When I first started my weight loss journey, I should say, when I got serious, I only thought of the weight coming off. I didn't factor in the mental and emotional changes I would have to make.  These changes in top of getting rid of my old food choices, and activities.  Gone were the days of binge watching tv while on the computer, eating super sized junk food and deep fried what ever, washed down with sugar with light tea.

When I started the Fit Challenge, I knew I was going to lose weight.  I knew it was going to work and I had to learn to do everything over, like relearning to walk or ride a bike.  It was rough. I cried, almost daily, never in front of Ryan though. Many days, early on, I literally crawled up stairs I tears because I was sore. Ryan was super hard on me, always. Challenging every step of the way. At no time did he let me get away with excuses or play victim.  He never gave up despite our struggles.

Today, over two years later, and still working with Ryan, I see so many changes in my life. Better, more positive changes. I have more confidence, I'm happier, more active physically and socially. Mentally and emotionally I know I'm stronger.

In this process, I never thought of the struggle I would have with my excess skin. I knew I would have some, if any at all.  However, little did I factor in that for the length of time I wad heavy vs how quickly I lost so much weight, I have so much skin that gets in the way.  It's harsh, mentally and physically.

Mentally it's hard because when I look down, all I see is skin. It's a daily reminder of a former life I no longer live. It's hard seeing ladies in the gym who have flat stomachs, while I continue to wear men's basketball shorts most days to hide my stomach and skin. Physically the skin weighs so much.  It's pulling on my hips and spine causing a lot of discomfort.  This slow my training down for races.

It's frustrating because most days I am not sure if the emotional and physical anguish I'm going through now is much different than the lonely life I led as an overweight lady. Some days I swear getting hit by a train would feel better depending on how bad the back and spine pain is.

It does help greatly that Ryan insisted I see a professional therapist to help with my transition. It makes it easier for all of us. Talking to someone who only heard my issues and guide me makes a difference. I know I can say anything to Ryan, and anything is open for disscussion. However, I tend to shut down when conversation get deep in the gym. Not because of Ryan, because he tries. I trust him. There are normally too many ears open with no ear phones in. 

One day, I hope and pray God allows my journey with Ryan to be continued to be shared with others. Shared with finding funds to get the medical help for the surgery. Believe it's important to share with others so they know weight loss can happen naturally. I keep praying through tears that God finds a miricle for the healing for my heartbroken body. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Our weight is just a number on the scale.  It's only a number. Yet we let it define who we think we are, or who we're supposed to be. Even our physical size, we let that define who we are, even though there are several components to who we are.

When I first started my weight loss journey,I thought once I hit a, certain number on the scale, I would be happy.I would have a Normal life and not worry about anything with my health. Boy was I wrong.

I hate that a number on the scale is still controlling my life.  I want to be free. To live a long life full of normalcy where I'm not hiding from the world because of my size.
I don't want left over reminders of a life still attached to my body that I no longer live.

I cry so often because of the emotional and physical pain I feel from the previous life. Not feeling good enough for the great things happening in my life. Not sure if I deserve the  opportunities occurring or ones that may happen.

I want to feel the genuine love for myself, and from others that lead a long, healthy, productive life. I do feel it from time to time. Yet I feel guilty at times after talking to certain people. I am learning to cut them off so I can stay positive.

I want to stay focused. To continue proving to myself that I can do this on my own, that I am worth fighting for, on my own. Even if I have to go alone,I will. In this life, it's just about staying focused on my goals, going to set high standards for myself, and hopefully others so they know that impossible dreams do Come true with hard work.

I try hard to stay focused and positive most is not one of those days. It's gotten the best of me today.  However, it's just a small battle in an internal war I will win.

Obesity is a national epidemic that can be fixed naturally. I found that out by busting my ass in the gym.It's  messing with my mind right now mentally.Yet,I am strong enough to overcome this. I will conquer the emotions and regain the strength Back to do what's right for
My life.

I never took in consideration the mental strength I would need or how long it would take. However, I have been extremely blessed with the great team of people around me to guide me through this process.

Today, the number got the best of me.  Yet in the end, I'll own my own strength to became a much better, stronger person. For that,I am grateful.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

"Why FIT in when your born to stand out?"

"Why FIT in when your born to stand out?" Dr. Seuss. This has been one of my all time favorite quotes. Especially in a time when I'm trying to figure out who I am, while feeling accepted for who I am.

I have been in customer service most of my life. Taking care of others and their needs. I work with a lot of families with small children on a daily basis.

Recently I had a family come in my store to buy last minute gifts before heading home. The mother insisted that the children buy something similar, so they wouldn't fight over whose was whose.

I looked at the mother and told her that it would  be better for the children to buy different things. That way, what they buy, are uniquely theirs, and kept and played with more, and longer than if they received the same thing as their sibling.

I don't have children of my own. Yet, before you judge me, know that I have five siblings.  I remember how much I hated and despised getting the exact same thing as my siblings or their wives/ significant other. I truly was less likely to use the gift, and often times, at. Christmas time, I would "forget" the items at my parents or return it.

What I am saying, is that, each person should be treated as the unique person that they are.  Not be treated like someone else.  Each person needs to feel room to grow, and feel loved as they are. No matter how old they are. We are all changing into a different, evolving person.

I can say that I'm okay with being different than most people. I am learning to love me, my life and what makes me who I am.  It's learning to balance everything that I have learned the last couple years and putting it in place. Living life, depicting myself and in the process of respecting the decisions others make for themself.

We all fight different battles most know nothing about. It's okay to be different, and be respectful of ourselves and others lifestyles. I have learned a lot about life from others who have much different lives and backgrounds than myself.  For that, I am grateful.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Finally feeling love

Daily now, I'm realizing just how blessed I've become. Many times when I thought God was torturing me by changing circumstances, He was improving my life.

One thing I had always wanted, hoped for, is to have a person, a friend or someone who truly cares about me.  One who challenged me mentally and physically as well as emotionally.

For the first time, I believe that there is someone.  Without this person, my life would not be what it is now.  On many levels, I feel challenged by this person to be a, better person. To think better and go after dreams, and take risks.

This person does not sugar coat things with me, nor should they.  Yet, they have gone through a lot to try and make sure I got help or was taken care of in certain situations.

It's been a huge blessing to have them in my life, and to call this person a friend, one who I consider family. I love this person dearly and, appreciate all they have contributed to this earth and my life.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Losing Myself to Find Myself

Major life changes are hard.  They are draining emotionally, mentally and physically.  There were many times I didn't know what I was feeling, or why for that matter.

Many times, I wanted to give up.  It was. In those moments, I would reflect upon what I had gone through to get where I was in that moment.  The progress I was making was far more worth the the frightening thought of going back to the person I was before I started my initial journey.

This week marks the two year anniversary of when I started my fitness journey.  It was this week that I met my trainer, Ryan Rose, at Health and Strength for the first time as part of the FIT CHALLENGE.

In the two years since meeting Ryan, he has helped me to get my life back by losing almost half of my self.  But this life changing period is more than just about losing weight.

During these last two years, it took losing myself, to find myself in the process. I'm still learning who I am, but I've gained a whole new perspective of life, and what I am capable of doing.

Life is not always going to be perfect, and there's will be plot twists along the way.  That's what's going to make it interesting and help us to grow as individuals though.

The confidence, trust, positive outlook on life I've gained from this expierence, is far greater than I ever imagined.  Ridding my thoughts of all negativity and self doubt made my life completely different. My world started changing for the better because of it.

To this day, I will always be grateful for the guidance, training, advice and tough love my trainer has shown me through the process.  There are not enough good things for me to say about Ryan. He's been amazing to work with the last two years.

I'll always be grateful for the friends who stuck with me through all this as well.  Words can not describe the gratitude my heart feels for my small Sandusky family who've been extremely supportive through this.  I love you all.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Who do you say that I am?

In New Testament scriptures, Jesus asks, "Who do you say that I am?"

This past week, I've been thinking about that question. Not only in how it applies to my faith.  However, it's made me question who I am as a person. Take away all outside influences from  church, politics, the news, peers, work and social media, I wonder, "Do I tell the world who I am, or do I live by who the world says I am?"

It's a simple question.  I have spent forty years with myself, you would think I knew who I was, right? What are the basics of who I am.

I can say that the last few months have been extremely difficult.  Lots of crying and tears. The emotional and mental part of my weight loss journey is starting to catch up.  It's over whelming.

Of course, it comes at a time when I start a new job, and injured.  Both stressful situations by themselves.   I am up to the challenge and accept it.  I know that I will conquer the challenge and come out on top a much better, stronger person.

There are many days I feel like a life of contradictions.  I feel strong, but have moments of weakness.  I cry often behind closed doors.  I love dumb jokes and love to laugh, yet I take life to literally and am serious most of the time with people. I don't hold back telling someone I love them, but hide my hurt feelings and cry alone to avoid confrontation.

One day, a healthy lifestyle change will emerge in me to make positive self esteem and respect.  Learning who I am. Offering the many gifts God has placed in my life and blessed me with.

In a recent conversation with a friend, I told him that this year has been emotional in many ways.  I ran my first marathon, turned forty, and started dating again.   It's been hard, but it's every bit been worth the struggle to be standing here today.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

"I am learning every day to allow the space between where I am and where I want to be to inspire me and not terrify me. " Tracee Ellis Ross
Frustrated.  Anxious.  Fearful.  Grateful.  Blessed.  Thankful. A wide range of emotions.  Yet I have felt all of them this past week.  Sometimes within a matter of minutes of each other.  Its been an emotional roller coaster for me.
As I mentioned in my last blog, I was having complications with my left foot upon returning from the marathon in Dayton.  After Ryan sent me home from the gym that day, I did make an appointment to see the doctor.  However, the pain in my foot was bad enough, I went in to the ER because I could hardly walk. 
After x-rays and a brief meeting with the attending doctor, they diagnosed me with a heel spur and Plantar Fasciitis.  They put me in a walking boot, and put me on medications to help me. 
When they asked if I had questions, I looked at them and asked, "When can I run again?" The look on their face was priceless.  They just replied, "It may be a few weeks, that running was why I was hurt." 
Its kind of ironic, that the one thing that I struggled with in my journey to start doing, is the one activity that I truly miss doing now.  I very much have a love hate relationship with running.  However, its become my outlet in life, my stress relief.  My addiction.  I can not wait until I am able to start back to running.
The hardest part of being unable to run right now, is learning how to work out in the gym, without doing any cardio.  To learn how to workout around the current needs that I have.  Just doing upper body workouts or working on my abs.  At this time, I am only allowed to do things in a seated position while I am in the gym so that I am not putting pressure on my foot. 
Learning to listen to my body, and respect the needs it has so that it can heal properly is important.  Mentally, I want to be able to  put a good full body workout in.  Physically, my body is telling me to calm down and heal. 
What it comes down to right now, is that I am scared of going back to my old ways.  I don't want to become that woman again who is over 300 lbs. and miserable.  As much as I tried to pretend I was happy then, deep down, I was not. That girl is in my past, where she needs to be.
I very much enjoy the active life that I have now where I am spending time doing fun things with friends, and just enjoying life.  Loving myself enough to be goofy and crazy doing random things with friends or family.  At this time, I just have to be cautious of what I eat and my activity levels. 
This way I am not injuring myself and can focus on other aspects of my life.  Making better life choices.  Choices that need to be made soon so I can become an even better version of myself.  Though these decisions are hard, I know they are needed, and I have to respect the process that I am going through. 
All though right now, this part of the process scares me.  Not knowing how soon I will be able to fully start training again for more races.  Its hard.  Even if I may not be able to do long distance runs again, and just do short races, I will be okay with that.  I just want to keep becoming a better version of myself.  Knowing that I have done something I had never done before, that is something I am proud of. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly." Proverb

Over the last several weeks, my fellow co-workers and I have been watching caterpillar's go their the different stages into becoming beautiful butterflies.  It has been an incredibly fascinating process to watch, as they grow into full blown caterpillar's, form their cocoons, and then break free and come out a butterfly.  Just this week, we released the last butterfly so he could join others as they migrate south to Mexico for the winter. 
Watching the caterpillars over the last several weeks, has had me extremely intrigued in many ways.  I would get really excited at the different stages.  There were times I would just sit and watch them.  Made me think about the journey that I have been on the last couple of years as I struggle to get healthy. Many times, I would think, "I wonder if Ryan gets as excited watching me go through my different phases, good and bad, as I do watching these caterpillar's."  Of coarse, he is the only one who can answer that. 
This week, has been an important week for me in my journey.  It has been a week of rest and recovery from running the Air Force Marathon in Dayton, Ohio.  It is always important to make sure to take care of our bodies after such an intense workout.  I had used the day after the race, as my rest day, and then go into the gym that Monday to do yoga and use the bike to stretch out my muscles.
It was also part of my recovery plan to make sure I ate and hydrated properly and still go enough sleep before and after the race.  This was important so that I did not get myself sick during or after the race.  I needed the proper nutrients and rest to keep my energy levels up.  There are a few things I still need to work on when doing long distance races, but its a learning process for me since I am still new to the running world. 
I will admit, when I made an attempt to go to the gym to do a light workout on Tuesday, Ryan sent me home.  He insisted I take additional time off because he took one look at me, and could tell my foot was in pain.  I am not sure at which part of the race I hurt my foot because at one point, my whole body hurt. I just kept running despite the discomfort because I chalked it up to being normal due to the distance being ran.
However, I am thankful for the additional time away from the gym to fully recover and give my body the proper rest it needs so it can heal properly. My body needs the time to adjust to a normal schedule.  The rest and recovery part of the process is hard for me.  Mentally, I want to be in the gym because that is what I have grown accustomed to.  Physically, my body is telling me to stay away to regroup.
The last 20 months, has had its share of challenges in my journey to a healthier, better version of myself.  It does not matter if my journey is perfect, or I become the best at something.  It is always a matter of me becoming a perfect me, the best me possible. 
It has been an incredible blessing to me, that Ryan has stuck with me through this whole process.  He has had a front seat to watching me turn from a cranky, tired catipillar who could barely do anything in the gym, to a girl is restless not getting to run and exercise.  The transformation he has helped make is nothing short of amazing, and I look forward to continuing to work with him in the future to see what else happens.