Thursday, January 17, 2013

An unexpected pick-me-up

So, I got my two-year follow-up call from the Kaiser social worker yesterday.  One thing she did was read to me my "goals" from my pre-op social work visit.  I had NO IDEA she had those on hand, though she said it was discussed that she would be doing that. was AMAZING, and exactly what I needed mentally yesterday - TOTAL "TEAR FEST".  I asked her to email them to me.  This is SO COOL...and I wanted to share.  
Subject Relapse Prevention - What Works

What works for me…
~Remembering that the gym is a good stress-relief tool, and can take the place of the desire to eat my troubles away. (Who wants to exercise for an hour to burn the few calories a candy bar costs?)
~It’s OK to hate the pool, and if I keep the weight off, my knees don’t hurt so badly and I can do other exercises. It’s also fine to look how I look, go as slow as I need to, and not want to talk to anyone else. This is MY time, and I need to do it MY way.
~Journaling BEFORE I eat is like spending money on paper (a budget) before spending my paycheck. There are many aspects of eating and spending that are similar – and the struggles are similar.
~Asking for advice from a counselor isn’t a crutch, or a sign of weakness. Counselors are good life-coaches – sometimes I just need to hear someone else’s take, or sometimes I just need to verbalize what I’m thinking. And, crying about it is OK!
Subject Where do I want to be? 1 of 2

~First, I realize that a numerical goal could be disappointing. I have a prime example in my mother-in-law. She’s now at the weight she was when she had my husband – but is completely unhappy with the way she looks. What she doesn’t realize is that it’s been 40 years…and she isn’t nearly as toned, fit, etc., as she was as a 26-year-old. I think, in seeing that, it’s been good for me to realize that I won’t necessarily look like another person who is in the 175 range. I might look good at 195 – if I’m fit, or look terrible at 150 if I just lose, and don’t exercise. Ideally, though – with proper diet AND exercise – I’d like to make it under the 200 mark.
Subject: Where do I want to be - 2 of 2

~I want to be able to walk – really walk – without fighting plantar fasciitis. I’m in a good place right now – I’ve figured out how to exercise w/o pain. But, I miss taking walks at the beach, walking all day at Disneyland w/o pain, etc.
~I want to fit on rides – planes, roller coasters, etc. My husband and I LOVE amusement parks – but don’t fit anywhere but Disneyland (and not on a couple of rides there). I want to enjoy these activities with my grandchildren.
~I want to SHOP at Wal-mart. OK, not really…but I want the ABILITY to shop at a “normal” store – especially a thrift store, or a garage sale!
~I want to LIVE to see my child married, my grandchildren grow up, enjoy the retirement I’m working so hard to earn, etc. And, not just be alive for them – but to be LIVING those experiences.
~I know I can do anything I set my mind to – in my head. I want to be able to do it in my body, too. This TOOL will help me accomplish those dreams. I am NOT defined by my weight – just hindered by it.
OK...NOW this is
I still hate the pool, but not because of how I look!  LOL
Journaling and budgeting are still a pain...but both really good tools.
Crying is still my biggest release.
I love my mother-in-law...but it was & is still a good example.
I am UNDER 200 forever!
NO Plantar Fascitis...and I can not only walk, but RUN!
I fit on planes and rides, and can shop anywhere!
I've hit ALL of my goals...except for the "kid married" and "grandkid" ones - which I am NOT ready for - LOL!
And, she asked me to come speak at one of the groups in March!  That will be so fun! :)  She wants me to talk about my life-change - including my marathon! :) 
And, you know that in the mean time...I'll be living my fit dreams!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Two Years, Tons of Tears

Two years ago today was one of those monumental, life-changing events.  I can honestly say it wasn’t “the” event that most changed my life – but it was among the top 10.  On January 14, 2011, I had RnY Gastric Bypass surgery.  In the two years that have followed, I have earned the title of WLS Athlete.  Not because I’m three weeks away (!) from my first marathon.  But, because I chose – one step at a time – not to take the “easy” way out (which is a lie, anyway).  I used the surgery as the “tool” it was intended to be and it launched me into this lifestyle I’d only dreamed of. 

Enough about that!  Let’s talk about the biggie – TWENTY DAYS until Surf City Marathon!

My last month of “Sunday long runs” has been very challenging – mentally and physically. 
~ Mental Low…I had a 16 mile planned day with icky weather that turned in to 17.75 miles due to a wrong turn. (At least I got the miles in.)
~Physical low…An icy morning in which I planned to do 18 miles on the treadmill (so I wouldn’t slip on the ice) and instead FELL OFF THE TREADMILL and got hurt at mile 9.  (Yes, that’s a special kind of stupid!) 
~Mental high, physical low…Last week was the highlight of the last month with a personal record time on my 10K race…followed by not completing the “walk home” mileage due to GI distress.  (Called hubby to come pick me up.)

So, yesterday was going to be great!  My last “LONG” run before the marathon - 20 miles.  I woke up to sunny, dry – but COLD (28 degree!) weather.  I’m fine with that, though – as I would prefer cold to rain and wind any day.  Since I wasn’t having an afternoon massage, I was on an easier morning schedule.  I took my time to have a good breakfast, make sure I wasn’t going to have any GI issues, let the sun come up fully, and make sure I had everything I needed for the trek.  I know that my dear friend Katie’s house is exactly 10 miles away, so I had planned to make her house my warm-up, clean-bathroom stop!  I’ve also been having “phone won’t stay charged” issues, so I was walking without tunes…which is good to do once in a while.  It was just me, my thoughts, and the bitter cold – but I was headed out (after a quick text to Coach Lea).

The first mile was the hardest (as always), but getting to Katie’s house, though much slower than planned, went well.  I had lots of time for talking to myself (IN my head, I think), and thinking about the “what next” phase of my life.  (Another topic, another day.)  When I arrived at Katie’s house, the kids & dogs were happy to greet me, though poor Katie was sick as can be.  Her dear husband made me a hot waffle, and offered tea and/or soup!  He’s a good guy.  I stayed just long enough for the dogs & kids to maul me – and decided I’d better keep moving.

The return trip was a different story.  My sweat had had time to cool…and the first two miles back out (mile 11 & 12) were EXTREMELY cold.  I could keep warm if I ran, but I was getting pooped…and couldn’t keep the pace.  So, I’d run 100 right-foot-strikes, walk 30, run 200, walk 50 – whatever I could do.  It helped, but I was getting physically exhausted.  At mile 14, I got back to my “good, clean bathroom” Shell station, bought another bottle of water & headed back out.  I kept my run/walk going for another 2 miles, and hit a wall physically.  My knees hurt if I ran, my hips hurt if I walked, and I was out of steam.  There were about 5 times per minute when I thought of calling home. 

By mile 17 I was in full-fledged pity-party mode – tears freezing to my face.  I knew that if I called home, hubby would come get me, never mention anything about it, stop at Starbucks on the way home, and that would be that.  But, I also realized that in the past four Sundays, I’ve only hit my planned mileage on one day (the day I took the wrong turn).  I KNOW I can do the miles, but when am I going to have the opportunity to push through the mental piece to finish?  Not on marathon day- but TODAY! 

Besides, my New Year’s Resolution was to pay myself a dollar for every mile I complete in 2013, and my cousin, Karina, is matching me…so was I REALLY going to give up SIX DOLLARS?!?!?  J

So, tears dried up (or chiseled off), I pressed on.  I told myself that Starbucks (and a clean bathroom!) were only 2 miles away, and after that it was only 1 mile home.  I could go get a warm cup of coffee to celebrate my last mile!  Low & behold, my pace picked up (still walking), and when I got to Starbucks I just wanted to be HOME, so I skipped the stop altogether and just finished! 

So, here I am…on the other side of 20 miles, two years out from surgery, and 20 days from the biggest athletic event of my life.  And guess what, I’m still Living My Fit Dreams (tears and all!).