Inspirational


Where does the time go, my friends!  It’s July 1st, 2010.  My desire has been to blog my health journey, which lately has fallen by the waistside. 

I have not stopped my health journey, however I’ve had my struggles the last few months. I’ve been around the same weight for the last 5 months or so.  I’ve lost a total of 105lbs and need to lose 70 more!  I weigh in at 204.  I’ve been between 197 and 223 the last 5 months.  I can’t seem to stay under 200. 

My trainer talks about Desire and Belief.  You have to have both in order for change to happen in your life, no matter what it is.  I’ve had the desire and passion to lose the rest of the weight but have not really believed I can weigh 130lbs.  I haven’t believed I can get the agility back in my knees and the physical fitness to where I can do just about anything when it comes to activity and sports.  Without the belief, the motivation has died even though the desire has been overwhelming. 

Then, when I got comfortable losing 105lbs and comfortable in my new body the desire to lose more was gone!  I get compliments all the time on how good I look now and how desireable I am now. My doctor, friends, family are all very proud of me. I feel fantastic and look good.  The belief came back because of what I’ve already accomplished but the desire to push and do more died. 

Therefore I have been in a “Self-Induced Plateau”.  I read a blog today that helped me realize where I am and the encouragement I got back was tremendous.  It’s a trainer’s blog and she used this expression, which really hit the nail on the head.  It’s been my mental attitude that has kept me from moving forward. 

My trainer believes once I make it through this wall of mental status, get back to the desire with the belief that I can do it and get under the 200 mark….the rest will melt off and I will get to my goal.  He told me on Tuesday that I need to be comfortable with getting uncomfortable.  I need to eat clean, even though I don’t want to.  I need to cleanse, when I don’t want to.  I need to workout, when I don’t want to.  That’s when the success comes in, not when it’s easy. 

Today I’m feeling the desire as well as the belief that I can get to my goal of True Health & Wellness for my life.  I’m definitely uncomfortable today, so I’m in the right place 🙂  I’m on day 2 of a 7 day cleanse.  I worked out on Tuesday with my trainer.  Yesterday I did 50 mins on the treadmill at an 8 incline at 3.5 speed with 4 one minute runs at a 3 incline and 5.3 speed.  Tonight, my best friend is coming over and it’s Competition Thursday.  We’ll do a combo of strength training and cardio for one hour.

 100lbs down and feeling human again! Although I’m still 65lbs away from reaching my goal weight, I feel great and look forward to feeling amazing! I just returned home from visiting family over the holidays. Traveling at a size 14 is a whole new ballgame then it was 4 years ago when I was a size 28. The last time I flew on an airplane was physically and emotionally draining.  I remember the anxiety I felt walking down the aisle looking for my seat.  I could literally see the looks of judgment and thoughts of: “Please don’t sit next to me.” I was embarrassed when I spilled over in my seat, and when I had to ask for a seat belt extension.  Not being able to put the tray table down was unbearable. This time, I’m happy to report no one even paid attention as I walked down the aisle. I had to tighten the seat belt and had plenty of room for the tray table. I even had extra room on my seat! On the last leg home, I had the middle seat and it was no big deal!

Besides feeling healthier and 100lbs lighter, my medical conditions have greatly improved. Let me paint you a picture of where I was just a few years ago: I was 40 yrs old weighing in at 300lbs. I was diagnosed with type two diabetes (proceeded by insulin resistance), polycystic ovarian syndrome, sleep apnea, acute hypertension, high LDL and dangerously low HDL cholesterols, arthritis in both knees and hips, patella femoral pain syndrome, iron deficiency, asthma, in the high risk category for heart attack and stroke and of course morbid obesity. My doctor put me on all kinds of medication. I was taking around 12 pills a day, using a CPAP machine, an inhaler, nasal spray, and had to inject a shot of medication into my stomach twice daily! Can we say “out of control?!”

How did I let myself get to over 300lbs? What happened!? How could I solve this issue for good? I would hear things like: “Just stop eating so much. Eat non-fat foods only. Count calories or points. Eat our food. Ever thought of surgery? All you need is ‘my’ program or video…” You get the picture. I’ve tried it all, except for the surgery. The diet programs would work to lose some weight but I would eventually gain it back plus some. I was never able to stick to an exercise program because it wasn’t for the obese or I would push myself so hard into injury. There was a period of about 6 months I went through physical therapy for my right knee due to using the leg machines incorrectly.

Either way, diet or exercise got me frustrated and as always I would give up. About 3 years ago when I started injecting medicine for my diabetes I began to lose weight. The side effect for using Byetta was loss of appetite, which resulted in weight loss. I lost about 70lbs in 9 months. From there I got into a relationship where I stopped focusing on my health. I wasn’t anywhere near my goal weight but I looked and felt better. Slowly I began to gain weight and before I knew it a year later I gained 55lbs back. Seriously, again?!? TIME OUT! I’m not doing this again, no way, not this time!

What do I have to do to make this a lifetime lifestyle that is natural and not a chore?  Have you ever googled the word healthy? It showed 189,000,000 results. Holy Cow!? How was I going to figure out what was right for me? I needed help and not with just diet and exercise. It became painfully clear I had emotional and mental ties to food and my health in general. I knew I needed knowledgeable guidance and accountability. I decided to Google, ‘personal trainer health and fitness in San Diego’. That’s where I found Tru Health and Wellness. I was intrigued by what I read because it not only talked about exercise and nutrition by metabolic typing but the emotional and mental side of it too. I took a few days to really think and pray about this as I knew this wasn’t in my budget. I finally decided to make my health a priority and invest in me. Besides, how much money was I spending on all the doctor visits, blood work, and medications? I had no idea what to expect and admit I was completely terrified to walk in for my consultation. Did I have too many medical and physical problems, would they understand obesity and all that it comes with are they really going to be able to put an individual program to fit my needs? Yes, beyond my expectations!

This journey has not been without struggles, setbacks and pain (both physical & emotional.) It took a while for me to truly trust my trainer especially when it came to looking at the emotional, mental and spiritual side of this journey. However in order for me to achieve a lifetime lifestyle of true overall health and wellness in all areas I had to face certain aspects of my life. I couldn’t have gotten this far without my trainer guiding and walking through this with me, always being in my corner and never letting me give up. The success so far has been both learning how to not give up during the setbacks, struggles and pain, but also finding new and healthier ways to deal with problems. For the first time I feel confident I will not gain it all back again because the habits I’m forming are becoming natural. On my visit home, a family member asked me if it was ok to eat fries in front of me. I responded with of course it’s ok. I didn’t order the fries because I can’t have them; it was because I didn’t want them. My food choices today are based on what I’m craving and what I want to eat. It just happens to be 90% of the time they are healthy choices now. Eating healthy is finally not a chore.

My medical issues today? Well, my last visit to the doctor showed for the whole year of 2009 my LDL has been below normal range and my HDL is reaching normal, my blood glucose levels have been below the diabetic range (technically I‘m not diabetic anymore), I’m not taking any more shots, my sleep apnea has greatly lessened and will not need my CPAP machine very soon, my knee pains have lessened, I only take about ½ of the medications, and the best news is that in one year I have decreased my risk of heart attack and stroke by almost 60%!

Just wanted to post a link to another great blogger.  This blog entry was totally perfect for me today.  I love when someone else writes exactly what’s in my head and just couldn’t seem to express myself!  Thanks Jen for your post today!  This journey absolutely has detours and side trips that we either chose to take or put upon us by circumstances beyond our control. 

Click  on Detours and Side Trips  for encouragement into the reality of this journey towards health!

I want you guys to meet my trainer, Dave.  Click on this link here to watch a little 2 minute spot on our local NBC station here in San Diego!  This morning he and Craig, the other co-owner, talked about balance in the key to weight loss.   This is the second T.V. spot they’ve done this year!  The first one was all about Metabolic Typing. 

Also, Dave kindly commented on my post about saying goodbye to my scale , it’s a must read for anyone who may feel the scale is an emotional roller coaster! 

Stay healthy everyone!

What happened tonight?  Usually I do my exercising right after work, either by going to the gym or as soon as I get home.  I could feel that I didn’t want to do my at home strength training.  I don’t know what it is about doing this at home by myself that just seems so damn daunting!  Boy, did I ever procrastinate tonight!  I seriously didn’t think I was gonna get it done. 

As soon as I got home I changed into my workout clothes and put my tennis shoes!  I decided to read all your blogs and make comments and get inspired!  Then I decided to get updated with all my friends on facebook….saw a video that my trainer made of one of his clients.  I laughed so hard…not at his client of course but at Dave, my trainer,  egging her on to do her set and jump to hit the 7.5 foot ceiling!  He even said, “if you touch the ceiling I won’t put it on facebook”  ….Dave, you’re a goof!  🙂  I miss the fun that I had working out with my trainer and the other trainers at the studio.  Anyway, I got side tracked, much like I did early this afternoon when I should have been doing MY sets instead of being online.

I finally got my butt in gear around 7:15;  got out my weights, my exercise ball and my stepper.  I began my warm up on the stepper when I felt a shooting pain go through my right knee!  😦  Man O Man, that’s all I needed was a great excuse NOT to exercise, right?  I was actually so mad….NO, I thought…I have to do this!   So I calmed down and took few minutes rest and rubbed it out a bit.  I took some advil about 15 minutes prior…so that would be kickin’ in soon.  I started again when 3 steps into it I came down on my right foot when my ankle collapsed and I fell right to the ground!  😦  Hmmm, ok something tells me I shouldn’t be exercising tonight!  I sat there very frustrated with all the thoughts of I can’t literally do this tonight.  This is such a core issue for me.  I get so irritated, frustrated, angry and sad when I don’t have the ability that “normal” people have.  After calming down again, I thought…ok, what’s the smart thing to do but not give up. 

What I normally do is a 5 minute warm up on the stepper, then 3 sets of a strength exercise with 2 or 3 minutes on the stepper in between each set, then on to the next strength exercise etc…. for 1 hour. 

Here’s what I did instead:  4 sets of 15 Chest Press on the exercise ball & 4 sets of Wall Squats using the exercise ball & 4 sets of Bicep Curl to Shoulder Press (All sets using 15lb weights) and 20 push-up on my kitchen table.  I rested about 2 mins in-between each set of everything instead of the aerobic part on the stepper.

I did it, I didn’t quit, I persevered through not wanting to do this AND looked past the physical part of not able to do everything I wanted to do or supposed to do.   I sure didn’t sweat like I normally do so it wasn’t a real hard workout. 

The one thing I know to be a success at this health journey is to persevere and find a way to keep going.

I also think I need to make a doctor’s appt for next week.  My left knee still has a bruise and bump from a fall in the street like 6 or 7weeks ago as well as my upper left arm is weak and feels so sore, which is painful sometimes.  I want to make sure something is not wrong.  I also want to be in “tip top” shape for when I return to my workouts with Dave in two weeks.

I’ve had the feeling of despair lately in all areas of my life – physically, medically, nutritionally, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  All for different reasons, periods of time and levels.  If you’ve read my journey to a healthier me you know that I believe the journey to health is all of the above and not just “diet & exercise”. 

Last night I was reading in one of my daily devotionals and came across one that hit me like a ton of bricks…in good way!  I think by the third sentence I was already in a full cry!  It was the type of cry that was cleansing and healing and releasing because the author (Oswald Chambers) knew exactly what was going on with me and said exactly what I needed to hear!  The last line of the devotional is the title of this blog…. “NEVER LET THE SENSE OF PAST FAILURE DEFEAT YOUR NEXT STEP” …Wow…well said my friend! 

In summary the devotion was about despair and how it’s a very ordinary human experience.  We will have times of despair caused by real events in our lives, and we will be unable to lift ourselves out of them.  Whenever we feel the sense of having done something wrong or irreversible tends to make us despair.  We say, “Well, it’s all over and ruined now; what’s the point in trying anymore; I can’t change it or fix it, it’s done”  When ever we realize we have not taken an opportunity, we are apt to sink into despair.  Ok, yes, that opportunity is lost forever and you can’t change what you’ve done BUT get up, and let’s go on with the next thing.  Take the initiative against the despair to get up and do the next thing.  In other words, let the past sleep and let us go on into the invincible future.  

For me, this seems to be the hardest concept and action to take.  I’ve been  holding on to the past failures and fears of failing in the future in all areas of my life.  When I read this and thought about what I was doing; I pictured myself literally carrying around ALL of my past failures!  Do you know how HEAVY that IS?!?!?!  Dang!  No wonder it’s hard to take that next step or to consistently move forward.  You can only go so far carrying around all that weight [ pun intended 😉 ].  If you’ve ever watched the Biggest Loser, they always have a challenge towards the end of their time on the ranch where they have to literally carry all the weight they’ve lost and RUN around the track with it.  That is the same concept I have with despair…it’s heavy and I need to stop carrying it around.  I need to let it go; stop carrying the burdens of the past in order to move on to my new future of physical, medical, nutritional, mental, emotional and spiritual health!

I already feel lighter today.  This is not a task I can accomplish in one day and the despair will come around again and again but today I’m learning what to do with it and how to  let it go…it’s impartive I do if I am to take that next step! 

I didn’t exercise or eat well since my last post.  I had yesterday off so I went to the gym and do what I LOVE, which is to swim!  I also hit the treadmill.  I took the next step (before I read last night’s devotional).  I did 90 laps in 90 mins and got even further (about 2 feet) in my underwater swimming goal.  Spent a good amount of time in the jacuzzi before and after my swim.  I did 53 mins on the treadmill at a higher incline (11.0).  I took a pretty good rest period between the swimming and treadmill as well as eating some food.  I should have added a protein or foods bar.  I spent 30 mins in the sauna after the treadmill and talked with some very nice women who are on the same path I am.  Who knew you could spend 3 1/2 hours at the gym and feel like it was a spa day!  I’m always rushing in and rushing out due to not enough time.  It was the place I wanted to be and enjoyed being there.  🙂  Oh and I’d like to add that the scale this morning showed a zero pound loss or gain.  I’ll take it!!!

Had a great weekend for swimming!  I can really notice a difference in my form, speed, endurance and breathing!  I went to the gym both Saturday & Sunday mornings at 7:00am!  First I have to say that I’m NOT an early bird.   Therefore, for me to have made it a habit now for one month to get up and BE at the gym by 7:00am is truly dedication to making my journey a success!  I’ve never had this much motivation to do this before that’s lasted this long.  As well as to keep this up during those times when I’m feeling low or frustrated.

This weekend I did 162 laps total!  Wow, I can’t even believe it myself!  People keep asking me how long is one of my laps.  The gym staff  thinks it’s 25 meters, which someone else told me is Olympic Size.  I’m pretty sure the pool is NOT Olympic Size so there is much debate now as to the length of the lap in the pool.   On a side note, I’m irritated that the gym staff can only guess and no one is sure.  I’ve asked 3 so far….don’t they know?!?!?!     I have a GarminForerunner for when I walk or bike ride….I’m wondering if there is a waterproof measuring device that I can use in the pool.  Anyone know?  I’ll have to research that one! 

Anyway, got sidetracked.  My trainer is all about balance.  He tells me that since I’m sitting all day at my job, my cardio needs to be vertical, like the treadmill or elliptical.  It makes sense to me.  And if you’re standing all day, using the bike or rowing machine…something where you sit will balance out those parts of the body that is not used as much.  So, in my swimming I told him I was breathing every 4 strokes during my freestyle on my right side only.  What do you think he did next?  Yep, I had to begin breathing on my left side too!  Boy is that awkwardat first when you are dominant to one side.  Honestly, it only took a few laps  and I got it down.  Now, I don’t even think about it.  I do 3 strokes, breath on right side, 3 strokes breath on the left side!  Piece of cake now….   🙂  

My routine is to do a few warm up laps of breast stroke.  Then I begin my sets which consist of 6 laps of freestyle, then 2 laps of walking & running (depending how deep the water is…LOL!) then 1 lap of breast stroke, then a final lap of underwater swimming to get to the other side of the lane without coming up.    When I began, I had to rest between 10 and 20 seconds between eachlap of freestyle.  My heart was racing and trying to get my breathing lowered so I can do the next lap.  I have asthma, not severe but still have it.  It was very rough at first.  I was taking big gulps of water when I was really tired.  I also was not even getting half way down the lane in my underwater swim.  My trainer wants me to get all the way across – VERY SOON.  I can’t be on top of the water holding my breath….I must be down under the water.  I am so buoyant, mostly due to all the body fat that I have, which makes it very difficult to stay down there.  Put it this way – I don’t need a life vest – I would survive without one.  I don’t even need to tread water AT ALL to stay vertical in the water. 

I’ve made great progress!  Today I can do 2 laps of freestyle before needing a break to catch my breath.  I only take a 5 to 10 second break now.  Also, in my underwater swim, I made it 3/4 of the way consistently AND 2 of them were just a bit OVER 3/4!  I was so happy about that!  When I’m underwater I focus on the black dotted line at the bottom of the pool and tell my self to just stay calm and keep swimming.  One day I”ll get to the other side – I hope!

By the way, every time I set up a training ride for the Tour deCure I’m doing in April – It rains!  I’m sure the swimming is helping me endurance wise for this ride!

I hope everyone is having a blessed day!  I’m in awe every time I read a fellow-blogger’s story, which keeps it real for me and gives me hope and inspiration!

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