Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Moving on...

So, I had a weird emotional breakdown in my last post. I still am struggling a bit with it but I am trying to move on. I even started my half marathon training...yes, I said that...half marathon training. I started a 12 week program for beginners but actually have like 16 weeks before the half marathon that I may run. I figure it is best to allow some weeks for repeats.

I may not actually run the half marathon but I am going to enjoy the challenge of training. I am going to enjoy the journey and see what happens. So, today was day 2 of week 1. It was only a 2 mile run and totally doable, which is good because it was bit more humid that usual this morning. Yesterday was a three mile run. Running is helping me get my head on straight. It gives me time to think about things and realize that I am doing so much more than I could just a few months ago.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Strangely feeling a little defeated....

Today I did a stair climb at Mile High Stadium to benefit cystic fibrosis. I did it. I finished it. I wasn't fast. In fact, I was pretty close to dead last. Now, I do know that there were people that did not complete the whole course and I don't know where their time is compared to mine. But it doesn't really matter. I just do not feel good about how I did today.

When I first finished, I was happy to have finished, to have completed a challenge I would not have considered a year or so ago; however, now I am feeling just a tad bit defeated. I am not sure why. I just took a Epsom salt bath (nature's cure all) and found myself thinking about how I just do not feel like I have improved at anything physically in quite some time and how I must be fooling myself thinking that I don't look ridiculous out there doing these physical challenge. I was in tears in the bathtub. How ridiculous is that?

Why am I feeling this way? I am not sure. It could just be the adrenaline catching up with me. I do hope that it does not keep me from trying. I mean, I truly believe that dead last is better than did not finish which trumps did not start. I need to hold on to that. I need to get over this defeatist feeling that I have right now. 

I am very happy about raising some good funds for a good cause. That part is very satisfying. Now if I can just get my head on straight about the progress I am making with physical changes. Well, tomorrow is another day. We will see how I feel then.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Why I climb stairs....

Today I went to a local amphitheater to climb stairs with my friend (and trainer). We are preparing for a stair climb next Saturday to benefit cystic fibrosis. As we were climbing up and down (6 times each, 388 steps each way, for a total of over 4,600 steps), we got to talking about how much we both like to do stairs. We did a stair climb in February for the American Lung Association as well and this is what got it all started for me. Kristin had already done the stair climb for a few years.

We both agreed that it was a challenge but not such a daunting challenge that it was impossible. You just put one foot in front of the other and move. If you get worn out, you rest or slow down. Personally, I love the feeling of accomplishment and of doing something others may not even consider.

When we were leaving, there was a truck pulling up to the parking lot. On the front it said, "You have everything it takes, but it will take everything you got." I LOVE this and can apply it to these stair climb challenges. The first one did take everything I had. I was terrified that I wouldn't finish. I was near tears before the start just thinking about the chance I would have to give up part way through the climb. But I swallowed my fears and I started the climb. It was hard but I did it.

The stair climb next week will be another big challenge and I know it will take a lot to finish it. BUT I will do it. I will give it everything I got and I will finish it. I have another one in September, which looks to be the biggest challenge yet. It is in the same location as we climbed today but a total of 9 times up and around (not sure what the "around" is but I assume we go down a similar course that we took today). It is on September 11th and the steps we will be doing are to memorialize the steps taken by those brave firefighters on that day in NYC. There will be many local firefighters doing the full gear mind you. These men and women amaze me. I get such inspiration from them.

So, although I enjoy the fitness benefits of stair climbing (google it and you can find lots of articles about the benefits), I think the thing that keeps me going is the challenge. At first when we determined this morning that we were going to climb up and down 6 times, I thought that it was going to be impossible...but it wasn't. In fact, I think our last "up" leg was one of the fastest legs. I so ready to get done but also to prove to myself that I could and would do it.

Just the top portion of the 388 steps

Yes, I have everything it takes, but it does take everything I got. I love the challenge. What are you doing to challenge yourself?

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Thanks for all the comments, emails, etc. on my last post. I appreciate all the support I get from everyone.

One important response I got was from someone who I may not know that well but I have known her for a long time. She has really helped me keep my mind on straight and I do have a great deal of respect for her and her level of fitness and such. She told me (and I am paraphrasing here) that even though the photos showed a great deal of change, what impressed her the most was my determination, that I haven't given up, that I keep going.

That got me thinking...a lot. Then my dear husband surprised me with a gift last night. He had a friend of ours create a tiny kettlebell on a chain for me. It was engraved with "SISU." Here is a photo of it:

It really meant a lot to me that he thought of something like this. I am obsessed with kettlebell workouts but more importantly, he remembered about "sisu." If you read my previous post about it, you may remember that "sisu" is a Finnish term that really describes the inner strength and determination that the stoic Finnish people have demonstrated throughout their history. It is not momentary courage but the ability to sustain it. 

You know what, I believe that sisu really describes me over the last few years. I have kept going and I plan to keep going. I will not say that I have always been positive about the journey but I have stayed on the path. I may have slowed down from time to time as I tried to figure things out but I have never given up. It has been a long journey so far and, since I believe this is a lifestyle change, it will be a long journey, a lifetime journey. I can do it...because I have sisu!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Proof is in the photos...

First, forgive the quality of the photos. Second, know that this is kind of a hard post for me. As I may have said before, I started my journey of health several years ago. It was well before I connected or reconnected with many of the people that may read this blog. This weekend I went through some old clothes in my closet, looking for things that would fit and be okay for work as the pants I have been wearing are just getting too big to wear much longer.

While looking through clothes that fit, I realized that I was holding on to lots of things that do not fit. It was this weekend that I started to gather things to donate. I need to let go of that person I was as I do not intend to ever be back to that point. It was this weekend that I put on several of these article of clothes and while showing my husband how far I have come, he said he wanted to take a photo for me. I was not sure but I let him. 

Now I am posting this photo for the world to see....well, not exactly the world but I do not have control over who sees it. It is now going to be out there for anyone to see. AND you know what, that is okay. I am not happy about where I was...but I am proud that I was able to turn it around and I know I am heading in the right direction and following the right path. 

So, here it is...proof is in the photos. I still have a ways to go but I am getting there.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Negative talk

One of the things that I am striving to do these days is not consider food choices "bad" or "good". I do not want to characterize myself as being "bad" when I make a less than optimal decision or "good" when I have a perfect day. Recently, the people from Whole9 posted on their FaceBook page the following:

Using words like "fail", "faileo", or "cheat" to describe food choices only contributes to our societal moralization of food, and predisposes to diet-related guilt. Food choices are not moral choices - they are health choices. No guilt, only consequences.

I like this context. That there should be no guilt, only consequences and you have to deal with the consequences. As far as consequences, I think this image says it all:

So, I intend on not making a moral statement of bad or good, just make the decision about whether that food is the healthiest choice for me at the time and if not, deal with it. This is going to be of utmost importance for the rest of the year as I start training for a half marathon. Yes, a half marathon. I am not sure I am going to run one this year (if I do, it will be December 2nd in Las Vegas), but I am going to train and I will run one at some point.