Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Im home

I have returned back to Orlando. My plan was to stay 4 weeks at Structure House but my husband called last Thursday with a bit of a health scare. He has had terrible abdominal pain and the doctor decided to do a Cat Scan. I packed up my stuff, told my staff members and was on the road in 3 hours. I couldn't let Steve go through this by himself.

Friday's scan was very quick and simple but I understand what its like to face a procedure when you are alone. It is better to have someone hold your hand or just be in the next room looking on. The scans were negative. He is cleared to fly but we still don't know what this pain is that keeps coming and going.

My plan was in my last week at Structure House, I would plan two weeks of menus so when I returned home, I would be armed and ready to face food choices. I would have my grocery lists and everything I needed to make my eating easier. Obviously..that didn't get to happen so I came home and I have been taking it one day at a time...just like they teach you.

I have maintained my weight since I have been home and maintained food records. There have been some challenging moments but the best thing of all is that my husband has been here with me the entire weekend and first part of the week. He leave Saturday and I believe that is when my challenges will really begin. I have discovered that I am a closet eater. I like to eat alone and in private. I must realize that the times when Steve is not here, I will need to reach out to other for support. My problem is I have a hard time asking for help. Another obstacle I will do my best to overcome.

My workouts have not been as consistent since I returned home but I plan on getting back in gear on Wednesday. It was all a bit of a roller coaster ride upon my return and I am just getting on my feet.

Oh..and in case you were wondering...the final total of weight loss was 13.5 pounds.

Its good to be home...scary but good!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Myrtle Beach / Dasani Half Marathon

Well...I can't stay still for long. I had to go out and find an event over the weekend when there is nothing going on at Structure House...and I found a fantastic race. The Myrtle Beach Marathon and Half Marathon was a small but well organized race taking you down next to the Ocean and throughout the Myrtle Beach area. I drove down on Friday, attended the small expo, picked up my packet and stayed at the Headquarter Hotel. Morning temperature was a chilly 55 degrees and the forecast predicted rain. I was a little nervous about running in the cooler temperatures but it made for a great race. I got soaking wet the last mile of the race as the heavens opened, but it was fun and I took 19 minutes off my Miami Half Marathon time. The body felt good and so much stronger since Miami. The proper nutrition and workouts are definitely making a difference.

The only complaint I had about this race was that the Headquarter hotel did not provide transportation back from the race site. It was only 8 blocks but in the cold, the wind and the rain, that made those 8 blocks very uncomfortable. I ended up begging a driver from another hotel to take me back to the hotel so I didn't freeze to death. After a sizeable tip, I was back in my warm hotel room, grabbed an ice bath (BRRRRRR) and packed up and drove the 3 hours back to Durham.

The hardest part of the day: the drive home!! The first two hours were ok. The last hour was brutal. All I wanted to do is sleep. It really made me appreciate those people who travel with me when I do races and provide support. How special it is to have people who care about you that much.

I now how a beautiful heart shaped half marathon medal (I ran on Valentine's Day...how cool is that) to add to my collection. A fantastic day ... a fantastic race...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Attitude can be everything

Spend a little time around people with eating issues and you will find a common thread. Most are not happy with themselves or their lives. Their attitudes speak volumes.

I got up early this morning and attended a 700am Group Cycling class. Me...on a bike...this is definitely my happy place so I was excited to be a part of this two day a week class that they offer here. Two other women arrived who seem to share my enthusiasm as we set up our bikes and got ready for the instructor.

About a minute before the class was scheduled to start, a woman comes busting into the class. She makes a nasty face at the three of us and settles for a bike off in the corner. She tells (not asks) the instructor to adjust her seat. She then tells the instructor to turn on the fan and for GOD sake..get some better music. "This is ridiculous" she says...all this money for this program and we can't have spinning music." We begin the class and this woman continues to complain. About 30 minutes in she just stops pedaling and leaves. The instructor smiled and kept going never missing a beat. When we finished she explained to me that she had had this woman in class before. She ALWAYS complains and nothing is ever right.

I just had to laugh. Im here to do a job. I am here to lose weight, to address my eating issues, to workout consistantly and to go to class and LEARN SOMETHING. I am not here to be waited on and to complain. No, I don't like being away from my family. No, I don't like some of the food I am served. No, I don't like getting up sometime for an early morning workout but its all a matter of perspective. How you see things; how you perseave things becomes your reality. If you see things as being all is well...then...all CAN BE WELL.

So my lesson I learned today: Attitude is everything. I am trying really hard to make some attitude adjustments!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Replacing bad habits with good...

Finally, after a week of being here, I got everything in that I wanted to in a morning. Weigh in, an informational class, a therapy session and an hour workout. Since I have been here, I have slept ALOT. Last night, my dog Murphy (yes, they let you bring your pet) had to wake me from a dead sleep on the couch watching TV.

Upon returning to my apartment, I got some negative news about my business. Nothing drastic that can't be handled with a little paperwork, but it did upset me. What was the first thing I thought of?? Food. The "go to" comfort answer to EVERYTHING. Instead I stopped...and I really thought about it. What can I do to alieviate this sick feeling in my gut over this negative news that doesn't have anything to do with food?? And the answer came fairly quickly...

I grabbed my shoes, my sunglasses and changed clothes and went for a run. No Ipod. Just me, my breathing and my thoughts. I cried a little (this news did upset me..but again..nothing major) and I kept to my Galloway method of walk/run for a full hour. Upon my return, I felt calmer...a little more at ease. This news still has me upset but not as much as I was BEFORE the run.

So I guess my lesson today is simple: replace the old habits of stuffing down emotion with food with good habits that will lessen the stress and bring positive changes in my health.

More soon...

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Balance

When training for an Ironman, the concept of "Balance" becomes very important. We want to balance the workouts of the different disciplines and we want to make sure the balance between rest day and workout days is just right. We balance our time between work, and hours of workout and family. We balance our nutritional intake to match and help sustain hours of output.

And in this world where I find myself now, I realize that my life prior to Structure House was very OUT of balance. Too much work, too much food, not enough sleep and too much workout too fast. One of the striking things I am seeing here out from under a haze of food is that my life was too crazy and to compensate for it, food was the reward.

Food has always been my "go to friend". Its there..day or night. Unlike an alcoholic, Im not gonna get pulled over for having a supersize fry at arms reach, but binging can be just as deadly.

So now is the time to find the balance. Before I came up here, getting out to do a workout was just a chore. Now I look forward to the run, or the ride or the time in the pool. Everything seemed to be such a task to complete instead of a life to live. Things look different through clear eyes.

So everyone asks....but Im not focusing on the weigh loss. I will let you know at the end of 30 days what I have lost but I have not been disappointed. For now its about determining what rewards I can put in my life that arn't food based and how to balance my life without using food to compensate. For now, its about training, and eating well and learning everything I can in the next 3 weeks.

More to come....

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I feel like me...even if its 27 degrees!!!

To all those that live in the cold weather part of the country...I tip my hat. Just walking out the door here in 27 degree weather chills me to the bone. I am also battling strep throat, so a fever, plus the cold is making life a bit uncomfortable.

But I am very hopeful and very excited. Although I am weighed in everyday, I am told to remove the emotion from the number on the scale. Its just a number. How do you feel?? How does your body feel without the extra food that you don't really need? You know that feeling don't you..?? ..You go out to an all you can eat buffet and pound down everything on the menu plus dessert. You get in your car and your belt feels as if it is strangling you. Imagine livng that feeling everyday...even with a gastric bypass, thats the way I was living for the last almost three months.

But now...for right now...that feeling is gone...and I feel almost like me again. It even felt good running on the treadmill today. I tried to run outside (it was 29 degrees) and my thin blooded Floridian body just said : NO WAY!! So I scampered off to the warmth of the gym. I gotta tell ya, running on a treadmill to me is so boring EVEN with an Ipod or a good TV show. I would rather be outside seeing the world. The big guy upstairs made this big amazing world and I love to see it on two feet..or two wheels.

I go tomorrow to pick up my punch card so I can use a local indoor pool. The thought of swimming when it is 19 degrees outside is very foreign to me...but I am all for new experiences.

Its been just 3 days...and I feel soooo much better!! I feel like me again...

Monday, February 2, 2009

One of the hardest entries Ive ever had to write...

You would think that my DNF at Ironman 2008 would be the hardest entry I ever had to make to my blog...but believe it or not, it comes in second to this....

Now I know what you are thinking...ahhhhhh...chubby girl is gonna quit. She has just decided to not run the Ironman and sit back and watch the world acheive their goals...

HELL NO!! Let me be clear. Im running Ironman Florida 2009. Please allow me to be so bold as to quote one of my personal heroes, Jon Blais...the Blazeman who fought ALS and ran the Ironman World Championships. I don't care if they have to ROLL me across the finish line...I am going to do this.

So what makes this entry so hard? I guess having to admit that you are vulnerable. Its not easy telling the world those things you would like to keep hidden away. Its easier to put on this shiny coat of armor and let everyone think that, eventhough you screwed up your first attempt at a dream that you bounced right back and got right back to it...

I didn't...

In the course of the last couple months, I have reverted back to some very old and very scary habits. I am a compulsive overeater and a night eater. I don't believe that Compulsive Overeating needs much of a definition...it means you eat way past the point of being full. It means you eat for other reasons besides hunger or nourishment. Now night eating..well...that might need a bit of explaination.

Night eating is when an individual will get up in the middle of the night and consume food without knowledge of the eating until the wake the next morning to find evidence of the food on their counter from the night before. With alot of therapy and work, I had gotten my night eating under control and literally had not done it in almost a year. Three days after Ironman, it reappear and it has been a part of my life every 3 to 4 nights since then. The food can be anything but it is usually a sandwich or something easy to grab like crackers or pretzels.

I went back to therapy to deal with the issues that were attributed to this. Lets face it. No matter how I painted a beautiful picture of this STRONG determined Triathlete who was going to kick ass and take names in 2009, I was depressed after Ironman and those that know me well know that I fought this alot.

My therapist and I decided that it was time for a bold move. Regular therapy was working but why not combine that with nutrition and exercise work. So...not to sound like some celebrity with a Martini problem, I have checked myself into "food rehab".

The place is known as Structure House in Durham NC. This residential weight loss and food addiction facility is 25 years old and I have been here before. Its not a spa...and its not a lock down facility where I will wear a white jacket and be placed in a rubber room but it is somewhere in between. I will be here for 30 days to get my eating, my training and myself back ontrack.

Some may view this as they do the gastric bypass: another easy way out. I view it as facing your problems, dealing with them, not denying them and then trying to fix them. This future Ironman might have a chink in her armor...but consider me in the shop for a bit of repair. Ill keep you posted on my progress...

Oh..and did I mention that North Carolina is cold as hell this time of year :)