Monday, July 26, 2010

Follow your Heart...Follow the Passion

Why in the world do you do what you do Melissa?

I hear this a lot. As I continue my journey in the treatment of an eating disorder, there are many women here at Structure House who can't understand why a 46 (almost 47) year old woman would want to swim, bike and run in the races that I choose. Many of them throw their hands up and say I'm crazy...but I am very happy in my insanity.

I knew I had a passion for triathlon the moment I crossed my first finish line in 2000. The elation of accomplishing what most people said was impossible thrilled me to no end. I found it easier to keep in shape if i had an end goal in mind instead of just constant trips to the gym with no goal in sight. The Sprint Distance race turned to an Olympic and then to a Half Ironman ...and then to the one goal that has fallen from my grasp twice....the Ironman.

But you must love your sport if you spend your afternoon running in 100 degree temperatures or bundle up for a below freezing bike ride in the middle of January. You must adore this pastime if you will endure the pain of blisters, missing toenails, sore muscles and fatigue. You have to have a passion for this thing they call triathlon if you will continue to pursue something that many say is impossible.

Damn, it is possible. Its not a matter of is it possible..its a matter of How bad do you want it?

I have given up my home for what will be 10 weeks to address the one obstacle that stood directly in the way of Ironman. After two attempts at the distance, it was clear. I had to lose some more weight and get my eating under control if I was to complete this challenge. So here I am, ounce by ounce removing that obstacle that has daunted me for decades.

I got an email today from an triathlete asking if I had given up on Ironman...

Just because I took a year off doesn't mean the dream has died. That dream is alive and well. If you have trained for this distance, you understand that the time commitment to this goal is enormous. It means hours away from your family, your friends and the rest of your life. Setting up an Ironman year for most is not a decision made lightly. It will consume a good chunk of your life.

So for those who asked and for those who wondered and for those that could care's the answer. I will run Ironman Florida for the 3rd attempt in November 2011. Mark your calendar...Ill be there...and I guarantee a party at the finish line!!! 3 times is the charm.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Halfway through my program

Its been 5 weeks...19 pounds...8% points of body fat loss...and I feel like a different person.

But Im not going to sit here and tell you its been easy. it hasn't. I have had some wonderful "ah-ha" moments here..but I have also had some dark times when "ED" (my name for my eating disorder) rears his ugly head.

Weekends are hard here at Structure House. I occupied my time today by shopping at the local mall for clothes for our trip to the Mediterranean and our September trip to Paris. It is very motivating to go into the stores and be two sizes smaller in most of the clothes i was trying. Even my shoe size has changed (if you can believe that).

But even in the back of my mind, the desire to go and overeat is alive and well. Its learning the tools to deal with that feeling that is vital in this environment. These are the nights where the things you learn in class are applied. When its bad like this...its one hour at a time...even a few minutes at a time.

We are taught to distract and delay and to make a list of things that will keep us from stuffing our face. It can be anything from knitting to calling a friend. For me ... at the moment...its sharing the moment with you...and writing in my blog.

Its also reminding yourself that you are worth more than stuffing your face full of food that is going to taste great for about 5 seconds...and feel horrible on your body for weeks to come. I keep telling myself that the clothes that I bought today will not fit if I continue to abuse my body with food that will not build it up and keep it healthy.

Stress always plays a factor in my eating and being away from my "real life" does remove that stress so while I am here, I am trying to find ways to deal with that trigger. One way has been focusing on my run. Going for a few miles, and you can get into a zone and really relax the mind. I think it can be better than any anti-depressant ever put on the market.

So in the midst of my desire to get a Five Guys burger or piece of fried chicken or any I am ...chronicling that moment of....should I or shouldn't I? Admitting to the world that you have a problem is so not attractive...but maybe this will help someone else who is struggling with the same issues.