Friday, February 26, 2010

The Power of the Positive Attitude

Its interesting how powerful the mind can be. I find evidence of brain power and the immense force it has on your world when I climb on a treadmill.

Yesterday, I had a running interval workout with Hector. He put me on the moving treadmill at an incredibly slow 3mph. I warmed up, we talked and the topic of scuba diving came up. I love to dive. For someone who has been overweight most of their life, being in the water gives the feeling of ultimate mobility. I feel like superwoman with a tank on my back. There is nothing I can't do when I am on compressed air. It is definitely one of my happy places.

As I walked on the treadmill, and began to job, Hector and I talked about how I became a scuba diver, then a Divemaster, then a Scuba Instructor. We talked about my favorite dive sites, scuba classes, working at Disney with "Diving Mickey" and all those happy things about one of my favorite sports.

I was getting winded. My heart rate was up but not to the point of exhaustion. I looked down at the treadmill and Hector smiled. I was running at 5.0 with little effort.

"Melissa...the mental block you have about running can disappear if you go to a happy place." "Think about diving or anything else that brings you joy and it will distract you from the negative thoughts you have about body image, being slow and running in general." "Your positive attitude will change your relationship with will start to like it as much as you do scuba."

Well, I agree with that theory but I seriously doubt I could like anything more than scuba (except triathlon in general).

We continued the workout and I felt strong. When I finished I was tired but so inspired. The mental game really does make a huge difference in endurance sports.

So as I sit here looking back at my posts, I realize the negativity that often enters my relationship with triathlon. I don't look good in spandex. I'm slow on the run. I have DNF'ed two Ironmans. But then, I look at the positives of life as an "athlete". I'm still here when they told me I wouldn't be. I am running faster in the short distances than I ever have. There are so many positives that outweigh what I see as negative, that EVENTUALLY, the tables will turn.

I'm almost to that turning point...I can feel it....This really could be my year...

NEXT UPDATE: Sunday-The Gasparilla Half Marathon

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Meeting "ED" head on...

Welcome to the crazy mind of Melissa. Go ahead, have a seat, kick back and watch the insanity unfold...ohh...and have you met my "friend"....his name is ED.

No..."ED" is not a person. doesn't stand for the issue that Viagra can remedy. "ED" is what I call my desire for food. "ED" stands for Eating Disorder.

"ED" appears about 2 months into a weight loss program and around the 10 to 15 pound weight loss mark. He rears his ugly head and tries to be the stumbling block to keep me from my goals and dreams. "ED" is...well....he's a real bastard!!

"ED" acts like your friend. Food can be that ya know. " ED" is there in the middle of the night when all that seems to be the right thing to do is pound down ice cream and chips. "ED" is the one who tells you one bite is fine...but it's never one bite...its always 12 or 14. " ED" is the guy who says "Ill start tomorrow...Ill be good next week ... or....I like myself this size."

"ED" doesn't belong at a triathlon, bike trainer session, boot camp workout or most importantly...ED doesn't belong in my head. "ED" really needs to take a hike or have an unfortunate accident.

I am currently hanging on by a thread with my weight loss. I stayed the same on the scale but in my peripheral vision, I can see "ED" standing in the shadows with a bag of M&M's and a good excuse. There are times that ANY excuse will do to consume too much least in my world. that you know "ED" and he is out there for the world to see, it's easier for me to put him in the boxing ring and give him a good pummeling. Or better yet...for the triathletes...I say we put him in an Ironman with no body glide!!

Those are my strange ramblings for the day...feel free to opine if you so desire....I would love to hear from those who battle anything from negative thoughts when you race to dealing with an eating disorder. How do you battle your demons?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The tests are back..

Well, after an Upper G.I. and a meeting with my gastric bypass doctor (he was amazed to see me...its been 4 years since my last visit to him), the verdict is in.

I have two peptic ulcers which are now being treated with two separate medications. I guess I should have posted this information before yesterday's blog but I was SOOOOO EXCITED about that workout, I just had to talk about it.

No one likes to hear about the medical mess that has been most of my life. The ulcers were the source of my pain but after a few days on the medication, the fire in my stomach is out and I feel a thousand times better. Is it totally normal?? Not yet but my performance in Hector's workout today was dramatically better than last week.

Last week, Hector put me on the Cyclops Stationary Bike to measure power and cadence while doing interval training. I made it through about half the workout when I just had to stop. My stomach was screaming, I couldnt hold down any water and I was miserable. We redid the test today and it made a world of difference. My power, speed and cadence was definitely improved and I felt like me again.

I also ended up sleeping almost 12 hours between a nap and sleeping through the night last night. I find sleep to be the most amazing thing ever. The rejuvenating qualities of sleep are a miracle and today I felt like I was much more alert and rested.

So things are improving and I hope this weekend's race will show those improvements in the way of a better finish time!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Focus has returned...


I do not know how to explain it...but it was as if the lights were turned on in a dark room today in my workout.

Finally! The focus I have been searching for arrived. My run workout with Hector was challenging but not impossible. The discussion of form and movement was sinking in and I was finally DOING what Hector has been preaching for weeks...


Me. Im back. Im not sure where I went or why i wandered off...but I have found my way back to the path where I need to be.

Today we zeroed in on form. Hector ran with me for the first time in awhile and I think we have a plan on how to lower my half and full marathon finish times. I will test it this weekend in Tampa as I go for the Gasparilla Half Marathon.

I don't have that giddy feeling of accomplishment.....I have the feeling of relief that my search has found where I need to be. I think the decision has been made to go forward towards my next Ironman. Many goals must be achieved before then but I feel like I am in the right place.

FINALLY...the Athena athlete and Ironman Dreamer has returned....

Sunday, February 21, 2010


By prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his chosen goal or destination.
--Christopher Columbus

I have to admit, I have been VERY distracted. After leaving Panama City Beach last year without a medal, I felt adrift. I felt like the ship with no sail, the car with no transmission or the triathlete with no bike. It was hard to gain focus again. Where do I go?? What do I do??

So other things in life came pouring in: charity work, family, expanding my business and just enjoying time at home. It's not to say that these things are not important because they are but some of these things are important but not CRUCIAL in my life. I get distracted very easily by saying YES too much and not saying NO enough.

I have a lot on my plate most of the time (in more ways than one....he he he..hey thats funny...LAUGH). After fulfilling a lot of obligations the last few weeks, I finally have a day to catch my breath and FOCUS. I have missed a lot of things that have brought me joy (including writing in the blog) and when those things are missing in my life, my quality of life slowly slips away.

If you see me not blogging, it is a bad sign. It is a sign that I am adrift again. It is a sign that I am not focused on those goals that are so precious to me: weight loss, a healthy lifestyle, being a good student of triathlon and being a coach to those that are just beginning their experience in this sport. If I am not here, I am not helping others who are fighting morbid obesity. I am not being a good steward to those who write to me a beg for advice on how to get off the couch, away from the ice cream and on the road where they belong. If I am not working on those feelings that push me to the land of food as comfort, I am not being a good wife to my husband...and that above all else is just not right.

Distractions SUCKS. So often, I say yes when the answer in my heart is NO....STOP!! I say yes when my schedule is bulging at the seams and it just can't take another obligation. The life balance is very hard to accomplish. What is even harder to accomplish is to find out what is most important in your heart and soul. All these things I say YES to are important to me...but I must determine what is my passion. What in my life can I simply NOT live without.

So this morning, as I sipped my coffee and enjoyed a morning before and afternoon run, I decided to sit and write in my blog and decide the things that were important. When things are quiet and peaceful, clear thoughts will come. When I removed the "white noise" from my world, I was able to see what clearly was my heart's desire and it came down to just a few things:

I grabbed a piece of paper and closed my eyes and wrote:

Triathlon-a participant and coach
Weight Loss/Health

I stared at it. Could it be that easy? Those four simple things are my world. Why does it seem so crazy when Im living it?? I guess its because I let others dictate my path instead of letting that inner voice decide.

I have 25 pounds left to lose and I am running out of time prior to May. I searched my heart and I know for an absolute fact that I can not go another year without attempting Ironman Florida again. I must get to this weight loss goal. I can no longer "play around"....I can no longer be distracted. I need to stay on track....and writing here and being surrounded by those who are on that same path will help.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Obstacles...I don't see any obstacles..

If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere.”-Frank Clark

Last Wednesday night, I came home from work early from Disney (yeah...a short day) and had dinner with my hubby and settled in for the night of watching our favorite shows (right now its all Olympics...all the time). We went to bed early but I awoke at 2am with pain so serious in my stomach that it awoke me from a hard sleep.

And then...I was sick..and I mean REALLY sick. This was way beyond eating something that didn't agree with me. I ended up passing out not once..but three times during a two hour stretch. Something was seriously wrong.

I made it through the last few days until Tuesday when I awoke with another horrible stomach ache. I went to my workout with Hector anyway but had to stop midway through because I just couldn't continue. Hector looked at me like I was putting on a show but this was no show...I was in agony.

I learned a long time ago that you just don't ignore this stuff, so I made an appointment to see the doctor that has been monitoring my gastric bypass. After a brief discussion on the phone, he thought it would be a good idea to take a look at whats going on in my small stapled stomach. My appointment is today at 2pm where they will take a endiscope and go take a look-see! My doctor is guessing at this point, but he believes that I have an ulcer but he wants to make sure there is no other damage.

Ill keep you posted...

Monday, February 15, 2010

The 15 pound mark...

Finally...after 6 weeks of weigh loss ups and downs, I made another milestone...15 pounds gone.

I am the MOST IMPATIENT person on the planet. This doesn't seem to be that much weight in my head. To someone who has lost around 200 pounds, 15 pounds feels like..well...a drop in the bucket...but then I had the ultimate compliment from one my biggest critics...

My oldest brother..

I don't care how old you get, in my family, the sibling rivalry is playfully still alive and well. Me, being the only girl, the ribbing is thrown out pretty thick and fast. Grow up being the overweight baby sister and you can only IMAGINE the garbage I took as a kid. Im not whining here...Im just stating fact.

So, when I ran into my brother in the neighborhood and he stopped, paused and stared at made me a little nervous. I braced for what would certainly be the joke of the day about how I looked or how I was dressed or something.

Instead I got " look have definitely lost some weight!"

Excuse me...who are you and what have done with my oldest brother?? I fumbled around for a polite but shocked thank you and he headed on his way to sell a few more cases of beer (My brother works for a Beer Distributor...really...I lucky could a sister get!!)

So I guess 15 pounds makes a difference in the real world of weight loss and not in the gastric bypass world where 15 pounds is the weight loss from your first week after surgery.

15 pounds down...25 to go until May 8th, 2010. will be close!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Harden UP.......

Eyes open: 500am! Heavy sigh. This was finally a day to sleep in, rest and recover but I guess my body thinks sleeping in is about 500am. We started a new boot camp yesterday so equipment had to be delivered to start a 500am class...that meant I was up at 330am.

With coffee in hand, I sat down to my computer to read email and get my day together. I've been kinda down since Miami and I know I shouldn't be. In the past, it was ok to just "finish" the race. Now the bar is always set higher and it is very depressing when then goal is not achieved.

The first thing in my email: a suggestion from a friend on Facebook to join a triathlon group known as HTFU...Now for those of you who don't know the acronym, let me put it this way : it means HARD THE F... UP! Keeping the "F" silent, I guess you could just shorten it to "Harden Up"

I laughed. Isn't it funny how some things come to you when you need them the most. In my head, I could hear myself saying " Stop whining Melissa..its time to move on."

I did my best in the race, I finished. I didn't get swept into some bus and taken to the finish line. I wasn't in the medical tent. Hell, I was way beyond being last. I just didn't P.R.

I have to credit a fellow blogger for this quote because it was so perfect for my experience this past weekend. I found it in his blog and it was so wonderful, I ended up posting it on my facebook:

For in running it is man against himself, the cruelest of opponents. The other runners are not the real enemies. His adversary lies within him, in his ability, with brain and heart to master himself and his emotions.” -Glenn Cunningham

Time to stop being my own worst enemy.

The blister on my right foot had to be lanced Sunday night and I am not to run or cycle until Thursday. Today, Hector will put me on the swim treadmill for an hour :) Now that should be fun!!

Time to harden up....