Saturday, July 30, 2011

July 30

  The contest is over now.  Time to pack up our bags, turn off the lights, lock the doors, and be on our separate ways.  It was nice knowing you.  Thank you, Laura, for letting me be part of Lighten Up.  Thank you, Jaime & Hannah, for education and encouragement.  The contest has made a world of difference in my life.  Congratulations to all the contestants. 


  Wait a minute.  I've still got weight I want to lose.  I'm still going to eat healthy, exercise, and reflect. 


  And I'm still gonna blog; The News Herald is graciously allowing me to continue to do so under its wing.  When I have the details, I'll post them here so that you can continue the ride with me. 


We've only just begun.



Tuesday, July 26, 2011

July 26: I'm Awesome!

  As I continue to receive photos of myself from the triathlon, and as I continue to celebrate the weight loss success of other contestants and friends, I feel a compulsion to apologize for myself, for how I look, for what I've done or haven't done.  But you know what?  That stops now. 


  How did I do in the contest?  Let's take a look at my January application for Lighten Up.

            I'm working to lose 100 pounds so that I can make the most of post-cancer life, be a role model of health to my 3 kids and their friends, and see the beauty my husband claims to see in me.  I revel in the strength I feel when I lift weights or challenge myself on cardio equipment, but I struggle to overcome sweet-tooth-binges.   I long to feel comfortable when I take my kids summer swimming, to wear a pretty new dress, and to boost my friends' belief in themselves.  I need to overcome unhungry eating.


Am I a healthy role model to my kids?  YES!  I'm teaching them fitness, bravery, cooking, trying again, and knowing that they are loved and worthy of love.


Do I feel comfortable taking my kids swimming?  YES!  My body isn't perfect, and that's okay.  I haven't seen or heard anyone making fun of me, and even if they do, I know that their derision would come from the lack of love and confidence in their lives.


Have I worn a pretty new dress?  YES!  I wore it and was complimented and felt great.  I wasn't perfect, but so what?  I had a great time, I made myself vulnerable, and I was loved.


Have I boosted my friends' belief in themselves?  YES!


Do I see my own beauty?  Not yet; but Rome wasn't built in a day.


Are there goals I'm still working towards?  YES!  And that's a good thing.  Goals give me direction, a way towards that sweet feeling of accomplishment.


  I've done brilliantly well and achieved things I hadn't even thought of back in January.  I've ridden amusement park rides, reached my soul out to those of others, and learned to believe in myself while taking myself less seriously.  I accept my geeky smile.  Through rain, snow, heat, and humidity I've gotten out of my cozy bed and challenged my body at the gym.  I've learned how to keep myself going when the going gets tough.  I've eaten more vegetables, and even planted a garden of fennel.  I've found comfort in my own skin, its imperfection, and the glory of life's preposterousness.


  I am not an outsider at the party of life.  I'm more than an invited guest: I'm a loved one! 



Monday, July 25, 2011

July 25: Motivation!

  Ladies & Gentlemen: I've just received a brand new load of Weight Loss Motivation!  It arrived in the form of photos taken of me during the triathlon.  Seeing what I look like riding my bike…  there are no words.  However, I will not berate myself; rather I will appreciate even more that I completed a triathlon, and I did so a person who is obese, strong, and determined.


  So though the contest comes to an end this weekend, I'm hitting the restart button. By next year, I'd like to cut twelve minutes from my triathlon time.  A large part of that will come from more intense biking, but also through a couple other fitness programs and consistent healthful eating.  Of course, it'll also take place in real life, which means surgery, holidays, and the unexpected.


  Stay tuned!



Sunday, July 24, 2011

July 24: After Words

  Have I ever completed a triathlon?  Yes I have, thanks for asking.  As a matter of fact, I finished one just today! 


  What's that?  Did I get tangled in the buoy rope when I started my swim?  Well, yes, but I did untangle myself pretty quickly.  Wouldn't you agree?


  The 500 meter swim?  Oh, much better than my prior lake swim.  Swimming in a crowd takes some getting used to, but I was able to see the buoys and I think I didn't ingest too much water this time, so it's a success!


  The 20K bike ride?  What was THAT about?  It took twice as long as I expected.  There's me pedaling along, and there's everyone else pedaling half as quickly and passing me like Bugs Bunny on fast forward!  Clearly I've got some bike work to do.


  The 5K run?  No, dearie, it was a walk for me, remember?  And though I was ready to quit in a crying heap just mere moments after beginning this third leg of the race, my husband's encouraging "just three right turns and you're done" got me through all 5 of those Ks.


  And even before I left Fairport Harbor, I was already thinking, "Wow, if I lose a bunch more weight, I might be able to shave minutes off my time."


  THANK YOU to the organizers and volunteers of the Lake Metroparks Pirate Triathlon.  Thank you, my family; thank you, my friends.  Though I still have a hard time seeing what I did as a noteworthy accomplishment, it is nonetheless an accomplishment, and one that happened because of you.