Saturday, December 31, 2011

Merry New Year...

... the rest of my life...

"And I love
that you are the last person I want to talk to
 before I go to sleep at night.
And it's not because I'm lonely,
and it's not because it's New Year's Eve.
I came here tonight because
when you realize
you want to spend
the rest of your life with somebody,
you want
the rest of your life
to start as soon as possible."
"When Harry Met Sally" - Harry Burns


Happy 2012 to everyone! 
May the New Year bless us all with love, health, and "the flirt!"

Friday, December 30, 2011

Tada! New look, new features, new RENEWAL for the New Year!

It has been almost one year since I started this journey... HOLY COW!  I have spent the past several days reflecting on where I started and how important this blog has been to my journey.  My reflections will come as our 1 year anniversary arrives, but for now, I wanted to be sure to start the NEW YEAR with a fresh look, a new blog header and new features.

Over to the right, I have added a few things... I've posted my current list of races for 2012 to help remind me... EVERYDAY... the reasons I need to get my butt to the gym.  I've also added a list of my favorite posts from the past year... funny... inspiration... special goals.  Reading through all of the posts from the past year has RENERGIZED ME and reminded me of things that I need to get back to... regular posts... WEEKLY photos (no matter what)... exactly why this blog has been a big part of my success.

I've also added links to most of the music from the blog this past year.  About 6 months ago, my music player site closed, and I have been unable to find another music player online.  I don't have music constantly playing for you, but I have links to the songs so you can check them out.  I hope they inspire and move you the way they do for me!  GOOD NEWS... MUSIC DAY IS BACK!  This is one of the main features that I've missed, as it usually hooked into the Goals of the Week, too.  WOOO HOOOO!

I will be posting my goals for 2012 this weekend and I hope you are working on yours, too!  I found a post from almost a year ago where I wrote about creating goals... it sure helped remind me to focus on the small goals... one day at a time!  http://becomingmyhusbandsgirlfriend.blogspot.com/2011/01/goals.html

Make it a FANTASTIC DAY, everyone!! :-)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Construction zone...

... Yes, one of my goals was to freshen up the blog for the New Year... and, well, obviously, the blog is a "Construction Zone" while I am playing.  Please ignore the odd colors, half posts, and odd new banner that will pop up periodically while I'm trying it out!  Things should be good to go shortly! :-)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas...

On our way to Christmas Eve Mass
(without the jackets and ties, of course)...

May the SPIRIT of Christmas bring you PEACE...
May the GLADNESS of Christmas give you HOPE...
May the WARMTH of Christmas grant you LOVE...

May God bless you with all these gifts,
today...
... and throughout the coming year.

From our family to yours...
MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

50 Pound Difference...


"Your goals...

... minus your doubts...

...equal your reality."

- Ralph Marston


Set your goals, change that negative soundtrack in your head... and MAKE YOUR OWN MAGIC HAPPEN!

Monday, December 19, 2011

What a Difference... PHOTOS!!

I admit it... I went up another 2 pounds in the past 2 weeks... but I'm not worried.  It is the holiday season and I am enjoying myself.  Isn't that what a life change is about...?  Losing the weight... getting healthy... excercise... and LIVING your life.  In the past, I could have easily put on 5-10 pounds during the 2 months of Thanksgiving and Christmas... and let it stay come January.  I'm up 4 pounds all together, HOWEVER, I have NO INTENTION of letting those few pesky pounds stick around after the holidays.   Sooooo... I thought it would be a good idea to do a comparison with my Week 1 photo... to remind myself just how far I've come...  
237 pounds

200.6 pounds

























Since my heaviest (250 pounds), I am down 50 pounds... 37 since I started this blog.  I have come so far and I AM NOT going back there... but I am going to enjoy the holidays.  I am working out 5-6 times a week... my next tri is now only about 9 weeks away. 

I am also working on my goals for 2012, which I will share in a week or so.  Take the time to set your own goals... is it weight loss or maintenance?... working a bit more on self confidence?... or simply finding new ways to wake up with a smile each day?  Work on your goals... and MAKE THEM HAPPEN! :-)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Our Cancer Story... Happy 7th Anniversary, my Sweet Husband!

 
December 16th is a day that will never be forgotten in our family... the day Jeff was diagnosed with cancer.

The journey that we started 7 years ago TODAY changed our lives... there were really, really bad and dark times... but there were also very uplifting, loving, and hysterically funny times. There were moments that we didn't think it could get any worse, followed almost immediatly by a wink, or a gentle hand squeeze, or the look that Jeff and I give each other when nobody else exists in the world... it is just us... together... in perfect love... knowing that things would be alright.

Several years ago I wrote about the first few hours after diagnosis... I believe this is the forth year in a row I have posted this story on this special day... and the first time I've shared this story with most of you.  Jeff and I have been overwhelmed with the touching comments that so many of you post each year... so as long as you enjoy and/or are touched by our story, I will continue this annual tradition.
This story is Dedicated to my love,
my Sweetheart, my best friend,
my hero, my husband, Jeff.

Snickerdoodles, peanut butter, sugar cookies and spritz cookies…that should finish off our holiday baking. Go on a city drive of Christmas lights. Buy a pair of jeans to match the pink sweater for Jessica. Spend an afternoon in Julian and get hot apple cider. Finish wrapping gifts.

It was December 16th, 2004 and a week before Christmas. I was sitting in the waiting area of the Gastroenterology Department of Scripps Green Hospital writing my list of last minute Christmas ‘To Dos.’ Anna Grace, then six months old, was waiting with me for Daddy to be done with his colonoscopy. Jeff hadn’t been feeling well and hadn’t been eating very much. As he was preparing for the colonoscopy, he told me he was craving a Double-Double from In-N-Out. I promised I would take him there as soon as his procedure was over.

“Mrs. Locher?” Dr. Nodurft was standing in front of me. “May I have a word with you?”

He guided me through a door that led to the examination rooms. I walked down the hallway, pushing Anna’s stroller in front of me. All morning, the nurses that walked by Anna had stopped and made some comment about how cute she was or how happy. There were two nurses standing in the doorway of an exam room, waiting for Anna’s stroller to pass by in the little hallway. This time the nurses didn’t look at Anna. They looked me in the eye. They didn’t smile. They looked down at the floor. For a split second, things started moving in slow motion. Could there be a problem with Jeff? As the cold fingers of dread started twisting in my stomach, I calmly reminded myself that Jeff was 44 years old, in great health, and in good shape. I knew I was being led to the transition room where my slightly drugged up husband would be waiting for me, right? Everything would be fine! Everything would be fine!

I wasn’t led to the transition room, but a small exam room. There wasn’t room for the stroller, so I left it outside and carried Anna in. Dr. Nodurft entered the room with us and another doctor followed behind us. The room seemed to be filled by the exam table and I remember how white the paper liner looked on the table. Did I say the room was small? That feeling of slow motion was starting again and I had a bad feeling. There couldn’t possibly be anything wrong with Jeff. Don’t doctors give you bad news in their private office, or in a family waiting room…or in a private, small exam room…

NO! I was cuddling our beautiful baby girl…Jeff waited so long to become a Daddy…nothing could stop him from watching his children grow up…from walking his daughters down the aisle…to watching his son become a father and passing the family name to the next generation…why were they just standing there? But, I knew the answer, didn’t I!?

“As you know, your husband was here today for a colonoscopy. He has been bleeding internally and we needed to find the source of the blood. We found a tumor…” I tried to concentrate on the next words coming from Jeff’s doctor, but I seem to have gone deaf.

“I guess I won’t be taking Jeff to In-N-Out.” I told the doctor about my earlier promise. I smiled and was silent. He seemed to know that I needed a moment to process reality.

I was standing there, holding Anna. I was dizzy and darkness was creeping in from the sides of my eyes. Shouldn’t the doctor take Anna from me so I don’t drop her? I sat down in the only chair in the room.

I knew what my next question was going to be, but how would I ask it? I started my question several times, but only uttered a few disconnected words… “Is…will…it’s not…he can’t be…Jeff is not terminal…” came out more as a shaky statement than a question.

Dr. Nodurft explained we wouldn’t know anything without more tests and until the pathology was completed on the specimen that would be collected during surgery. We talked a bit more and I was told that Jeff was still out and wouldn’t be ready to see me for awhile. The good doctor suggested a nice, quiet spot outside by the reflection pond where I could make some phone calls. He assured me he would come get me when Jeff was awake and ready for a visit.

I sat down by the pond. Nobody was around but the coffee cart barista. I don’t know what the temperature was, but I was cold and shivering. Anna was so quiet…almost as if she knew what was happening. She just looked at me as tears flowed down my face.

I remember thinking of a line from one of my favorite TV shows, "Lost." Jack, the young doctor character, explained that in order to deal with the emotional situations related to his work, he would allow himself to give into his fear/pain/grief for a count of ten. Then he would take a deep breath and concentrate on what had to be done to rectify the situation. I slowly counted to 10, took that all important deep breath and called my Mom.

“Hello?”

“Mom?” I could barely get the word out.

“What’s going on?” Her voice was shaking by the end of her question. She knew where I was.

“They found cancer…” came out in one gush of breath, as if I had been punched in the stomach.

Mom was sobbing by the time she finished her “Oh my God!”

I gave her the limited information that I had. “They don’t know how bad…Jeff is being admitted…surgery tomorrow…Jeff doesn’t know yet…”

I guess Mom knew the “10-second Fear Rule” because she was quickly down to business.

“I will call your Dad and get him home…”

“You don’t have to pull him out of work,” I inserted because I knew Dad had used all his vacation time for the year.

“I can tell you that he will not be able to work after he hears this news. I will pack while he gets home and we will be there as soon as possible.” She already had a plan for getting Anna from me at the hospital, picking up Jessica and Christian from school, and staying at our house with the kids as long as we needed. Isn’t that what Moms do best? They take care of business when their kids need them!

The next call was to our church. I knew Jeff would want Father Jim to pray with us before the surgery. I requested Jeff be added to the parish prayer chain. Both requests were granted.

Next, Jeff’s Dad. The receptionist was telling me Jeff’s Dad was out of the office just as Jeff’s doctor walked up. “Jeff is awake and ready to see you.” I would track down Jeff’s Dad after I had a chance to see Jeff.

Anna and I were led to the transition room. I knew my eyes were swollen from crying, but my “10-seconds of Fear” were over (actually, by that time, I had gone through many, many 10-second counts) and I was going to be strong for my incredible husband.

I could hear the beeping of the medical machines from all the patients hiding behind their privacy curtains. I could hear the nurses’ shoes squeaking on the floor. I could smell that unmistakable scent of “hospital.” Our eyes met. I was strong. He looked like he was still out of it. Everything else faded away. My grasp tightened on Anna’s stroller. There was a long pause, smiles from both of us, and almost simultaneously we both said, “I guess we’re not going to In-N-Out.” He had been told. He reached for my hand. Our grasp was strong. Neither of us let go. So many questions. Not many answers. No guarantees. Yet, we both felt a slight feeling of calm, serenity, peace. The feeling was buried by the fear and sadness and questions and that “spiraling out of control” feeling, but it was there. You can call it what you want…denial, hope, naiveté…I call it faith. No matter how small that pinprick of a feeling was, we knew everything was going to be okay. Looking back, I can pinpoint that moment, that first look and coming together of husband and wife during a life-altering situation, as the moment that God stopped walking with us, but gathered us in His protective arms and carried us. Together.

Ironically, as I finish writing this story, I am sitting in a waiting room. Anna is asleep in her stroller. It is one year later and Jeff is having his first colonoscopy since going through surgery to remove the tumor, which came with a foot of large intestine, some small intestine, his appendix and 29 lymph nodes. He was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer, has endured six months of chemotherapy, and two additional surgeries. He is still dealing with side effects from the chemo, but we know those will fade one day soon.

“You can come in now.” The nurse is standing at the recovery room door. I had been pretty calm until this moment. I thank the nurse and start pushing Anna toward the door. The nurse is smiling at me and commenting on how cute Anna is. Although I smile back, I think I have stopped breathing.

I hear machines beeping, nurses’ shoes squeaking on the floor, and recognize that antiseptic smell. There are five nurses walking around the room. They all smile at me and make cute comments about Anna. Jeff’s nurse leads me to his bedside. He appears to be asleep.

Jeff’s nurse hands me the report from Dr. Nodurft. The first thing I see is a happy face. The report reads, “Well done, Mr. Locher! Your colon is perfectly normal! Great news. Next colonoscopy is recommended in three years. Let me know when you get back to cycling and we should go sometime!”

A single tear is rolling down my face. “Thank God! Jeff is going to be fine!,” I enthusiastically say to the nurse. I look over at Jeff…he hasn’t moved…his eyes are closed… and he is smiling.


I love you, Sweetheart!  Make it an INCREDIBLE day, Everyone!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Annual Christmas PJ Party... and 4 pounds...

I'm giggling as I write this post and remember (or try to remember) our Annual Progressive PJ Party... held this past Saturday night.  We have the most amazing group of friends that Jeff and I met when we started volunteering at Orange Glen High School 7 years ago.  Four years ago, we started a Christmas Progressive Dinner tradition.  We start at one house for appetizers... then move to the next house for the salad course... then to another house for the main course... and the final house for dessert and Bunco... YES, Bunco... with the guys... and it is HILARIOUS!  
Here are the girls...


So... are you wondering why I'm telling you about a night out... lots of eating and drinking... while I'm trying to lose weight?  BECAUSE, I'm NOT trying to LOSE weight... I'm getting my LIFE BACK!  There is a BIG difference!  YES, I am working out and losing weight... but I also want to keep this weight loss as a part of my everyday life.  Which means that I WILL GO OUT and have an INCREDIBLY DECADENT night... and I WILL (once in a while) EAT ANYTHING I WANT!  
... and here are our guys...

And I gained 4 pounds... yes... in one night.  3 pounds came off within 2 days.  I'm still 1 pound up... and I'm OK with that.  You know what else happened that night...?  I was My Husband's Girlfriend... Jeff and I had a wonderful night... flirting... having fun... and he was my Boyfriend, too! :-) 

When you feel confident... and happy... and flirty... it doesn't matter where you are or what you are doing... the only thing that matters is your spouse... how much you love them... and how much they love you back... and the playing will just... happen... 
 
Yes... we see you, Seltmann... :-)

... yes... I often have
"tunnel vision"
when it comes to Jeff...
I only see him...
I get dreamy... I would like to say that I see a musical number take off, but that wouldn't be realistic, now... would it...? :-)  Make it a "dreamy" night, everyone!

Monday, December 12, 2011

YMCA Poster Model and Road Runner ADVENTURE RUN!

 'Tis the crazy season full of Christmas cards, social events, and baking.  However, my first international distance triathlon (Desert Tri in March) is less than 3 months away, so I'm also working out like crazy!  After a short 4 day vacation, I got back to my gym (Palomar YMCA) to find TWO POSTERS OF ME up all around the Y... and matching program flyers on the counter!  Soooo... I am the face of the "Lazy Man Triathlon" and the "Holiday Training Program."  I am actually doing the Lazy Man Tri... I'm doing an Ironman (2 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run)... one workout at a time.  Since the challenge goes for 10 weeks, I've challenged myself (and the YMCA Tri Club) to complete TWO IRONMANS in the 10 weeks... if I stay on track, I think I will do 3, but I'm giving some leeway for the holidays! :-)

Road Runner posts a HUGE map and the
name/location of each of the stops. 

For one of my running workouts, friend and YMCA Fitness Director (Hi, Briony), told me about the Adventure Run at Road Runner Sports, San Diego.  THIS... RUN... WAS... SOOOOOOO... MUCH... FUN!  First, it is a free event... and was only held in 4 cities in the US in 2011 (expanding to 12 cities in 2012!)  Here is the scoop... you show up around 5PM to get through registration and check out several sponsor companies, many with give-a-ways and product samples!  (We put on sample Asics shoes for the run and Fuel Belts.)  At 6PM, they reveal a HUGE map showing several different ticket stops.  The goal is to find/run to as many stops as you can in 60 minutes to collect raffle tickets... but you HAVE to be back within 60 minutes!  We were running like crazy into a Bowling Alley, Subway, LA Fitness, and Tommy's Burger (yes, getting weird looks from the customers of these places!).  We would collect our tickets and could earn extra tickets by doing the physical challenges at many of the spots. 

Anna, Briony and me... making sure we have all the information we need
from the map so we can START RUNNING!

At 7PM, you grab your free beer (running and beer... OH, YEAH!) and get ready for the raffle... $5,000 worth of prizes for this month's run!  The raffle was just as much fun as the run... high energy... music... crowd toss prizes... and we won several prizes, too!  Even Jeff and Anna were there (Anna was 1 of 2 kids that did the run, but she and Jeff ran about 2 miles and did several physical challenges in the 60 minutes... and she LOVED it!)

We had an AWESOME time and we can't wait for the 2012 Adventure Run season to start in March!  I was even more excited that Anna and Jeff joined us...  running is the one thing that is keeping Jeff from joining me in triathlons (due to chemo nerve damage in his feet)... and I think he was pleasantly surprised that he can do the run (I always knew he could!)... he can do the swim and  has been cycling for 40 years... NO PROBLEM!  I may have a new triathlon partner in 2012! 

Who knew... I am becoming my husband's girlfriend (again), and my fit husband [may] become my racing partner... no matter what, I love him.  Enough said! :-)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Photos... I'm Back...

Yes, it has been a month since I posted photos...AUGH!  I can't tell you the rollercoaster that my weight has been on since my colonoscopy!  I have been going up 6-7 pounds every few days... then right back down again... FOR THE PAST 4 WEEKS! My Dad asked why I hadn't posted photos and I told him my reason... then he said, "Up or down, aren't the weekly photos part of the process?"  Yes, my Dad is a very wise man... and perhaps I could have stopped the rollercoaster sooner had I sucked it up and posted photos.  So, back on track...

196.2

198.6
























And I must say... for Thanksgiving week, I will take a 2.4 pound increase.  I hope being accountable will help me inch closer and closer to 190!!!  Heck... I am still down over 50 pounds since my heaviest... I need to take a "chill pill" and relax... I'll probably drop weight like crazy... ;-)  Make it a FANTASTIC day!!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011

NURSE: "Are you an athlete?" ME: "Yes... yes I am!"

WOW, I made you wait OVER A WEEK for results after my colonoscopy.  So, long story short...

*  I only lost 1.5 pounds!  SERIOUSLY ... after 48 hours of liquid diet and the "Gut Bomb," I now have scientific proof that I'm NOT full of shit...

*  Yes, the jet stream coming out my rear was very similar to the video posted on the previous entry...

*  I WOULDN'T HESITATE to have my next colonoscopy!!!  The fasting and clean out are uncomfortable, but the process as a whole was fine.  Knowing this process saved my husband's life, PRICELESS!!!

GREAT STORY!  I was in pre-op... I was starting to breathe again because the nurse just put in my IV line (which is what I was the most nervous about because I HATE NEEDLES)...  and she went about taking all of my vitals.  All of a sudden she said, "WOW! Are you an athlete?"  I got the BIGGEST smile on my face and replied, "YES... yes I am!"  I started giggling just a bit and asked the nurse why she was asking.  The nurse replied that she had just taken my resting heart rate (it was 54!!!) and that it was so low that either I was an athelete or there was a problem.  I quickly shared with her the journey I've been on... the weight I've lost... the training I've been doing.  And, I have to say that I WAS SOOOOOO TICKLED that SCIENCE PROVED that I have indeed been kicking my own butt!!!  I am still 30-40 pounds overweight... I'm still 2 sizes above my goal... BUT... MY... HEART... ALREADY... BEATS... LIKE... AN... ATHLETE...

WOW!

Ohhhh, my results.  They found and removed 2 polyps... at age 41... they are doing a biopsy, but expect everything is FINE!  Next colonoscopy... 10 years!

What did Jeff think about all this...?  I don't know what I did or said while I was still under those FANTASTIC drugs, but it must have been good, because I just remember Jeff smiling and laughing... I was either funny or he was so happy that I was OK... or, perhaps... a little of both...

I LOVE AND ADORE my sweet husband... enough said! :-)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

It's all about the BUTT today... a special MUSIC DAY PLAYLIST for your colonoscopy prep pleasure...

OH, YEAH... I'm having FUN NOW!  As I sit here, I have just finished my first 8 ounce glass (of 4 litters) of what I would like to call "Butt Blast," since I know that it will be "blasting" out of my butt before I know it!  I've watched Jeff go through the colonoscopy prep 3 times, and I've spoken with enough family members and friends to know that THERE IS something more explosive that POP ROCKS and COKE... and it is already starting to gurgle in my tummy!

Sooooo... I've decided there are 2 ways to look at the "potty party" that I am about to endure...

... and it should be obvious that this necessary evil is going to be handled with as much laughter and bad butt jokes that I can muster!!!  So, let's jump right in, shall we...?

POTTY PARTY GAME #1:  Guess how much weight I will lose by the time the procedure is over.  YES, I know most of it will come right back on when I start eating again, but I thought this was an interesting question!  Here are the details:

  *  Yesterday was the "white diet."
  *  Today... clear liquids only and the Butt Blast concoction, Part 1.
  *  Tomorrow... 2nd half of the Butt Blast and clear liquids until 10AM.  Then NOTHING until my test is over... which is scheduled for 3:45PM... almost a whole 2nd day of a liquid diet!

My Guess:  8 pounds
Jeff's Guess:  6 pounds
Jessica's Guess:  10 pounds

POTTY PARTY GAME #2:  Share your best (or worst) Colonoscopy joke or video.  Here are a few of my favorites...

"Colonoscopies are no joke , but these comments during the exam were quite
humorous..... A physician claimed that the following are actual comments
made by his patients (predominately male) while he was performing their
colonoscopies:

1. "Take it easy, Doc. You're boldly going where no man has gone before!

2. "Find Amelia Earhart yet?"

3. "Can you hear me NOW?"

4. "Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?"

5. "You know, in Arkansas, we're now legally married."

6. "Any sign of the trapped miners, Chief?"

7. "You put your left hand in, you take your left hand out..."

8. "Hey! Now I know how a Muppet feels!"

9. "If your hand doesn't fit, you must quit!

10. "You used to be an executive at Enron, didn't you?"

And the best one of all...

11. "Could you write a note for my wife saying that my head is not up
there?"

You MUST watch this video... comedian Billy Connolly, Colonoscopy
(tears start running around the 2nd minute!)

 
POTTY PARTY MUSIC PLAYLIST:  Of course, every great party has to have a playlist!  Here are some of the BEST BUTT SONGS of all time!!!  I DARE YOU to try not to dance to these!!!


OK... things are starting to "Rock and Roll" here, so I best sign off now.  Post your jokes, comments, stories, weight loss guesses or add more songs to our playlist.  Thanks for joining in and I'll let you know how it all goes on the flip side!!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

ANOTHER MILESTONE... and photos...

HA, HA, HA... Yes... I have hit another milestone, and it cracks me up because it is a good one... very embarrassing to admit... but a good one!

I... FINALLY... WEIGH... LESS... THAN... MY... HUSBAND!!!  Now, I must admit I thought I would have passed him up some time ago, but since I've been cooking better for the family and we have all been getting out and more active, Jeff has lost weight, too... so I've been chasing his numbers for awhile... but I FINALLY caught him!

199.0 pounds

196.2 pounds!!!



Now... these photos are making me scratch my head!  I lost almost 3 pounds, but the new photo looks much heavier to me!  Yes, my body continues to move weight around and change as I lose it, but I can't explain my tummy/upper leg area... hummm... we'll have to check on that again next week!

Off to search the internet for a blog music player... again... the last 2 I've had don't work anymore.  I can't wait to get music back on the blog and start my Music Day again!!!  Make it a GREAT day!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Photos... Week 40... Where did the time go?

It is hard to believe that I've been on this journey for 9 months now.  When I started, I had to constantly tell myself to stop thinking long term... just focus on the first goal... and after reaching the first goal, THEN think about the next goal.  Those negative thoughts in my head kept telling me it was going to take too long... it would be too hard... HOWEVER, I embraced this process and had to be honest with myself... SERIOUSLY... I didn't put all this weight on overnight... I didn't lose my self confidence overnight... and a long term change would only work if it happened... LONG... TERM.   

199.0 pounds

197.6 pounds




 





















One choice at a time...
...One day at a time...
... and be happy, ALL the time!

(Yes, Dad... I went up 1.4 pounds...but it will be back down next week!)
(...and Mom, I REALLY need to be blonde again...)
(...Sweetheart, I'll see you tonight... )

Friday, October 14, 2011

Thinking about my sweet husband...

"If I had to choose between breathing
and
loving you,
I would use
my last breath to tell you
I love you..." author unknown

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Photos... FINALLY, a big loss... but at a price?

Let's be honest here...

I've now lost a total of 52.4 pounds (3.4 pounds THIS WEEK!!!)... but struggle with constant plateaus...

... is it because I've lost so much weight my body is constantly "re-adjusting" to losing more and more weight...?

... or is it that I'm living a more "normal" life and not concentrating so much on my calories, water intake, etc...?

... OR, is it a combination of both?
 
197.6 pounds

201 pounds
 























I know this journey is about learning to live my life, eat right, and not GIVING UP on the good stuff... but I've also lost a bunch of weight.  At the end of the day, I think I am RIGHT ON TRACK and where I should be.  Could I lose more weight... and faster than I am right now.  YEP!  Do I want to "live on a diet?"  NO!  Slow weight loss... living my life... and getting stronger through my workouts is EXACTLY what I need to be doing!  SERIOUSLY... do you think that Jeff would rather have a "girlfriend" that is gaining confidence and looking great, slowly, week by week, OR a crabby girlfriend that is starving and strict and miserable...?  I think the answer is pretty obvious!!!

I... AM... ONE... SLOW LOSING... HAPPY... GAL!!!  Make it a FANTASTIC week!!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Photos... they speak volumes!


Some photos speak louder than words!

No change in weight this week... but I have a special weekly photo...

201 pounds - and FIRST PLACE!
As my friend Jane said about my race 
(who checked up on me while on vacation in Rome!),
"You've set the bar pretty high, and I look forward to watching you sail right over it!"

The sky is the limit, Jane, the sky is the limit!!!

SET YOUR BAR, everyone...
AND FLY!!!
Make it a FANTASTIC day!

Monday, October 3, 2011

1st PLACE - Mission Bay Triathlon... Who said Big Girls CAN'T Race/WIN...?

HOLY COW!  I've hit another milestone that I knew would come someday... I just didn't realize that the day was NOW!  All of us are trying to better ourselves... improve our self confidence... get the spring back in our step... and with all that personal betterment, bring the smile... the special glance... the sexy back to our marriages. 

My journey is "Full Monty," right... I guess that
includes this photo in my wetsuit... Jessica and
Anna with me since 4:15 AM!
I have been obesly overweight, so my plan for the past 2 years was to lose weight by training for a few races each year... once a race was over, I would sign up for the next one.  As long as our hard earned money was committed to a race, I HAD to get up and get to the gym.  The training was great for my weight loss and helped me work toward a HUGE goal of mine... to SOMEDAY podium at a race!

I entered the Mission Bay Triathlon in the Athena category... reserved for those female competitors that weigh 160 pounds and above.  When I registered for the race, I was well above 200 pounds, so I figured this was the group for me, but I was still racing against gals that had a HUGE weight advantage on me... but it seems it didn't matter...

... I... TOOK... 1ST... PLACE... IN... MY... CATEGORY... AND , overall fastest Athena as the winner of the younger Athena category was 2 minutes behind me...

... I'll let the photos of the day tell the rest of the story...

Start of the race... I am right in the center of the photo... one of my legs kicking high in the water... and I'm
stretching long like Coach Elizabeth told me to... WHAT A WAY to start the day... sun rising on San Diego...

SERIOUSLY... I'M IN THE FRONT OF THE PACK!???  That's me...
in the front with my right arm taking the stroke...
Running to the 1st transition... rip off swim cap/goggles...
start stripping off wetsuit as you run...
Hummm... I don't look so bad from the back...
I'm soaked from the swim and getting ready for
the bike race... strip off the rest of the wetsuit... socks on...
clip shoes on... helmet and glasses on... BREATHE... grab
the bike and RUN... this is T1...
Almost to the line where I can get on my bike... WOOO HOOOO!
End of the bike... thinking about the next transition "T2"... take off helmet...
change to running shoes... R...U...N!!!
I...LOVE... THIS... PHOTO!  The start of the run...
behind me in the red tank, Paula... one of my YMCA Weight Loss
Challenge teammates... NOW A YMCA TRAINER... and Laura,
my original Weight Loss Coach... she has ALWAYS believed in me...
PUSHED me... and was now RUNNING WITH ME holding the
YMCA sign... I LOVE MY Palomar YMCA Tri Club and FAMILY!!!
 I'm curious... WHAT GYM has their trainers and Directors come to a race location
to support their members... THE PALOMAR YMCA!!!  That's who! 
Paula and me... REPRESENTING with our "Y" tattos!
Yes, I did a little silly dance when I received my FIRST PLACE MEDAL! 
Anna couldn't hold back... she ran up to be with me!
There is more to tell of this story... tomorrow with my weigh in photos! 

No matter WHAT YOUR GOAL...

YOU... CAN... DO... ANYTHING...
YOU... SET... YOUR... MIND... TO!

Friday, September 30, 2011

39 hours and counting...


"Life isn’t about finding yourself.
Life is about creating yourself."
                                                             - George Bernard Shaw

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

One year ago... Mission Bay Triathlon 2010...

I just re-read the post I wrote after the Mission Bay Triathlon one year ago...

... I felt SO STRONG a year ago...

... and looking back at those photos, I can't belive it has taken A WHOLE YEAR to feel THIS CONFIDENT, this STRONG...

ONE... YEAR... LATER, I am still between 30-40 pounds overweight (after losing 50 pounds)... and I KNOW that I AM GOING TO ROCK THIS RACE!  Here is MY STORY of my 1st Mission Bay Triathlon...

... Mission Bay TRIATHLON 2010... YES, Big Girls Can ROCK IT!...and Hansen's Surf Shop

Nothing tastes better than Mimosas after a triathlon...
Friend Dave and me (with Sea World behind us) after the race.
Let's jump right into it, shall we!?  I have been struggling with my weight for many years... which is why I joined the YMCA Weight Loss Challenge 1 1/2 years ago... and why I have been training with my coach and doing Boot Camp and training for different athletic events for the past two years... I am a big girl.  Not only did my size bother me (every day), but the fact that I struggled when playing with Anna... doing household chores... or just getting through my day... 

The transition area... yeah... pretty scary...
HOWEVER, that doesn't mean that I can't do the same things the small gals can... I wear a bigger size... and I will be a bit slower... but I can still ROCK it better and faster than most... and I am dang proud of that!!!  In the past 2 years, I have completed in 2 triathlons and cycled in a 50 mile ride and a metric century. 

REALLY... You want to see ME in a XXL MEN'S WETSUIT?... I don't think so!
I'm about to share the events of October 3rd, the Mission Bay Triathlon and something that my son said bothered me.  I was looking at the event results and noted that if I had entered the "Athena" category (the big gals) that I could have made the podium.  Chris said, "Would you really want to stand up there and win an award for being a fast, fat girl?"  My answer,... "I AM a big girl and I just kicked the tar out of many of the small gals AND the men!  Why WOULDN'T I want to stand up there and receive an award for that!? 

The warm up... OF COURSE, you have to warm up before the swim... and I was feeling GREAT!
God makes us all differently and gives us different challenges.  I have two able legs and a strong heart... I might be thick in the middle, but that just makes me work harder!  Do you know why I train so hard and race?  BECAUSE... I... CAN!

Now... onto the triathlon...

The swim... yes, it was as crazy and scary as I figured my first open water swim would be..  That's me coming up for air right in the center.. you know... the one that looks like everyone else... :-)
The kids in the family on the left of the photo were asking about the different shoes... the dad was telling them that "some people change into cycling shoes, but that just takes extra time..." just as I pull RIGHT IN FRONT of them and start clicking in my cycle shoes.  All they could do was smile and cheer! ;-)  By the way, look at that guy in front of me... I beat him... ;-)

This photo was taken as I started the run... and about 15 seconds before I started cramping... I (stupidly) drank 1/2 water bottle in transition and had double cramps through my whole run... I had to WALK (speed walk) the whole thing... DARN IT!
My girlfriend, Heather... this was her finish and I think an iconic photo of the emotions that you feel when you accomplish something as AWESOME as your first race!  Pain... struggling to breathe... and the HOLY COW, I DID IT!!!  You are a ROCK STAR, Heather!  Congratulations!!!

It was a GREAT event... although I totally blew it on the run, I KICKED BUTT on the swim and TOTALLY CRANKED IT on the bike! I am already training for the next triathlon in Pasadena... in 5 months... and my coach wants me to train for my first Olympic Distance Triathlon in June of 2011... BIG GALS, HERE WE COME!!!

HANSON'S SURF SHOP... A little side story... I rented my wetsuit from Hansen's Surf Shop... an amazing store in Encinitas. It was hard to find a wetsuit that would fit me, but they had one for me. I was a bit uncomfortable picking up this LARGE wetsuit, but several of the store employees asked me what I was doing and I told them my triathlon story. The AWESOME part of the story is when I returned the wetsuit. They recognized me as "the triathlete" and wanted to know how I did. I told them about the race and a bit about myself, how I was inspired to start racing and about Jeff, who with chemo damaged feet was jealous of my triathlon and will be racing with me in Pasadena. 
OK, so I had to walk (speed walk) the whole 5K... but I was NOT going to come to the finish line like a wimp... and I SURELY WAS NOT going to let ANYONE in the finish stretch pass me up... Mr. No Shirt... DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT... you CAN'T catch me!... I finished first!

This skinny, beautiful and fit gal turned to me and said, "You are such an inspiration! I have been wanting to try a triathlon, but have been too afraid to try it. You are AWESOME and I am going to train to do it!!!" And she made me promise to tell her how I do in Pasadena.  I left the store, called Jeff and started sobbing.... happy tears. I doesn't matter what you look like, how much you weigh, or how fast you are, ANYONE can Triathlon!!! What is stopping you!?

I took that as a challenge...

I... AM... HEATHLY...

I might be overweight, but I will KICK SOME BUTT!

It doesn't matter how much you weigh or how old you are... you can DO ANYTHING you set your mind to...

... and I would LOVE TO SEE you all at the finish of my race!!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Photos...

Sooooo... no big change in my numbers this week, HOWEVER, both Jeff and I have noticed a change in my body!  My size 14 clothes are now falling off as I walk and, although I'm not quite ready to wear my 12's, I will be there very shortly!  (I started at a size 20!!!)  Weight loss is a funny thing... and how your body responds is pretty cool, too!

200.6 pounds

201 pounds

























I have been training like a BEAST for the Mission Bay Triathlon, which is now only 5 days away.  Tomorrow, I will share with you my story from last year's race... and I SERIOUSLY can't believe how much I've changed in the past year... not only my weight loss, but my self esteem, my confidence, and my smile that BEAMS every time I think about my sweet husband... and the look I see in Jeff's eyes when he looks at me these days!