(Not so) Fit-versary: Two Years (Before, During, After, and back to During Pics)

April 30th was my two year anniversary of the day I decided to get fit.  I had big plans for the month of April:

  • I was going to weigh 150lbs.
  • I was going to be in the best shape of my life.
  • I was going to run a marathon.

None of these things happened because little did I know, I was no longer going to have a mother.  Just four short days after my half-marathon on October 4th, my mother became ill.  She was already ill–heart disease, kidney failure, dialysis, but she became hospital-ill.  In January, she became gravely ill.  A month later, she passed away.  And it was awful.  All of it.

I am a binge eater.  A stress eater.  An emotional eater.  A drinker. Bad, bad combo.  From October-January, I ate a little extra.  When I came to visit my mother at least once a week, I would also visit my favorite restaurant and order a burger and booze.  On occasion.  Infrequently.  Once in a while.  I put on a few pounds, but no big deal.

In February, my world blew up.  I dealt with her death well.  I stayed composed when everyone else crumbled.  I made arrangements.  I printed pictures for the tribute table.  I made a video slide show.  I composed a beautiful obituary.  I contacted family members.  I lovingly chose the last outfit my mother would ever wear.  I sifted through jewelry, found her dentures, located her glasses.  I chose flowers, signed papers, wrote thank you cards, and closed bank accounts.

I barely got to say goodbye.

There was no still, quiet moment with a single streaming tear in a solemn room alone with the woman who gave me life.

There was just busyness followed by emptiness.

To ease the pain, I drank.  A lot.  And I ate.  A lot.  I binge-ate, binge-drank, and binge-watched Grey’s Anatomy reruns. As a result, I don’t feel any better and I certainly don’t look any better.  I have gained about 40lbs (I’m TOTALLY guessing because I refuse to get on the scale).  I’ve been getting back into the swing of things.  Running or hiking a local trail after school, body-weight strength training, and eating the proper amount of calories.

So far, it’s been hit or miss.  I’m on the wagon a few days or a few weeks, and then I tumble off that sucker for a week or so and go hog wild (emphasis on the “hog”).

I did take measurements about 2 weeks ago, and I have lost inches, so that’s good.  That’s motivating.  Writing about this is also motivating, not to mention therapeutic.  Once I work up the nerve to get on the scale, I’m sure watching those numbers go down will be motivating as well.

I have set new goals for the summer and fall of 2015:

  • Run a 10k
  • Run a 13.1
  • Run a marathon in October.

Goals are good.  Goals keep a person going.  Goals give me something to focus on.  School will be out soon, and I plan to spend my summer running and getting back into the best shape of my life! :)

Where I was two years ago:

I like-a-da foods.

I like-a-da foods.

No chins were harmed in the losing of this weight...

No chins were harmed in the losing of this weight…

I had gained from the 2012 pic, and then started losing again in Apr 2013.  This pic is probably about 245-250.

Approximately where I am now:

Weighing in at about 190 here on April 9, 2014.

Jay Sheets and Marie Pearl…and ME!

Where I want to be:

004

Baby Boomers 12 2014 017

Selfie-alert!

Selfie-alert!

A New Lesson

Just a quick update:

I’m still hitting bumps in the road, but I am not giving up.  I’m getting some decent runs in in the process.  Today I stayed after school–not to tutor–but to run with a student.  Things like this are part of what makes me a great teacher.  She’s a junior and wants to get into better shape the right way, so she came to me!  (Me!?  Really!?  It’s still hard to picture myself as a healthy person!)

In everything you do!

In everything you do!

We ran for 30 minutes after school, and she said she plans to run with me any day I am willing to stay.  We ran and talked (and walked in between!).  I helped her set some goals.  She wants to run a full mile (without stopping–no intervals) for her P.E. final in May.  I assured her that would be a piece of cake!  I convinced her to do a 5k with me in May as well.  That one, she’ll have to work for! :)

I’m excited, and so is she.  This may be the motivation I’ve been looking for–to BE someone’s motivation.

Hello Heartache: Part Two

I will continue to grieve my sweet mother, but I cannot continue to sulk.  Let me be real:  I have eaten everything in the entire house.  I’m an emotional eater and a binge eater.  Bad combo.  Really bad.

This. Is. Done.

The one decent thing I can do to honor my mother’s existence is to eat healthy, be active, and live a long and physically fit life with my kids and future grandkids.

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Here’s the plan for tomorrow:

Breakfast-coffee and banana (I loathe eating breakfast, but if I must, I must.)

Lunch-leftover baked chicken leg and asparagus

Dinner-grilled chicken breast and brocolli

Snacks-something healthy-fruit, veggies, popcorn…whatever I’m in the mood for

Run-1.5 miles (I’m easing back into it and don’t want to get burned out right away)

In the midst of all my recent eating, I HAVE been able to get back to running (somewhat).  I’ve been running a mile a few times a week, and yesterday after my run, hubby and I hiked  three miles (I had taken a personal day from work).

Slowly (and by “slowly” I mean a 13+ minute/mile pace), but surely, I will get back to the land of the living and the home of the healthy.

Sorry for my unusually disorganized post.  The old brain isn’t firing on all cylinders these days.

I look forward to checking back in with you, my accountability partners, tomorrow with good news of good eating habits and a great run.

Hug someone today!

Hello Heartache (Part One)

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It finally happened.  My gorgeous, vibrant, hilarious, dear mother died.  She was miserable in her final years and had become confined to her bed and wheelchair in the last months of her life.  Her death: a blessing…and an unfillable void.

She lived a beautiful life.  She had beautiful children.  Her children had beautiful children.  And life goes on.  We love her and we miss her terribly.  Such a beautiful sadness I have in my heart.

I wrote her obituary and a poem, both of which my dear friend of many years read at my mother’s funeral service.  I wanted her to have a special send off–one befitting such a lovely woman. (Some information has been left out/changed for privacy purposes).

My mother passed away peacefully on the afternoon of February 25, 2015 at the age of 66.

A loving mother and grandmother, Carole was born in St. Louis on November 29, 1948.  In 1967 she married Tommy and made her home in Southeast Missouri.

She worked very hard to provide for her family, enjoying the years she spent as a secretary most.

Each spring, Carole took great pride in planning and planting her many flower beds and large vegetable garden from which she would spend her summer canning fresh green beans, tomatoes, and pickles. 

In winter months, Carole decorated every square inch of her home for the holidays. She bought an obscene amount of gifts for her children — and later in life, her grandchildren. She cooked and baked for days in preparation to host extended family on her favorite holiday, Christmas.  She also enjoyed reading and shopping; she simply could not pass up a good sale.

Carole once said her greatest accomplishment in life was her beautiful family that includes her children whom she loved beyond measure, and her grandbabies who were her greatest joy in life.

Carole is survived by two sons — Eric (Amy)  and their three children, Michaela, Hadley, and Haydon; Matt and his two girls, Molly and Autumn; two daughters — Tammy and her two daughters, Jade and Lily, of New York; and Becky (Dave) and their two children, Layni and Lucas, all of whom treasured her beyond words and will dearly miss their sweet mother and grandmother.   She is also survived by her husband Tommy, two sisters, Mary Ellen and Linda, one brother, Michael, numerous nieces and nephews, and a host of wonderful friends who will remember her for her kind and compassionate nature in troubled times and for her one of a kind sense of humor and witty comebacks.

Carole was welcomed home by her parents, Anna Marie and Homer, and firstborn son, Wayne Thomas, Jr.

In lieu of flowers, you may donate to the American Diabetes Association in Carole’s honor via mail or phone.

(Untitled Poem)

For a time, we held her hand with our tiny hands,
While she held our whole world in the beating of her heart.
We grew and changed and gave her new hands to hold;
New babies full of sticky kisses and eyelash wishes.
She watched them grow as she grew old,
Treasuring every moment spent, every memory made,
Reveling in the love and the legacy unfolding before her watchful eye.
And though she is gone from this world,
We can never be apart
Because her heart beats in our hearts:
Every thump, every beat, a reminder
Of the rhythm of her love passing through the ages.

Toward the close of the service, my sweet husband, who loved my mother very much, sang In the Garden while my cousin played the piano.  It was beautiful.  They had a special relationship, my husband and mother…

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After the service as we lined up in the procession that would take my mother to her final resting place, several people saw a bald eagle swooping low and circling over us while we waited. I can’t help but think this universal symbol of freedom was more than a mere coincidence.

Eagle

But those who wait on the Lord. They shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

If I am being honest with myself, I have been stress eating since she was hospitalized on October 8th.  The main reason I started my weight loss journey was not only preventing the same outcome for my life, but to help honor hers.  I have been out of sync with myself for months, and it’s time to get myself back on track for myself..and for my momma.

I’ll post more in Part Two, and I promise to be more upbeat.  I just wanted to get this off of my chest and out of my mind.

Thanks for listening. :)

Yeesh…What the Bleep!? Droppin’ like flies over here…

So…it’s been a while.  In blogger world, it seems that’s almost never good news.

I have fallen off the face of the earth with marathon training.  I will still run one, but it may be Octoberish instead of April.  Here’s why.

My life is a wild and crazy ride right now.  I’m crazy busy at school.  I sponsor student council, and we just put on homecoming festivities.  It was a lot of work and even more chaos.  I thrive on organized chaos.  This was not organized chaos.  It DID go VERY well though, so there’s that.  Live and learn.  Next year will be even more awesome, and I won’t have to pull out as many handfuls of hair.  Get some, homecoming.  Get some.

I’ve also had a few “injuries”.  I had an issue with my back recently that kept me out of work for 2 days.  The chiro said I need to strengthen my core and back if I want to continue running.  Fine by me.  I never want my back to hurt that bad again.  It. was. excruciating.

My hips also hurt. And pop. Every 5 seconds.  They need a break.  They’re getting one.

I’ll start training again in about a month.  I think I may do a half sometime this spring and try for a full in the fall.  We shall see. :)

Another reason is that my mother…my reason for running…is not doing well.  She is in such poor health that the nursing home she is in is suggesting palliative care.  Other doctors say she is doing well and may have another year left in her.  It’s an emotional rollercoaster.  Momma  is not fully lucid anymore.  Sometimes she is off this planet, and other times she is orbiting somewhere in our atmosphere at least.  Tuesday she was a mean ol’ bat.  She wanted a drink so badly, but she is on fluid restrictions, so…no fluids for her.  That meant that she mostly fussed at me all day long, which was okay with me because it was the first time she had recognized me for three weeks.  The poor thing has 2 broken knee caps (from one of her FIVE falls at the nursing home), is hallucinating, and is in a lot of pain with her knees and her feet.  I’ve been burning up the highway between her town and mine trying to get her medical care lined out.  No one communicates well: the nursing home doesn’t communicate well with dialysis and vice versa.  It’s frustrating because I then have to act as the go between–and although I’m intelligent, I do NOT have a medical background.  It’s difficult and upsetting. Boo-freakin-hoo.

Tomorrow I have to go sign durable power of attorney papers so that I can take over medical decision making for her.  She never did that when she was healthier.  She never filled out an advanced directive either.  I’m meeting with a social worker and the notary to take care of all of that.  It’s fun. ;)

In addition to the rest of my out of control life, I had one of the most terrifying experiences of my life tonight.  My hubby started feeling sick to his stomach after dinner.  He continued to feel worse and worse.  He sat on the side of the bed for a few minutes, and then began walking toward the bathroom because he thought he was going to be sick.  A few feet short of the door, he stumbled, fell to his knees, grunted and slumped over face down in the bathroom floor.  I ran to him and he wasn’t moving or speaking.  I did notice he was breathing.

I grabbed my cell and dialed 911.  To my surprise, I was able to dial properly and someone picked up right away, unlike multiple dreams I’ve had where I can’t dial or the phone just continues to ring or I get put on hold.  I was back at my hubby’s side in our cramped bathroom where he still was unresponsive.  I was giving our address as my husband began to seize (or something!).  His body went completely rigid. It felt as if I’d shatter him if I touched him hard enough.  He made and awful groan and then some clenched labored breathing sounds…almost like gurgling.  I seriously thought he was dying.  And then I noticed blood pouring from his nose.  At this point I KNEW he was dying.  I was certain it was an aneurysm bursting in his brain.  A very long  minute or so passed and he loosened up and regained cognition.  He was weak and disoriented.  The EMS flew passed our house because the dispatcher gave the wrong address.  Hubby at this point was still worried he was dying there on the bathroom floor and was asking if they were close.  I called 911 again and gave my address once more.  Ems arrived shortly after.

Hubby continued to improve as ems checked him out.  Then the ambulance arrived.  They loaded him up and took him to the hospital.  I found an emergency sitter for my poor scared kiddos, packed a “just in case” bag and headed out the door.  I drove the icy roads (we were getting bad weather at the time), and made it to the er about 20 min after hubby.  All tests came back negative, so I’m hoping it was an isolated incident.  It sure was terrifying, and to be quite honest, I was scared to bring him home.

I’ll probably spend most of the night (what’s left of it) watching him sleep…like a newborn…to make sure he continues to breathe.  And in 12 hours I’ll be signing POA papers to become my mom’s medical decision maker.  Jealous?

Christmas Swag!

Quick post about a quick run with my new doo-dads.

I received some sweet Christmas running swag this morning from my adoring hubby. :)

Here’s the haul:

SCORE!

SCORE!

So, he bought me four pairs of running socks–probably because I am forever whining about not being able to find the running socks I DO have.  Spoiler alert–they are always dirty–which I guess is a good sign that I’m out there busting my hump on a regular basis.  Or that I never do laundry.  Between you and me, it’s probably both.

I also got a flip belt.  I really wanted one when I was training for my half, and now I can really put it to good use as I train for a *gasp* full marathon.  The flip belt fits…kind of. Lol.  I’m going to have to get this Christmas weight off before I can use it though.  Good thing I don’t have any REALLY long runs coming up anytime soon.

Last, but not least, I FINALLY have a Garmin Forerunner 15 with heart rate monitor.  I’m soooo excited!  I even got off my lazy, chocolate-eating butt to go for a run as soon as that sucker was charged!  I’m a huge nerd and I love data.  I love to see how efficiently my body works, where I need to train harder, what slows me down, what speeds me up, etc.  I love to analyze that data and use it to better whatever I’m doing: teaching my high school students, raising my kids, perfecting a recipe, or RUNNING! :)

I went for a quick run and LOVED my watch!  I think it is really going to help me with my pace, etc.  Love, love , love it!  Outside of running gear, I bought myself a small tablet, and hubby bought me a couple of books I had been wanting and some bath items.  He said I need to relax sometimes.  I love that man.

We had a good Christmas here this morning, and my step-kiddos are coming over for dinner tonight–one of them is already here.  We will finally have our entire family together under one roof for the first time since my stepdaughter’s wedding in June 2010.  Today is a good day.

Merry Christmas to you and yours from me and mine. <3

Did I Just Enjoy That Run? I Think I Did.

When I was training for my half marathon over the summer and into the fall, I was so excited.  Every run brought me closer to a really amazing goal I had set for myself, I enjoyed running in new territory (lengths) every week with my long runs, and I looked forward to lacing up and heading out.

This time around, I’ve been struggling.  I haven’t been enjoying my runs.  They’ve been painful, exhausting, and seemingly endless–and I haven’t really had any actual LONG runs!  I chalk it up to the fact that it’s cold, and I let myself get out of shape.

Tonight, I had my first enjoyable run.  The hill leading out from my house was a little rough, but the rest of the run was awesome.  I felt freer than I have felt on any training run this far.  I was a little nostalgic too.  I envisioned my marathon.  I thought about the people in my life who can’t run and never will again.  I chanted their names in rhythm with my footsteps, and it was encouraging.  I imagined those people mid-course holding signs that say things like “my daughter runs for me” or “run while you can” as they sit, incapacitated, in their wheelchairs. I even picture my twin brother standing with our parents with a sign that reads “my sister’s a friggin’ show off”…lol!

I’m happy to have finally had a good run.  I wish I had had time to do another mile or so.  I didn’t want to stop!  I may just be getting my groove back, and that’s a good thing because I’ve been questioning whether or not I could actually complete a marathon since I started training 3 weeks ago.  The seed had been planted; I was just waiting for it to germinate.  It may finally be pushing its fragile self to the surface after all.  :)

On a side note: my mom is still in the hospital. Nursing home, actually.  She is still working at being rehabilitated enough to go home.  I fear it may never happen.  She’s been in the hospital/rehab/now nursing home since Oct. 8.  She had a doctor’s appointment today and was informed that she will need to have stents put in her legs.  Her feet are not healing properly (diabetic/kidney failure=poor circulation=foot problems).  Hopefully, blood flow will be restored, and she will begin to heal.  Back in May, my dad had this problem, and it was never rectified.  He is now a double amputee.  Mom has a better shot, but we will have to wait and see.

run-for-those-who-cant

They are the reason I run.  I’ve said it before, and I will say it again (and again, and again, and again).  I weighed almost 300 pounds, and I was going to die.  Not soon, but sooner than I should.  And painfully.  Watching my vibrant parents become bedridden made me change my ways.  1. I didn’t want to end up like them. 2. I wanted them to know that I wouldn’t end up like them.  They are so proud of the way I have turned my life around.  Especially my mom.  She has confided several times that if she had known how things would end up, she would have taken better care of herself and that she’s so happy that I AM doing just that.

I love those goofy people, and I wish I could have them around longer (and healthier), but it is what it is.  I’ll be spending as much of the holiday with them as I can.  Christmas break starts Friday at 12:30, but we are supposed to get some snow and ice tonight, so I may be off until January!

Keep running!  It’s so worth it! :)