My journey to a healthier me

Tales of my life

I promise …

Dear Tyler,

I’m not gonna lie, I’m worried. This new change is scary. While I’m excited for you, and proud of you, I’m also sad because I’ll miss you. While I’m excited to see how this new system works, I’m scared of failing and disappointing you. I know there will be a period of adjustment, for both of us, as we figure it all out. With that said, I want to make you a few promises.

I promise to always do my best.

I promise to push myself as hard as I can.

I promise to eat as clean as I can and keep my food journal going.

I promise to talk to you when I’m having difficulties.

I promise to try not to be so hard on myself.

I promise to keep you up to date on my progress.

I promise to do my best to make you proud.

I promise not to give up.

I still have a long way to go on my journey, and I hope you will be there to see me through it. I think we make a good team. I’m anxious to see just how far we can go.

I wish you much success. I hope you have a great time. Know that you will be greatly missed. And I look forward to when you come home.

Always,
Jenn

P.S. My friend Liz wants me to write this letter to myself. Read it to myself and see how it changes how I see me.

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Goals completed

At the beginning of the year, I made a list of 4 goals that I wanted to accomplish this year. I know that 4 goals doesn’t sound like much, but I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself. To recap, the goals I set for the year were:

1) participate in and complete a 10k event
2) learn to jog/run
3) learn to use the elliptical
4) walk 50 laps at the Relay For Life event

The first goal I completed was #3 and I did it on January 1st! I admit I was a little scared of the elliptical. I tried using one at my old gym, but I couldn’t quite get it and it frustrated me. That was part of the reason I set it as a goal for this year. So when I stepped on it on January 1, I was determined to last as long as I could. That first day I lasted 11 minutes. The next day it was 17 minutes, then 20 minutes, 25 minutes. Each time I lasted a little longer than the time before, I felt like I could fly! Now I regularly do an hour. It’s a great workout. My time record on the elliptical is 90 minutes. I did it to prove that I could do it. It was pretty awesome.

The next goal I completed was #2, and I started that one on January 9th. I did a blog post about too. You can read that one here. I’m not super good at it, but I feel like each time I do it, I get a little better. Or at least I hope so. It really helps having proper running shoes. When I first began, I didn’t. But now that I have them, I’m feeling much better about my progress.

The next goal completed was #1, and that one I did on April 21st. It was one of the hardest things I had ever done! But I was very proud of myself for doing it. Originally I was thinking I might do two of them this year, but now, probably not. We will just have to see.

So in less than 4 months, I had completed 3 of the 4 goals. I was pretty excited about that! And pretty proud of myself. And feeling pretty damn good too.

I knew the final goal was going to be a little harder. But I also had 2 chances to complete it – in Arizona with Jeff and his family, and then here at home. In Arizona, I managed 46 laps. My feet were hurting so bad by the end. It was more laps than I had ever walked before. Although I didn’t hit my goal, I was still proud of myself. And I knew I’d have another chance at home.

So my last chance at goal #4 was this weekend at our Relay For Life. I had proper shoes this time too. So I walked and walked and walked some more. And when I didn’t think I could walk anymore, I would take a little break and then walk some more. And in the end I did it. I walked 50 laps. Last goal completed. What a rush!

So there you have it. Four goals set at the beginning of the year, and four goals completed in less than six months. And if that isn’t inspiration and motivation to keep myself going, I’m not sure what is.

Now what should I do with the rest of the year?! 😉

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Relay For Life 2013

This past Friday night was our annual Relay for Life walk for the Canadian Cancer Society. I look forward to this every year. My husband and I began doing the Relay about 10 years ago, when a friend asked us to join their team. We started walking in memory of his dad who died of liver cancer and my stepdad who died of lung cancer. After my own diagnosis, I began walking for myself as well. And I know several people who are survivors as well so I walk in honour of them too.

I have always been on a friends team, but not this year. This year I created my own team. I wasn’t sure what to expect as team captain, but I was excited as well. I got a little bit of a late start this year because I was getting things ready to do the Relay in Chandler with my friend Jeff and his family. I got my fundraising going and asked everyone I knew to be on my team. I did well with my fundraising this year. I’m very happy about that. A few people said they might join my team or come out for part of the night. It was short notice so I knew I might not get very many.

At the beginning of the year, I set a goal of 50 laps at the Relay. In Arizona, I got 46, which is the most I’d ever done. I really wanted to hit my goal this year. But even if I didn’t, I wasn’t going to be upset about it because I’d already accomplished a lot this year. With my new shoes, I was pretty sure I could do it. I like to call them my magic shoes because I feel like I can do so much more since I got them LOL.

The day before the Relay, I started packing the things I would need or thought I’d need. I decided to take a screen tent instead of a regular tent since I had no plans to sleep. I set out a couple of chairs, my yoga mat, sunscreen, bug spray, a blanket, extra shirts, a jacket, umbrella (just in case), snacks, a book, and a few other little things. I packed everything except food and water, which I was saving until I was almost ready to leave.

The morning of the Relay, I slept in as late as I could, then got up and started getting ready. M friend Karen was going to pick me up in the afternoon and take me and all my stuff over. Tyler was coming along to help. Once we got there, Tyler helped me get the tent set up and some stuff organized. I picked a pretty good spot too. I hope I can get it next year too. Or at least one in the same area. After we got things set up, Tyler and I did a lap around the track and some stretches to warm myself up. He couldn’t stay because he had other plans, and I understood. I was happy he could help me get set up. I turned in the rest of my monies, signed in at the survivors tent, and waited for the fun to begin.

Opening ceremonies start and speeches given. Now it’s time for the survivors lap. It’s one of the best parts of the night. So many survivors and caregivers. So amazing to see. The track is lined with everyone else clapping and cheering for those walking. I always get teary-eyed. Shortly after, my friend Doug showed up. After he settled in, we hit the track together. About 9:30 or so, my friend Liz showed up. She had never been to a Relay before. She was very excited. I think she’s working a blog post of her own about it. Dan came down as well and brought me some more water and ice. I was almost dark, so we waited for the luminary ceremony to begin. Another one of my favourite parts of the night. This year, I did luminaries in memory of Warren (my stepdad) and David (Dan’s dad), and to honour two of the greatest people I know — Jeff’s dad Alan and Tyler’s mom Joe.

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If you’ve never been to a Relay event before, I would highly recommend you go. The luminary ceremony alone is worth going for. It’s so moving and so touching. Remembering those lost, honouring those still fighting, and celebrating those who’ve won.

After the ceremony, we hit the track again. Liz and I walked together, and Dan and Doug walked together. After a couple of laps, Dan headed back home. He needed to go to work the next day. Doug, Liz and I kept walking. Liz can only stay a few hours, but that’s okay. I’m glad she could make it, no matter how long she could stay. Doug can’t stay all night either, but I knew that too. My friend Sammy, who is on another team, stopped by a couple of times with her boyfriend. We chatted for a few and I shared snacks I’d brought.

Doug takes off to be with his girlfriend, so Liz and I continue on our own. We walk and talk and laugh and joke. She is so awesome. I love her. She’s one of the greatest people I know. She totally rocks. After awhile, Liz has to leave too. I wish she could stay, but I know she can’t. Hopefully next year she can stay for the whole thing. In the end, we walked about 5k together. Pretty awesome. So I walk her to her car, say goodnight and head back to the track. I have a lot more walking to do.

One of the neat things done at Relay are the lap beads. You purchase a cord and add a bead to it for each lap you do. I think it’s cool. And some people get really creative with how they put the beads on. My cord from last year has 35 beads on it and I did the, in sort of a rainbow. This year, I decided to stick its just one colour to make it easier. Each time I took a break from walking I would add the beads and recount them to see how I was doing. I was getting closer and closer to my goal.

About 5am there is free breakfast – pancakes and sausages. And it’s cooked by firefighters. Awesome.

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I sat and watched them cooking for a little bit before getting in line. I washed my breakfast down with some chocolate milk and then head back to the track. I’d been losing steam for a while, so I wasn’t walking as fast but I was still determined to walk as much as I can. It was starting to get light out so I know it’s getting close to the end. I was listening to music on my phone. The same music that helps me get through a tough cardio session at the gym.

At about 6:30am, I did it. I finished my 50th lap. Goal completed. As I sat down at my campsite, and took my string of beads off to place the last one on, I was smiling and a little teary-eyed. It was an emotional moment. I was so proud of myself for accomplishing my goal, but sad my friends weren’t there to see it happen.

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I decided not to walk anymore, mainly because I was incredibly tired and my feet were hurting a bit. Instead, I took down my tent, packed everything up, and waited for the Relay to be officially done. Then I sent a text to Dan to let him know he could pick me up any time. I slept for about 6 hours or so after getting home. I got up, showered, dressed, ate, and watched a bit of tv. I was still pretty tired, so I went to sleep. Next thing I know, Dan is home from work and its 9pm. I stayed up for a bit longer then went back to sleep again. I woke up about 10am and finally felt like I had gotten enough sleep to make for the lack of sleep at Relay LOL.

Relay 2013 was really awesome, maybe the best one yet. I can hardly wait to get started on next year’s Relay. I’ll be on the committee next year, as well as a team captain. I’m very excited about that. I already have a few ideas churning in my head.

Thank you to everyone who supported me, sponsored me, and helped me prepare. Thank you to Tyler for helping me get set up that day. Thank you to Karen for the ride there. And a special thank you to Doug and Liz for spending part of the night with me. Everyone of you helped me reach my goal. You all rock my socks!

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Skinny Bitch is back!

And that’s a good thing!

In case you hadn’t figured it out, I’m “skinny bitch” LOL. It’s a nickname Tyler gave me. And I love it! I was on the elliptical one day and he was on one of the treadmills behind me with another client. He turned to his client, motioned towards me, and said “look at that skinny bitch up there!” When he told me about it afterwards, I thought it was funny and I’ve totally embraced the name!

Having said that, though, I haven’t felt much like “skinny bitch” lately. The slump I was in really had me out of sorts. I didn’t have control of my food. And I didn’t feel like my workouts were as good as they could have been.

But I think I’ve come out of that slump now. I feel like my last few workouts have been really good. I’m feeling lighter mentally. And although I’m not sure I have complete control of food again, it’s definitely a helluva lot better than it was. I even noticed today that I had a little swagger in my step LOL.

It’s feel great to be out of the place I was in. I don’t like when I’m there. I’m getting better at getting myself out. Or at least I like to think I am. I think the farther along I go in this journey, and the more challenges I face, the easier it is to get myself out of a slump. In theory anyway LOL.

A journey like mine is not easy. It’s fucking hard! There are days when part of me just wants to give up. But on those days, I try to remember why I started this in the first place. I think about all the things I’ve accomplished. And I keep fighting. I keep moving. Sometimes it’s still hard and I still feel like giving up, but I don’t. When I’m in a slump, it’s even harder, the negative voices in my head are louder. And I have to use just about everything I’ve got to keep going.

But I keep going. And that’s the point. I keep going. I might stumble occasionally. I might have to climb a wall or go through an obstacle course. But I keep going. This skinny bitch keeps going. Because I have goals to meet. I have things to accomplish. I have a better life to live.

Watch out world because Skinny Bitch is back!

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#100

Welcome to my 100th blog post!!

And today just happens to be the 2nd anniversary of my blog.

Okay, I admit it … It’s not a coincidence. I actually planned to post this today.

It’s hard to believe sometimes that I’ve been writing this blog for 2 years. So much has happened, so much has changed. I will be the first to say the first few posts I did were kind of rough. But honestly, when I started this blog, it was more for myself than others. I didn’t really think of it as something anyone else would be interested in reading. Then I got a few followers and people I know started asking about it. It’s grown quite a bit just in the last year alone! I still write mainly for myself. It’s therapeutic to me. But I also try to write things others might find interesting or can relate to.

I’ve also been reading a lot more blogs too. Sometimes I just browse through blogs looking for something to catch my eye, and I’ve found some pretty interesting ones. One of my favourites is Her Happy Balance. It’s written by a lady named Leslee. She’s pretty funny and very insightful. I always look forward to reading her stuff. She inspires me to make my blog better.

I’m always open to new ideas and suggestions, so if you think of anything that could make my blog better, please let me know. I’m also always looking for new topics.

Things appear to be getting better in the motivation department. Or at least I hope so. I’m still not feeling completely back to normal, but feeling better than I have in a while. Some changes are going on right now, and that will affect things, but hopefully I will back and better than ever very soon.

I had not planned on going to the gym today. I was going to be slug at home and do laundry and read. But a text this morning got me up and to the gym. My challenge for today – 10k on the treadmill in 2:05:00 or less. WOW!! Tall order! To be honest, I didn’t think I could do it. But I was going to try as hard as I could. When I did my 10k event, I completed it in 2:18:19 (I think that was official time). Now there is a big difference between walking outside and walking on a treadmill, but I was still determined to do my best. I didn’t want anyone to be disappointed in me. So off I went. I sweated A LOT! I could feel a blister developing on the bottom of my left foot. But I kept going. I had to stop after 65 min to restart the treadmill. I paused briefly to adjust my shoe and drink some water. But other than that, I walked and walked and walked. I walked faster than I ever had before. I really pushed myself. In the end, I hit the 10k mark at 2:02:30. My best time ever. I’m pretty happy with that. I got a couple nice blisters to show for it too.

So today has been pretty good so far. My 100th blog post. The 2nd anniversary of my blog. And a kick-ass time on the treadmill. Yep, pretty good day.

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