Saturday, December 27, 2014

2014…and moving forward



2014 was an interesting year of highs and lows…..of good moments of clarity…a moments of utter sorrow.  I go back to this picture from Ironman Augusta 70.3 because it embodies the hope, vision and possibilities that the future can hold.  The emotion of crossing my 7th Half Ironman finish line was very real and very intense because it was a powerful accomplishment…but it still was not the accomplishment that I was looking for…and that was an Ironman finish.

I spent this year exploring options on making me a better athlete.  I explored the possibility of having additional plastic surgery to remove the excess skin in my legs but found I was not a good candidate for this surgery.  Late in the year, I had gel injections in my knees to help me keep going in endurance sports but have been told that I am at a crossroads where some things need to change.

Years of being at 300 + pounds took their toll on my body..but especially my joints and I knew the day would come where I would have to decide to continue to race and face a knee replacement…or get committed to more weight loss so that I can extend the life of my joints.  I pushed the envelope…I played the game…and now I find myself at that crossroads where a decision needs to be made.

It's hard to admit that you STILL have a problem with food.  It's even harder to admit that you continue to race to show the world that your problem with food does not affect your racing…but in reality..it does.  I have come a very long way.  I never ever take for granted the amazing accomplishments that have blessed my life.  No one would have EVER thought all those years ago that I would be able to do some of the things that I have done….but…

That one goal looms just out of reach…that Ironman brass ring waves in the breeze so high up that I just….can't…grab it. You can not fake your way through that sort of race.  You can't pretend that the fitness level exists.  It take so much out of the conditioned athlete…and it requires an athlete such as myself to take a long hard look at what will get me to the line…

And it means facing the demon of food addiction once again.

So this hard headed, frustrated plus size athlete made the decision to listen to her doctors (yes I got a second opinion..but he told me the same thing)…and withdrew from Ironman Maryland.  I wish you could see me right now…tears streaming down my face knowing that I had to walk away…again…from this life goal…but your body and your heart will tell you when it's time to take care of yourself.  Most of the time, I don't want to listen…but this time…I really must.  

Even with the difficulties in my knees, I will still attempt (with every intention of completing) the Dopey Challenge at Walt Disney World.  For those that do not know what the challenge consists of  it is a 5k, 10k, half marathon and full marathon in 4 days.  

I truly want to share the struggles of food and weight loss in my blog but if I go silent for awhile, I hope those that follow me will understand it is me…taking care of me.  I will still race shorter distance events (Sprint distance in Clermont Florida and St. Anthony's Triathlon in St. Petersburg Fl) but I am unsure of what will be beyond that.  My goal is 2015 is to finally get to the goal weight that has been as hard to attain as my Ironman dream.  My husband is a great role model.  He has spent the last 6 months losing 50 pounds…and my hope is that we can work as a team…train for short distance triathlon together and he can help me attain my goal. How blessed I am with a wonderful soulmate.

As always…Ill keep you posted. 

Happy New Year :)


Monday, December 1, 2014

Happy Re-Birthday

"Come on Melissa….is it REEEEEALLY that important.?" It's just a day…a day that was quite a few years ago…come on….don't make a big deal out of it…

But it is.

Today is my Re-Birthday.  Today is the day 16 years ago that I gathered all the courage I could muster and took a chance on something that "might" change my life…for better or for worse it would definitely change my life.

I swear to you, I remember it like it was yesterday.  I didn't sleep the night before.  Per my doctor's suggestion, I finalized a will and wrote letters to all the special people in my life: my parents, my brothers and, of course, my husband. I remember them giving me valium to relax and I had never had ANYTHING like that before…and I felt giggly…and I cracked jokes.

As I entered the operating room, the nurses were very quiet.  What I didn't realize was that a woman that had had the surgery the day before died overnight.  This was serious stuff…but here I was…loopy…and a little happy…and joking with my surgeon. My surgeon was a short guy…and I joked that they needed to make sure he had a step stool so he could see what he was doing…and..it broke the ice…the nurses laughed…and I counted back from 100…99…and then….

Well…I don't remember after that.

What I DO remember..is waking up in ICU. The last thing the doctor had told me the night before was "Melissa…if you lie in this bed…you'll die." You have to get up..you have to get moving." You gotta get up and walk…and you will live."

I woke up in ICU..and the nurses had to hold me down.  I was coming out of that bed because, I didn't want to die.  They were trying to keep me still so those 120 staples down the front of me would  heal. It's funny as I look back on all that pain…and those days in ICU..then in a normal hospital room…and then finally heading home….that with the help of my amazing husband, I never stopped moving…

And I'm still moving forward today...

So…my pace is like a turtle through peanut butter in winter..but it's forward progress…and Im still here…and I have kept 90% of my weight loss off for 16 years.  That is it's own "Personal Record"…even if I don't see many of those PR's on a marathon or triathlon course.

So… yeah…today is a big day for me.  It is the celebration of taking Dr. Samuel's words to heart "Move or you die Melissa"  Yes Doc…I'm moving more now than you would have ever thought possible of that 380lb woman.

Happy Re-Birthday to me.