Saturday, February 27, 2010


Just got done with a 17 mile bike ride. Yes even with a recovering knee and a Chest Wall Contusion. I did it and I feel great!! Funny thing is I woke up this morning not feeling very well. I overslept and was unhappy with myself about that. I am behind in my Bible reading, laundry is piling up, the house is a mess and I've got bills to pay. Geez another Saturday and I'm faced with work. I almost did not go on the bike ride as I thought it better to get my house work done. I am so glad that I did not forsake my ride. It was so much fun! The weather was perfect. We started off and very quickly I realized that my hiney smarted a little from last weeks ride, but I kept going and soon I got into the rhythm of the ride. Today I was going to face my giant. Hills....I am so mentally afraid of them it's ridiculous!

Years ago, we took a bike ride and we came across a very long hill. I tried with all my might, but could not make it. I literally fell off of the bike, laid in the middle of the road while it was snowing. My husband calmly asked if I was going to get up and I said, "nope, call me a cab ~ I'm not moving". Well needless to say, I did move, but the sad thing was the bike ride was over. I could not overcome the hills.

Today I faced them square on. I was not going to be deterred. My wonderful husband was behind me coaching me on what gear I should use, this time I LISTENED, and before you know it, I was on top of the hill. Then the most amazing and exhilarating thing happened ~ I got my REWARD! Going down the hill at 26 miles per hour!!! IT WAS AWESOME!!!

The song in my head at the time is from the Biggest Loser show called "Proud". I kept hearing: "We need to change, do it today, I can feel my spirit rising, we need to change, do it today, 'Cause I can see a clear horizon...What have you done today to make you feel proud?"

I can say I feel proud that I overcame my fears and made it to the top!!

As Jillian Michael says "Screw surviving — it's time to thrive! "

What are you willing to do today to make you feel proud?


Friday, February 26, 2010

Outrageous Dream

I have an outrageous dream boiling in my heart. For years, every time I see a row boat on the Willamette River I want to cry. Last spring (2009) I noticed a picture in our office that has a row boat on it that says "Teamwork". Every time I walk by that picture I feel a stirring in my heart. It looks so peaceful, frantic and fun. I began to wonder if I should look in to this sport and maybe give rowing a try.

To get started I thought it would be a good idea to share my dream with someone. I ran it by my husband and he said to go for it! I started putting rowing pictures up in my office, on my computer desk top at work and at home. (I have a picture from the Station L website, on my home computer, of 4 women in a boat (in blue uniforms) - Ladies you have no idea how inspirational you are to me. You're smiling faces have brought me through some very dark times - thanks and many Blessings to you!!) While having lunch with my prayer partner, I shared my dream with her. I was beside myself with excitement. Before our lunch was over, she asked if she could pray for me and my new dream. While she was praying for me, I felt the Lord tell me that this was a "turning point day" for me. Just as soon as I heard this, my prayer partner says, "Lord, please let this be a turning point day". I about fell off of my chair. I left my friend that day feeling so excited and hopeful that I might be able to make this dream happen.

That night I was really tired, but decided that "rowers" push through all obstacles and I went to my water aerobics class. After the class my face felt funny and I thought I had a stroke. (Some turning point huh?) Immediately I was rushed to the hospital for the first of many months of tests & doctors. I have to tell you that this dream of rowing saved my life! During that time I was not able to drive or work for a few weeks, I spent many hours thinking of being on the water rowing. I could see myself in the boat with my row team, I could feel what it's like to take the oars in my hands and to push my body hard to reach the goal. Every test I endured, I thought of rowing. When I was in the MRI machine, with the loud noise it makes, I would time the noise was my rowing strokes. Sometimes the machine went fast and I rowed fast in my mind, sometimes it was slow. It all helped me make it through.

After 5 months of doctors and tests I was starting to get my life back. I eventually was diagnosed with Hemi Facial Spasms, which is a lot better than a stroke!! I started feeling better and getting my energy back. My mind went back to getting in shape to row.

The next thing I had to over come was fear. Would I even be able to fit in a boat (I was 274 pounds), what do I wear, will there be people my age, what if I have a facial spasm, what if, what if, what if.... My first goal was to make a call to the boat house and get my questions answered. Do you know that I fretted for about 2 weeks to get this done. Geez!! Finally I made the call and got my questions answered. By the time I got around to calling, it was fall and things were winding down at the boat house. They did not have any classes on the water, but they did offer land rowing classes that I could take to get ready for the next season. So each week, I told myself that I would get down there to row, but nothing happened. Time went on, then it was Thanksgiving, a new grand baby was born, then it was #1 grand baby's birthday, then it was Christmas and then it was January 2010....So about 3 weeks ago I decided enough was enough and I was going to the boathouse on a Wednesday. Unfortunately the Sunday before it was time to go I hurt my knee (from exercise over use) and could not go. Frustrating!!!

This time I was not going to let an injury get in my way. I did everything the doctor said to do and when I shared with my physical therapist my plans to row he advised that because of the damage to my knee, I would never be able row. Talk about crushing news. Even before I was able to try to row, I was told I could not do it. When he left the room, I started to cry and I asked the Lord why he would allow this to happen and I heard him say, "Nothing is impossible with me". From that moment on I was determined to keep going forward and try!!

So things were looking up and my knee was getting better. I knew that I could not row just yet, but I read on the team website that they were having a work day at the boathouse the next Saturday. I was so excited, I thought I would at least get there, meet some people and help where I can. The Tuesday before the work day I got the Chest Wall Contusion (from exercise over use) so I could not go. What in the world?

So I've been given a dream that seems monumental, unreachable and unachievable. But I am not discouraged! Each day I do a little bit more, push a little bit harder, want it a lot more and I'm doing all I can to get there. I don't think I was given this desire and passion for no reason. I believe, with the Lord's help, I can achieve this dream and so much more!

What about you? What dream have you been given? What are you doing to achieve your dream?


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Destined to Fail?

Have you ever started a diet and exercise plan and failed? I have and I am really good at it. I've started many programs in the last 20 years. Each time I would experience 2 to 3 weeks of success only to crash and burn, and then my most excellent plan dies in flames. Then whatever weight loss I would have achieved, would quickly be gained back and then some. Frustration, sadness and depression would set in and it would be months or even years before I would try again. I have dieted myself up to over 273 pounds. I guess if I've had success, it would be that I am really good at failing to achieve my weight loss dreams and goals and I am really good at gaining weight.

My earliest diet plan involved starvation and running. I did great for a while, got shin splints, got discouraged and quit. I slowly gained back the weight and hit the 200 pound mark. Then I tried a weight loss plan where you buy program food and do their program counseling. I did pretty well with that, lost 40 pounds, thought I had learned enough to keep it off, stopped the program and gained that weight back plus 26 more pounds. Then I did a "low carbohydrate" diet and started swimming. Lost 18 pounds, was doing great. Then I got a really bad case of swimmers ear. Quit everything, gained back the 18 pounds and then I slowly went up to 250 pounds. Next I tried a "no fat" diet and tried a variety of exercises, lost 10 pounds and got sick with Strider (a breathing problem). Got knocked off my plan again. I gained the 10 pounds back and when I started my next weight loss plan I was at 274 pounds (the magic number).

Last year I was totally determined. Not only was I dieting, I was exercising, journaling my food, getting my water in. I was determined ~ I was going to do it!! Then while I was at my water aerobics class I thought I had had a stroke. I went through 5 months of doctor visits and tests to find out that I have Hemi Facial Spasms (Random illness). I had lost about 10 pounds during this time. But then again, the weight crept back up to 274 pounds.

Finally January of 2010 came around. For the first time, I felt like the blinders had come off. I had clarity. I knew what I needed to do. I came up with a simple and clear eating plan (not a diet), found several exercises that I love to do (water aerobics, swimming, treadmill, and biking), continued journaling my food including calories, actually got in all my water, found an accountability partner, made a focus poster and started my plan. I was doing great until about 3 weeks ago. One day my knee hurt so bad, that I could not walk. After a trip to the ER I found that I had damaged my knee, due to exercise over use! UGH! This is exactly the kind of thing that would bump me off of my plan. However this time, I decided that I was not going to let it happen to me again. So I faithfully did everything my doctor told me to do - I rested, I iced, I went to my physical therapy, I did my exercises. I am going to persevere!!! This time things were a little different. I kept going and did the things I COULD DO until my injury was healed. I still journaled my food and calories, I drank water, I had a great attitude, I lifted weights...I lifted weights...I lifted weights. Four days ago I was sent to ER again, due to a pain in my chest. The doctors thought I had had a heart attack. NOPE.....I have a Chest Wall Contusion...due to exercise over use - LIFTING WEIGHTS!!! AUGH!!!

Am I discouraged, am I sad, am I depressed? NO!!. I AM DETERMINED!!!

The Blessings...I have learned so much. I am weak in my body, but I have learned I can strengthen it. Even with set backs I have learned that I can press on ~ I don't have to quit! Seems these recent set backs have made me more determined. I have a great family and friends and I have a ton of support and encouragement. I AM LOVED! I now believe that I am worth it and I have confidence that I WILL DO THIS!!

Next step: Personal Trainer? What do you think?