Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dancing my way to health

My healthiness journey is like a dance.  Two steps forward, one step back, a step to the side, one forward, one step back, a step to the other side, and it goes on and on and on.  I stubble a little, darn it, I even fall down sometimes.  Regardless of this, I keep dancing.  Last night I realized that being Unstoppable Mariah doesn’t mean I don’t take step backwards, it means I don’t give up.

Food choices have been a battle for me the past few weeks and I’m ready to overcome this.  I am starting back with logging my food, I haven’t been doing it.  I’m frustrated with myself.  I know logging food works but I haven’t been doing it.  It’s hard without being able to work out because working out was such an incentive for eating better.  I didn’t want to eat bad because I saw how hard I had to work to burn those calories.  One would think because I’m not burning those calories, it would make even more sense to eat better, but I have been bucking it.

Last night, I quietly reflected by I’m not doing the things I know work.  Why am I resistant to doing it?  I’m scared.   I love love love blogging, but it’s hard too.  It’s hard to be open and honest for the world to see me so vulnerable.  It’s part of what I need to do to make this work for me and it holds me accountable, but it’s scary.  I’m scared to fail, I’m scared to succeed.  Sounds a tad bite crazy, but it’s so true.  When you know better, you have an obligation to do better.  I know better, I’m capable of it.  I need to get over being scared and realize that I’m always going to be scared and it’s a good thing to have those fears.  It keeps you on your toes and pushes you to grow.  I will learn to embrace and overcome my fears because that’s what being Unstoppable is all about.

Unstoppable “getting my dance on” Mariah

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I’m part fish

Hello everyone, I had a great few days off with camping and relaxing.    On the drive there and back I had some wonderful quite time for reflection.  One of my current barriers is feeling like I’m not able to give 100% to anything.  Between working full time, home life, going to school, working out, and eating healthy, I just run out of time and steam.  I get frustrated because I never feel like I have enough time to give things the attention they need and deserve, it makes me feel like a failure.  I realized this weekend that it’s unrealistic to think I can do all of those things perfect all at the same time.  Regardless how hard I try or work at it, there are still only 24 hours a day, if I try to squeeze 36 hours of stuff into them, I’m bound to feel like a failure.  So I need to start prioritizing and finding more balance.

I went to a really neat presentation a few weeks back and feel like there are some fundamental ideas I can apply to this situation.   I hope to sit down with Paul in the next week and define our family values and then look at the things we are doing in life and if they fit into those values.  I also plan to prioritize things going on in my life to better balance them.  Right now, they big question going on for me is how many classes to take this fall.  I’m feeling burnt out of school, I don’t want to take the semester off, but am thinking about just taking one class allowing me more time for family, working out etc.  Education is still part of my values, however, so is family, health etc.  I look forward to finding the right balance for my family and look forward to discovery what Paul and I find together for answers.

I have some great news as well, I got back into the water yesterday.  It’s the first real exercise I’ve had since I injured my foot.  It was WONDERFUL.  It took me a little bit to figure out what strokes and kicks worked best for my foot.   The side stroke is out because of the kick used hurts my foot much, this allows me to focus on my front and back crawl.  I totally rocked it, I swam about ½ mile and enjoyed it more than I ever had before.  I’ve missed working out, I forgot the calmness it bring me.  For some reason, the front crawl suddenly became second nature to me.  I kept saying go slow to go fast, I was so rhythmic it was almost hypnotic.  I think I figured out that I’m part fish.  I remember when I started swimming I could barely swim one length of the pool, what a different place I am today.  My goal is to get 3 more swims in before the YWCA Tri on Aug 14th.  Tonight or tomorrow I’m going to get back on my bike as well to see how that goes.  I’m only going to go 3 miles, but we’ll see how my foot handles it.  One obstacle at a time J   I’m so glad I’ve got swimming down and am really looking forward to getting back into things even if I’m slow.  I used to dread working out, now I look forward to being able to and feel rewarded when I can.   In some ways, I’m glad for my injury, I have a different perspective now, and I like the view!

Unstoppable “fish fins” Mariah

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Do I hear voices?

As my bruising fades, I find the old Mariah with bad habits fade away as well.  I’m still having many limits on what I can do because of my foot, however  I’m not on crutches any more.  I get around better but still am not able to wear a dress shoe, I can get my tennis on but have to remove the laces.   Putting on my ankle brace is second nature and I think I might be able to do it in my sleep.  I'm not where I want to be, but I'm getting closer everyday.  I've been working hard on ankle rehab and can notice improvements.  No matter how small, celebrate each and every one and it makes me smile.

I had a moment yesterday that really moved me.   I was on my way to work and due to various reasons, didn’t have breakfast packed to eat when I got to work.  This means pick up breakfast on the way to work or get it from the café at work.  The conversation with myself went like this:

Bad Choice Mariah:  You know what would taste FANTASTIC, iced coffee and an Egg McMuffin from McDonald’s.

Good Choice Mariah:  A ham and light on the cheese, egg white omelet that Q makes me at the work café taste just as good.
Bad Choice Mariah:  But I deserve this, it’s been a hard week, I deserve coffee and drive thru, it will be easier on my foot.   It’s not so bad, I would taste so good, I know you love iced coffee, I can get skim.  It’s only one meal, you’ll do better tmrw.

Good Choice Mariah:  I deserve and am worthy of good food choices, remember it’s one choice at a time, make the right choice for the right reason, why wait to start getting back into healthy, do it now.

Bad Choice Mariah:  Good Bye McDonald’s, I LOVE YOU

Good Choice Mariah:  Hello Unstoppable Mariah, I’ve missed you.

I got to work and was surprisingly rewarded.  Heather and Kim walked in, normally they work in another building but they had a meeting at my location.  I was so darn excited to see them and it renewed my energy.  I think it was God’s way of showing me I’ll be rewarded for making good choices in ways other than weight loss.  If I had gone to McDonald’s I probably wouldn’t have run into them. 

I’m a bit nervous about camping this weekend and how I’ll manage with my brace and not getting it way dirty.  I know it’s important to wear it, but I also want to play in the dirt and have fun.  I don’t want to sit out on the sidelines.  When I look back at my life, I sadly remember how many times I sat on the sidelines.  Watched the fun happened because I was to “big” to participate.  I think about the fun I missed, I think about how much LIFE I missed out on.   I won’t sit on the sidelines anymore, rather I’ll figure out a way to minimize my limitations. 

Unstoppable “Good Choices” Mariah

Friday, July 15, 2011

Small steps forward

Who knew my next big milestone would be that I could get a shoe on my right foot?!  I find it so ironic that I used to HATE (really, hate) running and right now I crave it beyond words.  A week out from the fall and my foot is starting to resemble its former self.  There is still significant swelling in the area in certain areas, however I no longer have a huge bulging stump on the bottom of my leg.   Plus the area that it was dark purple bruising is fading away.

These signs help me feel hopeful.  My foot is still tender and weak, but it's better than it was 1 week ago.  When I went to Tria they said full recovery would be 6 months to a year out.  I think my new brace deserves a name since it will be spending such a long time with me.  

Now that I'm a week out, I'm starting to formulate my plans moving forward.  Next step is to hit rehab hard and to slowly start back swimming.  As swimming goes well, I'll increase my distance and slowly start biking.  As biking goes well, I'll increase my distance and start walking. There is little hope for jogging in the near future.  In fact, I may never be able to do much real running with my ongoing running issues.   That's what I love about Tri's, I don't have to rock running and I can still do great.

It's hard not to be scared of future setbacks and start panicking.  Then I remind myself, I'm different now, I approach things differently.  One day at a time, one choice at a time, I will get there.  Any aspect of this being a race to the finish has been removed completely and now it truly has become a slow and steady journey in which I can slow down to enjoy it.  It makes me think of me as a child, my Mom always told me I was one to stop and smell the roses.  Here is my chance to do that in my journey of health.
Unstoppable "Rose Smelling" Mariah

Thursday, July 14, 2011


I predicted it, I knew it was coming, I saw it from far away, gosh darn it  . . . . . . I’m up in weight since my injury.  My food choices haven’t been great, the minute I hurt my foot I felt back to 306lbs.  When I look in the mirror, I see the person I used to be and feel like I have little to no control to get back to the new Mariah.  The thing is, I do have the power, I have the power in my food choices.  I’m just having a hard time making the right ones.  I am an emotional eater and right now my emotions seem to rule me. 

I guess part of it is, that I don’t want to be in this place.  I don’t want to be hurt, I don’t want to have a setback, I don’t want to be here, I want to be back to where I was a week ago.  But the bottom line is, I’m here and I must deal with being here to move forward. 

If I can learn to control my food, deal with my emotions and move forward, it will be such a huge accomplishment.  It will be something that sticks with me forever.  It stinks that it’s hard, but I keep telling myself the victory will be that much sweeter.  My success will be that much greater.  I will prove to myself that I’m worth it.  I deserve a healthy, wonderful  and long life.  I find it ironic that I used to put up all these obstacles and I was complacent in allowing myself to do so, but then, when a real obstacle such as my foot gets in the way, I’m livid.  I’m angry, upset and depressed.  Hello Mariah, you do this all the time in other ways.  I will stop adding obstacles to my already challenging journey.  I will focus on what I can control, I will focus on what I can change, I will focus on being UNSTOPPABLE. 

Unstoppable "frustrated" Mariah

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Unexpected Opportunities

You guys are so wonderful with your comments and support.  It makes me feel so blessed and not alone in finding my path.  I can’t even begin to explain how much you all help me along my way.  Without this blog, I think I would have “stopped” and gave up a long time ago. 

While this weekend was extremely emotionally difficult, I did have a ton of fun.  I was really worried that being a “non-participate” would mean I would miss out of the magic of Trek.  It turns out I was 100% incorrect.  It was so magical and amazing and I had the opportunity to have a new and great view point of Trek.  My Tri family is filled with amazing women each unique and special in their own ways.   I loved having a chance to get to know them each better and learn more every time we get together. 

One of the highlights of the trip was to share my blogging card with Sally Edwards which prominently showed my name as “Unstoppable Mariah”, she was touched by how much the word she gave me helped me.  I felt so proud and happy that I continue to move forward in my journey and not give up.  Another highlight was seeing all of the members of my Tri family in the Triathlon.   Normally since I’m the last one in, I don’t get to see my fellow team members.  Sunday, I got to see everyone and cheer them on.  Since I couldn't physically participate in the race, I decided that my job was to cheer as hard as I could for all of the courageous women on the course.  I remembered how those angelic voices helped me last year and I was going to pay it forward.   At times, I got distracted which cheering for everyone that I would be pleasantly surprised to see a familiar face.  As quick as I could I would cheer out for them and snap some pictures.    Some of the sadness of not being a swimmer, biker and runner melted away when I would see someone move faster because I cheered them on.  I was inspired by the women of all shapes, sizes and age and their commitment to complete the Triathlon.  Instead of having tears of sadness running down my face, I felt tears of joy for the participants and how they would feel after finishing.

While I wasn’t able actually do the race this weekend, I’m still Unstoppable.  I REFUSE to give up.   This weekend wasn’t a loss or failure by any means.  This weekend gave me the opportunity to continue to find myself and define the person I want to be.  I don’t want to be a big sour puss that falls down and can’t get back up (imagine of “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” playing my head, hee he heeh he).  I want to be a strong amazing woman who falls down, shakes the dust off, learns from it and starts back up again.  I want to support my fellow peeps unconditionally and was shown such unconditional love and respect this weekend.   I quoted this on a previous blog, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain”.  Let it rain, cause I’m in the mood to dance!

Unstoppable "crutch dancing" Mariah

Monday, July 11, 2011

Black, Blue, and Purple are my new favorite colors

This is the hardest blog that I've ever had to blog.  Instead of accomplishing a step forward in my physical goals, I took a HUGE step or shall I say "fall" back.  Friday morning, I was doing a little dance in a driveway and pulled a good ol Mariah.  Suddenly my foot twisted and gave out, I felt my ankle roll and hit the side bone hit the pavement.  I immediately fell to the ground and rolled around writhing in pain.  It took everything I had not to scream horrible and naughty words.  I knew it was bad, but kept telling myself it couldn't be as bad as it felt.  That it just couldn't happened.  I was adamit that I was Unstoppable Mariah, nothing would stop me from participating in the Tri.

As we drove to Trek, I iced and elevated it, but it kept getting bigger and bigger and bruising started showing up.  Not a little bruising, but big ugly bruising.  I couldn't even get my shoe on, yet I was confident that I would participate in the event.  I woke up Saturday am and had a heart to heart talk with my sister that led me to calling the Nurse Careline.  They said based on my bruising and swelling, I should NOT do the Tri.  If I did participate in it, I not only would throw back my rehab time, but I could potentially cause permanent damage causing me to never be able to do any future Triathlons.

To say I was upset would be an understatement.  I had a hard time deciding as I felt if I didn't do the Tri, I would be letting everyone including myself down.  How could I let something stop Unstoppable Mariah.  Then I took a huge step back and really thought about it.  If I do this Tri, I'm putting myself at HUGE risk to completely stop my journey.  Doing one Tri, no matter how amazing it was, wasn't worth never being able to run again, to bike again, to have daily issues with walking.  I decided that instead of looking at this as a tragic and horrible thing, I need to focus on what I can learn from it.  How I can be a better person because of it, and how I can move forward.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the unexpected take aways from being a "non-participate" of the event.

Unstoppable "fat little colorful piggies" Mariah

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

5 more sleeps

This is just a quick post to let you know 5 more sleeps till Trek.  Race anxiety is setting in.  On lunch today, I printed out my time last year, it broke down as Swim= 27:11, T1= 4:50, Bike= 1:08:11, T2= 3:12 and Run 49:29 for a grand total time of 2:32:55. 

Last year, I survived the Tri, I started my journey, it was the start of the foundation of my new life.  This year, my goal is to THRIVE during the Tri, I enjoy it, to get a PB (personal best).  I'm confident I'll beat my time of last year, I would like to be under 2:15 with a stretch goal of under 2 hours.  I started breaking down my times, how fast I would have to swim, bike, run and trans times and I'm starting to freak out a little. 

I have to remember to step back and remind myself what I'm doing and why.  I love the friendships developed, I love the person I'm becoming, I love the way doing things like this makes my body feel.  When I'm in love with this, I do better, I need to focus on being the best Mariah I can be, the rest will come naturally.

I had a great weekend and I got together with a friend for a great talk, which I'll blog more about later.  Just wanted to touch base.  Hope you all had a wonderful and safe July 4th!

Unstoppable "day counting" Mariah