Year 2 week 15

9th – 15th April 2017

Training for the half marathon in Rwanda is well under way. I am managing to get out at least 3 times a week and averaging at least 12 miles a week running. 

It has caused a problem. With all the extra running means I am ending up extra hungry which means I am eating extra food. 

One of the rules I am finding hard to keep is only eating my meals and not eating for 5 hours between my meals. 

Last year I spent half of the year hungry and I seemed to cope with it ok. Now the hunger seems to get to me a bit more. I don’t know if it’s because I have lost my motivation or because the extra exercise is making me hungry. 

The good thing is that I have noticed it and I can now start reeling it back in.

I am finding the training pretty tough. I am not a runner and I have not, in recent years, ran 12 metres a week let alone 12 miles. I have still got a long way to go and a lot more miles to put in before I go to Rwanda in less than a months time. 

I have never trained for anything in my life before. I am starting to wonder if I can do it at all. I think it is going to be the hardest thing I have ever done. The more I train the tireder I am getting and the more I am doubting my ability. 

One thing that keeps me going is knowing I am going to be helping children out of poverty – it makes every step worth the effort.

Year 2 week 14

2nd – 8th April 2017

Over the last few Saturdays I have been on a course at church called The Healing Rooms.  It’s based on a book called ‘The Essential Guild to Healing’ by Randy Clarke and Bill Johnson. 

I went because of the healing that God has done in me over the past year and I thought it would be great to know how to help others with emotional healing. 

One thing that was talked about was the power of a testimony.  We got together in small groups and we shared our testimonies.  I shared about my journey over the last 15 months and told them where I was heading and then I thanked God for the change. 

I said I had gone from a person who was out of puff walking up the stairs to a person who’s about to run a half marathon. I also told them my concern over my knees. 

Before I lost the weight I limped for 5 years and I was concerned that with all the running it would come back. I had been having a few twinges but nothing major. 

They decided to pray for my knees and I have to admit that I did feel them tingle at the time. I wouldn’t know if they were healed or not until I started running. 

Training this week has not really gone to plan.  I arranged to meet a few people to go running with but each one cancelled. I am not a person who likes running on my own. I wouldn’t even think of going on my own. However I did!!!

The first time I went I wanted to do 5 miles. As I was running I realised that I had no pain at all in my knees. It was the first time ever I actually enjoyed it. 

It was a good job I was on my own because I had my music playing and with the new found freedom in my knees it was like I danced every step rather than ran it. 

I think I must have looked funny and I definitely wouldn’t have looked as elegant as my drawing.  I was happy I was on my own in the end because if one of my kids saw me it would have been filmed and put on YouTube and probably had at least a million views by now with people in hysterics!

After the 5 miles I could have done more and I realised that I did it so much quicker too. So the healing has also helped me go faster. 

Even though my training this week was mainly on my own, it did nothing but improve and it has left me looking forward to the next time I run. That’s a new one even for me. 

So I went on the course to help others but it was me who improved instead.

Year 2 week 13

26th March – 1st April 2017

This week has been quite a tough week. Training for a half marathon is hard – a lot harder than I thought it would be. 

Last week I ran my first 10k. I was really happy with my achievement to run 10k with only 2 weeks training since my operation. It made me feel that a half marathon is achievable. 

This week though things have gone totally in the other direction. I feel like I am making 1 step forward and 2 steps back. 

I have managed to do some training. One day I went with Matt and Jake (my youngest son).  Going with Matt is usually really good and helpful but on this occasion it was slightly demoralising. Jake is a very fast runner, he is always winning his cross country races at school and Matt started physically running circles around me. 

Then the running circles turned into skipping circles and laughing as he did it. He was trying to get me to enjoy the experience and have fun. 

I did laugh along with him but for me seeing him and Jake with so much energy while I was totally exhausted I don’t think really helped. 

My pace is just not challenging enough for him. It made me feel like I was putting in so much effort but physically going nowhere. 

However when I got back home and collapsed on the sofa I realised that I did it a minute quicker than normal. So I think Matt running circles around me worked. 

It hasn’t stopped me feeling extra tired this week. One thing that keeps me going is knowing that I am doing it for a worthy cause. 

Every time I run I think of the fact that I will potentially be helping some children that need it. It is exciting to think I will be actually meeting the children I will be helping. I will be seeing the good work Compassion does and see where that money I have raised goes to. It makes every step, however hard, worth it. 

If you feel you can help me on my challenge and help those children get out of poverty then click the link.

Year 2 week 12

19th – 25th march 2017

I have always been a person who loves colour.  When I left school I became a hair dresser and colour plays a big part in that profession.  One of the first things you learn is how to understand the colour wheel and I have enjoyed experimenting with it ever since. 

When I am making a quilt I mix all sorts of colours together.  When I paint I love mixing colours together to see what I get. I have a rule when painting of never using black.  If I want a dark colour like black I will always mix a few colours together to make it more interesting to look at because, in my view, black is boring. 

However, when it comes to the clothes I wear I tend to default to black. I have this theory that it makes you look thinner it’s also easy to mix colours with because everything goes with it. 

Before I lost the weight I always wore black.  I don’t think I had anything in another colour. When the weight started to come off and I was buying new clothes I started adding colours that I could wear with my black. 

One thing I have struggled with since losing the weight is knowing what suits me now. Because my body shape has changed so much I can’t seem to wear the same style of clothes that I did before. 

I have a friend who is a lifestyle consultant. She assesses what suits you, helps you with colours and goes through your wardrobe to see if they are any good. So I asked for her help. 

One thing she did was get a colour lady in.  I have always wanted my colours done. It basically starts by putting lots of coloured scarfs around my neck. 

She then looks at the colour and how it reflects on my face. As she was explaining it I started to look at my face rather than the colour it’s self and I could see that some colours were brightening my face and others were making me look more washed out. 

I found it very fascinating and I feel I learnt a lot. One colour that I am not supposed to wear is black. There was me thinking that black is a good colour and it goes with everything and apparently it’s not slimming if it’s not your colour. 

We then got to my wardrobe and we went through my clothes I must have had hundreds of items that were black! I sat there watching them getting thrown in the bin. I did keep my favourite black items though. 

It sounds harsh but in some ways it was quite liberating. I didn’t seem to care that I had a lifetime of bad habits been thrown in the bin. 

My friend then sorted out the clothes I had left in colour order and then put them back in my wardrobe. I now have one wardrobe that has only my black clothes. 

Now when I look in my wardrobe I can’t seem to go to the black cupboard. It’s like a part of my past that has gone but it means that I have a brighter more colourful future. 

One thing I have noticed is that I am taking a lot more pride in my appearance. If I was only going to the shop I would normally grab the first thing I could find and put it on. Now though I find I am taking more time and asking Matt what he thinks before I go to the shop. 

I am quite enjoying my colourful wardrobe. I am also enjoying experimenting with colours for myself for a change rather than putting it just in my paintings. I have now become the canvas!

If you want to know more about this then the lifestyle consultant I used was Emiko Ray – I highly recommend her!  Find her on twitter – @EmikoCRay

Year 2 week 11

12th – 18th March 2017

I have always been a person who isn’t afraid of failing. To me failing is something to learn from, a way to improve. Failing is giving up. 

Thomas Edison made the lightbulb. For him to get to the lightbulb that actually worked he had hundreds of failed attempts. His response to those failed attempts were I now know hundreds of ways of how not to do it. The thing is he persevered and eventually succeeded. He never gave up. 

Sometimes when I draw a picture it can take me a good few attempts to get it right. I have, on quite a few occasions, been known to throw away my first attempts and try again. What I have learnt from it is that I now know a few ways of how not to do it. So I keep trying until I get it right. 

Because I am not afraid to fail it means I am not afraid to take on a challenge. One thing I have been aiming for since the middle of last year is the biggest challenge of my life. 

Last year when the weight was coming off and I could do a lot more activities I wanted to do a challenge that I would never have even attempted before I lost the weight and yesterday I signed up. 

Basically I have signed up to run a half marathon in Rwanda. It’s to raise money for a charity called Compassion. 

Compassion helps children around the world. You can sponsor a child for £25 a month and that money gives that child an opportunity to get an education which leads to a good job enabling them to be able to support their family. 

I am running to raise £10,000 to give 10 children the opportunity of a better future. 

Before I started this journey I was so wrapped up in my own little world that I didn’t think about the needs of others. Now though I feel I can and it’s helping me stay motivated on my own goals at the same time. 

However, this challenge is the first time I have ever got a fear of failing. I think it’s because there is so much at stake and the fact that I only have one shot at it. If I fail it’s not like I can try again. I would have just failed and I would feel I have let so many people down. 

I told Matt my fears and he said “at least you are failing up”.  I thought about that and I realised he was right. To fail is to not even try and I know I am doing that. 

I have however had a few setbacks. Before Christmas I could run 5 miles but I needed to have an operation because I knew I couldn’t run with all that saggy skin. So that was 6 weeks out. I then got vertigo which didn’t help and then I could finally start running again and I got the biggest blister on my toe which made my whole foot blow up like a balloon. 

This week though I managed to start my training back up again. I have ran 20 miles this week in total and now I am exhausted. I know this challenge will be hard, I know it is probably going to be the hardest thing I have ever done. I am not even sure if I will finish it but I am going to try my best and if I fail at least I will know I have done my best. 

The run is in 8 weeks time so I have a lot of training to do and money to raise in a short space of time. If you would like to sponsor me, tap on the link.

Year 2 week 10

5th-11th march 2017

It has been 6 weeks since my operation. I have found I have recovered really well. 

The whole recovery process has gone really quick. It has had its painful moments but mainly it has been just uncomfortable. 

When I first left the hospital and the doctors told me I needed to wear the compression outfit for six weeks at the time I could have cried. The compression suit is the tightest thing I have ever worn. It was also very uncomfortable and you could hardly move in it. It would also rub and cause a rash in some areas. Six weeks seemed so far away. 

There was a time when I got used to wearing it. I was also told that some people are very reluctant to say goodbye to it at the end. I however wasn’t one of those people. 

Now that the six weeks are up I have to say I am very relieved. I couldn’t wait to get it and throw it in the bin. 

There is something really nice about the fact that I never have to wear it again. 

Even though it wasn’t the nicest thing to wear I can see why I had to wear it. It was to keep the swelling down and reduce the ability for my skin going back as it was again. 

I am really happy with the transformation over the last 6 weeks. My saggy skin has gone and I look and feel so much better. 

I still have some swelling on my arm and back but it will soon improve. 

One thing that I will have from now on is a scar on both arms from elbow to arm pit. Scars are usually classed as a negative thing. Something people don’t like. 

I however like mine because it shows where I have come from to get them. It’s a reminder of how much I have changed. I call them my freedom scars because for me to get them I have become free from all the emotional issues I have lived with for years and a reminder that I am never going back. 

Years 2 week 9

26th February- 4th March

For the first time since my operation I am starting to feel normal again. This week I have gone about my routine very easily. 

I have been able to do my walking again. I thought I would not handle it too well because I haven’t done it in a while but I was fine. I went at a little slower pace because I didn’t want to aggravate my arms. 

I haven’t started my running yet but I do think I can soon. 

I am really happy about getting back to normal but, if I think about it, what is normal?  I have always wanted to be a person who is the same as everyone else – someone who doesn’t stand out from the crowd a person who blends in. 

I have very often heard people being classed as peas in a pod. My sister and I are very often referred to in that way. My kids are like peas in a pod too. It’s not that they look like each other – it’s how they act, their mannerisms, the way they talk. 

I suppose, as humans,  we are all like peas  in a pod but we can all be different too and we all reflect our own unique personality. 

Before I started this journey my normal was totally different to the normal I know now.  Actually, if I think back, the normal I was living before was not really normal at all. 

Spending most of your life living with low self esteem, emotional issues, not valuing yourself, secretly eating and only focusing inwardly to me is not normal and is not really part of God’s plan, but that was my normal for many years. I am afraid to say that I discovered it is actually quite a common feeling too with others. 

My normal now though is so different and changing all the time. I suppose you could say it’s progressing and improving all the time. 

So even though I have always wanted to be a person who is normal, on reflection I am happy to be different. Perhaps we should celebrate our differences because they make life so much more interesting and varied. It would be boring if all our ‘normals’ were the same. 

Year 2 week 8

19th – 25th February 2017

Most times I have dieted I have done quite well and lost lots of weight. This time is no different. 

However there has always been one problem and that is I have always put the weight back on again. 

When you are losing weight and you see the scales go down every week it’s quite exciting and it really spurs you on to do well the following week. 

But there has always come a time in a diet when I stop losing weight. For some reason the scales just don’t go down. That is the stage I am at now. Since October of last year I haven’t really lost much weight. 

This is where in the previous diets I have put the weight back on again. I have always got so frustrated, annoyed and I have even gone through a season of depression in the past.

Now that I am at the same stage again I feel that I could do the same again. I have to admit that I am frustrated and slightly annoyed that the scales are no longer going down. But there is a difference – one thing Jenny has taught me is to ignore the scales and just be consistent. 

I have been really good at ignoring the scales – it’s the consistency I am having a problem with. 

Consistency is hard and it can be very boring too. As I said, when the scales go down it can be really exciting and keep you motivated, but when it doesn’t it gets really boring. 

Jenny tells me that consistency is the key. However what does that key unlock. I would love it to unlock a book that tells me the easiest way to carry on. 

Unfortunately that is not going to happen (I can dream though).  I am finding being consistent the hardest challenge I have faced so far.

I think I am feeling like this because I have not long had my operation and I am not fully active again yet. I am longing to start exercising again which is an unusual thing for me to say because I have usually been happy to be a couch potato. 

It shows how much I have changed on this journey and I am going to try my hardest to continue!

Year 2 week 7

12th – 18th February 2017

This week, for some reason, since the op I have felt a lot more uncomfortable.  I haven’t been in pain as such – it’s more just sore and every now and then I get a sharp pain up my arm.

The worst part though is that I have still been having to wear the compression suit. I am getting used to it a bit more. It does however make me look really funny. 

It gives me a funny shape. I think now I am looking a lot like a pear. 

It’s like I am slim on the top half and not so much at the bottom half. 

My youngest son said to me the other day “mum, you are looking really good, however your belly is now really swollen.” I did see the funny side of his comment – you can always rely on the kids to tell you the truth. 

The body suit is so tight. It covers my arms and back and finishes just above the waist. I think it must be a bit like wearing a corset. In the days when corsets were worn they would wear a big full skirt to hide what comes below it. It doesn’t look quite so good with trousers on. 

For the last 3 weeks I have been wearing the suit for 24 hours a day. As of Friday I only need to wear it 12 hours a day. 

When Friday came I couldn’t wait to take it off. For at least 12 hours a day I can now feel normal. It’s the 12 hours I have to wear it I don’t like. At least I can be asleep for at least 8 hours of it. 

Even though I am a funny shape I am really happy with the results. Things are so much better. I don’t have any saggy skin on my arms and my back. I am improving everyday. 

I still have quite a lot of swelling though and I have a long way to go until I am fully healed but I think it will all be worth it in the end. 

Year 2 week 6

4th – 11th February 2017

I find in life that you can live a lot of contradictions. For instance I find myself a lot having to shout at the kids to be quiet. 

I have to shout sometimes though just to be heard. 

I have also found that much of what I have learnt about nutrition is a contradiction to what is normally taught.  Like having butter and oil instead of low fat alternatives. 

Apparently fat burns fat, so by using the proper butter and oil in its natural state is so much better for you than low fat products because of all the preservatives used in them. 

Since my operation I find I am living another contradiction. I spent all of last year losing weight, doing lots of exercise and generally getting physically stronger in myself. The operation was to get rid of the excess skin that was left behind. 

However I find that since the operation I have needed to rest. I have not been on any walks, I have not been for a run, I have done no exercise at all. I am finding that against my will I am getting lazy because I can’t really do much. I can’t even pick up anything heavier than a cup of tea. 

I am finding it fairly frustrating. Going from being very active to not active at all is taking its toll. 

I have not changed my eating habits but I feel like I am putting on weight. I can’t tell at the minute because the swelling I have got since the operation doesn’t give me a true reading of my weight. It is just my own opinion. 

I did talk to Jenny about it and she has told me not to worry. She also reminded me of when I first went on the detox and that I couldn’t exercise for a few months and I still lost weight. She said it’s like that for me again now. 

It doesn’t stop me worrying that I am putting on weight even though I am trying my hardest to lose it. 

Living a contradiction isn’t always the easiest thing to do but I have no choice and it will have to end at some point.