Year 3 Week 20

14th – 20th May 2018

It really isn’t long now until I go to Kenya. It’s hard to believe that a month from now it will all be over and I will be looking for something else to focus on.

For months now my main focus has been training for this half marathon. I know it will be the second time of doing it but the training is still important.

I think the fact that I know I have done it before makes me believe that I can do it again. Last year that was one of my biggest fears – not knowing if I could do it or not.

I have been training now for over 6 months and some months I have been training almost everyday. Since January I have set myself goals that have been going very well. Infact they have been going so much better than I expected.

That is until this month. For May I have set the goal to up my mileage every week and by the end of the month hopefully I would have reached 10 or 11 miles.

Last week I managed to reach 9 miles which I was extremely happy about. However afterwards I was ill. My neck was burning and swelling up I got incredibly tired and I put on 5lbs over night. I generally felt really rotten and my emotions were all over the place. So I booked an appointment with my doctor. He suspects that I might have a thyroid disease which he can only prove with further blood tests. He also said it’s brought on by stress.

Fortunately, this week I went to see Jenny and a month ago I had a DNA health test with her and this week my results had arrived. I told her my issues and she said the way I was feeling made sense. This stress the doctors said though is not mental stress – it’s physical stress.

She said that the Thyroid contains something called T3 and T4. One keeps you going helping you do the things you need to do and the other helps to heal repair and level out things afterwards. She said the one to repair is not working which is why I instantly put on weight and why my emotions are going haywire and why I am generally tired all the time.

She also said that what I have been doing is basically sticking a plaster on a stab wound.

I have had a thyroid issue for years and I have always kept up on test checking that all is ok. My main focus throughout my training though has all been about strengthening my legs and sorting out any little ailments I may have, which I feel I have done.

What Jenny said has totally made me think and I realised that has been exactly what I have been doing – I have been putting that plaster over a stab wound. I have been too busy trying to make sure my legs can get me across that finish line that I forgot to look deeper to see what the real problem was.

It isn’t all bad news though as there is something that can be done about it apparently. I have done another 9 miles since and I was a little better than before. So it means that I can still go to Kenya. But I am actually starting to doubt whether I can complete the challenge. Whatever happens, I will keep trying.

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Year 3 week 18

30th April – 6th May 2018

This week has been an incredibly busy week for me. As you know next month I will be running a half marathon in Kenya which in itself is a really big challenge for me. One of the main reasons for doing it though is to raise money for charity.

The charity is called Compassion and they help children in over 25 different countries. Their main aim is to release children from poverty and they do this through sponsorship. You can sponsor a child for £25 a month and that child then is given an education, which hopefully means they can get a good job which means they have hope for a better future.

This week I put on a charity event at my house to raise money for this cause. Over the past 18 months our house has gone through a major refurb and we have been frantically trying to get it finished. There was also a lot of work to do for the event as well.

I called the event ‘Mad Hatters Charity Quiz Night’. I sent out invitations months before and of course it contained one of my drawings on it.

The event was a huge success and lots of fun. It was fun hearing all the banter around the questions. I got to say a small speech about my journey which is something I am definitely not used to. I also had a guy come and talk about the work of the charity and then we ended the evening with an auction with some really great items including a original acrylic painting that I did myself.

It took me about a month to do, but to me it summed up why I was going. I called her Bedisa which is an African name. It is often given to girls so they could grow up with hope and destiny.

The event went really well and we raised nearly £3,000 and we got 11 children sponsored and an additional 9 the following day at church.

I was very overwhelmed by the support I got and how generous people can be for a worthy cause. But the best thing to me is how many lives have been changed and how many children do now have a hope and a destiny. It makes me want to run even faster!

Year 3 week 17

23rd – 29th April 2018

My post from last week has really helped me with my post for this week. Last week I told you how hard it is to stay motivated. A friend commented on it who I met when I was on my trip to Rwanda last year – he did the marathon while I did a half marathon. He simply reminded me of the reason I am doing it.

He said to remember the children, see their faces and see their joy. He also said that they need people like me to keep digging deep. All this week I have been reminded of the children and their smiley faces

Last year when training for the half marathon in Rwanda those children were my motivation. For some reason knowing that I was doing something good for someone else really drove me on. Knowing that in some small way I am helping children on the poverty line get a better future is why I did it.

About half way through the part I was struggling the most those children helped me along. They wanted to run with me holding my hand as we went. I counted I was holding the hands of about 10 children at one point. It was a very special moment for me. I don’t think I would have finished without them

Last year my run helped raise money for the children of Rwanda. This year its to help the children of Kenya. I know in the scheme of things what I am doing is relatively small as there is so much need in the world not just in Kenya but to me it’s huge. It’s a lot of effort and hard work but it’s totally worth it when you see those smiley faces.

My training this year has been really hard. I know now it’s because I lost my focus – I was too busy thinking about myself and how much hard work it is. I was forcing myself to train every week but I really couldn’t be bothered to do it. All of a sudden though, after I was told to remember the children, things changed. It was still tiring and hard work but all of a sudden I was starting to enjoy it (even in the rain). That can’t be bothered attitude disappeared and was replaced with a purpose and a reason to carry on.

If you feel you can help and donate to the children of Kenya push the link

https://challenges.compassionuk.org/profile/500/debbie-wattis

Year 3 week 16

16th – 22nd April 2016

Over the last 3 years I have been on quite a journey – one that I think is never going to end.

Lately I have been comparing each year of this journey. In year 1 I was so determined – I was losing weight at a rapid pace, I was eating healthier than I had ever done and I had to force myself to like food that I have never liked before. I got over so many emotional issues and I confessed them all to which I think helped me get over them.

Year 2 I felt I needed a goal to keep me focused so I signed up for the half marathon in Rwanda. I had amazing determination to do it. It was never something I ever imagined I could ever do and yet I did. I was over 5 stone lighter but still very overweight. I think the odds were really against me but I feel the only reason I did succeed was sheer determination. Since then I went down hill rapidly – it was like I achieved my goal and then nothing.

Year 3, this year, I feel I have been trying my hardest to get back to how I was before but for all my efforts it’s not working. Certain things have stayed improved like my emotions. Before going down this journey it was hard to say how I would feel on that day. My boys learnt what day they should avoid me and when they could approach me. Since improving my eating habits my mood and emotions have levelled out.

My ability, motivation and achievements skyrocketed on the run up to my half marathon last year and then gradually depleted afterwards. I feel, even though I have trained so much more and I am still training and trying hard for the half marathon in Kenya this year, I don’t feel I am any where near the standard I was. I feel I need my determination back.

This chart is just how I think things are – it’s not accurate but it is how I see this journey is going. Looking back at all this has actually been encouraging because it makes me think ‘if I can do it once I can do it again’ even if it’s hard work and a huge challenge.

Year 3 week 15

9th – 15th April 2018

This week has been a particularly hard week for me. The kids have been off school so all routine has gone and I am ashamed to say all motivation has gone with it.

I know I have needed to do some exercise but I haven’t really wanted to. I think this week I would have rather have sat around on the sofa than do any exercise at all.

If it wasn’t for this half marathon coming up in June I would have done that and just sat on the sofa all day pigging out.

I have had to really push myself this week. There was one part of me saying “come on get off your butt and do something” and the other part retaliating and not being happy about it.

One thing I have always told my kids is that sometimes in life you have to do things you don’t want to do. It makes the good things totally more rewarding. I think though this week I have been teaching myself that lesson.

I am glad though I did force myself because once I was out I actually enjoyed it and I felt I didn’t waste my week.

Year 3 week 14

2nd – 8th April 2018

We are now half way through the Easter holidays and the kids have all been off school this week.

It hasn’t felt like the school holidays because we have had no kids around all week. My youngest has been in Norway for a school skiing trip, the 2 above him went to Taunton on a mountain bike holiday and the eldest went to Tenerife for the week.

It was weird not having them around it felt like I was at a bit of a loose end. Then Matt surprised me.

One place I have always wanted to go to is Rome and Matt surprised me with a few days away in Rome.

I have always loved history and if there is any place that is steeped in history it’s Rome.

We got to see all the sights and hired a guard to show us around. They really knew their stuff.

I found the history of each building fascinating – everywhere we went there was always some amazing story to be told.

It made me think on my story and how I had got this far on my journey and how all the people around me had no idea of the things I have been through. It also meant that I didn’t know other people story either. I am sure that some people have been through a lot more gruelling, painful, amazing things than I have.

As I stood there hearing all this history being told it made me realise the power of a story – the things we have been through in our lives needs to be told and it might even make an impact on the person listening.

Going to Rome has also helped me along with this months challenge. I had decided to walk/run over 6 miles 4 times this month.

In Rome I walked over 8 miles one day and 12 the next which means I am half way through the challenge in my first week!

Year 3 week 13

26th March – 1st April 2018

This week I have struggled to complete this months challenge. It has meant that on some days I have had to double the amount of exercise just to catch up and complete my challenge.

I am at the moment doing an hours exercise at least every weekday and sometimes I extend it to the weekend too. I have never exercised so much in my life. This week though I have done about 2 hours almost everyday just so I can complete my challenge before the end of the month.

All this is for training for another half marathon I’m doing in June. Sometimes I wonder why I put myself through all this pain. If it wasn’t for the kids I am raising money for I think I would have quit long ago.

I have also really cut down on my food intake too. Upping the exercise and lowering my food intake has been one of the hardest things I have done so far.

You would think that this would mean that I would lose weight. I did lose a few pounds last week but nothing this week. I feel I am doing all this effort for no reward.

These challenges are something that I have set myself to do. No one is pressuring me to succeed. I am however pressuring myself to succeed and as the weeks go by that pressure gets stronger.

I saw a quote this week that says “a diamond is just a piece of charcoal that can handle pressure extremely well”

It got me googling how a diamond is formed. They come from deep under the ground, they start as carbon (like coal and charcoal) and they are a mineral of carbon in a concentrated form. They form because of the amount of pressure sitting on top compacting it tight.

After that deep sourced lava comes up through the earth pushing them to the surface heating them to incredible temperatures in the process.

Once the ground cools they just need to be dug up and shaped to the diamonds we all see today.

I have a few diamonds that are very special to me, not just because they look nice but because of what they represent and who bought them for me.

I have never once realised what it took to get that diamond on my finger or around my neck.

This whole process of how a diamond is formed is what makes it so strong and the reason why they can’t be broken.

This little lesson on diamonds has made me think that the pressure I am putting on myself is a good thing. Upping the heat on my training is making me stronger, hopefully it is shaping me into a much better person.

So I think I will continue on my current course and hopefully it will make me stronger

If you feel you could help support this cause go to:

https://challenges.compassionuk.org/profile/500/debbie-wattis

Year 3 week 12

19th – 25th March 2018

This month it has been a real struggle completing my challenges. 8 days away this month hasn’t really helped much. I feel it has meant I am behind on my goals

To run/walk 30 miles I am on schedule but with the swimming I am very behind and I have been trying to catch up ever since I got back from my travels. I also gave myself the added challenge to lose weight this month too. Up until now I have been failing miserably.

I have found that these challenges have been really good for me. I have risen to the challenge every month and I have not failed once. This month though I might be looking at just that – FAILURE!!! I feel the swimming I can catch up on but the losing weight, well that’s a different story

I still see Jenny my nutritionist and this week I told her that I was really struggling to lose anymore weight. I think it was nothing she didn’t already know. I also told her about this little voice I have got going round in my head telling me to eat the food I shouldn’t. I have been struggling with this little voice for a while and it wouldn’t go away until I had succumbed. I know this sounds really silly but I feel by the fact I shared it with Jenny it made that voice disappear.

She then went on to give me a new diet plan to follow which I was really happy about. I thought to myself great I will start tomorrow. Straight after I went to lunch and I thought if this diet is starting tomorrow I will eat today. I was sitting there in this cafe not even eating anything majorly bad but I was still eating something I shouldn’t and I found myself looking around and checking that Jenny wasn’t there to witness it.

I think the thought of Jenny witnessing what I was doing was far worse than the other voice I had just got rid of. So really you could say I have just replaced one voice for another.

The next day I started her diet. All I know from Jenny’s diets is that they are not easy – she likes to remove all carbs, bread, rice, pasta, potatoes and anything with sugar in. I thought with my motivation at the moment there was not a chance I would even get through the first day. I am now on day 4 and still going strong I even watched the kids eat pizza today at lunch while I had a homemade vegetable soup.

I think having Jenny’s voice going around in my head, having her as my conscience, on my shoulder is definitely a good thing and I am happy to say that the scales are going down too.

Year 3 week 11

12th – 18th March 2018

This week has been a really busy week for me. It has been a week of conferences. I don’t very often go to a conference so to have 2 in one week each going on for several days is really unusual.

It has meant that I have not done much exercise this week. However it has meant I have done an awful lot of walking. I think I must have walked 10 miles at least getting to the conferences and walking around the nearby towns.

One of the conferences has been in Manchester and the other was in Kuala Lumpur. Which also meant an awful lot of travel too.

The cold weather has been getting me down so I was really looking forward to changing my boots for my flip flops.

I really wasn’t looking forward to all that traveling though. One thing I was really hoping for, going to a warmer climate, was that my eating would improve.

I have to say there was a noticeable difference. I think it must have been the weather. Before I left I was finding I was eating a lot more hot food but while in Kuala Lumpur I was eating a lot less and choosing healthier foods most of the time.

I just didn’t fell like eating much, I didn’t pick between my meals and my portion sizes were a lot smaller too.

I have always thought that the colder weather makes you want to eat more and I feel that those few days away has proved it. The only trouble is that I am now back to the cold and snow again – I just need to try harder to carry on the good habits I made while I was away.

Year 3 week 10

5th – 11th March 2018

Up until now I have been doing really well with the challenges I have set for myself.

I don’t think they have been easy – they have been quite hard at times.

This month the exercise part of the challenge is going far better than I expected. This month is a really busy month for me so I wasn’t sure how I would find the time but I have managed to grab a bit most days from somewhere.

The eating part of the challenge is not going quite so well. I am not eating bad, but I have to say I am not eating good either it’s just ok and there’s definitely room for improvement.

I just can’t seem to get the motivation I need. It got me thinking “how on earth did I ever do it before?”

It has meant thinking back quite a long way and I remembered that I was desperate and it was that desperation that drove me on and gave me all the motivation I needed.

I still have the desire to lose weight but I don’t have that desperation anymore. I have achieved my main goals even though I haven’t got down to my ideal weight.

To me, having the energy to keep up with the kids and being able to do so much more than I ever could before has taken away my motivation, but I want it back!!!

Matt reminded me that when I started this diet I was very strict with myself – he said I was very military like. I wouldn’t step out of line once and I did exactly what I was told.

He said that he would sometimes say “go on you can eat that it won’t hurt”, however I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t even have a small bite.

I felt that Jenny my nutritionist was the expert and I was to do exactly what she said for my own benefit and it worked. It was like she was my Sergeant Major.

I really need to get back to that but I just can’t seem to do it. I need to get desperate again but since I have been seeing Jenny I have learnt a lot and I think that knowledge is hindering my motivation because I now know what to expect.

So I think I will get Jenny to get that Sergeant Major head on again and maybe do something new.