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

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Year 3 week 6

5th – 11th February 2017

This week I have really put in a few miles. I have managed to run/walk 16 miles so far this month which I feel is a great start to my total of 50 miles by the end of the month.

My knees are feeling really good – it seems the more I run the stronger they get. That’s how I feel after the run but during it is a totally different story.

I run outside but I also do some on my treadmill. On my treadmill I can do so much better than outside. It seems I can go faster, I can keep up the same pace throughout and I feel good while doing it.

When I go outside for a run I seem to be in pain with every step. My knees seem to creak, I am so much slower too and I can’t seem to warm up.

The weather has been so cold lately that when I run outside I feel like my joints are like a block of ice and I have icicles hanging off the end of my nose.

When I get back it seems to take me all day to thaw out. Even though I have run more this month it has left me a little disheartened.

Then I got to thinking of last year and how did I train for my half marathon in May and why couldn’t I remember it being so cold. I remembered that last year for me to run I had to have an operation to remove the saggy skin from my arms. It would flap against my body causing problems when running which meant it had to go.

This time last year I was still in recovery I was practically bed bound, I couldn’t pick up anything heavy and exercise was definitely a no go.

Remembering this means I am not so disheartened anymore. In fact I have found it quite encouraging. It means I am so much further ahead than what I was last year and I have so much more time to train for it too.

Last year after I recovered from my op I only had 6 weeks to train. This year I have 6 months so I have no reason to feel disheartened but every reason to feel encouraged.

So now I get why I can’t remember the cold. I am just looking forward to some warmer weather.

Year 3 week 5

29th January – 4th February 2018

My swimming challenge is now over and I have now started my running challenge. This week I have really put in a few miles.

When I go for a run I can’t seem to run it all I have to walk some of it, I can’t seem to keep up the same pace throughout. This month that is something I am trying to work on.

When I went to Rwanda to do the half marathon last year. I met all the other people doing the challenges too. One of the guys would always refer to us as athletes. Every time it was mentioned I would laugh because in my head that was the last thing I was.

I have to admit that I don’t look like your typical athlete. Even though I have been on this weight loss journey for over 2 years I still have an awful lot of weight to lose.

A typical athlete to me is someone super fit, super thin, has energy in abundance, can run like it’s no effort at all, wears all the cool matching gear.

Not someone like me, someone who struggles with every step, someone who would love to have the matching outfits but they don’t make them in your size, someone who is likely to damage there knees with all that weight pounding on top of it and someone who is so tired afterwards that I am not fit to do anything else.

I have been running again now for a few weeks. My knees have been fine. After one run though they were so sore that I thought I might have overdone it. The next time I went running though they were fine

Sometimes I think to myself “why am I doing this?” I am overweight, I am not your typical runner, why am I putting myself through this torture?

One thing I have found on this journey is that keeping the weight off is so much harder than getting the weight off. I feel I have to do this otherwise that weight will be piling back on again.

My motivation isn’t the best so this trip to Kenya to do another half marathon is helping with that.

To do something for a good cause is all the motivation I need. Knowing that I am going there to help vulnerable children and help provide solar lamps to provide light and electricity to homes that need it. Things that we take for granted in our everyday lives.

Knowing that I’m helping in some small way makes the pain worth it and makes me think “who cares if I’m not your typical athlete.”

If you feel you would like to help those kids in Kenya too then click on the link.

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

Year 3 week 4

22nd – 28th January 2018

I decided at the beginning of this month that I wanted to do a challenge. The reason I wanted to do it was because I have a half marathon coming up in June and I needed to start training for it.

I decided to swim 2018 lengths of a 15 metre pool. I thought it would be good training to strengthen my legs with low impact on my knees. The discipline of doing it has been tough. Forcing myself to go everyday has not been easy. It has definitely given me focus though because I just didn’t want to fail this task.

I am happy to say that I completed this challenge this week. I thought this challenge was going to be tough but I find when I get my determined head on nothing stops me from succeeding. That’s probably why I finished with nearly a week to spare and I did more lengths than I was supposed to.

I have never really been very good at maths but I found myself calculating how far I actually swam

If I calculated correctly it turns out that I swan nearly 20 miles/ 32 kilometres in that time. Seeing the distance that way was really encouraging I couldn’t believe I actually swam that far.

As January is nearly over and the challenge for this month has gone really well I have decided to set a challenge for February. I have decided that next month I am to run/walk 50 miles. It seems like a totally unachievable task at the moment but if I get my determined head on I am in for a chance.

I suppose we’ll see how it goes.

Year 3 week 3

15th – 21sth January 2018

I have been swimming now almost everyday for 3 weeks. It is going really well and I only have just over 400 lengths to go until it’s completed.

This challenge has taught me a few things. I have realised that I can commit myself to doing an hours exercise a day even though some days are really hard and some days I am really busy. I always thought that I could never cope with that much exercise.

One of the reasons I am doing it is because I am doing another half marathon in June and I thought swimming was a good way to strengthen my legs with low impact on my knees. I do feel it is working – I feel like I have more energy and more strength in my legs.

I also feel so much thinner. My clothes are looking so much better on me than at Christmas. Since doing this challenge however I haven’t lost any weight at all!

I have been seeing Jenny, my nutritionist, for 2 years now. I have always done what’s she has told me to. Somethings she has asked me to do have been extremely hard but I do them because she has never lead me wrong once.

One thing she has told me from day one is that you can’t exercise out a bad diet.

It is very easy to do exercises and then think you deserve a treat afterwards and go and eat cake or something just as bad.

Since Christmas I have really struggled to get my diet back on track. All that swimming has made me extra hungry too. I haven’t been horrendously bad but I haven’t exactly been good either.

At first doing all that exercise and not losing any weight was frustrating but what it does do is prove that Jenny has got it right again and I need to physically sort out my diet.

That is always easier said than done.

Year 2 week 52

24th- 31st December 2017

I can’t believe that this is my last post this year. This year has seemed to have gone so quickly and the last 2 years since I started this journey has just flown by.

The Christmas period has been quite hard for me – there has been so much food around that hasn’t helped but it has been a great time for me to relax and meet up with a lot of family and friends.

One thing I did that I have never done before is make a gingerbread house. I have always wanted to do it and I thought because I am a creative person I thought I might be quite good at it .

I had a picture in my head of how I wanted my gingerbread house to look.

However, in reality my gingerbread house looked so much different to that. I bought a pack and I thought I would start there. I naively thought that the gingerbread was in there and I just had to make into the house, but no. I physically had to make the mixture and bake it too.

Once it had cooled then came the part of making it look like a house. It was a lot harder than I thought. I ended up with it falling down a few times, the icing ran all over the place. By the time we had finished I think it looked more like a rickety old shack rather than a grand house that I imagined.

I would have shown a photo but it was far too embarrassing to even take a picture of. My boys thought that the only thing it was good for was destroying which they took great pleasure in doing!

This scenario totally sums up my year. When I started the year I had very high expectations I was going to lose so much more weight and reach my goal by now but in reality the total opposite has happened. I haven’t lost any weight at all in fact it has gone up a little.

Last year I lost 5 and a half stone – this year I have lost nothing. It has also made me think what a waste – it made me think that I have totally wasted my year.

But if I think back on my year I have realised that I haven’t wasted it at all. Ok, so I haven’t lost any weight, but I have kept up with my healthy eating most of the time, I have managed to keep doing my exercise, I haven’t gone back into that state of feeling worthless, my confidence has grown, I can still do so much more than I ever could before.

I have been able to think of others rather than myself which has entailed me going on 2 mission trips – one to Serbia with some women and the other to Rwanda where I even managed to do something that I would never have ever dreamed.

Running that half marathon was such a huge achievement for me. I can’t believe I actually did it – it’s my greatest achievement to date. So that’s why I don’t think I wasted my year.

As I now step into 2018 and start my 3rd year of this journey I have that image of my perfect gingerbread house again but to get it that way will take a lot of hard work, determination, and overcoming things that I can’t foresee.

A bible verse was given at church today. It’s in Philippians 3 verse 13-14:

“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me to.”

That’s what I am going to go by this year.

Happy new year. Have a great 2018

Year 2 week 45

5th- 11th October 2017

Every time I try to lose weight I always do really well at first. The first few stone has always been very easy – it’s probably because I always start a diet with about 7 stone or more to lose!

After the first few stone has come off the next few are slightly more hard work but they do come off gradually. 

Usually after 5 stone has come off I stop. The weight from then on in just doesn’t want to budge. It’s like I have hit a brick wall with absolutely no way of getting around it. 

I have hit that brick wall many times before. I have tried everything to get through but that wall always seems to stay intact. The longest I have ever been there is 6 months and then I give up and ended up turning around and going back again usually putting on more weight than I ever have before. 

This time though is different I have been standing at that wall now for over a year and however hard I try I still can’t break through. 

Since my half marathon and the holidays I have been on over the summer the weight has been gradually creeping back on again – not much but enough for me to notice. I have stayed healthy with my eating but I have had a slightly more relaxed attitude. I think my portion sizes have been getting bigger and some treats were creeping back in too. 

It has got me to a point where I am standing at that wall and wondering what now. 


I feel I can’t go down this journey and gradually put the weight back on again. I have come too far.  There is only one option and that is to try harder.  It means going to the beginning again. You may be thinking that I have done that before and you would be right. 

Last time though I was doing it out of desperation. I had to because I couldn’t continue down the road I was going on. I think my determination came from my desperation to change. 

This time though I have gone back to the beginning without that desperation to change. I feel I have achieved all my goals other than getting to my ideal weight. I have so much more energy, I can go into a regular shop and there would be lots of clothes that would fit, I am eating healthier and lots more. 

Without that desperation to change I wasn’t sure if I could do it. In someways I prefer to start with the desperation because it drives you. Starting again now has been so much harder. 

I am now 10 days in my current detox and I am actually surprised with how well I have done. I have managed to lose 8 pounds in that time. I have felt a little hungry but not as much as I thought. I just hope the weight continues to fall. 

Year 2 week 44

29th October- 4th November 2017

One thing I have really struggled this year with has been motivation.

I think it’s because I achieved one of my main goals this year. One of my goals was to have enough energy to keep up with my kids. My kids are typical kids and have heaps of energy. 

Before I started this journey I couldn’t even walk up the stairs without being out of breath. 16 months later I did a half marathon! 

For me doing that half marathon in Rwanda was so amazing. It was something that I never thought I could ever do. I was so overwhelmed at the time that I did it. That to me that was my ultimate goal. I felt that there was nothing I could do any better than that. I felt that I had climbed the highest mountain and actually reached the top. 

Since then it has been hard staying motivated. The trouble with reaching your goal is that there is nothing left to aim for. Once you reach that point and you get to the top of your mountain there is only one place left to go and that’s DOWN. 

Sometimes to go down can be fun. It means that there are no restrictions on your life. It’s like I can do anything and get away with it. However you do end up with a feeling of guilt that you have let things slip so bad. 

The getting away with it can only last so long. With falling there comes a point where you hit the ground. Hitting rock bottom can be very painful and usually at that point it’s very hard to see a way out of it. 

I feel that since Rwanda that is what I have been doing – FALLING. In my mind though I didn’t want to fall I feel I protected myself from the impact – it’s like I put on my parachute so when I hit the ground it wasn’t so painful. 

This month I have set myself new goals.  I have hit the ground now but I have decided to turn around and start climbing that mountain again. 

I have decided that for the month of November I am going to concentrate on my eating again. I have already had a carb free 4 days and lost a few pounds too. I would like to continue my healthy eating throughout this month and hopefully it will give me the boost I need to continue after. 

I have also signed up for another half marathon – this time in Kenya. It’s in June of next year. I will be raising money again for the charity Compassion UK.

I think for me the fact I am doing it again isn’t quite as significant as before. What it does do though is help me to keep active, gives me something to focus on and I get to help some needy children in Africa in the process. 

I came back from doing my last half marathon thinking I would never do one again. My fitness levels have depleted so much that I feel I have signed up without the ability to succeed. Knowing this is coming hopefully will get me motivated to train.

After June next year, when I’ve completed my second half marathon, I’m hoping that I won’t fall like I did this year. Well that’s what I’m aiming for. 
 

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

Year 2 week 32

6th – 12th August 2017

In some stages of my life I have suffered with depression. It has usually been when I have tried to lose weight and failed. 

Depression is something that comes on so gradually that you hardly notice you’re getting it. Once it has got hold of you it’s like  you still don’t notice that you have it – it’s the people around you that notice and they are the ones that suffer. 

For me, when I had it, I didn’t want to do anything. I would sit on the sofa all day and do nothing other than watch films. Jobs that needed to be done around the house just didn’t get done because I couldn’t be bothered. Any slight little issue that cropped up I just couldn’t deal with it, I would end up in tears not knowing how to sort it out. It usually meant that Matt sorted it out for me. My kids have learnt to become very domesticated, which is great now,  but I am sure at the time it wasn’t fair on them. 

This may sound really stupid but depression was a place, at the time, I think I was happy to be in while I was living it and I didn’t have the desire to leave. Thankfully, now I am not there anymore, I see it as a place I do not want to go back to. 

Over the last 18 months I feel I have found a remedy – it’s called exercise. If I think back some of my most happiest times is when I have been doing exercises. Training for my half marathon in Rwanda was one of the hardest things physically I have had to do, but mentally it was a release from all that negativity in my life. It also gave me purpose – something to aim for. 

We have been very lucky because we have room in our house for a gym. It is a place I have been a lot over the past 18 months. However over the past 2 months we have decided to renovate our house and our gym is no more. Well that is until the work is completed. 

I have not done too much exercise since coming back from Rwanda. Partly because we have been away a lot and partly because we have no gym.

I do like exercising outdoors but I like to go with other people. But the days I plan to go it always seems to be raining. 


Exercising in the rain is not much fun. I have never been a person who is really proactive when it comes to exercise so l struggle to go on my own – especially if it’s raining!

I have to admit that over the last few weeks I have been getting slightly down. It can only be the lack of exercise. This week though I have tried to be a bit more proactive and get myself back out there. 

I have managed to do a few bike rides and some walks. I have not started the running back up but I will soon. I have to say it’s worked and cheered me up no end. That’s probably because the weather has been nice as well. 

So I never thought I would ever say this but I can’t wait for the gym to be finished so I can start running again and not have to go out in the rain! 

Year 2 week 21

21st – 27th May 2017

Last week was such an amazing week, with lots of fun and laughter. My time in Rwanda was so busy and was spent meeting new people, going to new places and of course completing my challenge of running a half marathon. 

Since coming home it has been a bit of a come down from last week. It’s been a bit of an anticlimax. I thought I would enjoy the rest and catch up on some sleep. I thought I would enjoy getting back to normal. But I have to say, now, I find that going back to my old routine is totally boring. 

I never found it boring before I went. I think it’s because, now that I have accomplished my goal of running a half marathon, I find that I need a new focus – something to keep me going down the same path. I just need to keep moving forward one step at a time. 


While in Rwanda the food was mainly things like rice, pasta and potatoes – all things that I shouldn’t eat to much of. They even provided spaghetti bolognese for breakfast!!!

Since coming home I have been trying to cut down on the amount of carbs and eat more salads and fruit. I am finding this extremely difficult. I found it easier to do a half marathon than cut back on my food intake! If anyone offered me an apple or a biscuit at the moment I think I would choose the biscuit.

Since coming back from Rwanda I am even finding it hard to exercise. I went for a 5k run and I was so tired when I got back that it made me wonder how I ever did a half marathon at all.

So I think I need a new focus to aim for because staying on that right path is hard and challenging at the moment. All I know is that I can’t go back – I need to keep moving forward. I just have to!!!