Year 2 week 41

8th – 14th October 2017

I always thought while going down this journey that losing weight would be so much harder than trying to maintain it. 

I have to admit that I would still love to lose weight and I still have another 3-4 stone to lose. It has actually been a year since I have lost any weight and it has not been without trying. 

I have been at this stage many times in my life but never for a year. Normally after losing so much weight I always plateau. I get to the stage of not being able to lose anymore weight and then after a few months it goes back on again. On a few occasions it has sent me into a depression which has made matters so much worse. 

Here I am a year on and I am still in that place. I am still eating healthy 80% of the time the other 20% are the stages that I really find hard and I slip for a short while. 

I am still exercising too, some weeks are good.  Last year my normal distance was 5k this year it’s 7k sometimes I even go further. 

This week though has been particularly bad. I meet a group of ladies once a week. We all run together. I have always felt that I do ok. I am not the fastest but I am not the slowest either. 

This week though I was so tired that I almost didn’t go. I thought it would do me good so I did go. During the run I was lagging behind so much that I held everybody up. 

It was like I had lost my whole ability to run at all. I was out of breath, my legs were aching so much and my energy levels disappeared so quickly. I just couldn’t keep up at all


I haven’t really ached much after a run for a long time – probably ever since I did my half marathon. This time though I seemed to ache for days. 

On this occasion it had the total opposite effect on me that I would have thought. 

Instead of me thinking I have lost all my ability and end up going down the route of all the bad 20% of my eating habits, it made me more determined instead. I looked at it as a blip and I was happier I went even though I was aching. 

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Year 2 week 23

4th – 10th June

This week has been a much better week, I seem to have abolished my fears of last week and I have got my act together and done something about it. 

I had focused so much on my fear of going backwards that it didn’t give me much room to do something about it. 

This week I have been really focused on my food. I have tried to get it back under control. For me to get it under control has meant cutting out the carbs, eating healthy and going hungry. 

It has been a good reminder of what it was like for me a year ago. I have absolutely no idea how I did it for so long because this is really hard. Last year I got the shakes went through sugar withdrawals and I felt really hungry for a long time. Now all I am getting is the hunger but it’s a struggle.

I have tried to do some exercise too. I didn’t want to go so mad because of my energy levels and the lack of food. So I thought gentle exercise would be ok at this time. 

I have had a few appointments this week. So for my exercise I decided to walk to my appointments rather than take the car. 

Leaving the car is something I have never done. I take my car everywhere. Walking on my own is also something I have never done. For me to exercise I have always needed the motivation of someone being there with me. 

To be self motivated is a big step up for me. For me to feel that I can go out by myself and not rely on other people is great. I just hope I can continue it because it means I can go out for a run, walk at my own convenience rather than waiting for people to be available. I do find going with others is more fun but now I have the option. 

To you this may sound silly, people exercise on their own all the time. To me though it’s not. I have always wanted to be self motivated to do it alone but there was always something holding me back. It was usually the sofa, the TV or even my bed – they always seemed so much more appealing. 

When you have to meet someone it’s easier because I would never want to let them down so I would always turn up whether I wanted to or not. 

So I’m going to try and do things on my own a bit more now. 

Year 2 week 20

14th – 20th May 2017

This week has been amazing. My time in Rwanda has totally exceeded my expectations. 

The run up to my trip to Rwanda I was worried, apprehensive, and very unsure about going at all. It has turned out to be the best and most rewarding thing I have ever done. 

While in Rwanda we went and saw some of the things Compassion do. We went to some of the projects where Compassion help children, mothers and babies and families out of poverty. 

One day we visited a child’s home who is sponsored by Compassion. We saw first hand how Compassion helps each and every person and family who goes through their program. 

I also had the opportunity to meet my sponsored child. It was such a special moment and something totally worth doing. I think it will be something that we will both remember for a long time. 

I was so much more impacted by the whole experience than I thought I was going to be. At first I thought I was just going there to run a half marathon but it became so much more than just that.  

On the run up to going I would get nervous every time I would have to do a long run. The night before I would not sleep with worry knowing what I was to do the next day. 

In Rwanda I didn’t worry at all. The run was on the last day and I hardly thought about it all week. I was just enjoying each moment as it came along. 

The night before the big day I slept really well. I had such a peace about what I was about to do. I had spent the last few months thinking and worring about this and when it arrived I didn’t have one concern. 

In the morning I was eager to get going. Up until that point I had been counting up the miles. This was the first time I could start counting them down, knowing I wouldn’t have to do them again if I didn’t want to. 

The day was misty and overcast at first but warmed up through out the run. I had no injuries or problems on my way around. It was such a special moment. I ran with another lady from our team the whole way around. We had kids come and run with us. They would hold our hands as we went. It was such a lovely moment. 

The last few miles were the hardest. We were getting tired and starting to slow down. All we knew was that we needed to keep moving.  We did and then we heard it in the distance – we heard drums. Those drums were there to welcome us across the finish line.

To hear those drums was the best feeling ever. It showed us that the end was in sight and we had almost reached our goal. It helped us and motivated us to run faster. 

We ran across the finish line with the drummers playing in the background. It was the most amazing experience of my life. Straight afterwards we hugged each other and just cried. 

We had both been down such an amazing journey to get to that point and to find that we had actually done it was so overwhelming. 

I will never forget that experience of crossing that line. It has been the result of a lot of hard work and pain. But the more work you put in the greater the reward and my reward was great indeed.


One thing that made it extra special was that over the last few days of the trip Matt came out to join me. Knowing that he saw me cross the finish was wonderful!

I have learnt quite a lot from this experience. I learnt that I can and should go out of my comfort zone more often than I do. 

I have learnt that it is a good thing to go all out and aim for your goals however hard it may seem to achieve it.  It’s good to reach beyond ourselves, to stretch ourselves and push through. 

I have learnt that ordinary people can do extraordinary things. That’s all that we were on that trip – just ordinary people but all wanting to make a difference. And doing things for others rather than just thinking of yourself  brings its own rewards. 

And we did learn that the money that is donated to Compassion actually goes to help people out of poverty.  We can’t necessarily help everyone all the time so it might just have to be one child at a time – but with enough children being reached maybe we can all make a difference. https://challenges.compassionuk.org/profile/414/debbie-wattis

I have made so many great friends on this trip. I don’t think you can go through something like that without making friends.  

If you are interested in a challenge, in pushing yourself, in making a difference in your life and the lives of others, then I definitely recommend you think about doing a Muskathlon. You might even see me there! https://www.4muk.com/

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. 

https://challenges.compassionuk.org/profile/414/debbie-wattis

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. 

https://challenges.compassionuk.org/profile/414/debbie-wattis

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. https://challenges.compassionuk.org/profile/414/debbie-wattis

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. 

Year 2 week 3

15th – 21st January 2017

This week has been so different from last week. Last week I was really struggling to stay focused this week it’s the total opposite. 

I don’t know why the sudden turn around.  I can only think it’s because I have been feeling a lot better and my cold has almost gone. 

Last week I said how I felt I was being pulled back. The thing with when you are pulled back is that it provides thrust so when you are realised you go so much faster. Like a bullet leaving a gun, not stopping until it hits its destination. 


That is how I feel this week – I have one destination and I won’t stop until I get there.

I have been quite good with my food and  I have been weighing it again. My exercise has seemed to go up a gear. 

I have done about an hour a day walking, running or in the gym. I have done this a lot last year but I never did any running. 

I would never have been able to run during the first part of last year. Knowing that I can now is great.  My fitness levels have risen so much. 

Comparing makes me think that if I carry on I can improve again in a relatively short space of time and I find that quite encouraging. 

Year 2 week 1

1st- 7th January 2017

New Year’s Eve was great.  I felt I ended the year on such a high with so much achieved and overcome in that year. 

When January 1st came around the feeling was so different. I was looking at my year ahead with dread that I had to do it all again. Knowing the struggles I had last year all I could see was greater struggles this year that I have to face and get over. 

Last year I didn’t know the struggles I was going to face but I tackled them head on as they came about. This year, though, I can see a little more about the struggles I have ahead of me and I have to say I am not looking forward to the challenges I need to face. 

On the 2nd I woke up with a different attitude again. All I knew was that I need to seize the day. Not worry about tomorrow, not regret what I should have done yesterday but just do it NOW.


I have tried to abide by that concept all week. I have started my walking up again. But I hadn’t managed to do any running yet this year. I am wanting to go running outside because all I had done up until now was run on the treadmill. 

Last time I managed to run 5 miles I am now aiming for 6 but I find that there is one thing that is stopping me from running the 6 miles and that is the 6 inches between my ears. 

Those 6 inches have a lot to answer for and very often it stops me from achieving my goals. 

I have always found it so much easier to talk myself out of doing something than putting in the hard work and actually going for it. 

However today Matt has seen my lack of motivation and said we are going out for a run around the block rather than a walk. I think it was just what I needed because I don’t think I would have done it for myself. 

I said ok without even an argument. I think it was because I knew he was right. But I do think that he totally over estimated my ability. 

We went out and at first I struggled a little not with the physical side but with my breathing. We came to the first hill and I have to admit that I walked most of it. 

I knew that running on the road would be a lot more challenging than running on the treadmill.  I was expecting it to be hard but I did however run more than I did walk which was surprising. 

The second half of the run seemed to be easier I even managed to tackle the steep hill. I almost collapsed when I got to the top though.  

The run was 5k I must have ran about 3.5 of it. So for my first time out I finished quite happy with myself. 

I still think that Matt over estimated my ability but I really under estimated it too. The fact that Matt believed I could do more and encouraged me all the way made it easier in some way and I think that’s why I did better than I thought I would do. It just goes to show how much easier it is to run on a treadmill when compared to outside on the road with hills!

One thing I have had this week is extra time. It was taking me about 2 – 3 hours a day just to draw a picture and do my blog. Now I am a bit freer I am wanting to use my extra time wisely. 

However I find I have been totally wasting it. I am though having a little time to practice with my Christmas present. I got a stylus which is a pen that allows me to draw on my iPad (hence the different style of drawing today). 

But I do want to work hard and do something more worthwhile with the extra time I have.