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 19

7th – 13th May 2018

Sometimes in life you feel you can be doing things on your own. I very often think this.

It’s like I’m in my own personal little tug of war. A war against my emotions and I’m losing

my half marathon training has not been very easy for me and when I train on my own it is the hardest thing ever.

It’s so much easier when I have someone with me rather than being on my own.

The people I go with are all so much better runners than me. They go further distances and they can run nonstop. So, I am sure, when they are with me I am holding them back.

One of my friends ran the London marathon this year and this week she invited me to run with her. I said yes but when we turned up I realised that she had actually entered me into a 10k race.

I know I have done a half marathon before but I didn’t class it as a race because it was many different events not just a half marathon – I didn’t feel the pressure of finishing on time because I had marathon and ultra marathon runners coming in behind me.

So in my head what I did last week was my first race. It was no surprise to me that I came last. However my friend stayed with me the whole way. But we did it and I even got a medal!

Two days later I went with another friend and I wanted to do 8 miles. My challenge this month is to up my mileage by a mile every week gradually getting to 10 miles however we ended up doing 9 miles instead.

So that thought of me doing it alone is not true – I have so many people who are supporting me on this journey and without them I would never have got this far.

Doubling my fundraising target also shows me how much support I have.

So those times I feel like I am struggling and I am needing to try a bit harder, I am going to remember that I am not alone and there are people around me helping- helping pull that rope too

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 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 9

26th February – 4th March 2018

February challenge is now over. So it’s now onto the March challenge.

March is going to be a very difficult month for me. I have so much on and very little time to think about any new challenge. I am finding though that theses challenges every month are really working for me.

I have actually really enjoyed them when they’re done. During the month I do find it tough completing them but there is definitely a sense of achievement once the month is over.

So January I swam over 2000 lengths (20 miles) of a swimming pool. February I ran/ walked over 50 miles. So I thought for March I would combine the 2.

I thought I would swim 1000 lengths and run/walk 30 miles. It may not sound like enough but I know I have about 8 days where I can’t do any exercise at all this month.

To add to the challenge I thought I would also really try and lose weight this month too. It has been months since I have lost any weight. For some reason it just doesn’t want to budge anymore no matter how hard I try. All I can do is try my best.

As my February challenge ended the March challenge has struggled to get started. All this week I have had one of my children off school sick. All have had coughs and colds and generally feeling really rotten. It has gradually gone around the house causing everyone to get it.

I feel like we have been in quarantine all week trying not to pass it any further

This has slowed down my exercise a little. Trying to exercise when you feel that rotten isn’t much fun at all. I have managed to progress a little though.

There is one consolation and that is I haven’t really fancied eating too much. Hopefully this means I might actually lose weight!!!

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 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. 

Year 2 week 16

16th – 22nd April 2017

This week has been a real struggle. I don’t know why, but I am struggling to get motivated to do anything. 

I always seem to find things harder when the kids are off school, I think it is because my routine changes. With the kids off school this Easter, I have forgotten appointments, struggled to eat healthy and I have found it hard to go out training for my half marathon. 

I have taken my training very seriously. I know if I don’t train there is no way I can do it. Even though I have struggled this week, I have still managed to go out running. 

One thing I have noticed lately is that I seem to have slowed up a lot, things that I found easy all of a sudden now seem hard, I also feel like when I am running I have a big heavy weight on my back slowing me down. 

I feel like I have led weights in my shoes too. I am managing to do the distances I want to achieve, but it seems to be taking so much more out of me than normal.

I am hoping that when the kids go back to school again next week I will start to find things a bit easier again. Until then I will have to continue struggling.

Day 23

Saturday 23rd January 2016

The weight keeps coming off which I am really happy about. However today was a real struggle.


Matt and all the kids went out to watch the rugby today and left me in the house on my own. Usually I would think it was great a bit of peace and quiet, but today I needed them to keep my mind occupied because I felt really hungry. Instead I was very bored which I am sure added to the hunger.

By the end of the day even after dinner there was nothing that could get rid of my hunger at all except eat loads and I wasn’t going to do that. I got to the stage where I just couldn’t cope any more.

I went to bed hungry

No exercise today.

20st 9lbs.    0.9 lbs ⬇️.    10lbs⬇️total 😋🎂🍟🍔🍕🍨🍰🍩🍪