Year 3 week 28

8th – 15th July 2018

When I was a child I would very often sit in the car with my Mum and Sister. It was ether at Draycote Waters or Weymouth beach. We would sit there for hours while my Dad and Brother would go windsurfing.

When I got a bit older my Dad then taught me. I remember I loved it. Once he even took me away to Sardinia for a week of windsurfing. If I think of my favourite childhood memory of my Dad that holiday would be it. It was a real father-daughter bonding time.

The only bad thing was that we had to share a room and he snores. His bed was over the other side of the room and I could still hear him! Every night I grabbed a pile of socks and placed them by my bed. I would throw them at him every time he kept me awake. I always ran out!

On that holiday my windsurfing really progressed and I have to say that I even got quite good.

That was about 25 years ago. Since then I haven’t got on a board. It hasn’t even been a desire of mine to try it again.

When We recently arrived in Greece I noticed they do refresher windsurfing lessons and I thought I would sign up and see how I would get on. This shocked me more than it did Matt – I don’t know what possessed me to do it.

So this week I have had 2 lessons . I knew my biggest challenge would be getting on the board itself. My upper body strength is basically non existent and worse since I had my op. I have never been able to get on a boat even when it has a ladder.

To my surprise I got on the board several times. I not only got on, I also stood up and on a couple of occasions I was even sailing. I was in the water more than I was on the board though!

I definitely wasn’t as graceful as my drawing either. It should have been a drawing of me falling in rather than sailing with style but that would have been a boring drawing.

However I learnt something with these lessons. It took so much effort to get on the board, standup, get the sail up, make sure you are balanced correctly and then get in the right sailing position. You start to think if all that effort worth it. But then you have that brief moment (for me it really was very brief) when you are doing everything correct and you are actually sailing – that makes all that effort worth it.

Sometimes I look back and remember all the hard work I put in to lose weight and to be more active. These lessons and opportunity to windsurf again have made all that hard work worth it.

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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 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 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 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.

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 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