Through out my day, speaking with the patients is such a highlight! Yesterday I had one tell me his story of the beginning of his band. He is working on his goal for the Ogden Marathon in May 2013. He wanted to share his story with everyone to help give FOCUS to your goals! Thank you so much for sharing!! This is a great story!—Stephanie
Last summer, I had an epiphany on my state of being. I didn’t like where I was physically or emotionally. I realized that the emotional side had so much to do with the frustrations and inability to change physically. This epiphany was “Just Focus and Do It!!” I wanted change but had been unwilling to give that change my focus. I was determined to FOCUS.
I had been researching WLS (Weight Loss Surgery) for a few years. There were so many options and they all sounded so radical. I started hearing about the Lap Band and its long term success. Around the same time that I had my epiphany, I ran into an old friend. We had dinner together, Chinese food. She was eating slowly and talking quite a bit. Something inside told me to raise the issue with her. She had lost some weight since the last time I saw her. I told her that I had decided to get fit and healthy. She asked me what I was prepared to do. I told her that I had been looking into Lap Band surgery. She stunned me by telling me that she had Lap Band surgery 3 or so years prior. I told her that I had noticed she had lost weight and looked good. She told me about her experience. I had nothing to fear!!! My FOCUS was just beginning.
A few months after discussing the Lap Band with my friend, I had the surgery. My Re-Birthday is 12/6/07. I’m less than a year out as I write this. It has been life changing!!! I have my LIFE back.
Prior to the surgery, I set a few goals for myself. I had to ask myself, “Why are you really doing this?” My answer was to become fit and healthy. It was not and is not about losing weight! That had been my focus for years and I had come away frustrated and feeling like I failed. If you don’t like your results, change your approach. Weight is the measure of a lot of things. But is it the measure of success? No!!!! It is a number. That’s all. Weight loss would come as a result of my focus on becoming fit and healthy, no doubt. But it would not be my focus. Also, I decided that I would not treat this experience as a diet. Diets had left me empty and frustrated. Diets NEVER work!!! Changing your lifestyle will work, if you are committed to it! I’m still not on a diet!!
One major goal that I set for myself to measure my fitness level, was to run a 5K within one year of my surgery. I started riding an exercise bike as soon as I could. That was about a month after surgery. I don’t want anyone to think the surgery is painless and easy. There was some pain. I was lucky that I didn’t experience any complications. Sorry to those who do!! I stopped drinking all soda pop, a requirement of my surgeon. I thought that would be the most difficult thing, and maybe it was. After the surgery, the pain meds also kept the caffeine headache away. Water became my FRIEND. I started to exercise and see great results, both on the scale and how I generally felt. My Focus was working. I went skiing for the first time in a few years. Wow, I love skiing. I decided I would do more. Skiing is a serious workout. Especially to those of us who aren’t in the greatest condition!! I felt great doing things I loved to do, but had quit doing because of my fitness level. Oh, my legs burned and I walked down stairs sideways on more than one morning!!! I skied 8 times last season, some were all day events! Then spring came. I decided that my mountain bike would give me some variety in my workouts. I was riding 5 miles, and later I got it up to 10 miles. Wow, I felt great! One day, I rode 16 miles on my bike. As I was almost done with that ride, I realized that my goal to run a 5K was not any closer than when I made the goal. In order to reach the goal, I would need to start running. Granted, skiing and biking put me in the position that I could realistically start running. I measured out 2.5K (1.55 miles) on the parkway. I was committed to get out the next day and run that course. Ok, run/walk. I had a miserable time sleeping that night. I knew that the next morning, I would begin the training for the run. I got up and drove to the parkway. I got out and started down the pathway. I ran about 100 yds and had to walk. I walked for awhile then ran some more. This continued until I reached my turn around point (2.5K). More of the same on the way back. How would I ever run that whole thing? I kept biking and run/walking every few days. Two weeks after the first run, I determined that my focus was a problem in the run. I picked an object out in front of me, sometimes 50 yds away, other times 10 yds away. I told myself I could run to those things. Often, I would run to the object and realize I could go further. This FOCUS changed how I trained. The next week I ran to my turn around point. What a huge deal for me!!! I celebrated that victory. The next week, I told myself I had to do as good as the week before. Guess what, I ran the whole thing!!! Albeit very slowly. But I did it!!!!! That day I had my bike in the truck. After the run I decided to bike the same course in order to warm down. I rode to my turn around point and realized I felt awesome. I kept going to the end of the parkway. I turned and rode back to the truck. As I got near the truck, I told myself that I should go to the other end of the parkway too. I did! When all was done, I had ridden 16.4 miles on my mountain bike. But more importantly, I HAD RUN THE 5K!!!! When I got home I started looking for an event to make it “official”. I wanted to run in an organized event. I came across a website that had a triathlon. I had always thought that meant IRONMAN. I learned there are 4 types of triathlon: Sprint, Olympic, Half Ironman, and Ironman distances. The Sprint consists of a 750m swim (821 yds), a 20K bike (12.4 miles), and 5K run (3.107 miles). “Hey, I did 2/3 of that today!!!” Just add a swim to it. The next day I swam 34 lengths at my local pool (850 yds, 777m). Wow, I could do a triathlon!!!
On Saturday, 6/21/08, I did my first triathlon. I set a goal of 2 hours. I did it in 2:02:41. Some unfortunate things happened that day during the race. A man drowned in front of me. I missed my goal, but I still felt I made it! I had to overcome more mental things that day than physical!!
It wasn’t until 7/4/08 that I did my first “official” 5K, even though there is a 5K in a triathlon. I ran a 5K with my brother, who I had inspired to get into shape. To date, I have run 5 official 5Ks and 4 Triathlons. That’s 9 5Ks in all. Do you know what they call the last person to cross the finish line in a triathlon? The same thing they call the first person, a Triathlete.
Yesterday, 9/6/08, I did my 4th triathlon. My fitness level has increased and I feel so much healthier than I have been in years. I have a bike race next weekend and one more triathlon this year. Do you know why this was possible? Because I JUST FREAKING DID IT!!!! You can too.
I am done T R Y-ing, now I’m T R I-ing
If at first you don’t have speed, Tri, Tri again!!!!