i want to do that

a journey from thick to thin

Archive for April, 2010

St. Anthony’s Meek & Mighty Triathlon

Posted by iwanttodothat on April 29, 2010

I did it! I finished my first triathlon. Here’s the proof!

I experienced great conflict about posting these pictures, only because I’m just a teeny bit vain. I managed to overcome that defect in favor of the possibility I could inspire someone to get out there and try something new!

Just look at me. If you ever let your imperfect body prevent you from doing something, reconsider your position on that.

I look at my swimsuit picture, and I can’t help but be happy. Seriously. I was so happy in that moment that I finished the swim and that I was really in a triathlon. You can see it. There’s nothing fake about these photos. I’m a real person with a real body. I’m proud of that body. It works pretty darn good, and I’m thankful to have it. I am unhappy about my flab hanging out there for the world to see, but I’m not going to look like that forever. It’s a good reminder and motivator to keep me moving forward in this journey and not look back. I do want to mention that I got my awesome swimsuit from Junonia. They are a plus-size activewear company. Thank God for them! The suit was the perfect thing for this event, and I felt like I fit in with all the other triathletes! Yay!

Race Journal

The night before the race, I went over a number of checklists to make sure I was ready to go:

  • inspected bike, loaded it into the van
  • breakfast for race day
  • race gear: swim goggles, swim cap, tri-suit, running shoes, socks, shirt, race belt with number, sunglasses, bike helmet, bike gloves, water bottle, towel, timing chip, additional clothes to change into afterwards

I had planned to have a relaxing evening preparing mentally for race day, getting good sleep, etc., but I received an incredibly negative comment from someone intended to induce guilt. It took me awhile to snap out of that vortex of negativity and focus on my business. It affirmed the “right-ness” of doing this triathlon. I’m not just doing this for myself, I’m doing it for the people I love, and the people who love me.

I was full of nervous energy all evening, and was so anxious about my early morning alarm, that I woke up about every hour throughout the night.

Race Day

4:30a Woke up, took meds, took shower.

5:30a Ate breakfast – 1 banana, 1 slice whole wheat bread, 1T raw almond butter – and got on the road.

6:00a Arrive at the race venue and found a parking place a block away. I had everything I needed in my backpack so I could bike to the venue.

6:05a Went through body marking. Race volunteers with big fat Sharpies wrote my age on my left calf and my race number on both of my upper arms. They checked my timing chip (which you wear on your ankle with a velcro strap) and my race numbers. They assisted me with my bike and bike helmet race number tags. They were experienced triathletes there to help the kids and novices get situated. The volunteers were awesome!

6:15a Found my bike rack, or at least thought I did. I discovered I was in the wrong spot when I realized there were labels on the racks with your name and race number. Doh! I had to move my bike one rack over and redo my setup. This was easily accomplished with help from a friend. (Big shout out to Cynthia! Thank you for everything!)

6:35a Walked around the venue and checked out the pool deck. I wanted to make sure that there were steps at the swim exit, since I absolutely cannot hoist myself out of the side of the pool yet. Steps out, check! After that I was so much more relaxed! The crowd was definitely picking up around this time and the bike corral was filled with competitors and gear.

6:50a Pit stop while the lines were short.

7:00 Watched the sun rise over Tampa Bay. It was stunning! Walked back to the bike corral to leave my running shoes and socks set up for T1 (transition 1 – swim to bike). I double-checked my gear: shoes, socks, bike helmet, race belt, sunglasses, bike gloves, shirt. I took my swim cap and goggles with me as I walked barefoot back to the swim venue. I was ready!

7:15 Competitors were filing in around the swim holding area to wait for the start. Music played over a lound speaker, and a race host interjected chatter keeping the crowd entertained. It was pretty cold standing out there in a swimsuit for half an hour. Race ceremonies commenced around this time and included an excellent performance of The Star Spangled Banner. Competitors 1-50 were then asked to go to the pool deck and line up in numerical order. 51-100 had to line up just off the pool deck, as well.

7:30 The race began! For this leg of the race, you approached the starting position and crossed a timing mat to jump in (feet first only.) Some people had crazy entrances like cannonballs! They released racers into the water one at a time, about 10-15 seconds apart. I was so excited when my turn came. I jumped in and was unprepared for how deep it was at that point in the pool – much deeper than I expected. Anyway, I started my swim and it took me one lap to relax and get into my stroke groove. I swam freestyle using my arms almost exclusively. I’ve read that you should maximize your stroke power and capacity without the benefit of kicking so that you have relatively fresh legs for the bike. I’m not sure about this strategy in the future, but this day, I was glad I did it. I felt like I had a decent swim. The people cheering at each lap turnaround were wonderful!

I finished the swim and started hustling to T1. I tried to jog a bit, but running in a parking lot barefoot was painful. I found my bike quickly and began the transition. I put on my shirt, race belt, helmet, sunglasses, socks, shoes, bike gloves, then walked my bike quickly to the bike start. The bike leg was much harder than anticipated. Between with high winds, mountain bike, and cobblestone portion, I felt like I was fighting a battle the entire ride. The scenery was spectacular, though, and I enjoyed every minute of it!

When I finished the bike leg, I racked my bike, took off my helmet and gloves, grabbed my bottle of G2 and headed out for the run. Within the first 20 yards, I started getting a cramp in my left calf, so I took a little time to stretch it and drink. I walked for a little while, making sure to really stretch my legs and feet before I picked up the pace. I eventually got into a groove, but it was a slow groove! As I got closer to the finish line, the crowd started getting bigger, and some real cheering was going on! Pretty soon, I heard the announcer say “Ann Adair from Tampa, Florida! Great job! You’re going to come back for the big race next year!” I waved to the crowd as I ran through the finishing chute. It was so exciting! I got my medal, and they took my timing chip off of my ankle. I met my race neighbor, Kim, #120, and my friend Cynthia. We had a round of mutual congratulations, then headed to the post-race food. It was decent: pasta, Gatorade, water, bagels, fresh fruit, muffins, cookies, chips, etc. I ate a little bit, then it was time to head home. We had to wait for the last wave to finish before we were allowed in the bike corral. I packed up all my stuff into my backpack, hopped on my bike, and headed to the van. I felt pretty darn good.

That’s pretty much it. One down, and one to go on May 22nd! I’m really looking forward to it!

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100% preventable

Posted by iwanttodothat on April 27, 2010

When you’re as big as I am, there is no “hiding” the weight. Everyone can see it. Everyone knows that you have some sort of issue that is making you do that to yourself. Imagine if all of the other things you like to hide were written with a fat Sharpie on Post-It Notes and stuck all over your body, including your forehead, for everyone to see. That is the same as being morbidly obese. Except I can’t peel off the Post-Its and throw them in the trash. My Post-Its are pretty much stuck there on my big butt for everyone to see.

So, I’m gradually peeling off those sticky notes and incinerating them! One by one. It’s not easy figuring out why you really engage in self-destructive behavior, but once you do, you have an opportunity to make things better. If you let people in on your big secret, you have that much more support. People DO care. Look, my weight is not a secret. You can see how much I weigh just by looking at me. (288 at last count, FYI). This might be a surprise to some of you, but if you are fat, people can see that you have issues even if you don’t know yourself. It’s easy to get to a point and be so overwhelmed by it that you begin to disassociate your inner self from your physical self. It’s easy to treat it like a separate thing and ignore it. It doesn’t make it disappear. Maybe it gets compartmentalized just so you can deal with everyday life, but it doesn’t go away on its own. If you continue to ignore it, it will continue to be there for the rest of your life, which will unfortunately be a lot shorter than it ought. I guess that means you won’t have to deal with it for much longer. That plan doesn’t work for me. I’m not interested in letting my kids watch me slowly kill myself by neglect. This is an illness that is 100% preventable.

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Posted by iwanttodothat on April 16, 2010

Greeting friends! Remember me? I used to post on this blog about once a day, but haven’t done anything here in a month. That’s about to change.

I’ve been living with a foot in the past and a foot in the present for the last 4 months. I’ve been holding steady at about 295 for 4 months. How does that happen? I will definitely say that it’s not because I had a special “maintenance” plan. It’s because I balanced out my treats, which were plentiful, with my smart choices. An occasional dessert is okay! Dessert after every dinner? No! Breakfast is important, and even if you suck at the rest of your food choices for the day, I guarantee they will suck less if you eat an appropriate breakfast. Eating small meals and snacks is smart, even if they aren’t perfectly balances. Exercise really does make you feel good, even if it’s just a walk around the block. A little bit might just inspire you to do a little bit more the next time.

The final bit of wisdom, and most important, is that planning ahead is the difference between success and failure. That’s really the bottom line. If I don’t plan a menu or put exercise on my calendar with my clothes out the night before, it ain’t gonna happen. Who’s going to get up early and make decisions about what to wear, where to run/walk, etc.? No sane person. If they did, they wouldn’t be able to maintain that process for any beneficial period. Lack of preparation is what kills progress. I have never been prepared. I have always procrastinated, and it’s why my house is a mess, my family dinner menu is less than stellar, I have debt, and I’m terribly overweight.

I am ending the plague of procrastination on my life and I’m taking my life back!

The past few weeks have been a real blur. A friend passed away from a random lung disease that could’ve happened to anyone for no apparent reason. When you see pictures of the family and realize it could be your family (because you have the same family Christmas picture in front of the same tree in the same church narthex), you tend to do a little reevaluating.

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