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    LDRICHEL   46,087
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FANTASTIC FRIDAY

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Friday, September 21, 2012

I've had quite an amazing morning, friends! As a lot of you know, I've been working pretty hard to get rid of this weight. I'd been at a plateau for maybe a month or so and I was getting really frustrated with the fact that the number on the scale wasn't going down. It wasn't so much the number...as it was the fact that I've been working SO hard and I felt like I had nothing to show for it.

Of course, that's ridiculous because a) I have lost inches b) my entire body is firming and toning and changing shape (thank you, swimming!) and c) I just feel wonderful physically in general as a result of the program I've been working.

Still...I was having lunch with a very close friend yesterday and she looked into my eyes and said, "Leah, why are you sad?" You know..it caught me off guard. I was tempted to give my usual go-to answer, which is...blame the hubby. Am I right? But, I realized that this was not it. Things have been going quite well in the marriage department. God knows things aren't perfect (because we are not perfect people), but I am generally happy.

So, without my go-to answer, I simply could not understand WHY I appeared sad and, ultimately, felt sad. As I verbally processed in the car, I hit on the core issue when I started suddenly sobbing...totally unexpected. The thing is...I'm so frustrated because I see all the positives above, but I still feel so limited and I feel like the lack of change on the scale is really holding me back.

Friend says to me, "Leah, what do you want from all of this?" I said, "To lose weight. To do Ironman. BUT...not just that." I couldn't pinpoint WHAT I wanted. She said, "You need to figure out what you want. Because it always starts as simple weight loss...but ends up being something else. You have to figure out what your 'something else' is."

The tears began when I said, "I want more. I want to do things for others, to inspire and to help in real ways...but I feel like I'm not allowed to do it YET...because I'm still so heavy. I don't know what this will look like...a book, speaking, getting certified as a personal trainer? Who knows? What I do know is that there is a voice inside saying, 'How dare you think you can do that? You CAN'T.'"

With that background, you must understand the thrill that went through my heart when I stepped on that scale this morning to find I had lost 2 lbs. Here's where it gets real, folks. I weigh 219. And while this would be shameful for most to admit, I am so proud. Because I am out of the 220s! I suddenly realized how very close I am to being back in the land of 100s and I almost cried. It is within reach. It is RIGHT THERE. And I WILL get there.

It's helpful for me to think in terms of overall, rather than the past month. If I do the math, I have been on this health journey earnestly since May 2012. That is only 4 months! I was 253 when I started. How dare I belittle a 35 lbs weight loss in 4 months?! Are you kidding me?

This morning, I went to the pool after a night of very little sleep. I was worried that this swim would be difficult since I'd only slept about 5 hours last night. I popped some Powerbar Cola Gels (my go-to energy source for an early morning workout when I don't feel like eating yet) and jumped in.

A history on my swimming:

I started swimming a mere 6 weeks ago. I had never swam freestyle in my life. I learned by watching 3 YouTube videos. And then I jumped in the pool and copied them. For a few weeks, I hit the lap lanes five days a week. I have had excessive trouble breathing. I have had to stop every 50 meters to catch my breath. Which means, I swim two lengths and stop...over and over and over. I have built a routine where I swim for 30 minutes and whatever distance I get in that time is my workout for that day.

Generally, I swim 750 meters, which is a nice even 30 lengths of the pool in 30 minutes. I shoot for this length because it is a tad longer than a sprint triathlon swim distance. And I am looking to perfect it by next Summer. The most I have ever done in 30 minutes is 800 meters (an extra two lengths) and that was only a couple of times.

Today, I did 34 lengths, or 850m in 30 minutes. Four lengths might not sound like a lot extra...but if you swim, you know that this is big. Especially since I've not been doing this for very long and I've had zero formal training. I worked hard in that pool today...and I only stopped to breathe 3 times for one minute each. That is a HUUUUUUGE victory for me!

When I got out of the pool (completely spent), I thought about every person that has inspired me, pushed me, or supported me. It was really a special moment because I literally couldn't wait to tell each of them how much their kindness, support and friendship has helped to bring me to this point. I honestly would have quit so long ago without my network of fellow friends, family and athletes. People who really "get" what I'm doing and why...and who have never stopped believing that I can do this. I'm so thankful. So incredibly thankful.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EXSSGIRL 9/22/2012 11:26PM

  Leah,

You are a strong person inside and out! It's amazing what you have achieved! Good luck in all that you do. You are an inspiration for so many people. Great job!!! emoticon emoticon

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BKNOCK 9/22/2012 10:34PM

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KARRENLYNN 9/22/2012 10:19PM

    You are doing great LDRichel! All the things you've learned and accomplished is awesome. Every day you just get up and start where you are and keep moving forward. We've never met, but I'm really excited for you, keep going!


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AJB121299 9/22/2012 10:17PM

    great job

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SANDY-TOES 9/22/2012 7:11PM

    You dear Leah, are my inspiration!
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LIVELYGIRL2 9/22/2012 6:58PM

  Good to get to read a blog from you again. I spied it on the side bar.

You know that actually sounds like alot of weight off for that amount of time. But I can see that plateaus are so totally annoying. My sis only has 3 or 4 lbs. left to hit 100 but it keeps going up and down too. I can also understand the frustration because it " seems" like all the work and effort you regularly do is so much more than many others do. It doesn't seem equal for all that sweat and work. But perhaps it makes it all more significant and big WOW when it eventually happens. I don't actually get it. Ya I would think that it would just fall off when I see my friend eat all this raw or healthy foods or all the running you do.

And you really do know that you have blessed hundreds ( at least ) by all your blogs and what you've done.

Ya know when people listen to you or see you they want to get off their tush. Te same thing with my sistie. If she can almost loose 100 ( at her age ) then the rest of us know anyone can. No matter how long they have done it wrong before.

I wish I could have you over for lunch a year from now and see where you are. And to think it all started because your blog talking about running down the street and people came out the woodwork on the sidelines. emoticon

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JENNIK2 9/22/2012 6:21PM

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SKINICOOK 9/22/2012 5:17PM

    Leah you are doing great, absolutely amazing results! Don't ever for a second think that you cannot inspire people yet because you are not at your goal. Look at how many people you have inspired with this blog! I can't swim and it's something that I've always regretted. I thought at 29 I was too old to learn. Your blog has inspired me to get up off my ass and do something about it! By the end of the year I want to be able to swim a length of the pool. It may not seem much to some but it would be a hugh achievement to me. Thank you so much for the inspiration. You are a gem!

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Comment edited on: 9/22/2012 5:18:20 PM

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WALKERDOL 9/22/2012 5:08PM

  You are an inspiration. I felt the same way but I'm going go get back on my schedule .

Comment edited on: 9/22/2012 5:09:22 PM

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SATCHMO99 9/22/2012 4:52PM

    Thank you Lord for sending friends like Leah into our lives via SparkPeople. Thank you Lord for sending Leah's friend into her life and asking the pertinent question. Thank you Lord for giving Leah the strength to take herself seriously.

Thank you Lord. Thank you Leah.

Hugs, Satchmo x

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REENIE131 9/22/2012 4:48PM

    I know how you feel..I think a lot of us feel that way. Thank you for the blog.

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TERRIJ7 9/22/2012 4:39PM

    Leah, thank God (I know you do) for that friend who looked into your eyes that day and asked you that question. Not everyone is blessed to have a friend who can reach into your heart and help you to unlock the door that NEEDS to be opened in order for you to proceed in your journey. I wish we all had at least one friend like that!

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HEALTHY4HIM 9/22/2012 4:33PM

    You are such an amazing person, Leah.
Truly proud of you. And yes, I totally get what a big deal the swim is!

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TRYINGHARD54 9/22/2012 4:12PM

    oh I understand completely.. your going great, keep going !

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MILADY_LCF 9/22/2012 3:04PM

    You are doing great!
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HOLLYM48 9/22/2012 2:56PM

    You are doing great! Way to go in taking your life back and by doing it one day at a time! 35 lbs in wonderful, you can't lose it all at once so you are on the right track in losing it slowly. Indeed there are so many wonderful people on this site, always full of encouragement. Glad you found Spark People and I wish you continued success in the weight loss! emoticon

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LINDAKAY228 9/22/2012 2:44PM

    I am so excited for you!!! For the 2 lbs lost this week, for the 35 lbs lost in 4 months, and for the extra distance and improvements in the pool! All of them are major!

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HEALTHY4ME 9/22/2012 1:42PM

    AWESOME! I too wonder what is at the bottom of my issues. I sometimes think I want to do the nutritional end of it not the physical but then I think I want to help women 30 and over who are "lost'. I have felt that for ages, have even said that to a councellor she said go find some people that are doing it.
My dream was to have a place on our land ( 3 acres wooded across from lake 50 mins from city) where I could have a retreat of types.
Alas days go by and I do nothing, I dont even lose wt.... Haven't thought of this in ages, perhaps cos I don't feel as lost as I was then.
Thanks for this cos I need some incentive and perhaps there is a goal... I am 55 and not gone yet. Was just laughing at a friend who I had sent a pic of a diff. type of house, he was always looking at that stuff and he replied no time for that now sigh.. too old. I wrote back only if you think so.
Guess I better listen to my own words. Time is going by and I need to move as much as I am able.
THANKS and you are doing fantastic!!!

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SHOAPIE 9/22/2012 1:17PM

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JAYEBEAN 9/22/2012 1:14PM

    All I can say is Wow! Great story.

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STHAX10 9/22/2012 12:42PM

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CWHEATLEY12 9/22/2012 12:15PM

    You have so much to be proud of. WOW! Keep up the great work and thank you for sharing your inspirational story!

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ON2VICTORY 9/22/2012 12:09PM

    so proud of you Leah, you have such heart.... find your power my friend and conquer!

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ONEATATIME3 9/22/2012 10:41AM

  So that is one length at a time and look at you , instead of breathing every two lengths you have reached 850m...WOW!!! Now that is achievement & so inspiring.Lady you Rock!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RUKASPOOKA 9/22/2012 9:55AM

    You are doing amazing I have also been on this journey since May in earnst and have lost 27 lbs. So YOU are doing amazing and trust me i KNOW how hard it is when the scale wont budge and I get tempted to throw in the towel and say screw it. Thats when I update my measurements on here and find how many inches I have lost instead. Keep strong you can do it

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JSMC10 9/22/2012 9:52AM

    This is absolutely fantastic, keep going

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MANILUS 9/22/2012 9:02AM

    You have a lot to be proud of and support does make all the difference, keep going!!!

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CUDDLYPOLARBEAR 9/22/2012 8:26AM

    Great post....Thank you for sharing

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TREYONE 9/22/2012 8:17AM

  Just Remember - one day at a time, one moment a time! You are doing emoticon
Have a Great Weekend emoticon

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WILSON1926 9/22/2012 7:22AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
YOU inspire me
Have a great Weekend
M

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IREN0169 9/22/2012 7:18AM

    You are an inspiration! Thank you for sharing!

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FATHINSN 9/22/2012 3:16AM

    Breath in, breath out, try to relax then see things in different views. I know it can be frustrating that some of the things that you're trying to achieved feel like so far out of your grasp so don't you ever give up! Keep on trying, change your plans, keep on moving forward, even if you have to side-step, crawling, jumping over hurdles.

Life is more interesting when you able to defeat obstacles and get your goals!

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FRANCES-AGAPE 9/22/2012 2:07AM

    emoticon

So you had a temporary downer

YOU are utterly emoticon

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Have a Wonderful Weekend

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BLESSINGS !

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REGILIEH 9/22/2012 1:10AM

    emoticon

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THESLIMMERME1 9/22/2012 12:28AM

    emoticon emoticon I find your commitment and determination very motivating - please don't bee too hard on yourself - your doing a emoticon job. Regarding your keen interest in helping others - you are doing that by blogging here! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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35ANGELS 9/22/2012 12:24AM

    You are doing emoticon

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LIVEDAILY 9/21/2012 10:55PM

    I am SO happy for you!! I think maybe your body had to adjust to the new way of eating and all of your activity. You should start seeing more weight loss now. Super effort in the pool today!! That was awesome!!

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GOING-STRONG 9/21/2012 10:44PM

    emoticon

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KRYSTALLA 9/21/2012 10:43PM

    Good blog and as Dory says "Just Keep Swimming". :)

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JUNEAU2010 9/21/2012 10:14PM

    emoticon emoticon
Thanks for inspiring me!

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LINDAK25 9/21/2012 9:40PM

    Fantastic! Congratulations on your weight loss. When you said you almost cried when you realized you would soon be back in the land of 100s, I know how you feel. I went shopping yesterday and almost cried when I realized that all the 1X tops were too big! I've been doing Spark since May 9th this year and I lost 24 pounds, so I think you're doing terrific! Great swimming, too!

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CHANGINGEMMY 9/21/2012 9:30PM

    Way to go Leah!! You're doing great and so motivating!! You'll figure out your "something" and you'll be amazing!!!

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FRANCIEVW 9/21/2012 9:25PM

    Congratulations on your accomplishment! You WILL do this. All of this. I'm in your corner.

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DONNA5281 9/21/2012 9:18PM

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GIGGLEBOXGIRL 9/21/2012 7:21PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KIPPER15 9/21/2012 6:47PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon On the weight loss. You inspire me in so many ways. emoticon

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CINDHOLM 9/21/2012 6:39PM

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QTEALADY20031 9/21/2012 6:35PM

    Congrats on your two pound loss! Remember the scale is not the only source of measure, you can always tell by your clothes too. You are doing great with the swimming. Keep up the good work and you will get there. I am looking at Onderland soon too. Enjoy your week-end! emoticon emoticon emoticon June

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NILLAPEPSI 9/21/2012 5:03PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/21/2012 5:04:04 PM

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MANDERS1105 9/21/2012 4:51PM

    Congratuations on your 2lb loss! It took me almost 4 weeks to lose 2 lbs as well, so I understand your frustrations--AND I just fell below 230! Keep up the amazing work! You will find your TRUE goal eventually--just take the journey and let the road lead you.

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