Sunday, October 25, 2015

Staying Fit with My Head in the Clouds

So...I am now a Flight Attendant!  This is something you don't even consider when you weigh 400lbs but thanks to a lot of hard work and medical intervention, I can join the ranks of those fit individuals who travel for a living!  Living out of your suitcases presents challenges for those of us committed to a healthy lifestyle!  I have learned how to make meals with just a coffee maker and how to pack your food in a sink full of ice to keep it fresh. I travel with all my own food only eating out occasionally if it's sushi!  I make a point of getting to the hotel gym everyday and also get additional exercise by exploring the cities that I layover in! Staying fit and healthy while flying isn't impossible,  it just requires creativity! I have the best office ever!

Friday, December 19, 2014

The Journey to Wellness Begins

I was never the athletic type growing up.  I don't think I ever gave physical activity enough of a chance.  I was always "big boned or chubby".  Whatever you want to call it I was overweight.  As I grew older the term overweight no longer applied to me.  I became obese, morbidly obese and then finally super morbidly obese.  I had a BMI creeping up on 60!  I had diabetes, asthma, sleep apnea, fatty liver and edema so severe my feet looked like flesh colored balloons.  The wake up call didn't come with health scares or the cruel way society treats people that are different, the wake up call came when I opened my eyes one morning to a SEVERE change in eyesight.  I was developing diabetic retinopathy.  This scared me. I had tried literally every diet and some worked for a short term and some didn't.  I knew what road I needed to travel and that was bariatric surgery.  I did meticulous research to find a doctor.  I did start the process with a physician and backed out because I just didn't feel he was the right surgeon for me.  I can't articulate why it just wasn't a good fit. Then I found him, Dr. James Kane Jr.  I knew from the moment I met him he was going to help me save myself so on 6-9-09, Dr. Kane did just that.  I had a gastric bypass RNY procedure.  It was not an easy road for either of us.  I didn't have surgical pain but I had gas pain that hurt every inch of my 397lb body.  Dr Kane's pain was me! I healed as promised and now I had to change my life in every way.  I had to eat the prescribed diet and I had to EXERCISE! So to honor my commitment to wellness, I started out slowly..walking short distances and progressed from there. In 14 months I lost the excess weight and hit my goal weight.  I was wearing size 8 clothing!  This was also the time I started to run.  I COULD RUN.  So my very first official run was the Rock and Roll Marathon Chicago.  I started with a 5K and went on from there.  I just completed a half marathon, 13.1 miles and next comes the big one..the full marathon 26.2 miles!  All this sounds pretty easy..right?  It wasn't.  I did loads of research into eating properly, getting the required protein and exercise.  I became my own personal trainer(that reason will be divulged at a later time). I also became a Certified Wellness Coach.  My first clients were a group of newbie bariatric patients that wanted to run a couch to 5K.  I had 6 people that hated exercise and I had to show them that exercise could be fun.  We hit a mile long wooded path on a rainy morning.  There was alot of whining (Karma got me on that one) and I cants rang out. I sang Aerosmith songs as we walked/ran and I provided positive reinforcement! We also worked on positive thinking and changing the I can't to an I can do attitude and 8 weeks after meeting me....they all received a medal for completing the 5K!  I enjoy helping people that need to find wellness whether it be physical, emotional or spiritual.  I myself to this day still seek the assistance of a wise woman who helps me to continually grow and become the best me (Thank you Lora)! My journey to wellness was a bumpy road with a few smooth patches that kept me going.  I believe each day we change sometimes for the better and sometimes not so much.  We are a work in progress! 
My favorite author/poet, the late Dr.Maya Angelou said, "I did what I knew how, when I knew better I did better".  That is this girls mantra!!