Monday, May 30, 2011

It's Now or Never...F*ck Fear

"Don't think, just do it!" This was the advice of one of my facebook friends. So I did it. I was going to do it eventually, it was just a matter of time. But, I didn't want to wait until the last minute in case I got shut out. Yep, I finally signed up for my first marathon.

I knew this was the year. I am a big believer in fate and "signs" and the signs were ll over the place that this was the year it was going to happen. Let's look at the signs and analyze:

1) I am turning 40 in March. My husband will say I am having a mid-life crisis. I don't think the crisis will happen for another 5-6 years, but call it what you will. However, I did want this to be the year of a big accomplishment.

2) I have been injury free. The hip flexor/bursitis pain that has plagued me for the last year or so has come and gone. There could be a lot of factors contributing to this. It may be the fact that I have lost an additional 22 pounds which may have alleviated any pressure that was causing the pain. That's my theory. Not sure if it's right, but it makes sense to me.

3) I have lost an additional 22 pounds. I am in the best shape of my life. My strength training that I have been doing at my boot camp with Michelle has really helped my muscle tone and definition. I am thinner than now than when I was a freshman in high school. The body is feeling good and strong.

4) I am waiting for my custom-made orthotics to come back. I am working with a wonderful podiatrist who knows I am suffering from plantar fasciitis and a heel spur and recently casted me from orthotics that will keep me pain free. In the interim, he made me a a splint for both of my feet that helps so I can enjoy running. He is a runner too, and understands my mindset.

5) I need another goal. I have done 3 half-marathons. It's time to set another goal and work towards it.

So with all those signs, I had been eyeing the Corning Wineglass Marathon for awhile. First, I have some good friends who will also be running so comradrie will help. This includes a fanstastic individual I met at Weight Watchers boot camp who will also be attempting this as her first marathon. Yes, it screams expose and article, doesn't it? Second, there is wine. Third, as luck would have it, a third of my clientele for my HR job happens to be in this area and I am very familiar with the region. Fourth, I have heard that if you want to do your first marathon, this is the one you want to choose.

So I sat on all these feelings for a month debating what to do. The only thing that was holding me back was fear. Fear is paralyzing and can hold you back from so many things. Fear can affect how we live, how we love, how we work. To let your life be directed by fear is not a life that I want to live. My facebook status today was "you only have this one life to live, this one shot!" You better live it to the fullest because you never know when your number is going to be up. So I thought about all these things and finally said, "F*ck Fear!" I paid my entry fee and will be running in the 30th Corning Wineglass Marathon in early October.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.”

Here we go...

Monday, May 9, 2011

A love letter to my WW BLS Peeps

During the last few days of April, I spent an amazing three days in Boston with 23 of my newest friends! We all endured three days of Basic Leader Skills in order to pass the test to become a leader for Weight Watchers. We all passed with flying colors and moved to the next step, becoming a Leader Apprentice. Those three days were amazing and touched me beyond belief. During those three days, we shared many things:

-our fears
-our tears
-our love of running
-our love of the gym
-our love of beer
-our love of helping others
-our love of food
-our secrets (ahem)
-our dreams
-our aspirations
-our determination
-our happiness that we were finally happy in our own skin

At the end when we were wrapping up our time together, I said to the group, "I feel like I have found my people". When I said that, I meant people who understand that I am still afraid that I am going to gain the weight back. That I am still in disbelief that there is no way I am a size 4/size small. That I am still anal about portion sizes when it comes to food. All of you mean so much to me! When people ask me about my time with you, it is so hard to put in to words what it was like. I wish I could have put you all in my pocket and bring you home with me. And I truly hope that we will see each other again someday!

About 10 of us were at Logan Airport and shared some more beer (I wasn't joking) before our flights left. My dear friend, Patrick, was getting ready to board one plane to Baltimore and I was getting ready to board another one. He texted me before we took off and wanted to do dinner at the airport in Baltimore. In his words, "Who knows when I will see you again and if I will get this chance again?" That in a nutshell is how much those three days meant to me. I will never forget you and you have inspired me to be a great leader! Love, Jenn

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Embrace the role model

This weekend I had Weight Watchers Basic Leader Skills. For my facebook friends, this is not new information, but I am officially a Leader Apprentice which means that I am ready to complete 4 meetings, gradually working up to running my own meeting. I am SO EXCITED about this and cannot wait to get started. I remember telling my roommate at the training that I am not an ultra religious person but that I truly feel God had some hand in moving me down this path. But this isn't what I wanted to blog about tonight.

One of the things we talked about at training is being a role model. I am a little uncomfortable with this feeling. I am sure most of you are saying, "Really?" Actually, this is true. I don't like to toot my own horn and feel that if I talk about my accomplishments that I am going to look like an asshat (my new favorite word). One of the things they would like us to do as a leader in the meeting is show our before picture as well as give a "real-life situation" of something that we learned when we were heavy or losing the weight, how we felt, etc. I told one of the trainers that I felt odd about this and I didn't want the focus to be on me, that it should be on the members and their accomplishments, journeys, and roadmaps.

She then explained to me one of the reasons they want Lifetime members to be Leaders is that they have lived the plan and had success on the program and can add value by sharing their own story. This will be an interesting feat for me to accomplish because I still carry the scars of how it felt back then and still get a little emotional when I talk about it (or sometimes even think about it) I hope I can keep that in check.

So I will share my story with anyone and everyone and if it changes one person's life, I have done the job that Weight Watchers hired me for.