Transformation

This week my #TransformationTuesday showed a huge transformation of my body.

But what you all do not realize is this;

Picture on left; I was over 300lbs. I had this fear of walking on this suspension bridge in the town near me. This was the farthest I’d walk out on it. I had panic attacks that my weight would break the bridge. Yes this is a fear plus size people have. I was so afraid to step on the bridge.

Picture on right; I’ve lost over 140lbs. My fear of my weight breaking bridges is nonexistent. I have confidence in me; in knowing I can’t break items just by standing on them. I walked this bridge without fear.

My life has changed both on the outside and my own mental thinking with my weight loss. I don’t see myself anymore in the sense “I will break things”. I can enjoy life so much more without this mental road block.

#RunningChangedMe #Plussize #Fitness #Healthy #MeVsMe #MentalHealth #Fears #Weightloss #FatGone #ThisIsMe #RunChat #Marathon #BeHappy

the juggle

This is one of those posts I have stumbled in the start of it. Where do I start? Where do I jump in? This chapter has colourful moments and it also contains dark pages.

I’ve not been as strict this time around with my marathon training, I’ve used the nasty head game and talked myself out of runs, gym etc. Basically I’ve struggled a lot lately with my mental health.

I think my largest struggle is learning the life / work / training balance. I commute to and from work. There are days I’m out of the house for over 16 hrs. I admit I’m dog tired. Then my head game kicks in. I’d sooner sleep and rest over going out and run.

I’ve lost my every other week long run buddy. So I’ve doubt myself. All the while I keep forgetting the famous quote my Rumi

I went into sheer panic and almost thinking I’d drop out of doing the marathon because I did not believe I could do it alone. I reached out and asked friends who I thought could or would be wanting to help etc. But everyone is busy. Life is busy. So I mentally got myself wrapped around I could not do it. It was like I had the fear of failure and heart ache which just made me depressed. Last October’s attempt is still raw in my heart.

Last summer my Sherpa Mom and I had such a good schedule. This year it’s been lost. I’ve recently reached out to a friend who is a runner in my area to see if she’s up to doing some training runs. Finding a bike for Koren as she is broken with her knee.  It’s a matter of just asking. Knowing people are there to help me.

I did a lot of soul searching. I had to first find out if my body would be able to handle this again.  If the blood values would work and my legs would carry me. I’ve seen another specialist for my asthma and she told me to continue to run.

As we all know my body fights me daily but I’m still stronger.

Just recently (past week) I had the melt down. I acknowledged I’ve been depressed. I’ve been letting my body win. My mind win.  So I decided to take Jodie back. My anxiety had been keeping me awake, I constantly felt like I could not breathe. My anxiety was back full force; it was kicking in at times when I was meant to be out having fun (happened at a concert). I had/have to get on top of this. I had to become me again.

This past weekend I got back on the training plan, mapped it out better. I had to work on the work / life balance. To factor in getting home at times at 7pm and back up at 5am (or before I have a horrible internal clock). I had to plan and adjust to life of July.

I realized even more this journey is going to be more of it being about me and learning just how strong my mind is. How much I’ve grown since I first started running. This marathon; I know my body can take me 42.2kms. It’s my mind I am training this time around. More so I don’t have anxiety or just do not finishing. Not having panic. Mental health is serious.

I own the road. The road does not own me. So this plan and training I’ll figure it out. I’ll do myself proud. I will stay being me and mostly I’ll ask more people for help, I won’t keep quiet and I will speak out when I need to and mostly I will continue to love running and the joy it brings me.

“sometimes, you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, and sometimes, in the middle of nowhere, you find yourself.”

Open Letter to Runners

Dear Runners (of all abilities)

This is an open letter to all runners, because at the end of every run we cross the same finish line. So it doesn’t matter your abilities, but this letter is being wrote from the back half runner.

So here we go: 

I’m starting this off with just thinking:

When you cross the finish line with crazy pride, feeling the victory high and you’re on cloud 9 for being super happy because you crushed it, you proceed to get your medal, you only grab one, correct? 

So now we have our medals we move on to the next tent, or transition station which is usually the food stations. This is where it becomes tricky. Remember this is still all about just you.

So you’re in line and it comes the time to get your food. You want to quickly get through because your own cheerleaders are waiting for you. 

Are you consciously aware of what you are grabbing? Are you taking only one of everything? Or are you taking multiple items? Do you exit the food station with an arm full and not enough hands to carry it all? Have you grabbed for a cheerleader waiting for you? We are being honest here, we all have done it over the course of our running careers.

Well after thinking about everything I’ve asked about, what you might not realize is, the extra(s) you’ve grabbed and what someone else has grabbed it adds up.

When you finish did you stop and think: are there other runners out there still doing their best? Did you think that maybe someone might not get food?

Race Director’s do their best to budget food, but if everyone takes extra here and there is leaves a sour finish for those in the back half. 

So here I am telling you runners if you ever take extra, you are actually leaving zero food for the back half. It adds up if you take basically someone else takes share. 

So for an example; the Army Run there was zero food left in the first transition zone for the Commander’s Challenge. When I finished my half marathon I was offered just a half a banana. For the Lululemon Waterfront 10k, there was nothing. 

I’ve busted my ass just the same as you have regardless of your time, your place. I don’t take 2 medals because I worked extra hard and nor do you. So why do people continuously take extra food?

The people of the back half of all runs deserve more then a medal, they’ve worked up an appetite, they have the same pride and sense of accomplishment as you do, so why not leave them some food?

There are more runners out running, doing their best, chasing their own personal goals, we may not all have the same time as you, or the person who crossed behind you, but I truly believe we deserve the same as you when we do cross.

We put in the same effort and just have a longer time, we are out there not giving up, but regardless if you’re first or last we as equal runners deserve the same.

I do not deserve to be told “sorry we ran out”. 

So fellow runners, run family, next run you do, run these thoughts through your head. Are there more people still out on course? Am I taking away from others?

I’m getting tired of crossing finish lines to empty food bins/stations. 

Race director, you do have a wee bit of responsibility to make sure this doesn’t keep happening. Other races have “food vouchers” which avoids this whole disappointment.

So if you take anything from this I hope it’s just the awareness for your next run.

Thanks

Jodie

Leader of the back half. 

Lean Fit Brand 

When I was told to become a plant based eater with no soy and rice, I was left scratching my head. 

I started reading labels on everything from bread to my go to protein powder with everything in between. 

On my IG I follow an amazing athlete name David Freake, who randomly posted information on a protein powder that was plant based along with information.

I researched the company as I’ve tried other plant based products and I couldn’t do it, get passed any of the taste and how it made me feel.

I reached out to the company with a couple of questions on basically where can I buy the vegan soy free powder as I’m currently living in a small town Ontario. I also asked other questions, as I wanted to make sure I was going to try the best and this would work for me.

After a few emails back and forth I received this amazing care package in the mail.

This totally took me for a surprise. I’m completely grateful to this company. The part that made it amazing and heartfelt was the personalized note offering encouragement and support. That note sealed the deal for me with this company which is a huge, yet someone took the time to write me a note.

So this is my review (not asked to by the company);

I love it. 

I love the taste of it regardless if it’s mixed with water, almond milk and or made with fruit and veggies.

I had zero tummy issues. I didn’t feel bloated or heavy. I didn’t have any side effects.

I had energy. I was able to use the product before and after a run as fuel.

I had no after tastes and I didn’t have those “repeat second time around” tastes. You know those ones you get. I didn’t have anything.

I’m completely sold on this product. I will be using Lean Fit because of the benefits that it’s not filled with garbage. The energy and fuel was there.

I highly suggest you take your protein powder more serious. Read labels, ask questions including where and how it’s made. This is all to benefit you, help you in your journey which is all helping you to continue on the path of success.

This company and product are going to get me to my Marathon and beyond. Because there is going to be another goal when my Marathon is done, we all know it. 

So do me the favour, check out Lean Fit Brand on Social Media, their website and educate yourself. Find what works for you. 

Week 10 – That 21km Training Run 

Well this was the week I tried to talk myself out of the long run. I didn’t get it fully done on Sunday with only doing 10k.

I said to myself on Sunday I’ll do it Monday. Monday came and it became Tuesday. Finally the weather God’s offered me the perfect weather on Wednesday. 

So I was up Wednesday with it still being dark, stars in the sky before the sunrise with my route mapped out. I was off running chasing the sunrise.This run, I still was having trouble wrapping my head around the end; it was training. There would be no medal, no sweaty hugs or other runners along the way or people cheering. I had to keep saying “training”. 

I mentally was against a wall. 

During the run I said to myself just screw it for time. I mentally was just going to win over my body by completing the 21k training run. I wasn’t out there doing a half marathon.

 

I wanted to give up at the 10km mark. I felt like I was done. I kept going and when I hit the 15k I knew I had this. By now the sun was up, it was getting warm and my asthma had me coughing like a smoker. I slowed down a bit, but I wasn’t giving up.

I finished. I did it. 21k by myself, for a training run. I was successful. To mentally say I did 21k as a training run over saying I did a half marathon. This is a whole new game in my running career.

So I passed the wall. I went thru it, hit it dead on and got over it.

I decided to rest my legs (After the 21k I was at the farm show walking another 5k) as I had to help koren out Friday and Saturday while she recovered we decided to do a bestie date day and head to the beach. It was needed. Nothing like a day at beach to mentally recover and do some soul searching.

Thank you to everyone who gave words of encouragement and believed in me during this week. You gave me the push to help me fly. So thank you.

This week I have a 10.5k and a super long run. Koren and I will be together on this. Again it’s about the distance not the time.

Nutrition is also key again this week. It’s a balancing game.

So until next week. 

Week 9/2 -Marathon Training 

So with the reset button fully hit and plans made, this week was successful. 

I started back slow as my body had to get used to running again after being off for the month. I ran this week when my body would allow me. 

Well I’ll start with this:


I want to say “dear coach I can’t explain”, but I did finally narrow it down to the leg/foot of an ironing board. I had an ugly purple toe that I couldn’t even bend and it was beyond swollen. Touching it brought tears to my eyes. 

I did take a break after I did 5k not thinking it could be broken. I was happy with my results from the run so I guess that counts. Not counting that I needed to ice my foot after and often for a few days. 

The rest of this week I focused on my food. I’m still trying to adjust to being a plant based eater without the normal things most plant eaters would eat. I’ve been hungry and unsure of all foods I’ve ate. I’m trying to monitor my symptoms with my anaphylaxis to see if there is any improvement, as well as keep fuel in my body so I have energy. It’s still been a struggle. 

I reached out to friends and fellow members of team nuun for help. I’ve gotten somewhere. This is a process which won’t be fixed over night. 

I did make my own bread this week, it might of taken a couple of tries because even the squirrels would not eat the one loaf.  It weighed about 7lbs and could of been used as a weapon. It wasn’t good.


This past weekend my plan was to run 21k. If I was thinking and looked at the weather I would of ran Saturday, but I was thinking I would still incorporate it into my #JPsTeam fun run on Sunday. It didn’t happen. The weather on Sunday was gross in Toronto. So all I ran yesterday was 10k. Which is ok. It worked my lungs with the humidity. I was uncomfortable with the heat but I got it done. 

Plus I enjoyed my company on the run. I was able to catch up with an amazing person, who I wish I saw more of! So to me that was the win. But the huge surprise of  the fun run was the wedding vow renewal in the middle. It was so perfect and heart warming. I was blessed to be there and included.

For this week I have some new goals. Just getting the kms in, not the time. I know I’m improving I can tell with each run I do. With each time I push myself a bit further. I’m going to teach my legs that it’s ok to still run dead tired. Going to keep pushing myself out of my comfort zone.

My goal is to get in a 21k in the middle of this week, a 5k and do a long run on Sunday.  

To me this marathon is about being my best. Doing my best and reaching the finish line with a smile.

This is my journey, it’s not anywhere near a mirror image of anyone else’s and that’s perfect.

Until next week, let’s hope I get my food figured out and I do some runs with a smile. 

🍍

Lost Control & Mental Health 

In the last few months, I’ve had many changes, some for the good and honestly most out of my control.

Fast forward to the now. In the last 2 months I’ve been hospitalized (taken by ambulance), seen doctors, new specialists, been to the hospital for testing, had my food choices taken away and entered a whole new unknown. Which I’ve embraced head on as you’ll see. 

This is not a pity party, because no one should ever pity me or feel sorry for me. I’ve taken every set back and totally made the best of it.  Found the positive, because whether you believe it or not there is always a positive in a storm or road block.

I am not a control freak by any means, but I live for a structure (which I am sure 98% of us do) and planning. Please don’t get me wrong I am all for last minute road trips, changing plans and just doing random things at a drop of a hat. But I am totally a planner or like to have control over some of the things going on, so with the last few weeks it has mentally been a struggle.

Becoming a forced plant based eater on such short notice has been completely overwhelming. I’m a repeat eater, I don’t go too far off my “regular” foods, meal prep and mix things up. I’m not creative, I don’t need to be, as I am a repeat eater. I’m that country kid where all I need is a meat and a veggie. When your options are striped from you, that is mentally tough right there. I didn’t become a plant eater because I am against everything to do with animals etc. I did it because talking to my specialists it was decided we are taking me back to the bare minimum for food for my anaphylaxis. So I’ve mentally struggled with new foods to eat that are not meat, dairy, soy and rice.

BUT I am trying, it’s reading labels for a totally different reason, it’s going to learn that I soak something for how long and why. It’s a new learning curve and I’ve embraced it head on, because that is what a strong person does. This is for me, learning and hopefully finding an answer for my anaphylaxis. I’m thankful to every person who sent me messages, whether it be a movie to watch, a book to read or information on where to find some cool recipes and mostly I’m thankful for those who have supported me.

Now added in that dangerous poisonous insect bit I got on my body with a crazy infection, I haven’t been able to work out, run or do anything but heal. This has been hard on my mental health with everything. I’ve been struggling a lot lately.

With being on the bench from running, considering I have a plan, something that in all of my life’s chaos it was permanent, set in stone and can’t change or bend, it was controlled. It was something I knew had to be done on the days coached and I agreed to. Even if I missed one day I knew I could make it up in that week of training. My plan was designed for me.

Running is not my “alone” time or a time I use to think, mostly I am thinking of random things I see along the run, or just singing to myself. I don’t use running to escape anything.

Running is the one thing I can control in amidst of everything right now in my life. I follow the plan, I am in control. Right now the rest of my life is not in any control and I’m struggling.

Running I am in control, I pick and choose the time I am going out for my run. People who know me know that I am a robot, but lately I’m not a robot. I’m all over the place, taking what is being tossed at me, falling back on this mountain I am climbing. Everyone has a different reason as to why they run, besides the important factor its excellent for our health, but my reason as I said it was one of the last thing I can control right now in my life and always been able to control.

I can’t control when my body rebels, or if I get a bit from some bug, or my veins in my leg act up, I can’t control any of that. Having this marathon training schedule set in black and white, I can control this.

So you add all this up and you have a mental health upset. I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks. Yes I just admitted it again, so let’s end the stigma while we are at it. There is no shame in this. This is me.

When I get overwhelmed which I have been for the past 3 weeks, I have a 1000 thoughts running through my head, I get anxious when control is gone, when I don’t know what to do, when I feel like I need to know it and try to plan. Add in worry and it’s a perfect cocktail for a bad mental health day. Which are ok to have, but you don’t stay down. I work my way out of them and continue on. The sun always rises and will always set. So I work with what works best with me and I get through those tough days.

But when I look back over the last few weeks I lost the last thing I could control, maybe losing this control is a life lesson and afterwards I’ll be able to be thankful for the lesson, but right now I am still confused, but I know that I will be able to run soon again, the infection is clearing. I will be able to control and plan and have something in each day that I controlled. 

I am learning better ways to cope with my anxiety and my panic attacks. I’m learning how to talk through them, not to be alone when I am down and also acknowledge I do need alone time to be me, and just settle.

Running right now in my life will be the only control I have, this makes me stronger as I haven’t given up, when things go bad, when my body rebels etc.

I am climbing this mountain to show my body, that it can’t beat me, mentally and physically. To show others your journey is worth it, never give up, that you just find a way around road blocks in your path, and you will climb your own mountain in the speed you’re meant to climb it at.


I’ll be back running it’s just a matter of time, I will be back in control again of something and feel a relief. I will be back on my marathon training plan, making up lost kms, following the plan, having fun while at it, smiling and knowing come October, this marathon will not beat me, I will finish. Because this journey is too important not to love and be successful.

I want to thank everyone again for their support, checking in with me, your friendships are golden to me. I’ve had bad mental health moments and sometimes you folks pop in just at the right time. Again there is no shame in admitting you have a mental health issue, the stigma needs to end. We are humans. 

🍍

W5 and W6 = Blur or Epic Fail

I started my week 5 off on a good start. I was on track to make up missed kms from when I was in anaphylaxis and in hospital. So I was feeling good. I ran Monday (6km)



Tuesday (7km) and Wednesday (6km)


I was feeling amazing, proud of myself for running 3 days in a row. I was becoming more confident in myself for running. Thursday I took a rest day. Friday I was unable to run, as I had to do a commute (which took an additional 4 hours). 

During this week Koren learned that after multiple tests and doctors visits she would be sidelined with an injury in her ankle/foot, and is off running for 4-6 weeks. It was a blow as I losing my long run, running partner. 

The long run we had scheduled at the end of week 5, we did thinking and Koren was going to either bike or roller-blade beside me, keep me company and support me. Sunday was an epic fail. My asthma was off the charts and uncontrollable. I can run through most things but I can’t run through wheezing, short breath and sever lung pain, so I played it smart and bowed out of my long run to go back into the AC and recover. 

I told myself week 6 will change and everything will be on track. 

‪On Monday/Tuesday of ‬week 6 (this past week) I had a meeting with my specialist. I had a discussion with them over more testing, further options, more information. After it was all said and done, we decided on doing some changes with my food, to bring it back to basic. So I am now eating a vegan life style, well more plant based as I’m still consuming honey. 


This to be quite honest has been a difficult change, as I was just tossed into it. I haven’t really had time to wrap my head around it, where most people take the time to do research, study recipes and options before making the full leap. I went cold turkey and started on Tuesday. So not being consumed in this life style is all meats, dairy, all soy products and no rice. I know I’ll eventually figure this out.

Sooo let’s take a moment and go back to about 2 weeks ago, I went to the lake to visit friends. I got some good mosquitoes bites. I had one that was basically on the back of my upper leg, that I just figured was a more meaty area for them to bit. It started out the size of a pea and over the last 2 weeks has continually grow into this really red ugly, raised rash that was larger than my hand. I also started to feel worse as each day passed. I was achy, my bones hurt and I felt like I was getting the flu, which was not leaving me. I had zero energy, it was an effort to crawl out of bed in the morning. I was needing extra coffee during the day to stay awake. But I literally thought it was that “summer flu”.

On Thursday I had a doctors appointment, so I brought it to my doctors attention that I had this rash that was itchy and wasn’t going away. She took one look and went into “doctor mode”, and was draining the rash site and telling me that the infection was in my whole body, as I had a fever and other issues upon further testing. So I was given a beyond heavy duty medication to treat a blood and bone infection, if the spot is not cleared up by Monday, I need to go back in for a heavier medication, which will most likely be an IV treatment. 


So to sum up the last two weeks, I haven’t felt like running. I haven’t felt like doing any cross training, just walking a flight of stairs had(s) me ready for a nap. My body is tired. Which is ok, its fighting an infection. 

I can say with all this, when I told my friends, they have been amazing, good sense of humours and mostly kept checking in on me, showing concern, yelling like mother’s. Sometimes you need to find humour in siutations that want to make you cry. 

For 4 weeks, my body has been broken, hospitlized and on a treatment plan and everything else. 

I haven’t ran for 11 days and that is ok. The sun still rose in the morning and set in the evenings. Its all ok. 

Do I have guilt for not running? Maybe

Do I have sadness over everything? At times

Do I think this will change my marathon time and outcome? HELL NO

Set backs happen whether minor, big or just a small hiccup. This doesn’t change anything. 

My determination is wild and I’m driven to be back on track, back on targert. I will continue on this marathon journey. 

My body may want to continue to fight me, but I’m stronger. 

🍍

Week 4-Part 2 – Marathon Training

Well, I’m going to be honest; I didn’t run at all this week. My plan was there, my mind was ready but my body didn’t work. This time around the treatment they gave me knocked me down and kept me down. My body rebelled.

I talked to my doctors. I listened to my body. Mostly I didn’t trust my body to behave, from being dizzy, swelling and everything in between I decided I couldn’t risk it, a run was not worth me falling or passing out. To be honest I didn’t even leave the house until yesterday. This was my Friday night views..
So the remainder of this week I focused on making a better plan. I spent a lot of time researching foods and being creative with what I can eat right now. 

So today it was “meal prep” day.


I’ve made my breakfasts – egg cups. My lunches are planned for each day and are ready to be grabbed from the fridge. My snacks are measured, made into appropriate portions and again are ready to grab and go. I’ve made protein balls and super health sugar free banana protein muffins as well.

My dinners are made. Each day I have something different but healthy and clean. I will be having fish, chicken and pork (yup I eat pork).


I have everything ready to go. No excuses and no standing in the kitchen wondering.

So week 5 I have goals. First, I’m hoping the side effects are all gone and sleep will come back to me. 

I’m going to be adding extra runs. Making up runs and eating right. I’m going to aim for 5 runs this week including my long this weekend which Koren and I will do together. 

Yes this is a set back but it’s not going to change the outcome of this marathon. I will finish. 

Life happens and my body is an original so I have to protect it. I could be angry I’m behind but I’m not. I am going to focus on the positive in making this week count. Making up for lost kms. 

Bring on week 5! 

W3 – Marathon Training

I started this week out more concerned over the upcoming doctors appointments. My main focus going into the week above the medical aside was my food, changing the fuelling up and trying to figure out the proper balance for myself.  

Tuesday I was at the hospital meeting a new specialist who will be working with my asthma doctor. I completed a series of tests and came away with another medication to use before I do any exercise. Hopefully this helps with keeping airways open. Needless to say it wasn’t a fun day.

Wednesday I had another appointment to get some answers from the popping sound and pain in my chest and my legs. So the end verdict on my ribs is the intercostal muscles are moving, inflamed and angry, so they are moving my ribs (I have previous broken ribs & chest bone), which is causing me the pain. So I have a treatment and a game plan. Mostly remember to listen to my body and the pain. Now on to my legs and hip, I’ll be needing surgery and have been referred on to a specialist. Nothing crazy but serious enough. I have a plan; doctors recommendation and always remember to listen to my body. 

So with all this news I had to re adjust to a new normal

My runs this week I added kms to the runs just to try and make up missed kms. The humidity spiked this week so it was difficult to run outside. On Thursdays run I went out and did the loop, it wasn’t my fastest time but I look at it the 8km were done and completed. 

The long run was moved again this week to Saturday. Scheduled was 14.5km. We decided to do the waterfront trail, just to make it fun, with a bit of water and trees for coverage. 


Once we got going we realized we missed judged the starting point to get all the kms in, so yes at one point I was that fool making up kms in a parking lot. 

This run was a mix of good hills and flat all mixed in with repeats. It was good a workout.


Koren and I had fun again on this long run, last week we named the run “picking daisy” and this week it was all about the dance party. Koren forgot her headset so we ran with the music playing. So it was a dance party. 

​You have to be able to run and train all while keeping it happy. Who cares what others think. Have fun and be you. 


This run we kept a good pace for the first 8kms and from there it went downhill quickly. We both became hungry. I felt pain. I forgot my asthma medicine (don’t ask). I was hurting. But! I was ok with the slower finish because we still finished! 

Learning to listen to your body and realize you are not failing the plan or yourself is an adjustment. Knowing that I’m being smart and sensible because this goal is the goal of 2017, that makes me ok with everything. It makes me realize I’m a strong person. 

So again this week it’s almost like a reset button on last weeks goal. I’m going to figure out my nutrition, learning the new normal, listening to both doctors and following plans. 

So bring on week 4 with some changes and mostly me working on the other side of running.