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Saturday, October 15, 2011

thoughts on my blog

Okay so since I have started letting people know about my blog the response has been overwhelming. My blog started out as a word document that I would vent to when I was at work. I later decided to post it online but didn't tell anyone about it except for Kyle. I figured some people may find it while browsing the internet but I wasn't sure I wanted anyone I know to know about it. I remember the day I told Teresa about my blog. I felt unsure at first as my blog is very personal. I don't hold back. From there I started to tell a few here and there. Then on my one year anniversary of WW, I posted it to Facebook and since then it's been crazy! People message me, email me, and text me still to this day. The reaction Ive been getting is wonderful. I'm so happy to share my story with everyone.

I went to an extra WW meeting on Friday to get my Kerri fix since she wasn't at the Monday meeting this week. :) Kerri mentioned to the meeting that I have a blog. A few minutes later, a lady passed me a note, like in school, that said "Can I read your blog?" I was so touched. (Hi! if you're reading this!) I had tons of other women come up to me after the meeting to get the blog address too. It's still very surreal to me to think I'm an inspiration to people. I'm just simple me. But if I can help inspire people than that's what will keep me going. I whole heartedly believe in the brand of Weight Watchers and good health in general. I want to live as long as I can. I have a wonderful fiancé and I don't ever want to leave him. I want people to understand that life is worth living and you're not living if you're unhappy with yourself or are unhealthy. We are given one body, we have to take care of it. At the end of the day, it's truly all we've got.

I've been thinking a lot about how I can branch out and inspire more people. Someone suggested television. I know that Dr. Oz is now associated with WW so today I emailed his team. I sent him a current photo of me and this message...

"On Sept. 20, 2010 I walked in to a Weight Watchers center weighing 243 lbs. I have done WW before and although I was motivated again I wasn't sure if it would last. I have been overweight and unhealthy my entire life. I'm a happy outgoing person but in the back of my mind I was constantly reminded that I am different than my friends. Well I met my WW leader Kerri and she has truly inspired me! With the help of Kerri, my new WW friends, and my fiancé I have lost 74.6 pounds! I am a new girl! I am not yet at goal but I will be there soon!! I'm hoping to start 2012 at my goal weight which is perfect timing since I will be getting married on 3/3/12. Since I have lost the weight my entire life has changed. I eat better, I have so much more energy, and I'm an athlete now. Before the weight loss, I had never run a mile in my life. That includes gym class at school. I always found an excuse to not run. Last week I finished my first half marathon and am training for the Walt Disney World Marathon in Jan 2012. Throughout my transformation I have inspired others. I am so humbled by this. I am in no way perfect so I don't feel I'm the ideal role model but then that's maybe what makes me a good role model. I mess up, I have bad days and weeks, but that's what makes me real. I have been blogging since day 2 of my weight loss journey and would love for you to check it out. Here's the link... I would love the chance to come on to your show to hopefully inspire more people. Losing weight is one of the toughest things to do in life. I know that first hand. Everyone would be skinny if it wasn't. But the good certainly outweighs the bad and I want to show people it can be done! I am a new me!! :)"

We'll see if anything comes of it. What I thought would be neat if my final weigh in was on his show. I picture me stepping on the scale, the numbers going crazy like they do on tv, the audience biting their nails in anticipation, and then finally the scale stops and it displays my goal weight. Everyone will go crazy! Everyone I love will be there, my family, friends, Kyle, Kerri, Teresa. Confetti and balloons fall from the sky! It would be magical! :) I sent a link to my blog so if you're from the Dr. Oz show... *hint* *hint* this would make a great show! ;)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I'm Engaged!!!!!!

This has been one incredible week!! I feel bad for the rest of the 51 weeks this year cause this one takes the cake! Well, I thought I would be so excited about finishing my first half marathon and then Kyle went and surprised me with asking me to marry him!!! Here's how it happened...

Kyle told me a few weeks ago that he would like us to take a tour of the Seas with Nemo and Friends. He said that Animal Programs is testing out a new tour and needed "guests" to try it out. I had to switch my days off for the tour as it was being offered on Thursday. I was getting a little suspicious as Kyle never makes plans. So I thought he might propose that day but I wasn't exactly sure how. Well the night before, we went to Merritt Island to have dinner with my parents. My mom asked if I worked the next day and I thought it was odd. I thought she would for sure know I was off cause she would know what was going on. I was thinking she wouldn't even bring up the day so she didn't have to pretend to not know. Well she did a really great job at pretending to not even know about the "tour" we were going on. She had me completely fooled and I thought it wouldn't happen on Thursday.

Thursday morning I talked to Thaty and she asked me what I was doing too. When I told her about the tour she said very non-shelant "Oh yeah, I heard about that." Well that sealed the deal for me. There really is a tour and I'm not getting engaged today. I wasn't upset but at least I wouldn't have expectations and be disappointed. Well the time came to go to Epcot. We left the house around 4:30 and parked at the Beach Club. I tried to look for signs of nervousness or excitement in Kyle but he seemed cool as a cucumber.

We walked in to Epcot and he said "Oh I bet Pam's here today, it's Thursday." So we headed in to the Pub. I walked in and saw Pam. She was playing the piano and said "It's been too long Eileen, where have you been?!" Then I noticed that everyone was staring at me. I started to look around the pub and first saw my friends John and Justin. I waved hello. Then I noticed Brenda, Len, Ashby and Michelle. I thought it was so weird I knew so many people. I looked to my left and saw Anna, Lila, Mom, Dad, Grandma, Thaty, Gio, Lucas, and Rebekah. And then... I saw SARA!!!! Kyle flew my best friend in from Seattle!! I flipped out!! I started crying and hugging her like crazy! I couldn't believe she was here!

I then remember someone pulling me back and pulled up a chair in front of Pam's piano. I couldn't believe this was happening! Kyle got down on his knee and opened the box. There was the most beautiful engagement ring I've ever seen! I obviously said yes and the kissed Kyle a bajillion times. As I look up, I start seeing even more people. Kyle invited Kerri (my WW leader), Teresa, and Jimmy! I can't believe how many people came out to see this!! I couldn't be happier that they were all there!! (Nicole and Donna were supposed to be there but they had to work. I was thinking of them though!) It was truly so magical!

I asked Kyle if we were going to be late for the tour, everyone laughed. There is no tour of the seas. So we all stayed to celebrate at the pub. The manager was so sweet and offered a round of drinks for everyone. I so rarely drink now but I indulged and had my signature drink, a cosmopolitan. Kyle then told me that we had reservations at my favorite restaurant, Tokyo Dining and most everyone's coming! We ended up having a party of 15! It was beyond perfect! We had a great time at dinner. Best part of all, Sara got to come home with us and was going to stay through Sunday. I loved how surprised I was and just how wonderful the entire engagement was. If I could have planned it myself it would have been just what happened.

Well my blog is supposed to be about my weight loss journey so I'll tell you about this week. It was an odd week because I ate so many carbs over the weekend because I was preparing for a race. My tummy hurt a bit after the race and it hasn't felt the same since. It's weird. I eat less than I usually do. I have been eating pretty well just smaller portions that usual. I also decided to take a week off from activity to let my body rest from the half marathon. It was weird going a whole week. By Monday I was so ready to work out with Donna. I actually hadn't seen Donna in 2 weeks because I didn't see her after the marathon because of my knees. I was so sleepy yesterday but I knew I had to work hard with her so I could get back in to my routine. I felt tired and a little weak but I tried to push myself as hard as I could. Sometimes I won't want to finish a set because I feel like I physically can't but I love that she never lets me quit. I can take a second to catch my breath or rest my muscles but she always makes me finish each set. I love that. Anyways, Donna has told me to stay off of the scale and I have for 3 weeks! That's a long time for me because I love weighing in everyday. But she said to only weigh in with her and WW. I've been very good at staying off of it so I didn't know what to expect. I stood on the scale at the gym and couldn't believe my eyes... It said 169.something!! I was finally in a new decade!! I couldn't wait to get to weight watchers to see what that scale would say!

I raced to my WW meeting and hopped on the scale. It said 168.4!! That's a -6.6 loss for the week and a total of 74.6! Ahhh!! I will for sure hit -75 lbs next week! I will get a new charm for my WW keychain. I can't believe how well I did this week. Typically when I do well, I tend to slack the next week cause I feel too cocky. I will not let that happen this week. I will be strict but still make it livable. I am so motivated. Especially because now I have a wedding coming up soon! I have to look good!

So this week I finished my first half marathon, got engaged, had my best friend in town, and lost 6.6 lbs. See what I'm saying, it's truly the best week ever!!!

On a side note, I've been meaning to share this gem. I found an ice cream that seems too good to be true! It's called Arctic Zero. The flavors I've seen are mint chocolate chip, chocolate peanut butter, strawberry, coffee, and my two favorites are vanilla maple and cookies and cream. They come in a pint size and I've only seen them at Whole Foods for $4.49. These beauties are only 3 Points Plus for the WHOLE PINT!!! Here's all the info...
Pumpkin Spice??!! I need to find that flavor!!!! :)))

Monday, October 3, 2011

A recap of my first half marathon

My first half marathon is over and I did it! I wouldn't say that I ever doubted myself but, there was a fear that I would get picked up by the "too slow" van or get injured. It was a very interesting run and a true test of my physical ability.

I started running at 10:15 and I felt great! I was so excited! I ran with a friend so it was so nice to have company. Devin and I had an equal pace so it worked out for both of us. The race started at Disney's Wide World of Sports. As we rounded the corner on to Osceola Pkwy, I got a cramp on my left side. We hadn't even run 5 mins and I'm already getting a cramp?! I don't get cramps anymore. I used to when I first started running but not anymore. I knew what it was. I was dehydrated. I stopped drinking water hours ago so I wouldn't have to pee during the race. Well, that was a mistake. I had water and a little Powerade at the first water stop but I had cramps on both sides. I was so nervous they would continue the rest of the race. Fortunately they only lasted the first 2 miles and then went away.

The first 3 miles flew by. It felt like only one mile. They had SpectoMagic floats along the road as well as live bands and people on stilts. There were random people that had parked their cars and ran to the road to cheer people on. I love having people there cheering. It really helps. When Devin and I were at about mile 2, we saw a few runners coming back down Osceola Pkwy which was about mile 7-8. It was crazy!

It was great running through Animal Kingdom. I like having so much to look at and the uniqueness of running in Animal Kingdom, especially at night. (The park typically closes when the sun's still up.) We stopped at the restroom in DAK and I fueled myself with Sport Beans as we had run about 50 mins at this point. We hit mile 5 as we left Animal Kingdom.

So the run from Animal Kingdom to Hollywood Studios was long, and painful. I've never had knee pain before but my knees were killing me. I couldn't wait to make it to the next medic station as they had huge pumps of Biofreeze. Devin and I kept going, walking a little more than we had but we were doing well. There was a medic station at about mile 7 and I globbed the Biofreeze all over my knees. It helped just a little bit. We kept going. It was great running with Devin because we were always encouraging each other to keep running.

The ramp to the Studios was difficult. It was at about 8.5 miles at that point and the ramp was uphill and slanted, very awkward. They had a fuel station. I thought they were going to have Cliff Blocks but instead they were giving out GU. I've tried GU before but I didn't like it. Kerri said she likes the vanilla one so I tried it. Well, I will never try it again. I had about half of it and I felt sick. My knees were hurting really badly at that point so I pulled off to the side to squat so I could stretch out the muscle. I could barely stand up afterwards. I was so disappointed that I was having so much difficulty with the race. But I knew we were almost to the Studios and I would hopefully see people I knew. That would help for sure.

We made it to the Studios and it was like 9. It's funny that I was surprised seeing miles 1-3 cause it went by so quickly but now I was seeking out each mile marker. I increased my speed a lot at the Studios. It was nice knowing where I was and seeing friendly faces. I saw 2 of my CPs by the Monument restroom and Soundstage 3 restroom. I didn't realize what time it was at that point until I saw the FastPass return time at Toy Story said 12:23am. So weird to be running so late. I then saw Joey on Pixar Place and he ran with us a bit until we went through the costuming tunnel. It was so great seeing people I knew and hearing people cheer for me. We walked a bit in the tunnel. Then there was a water stop with more of my Cast. I had to say it was a little weird running past Ops 3 and seeing my desk. I don't think that happens for most people running half marathons. I was thrilled to see mile 10. It meant we only had a 5K left. The Christmas lights were on on New York Street and they had Christmas music playing. It was nice to see. There was another medic station where I lathered up with Biofreeze again and had Tylenol. After that was a water station where I saw more of my Cast and peers. I needed them to help me get through the last 2 miles.

By mile 11 I was done. I didn't want to run anymore. I knew the path of the rest of the race so that helped but my knees were screaming. I kept going though. I ran the whole way. We went through the Boardwalk/Epcot resort area. Once we got backstage at Epcot it was just kind of a blur. I ran the whole way and I didn't stop. At mile 13 I finally realized I was actually going to make it. It was a tough battle but I'm going to finish this race. I started getting emotional but it made my start to hyperventilate so I had to pull myself together to finish the race. And there it was, I'm getting chocked up again as I type this, the finish line. I ran through it with my hands in the air. All I could think was "I did it!!! I did it!!!!" I was a little dizzy afterwards too. I couldn't wait to hug Kyle. I was so far away though. Once I got my medal I had to take a picture. I had to see it for myself. I did it. I ran a half marathon. A year ago I weighed 70 pounds more and had never run a mile in my life. And I had just conquered 13.1 miles. My time was 2:57 which was a lot higher than I expected but I am in no way disappointed. In fact I'm thrilled!

It was a long walk to Epcot and it was almost 1:30am at that point. They were handing out free beer. I don't care for beer too much but I took one for the novelty of it. I drank about 3 sips and then I was done. The long walk to Kyle continued, my knees still killing me, but I think it was good to keep walking. I chance to stretch out and cool down. We made it in to Epcot and I met Kyle at our meeting spot in front of Club Cool. I wanted to run to him but my legs wouldn't allow it. I was so happy to see him! He was so proud of me! It was great!

I changed my clothes so we could walk around epcot. I bought a shirt that said "I did it" and wore it proudly. We made it to Canada for some Cheddar Cheese Soup. I had to sit because of the pain in my knees. I was feeling very sick as well. I just wanted to go home. So we did. I cried again in the car. It's so emotional accomplishing something like this. Honestly, the best part was the outpouring of love and support by my friends and family. It was incredible how many people called, texted, and wrote on my Facebook. Sadly, my Nike+iPod app didn't post to Facebook so I couldn't hear applause but I actually checked my FB a couple times while running so I could see peoples posts. To those of you that did, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I hope you know how much each of you mean to me. Thank you.

Here are some photos from the race...
I dedicated a mile to everyone that has supported me throughout my journey. I wrote them on my hand so I could remember. It was a great idea because I pictured each of them during their mile running beside me cheering me on.

All of my gear for the race.

Minnie was there to cheer me on too. (BTW- look how skinny Kyle's getting!)

Devin and I right after the starting line. Kyle got to see us start! :)

All done. I did it!!!!