MS Bike 2014
Last week was the Bike MS South Florida 2014 event. This is the event that I’ve been working on with the MS Society for months. I’ve been going into the MS Society’s office about twice a month and doing side projects as much as I can.
The two-day event consists of a 50, 75, or 100 mile ride from South Florida down to Key Largo (and then returning to the same spot the next day). I showed up at 4:45 am to volunteer on Saturday (March 1st) and there were already riders there ready to go. I was in charge of volunteer check in and assigning volunteers to their stations. We had such great volunteer shirts!
When it came time for the riders to head out, the head of the event told me to go “see what I helped put together”. It was such a great feeling to be appreciated for all the work I put in!
After they took off, I had to run to work and get a good nights sleep. Sunday I had to be back at 9 am to hand out medals!
Day two came and I came in to find a BIG group of volunteers from a local high school that I spoke to a couple weeks earlier. Seeing them there was so heartwarming. I went to them and spoke about my story, about the ride, and about MS in general. They were receptive, but I didn’t realize so many would show up!
Everything felt great until the very end. A woman rode across the finish line and just started screaming and crying out. She had MS and was so proud of herself for finishing. I told her I had MS and she grabbed me and hugged me. She wanted a picture with me and then told me she rode for “us”, for any MS patient, and she took my hands in her hands and kissed them. Right then, another young girl rode into the finish zone. She had a big smile on her face and her parents were along the sidelines. I saw her go to kiss them and her mom burst out in tears. “Thank you for doing this for me! I can’t believe you did this for me!” she kept saying as she hugged her daughter.
Watching them made me realize that yes, I’m a volunteer, but this is all for MS patients. I’m the charity. I got stuck in this tug of war of feelings. On the one hand, I’m constantly struggling with the idea that I’m a lesser person because of my illness. On the other hand, I shouldn’t be feeling bad about myself. Here are THOUSANDS of people who spent their time not only riding, but fundraising and spreading some major awareness. I have to stop seeing my MS as a flaw or a weakness and start seeing it as the thing that makes me strong. I choose to talk about my MS openly. I choose to have a positive attitude despite my symptoms and fear of whats to come. I choose to take a healthy approach to my mental, emotional, and physical health out of respect for the body I was given. If anything, MS has made me stronger! Now I want to work on choosing to appreciate myself and my MS rather than seeing it as “points against me”.
I’ve decided to ride the ride next year. Bike MS of South Florida 2015, I’m coming for you!
Thursday, March 6th: 293.0
Pounds gained this week: 0.4
Total Pounds lost: 64.4
I haven’t done a true weigh in for a couple of weeks. I’m not disappointed. I went on vacation and took a break from the scale.
Overall, I’m feeling good. I’m solid in my diet, I’m consistent with my trainer, and my body is starting to (finally) feel much better.
The better I eat, the better my body feels. Less muscle tightness, less headaches, less back spasms. It’s as simple as that.
I’m not stopping now…very excited to see next weeks weigh in!
For the most part, I don’t really understand this whole “I hate my body” thing that other girls (and guys) complain about. I like my body. It’s really curvy, my skin is soft, and I’m very well proportioned. I should be praying to the plus size gods on a daily basis to thank them for this gift of a body!
Then, once in a while, that grateful mindset flips.
It happens every time I’m going to be in a bathing suit. I don’t care if I’m alone or with others (although alone is preferable), I hate the way my body looks and feels in a bathing suit. I feel like every roll is out on display and my “thick” thighs and over pouring arm fat is on display for everyone to see. Don’t even get me started on the widespread cellulite and stretch marks.
This past weekend I went down to Key West for a girls trip for one of my best friends birthdays. Not only was I the biggest girl there (as usual), but I don’t even own any shorts or tank tops. Not that I would wear them outside even if I did. My travel bag was filled with the basics of what I own…all black clothing. Black leggings. Black long sleeve tops. Even black underwear. I felt out of place. Ugly. But most of all, I secretly hated on my body all weekend.
I’m not even close to a normal weight yet and every time I have to show any part of my body that makes me uncomfortable, I really dig into myself. It’s this undeserving feeling. As if my size makes me less worthy of being out in the sun and enjoying a relaxing weekend away. I’m simply too fat (and gross) to feel good about myself when surrounded by thinner girls.
I recognize that this thought process is not only ridiculous, it’s extremely self deprecating and bad for my overall wellbeing. There’s no reason for me to be so hateful towards myself, I work hard to be healthy and I’m still losing weight. It would just be nice if I could bare to look at myself in the mirror before I go to the pool.
So, maybe I don’t look very good in a bathing suit right now. And MAYBE I should consider expanding my wardrobe past the color black. But I need to remember that I am BEAUTIFUL and this is not forever. If you don’t like something, change it. I’d like to go back to Key West next year, and I really look forward to wearing some cute shorts and a tank top when I go.
If you’ve read my blog at all, you know that, even in my hardest times, I try to focus on some sort of silver lining. I struggle with stress management and have focused on maintaining a negative attitude in the past. It wasn’t like I was a real life Daria or anything, but I complained often and was constantly over-stressing my mind, body and spirit.
I like to think I’ve made strides since then. I worked on my self awareness when it came to complaining and on letting go of grudges. I find that if I push for positive energy, it eventually manifests and I can’t help but think more constructive and healthy thoughts.
Just like with my weight over the past year, we all slide back into old habits sometimes, and I’m feeling the ill effects of that now. I’ve had a lot of stress recently and I don’t know how to manage any of it. I’m trying to stay positive, but the universe is testing my patience right now. I find that I’m having more difficulty ever losing weight (I couldn’t even bring myself to get on the scale last week). Not for lack of trying, in fact, this is probably the hardest I’ve ever worked. I know the stress is preventing my weight loss, now I just need to learn how to control my stress!
The last few days I’ve slipped on my diet. As a result, my body HURTS. My legs feel heavy, my head aches, I’m tired, my ribcage hurts, and my back is tight. Because of the stress, I’ve been clamping down on my jaw at night (and sometimes during the day)…this is probably connected to the headaches now that I think about it. I’ve been treating the symptoms but I know I need to get to the root.
Sometimes I forget that everything is holistic. My body and my brain are connected and just like when I used positive energy to my advantage (hello weight loss, less stress, and less pain!), negative energy will take over my body just the same.
I need to find my way back to a positive place. I don’t know what it is thats stressing me out so much but I better figure it out soon. My ability to a healthy existence depends on it.
Never Stop Sweating
Living in the gym. All this hard work has to pay off eventually…I’ve never worked so hard on my weight in my life. It has to start coming off eventually.
I will be my own inspiration.
[See this original post and more at: WithoutTheWeight!]
Thursday, February 6th: 292.6
Pounds lost this week: 0.4
Total Pounds lost: 64.8
Well, I’m happy and I’m unhappy. I’ve been working out nonstop and eating really well. I messed up my diet twice this week (royally) and I had to work pretty hard to come back from that. My weight sky rocketed after my slip ups and my stomach hurt terribly both times.
I also noticed that my tongue reacts negatively to poor food choices. Yes, you read correctly, my TONGUE. When I eat something my body doesn’t like, my tongue gets a bunch of little cuts along the sides and feels irritated on the top. It really hurts, but I guess its a good reminder. I should start keeping track of that too!
I’m feeling more optimistic that if I keep consistent, the weight will start to fall off. I’ve had a few bad days, but I can only move foreword and I’m appreciative for the weight loss this week! Next week will be better!
Goal for next week: 291.0
Thursday, January 30th: 293.0
Pounds lost this week: 1.4
Total Pounds lost: 64.4
Ok. So this week was better than the last two combined. I’m not hitting my little weekly goals, but I don’t actually know where I pull those mini goals from, so, I’m trying to stay positive. Realistically, I lost just about a pound and a half this week. Things are getting better and before you (or I) know it, I’ll be back to being 70 pounds down and then I’ll officially be back on track. All I can do is keep going and try not to get frustrated.
On a VERY positive note, I’ve hit my exercise goals every single week in January! I exercised five times last week…going for six this week! In case you’re curious, it’s two days of strength training and the rest is 30 minutes of cardio. I’m hoping to do cardio five days a week with two days of strength training, I just figured I’d build up to it instead of overloading myself all at once. So far, it’s been pretty simple.
Goal for next week: 291.0
I’m not a big drinker. Never have been. And perhaps it’s a pity that I was diagnosed with MS before I was 21 because alcohol may have prevented my diagnosis altogether.
Well, I’m greatly exaggerating, but this article talks about a study done recently in Sweden that (while the results were, of course, inconclusive) nondrinkers have a TINY percent higher chance of developing MS.
Coincidence? Perhaps. What the article does mention is that there is NO REASON why someone with MS can’t indulge in a drink or two from time to time. There’s no study to say alcohol prevents symptoms (in fact, one drink in and I’m rather tipsy), but a girl can dream!
I think I may consider a glass of red wine a couple nights a week. It’ll take the edge off, it’s heart healthy, and apparently it won’t be doing much harm to my illness progression either! I’ll cheers to that!
I could write for hours about the things in my life that bother me. I could complain for days about how unfair life is and how inconsiderate people are. I could wake up every single day hating my body, hating my job, hating my illness, and hating myself.
It would be much easier since my natural instinct is to obsess and nit pick over every negative part in my life. And, if that’s what I chose to do, then that’s what I would get out of life. The shit of the world would be at my footsteps, all because I asked for it.
I make a conscious effort every single day to use positivity as a weapon to defend my mind, body, and spirit. I don’t win the battle everyday, but I work hard to never surrender to the war.
If I allow my thoughts to slide back into dark and negative spaces, I do believe that it will kill me. Having a positive outlook has a major impact on both my weight loss and my MS. In fact, my overall health in general has been consistently better since I’ve changed my world view.
Recently, I’ve found myself falling back into old negative habits and I’ve been getting miserable headaches. Are they connected? Perhaps. Will correcting my attitude fix it? I can only hope!
I’m choosing to let go. I’m letting go of all the harsh, rude, and inconsiderate people and situations in my life. I’m letting go of my brutal self assessments. I’m letting go of my desire to complain just for the hell of it. It’s not what I want to waste my time with and it’s certainly not what I want to put out into the universe.
If I’m positive, that’s what I’ll get in return. Energy is a boomerang and I’m refocusing on sending out positive waves. Only you can change your life….it just takes recognizing who you want to be and how you’re presenting yourself.