Eat Me – The Final Installment

12716035_10208236210603539_8613048037293674295_oThis is the 3rd and final installment of Eat Me. The first was at the beginning of the month to start of the diet, the second installment was about midway through the month to give a brief progress report, and now as the month is coming to  a close and our month long paleo/whole 30 challenge is over, this is my review and final thoughts. I know technically we are only on the 28th day of February, but since its a short month, we are calling this a success.

Before all of this started, we talked about when we would be able to fit this type of diet change into our lives and when we decided that Feb would be the best month we didn’t think about it being the shortest month AND it would also be the month to celebrate the 16th birthday of my son. Those things considered, we know that we are using the term “month” loosely, but even with those things added into the equation, I am so happy with the way this turned out.

This was not something that could be entered in lightly, there was prep work that had to be dealt with.  To get started, on January 31st I made sure I weighed in, we went to the grocery store, and even talked about how far we were going to take this challenge. The first decision we made was that we would NOT give up out tablespoon of creamer in our morning coffee. The other decision we made was that our cooking would be done with olive oil and unsalted real butter. (Both the whole 30 and the paleo websites that we looked at suggested using ghee, but frankly, we wanted to make this as painless as possible, so we stuck with what we knew) Lastly, we decided that salads and fruits would be a huge part of the diet.

I promise I did not glaze over the weighing in thing… a lady never tells her weight but I will tell you the starting number was XX1.0 and when I weighed in this morning, I was looking at  XX5.0 which means I lost 6lbs in the process. Hammy, although I have no idea the starting or ending number, the bottom line for him was the loss of 17 lbs. I will not go into my frustration about how that happens, so I will just say I am happy for him.

12646969_10208116971142627_2109461552468668041_nCoffee creamer, I know it is dairy, and I know that it is unacceptable but when we agreed to take on this diet change I wanted to remain a semi-pleasant person, so the idea of taking creamer out of my life would not have been good for everyone, so that tablespoon daily was all that was allowed.

Moving onto the even better points… for the entire 28 days, neither Hammy nor I had a shred of heartburn! As I said before this was something that we both had struggled with many nights, but since this change, our nights have been way more peaceful!

I know in the second installment of Eat Me, I gave you a lot of menu items, but there were a couple of other things I wanted to throw in. By accident, I came across the combination of cucumbers and pineapple. Yes, I know it is crazy, but together in a salad they are amazing! Another pleasant surprise was how much I enjoyed lamb steaks on the grill. They are a little tougher than a beef steak but very yummy. I already told you about my new found love of plantains, but after a post on instagram I learned that plantain chips exist and make an amazing snack. Lastly, and probably my best find was Larabars. They come in so many flavors and are gluten free, soy free, dairy free, etc – and very whole 30 and paleo compliant. These will all continue to be staple in my daily meals.

I am really sorry that this has not been an “EDGE OF YOUR SEAT” type of post, but I was trying to be a little more informative in this one. To answer the question that several people have already asked me, YES, I plan to stay fairly true to this diet as I can see a whole new me coming out of it! I don’t have food coma sleepiness, the heavy groggy belly two hours after a meal, and I just really sleep better!

12771680_10208275858754718_6885379568679501588_oNow, if you will excuse me, like I said, this is the birth month of my son and tonight we are expecting several guests to help celebrate… and how do you celebrate the 16th birthday and the success of a diet challenge?? Well, with a Dairy Queen ice cream cake of course!!!

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Sometimes I Fail

Me cargo net 2When I first started my journey, or pretty much any endeavor in life, I ask those who have been through it to tell me the good, the bad, and the ugly of how they got where they are or how they achieved the goal that they set out to achieve… and 99% of the time the answer was something along the lines of “EMBRACE THE SUCK” or “I JUST DECIDED TO DO IT AND I DID IT”. Those answers, my friends, are not and were not helpful. So, when I started this blog, I promised myself (and those who asked) that I would talk about the good, THE BAD, and THE UGLY!

Today’s story is an ugly one. Of course I will inevitably find the silver lining (because that is what I do)… but it sure doesn’t start off all rainbows and sunshine.

Last night I got a text from my trainer asking if I was going to make it, I messaged him back saying I would, unless he needed to reschedule… now, this was not a ploy to get out of going to the gym, actually I was looking forward to it, I was just trying to be accommodating of his time as well. Anyway, he replied with, “nope, you better be here!” To which I thought, sure, no problem.

I got the gym about 20 mins before my time slot so I decided to hop on the treadmill, which is what he would have had me do anyway. I set my speed at 3.1 and took off. I got 3/4 of a mile done in less 15 mins, but decided to stop so I could hit the restroom and fill my water bottle up before we started. Mind you, I was still ready to go for it.

He called me over when it was my turn to start, and we spoke our regular greetings, and chatted as he set up the bench for me.

Let me back up a second, I should say that his work outs with me are three different exercises twice around, and we do three different sets. Mixed into this work out is always lunges and squats. Always. Sometimes he throws in jumping jacks, sit ups, or burpees, but I can guarantee to be doing the lunges and the squats.

OK, so he has me working on the bench, then dumb bells,  then incline bench, then incline dumb bells… and the further into this work out I get the more I feel that familiar burning in my forearms. I am trying, with everything I have, to push back the freak out I can feel brewing in my gut, while at the same time push the bar and the dumb bells up over my head, but neither was happening.

I had to stop. There was no more. The voice in my head told me it was full on freak out time, so my body complied. Light headed, dizzy, sick to my stomach, all of it. Then to add insult to injury, I could feel the burning behind my eyelids. I was about to cry. I knew I failed, and I hated it. So what did I do next? Well, I quickly said goodbye and left. The second I got to my car the waterworks started. For a minute there, I hated myself. Full on self loathing…

I drove home and went over every moment of the work out to analyze exactly which point was my breaking point and when I figured it out, I calmed down a little bit. I knew it was all about my limits. I know that the point of work outs are to find your limit and march past it, but with my arms I can’t do that. I can push a little, even tip toe over the edge, but there is no marching.

Even after a coming to terms with what happened, I know I failed. And I am actually ok with it. Failing is part of becoming better. What I won’t do is quit. Absolutely will not.

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here is the text from my trainer… he couldn’t be more right.

About 30 minutes after I got home I got a text from my trainer, checking on me. After explaining where I was in my head, and the conclusion I made, he sent me another text, this time reminding me to look ahead.

I know sometimes I will fail, otherwise #becomingabetterme won’t be worth it.

 

Real Life Not Reality TV

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The Veterans Ball happens every November, this 3 years of progress

I have never been a fan of shows such as Biggest Loser. Extremely overweight individuals wanting to be better, but wanting it instantaneously.  Scary…. and nothing more than a recipe for disaster.

Trainers on fitness shows tend to be cocky or at the minimum annoyed  at their “clients”. Believing that these overweight people, who have been scared to even get off of the couch in the first place, aren’t at the same level they are and have been for years. This was one of my fears when I first started working out. I saw the way the trainers in the gym were pushing their clients, and I was like, “OH NO! I don’t do well with being bossed around!” When in all actuality, I was so scared of failing without a ‘boss’ let alone with one.

Last night when I came home from work Katie was watching a new show: FIT-Fat-FIT, or something like that, anyway the point of the show was those cocky trainers meet their clients, find out how much weight they want to lose, then actually gain that amount of weight so together they can lose it. In the one I caught, the trainer had to gain 40 lbs to work with a housewife as she wanted to lose weight to be better for her family. Although I am all for her being better – I mean I am on the same journey – it scares me the time frame they put on themselves. 40 – 50 lbs in just four months time? That seems crazy.  Just like Biggest Loser, it is all about the RIGHT NOW.

I have heard it takes seven days to create a bad habit, but 60 days to create a good one. Now, I am not saying there is scientific evidence to this, but rather MoMo logic, but the point is, there is no such thing as instant gratification.

If I start the clock at the point where I REALLY got serious about getting healthy and losing the weight I would say I have lost 32 lbs in 10-12months.  This weight loss has not been just the desire to be skinny, it has been a plan to be better, healthier, more aware of what I was doing to myself, inside and out! I am not saying that my way is right or better than any other plan, because I , most definitely, am not an expert!11194604_10206311941018002_1058228524752321487_o

What I am saying is slow and steady wins the race. The idea of being my ideal weight in four short months makes me smile, but I know that I would rather continue going to the gym, building muscles and losing pounds at the same time. Teaching myself how to eat healthy all of the time rather than just for a brief stint in order to achieve a number on a scale.

This is a journey, not a weekend trip, so I want to enjoy every step of it, and not worry what will happen to me when the camera stops rolling.

Sharing is Caring

12289612_10207695522726680_3827837324455363364_nGrowing up my family always had dinner at the table. Pretty much every night there was a main meat, a couple of veggie options, and maybe a can of fruit, applesauce, or cottage cheese. It was also common to have a pop and bake can of biscuits or crescent rolls with butter to make the meal complete. Dinner was always served with a glass of milk. Cokes were not permitted at the dinner table for the kids, and very infrequently even had by the adults. This was what a well rounded, fairly healthy dinner looked like to me.

My mother did her best to keep us healthy. She would always point at the broccoli on the table when one of us would ask for a second helping of mashed potatoes or would suggest that maybe the second biscuit should not have jelly on it.

Fast forwarding years later my mother has become even more health conscious. She and my step dad eat a lot of fish, try to steer clear of the pork and very rarely do you see a random bag of potato chips in her kitchen. When the kids and I go over there she offers snacks of yogurt with granola, bananas or apples, or even a glass of almond milk to take the edge off of the hunger if dinner is in the oven.

10903979_10205455305322645_8962295156564541714_oSince I started this #becomingabetterme journey, my mom has been a huge supporter (even if she isn’t a big reader and hasn’t really read my blog, sorry Mom, had to say that). She has told me about healthy options for snacks, talked me to about how to cook fish, even listened to me whine and cry about my upcoming races and how scared I was. She was right there telling me she could see the differences in me and swore I was going to come out on the other side alive and well. Since I didn’t die, I have to believe she was telling me the truth, right?

Well, after all of the support she has given me, she has also been asking me a lot of questions about this diet. How hard it is to eat healthy, how hard it is to not snack, if its difficult to not have ice cream… all valid questions and concerns, but honestly, none of these things have bothered me. (except the lack of ice cream…. I don’t know if you know this friends, but ice cream is my vice, and I miss it sooooo soooo sooo much!) Anywho, it is my turn to show her how to be better. Mom and my step dad are coming over for dinner tonight and the whole meal is going to be Whole30/Paleo compliant.

One of the misconceptions I had about the diet in the beginning was that “normal” food was not possible. This is where I was completely wrong, and I hope that I can show her how awesome this diet change has been and it is really about just having “normal” foods, but going with the fresh and nonprocessed.

The menu for the night consists of: steak, roasted red skin potatoes with garlic, spinach salad with homemade balsamic dressing, and grilled pineapple. Something that would not at all be weird to have on a random Tuesday night, but all within the diet. I am hoping for the same reaction I had when we first started. Something along the lines of “Wow, that really wasn’t difficult at all!”

So, friends and followers, wish me luck. It is not everyday that you get to show your mom a better way to live!

 

 

MoMo’s With Me

14622_10205800284346905_5862278412401138611_nMy grandmother (whom I have called MoMo since my daughter gave her that name at 18 months old) once said, “Enjoy your life, Heather, you only have one.” It has been over 11 years since she passed and not a day goes by that I don’t think about her and that statement. MoMo was my best friend. I told her everything and went everywhere with her. I once looked at the map of the United States and realized that out of the 48 continental states, I have been to 39 of them with my MoMo and Pa (what I have called, and still call my grandpa for that matter). More than anything in the world I have wanted to make her happy. I wanted her to be proud of me and I know that if she could see me now she would be.

11054363_10205800283946895_8247655290669675669_nAfter my kids were born, I spent a lot of time complaining to MoMo about my weight. The fact that that I was big before I got pregnant with Kat and then when she was six months old I found out I had a Bug (Jarrett’s nickname, by the way) on the way, left me even bigger than I had ever been before. So Mo and I would plan outings where we would just go window shopping, to be able to walk at the mall, but would end up grabbing a Cinnabon or an Orange Julius and counter the work we had already put in. In the summer we would go to the park sometimes and walk the track, but would end that trip in the Dairy Queen line… seeing the pattern here? For as wonderful as she was to and for me, she was also a bad influence. When it came to my love of anything sweet, she was an enabler…

I sound like I am complaining about her, but I promise I would never talk bad about Mo. EVER.

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Anyway, on the 29th of December, 2004, she and I had out last heart to heart. I told her than I really didn’t have much to say because I had always told her everything. It was then that she told me “the only regret I have, is that I will have missed seeing you truly happy and at peace. Enjoy your life you, Heather, you only have one of them.” She passed away on January 1st 2005. I still tear up when I think about our conversation.

11202821_10207538445119838_1132047583807864529_n(1)Why I am telling you this? Because for the first time in my life, I am at peace…. I am happy… and I hope that she can see that. It is so sad to me that I can’t show her my medals and race bibs, I can’t twirl and show her that my “skinny” jeans now do not have to be unbuttoned to be removed, or that this paleo/whole30 diet has been beautifully captured on Instagram and Facebook, because she loved food porn (shhhh, don’t tell Pa!)…

Either way,  I think about her all of the time, and part of what I am doing is because of, and for her. She might not be here to run the races with me, or go to the gym, or even buy me ice cream on my cheat days, but I carry her with me, and hope that #becomingabetterme is what she would have wanted for me all those years ago.

 

Coming Full Circle

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Two of my favorite CornFed inspirations, testing my skills and pushing me out “on a limb” @ Shades State Park (thanks Chris and Mike, love you guys!!)

For the last two years I have been using words like reps, squats, work outs, calories (and burpees) in pretty much daily life. I have posted transformation pictures, gym memes, race photos, even gone as so far as to talk about my trials and tribulations with the elliptical… but I never really understood what that was doing. I was just being me. That was all. I mean social media is to a place where you talk about what is going on in your life, right? Well, that is what I was doing. Or at least I thought that was what I was doing.

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When I decided to get healthy, I was really paying attention to others who were doing similar things, I found my inspirations in people who probably didn’t even know. I found myself interested more in small victories than larger ones. Maybe because smaller ones seemed to be something I could handle, I don’t really know but those were the ones I watched. Don’t get me wrong I was amazed (still am for that matter) every time I saw someone post their crazy burpee challenge videos, or the “I just ran 10 miles, and I feel great”‘s, or their trifecta medal pictures, but it was the small ones that got me. For example, a friend posted “I finally broke down and did it, I joined the gym. Now to figure out my schedule.” That too me was huge, because I know what that is like.

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This is Becca, she is on the same journey, love seeing her progress as well and positive energy!

It is not easy to go home after work, change clothes and go to the gym. It is not easy to NOT order that piece of chocolate pie at the end of a fantastic dinner out. It is not easy to put your tennies on a snowy Sunday and turn on Zumba or Wii Fit, or Just Dance just to be healthier, but I do it because of the people I have behind me. The ones who try to talk louder than that voice in my head telling me I can’t. The ones who, on the course, tell me to step on their shoulders just so I can get up the embankment, even the ones who tell me to go one step further, even when I think I can’t.

Over the course of the past few months I have received private messages or even was tagged in a post where my friends would tell me that they were on their own journey of “becoming better thems”… I smiled, gave them virtual high fives, a “go get’em”, and then went on.  I am sure that part of me not making any more of a fuss about it was because, well, I am dumb and really couldn’t wrap my head around the idea of inspiring anyone else… still can’t for that matter…

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y’all know Angel, she is the foot in my butt that I often need. She reminds me how far I have come, even when I don’t see it myself. Thank you, Ang!

But after several conversations this week I have realized that you can inspire and be inspired by the same person. You may be the reason they go a little harder, and because of them you do one more rep… I am not going to sit here and pretend I anything special, because I am still Lil’ Heather… a whole 5’2″ spunky nerd that (most of you) have known for a while now, but I am trying. I want to be a better me, I need to be a better me, and I continue to see inspiration in my friends and if along the way, my story helps you get off of the couch and come fight the elliptical with me, then great!

I think that is what they call coming full circle, right? Starting at a specific point them coming all the way around to the beginning? I guess the point I am trying to make here is I have been inspired by so many of you, and it makes my heart swell to know that I have given something back.

 

 

 

 

Sometimes I do Feel Like Wonder Woman

11402225_10206564558893291_1871395240376122903_o For as long as I can remember I have been a HUGE Wonder Woman fan. From the Wonder Woman Underoos to the Halloween costumes with the stinky plastic mask that no kid could ever see through. I watched the Lynda Carter Wonder Woman show every time it was on. She was amazing and even as little girl I knew I wanted to be like her. Don’t get me wrong, I loved that she was a princess, but that wasn’t the complete reason for me. She was smart and beautiful and thin and strong as hell. THAT was what I wanted. Being realistic as a 39 year old woman, I know I will never be able to lift a car, or pick up a full grown man with one hand, but I want to be like her. An office worker by day and bad ass by night.

966583_10207913869665217_7665661757943571816_oTonight was one of those nights. Backing up a little, I have been going to Mr T (this is the name I will be referring to my trainer as from here on out) for six months now. I already told you about how I have a way of getting in my own way, or rather staying in my own head, and how going to see him I would get worked up and almost making myself almost sick. Well, after I wrote that blog about figuring out this problem I had, and working through it, I have been able to move past it. Or rather, I continue to work through it.

Mr T told me earlier in the week that when I came in on Friday he was going “put the hurting on”, so I got scared. I felt myself getting queasy… I  even tried to figure out how I was going to get out of it, BUT I DIDN’T! I knew that it was not what Wonder Woman would do, so I went!12006169_10207275713071701_4337993768495653423_n

When I got there he smiled at me, and I knew that I was in trouble. When he smiles at me with the “oh yeah, its go time, Cupcake” look, I knew I was going to suffer, and this work out would be nothing to sneeze at! I didn’t let that get to me, though, I smiled back and played dumb!. He upped the weight, he pushed me harder than he had in the past. **I will say that we had to stop using some of the free weights and kettle bells because my hands and arms were swelling and turning red as they sometimes do…  and when Mr T saw what was going on, he moved me to the machines to give my hands a rest. Anyway I worked my butt off on those machines! At the end of the work out, Mr T smiled at me and said “good job tonight.” THAT WAS WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR!

I may not be lifting cars or fighting crime, but like Wonder Woman, I showed him I was a strong woman who wasn’t scared to push the limits and fight the battle in front of her. I loved it. I loved how good I felt when I left the gym. I was even smiling – and I very rarely can say that! Not often do I feel this good about myself, but for tonight I will put on my cape, pretend its flapping in the air, and remain #wonderwomanstrong on my journey of #becomingabetterme !!

 

Watching My Daughter Shows Me the Future

IMG_20151123_182634Tonight was a good night. That is the only word I can use to describe it. Tonight was a good night!

Sometimes when I go to the gym I feel mediocre after my time on the treadmill, but tonight was different. Katie wanted to go with me and run on the treadmill as well. We both took our earbuds so it was not about “mother daughter time” we both had our own agendas.

As Kat started her treadmill I watched her gear up. She took a deep breath and then started running. I have seen her in the pool so I know she can go, and keep going, and then keep going further, but I watched a little closer today. I watched her breathing, I watched her legs, it really didn’t even seem like it bothered her. That’s when it hit me, she can do this because has been doing this since 7th grade. She has been beating down and building back up her body since she was 13 years old. Watching her run at 5.5mph wasn’t anything difficult for her at all, because she had built up to it.

Then I looked back at my own treadmill and saw my speed of 3.0mpg and at first I got discouraged… then I chuckled and turned my night into a personal best all by itself. I increased my speed to 3.2mph and kept right on truckin. Then as I closed in on 16 minutes I realized I would be getting a mile in in less and 20 mins if I hustled, so I did. I kicked my speed up to 3.4mph and got my mile done in 19:15 – I had done a sub 20 mins, but today I did even better!

How does this all tie in, well, simply… as I watched Kat I saw what I really want and know I will someday become. I want to be so used to being active that getting on the treadmill and RUNNING two miles, is something that is as natural as breathing! It does my heart good to know that she is 17 and has been at this for four years…. and I am almost 40 and close to do where I want to be in just a year and a half(ish)!

Today I, not only, did it even better than I have before, but I saw what my future looks like just by watching my daughter right next to me.

I can do this! I can, and I will!!!

Eat Me – Take 2

12710947_10208177086005461_8833534627132459613_oAs I have been talking about this “diet” on Facebook and Instagram lately, I was told that I should change the way I discussed it, so that is what I am going to do.

We all know that that DIET is one of the worst four letter words out there. Most of us even cringe at the thought of it, even have horrible war stories about fad diets that we have tried. This is not one of those. Not by a long shot! I have had more energy through the day, sleeping better, and have even lost 5.5lbs since I started. Seriously 5.5 lbs in 9 days. I  know that sounds a little alarming, especially for someone who has taken over a year to lose 28 lbs up to the start of this, but honestly, I think it has to do with the lack of grains and dairy sitting heavily in my guts! Other than that, I have not had those horrible diet hungers that you get when you are on a fad diet and you get a shake at 8:30 in the morning, and at 8:45 you are STARVING! Yeah, none of that! It has been great!

Even Hammy has said that this diet has surpassed his expectations. It was no secret that he was not gung-ho about the idea of that stinkin’ four letter word hindering his enjoyment of meal time, but even he is singing the praises! Before this, if we had spaghetti for dinner he would have to stay up until 2am just to avoid having stomach acids eating a hole in his lungs in the middle of the night, but not at all has he had a hint of heartburn! He also made mention of not having the “diet hungers”! Throwing a few cashews back has been perfectly fine for him. If there was one thing that has driven me nuts (haha, so did not mean to throw in a pun like that!) about this, is that he is down 15lbs… how do guys do that???!!! I mean, they say diet and and the lbs just fall off. Women have to bust our butts to make it happen… but I digress.

Anyway, we are nine in and our meals have been like king feasts!

I have been the salad queen, as in I feel like that is what I have been doing the most of… have I even mentioned how cathartic chopping vegetables can be? So, lettuce, baby spinach, peppers (of every color), cucumbers, onions, and grape tomatoes with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette. I also add avocados to mine, but the rest of the family turn their noses at them. Needless to say, the salads, although sides to the main dish, still important and delish.

Hammy on the other hand has been amazing. We have had lamb chops, shrimp, ribeye steaks, beef roast, grilled chicken, paleo chili, meatloaf and for extras we have had papaya, strawberries, squash, zucchini, carrots, potatoes, cauliflower, plantains, and cabbage. For snacks we have had larabars, cashews, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or almonds.

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Since I am a good girl and don’t like four letter words, I will just say that this has been a great step in my plan of #becomingabetterme … as I don’t want to sounds overly optimistic, as it is only nine days in, but if we keep eating this good, I am might stop calling this a diet and refer to it as a “change in my diet”, because its all about perspective, right?

Opinions and Limits

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As I sit here and write, I openly admit I am my own worst enemy. I judge myself more harshly than anyone else could. Especially when it comes to what I have NOT done. I see a challenge and at that point in time I don’t attempt it. Thinking later that I knew how to do it, and that my skill level would allow it, but the timing was off or for whatever reason it was not possible right then.

Take the slippery wall for example…  As a fairly intelligent person (yes, that was me somewhat complimenting myself), I completely understand the physics of it, and HOW it should be approached. “HER” was sooo scared of it because she didn’t understand how to correctly work with it. WE sat down and had a lengthy conversation and I talked HER through it. In the next race – she did it. Granted, there was help from battle buddies, but the fact that she got within their reach was huge. HER had never got within arms reach until I explained the HOW TO to HER. I, on the other hand, did not try it because of my arms. It was close to the end of the race for us and my fingers were already looking like Vienna Sausages and my arms were fried. Instead of just walking around the wall, and ignoring the volunteers “Come on, you can do this,” and “just give it your best,” and “STFU!” I felt the need to tell him why I wasn’t trying it. Like in his head he thought I was a weenie, or just not “Spartan” enough to do it, so I had to explain that that was not the case it was a medical condition limiting my ability to go further.

After the race, HER kept making comments about my “medical condition” and how that was all I would talk about when there was something I couldn’t do. Yes, that is true… I did. Maybe they didn’t need to know. Maybe they didn’t want to know… but I felt judged by them for NOT doing what was in front of me. HER later told me that I needed to push myself more, and stop making excuses for why I was not doing the challenges.

As this blog is not about HER, I will stop there, but honestly, that is a perfect example of how I stop when I need to and how I know my limits. HER opinion mattered to me, I wanted HER to be proud of me, but not to the point that I had to risk my health and the safety of those around me to do what she wanted.

That is why that meme hit me so hard.  There are so many of us struggling in one way or the other, but the truth is, you have to put faith in yourself. Not only to know your limits, but also know when it is good (and safe) to push past them.

Have I always made the right decision or pushed as hard as I could? No, definitely not. But knowing that I am the only one I have to answer to makes all the difference. I am my biggest and worst critic, but in this journey of #becomingabetterme, I am just going to have to learn to stop worrying what others think because honestly – in my heart – I know I am doing the very best for me I can.