March 25,2012-Another incredible Week to Remember….Conquered my first Race Day of Spinning, tried a rowing class, lost another 3.2 pounds-which lead to a big weight loss number….50.8 pounds!!!!!!
This was another incredible week of more new “firsts” in my life. Even as I type this, I look back on the week with utter amazement, and pray that I can put into words what took place this week, so that even just one person reading this would be inspired to realize that…. With God, ALL things are possible.
As I type this, there are 2 weeks left until my final weigh in of this Transformation Nation Challenge. I remember, in October, watching Dr. Oz announce the challenge, and I literally sat up from laying down on the couch, and I sat on the edge of the couch with my notebook, and started to write down everything he was saying, and an overwhelming feeling came over me that it was time to do this, and an incredible belief came over me, feeling that..not only could I do this, but I truly believed that I could win the entire challenge.
That was in October. I didn’t belong to a gym, didn’t have a workout buddy, didn’t have a plan, hadn’t set up a great exercise schedule..hadn’t put myself first for as long as I could remember. How could I?…I had kids to take care of, responsibilities to take care of at their schools, a husband, ailing parents getting older that I had to take care of, responsibilities at home, responsibilities at church, friends who needed help….all great and important things that I had to do, and with all of that, who has time to exercise and do all that it takes to get fit?
I would continue to watch the Biggest Loser and other inspiring shows, or even see friends who had finally conquered the battle, and I would just keep praying, “Lord, please just give me the motivation. Why can’t I do it? I’m competitive, I was an amazing athlete all through my childhood and into High School. Why can’t I find what I need to do this?
I watch and write down all the information, I’ve tried every diet…but why can’t I connect it to a lifestyle? Am I just too old now? Do I have to just be satisfied with never looking and feeling my best again, just giving in to getting older…blaming it on perimenopause or age or slowing down?
I’m not sure why it all began to “click” and come together in October. As I wrote in my very first blog, Olivia and Ben Ward took me out to breakfast and believed in me. I watched 2 regular people completely change their lives in less than a year, both losing over 100 pounds each. We watched them on “make-over” week, where they saw each other transformed for the first time. Then we watched her stand on the scale and win the entire challenge. Just an ordinary guy and girl from our church, whose lives became extraordinary in less than a year.
Olivia spoke at our church about 3 weeks ago, and shared even more of her amazing testimony, and in the very beginning, as she started her talk, she began by saying, “I’m just an ordinary woman, who serves an awesome God, who was placed in an extraordinary circumstance.”….those words pierced my heart as she said them, and tears welled up in my eyes, because I watched her week after week on the Biggest Loser, wishing I could do what she did…then she shared some of her wisdom and believed in me…and I was now sitting at church listening to her, already walking through my own extraordinary circumstances since October, and I’m so thankful that it was placed on my heart to write as much of it down as I could. (which lead to the beginning of this blog)
So….Here is the story of another extraordinary week…for a woman who finally got off the couch in October, and one small choice at a time, along with many prayers… got to this week. Meg and I started off the week with a bit of fear each day, because we had joined the gym around 8 or 9 weeks ago, and if you remember a former blog, we started spinning, and the instructor said that she would be training us for 8 weeks in order to accomplish a Race Day in spinning. I still don’t like spinning, it is the hardest class for me, but it is also a class that I can’t believe how far I have come. The first time I went, I was happy to just keep my legs moving. I couldn’t stand and ride or jump or do anything the other riders were doing. Meg and I hung in there and kept going each week to train. We would dread every Thursday, but would always leave feeling proud of each small victory. I wrote about week 3, where we stood and jumped and kept up with everyone. In fact on Race Day, this past Thursday, I printed that journal entry out, and read it out loud in the car to Meg, because there was a place in it that stated, it was the very first time we believed that we could possibly do the race…..and there we were, this past Thursday, in the car, reading this entry…on our way to the actual race! It was incredible to read those words in the car that morning looking at where we were only 5 weeks earlier.
But, let me back up a moment. On Tuesday night, some friends asked if we wanted to try a rowing class? We looked at each other and said, “why not, let’s try something new.” We were a bit nervous, but held onto all the other things we had gotten through, and thought.. “we can give it a try.” We arrived in a big warehouse where the rowing teams meet and train on all of the equipment. There was even a huge simulator rowing boat that we all got to climb into, to feel what it is like to row all together. We had a lot of laughs, and rowed for an hour, and we were really proud of ourselves for trying something new. We also left and decided, after zumba the next day, we would do a half hour on the rowing machines at the gym (now that we know how to do it) and then a half hour on the treadmill, just to break it up. It really felt empowering to know how to use another piece of equipment in the gym.
On Wednesday night, Meg and I picked up shirts we had made, to put on after we completed the race. On the back it said, “ I conquered my first Race Day at Power Ten Fitness (and underneath it said in smaller letters)……and I didn’t die” On the front pocket area it said, “There’s no place like home..Power Ten Fitness.” We couldn’t wait to put them on after the race and wear them proudly.
Wednesday night I woke up around every 2 hours all night worrying about getting through this race. I have no idea what people do before half or whole marathons or any race for their first time. The fear that creeps in is absolutely ridiculous. I kept praying and trying to get some sleep. I finally got up early, got everyone off to school and work, and then Meg and I got in the car, both excited but fearful, and drove to the gym, while I read the blog entry (see blog from Feb. 23rd)
We walked in, the bikes were set up. We actually showed our shirts to a few of the instructors who wouldn’t be there when we came out. They were all really excited for us. The instructor came in, she had us choose numbers to wear, started out with an inspirational saying, told us that she would guide us through the entire race, and then started the music and put on her headset….and we started pedaling. Meg said to me,”don’t worry, the Lord is right here between us, He’ll get us through.” and the race began..
It was amazing, exhilarating, scary, hard…but the music was great, (even the theme from “Rocky” was on it at one point), and every time I thought that I couldn’t make it, I would just keep saying over and over again, the verse that I say every time I need strength to make it through really tough moments in any class, “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me, I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me”….over and over and over again. And that’s what always gets me through.
The instructor brought us through different laps and hills…standing, jumping, adding more and more resistance…and when we sprinted across the finish line with our legs burning, Meg and I both burst into tears! It was soooo overwhelming to see where we had come from, and what we were able to accomplish. Most of the race we were standing and jumping and riding hard. It was amazing! We cooled down, then got off the bikes and put our shirts on and took a bunch of pictures and hugged all the women who encouraged us to stick it out and helped us along the way, along with our amazing instructor.
We left the gym that day so in awe of what we accomplished. A wonderful friend who was in the race with us, had us over to her house for yogurt and fruit and tea and it was the perfect celebration!
We came home to our families who were soooo proud of us. We downloaded the pictures and sent them to everyone who has been rooting for us…it was such an amazing accomplishment which has moved us to keep dreaming and putting new goals on our wish lists!
On Saturday morning, I couldn’t wait to weigh in at ww and tell them about the race. I wore my shirt and got to share about the experience, and when I got on the scale…I was another 3.2 pounds down! The woman weighing me in said, “that’s a number you really only see in the beginning of weight loss, not after all the weight you have been losing. That’s amazing.” She even said that she was praying for me and really had a good feeling about my winning. She believes I can do it. She calculated the total so far and then said…”you hit 50.8! I was sooooo excited I just yelled on the scale and threw my hands up in the air!
It also made me have even more faith that I could lose 2-5 more and maybe hit 55, (which would be 45 for the challenge). So, I continue to pray and walk through this amazing journey, as I claim those same amazing words Olivia shared, but now for my own life…
“I’m just an ordinary woman…who serves an awesome God…who is walking through extraordinary circumstances!” What a week, filled with more amazing blessings!
Please keep me in your prayers as I look forward to standing next to Dr. Oz on May 23rd when he announces the winner of this challenge!