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Emotional Clarity in my Weight Loss Journey – “I Feel Weak”

I have had an epiphany. It happens. I have had that break through “ah-ha” moment when you FINALLY put your finger on a problem and go “Oh THAT’S it! THAT’S why this was bothering me.” The great thing about this moment is that once this clarity has arrived we have essentially arrived at the problem, knowing the problem allows us to start to map our destination, to plan for our imminent future; the solution. So here we go. Time to utilize some of the things I have learned along my journey.

69be1efe261e11e3b96122000a1fc5c9_7First step confess: Okay I have finally figured out what I am so scared of and what is holding me back. I’m scared because I feel weak. I’ve lost all my weight doing mainly cardio, and got this insane idea and dream that I wanted to become a trainer and help others reach their weight loss goals and I didn’t realize until I actually started to study this stuff how important resistance training, strength training and absolute and dynamic strength really are. With no medical background when the first thing my textbook started to cover was muscle structure and anatomy, plains of motion and joint action movements, I was lost. I started to realize that I was missing a huge piece of the equation when it came to my dream of being a trainer; anything that wasn’t cardio, nutrition or emotional wellness. Suddenly there I am at the Cooper Institute in a room full of people I feel are a hundred times more physically fit than I am, I don’t know the first thing about how to do a bench press and I can’t pass a sit and reach flexibility test, but I’ve got a passion, a dream and I want to be a  Transformation Specialist more than I have ever wanted to be anything in my entire life. But me feeling weak and being embarrassed because I can’t do a pull up or a proper push-up and because I have no upper body strength, that’s making me feel like I can’t walk the walk so I don’t fit the part, so I have no room trying to play it, so I actually … feel unworthy of studying for this certification I want so bad, because in my head, I haven’t earned the right to it yet because even though I can tell you what a Max RM is, mine is laughable.

71ada7a223cf11e39bdc22000a9f3c8f_7Reassess: Okay well I know the problem, and really I know the solution. The part I am not quite sure about is the journey to get there. Which of course, is exactly why I don’t feel worthy of this test, because if I can’t figure out how to get there myself, then how can I expect to help someone else? Can I motivate you? Oh yes I can, I can inspire you, but I need to be able to hold your hand and guide you, and that, I am not confident I can do yet because I can’t do it for myself. So what I need is to build confidence in my strength, and for me, doing that means, building my strength and since I have so much going on with this half marathon training schedule, it means doing it without compromising that cardio schedule at all. What I need is someone to help me understand exercise prescription and how to apply all the stuff I have learned about the principles of opposition, my muscles, my joint actions and stuff like the concept of volume overload and volume increase and how much weight to add when if my goal is to improve dynamic strength.  I need someone to help me figure out if I start with 3 sets of 12 reps at 30 lb. on that machine or if I start out at 3 sets of 8-10-12 and start at 50 lb. and decrease the weight by 10 lb. at each rep because I can lift 30 lb. without being at the brink of muscle fatigue by the end of my 12th rep.  – I just wanna cry, because I feel like I know this stuff, I feel like I would be so good at it, I just don’t know quite how to apply the knowledge. I just need someone to teach me how to be a good trainer. Because I want to be that, so bad, that the thought of NOT being that, breaks my heart and brings tears to my eyes.  This is the thing I need to work on for me right now. And that right there is the problem. For some reason I can’t explain, I think I need someone else to help me on this goal.

That’s right. I want someone else to help me and support me right now because I am feeling like this is the point of no return for me. Since the beginning of this entire journey, this is the first time I have ever truly been afraid of failure. When it comes to learning this stuff I need to learn, taking this test, passing it and being a trainer, and I’m looking for a little more than “Go get’em tiger” here.

I have realized that I am very upset with the people in my life who have not been 100% behind me and completely supporting this endeavor with more than just poms-poms –This part of the journey is so hard, the emotional honestly, but this is the part that I struggle with the most, the emotional stuff. I know what to put in my mouth, I know how to continue to improve my run times and build a cardio respiratory program and build up my cardio respiratory health, but when it comes to being honest about what I feel, that’s where I struggle, and because I am an ex-food addict who is used to stuffing her feelings with food, this becomes a problem.

If there is one thing I will tell you about openly and honestly about gastric bypass surgery. If you are a feed my feelings with fuel type of person rather than a fuel my fitness with feelings type of person, this will probably be a very hard journey for you. If I have one regret ever, it is that I can’t sit down with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and look at the person I love and offer them a spoon and say “Today sucked, can I whine about it.” Because there are just some days in life when sharing a container of Ben and Jerry’s should just be okay and something we can accommodate for with an extra 5 minutes in on the elliptical every day this week. But as a RNY patient who dumps, that is never an option to me and that is probably a good thing on most days, because it keeps me from feeling like turning to food is okay on a regular basis, and let’s face it, I’m an addict and there are few things that I have ever learned to do in true moderation.

Since the day I decided to make this transformation I have felt alone in this journey. Since the day I started I quoted a lesson that one of the few people I can claim to have loved in life taught me. I believe that in life we have two major responsibilities to ourselves; one is to understand that we are never better than anyone else; we are only farther along in our journey than they are at times.  In a time when that is obvious, we should take a moment to stop, hold our hand out with a smile and say, “Hi, let me give you a hand and try to help you get farther along in your path.” – Likewise, we are never better than anyone else, and there are people who are farther along in their journeys than we are, with more experience, and when that is obvious, or when we realize that we need help with something, we should stop, admit that we need help, and be responsible enough to reach out to those ahead of us in the journey for that guidance.

ea3d25f621ab11e3968922000a1fbe74_7One of my biggest problems in life is that I have never felt like when I reach out for help, anyone is truly there to take my hand. I have always felt, self-taught, alone, and like the poster child for, if at first you don’t succeed, keep trying because you’re the only one you can ever count on to help you. I’ve felt like that since I left home at 16 to build a life for myself outside the chain of abuse. I felt that way when I self-taught myself computers and learned to make a living for myself hiding behind it and I felt that way when I decided to get healthy and the people in my life decided not to. I have felt this way with this personal trainer thing every inch of the way give exception to how Mr. Bobby Whisnand has treated me. I really wish I wanted to live in Dallas or that I could spend more time there with Bobby, because I do believe that he has every intention of helping me make sure I am one of the best trainers I can be, but with me so far away the potential to do that is limited.

That is why my biggest dream right now is to be trained by my hero, Transformation Specialist Chris Powell and his lovely wife Heidi Powell, who really has become quite a role model to me. Because really in my head, Chris is the beginning of Transformation Specialists, he does exactly what I want to do for people, he has my dream job; heck he created my dream job, he is the visionary behind Transformation Specialists.

So now that I realize the two big things holding me back. It’s time to fix them. So it’s time to, you guessed it folks. Recommit.

Okay so now it is time to ask myself what things I can do to improve these two situations. First of all I need to reach my hand out to people I have that can help me when it comes to building strength and working on and learning more about strength and toning and RX prescription, I am NOT quite sure what that means just yet, but for some reason, I’m inclined to reach out to one of my Cooper Institute teachers and see what she has to say.

200e50d421ab11e3822f22000a9f09ca_7Step One: I feel alone in this part of my journey, I feel like I need more help guidance and support. Now what can I do to fix it?

  1. I will reach out to my teacher for help with the feeling lost when it comes to building a resistance program issue.
  2. I will reach out to my peeps and let them know what I need. – Hello peeps, because if you love me you read this blog right? With a hand few of exceptions to particular people in my life, that is true. Anyways hello, my dear friends, I love each and every one of you. But if you are reading this, maybe you could help me by doing just one thing this week that encourages me to study and reminds me that I am worthy of taking and passing this test? Sometimes we have a really hard time just coming out and asking for what we need. Today I am feeling exceptionally vulnerable.
  3.  My Trainer Friends if you are reading this; anything you can do to help me I would so appreciate. Some guidance in setting up a resistance program that starts to address this “I feel weak” feeling I have by helping me start to build some dynamic strength would be awesome.  Something that doesn’t interfere with the cardio I’m doing as I train for this half marathon. Some words of wisdom here would be amazing.

Step Two: I feel weak and I want to build dynamic strength. What can I do to work on this?

Okay so I need a couple of things, an exercise schedule I can stick too, which for me means about 90-120 minutes a day. I need stuff I can do at home and I want stuff that makes me feel like I am working within realistic goals. So here is the plan.

I’m going to go back for a refresher on Basic Anatomy in my book for the next couple of days.

After that I’m going to set the KSA’s aside, go back to the Resistance RX section and I’m going to study that section of the book until I understand exactly how to build a Resistance program using myself as a case study.

I’m going to stop depriving myself of reading time and actually take the time to read Chris Powell’s new book Choose More to Lose More for Life and see what pieces of wisdom I can glean from them in regards to a dynamic strength exercise program design.

I’m going to try to teach myself how to design a strength and resistance program just in case nobody else can help me and I have to do it on my own.  Because whether or not I find the support I am looking for in this, I still have to get it done and right now that is the promise I am working on keeping to myself. I will do whatever it takes to achieve this goal, so if what I have to do first is tackle this “I feel weak” thing, so be it. Project “Let’s find that strength” shall commence.


Returning to Running – 10 weeks off 3 weeks on and happy

DssButton125So Monday started Week 03 of the #20Week2Tink Training Program we are doing leading up to our partition in the 2014 Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend in Anaheim, CA. – Thanks to our Team Sponsors Dawn Brell, the winner of the [How do YOU Celebrate Success Contest] and I are participating in one of the neatest WLS Fitness oriented events we possibly could.

Not only our we working together towards our goal of accomplishing this half marathon, but we have an entire team of people working on training for the same goal with us virtually, all supporting each other in the [ I Tink I can Virtual Event ]

So let me see if I have met the requirements for my first two weeks of the training program. Keep in mind that this is also my third week off the bench since my last round of reconstructive plastic surgery which took place on July 10th and August 7th


photo2Week 01: We had a scheduled mileage of 13.0 for the week and I came in 4.84 miles ahead with a total mileage of 19.84 for the week.  I met the pace requirement for the Tinker Bell on two of my four cardio workouts this week.  My Total mileage in the #iTINKiCan Event is 19.84

Week 02: We had a schedule mileage of 13.0 for the week and I came in at 1.6 miles over with a total mileage of 14.60 for the week.  I met the pace requirement for the Tinker Bell on two of my four cardio workouts this week. My Total mileage in the #iTINKiCan Event is 34.43

+ I additionally added in resistance training on two separate occasions this week.

Let’s talk a little about how I have worked myself back into my cardio routine and what is planned as I start three.

First of all, I have recognized that my schedule needs to be adjusted in order for it to work for me. I’ve always enjoyed two consecutive rest days and I’ve always had a hectic schedule on weekends which means that if I can reserve Saturday and Sunday fitness for leisurely activities I will do better.

This week is the last week that I am doing a 4 day schedule. I have been limited myself to 4 days of exercise a week for the first 4 weeks of adding exercise back into my day coming off the bench for 10 weeks.  In order to accommodate for my weekend, I am moving my rest days back to Saturday, Sunday, and for this week, will include Monday as well.

This week I will be doing 4 cardio sessions and the minimum 2 resistance training sessions.

My first week off the bench I did really nothing but at but walk, just a very simple, slow and steady walk. My walks started out really slow, 18-20 minute plus walks. That was fine; I just needed by body to get used to moving again.  That first week I put 14 miles on my new shoes [Pace Setter Athletic] put on my feet.

My second week off the bench I started jogging on soft ground. That was Week 01 of our #20Week2Tink Training Program and I started adding a half mile jog in the middle of my workout, nothing too crazy, and nothing that caused my body to hurt as I attempted it.

My third week off the bench, I doubled the distance I was running in the middle on my outdoor jogs from a half a mile to about a mile and I changed my Treadmill workout from the 60 second runs at the top of every 5 minutes that I did the last week to a 2.5 minute walked at an increasing tempo and then the remainder of time running as much as I can until I get to 1 mile. I had to take a couple small walk breaks in there, my first mile came out at 13:09 and my second mile came in at 12:37.

This week I will be shooting to accomplish 3 – 3 min off – 10 min on run sets on the treadmill with a walk pace of 3.8, 3.9, and 4.0 and  a run pace of 5.0, 5.1 and 5.3 – I also intend to add some level ground jogging back into my outdoor run.

photoMy resistance training workouts this week are going to be coming in the form of my dear friend, mentor and all around amazing guy (I’m not sure if he is single ladies but I can ask him for you) Bobby Whisnand’s Brand new video program [It’s All Heart] – I’ve had access to the program for a few weeks now and got to look it over a bit. But I just got my official it’s All Heart DVD Package with all the Gear you need to get started in the mail last week and this week, oh it’s on, it’s on, it’s on. I’m so excited to start this program!

Week 03: is underway and because I am moving my rest days around today is actually what will be my long run day, so I have a 5 miler to do today. Being Monday today is also “Me Day.” Monday is my one guaranteed day off real life work each week, my day to sit around and do whatever I want. Luckily for me “What I want” usually includes fitness and lately, I’ve been sharing my exercise time with different friends as I try to stay in touch, so those long Monday runs, are my dedicated “Me Day Runs” – Run’s where nobody gets to talk to me and I just get to spend some time with my feet hitting the ground, enjoying the peaceful silence that I so rarely achieve in my mind and talking to my Father about whatever is going on in my life.

Also on this week’s agenda is some study time, a massage and anything else I want to squeeze in before on my “Reward Day” before I eat live and breathe work and studying and exercise for four days solid and prepare for my first ever mud run / obstacle course the Kiss Me Dirty on Saturday.

Yes I did just say I needed to re-organize my schedule so that I had the weekends off from long cardio workouts because I work so much. But I’m also allowing myself one if not two Saturdays or Sundays each month to participate in fitness events. That is until I start hosting them…

Oh snap! Did I say that outloud? Oh coming soon, coming soon.

Let me take a moment to thank the Team Slender Seeker Sponsors without whom none of this would be possible. Stay tuned next week for an update from Dawn regarding how she is doing in our little journey together.


Slender Seekers Gold Team Sponsors:

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Kay’s Naturals
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Celebrate Vitamins
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Pace Setter Athletic
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Slender Seekers Silver Team Sponsors:


Team Slender and The #20Week2Tink Training Program was made possible by:

The “How Do YOU Celebrate Success” contest sponsors:


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Author: Pandora Williams

Author of Desperately Seeking Slender

This is #MyBariLife

BariLife has decided to send me back to Paris to represent the WLS Community as I attempt to find my love of running again.
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