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I ran a Half Marathon Daddy Happy Fathers Day

Today is Father’s Day and I’m struggling with missing my Dad terribly. I miss my Dad everyday but I think there are some days when it is worse than others. Father’s Day, the anniversary of the day he passed away, and his Birthday.

IMG_5302Yesterday, I ran a 5K in honor of my Father at the Dadfest 5K in Frisco Texas. I finished in just under 37 minutes and then doubled back to where my friends were ( they were walking it instead of running or jogging it ) and finished again with them at just a little under an hour. ( 00:59:24.748 )My total distance yesterday was 4.75mi with a 13.07 min/mi pace.

This morning when I woke up and saw all the “Happy Father’s Day” messages on Facebook I realized it was going to be a really hard day for me. I sat on the end of the bed sobbing my eyes out and feeling the pain of missing my Dad in my life as I composed a poem for him.

My Dad was so special to me. I looked up to him so much. He was really one of the most amazing men I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. They don’t build men like my Father anymore and I can honestly say that I feel blessed to have known him, and even more so, to have been raised by him. My Father helped mold me into the woman I am today and I am eternally grateful for the thing that he taught me.

I wish that I could tell you how much I miss you so.

Or explain how hard I struggle with how I had to watch you go.

My life has changed so much since the day had to leave.

And it hurts sometime that you’re not here to see what I’ve achieved.

You taught me to be kind and you told me I was smart.

And said that anything worth doing, was worth doing with all my heart.

You taught me to love others even if they couldn’t love me.

You taught me to be strong and face my fears with dignity.

You taught me to give back and to be someone that cares.

You taught me to be loving and be someone that shares.

You taught me life’s a river and destiny a dance.

And told me to approach each moment as a chance.

And though it hurts that you’re not here to share the journey I’ve begun.

I know that I can find your guidance when I exercise and run.

I miss your hugs, I miss your smile but most I miss you voice.

And I know you wouldn’t have left me if life offered another choice.

I know that you would smile and tell me it’s okay.

And to go and do something else because it’s just another day.

But I had to say I love you, even though you can’t be near.

And let you know I feel your presence even though you can’t be here.

And since I know you’re listening, there’s just one more thing to say…

Thank you for being my Dad, and Happy Father’s Day.

IMG_5310After I wrote the poem I knew that the only way I was going to make it through the day was to spend some time running and feeling connected to my Father.

I set out to do my usual 5K, but today I was running out emotions and as I finished the first 3.1 miles a little voice inside me started to ask, I wonder if I could run a Half-Marathon today. I dismissed it at first, thinking shut up Pandora, that’s crazy, you haven’t trained for a half marathon. Then I thought, I did a 5K for Dad yesterday, maybe I could do a 10K today. I did a 10K, and then, I kept going. I pushed for a 15K next, thinking “Hey maybe I can run 9.3, I’ve never gone that far before.” I did a 15K, I got that 9.3 and then I kept going, and I got that 13.1 – Actually I got 13.2 as I ended up at my special little ending place in the middle of my friends community where I decided to make a video and share this very special non scale victory moment with you.

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Click the photo clip below to watch the video.

IMG_5313I struggled on Mile 11 to Mile 12 and I ended up walking that whole mile as I refueled with a Starbucks iced coffee and a banana. And the closer I got to the end of that half-marathon the more emotional it became for me. I reached out to a few dear friends at that point to try to distract myself from how hard those last two miles were and when Joy called me back I was hauling my eyes out in an emotional whirlwind of being proud of what I was about to accomplish and yet so sad at how much I was missing my Father. I was at 12.26 miles when Joy called me, and she stayed on the phone with me, listening to me and supporting me and cheering me on and reminding me how proud my Father would be of me until she had to go to meet with a client. When Joy hung up I was at just about 12.8 miles – I pushed hard at that point and I made it. Then I sat down, cried it out, and took a moment to catch my breath and gathered my thoughts for a moment before I made the above mentioned video.

After the video, I walked home, ( another .74 miles ) – I was sore and stiff and that three-quarters of a mile took me nearly twelve minutes.

Then I sat there down for a moment and looked at what I had accomplished.

13.20 Miles – 2:52:45 Average Pace 13:05

00.74 Miles – 0:11:39 Average Pace 15:46

Total – 13.94 Miles 3:04:24 

IMG_5315My Father is a huge part of my weight loss journey. Him coming to me and letting me know that he was concerned for my health was a hug part of my decision to have weight loss surgery. “Honey I love you fat or skinny, black or white, but I’m not going to be around too much longer and I need to know you are going to have a happy and healthy life.” Those words will stick with me forever and forever motivate me to maintain my 260 lb, weight loss.

This was an amazing day for me. It really was. I will be proud of this day for a very long time to come. But for right now, it’s time for me to get some sleep because morning will come early and I have something else I have to do to make my Dad proud tomorrow… classes at the Cooper Institute. Coaching Healthy Behaviors here I come.

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Training To Become a Personal Trainer

Once in a while you meet someone and you just click. You goals are so similar and you are so passionate about the same things that when you are together it’s like you feed on each other’s positive energy. I call this “Motivation Transference.”

Bobby Whisnand Leading the Walk from Obesity at the OAC Inaugural Convention Dallas Texas October 2012

If you are someone who reads my blog and finds themselves motivated by what I share and write, you’ve probably experienced this same sort of thing.

I am the type of person that thrives on order and structure. I’m the type of person that has to look to someone as the paradigm.

In the beginning of this journey that I am on towards becoming a personal trainer, it was my own personal trainer that motivated me. We used to talk about how we’d work together some day, how we’d do big things together, help more people lose weight, what a powerhouse team we would be together. For almost a year, those dreams helped me stay focused on own weight loss journey and helped ensure my own personal accountability – something that is a monumental part of my weight loss journey.

I have a theory about my need for positive role models, good examples, mentors and heroes; I believe it stems from a childhood without a lot of friends and where my main form of socialization was among adults. You compile that on the fact that most of those adults ended up hurting me at some point or another and voila you have the reason that my heroes are people like Chris Powell and Ellen DeGeneres. I’ve been looking up to public figures and role models to learn who I want to be most my life when the examples I had in my life were more what I didn’t want to be.

Since last August when I believed that my last reconstructive plastic surgery would be in November I have been working on the goal of opening my own business as a personal trainer in July of this year. And since October I’d been working on finding a Personal Trainer that would let me sort of apprentice with them. Go to sessions and watch them in action. I was looking for someone to help teach me how to be a good trainer.

I talked to a few Trainers that I’d met thus far. My own Trainer, and another one from the local area that had some experience and was starting to get involved in the WLS Community. Unfortunately neither of them were able  or willing to help me.

Then a thought occurred to me. Bobby Whisnand. I had the pleasure of meeting Bobby at the OAC Convention back in November. In fact, it was his, Merril Littleberry and Julia Karstad’s high praise of the Cooper Institute that lead me to select it as my school for my CPT studies over the ACE, ISSA and NASM.

I had connected so well with Bobby at the event. His views on exercise, on making sure that people are taught how to exercise without hurting themselves, and his understanding that you have to understand the mobility limitations of people who are morbidly obese when working with them were things that Bobby and I could have talked about for hours. When I told Bobby that my goal was to teach people to not need me rather than to expect them to come work out with me 2-3 times a week forever and he agreed, I was elated. As Bobby shared exercises with me that he knew I would find exciting and told me all about his upcoming video I knew this man was someone who was going to be an important person in my life.

Bobby’s upcoming video is something that I am extremely excited about. It promises to be the first of its kind with special attention to bariatric fitness. Bobby is a front-runner in the definition of Bariatric Fitness and Nutrition and the efforts and steps that he is taking to start to mold the shape of Bariatric Fitness is something that I want more than anything to be a part of. Bobby has done some amazing things already in the Fitness industry when it comes to Diabetic Fitness and Nutrition and I can’t wait to see what he does with Bariatric Fitness and what this new video with a focus on movement for all levels of participation in the weight loss world comes out like.

As if that all isn’t enough, Bobby has also stepped up to the plate to help me out where nobody could locally. When I asked Bobby if there was anyway that while I was in Dallas working on my studies I could spend some time with him in a sort of apprenticeship fashion, not only was “Absolutely, yes.” the first words out of his mouth, but he also let me know that not only would he let me observe him in action, but put me through his own fitness program and teach me some things that I might not pick up in the classes at CI. As if that isn’t amazing enough, Bobby is also a Cooper Institute Alumnus, which makes me really confident in knowing that he’ll help me make sure I am well prepared.

I can’t wait to get my hands on Bobby’s new exercise video and he’s told me that I’ll definitely get a sneak peek and get to share my opinion of it with you guys, so we have that to look forward too. I’m so excited to have an entire month in Dallas to do nothing but focus on my CPT education and learning from a Mentor as amazing and fun to work with as Bobby Whisnand and I can’t wait to share that whole experience with you.

Until then, why not click on over to Bobby’s website  Victory of Life and check him out and of course be sure to visit him on Facebook, give him a little WLS high-five and hit the like button and tell him Pandora sent you!  I bet by the time you do that, you’ll be as motivated to go get your fit on as I am this morning.It just so happens that I am in Dallas until the 16th of April now, since I had to fly out here to help my friend deal with the unexpected and sudden passing of her Mother and I got in touch with Bobby today and will be meeting with him sometime next week. I cant wait to share more information with you then. But for now, I need to get some sleep, I have an After the Cut Support Group Meeting to attend in the morning and need to get a little bit of beauty sleep.

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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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