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Dear Amy, A Letter From Your Coach

Dear Amy,

So we’re just one night away from getting on a plane to start our Walt Disney World half marathon experience and I know you are terrified.

First I want you to take a deep breath, relax and remember that no matter what happens at this event, you’ve already accomplished what we set out to accomplish together. You’ve completed 37 weeks of training for this event. You have run countless 5k’s leading up to it. You’ve run 10k’s and you’ve already taken on that first half marathon and walked away with an awesome blanket to show for it.

And now here we are, just about to get on a plane and what is it you worried most about? Letting me down. Amy you can’t let me down. You’ve already done everything that I asked of you and more.

What this event is about now is enjoying what you’ve learned, accomplished and how far you have come.

If you had been in this predicament several years ago, we might be in a much different situation. When presented with a knee injury a week before a major event you might have decided not to go forward. But that’s not the woman you are today Amy, your first instinct wasn’t I’m not going to do this event, your first reaction was, how am I going to get through it. I can’t tell you how proud of you I am.

In talking to you I know how scared you are. You’ve got a lot to lose if that knee goes out on you. And guess what, we’re not going to let that happen. After all, as your coach it’s my job to do what is in your best interest and support you in whatever decisions you make while educating you on the best way to achieve your goals and try to make sure you don’t hurt yourself along the way.

That’s exactly what we’re going to do Amy. You just need to take a deep breath, relax and trust me.

When you go into an event with an injury that you know might prevent you from completing it during the required time frame, you must have a plan. Our journey with weight loss, no matter where we are in it is about identifying our obstacles and finding solutions to our barriers so that we can get past them.

You might not finish this event at the finish line Amy, that’s the hard facts of the situation. You’re not going to run as much as you thought you would if at all, and the only pace you are going to be expending the effort on maintaining is the one that keeps your knee comfortable and out of pain. You won’t be pushing it trying to champion through it because this event, is one day of your life  while  your mobility, functionality and overall joint health is a lifelong priority. You may walk the majority of this event and you might get swept. But if that happens, we’ll be walking together nice and slow at whatever pace your knee lets you until we get the miles to send you home with the ability to say “I earned that medal.”

Sometimes the lessons we learn in our journey aren’t physical ones Amy, they are mental ones. The hardest lesson I ever had to learn was that at times I am going to be limited by my physical ability and unable to do something I might really want to do. I’ve never been the type of coach that tells you no pain no gain. In fact, all the amazing people I have learned from would tell you exactly the opposite. Listen to your body. Don’t exercise through pain. Don’t try to push through a serious injury and make it worse.

You have nothing to prove to anyone but yourself here Amy. And what you have to prove to yourself isn’t that you can run a half marathon, been there done that, you got the blanket. What you have to prove to yourself is that you can achieve anything you set your mind to as long as you set realistic goals, have a solid plan and that no matter what happens, you can find the positive part of this experience and be able to celebrate your success.

That’s what this is all about after all Amy. Being able to celebrate our weight loss success, do things we never dreamed of before we lost weight.

If there was one lesson I wanted you to learn most out of this whole thing it was that you are awesome and you can do anything you set your mind too and that you can inspire others with your story. Look how many lives we’ve touched together in the last year. We got this honey, at your pace, no matter what that pace is. And no matter what happens in Orlando I’m more proud of you than you will ever know.

Take a deep breath and relax. I’ll see you in Orlando and I promise, everything is going to be alright.

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Pandora Williams author of Desperately Seeking Slender is a  Cooper Approved Wellness Coach Trained in Weight Management Strategies and Motivational Speaker studying to become a Certified Personal Trainer.

Check out the Second “How do YOU Celebrate Success” Contest

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Emotional vs Physical Running

I’ve been running my whole life.  I don’t mean that I have been putting my feet to the pavement and racking up the miles in races. Nope. Until about two years ago running wasn’t a physical activity for me. It was an emotional one.

Internalization was a lesson I learned young and perfected by my teenage years. Anger in my house was an emotion that bred dysfunction and abuse. It was the fuel behind volatile emotionally abusive fights and my family’s inability to deal with anger in constructive and rational ways was the catalyst for another emotion that I’ve never been able to deal with well, resentment.

I learned not to express anger in an effort to avoid uncomfortable confrontations. I learned to fear anger because the wrath of the women in my family was so emotionally, verbally and physically abusive that making sure they were never angry, which meant never being angry yourself, was a well-known goal between the men and children in our family.

But when things start happening that make us angry and we don’t learn to deal with it, to talk through it and get past it, we are left with resentment. The strange thing about resentment is that it’s a very private emotion. It has almost no impact on the person it is directed towards because they rarely know that it exists. Instead it resides deep within us causing internal discontent.

When our life is filled with negativity we start trying to run from it. When my marriage started falling apart because I harbored so much resentment towards him for all the financial problems we had, all the lying he had done and all the pain he had caused me there was no fight or flight reaction in me, it was only flight, running away was always my answer. So I buried myself in my own little world of online escapism. I buried myself in work.  I stuffed my feelings with food.  This was me running away.

I’ve previously wrote about night I discovered my love for running. It was the night before my Father passed away. What I don’t talk about is the horrible fight I had with my Mother the night before that. I’ve never gone into details about how I almost left the house and got back on a plane because she wouldn’t allow me to disengage from a verbal fight she wanted to pick with me.  I’d never wanted to run away so bad in my whole life. Here I was in a house I swore I would never go back to. A house that was full of memories that had haunted me for most of my life.

But my life was different now. I’d had weight loss surgery; I’d lost 155 lbs and though I still had another 100 lbs to lose I was  taking my life back from the dark grasp of obesity that not being able to express anger and deal with resentment had led me too.

I didn’t know what to do to make myself feel better. I hadn’t really gotten to the stage where I had learned to start developing healthy coping skills. I knew I couldn’t go back to any of the old ones, especially food but I knew that if I left the house to exercise I could get away.

I ran for the first time that night. The 4th of July under the fireworks of  Los Angeles, CA  and somehow, the faster I ran and the further I went, the more free I felt. I put on music and found that it helped me feel my feelings. Something amazing happened that night. Right then and there I became a different type of runner.

I might not have been moving very fast. I still don’t run very fast, but that was the moment that the runner in me was reborn. Being a runner for me isn’t about a 8 or 10 minute mile, it’s about taking the time to feel my feelings, it’s about having a healthy coping mechanism, it’s about having time to collect my thoughts and gather my words so I can communicate them to others and deal with them rather than being burdened with resentment.

People often ask me why I run. I run because it’s my healthy addiction. I run because I made a deal with my father when he was leaving this world that I would spend time with him and talk to him when I exercise. I run because it keeps me close to my father.  I run because in truth I have always ran I’ve just found a way to turn what was once a negative emotional exercise of running away into a positive physical activity that helps me maintain my weight loss and my sanity. I run because it’s how I modified an unhealthy behavior into a healthy one and that Slender Seekers is what healthy lifestyle changes are all about.

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Pandora Williams author of Desperately Seeking Slender is a  Cooper Approved Wellness Coach Trained in Weight Management Strategies and Motivational Speaker studying to become a Certified Personal Trainer.

Check out the Second “How do YOU Celebrate Success” Contest

Team Slender Seekers Sponsors:

Bariatrics_Banner_Ad

AmeriWell Bariatrics
Like AmeriWell Bariatrics on Facebook ]

logo

WELLESSE
Like WELLESSE on Facebook ]

Celebratecmyk

Celebrate Vitamins
Like Celebrate Vitamins on Facebook ]

Kay's Logo

Kay’s Naturals
Like Kay’s Naturals on Facebook ]

BariMelts Logo

BariMelts
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Please support our sponsors!

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About (Pandora) The Author

Author of Desperately Seeking Slender
Jaime "Pandora" Williams

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