Sunday, October 18, 2015

Vulnerable

Hi. My name is Maggie and I'm an overeater. I'm really great at making excuses..."I just worked 12+ hours" or "I have to be at work early" or "I don't feel well" or simply "I don't want to." Yeah, those have been my excuses lately. Unfortunately it's now catching up with me. My last weigh in I was 223.6 pounds. Last year I weighed 210.4 pounds...and I was running the Duke City Half Marathon. It's amazing what happens in a year, isn't it?! 

I know I wrote a lot about this in the past...but I'm bringing back the struggle of emotional eating. You know what I'm talking about? When you just got off of work, you were on your feet for 12+ hours, got thrown up on, a new project thrown your way, and you know you should go to the gym but as soon as you walk in your house that chocolate chip cookie and glass of milk just seems to be beckoning you in...begging you to come and taste the gooey deliciousness it possess. The only problem, however, is if you give an overeater a cookie and milk...she's going to want 5 more...and then once the cookies are gone she's going to have a bowl of cereal...and maybe a spoonful of cookie butter, and don't even get me started on the cheesecake sitting in the fridge. Yes....the struggle is real. It's not beautiful. As a matter of fact it's rather repulsing...and while I'm quite aware of my uncomfortable state I continue to stuff and stuff...chasing down all my emotions until I don't feel anything except the excruciating stomach ache I now possess. 

I am uncomfortable. I realize this is a vicious cycle that is repeating itself and it has to stop now. No one else can change it for me. I'm solely responsible for my actions. I put the food in my mouth. I have to take responsibility for my actions and hold myself accountable. I have to cultivate discipline in my life. As we all know motivation is a fleeting moment. Motivation only lasts for a day or two. If true change is to occur I must discipline myself. I must come back to the place where excuses are exactly that...an excuse. I do have time...I'd just rather not spend it in the gym or out running...but then I remember how I feel after I run...okay maybe I can squeeze in a run. 

I know I'm all talk at this point. I'm going to have to back up this blog with action. Something I'm realizing though...is I'm worth it. I had somehow forgotten that over the past year. I somehow lost sight of the fact that I was fighting for my worth, my health, my spirit. I was standing up for what I didn't have the ability to stand up for in other areas of my life. When someone tried to tell me I had no worth, tried to take my value away, and tried to tell me my no had no value...well, they were wrong. Now all I have to say is, "Watch me!" It's so easy for me to see the potential in others. There are areas in peoples' lives that I so desperately wish they could see their value and how much worth they have...but I can't. I can speak life and truth into them...but I can't make them believe it. However, I can believe my own value. I can practice what I preach. 

I love Fall! It is my favorite time of year. Last year I spent a lot of time running along the Bosque in the middle of the afternoon. I love that I can run practically any time of day without worrying about melting on a run! I also happen to love all of the fun runs that there are this time of year! I'm going to run The Great Pumpkin Chase the morning of Halloween...and for November I'm going to run a turkey trot and the Virtual Runner's Best Friend: Toilet Day 5K! Hahaha...yes...I'm doing it for the medal...a port-a-potty! You all remember my lovely story from the Dallas Rock 'N Roll 5K...and if you don't, read at your own discretion!  

Needless to say, I've got a bone to pick with port-a-potties...
So that's me...being vulnerable, honest, and scared! I know I can do this! I know I can reach my goals. I know I have not set unreasonable goals. I know my potential. I just have to do. So here's to the discipline of doing!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Sink or Swim

Triathlon time is here! It came faster than I anticipated. I'm a bundle of nerves and excitement. I decided on participating on the sprint distance instead of the olympic distance. I wasn't able to put in the time necessary to feel confident in my training for the olympic distance...now that the triathlon is here I'm feeling happy with my decision. I'm most nervous for the open water swim. I swam with Erika on the sound side of the Gulf when I first arrived here...that went well. I only psyched myself out a couple of time and had a good scream when a fish (or at least that's what I hope it was) swam around my foot and up my leg. The sprint distance will be a 300 yard swim, 10 mile bike, and 2 mile run. I am confident in my ability to complete the bike and run...and I know that I won't have any problem with the swim distance...it's just the open water that scares me; and the inability to see what is touching/swimming around you. Erika was telling me about a swim she and Drew took together recently and they both got stung multiple times by jellyfish...and today the hazardous marine life they saw in the water was stingrays...no big deal! :D 

The hardest part about getting ready for this triathlon has been deciding what to wear. Erika has a triathlete suit that's super awesome...it is worn for the swim, bike and ride...and Drew has triathlete shorts that are worn again for the swim, bike, and run. I finally decided on wearing some under armor spandex shorts and a sports bra for the swim and then wearing a racerback top for the bike and run. I'm super self-conscious and not looking forward to being in just my sports bra for the swim...however, I don't want to wear my swimsuit because that will not dry very well on the bike and result in unwanted chafing. So...setting my pride aside...and running into the water as fast as possible (and then running quickly back to the transition area to throw my shirt on). 

This is a USAT sanctioned event, therefore, there are many rules and regulations that must be followed. Basically what I've learned is most important is to put your bike helmet on (and buckled) before touching anything else related to your bike! Hopefully I don't break any rules that would disqualify me!! I had to get a plug for one of the end bars on my bike that had fallen out...thankfully they have extra ones and don't charge you to replace it. So...we shall see how tomorrow goes...I'll either sink or swim!

Today Erika, Drew, and I were on a bike ride...we had gone 7.3 miles and were turning around to head back to our hotel when we stopped to make adjustments to our bike seats. While we were stopped we started to notice it was lightening. A man (whose name we learned was Gary) stopped and asked if we were okay or if we needed any assistance. He had a bike rack on his vehicle and he said he would give us a ride back to our hotel if we would like so we didn't have to ride in the storm. We all looked at each other cautiously wondering what we should do and Drew said that we should probably just go with him. So...he loaded up our bikes...we hopped in...and he took us to our hotel. He was a really sweet man and very easy to talk to. He's also participating in the triathlon tomorrow...this is not his first tri so he gave us some pointers as well! When he dropped us off he said it was fun to watch us try and decide if we were going to trust a stranger to give us a ride back to our place when he had asked if we wanted him to give us a ride. We decided that we were thankful that we had gone with him because there were a couple of segments we passed through where it was just down-pouring...So thank the Lord for good Samaritans in times of need. 

The rainstorm today made me think about storms in our lives in general. While storms aren't always pleasant it does require one to seek shelter. Storms push you out of your comfort zone. They force you to make decisions that you otherwise wouldn't have made. Being at the ocean always makes me think how amazing it would be to watch the seas obey our Creator! In the midst of the storm...when everything is chaos it's such a comfort to know that Christ is bigger and is the silencer and comforter in storms. I love the sound of the ocean...but imagining them being silenced leaves me breathless. Psalm 107:27-31 says "Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven. Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!"

This week I have watched the Lord silence storms in mine and my families lives. I have seen the hand of God leading me and the ones I care about graciously. A small example of this is my grandmother was having chest pain earlier this week...and she called my uncle to tell him she needed help. My uncle was able to call 911 for her and get over to her...thankfully the ambulance showed up shortly after my uncle arrived at her place and they were able to take her to the hospital where she was admitted for having a heart attack...and today she underwent open-heart surgery where she had 7 bypasses. God calmed the storm in my Grandma's heart so she was able to clearly think and call for help, He calmed the storm in my Uncle's heart so he could act quickly, He calmed the storm in my mom's heart as she waited expectantly...and He calmed the storm in my heart as I prayed silently. He doesn't take the storm away...but He calms the storm, He delivers us, and He loves us through the storm!

I know this doesn't have a lot to do with my weight loss journey...I have been feeling overwhelmed with my lack of progress on the scale. My eyes have been opened to the fact that I may still need to deal with the ramifications of what happened last November. I think I need to seek counseling so I can "file away" (so to speak) what happened to me and get control over my emotional eating. I have experienced grace of God but I also now realize that I need to be gracious to myself and allow healing to occur instead of saying, "I'm fine" and then going and eating 5 pieces of pizza. All of that to say God is calming the storms in my heart and allowing me to hear what I didn't want to hear before...and hopefully this helps bring calmer weather so I can continue to weather this storm!

With that having been said...I'll share a few pictures with y'all then I've got to hit the hay so I can be up bright and early to get the party started!! Enjoy!








Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Silence

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It has been a while since I've given y'all an update. I'd like to say sorry but sometimes it's nice to take a break...and honestly it gets frustrating writing the same thing over and over...gain one week...loss another...gain another...loss another...back and forth. That's what y'all missed this last month...so as a result...I have remained silent. 

I was sick last week and so I only ran last Monday and then didn't workout the rest of the week. The week prior to that I was just a slacker and had no desire to workout...and so I didn't. However, it is almost 4 weeks away from September 12, the day of the triathlon, and it is time for me to quit slacking, get off my derrière and kick it into full gear. Erika has been working her butt off for this triathlon. I'm so proud of her! I wish I lived closer to her so on days when I didn't feel like going she'd come running around the corner bright-eyed and chipper (like she used to on mornings when we'd go on walks together) and drag me along regardless of my desire to workout! Alas, I do not live around the corner from her and therefore it is up to me to motivate myself and get going on days when I'd rather do anything BUT workout! :)

After my 8-miler...on the treadmill..yuck!


I weighed in yesterday at 209.8. As y'all know it's my goal to be under 200 by the time I go to Florida...with 4 weeks left that means I've got no wiggle room! I've got to put in the workouts and I've got to count my calories. I had a lovely bike ride this evening and I ate terribly today. So I can't change the fact that I consumed way too many calories...but I can learn from it and move on. I really need to focus on my nutrition. It's my goal for the next 4 weeks, if nothing else, to really track my calories. I need to get back in the habit of counting calories and being more mindful of what I'm eating. That is so much easier said than done but I'm going to make it happen...no eating until I have added the meal in front of me into my calorie counting app and know that I'm within my calorie goal. For those of you who are wondering, at this time, my daily calorie goal is 1,500. I think this is a perfectly reasonable number...it allows for descent size meals and a couple snack throughout the day as well. 

My bike ride tonight felt great...I rode back on the trail where I had my accident...and rode very cautiously! I will admit I was very timid as I passed families out on their walks or bike rides...thankfully there were no accidents and it was a beautiful evening! It felt great to be outside. I am surprised by how much I love riding my bike! It's my goal to get up before I work in the morning and run...so with that being said I'm going to R-U-N-N-O-F-T!!! :D 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Count it all joy

I experienced a deep revelation on my bike ride today...so I hope you're ready for what I've got to say! (You've been warned) Some of you may or may not have heard the verses James 1:2-4. If you haven't I will share it now, "count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." I always had a love-hate relationship with this verse because, let's be honest, who wants to meet trials? This verse doesn't give us a few trials that we will face and then be done with our trials...no...it clearly says you will meet trials of various kinds! But what is the result of our trials?! Steadfastness in our faith! I looked up the definition of steadfastness and this is what I found per Merriam-Webster, "firmly fixed in place; not subject to change; firm in belief, determination, and adherence." How sweet is that? Now you may be wondering why I'm starting my blog off this way...but I'm gonna connect the dots here for you in a moment...first I have to share a little story...hang in here with me! :)

Today I set out to ride my bike 25 miles (the distance I'll bike for the triathlon in September). The first 19 miles of my ride were amazing. It was quite, breezy, a slight drizzle was going on for a bit, and I was enjoying my ride. Things were going great, not a fear or trial in sight...aside from finishing my ride. I was really happy with my pace. I had gone the first 15.47 miles in 1 hour. I wasn't feeling too tired. I stopped for a moment to capture the beauty of the scenery around me:





Around mile 19, however, there was a family out riding their bikes. I slowed down and waited for a cyclist to pass who was coming towards us...after that cyclist passed I announced to the first girl that I was passing on her left...she stayed to her right and I passed her...as I came up on the next lady I again said, "on your left"...this time, however, instead of staying to the right so I could pass she looked over her left shoulder and turned towards me and collided with me! Our bikes crashed into each other, I went crashing onto my left side and she landed right on top of me. Thank the Lord I had a helmet on...and that the lady landed on top of me because she was not wearing a helmet. She was fine and able to get up right away...just had a little scratch on her arm. She tried to help me up right away and I just told her I needed a minute to collect myself...that I was fine...I just needed a minute! I kind of did a quick assessment of myself going from head to toe...I knew I didn't really hurt anything...just had some good flesh wounds and one aching hip! Thankfully a couple that was out cycling stopped and helped us get our bikes back in working order...my seat had completely turned to the left...my handlebars had turned to the left...my chain fell off...but other than that there wasn't any real apparent damage. The lady introduced me to her daughter (the girl I had passed first) and her son (who was in the front of the pack) and said it was their first day out riding. I told them, "please don't let this stop you from getting out and riding! Accidents happen...that's why we wear helmets to protect ourselves...keep riding!"

Eventually I got back on my bike and continued on the rest of my ride...oh but I hurt. I couldn't bike faster than a 6 minute mile...where before I was biking about a 3:45 minute mile. I wished I could just "tap out" and have someone come pick me up...but given that I was on the Bosque Trail there's no real convenient place to just be picked up...so I kept moving along. Moaning and groaning as I biked praying for strength to just finish...wishing I could go as fast as I had been for the sake of being done sooner...but it seemed the harder I tried to pedal faster the slower I went. It was in that moment that I was feeling sorry for myself that the verse I shared above came into my head. It's like God was saying, "Maggie, count it all joy when you fails trials of various kinds, for you know the testing of your faith produces steadfastness!" Through this trial I certainly did produce steadfastness...I had a determination, a firm belief that I could finish, and an adherence to finish the journey I had set out on. So while I didn't finish how I would've liked...what really matters is that I finished. 



Just like my bike ride things can be going so well...the sights are beautiful, everything seems to be in place and was going just as I had planned...and then...out of nowhere a trial, an accident, a difficult situation jumps out and wipes me out. We're all going to face trials. Things will be going well and then one day we get a call that a loved one has passed away, that someone has cancer, you experience physical, emotional, sexual abuse, a family member or long time friend wounds you and leaves you feeling broken. These things are guaranteed to happen...we are guaranteed to face trials of various kinds. However, how we respond to these trials, how we finish, what we do in response to these trials is what really matters..because in the end we can let these trials derail us, we can call it quits instead of getting back up, we can jump off the deep end...or we can let these trials shape us and mold us into the person God is wanting us to be. We can learn from our trials so we can be steadfast in our faith....so that we may become perfect and complete...lacking nothing! What an awesome promise. I know that I will not be perfect here on this earth...but I know there's a greater promise waiting ahead of me....that of a perfect and complete spirit...lacking in nothing! 

I don't know what's up with the goofy look on my face...all I can guess is I was trying not to cry

Got road-burn?

This poor knee has taken so many beatings and bruisings!


So my weight loss journey may not be going just as I would like. I've faced many trials and road bumps. But I know that these trials are strengthening me...fueling my determination and adherence...making me steadfast in my journey. This week I weighed in again at 207...and that's okay. I'd rather not gain/lose anything than gain 1 pound or 2 pounds etc. I'm making progress...and that's what really matters! Don't let the trials in your life stop you from obtaining your goals. Don't let the bumps, scrapes, bruises, broken bones hold you back from reaching your potential...from chasing after your dreams and what God has called you to do. It's a beautiful thing to press on...and it's such a relief when you finish what you set out to accomplish! 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Pedal Faster

I can not believe that June is almost over!!! That means July is almost upon us..then August will be here...and before I know it September 12 will be here and I will be participating in my first triathlon with my beautiful sister, Erika! I'm nervous and excited and have a lot of training left today. Today, however, I made a great step towards my training and fitness journey in general. I purchased my first road bike!! :) My dear friend Krystal went with me as a shopping pal...and to try and help keep me on track..and to be a third and fourth ear! I went out today intending just to look around and scope out my options..but when I stumbled into (actually I'm pretty sure I was skipping inside) REI I fell into the hands of marvelous individuals who helped me in making my purchase! 

I was looking at their bikes with Krystal and a middle-aged man came up to me and asked if he could help...to which I said, "Yes!! I'm wanting to purchase a road bike eventually, however, I don't know a lot about bikes and so I'm not exactly sure what I'm looking for!" This nice man told me he had been a road biker for quite some time and gave me so much useful information. He went over the basics of bikes...the different components...asked what I'd be using the bike for...helped me get fitted to the bike...and then once we found a frame that I liked and had components I was looking for he asked if I would like to take it for a test ride. At this point he was getting ready to leave for the day so he handed me over to the care of another gentleman that was just as helpful. He fitted me to the bike...taught me about the bike and how to do simple things that most individuals would not but I didn't...like how to shift, when to shift, what you should and shouldn't do while shifting etc...then he let me ride around to my hearts content! I was shocked at how unbelievably comfortable the bike felt the minute I set out...and I knew right then and there it was the bike I had been looking for :D 

So he asked me what I thought about it and I spilled my guts and said I loved it...plus the bike was on clearance..and once I saw that..well I was basically sold! The guy then took me around the store...he helped me pick out pedals. I chose clip-in pedals. I've had the pleasure of riding my brother-in-laws bike in Florida before and used his clip-in shoes and while it's immensely terrifying I know in the long run it'll be more beneficial for me! So in addition to purchasing a bike I bought pedals, shoes, padded shorts (big smiley face), bottle holder, pump, and I'm planning on attending some classes that REI has for free on how to perform basic maintenance on your bike!! I'm extremely excited about my purchase! Let me share a few pictures with you:

Why yes, I did just buy a bike!



...and then it hit me...I JUST BOUGHT A BIKE!!!!

Clip-ins!!!
I am glad I've been saving money specifically for this purchase...because it was indeed an investment...now it's just up to me to make sure I get my money's worth out of it all!! :) I already went for my first bike ride this evening and I'm in love! It was so peaceful, and beautiful. I think I only nearly killed myself only 4 times trying to get out of my pedals!! So I was doing pretty good if you ask me! Tomorrow is swim/run but I can't wait to ride again!!

status post bike ride!!
I have been enjoying cross-training. I think it keeps me more engaged at this time and I have fun with my workouts! I think my body also appreciates my change in pace. I didn't lose weight this week but last week I weighed in at 207 and that was 6 pounds down from what I had been at the week before. So I'm hoping to have a loss this coming week. Nutrition has been hit and miss...I haven't really had any binges...but I've also had days where I haven't made the greatest of choices...but it's getting better..and easier! Slowly but surely! I am determined to be below 200 pounds by the time I have this triathlon. I'm not putting a specific weight that I would like to be at by the time of the race..just below 200!! :D That's my goal! 

I have some good news to share...I got to go back to day shift! I only had to spend 2 weeks on nights. It was an answer prayer to get to go right back to day shift! I was already having trouble with my sleep schedule and had several nights last week where I fell asleep for a couple hours in the evening and then woke up at about 2 AM(ish) and couldn't sleep so both times that happened to me I ended up going for runs at about 0530 in the morning...and for those of you who know me well know that it's a miracle to get me out of bed that early if I don't have to be at work! Haha...but I really enjoyed my early morning runs...they were so cool, calm, peaceful, quiet, and allowed me to just enjoy the run, pray, think, and breathe easy! Here are a few pictures from my early morning run I did Sunday:

Those beautiful Sandia Mountains

Maybe you can spot the couple of balloons in the horizon!

Finished just in time for the sun to start shining!!

And that my dear reader is all I've got for the time being!! Taking it one day at a time!! 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

That's Right...Another Post!

What?! Two days in a row you get to hear from me! This is a record...so enjoy it while it lasts! Yesterday after writing my post I eventually got off my booty and headed to the gym. I ran 3 miles and then swam 300 meters...I felt kind of lame because it was exhausting just swimming those consecutive laps...and knowing that I wasn't even a third of the way that I will be when it comes time for the tri was a little intimidating...thankfully, however, that is why I am training! :) 

While swimming I chipped my tooth because I was grinding my teeth really weird...and by the time I was aware of what I was doing I had already chipped my tooth...and then I skinned the top of my hand along the side of the pool wall...so me and swimming have a ways to go! One day at a time! Right!? :D

It wouldn't be so bad if I didn't know that I had to
care for patients tomorrow! 

Today I biked 8 miles and did strength training. It felt good. I think it really helps having something to train for and to look forward too...I'm also really enjoying mixing up my workouts. For so long I was just running day in and day out and I think I burned myself out...so knowing my runs aren't quite as big and long makes working out a lot easier. I definitely worked up a sweat today. I worked out with my friend Krystal and she was laughing at my butt sweat...and I figure y'all would get a kick out of it as well...so I took a booty sweat picture:

Good stuff right there!!


Tomorrow is my first night shift...so I think I'll probably sleep tonight, wake up, workout, do a little grocery shopping for my work week, and then come home and nap before my shift. So far today my diet has been in check...yesterday I tracked everything I ate...and today it has been the same. I've been really enjoying a popsicle after my workouts!! It's so refreshing and just enough sweetness to give me a little sugar satisfaction!! 



So that my dear friends is the latest and greatest! Slowly but surely...one day at a time!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Back amongst the living!

Well what do you know?! I still live and breath...and eat! :D It has been a while since I've had the time to write. Sorry to all who have thought I jumped off of the face of the earth and left you in the dark. I have been busy with my orientation on my new unit...which I absolutely love and adore. This week I transition over to night shift so prayers for smooth transition and adjusting to being a vampire again would be greatly appreciated! 

While I'm sure y'all are dying to hear all my work stories but I know that's not what you really come here to read....so I'll get down to the nitty gritty. I have been lazy. I have enjoyed being lazy. I have successfully gained and lost 10 pounds about 20 times these past few months and...while it was real and it was fun...it just wasn't real fun! So, time to stop selling myself short and time to get back on the saddle and finish what I started. Time to start making dreams come true again!

Today I cringed as I saw 213.4 on the scale. I don't really know what I expect to see since my diet has been far from stellar and my exercise has definitely been lagging lately. So I can't change what is done and what hasn't been done...but I can change what I do from here on out. 

My time-off in September was approved and as some of y'all may remember there is a triathlon in Gulf Shores, Alabama that my sister, Erika was telling me about. This triathlon has a 1.5k swim, 40k bike, and 6 mile run. I have been wondering if I could really be ready by the time this triathlon is scheduled to occur...September 12, to be precise...but after a phone call to my sister I have been convinced that I'm more than capable of training for this!

I've been doing my homework and found a training plan that I really like the looks of. It consists of working out basically 6 days a week and has AM and PM workouts which I think will work well with my work schedule...so I can go for a swim before going into work and then run outside when I get home in the mornings. Or go for a bike ride before or after I work. I need to purchase a road bike...I'm hoping to make my big purchase within the next week or so!

I have been running..normally around 3 miles about 3 times a week...but I have been eating way more than I've been burning...hence my not-so-shocking weigh-in. I can feel the weight in my stomach, see it in my face, and feel the sluggishness in general and I'm tired of it. I was looking back at my pictures from my Dallas 5K...and I don't think I ever shared them on my blog! So I shall share them now with y'all!! Hope you enjoy...and I'll write again soon!

Hahaha...selfie after "the poop disaster"

I think the lady's face to the left of Erika sums up the way I smelt here!


I love this picture...my face says it all...this is probably 0.2 miles left in the run!
I can still hear Erika saying, "don't stop Maggie...go catch up with David!"



And so I did...but not without having a mini hissy fit before! :)

And the pain was worth it

I like to call us the dream team...making dreams come true...
one day at a time!

I like that they let us customize our bibs, "Fight to Fit"

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The truth hurts!

Oh my goodness...it has been a while since I've taken the time to sit down and write. It's not that I haven't necessarily had the time as much as I haven't wanted to write about the latest and not so greatest on my journey! I feel like since November I've been writing nothing but bad reports...but you know what...I'm done feeling sorry for myself and I'm ready to really get back on track. So here it goes! Two weeks ago I weighed 212...last week I weighed 208.8...this week I weighed in at 209.2. I'd like to be real coy and act like I have no idea why I have gained so much weight in the matter of a few weeks but I freaking know why...I have not been working out as much as I need to and I sure as heck have not been tracking my calories...I'm pretty sure I've had some significant 2500-3500 calorie days lately! That's just me keeping it real...the truth hurts!

I went for a run with my sister today and thought that I had to be running at at least a 10:30 pace by the way I was breathing...yeah I looked at my watch and it said my pace was 11:35!!! DANG IT! So what now?! Well, I've got to write out my schedule and start to write in and make time for my workouts. I've got to count every single calorie I place in my mouth as much of a pain as that can be. I've just got to do it. I keep thinking back to when I was doing really well and wonder what I was doing to succeed...I was doing what had to be done regardless of whether or not I felt like doing it. When I was exhausted after a long day at work I still went to the gym. When there was cake and ice cream and soda all around at work I only ate what I brought and said, "NO!". That's what I've got to get back to doing. 

I'm in the process of finding a bike to purchase so I can start mixing up my cross-training. I also have started taking a class at Defined called Body Pump...which freaking rocks! I really want to try and build lean muscle because I know that'll be a huge help on my weight loss journey. I also just talked to my sister Erika this afternoon and she mentioned a triathlon in Alabama this September...I've always wanted to do a triathlon but have just been talk so far and no action...so I'm tired of talking and ready to put my actions where my mouth is! So as long as my time off gets approved at work I'm doing this triathlon with her!! I'm really excited for it...it's a little bit farther than the sprint distance...they call it intermediate so it's a 1.5k swim and 40k bike and a 6 mile run!! So I'm praying my time off is approved so I can purchase my spot in the race! 

So, am I where I want to be? No. But I think I can safely say I'm ready to get back on track. My words mean nothing though...I've got to back it all up with my actions and I've got to get serious about it again! Here are a few pictures I'll share! I'll try and write a little more frequently but I am in the middle of orienting on my new unit so that does take up a little more time currently...but I'll try and write more than I have in the last few weeks! ;) Have a great day...enjoy the pictures!

Full frontal!! :)
Side view!

Me and Abs on our 4-mile run

View on our run in my most favorite place: The Bosque!!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Life in General

I’m taking a break this post from writing about my weight-loss journey to share a little about life in general. I’m in my last two weeks in my current position at the hospital as a charge nurse. I have been given the job on the Family Birthing Center at the hospital and will be transferring positions in two weeks. It will be a 14-16 week orientation, classes, and night shift. I wrote this a couple nights ago while reflecting on all that I’ve seen and done since becoming a nurse. It was my goal to become a great IV starter…and that has happened (thanks to all my patients for your graciousness in the beginning when I wasn’t quite so great at poking). It was my goal to be engaged and involved on my unit and I have been the chairman of our shared governance council for the past year, I also have been a clinical practice leader and helped teach skills labs to newer nurses. It was not my goal to become a charge nurse…but God had other plans for me and for the past year I have had the privilege of being a charge nurse on my floor on the day shift. I have learned so much about leadership and what it means to be a good leader and I pray the nurses I leave behind feel as if I have been a leader and not a manager.

My heart is breaking slightly when I think of leaving my current position as charge nurse on GMU2. My home. This is where I learned to fly…this is where I learned to swim when I thought I was going to drown. This is where I learned that kindness goes a long ways. This is where I learned that practice really does make for a great IV master. This is where I learned there’s no such thing as a dumb question. This is where I learned people are broken, lost, and longing for someone to care for them without judgment and without assumptions. This is where I learned that C. Diff smells…awful…and looks just as terrible. This is where I learned people need help dying graciously. This is where I learned a smile never hurt anyone. This is where I learned to double check, triple check, and quadruple check my orders. This is where I learned that mistakes happen. This is where I learned you can get up and keep moving after a mistake has happened. This is where I learned falls suck. This is where I learned nurses, techs, doctors, pharmacists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapist, house supervisors, and even managers are some of the most amazing people you’ll meet and befriend. This is where I learned to never assume your patient has pooped, peed, or eaten. This is where I learned you can never communicate too much. This is where I learned people get extremely angry when you say they’re “NPO”. This is where I learned the importance of shared governance. This is where I learned my heart is capable of more love than I ever imagined. This is where I learned never to assume a patient is difficult just because they’ve been labeled that way. This is where I learned taking the time to actually sit down in a chair and listen is one of the best things you can do. This is where I learned you really do have enough time to sit down. This is where I learned I love my patients above my own needs…my bladder can vouch for this one. This is where I learned that even though I love my patients…I still need to take time to eat…for everyone’s safety. This is where I learned that given enough time, enough show of kindness, and enough love anyone will come out of their shell. This is where I learned to believe in myself.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this: Nursing is not just a job. Nursing is not just a paycheck. Nursing is not just a career. Nursing is a way of life. Nursing is who I am. Nursing is engraved in my heart, my soul, and my bones. Nursing hurts. Nursing is underappreciated. Yet, nursing is so rewarding. When you get to discharge your patient home and see them completely opposite of what they were when they came in...Or in some cases realizing there’s nothing else we can do medically…but keeping them comfortable and helping them transition in the last stage of their life is our goal. I love people. I love handling conflict. I love implementing change. I love teaching. I love learning. I love nursing.

Now it’s time for me to start a new chapter in my nursing career. I’ve spent almost 3 years on a medical-surgical floor and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. The last year I have spent as a charge nurse and I’m so blessed to have had that opportunity. I absolutely recommend to every new nurse to start out on med-surg. The experience, knowledge, and practice you gain from this kind of nursing are irreplaceable. I’ve always known I wanted to go into midwifery and now is the time for me to start making the transition. I’m in the process of determining where I will go for my Master’s to become a Nurse-Midwife. In looking at schools it has become clear that all the programs require experience in labor and delivery…and so that is where I’m headed. I’m so blessed to be starting in a couple weeks at the Family Birthing Center. I can’t wait to meet more amazing nurses, be a small part in someone’s story, and hopefully make changes for the better. My brain is beyond excited when it thinks of the challenges ahead of me…of all the learning that will occur and all the growth that will come from it. I pray God will use me, guide me, lead me, and allow me to be a light as I continue on in this field. I pray to be the hands and feet of God in patient’s joy…and in their sorrow. I’m reminded of Proverbs 16:9 “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” Oh Lord, that you would establish my steps. That you would lead me where you want me to go. That I would follow when I hear your call. Psalm 37:23 “The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him.” Thus far Lord you have clearly made each step clear to me and planted me where I am. Thank you for leading me…and thank you for for continuing to lead me each step of my journey!




Prayers are appreciated as I make this transition. I’ll be going back to working night shift…so learning to adjust my workouts and eating habits again will be difficult but worth the struggle. That’s where I’m at and what has been laying heavy on my heart so thank you for allowing me to hijack my weight-loss blog with a nursing blog post!! J

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Final Stories of Dallas (part 5)

You've all been good sports...and hopefully you've enjoyed my retellings of my time in Dallas...sorry this last one took a bit to get posted...I had technical difficulties getting pictures to upload! Here's a recap of my last couple days out there!

Monday I got to spend the day with my darling sister-in-law Elise who had asked for the day off. So initially we went to uptown and took the trolley to Clyde Warran Park with Erika, Mom, and the boys, and our friend Haylee and her kiddos who had made it into town the night before!! It was the perfect day. I got to spin a bunch of random kiddos on a merry-go-round…I may have accidentally spun one or two off of the merry go round…but that is neither here nor there and they both got back up laughing so I took that as a good sign ;) After playing for a bit Elise and I went our separate ways for a sister date! We went to this place called the truck yard…it’s way to amazing to even try to describe…you should check it out here http://texastruckyard.com and go visit it if you’re ever in Dallas! From there we went on a scenic hike together…even though the building was closed there was a worker outside that said we could walk around…and walk around we did! It was so beautiful:






It was a beautiful day for our little hike…and a memorable one as well! :D Sometimes it’s nice to be able to walk, talk, and get things off of your chest…and that’s just what I was able to do with Elise…as well as reap some wisdom and guidance! I’m so appreciative for those who hear the ugliest about me and still think I’m beautiful. It’s so nice to know that I can be completely honest and transparent without fear of being chastised. Finding that is a beautiful thing…and keeping it is a treasure! Monday was a great day!

Monday evening David, Erika, and I decided we’d go for a 6-miler in the morning…before I knew what happened I was being awoken for our morning run and about 15 minutes later we were out the door and on our way. It was a peaceful morning starting out. As we ran my mind just wandered and reflected on how much I used to dream about being able to go out for “an easy 6 miles” with David and Erika…and I was living that dream. I didn’t have a lot to say on the run but I loved listening to Erika and David talk. I loved hearing them encourage one another, lift one another up, and just love on each other. Halfway through the run we started running through swarms of gnats…and it was nasty! Like I swallowed, inhaled, exhaled, and blinked gnats! I felt like a drama queen…but each time we’d hit a swarm they’d go in your mouth and it’d make you cough and it was so difficult to breath with them pelting your face. Well…At around mile 5 David looked over at me and I’m pretty sure his jaw skimmed the ground…and he said, “Maggie don’t touch your face!” at that point Erika glanced my way and started cracking up hysterically…I felt my face and nearly died…I fought the urge to go jump in a puddle somewhere! The rest of the run Erika would just slightly glance my way and start giggling…I knew my face was a sight to behold…I just hope the other runners saw it as they passed us and heeded my warning not to go farther! Well, after we finished our run David took my picture and I was disgusted when I saw this:





I even had gnats in my eye!!! IN MY EYE!!! Yeah, so I do not envy David and the runs he will enjoy in Dallas while trying to stay afloat in the flood of gnats. Yuck. Another one of those… “Been there, don’t want to do that again” moments!! But I enjoyed my run…and the company so I wouldn’t have traded that for anything!

The rest of the trip was just spent enjoying one another’s company and making more memories that camera and words could not capture. Before I knew it Wednesday was here and it was time for me to fly home and head back to reality. But I needn’t shed any tears…for I know I’ll have more great experiences next year!! So it wasn’t really goodbye just…until next time!



Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Untold Stories of Dallas: Half Marathon (Part 4)

4 days straight of posting!! :D Hope you're not getting tired of them!! Here comes more...no graphic content this time though! 

Sunday March 22, 2015:

Sunday morning was here before we knew it…and so I got ready quickly, had some coffee, ate a Greek yogurt, went to the bathroom slightly afraid of what could happen today in the porta-potties! Before we knew it we were on our way to the Dart station to head to the start line. This year there was no official designated parking area for the half marathon…but it ended up working out for our benefit. We just took the dart railway which is just down the street from David and Elise’s place and that took us directly to the start line! We didn’t have to worry about parking so that was nice.

We made it to the start with roughly 30 minutes to spare and so we each went to the bathroom…before actually sitting on the commode I sat about 20+ feet of toilet paper in each direction of the toilet making a lovely thrown for my toosh to sit on…not wanting a repeat of yesterday’s misfortunes! Thankfully no one had a tragic porta-potty story and so we all continued on to check our bags and head towards the start line.

It was already determined that Erika was going to run with David where his goal was to run the half in an hour and fifty minutes! I was going to run with Olivia and encourage her as she ran her first half marathon!! So we all took a pre-run picture at reunion tower together…

Excited to get our run on!!

…from there Erika and David headed to their start corral and Olivia and I headed to ours!! :D David and Erika were really fortunate to be such speedy runners because they got to start almost right away…I believe they were in corral three right behind the Olympic medalist Deena Kastor! Olivia and I were in Corral 13 so by the time we actually got started David and Erika had already been running for about 40 minutes…I told Olivia that by that point they had already ran about 4 miles!!

But hey…while we were waiting we took advantage of the selfie time:

Feeling the excitement of our run!

I could tell that Olivia was nervous and she got a little emotional at the start of it all…which I could completely understand. I felt bad that we had to wait so long to actually get it started. With all of my runs I’ve done I’ve made it there in just enough time to jump into my corral and go…so there hasn’t been that extra time to think about what’s about to happen, if you can do it, and the challenges you’re going to have to overcome.

Finally, after the wait we were on our way! This years course was different from last year and I absolutely LOVED it! Initially we ran through some gorgeous buildings and the architecture was so beautiful. We got to run through the historic site where JFK was shot, we ran over a bridge and came back over the Margaret Hunt Hill bridge which is so amazing and the point where I actually took out my phone for a picture is when we were just past the bridge and had an awesome view of downtown Dallas:

Beautiful Downtown Dallas...and as you can see it was a lovely overcast day! 
A glance of reunion tower where we had started out!


At that point we were at mile 8 and Olivia was doing awesome! We had been running for just under 2 hours and we got the text that Erika and David had completed the half in 1:51:41!!! We kept on trekking and around mile 9 is when I noticed Olivia having a hard time…there comes a time in everyone’s run…especially where you have expectations for yourself that you start to struggle…all those thoughts, emotions, doubts, fear etc come rushing into your mind telling you that you can’t do it…so I just kept encouraging her and reminding her that she could do it. At one point she said, “I’m doing this so the boys can see that they can do whatever they set their mind to!” What a great reason and example to set for her kiddos!! So regardless of the pain, doubt, and fear she had she kept pushing! From mile 9-10 there was a strip where music was playing continually…it was awesome and a great way to keep the runners pumped and pushing. I was texting Erika updates and around mile 10 she said they were going to start walking towards us to run the last bit with us. At mile 11 we turned onto my most favorite scenic part: turtle creek…it’s so beautiful and it was lined with spectators.

At mile 12 we spotted Erika and David and they hopped in with us! It was so much fun to be able to have them join us so we could all finish together. At one point we were passing one of the camera mans…and in true David fashion he jumped up in the air hoping for his mad hops to be captured on film…they cameraman told him to do it again to which David obliged and the guys said, “GOT IT!” Well…he sure did…I haven’t bought the picture so there’s still the copyright across the screen but I had to share:

David has mad hops!!

With about half a mile left to go Olivia picked it up and started running…and with maybe 0.2 miles left Olivia grabbed my hand and we sprinted to the finish lines!! It was one of the most fun finishes I’ve ever done…filled with joy, pride, and excitement!!! SHE DID IT!!! :D Olivia ran her first half marathon!!

Pure Joy!!

So proud of Olivia!!

We did it!! 


We went through the finishers shoot and collected as many goodies as possible. Maybe like a dozen power bars, several Gatorades, some chocolate milk, bags of potato chip, you name it we grabbed it! We then went and collected our checked bags so we could pull out our sweaters and warmer clothing…Erika and Olivia went to the bathroom…I passed on that ;) We went and bought a couple tops to commemorate the day:



After we hit up the Dunkin Donuts tent and got some free iced coffee we then went to retrieve our free beers. After we retrieved our beverages David or Erika I can’t remember which pointed to the tent and said, “Hey it’s the girl from yesterday!” And sure enough…there she was…Annie was her name, I believe. She is the woman that took our picture in front of woolly the mammoth the day before! She was so genuine and sweet and has such an electric personality that catches you the minute you make eye contact with her. So we had to take a picture with her as well!!





Afterwards we walked to the Dart Station and waited for our train to arrive. Once on the train Erika and David told us what they saw happen on their walk to find us as we were finishing our run. Just beyond mile 12 there was a man on the ground and a woman was performing CPR on the individual. There was a band at that area and David said they didn't stop playing but they played quietly and respectfully. Although people were watching it sounded like everyone was being respectful and not panicking. Erika said she and David just held each other and prayed for the man and the woman performing CPR and at one point Erika felt the Holy Spirit leading her to say, "In Jesus Name that heart start beating again" and shortly after she said that they put a blanket over the man...people started to clear and Erika said she could see the man taking big deep breathes. As it turns out throughout the run there are individuals running uniforms called Race Guards. These are individuals who are trained in First Aid, CPR, and AED trained. The woman performing CPR on the  gentleman was Dr. Laura Dowd. Erika and David went up to her later and thanked her for what she did...she said when the man came to he said something along the lines of, "Thanks babe" to which she replied, "That's Dr. Babe to you!" :D What an awesome organization to be a part of and what a testament to the power of prayer and those who respond to the calling! Has me thinking I should look into being a part of the Race Guards! 

Well after our eventful day we went home, napped, hit up the park for a barbecue and fun evening with family and friends!! It was indeed a great day!