When I was 12, I was diagnosed with bi-polar manic depression & anxiety. It has been a challenge for me to deal with since that day. My coping mechanism for anxiety and depression was/is to eat. My favorite thing to do was sit on the couch on a Saturday night and down a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and watch a movie.
I remember sitting on the couch watching Oprah and seeing Team Hoyt on there. I told myself that if this dad can do an Ironman triathlon with his handicapped son in tow, so can I. But I left it at that. I didn’t know how to go about training. At the time, it was just a pipe dream.
In January 2009, a friend I went to high school with, sent out a mass invitation on Facebook to do a Sprint triathlon. I took it as a personal invitation. I thought about it for a good 1 1/2 months. I didn’t know if it would be possible to train for a sprint triathlon that was 6 months away. I didn’t know what it would take. I decided to take the plunge (literally & figuratively). On March 1, 2009, I weighed in at 275 lbs and decided to start training for triathlons. I woke up every morning and went to the pool and swam 1 4 laps (the length for the tri). After I got home from work, I would go back to the gym and walk on the treadmill for 3.1 miles and bike for 12 miles. That’s the only way I knew how to train for a triathlon. I lost 114 lbs. this way.
My whole goal for my triathlon was to not finish last. I didn’t care if I came in 2nd to last, just as long as I didn’t finish last. I happened to finish in 1:44. Sweet! I remember coming home from that triathlon and signing up for 2 more within 15 minutes. I was HOOKED!!!
I eventually got a coach, and he coached me all the way through to my first 1/2 Ironman. I did the Boise 1/2 Ironman in June of 2013. I loved every minute of it. Working out consumed me. I didn’t have a family, I wasn’t in a relationship, nothing. I found that working out was how I dealt with my anxiety.
Little did I know that life was going to take a drastic turn in less than a year. The April before my 70.3, I started dating a guy (he is now my husband). At first he was just my “Manfriend”. He had A LOT of walls I had to break down. He had 2 kids from a previous marriage too. He had his kids every other weekend. I basically moved in with him about 30 days after knowing him. He got a puppy shortly after we started dating and he used that as an excuse for me to have a key to his place, etc.
I was very involved in his life and his kids’ lives. Then a bombshell was dropped. 9 months in to us dating, his daughter & son were down for visitation and his daughter revealed to me that she was being sexually abused by her stepdad and her brother was being physically abused!
With that bombshell being dropped, my whole world was turned upside down. One minute I was a single woman who was in a weird relationship with a guy, the next minute, I was becoming a mother to 2 kids, and not just 2 “normal” kids. It was 2 kids who had A LOT of baggage.
And because of my boyfriend’s career, I became the one who took the kids to therapy, etc. All of a sudden, everything I’d known for the past 5 years (exercising and just me) was put on the back burner. It still is.
I would occasionally still be able to workout and do a race here and there. We got the kids in to therapy, etc., and saw major improvement with them, and we ended up getting married on 2/13/15.
Life started to slow down a bit. The kids were doing good in school, etc. I wasn’t as consistent with my workouts as I was when I was training for my 70.3 and stuff, but I was still working out.
Then in June of 2015, I found out I was pregnant. I always thought I’d be one of those women that worked out through her pregnancy and was still healthy and fit. Yeah, right!!! My pregnancy was MISERABLE!!! I was sick the entire time. I even barfed while I was in labor.
I obviously put weight on during my pregnancy. The baby is almost 1 year old now. One of the kids has regressed a lot with their treatment and therapy, so we have the child back in intensive therapy. With having a new baby in the house and having children with LOTS of baggage. I just haven’t found a balance between family and me time. Therefore, I’ve put back on 80 of the 114 lbs. I lost.
This blog is my struggle with being a step-mom, being an LEO wife, being a mom to a 1 year old and still trying to find time for me and trying to lose weight again.