One Mom's Personal Journey...Back To Herself!

Exciting News! Round Three with Hubby!
I had an awesome Turkey day and I used it to load for round 3! Hubby decided to do a round with me. I am a couple days ahead of him because I didn't want to load again....after pigging out during our holiday. We were traveling so I ate like crap - but let myself.

I started round 3 VLCD on Monday at 162. This morning I am at 156.4 and I am remembering all of my tricks from before! Don't leave the house without an apple! Drink my lemon vanilla stevia water and green tea.

I am hoping my body will respond well to another round. I was off for 4 months. My last round I was down to just under 150. I had put back on about 8lbs....until load. I seem to stabilize around 158.

Of course I have not been running much since I went back to work. Things were really crazy and Lauren was not taking it well. She is starting to adjust now and not cry every day.

Hopefully I will have an awesome round 3 and get below my BMI overweight goal this time. I knew it would be tough for the holidays but I also knew I would be waayyyyyy up if I didn't start another round now instead of allowing myself to eat all the holiday food. It's almost easier for me to be on a strict diet and just know I can't have it!

I am back on Hucog injections of 250iu. I use mini mixing instructions and only inject 20ml. I'll keep you posted on our progress. Should be fun to watch Hubby - he started around 226.

Hope you are all doing well!
Coming up for air!!!!
So going back to work has been a rough transition. It has been about 6 weeks now. Six very loooooong weeks. Lauren took the adjustment hard and has reverted back to crying at school every day and hanging off me, clinging like velcro baby, every minute we are together. Lots of acting out and defiance. The whining!!!! ugh!

The stress has been overwhelming at times and I feel like it is just now starting to be more manageable. I am getting to work on time, after I peel Lauren off and run for the car then burn rubber down the freeway towards work. Some days we both cry.

I am really enjoying my job and pursuing my career again. I have had a great time getting to know the people in my office. The environment is warm and relaxed. The majority of what I do right now is data analysis for healthcare, project management and NCQA reporting. So I am basically a nerd and I love that!

My health has suffered through this transition. I have gained 5lbs back and I have trouble finding time or energy to work out. I wake up at 5:30am and crash into bed exhausted by 9pm. I usually fall asleep with Lauren because I'm whooped.

Anyway, I am looking forward to being fully adjusted and being able to focus a little more on my goals again. Hope you are all well and gearing up for the holidays!
Yesterday we returned from our first trip to Vegas as parents. We left Lauren in very good hands but it was really hard.

I loved the hotel we stayed at - Vdara. Located in the new "City Center" complex. I highly recommend it. The room was awesome - views of the Bellagio fountains next door. The location was perfect, an oasis, in the middle of the strip. Aria next door had the casino, shops and restaurants.

We saw Zumanity and Peepshow. I loved both ADULT venues. I had read some critical reviews about Holly Madison's Peepshow. Seriously, let's face it! You pay because you get to see her boobs...she doesn't have to be a professional dancer or singer. Also I had heard Zumanity was overly obnoxious and I didn't see it that way. It was so much fun....the circus acts were awesome and it was very humorous.

I did my Skyjump at Stratosphere. You know, when you get to the 108th floor and you are looking down 855 ft I cannot explain how scared you are or how you have to mentally talk to yourself to keep yourself calm.

Waiting for your turn is excruciating! I waited with four men and called "ladies first" on the elevator to the top just so I could GO! Nobody argued. I was joking around with them as we gazed down and waited for the group before us to finish- just to lighten the mood. I said I was going to jump Iron Man style - "you complete me!"

Finally, after safety checks and command voices, I walk through the double sliding doors out onto the platform, the heat is a stifling 98 degrees. I was commanded to turn to the right and hold on to the railing so they can clip my harness on to the middle of my back - the view is amazing at sunset. I was petrified but knew it was too late....knuckles white!

I stood with toes hanging over the edge of the blue platform. Holding on to the rails at either side as I had been instructed. The harness was pushing me, I didn't like it. I had to squelch my automatic "flight or fight response". Neither option was appropriate. The attendant shouted  "here comes your countdown....3...2....1"....and I jump!

I fling myself from the platform just to end the overwhelming anxiety and immediately gravity grabs me and drags me toward the earth with such force it knocks the wind out of me and I exhale loudly - "Huh!!!" leaving my breath behind. It is crushing and I closed my eyes for a split second - I was thinking - how bad it sucked! ......and then

The harness slows me down and all of a sudden swoosh, I am floating....flying....soaring, arms stretched out wide and it is awesome. I jumped at sunset so I had the most amazing night sky and I could see the Vegas lights and then zzzzzziiiip! Booom...I landed....and I thanked god it was over!!!!!

It was a great exercise in facing my fears and living my life to the fullest....but I was so happy to be done!
Susan G Komen - Race for the Cure
One of the best experiences of my life! I did 10 weeks of training on an indoor treadmill listening to the 5K 101 podcast. As I trained I had a mini cheerleader to do stretches with and several times she stood in front of the treadmill yelling "go mama go". We often talked about my race and what to expect.

The 5K started at 7:30am and I had concerns that my husband would not have Lauren at the finish line. I really wanted her to share that experience with me. I decided to stay in a hotel downtown the night prior to the race.  The hotel was just 5 blocks from the starting line. Perfect for a warm up walk!

We all had a blast on the club level the night prior to the race. We relaxed and had a glass of wine and dessert as Lauren terrorized the club lounge. Actually, I ate too much dessert and that was after the cheeseburger! I wondered if I would pay for that on race day.

Back at the room I set out all my clothes, and Lauren's too, in preparation for race day. It was raining monsoon style. Apparently I was going to get drenched! I was debating on what to race in...I purposely picked up some moisture wicking clothes, just in case. I decided to wear my Komen race T-shirt.

I tossed and turned all night. It was loud downtown and Chris was snoring. I forgot my ear plugs!!! Lauren kicked me in the head all night and Chris flopped around. Every time he did my side of the bed would catapult me up in the air a little...

I arose at 5:30 a.m. because I was tired of staring at the ceiling. The plan was for me to get ready and sneak out at 7:00am to start the race at 7:30am and then they would meet me at the finish line around 8:00am. I had been running on the treadmill and it was taking me 38 minutes to run 3.15 miles. So they should have sufficient time to get there.

Just as I finished getting ready I put my head phones in and listened to some music. I was standing in the bathroom and I backed up bam, right into Lauren. Uh-oh! I started explaining that I needed to go because it was race day...she started crying and freaking out, clinging to my legs. My husband was laying in bed still.

I had to go in and tell him to get out of bed. Then I started yelling, you know what??? Get up, get ready!! I will get Lauren ready. I need to fucking leave this room in 15 minutes. I want a cup of coffee. I need to warm up and stretch. I need to find the starting line. Hurry up!! His response, "what did I do?". (Exactly!) In a tirade I yelled, "just fucking hurry up!!!!!"

He moved at a snails pace....and there it was - the scene I was trying to avoid. The one I had experienced over and over again. Why? Why did it have to be this way?? I got Lauren ready. I went in the bathroom and he was standing in the steamy hot carrera marble foo foo shower, arms folded, twirling slowly back and forth as the warm water cascaded over him from the rain shower heed. "Fucking hurry up I need to leave in 5 min!!!!" I screamed!

After that, every couple of minutes I whipped out some additional f-bombery and delivered a count down. We didn't leave the room until 7:10 am. I was fuming. I was a wreck. I didn't get my coffee and since I walked with them to the starting line I didn't get to warm up either. In my head I was calling my husband every name in the book.

I found the starting line and relaxed a bit. I asked Lauren to stretch with me. I looked at my husband and said, "do you think you could take a picture of me - prior to the race?". He snapped a couple of pics before I went to the starting line. I lined up in the back of the pack at the "over 10:00 min mile sign".

This was it. The weather cleared and it was perfect. I looked around at all the people from different walks of life - many with "in memory of" banners on their shirts- loved ones they had lost. I choked up and got very teary eyed remembering why I had chosen this particular race. Hard to feel sorry for yourself looking at that! I used it for inspiration the entire race.

Some people were running in pink wings and tu tu's. Funny how I was so worried about what to wear. The announcer called out - 1 minute til race time! I started my playlist and put in my ear phones. The race started, the crowd began jogging in place and then stopped. There were so many of us. It took nearly 2 minutes to reach the starting line and cross the chip timer. Boom, I was off!

I bobbed and weaved through the crowd and paced myself. It was uphill! I clung to the outside and avoided potholes and max line tracks. Eventually, I found a decent pace and reached flat ground. I already had a stitch in my side, was that the cheeseburger and desserts? I pushed on and told myself to buck up!

About that time I looked up and saw an on duty police officer I knew, standing at attention. I weaved over to the side and lined up for my high 5. We exchanged smiles and then, Smack! I pressed on.

I ran passed drag shows,  dread  locks, cheerleaders and many things that made me smile and gave me inspiration. Each moment created a new snapshot in my mind. My heart ached for the people wearing the "in memory of" banners and I kept telling myself I had nothing to complain about. Was it her mom she lost, her aunt?, I thought, she is so young.

As I ran and pushed and breathed and paced I re-played the past nine months in my mind. Last November I had a huge fight with my husband where I got in the car with Lauren and drove to my sister's house. I needed the separation. It was the turning point that motivated me to face reality and re-build myself.

I began setting goals and facing fears. I lost some additional weight with Hcg, went skiing again, planted my first organic garden, ran over the Golden Gate Bridge, got my braces put back on, enrolled Lauren in pre-school, found a job and now I was running my first 5K.

Next weekend we are taking our first adult trip (to Vegas) since Lauren was born. I will be jumping off the stratosphere hurling myself away from what was and towards the next chapter in my life. I am excited to be able to re-start my career. To re-gain the financial independence I had worked so hard for. I snapped back to reality.

As I ran I listened to my playlist so I knew how long I had been running. I had memorized the times and the order. My last two songs were Veronica's Untouched and then ACDC Thunderstruck. Songs I placed at the end knowing I would need the accelerated tempo to press on. I was getting really fatigued, I started praying, "Lord lift me up and carry me".

I turned a corner and ran under a bridge looking ahead. People pushing baby strollers were passing me! I could see the balloons from the starting line waaaaaay down the street. Oh crap, that is a long way still. Veronica's were on, would I finish within my goal of 38 minutes? You can do it, you can do it, I commanded! Push, Push!!! Lauren is there waiting for me. I picked up my pace.

Just then, I realized. The finish line was 5 blocks from the starting line. I saw a crowd coming up ahead. I started sprinting!!! I was frantically searching the crowd on both sides of the finish line for my girl's sweet little face, where is she?, where is she?, where is she??? I want to burn a memory of empowerment into her mind. I want her to know she can follow her dreams and achieve them with hard work and tenacity.

I am still on the Veronicas so I know I am a full song ahead of my goal. I have a chip timer on so I am more concerned about finding Lauren than my race time, I don't see her. I see a sign, "Survivors finish left", I shift to the right, catch a millisecond glimpse at the timer, 33:47, cross the finish line....finally there she is on the right. I scream yea!!! At her....and I'm done. I think, holy crap did that say 33????

My net chip time was recorded as 32:16! No wonder I had a stitch in my side and I was so fatigued. That's 6 minutes faster than I was running at home. Maybe it was the cheeseburger?? :)
Changes Coming - New Job
I started applying for jobs and interviewing a few weeks ago. Yesterday I was offered a job.

The position is dynamic and a lot of work and will entail project management, data analysis and reporting, presentations, training...etc. I am thrilled to have found something that I can sink my teeth into. I really didn't want to go back to an entry level position after working so hard in the past to take my career to another level-  while I was also going to school.

In this economy and after being off work for three years  - I am absolutely grateful! Bonus - the office is located about 5 miles from my house and I get to wear jeans unless required otherwise. I will be hitting the Macy's weekend sale to spend my first paycheck in advance!

I am looking forward to my 5K Sunday, Vegas trip the following weekend and starting work on the 29th. It will bring change to our family and our home. I already have Lauren placed at a private school where she knows her surroundings, teacher and friends. The transition was as smooth as can be expected. I hope the next phase goes as smoothly.