I have been asked a lot of questions lately about how I find time to work out, eat right, take care of my kids, clean my house, etc. All of the obstacles that a mom has to deal with on a daily basis. Well, to be honest, I don't find time to do it all. I'm not supermom, my house isn't 'company ready' at any given moment, I don't get all the running in that I would like during the week, I'm not the best at every single thing I do and I don't vacuum in pearls and high heels. And I'm good with that because like a lot of moms out there I do the best I can.
First off, I'm very blessed and thankful to have a supportive husband. If I didn't have Fred's support and encouragement, running would be almost impossible for me. I definitely wouldn't be writing this blog without his encouragement and belief in me. We are in it all together. When I NEED to go for a run, he gets it and helps me figure out how to make it happen. When we begin training for our first half marathon it will take both of us working together. It will not be easy but we can and will make it work.
Have I mentioned I have an 18 year old daughter? Yeah, I do. She's pretty great most of the time. Even though she works two jobs and goes to college right now she still helps out in her free time. She's gone on runs with me, watched her brother and sister so I could go on runs, and she ran her first 5k with me last Fall. Okay, so she ran with me for about a ½ mile and then decided to step it up to her regular pace and leave me behind. It was a lot of fun to do a race with her!
My parents are also amazing cheerleaders! When they aren't 'snowbirding' in Florida during January and February, they live only ten minutes from me. They are always great to let me drop my little ones off so I can go run for an hour or two.
Then there's also my treadmill. It's always there for me whether I want it to be or not. My kiddos are almost 6 and 4 and they hate the jogging stroller. After zipping through snacks in the first 10 minutes, they spend the rest of the time fighting, asking me when we will be done, and fighting. Which ends up defeating the main purpose of running for me: Sanity. So, treadmill it is when I have no one else to come to my rescue. However, both of my kiddos will be getting new bikes for their birthdays so, come Spring, I'm hoping to have them ride along on the trail with me when I run.
Honestly, I have an incredible support system all the way around and I don't know how I'd do it without my family. They all help in some way to get me over the obstacles I face.
That Nasty Little Obstacle Called 'Negativity'
While I was working out at the gym last week, an older, rather grumpy, gentleman asked me, “How can anyone be so happy so early in the morning while working out?”
First, let me explain that it was not early in the morning, it was roughly 9:30am. I woke up at 7:00am to my alarm radio playing Life is a Highway. That's really not relevant but I thought it was weird that I still remember it... Anyway, I scarfed down my Multi-grain Cheerios in Almond Milk, drank my coffee as I ran around the house bathing, dressing and feeding my two younger children. Had to take an extra 10 minutes to explain to my son why he had to go with me and couldn't stay home with Daddy. Followed by fifteen minutes of “Get your shoes and coat on.” set to repeat. Then I drove my girl to school while answering questions like, “Mom, what does fluid look like in your ear? What color is fluid when it's in your ear? Is it pink? Would it be gross if there was fluid in your nose? Knock knock?” After dropping her off, I drove to the gym with my boy. All the while listening to him squeak the squeaky dolphin toy that my mom gave him. (thanks so much, Mom)
Upon arriving at the gym, I check in and head tothe kid care room to drop off my boy. Meltdown ensues because I forgot to let him get the “ticket” (kids care pass) that he likes to take in to whoever is watching the kids that day. FYI, we are the only ones who actually take the “ticket” in with us. I was informed of this during said meltdown. And really, what a perfect time to tell me this tidbit of useless information. Back out to the front desk, get the ticket, back to the kids care room. All is good and well with the world. Now, why the heck wouldn't I be happy???
Of course, I didn't relay this whole story to him. I simply answered, “It's a choice. Choosing to be happy is a lot more fun than choosing to be grumpy and miserable.” I continued my workout getting roughly 6 miles on the bike and then running two miles on the track before it was time to get my boy and go pick up my girl. Pretty successful morning in my opinion!
A new obstacle for me has been the abduction and murder of Sherry Arnold. She was a wife, mother, a teacher, and a runner. I'm sure her family considered her so much more. Sherry was abducted on a run about a mile from her home in her Montana town. Seven days later, the FBI received a tip and two men were later arrested. This story has been on my mind ever since I first read about it on Shut Up + Run's blog. If it can happen to a beloved woman in her own town, one mile from her home, it can happen anywhere. This scares me, it saddens me, and it pisses me off. After following the story, I feel like I knew her. I have cried and prayed for her and her family. What happened to Sherry has made me afraid to go running by myself. I'm not sure yet how to get over that fear.
There is going to be a virtual run for Sherry on February 11, 2012.
My Personal Obstacle
When I was 22 years old I started to gain weight inexplicably. About 40 pounds in two years. I chalked it up to not eating what I should and not exercising enough. I started weight watchers and jazzercise. Even though I was journaling everything I ate and not going over my weight watchers points, I continued to gain weight. Finally, I went to my Dr. and explained to him what was going on. He asked me a lot of questions and then told me he thought I had Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS. He told me to go home and research it myself and see if what I was experiencing matched what I found. He also ran some blood work to check my insulin and some other things. A few days later I went back for the blood work results. My glucose level was 3 times higher than normal. My body had developed insulin resistance and therefore was producing way too much insulin. He said that I should begin taking Metformin/Glucaphage to help get my insulin down to normal levels. This would also help with some of the other symptoms I was experiencing such as anxiety, fatigue, mood swings, breakouts, and of course the weight gain. Just to be absolutely positive that this was the correct diagnosis, I had an ultra-sound done of my ovaries. Yep, little cysts all over. Pretty gross. Oh, and there's no cure. Awesome.
I have been taking metformin for 11 years now. I no longer gain weight like I did those two years but I don't take it off very easily either. I still deal with other symptoms of PCOS on a regular basis. Running has given me the power to better manage my symptoms. Running is one of my greatest weapons against PCOS. The 13.5 pounds I've lost in the last three weeks has been an incredible feeling of accomplishment for me. I have tried so many diets out there and been told that low carb is the best way to go with PCOS. I've done low carb diets so many times. I always lose in the beginning and then nothing. The last time, I felt sick the majority of the time I was on the diet. Plus, the small amount of carbs made running much more difficult. That's why I wanted to try juicing and eating more raw foods. I've read about women with PCOS having success with a raw food diet.
Going into Week 4 of the weightloss challenge I'm nervous. I'm wondering if I will plateau due to the PCOS. I'm wondering if the juicing, low calories, and more raw foods will end with the same results as other diets I have done. I'm wondering if I will always have to just accept that this is the way things are for me. I'm wondering how I can get out of my own head.
I'm very fortunate that my symptoms are not as bad as what some women have to deal with. However, having PCOS puts me at a much higher risk for Heart Disease, Ovarian Cancer, Uteran Cancer and Type II Diabetes by mid-late 40's. Not exactly something to look forward to.
So, do I sit in my room and cry all day? It's happened. It would be fairly easy to do on a regular basis. If I let myself think about the possibility of not being around to see my children all grown up I can very easily be sad, depressed, and just plain pissed off at the world every single day. That's not how I want to live my life though. That's not who I want to be. That's not who I am. Everyone has obstacles that they have to deal with in life. Many have obstacles much harder to overcome than mine. I'm not about to let PCOS beat me.
My husband recently stumbled across some articles about PCOS being linked to an iodine deficiency. We've started researching that path. For the first time in 11 years, I'm hopeful that I may be able to stop taking metformin and be rid of PCOS in the near future. What an incredible blessing that would be! I believe firmly that if God brings you to it, He will bring you through it. One way or another, I will get through it.
Until then, I'm choosing to be happy. I'm choosing to ignore all the obstacles and stay focused on what is important to me. My family, my friends, being healthy, running, and enjoying my life. Some days will be harder than others. That's life. If there are times when I'm so perky and happy that it's annoying to someone, so what. You never know what someone else may be dealing with so be sure to never begrudge anyone their happiness.
Peace, love, happiness,