This last year I’ve picked up some really bad habits. Used food as an emotional crutch following my husbands 2 strokes and gave in to fatigue. I have to do more than I have ever before to gain back my health. Therefore, today begins my 1,200 calorie diet and exercise program that will take me a minimum of 5 months to lose the weight I’ve gained and the confidence I’ve lost in myself. I’m going to do whatever it takes to climb back to the person that finished a marathon three years ago.
So my diet will be a simple 1200 calorie 6 meal a day plan that is low fat, low sugar and low salt. The exercise starting out will be a brisk 2.5 mile walk 6 days a week coupled with a 30 minute kickboxing workout.
So here I go…
I love to cook especially if the recipe is a healthy one. I have a stand by recipe of stir fried vegetables – onions, red and green bell peppers cut up along with chopped chicken breast stirring in taco seasoning. I discovered if you boil and then shred the chicken breast, then add it to that mixture it is absolutely wonderful. Can’t get enough of it. This can go on a warm tortilla or on top of a salad.
I also have to say that I love all of the Sabra flavors of Hummus with tortilla chips. Grilling anything coupled with blanched asparagus
sometimes don’t have the time. I’m always looking for new recipes or how to improve on the old.
So I’ve had 4 training runs and at the end of those days, I’ve been totally exhausted – including tonight. When I run – to get deeper breath, I breathe 2 breaths in and then two breaths out at running pace. It helps. There are hills around my house so I try to run the hill and then walk fast to catch breath. My goal is to be running the full three miles through – including portion after hills by next week. My long run Saturday is only 5 miles. So that’s good too. Praying while running helps – today’s run offered up for family, team and pregnant women in need. Working to catch up to this gal in photo from 2013. 😀
When you least expect it, and like the flip of a light switch, life can take a dramatic turn. My husband Jim, suffered 2 separate strokes in the last 10 months. He’s worked hard to come back from both. He’s made great progress and we are so thankful for that great gift. Even still, the strokes were life changing.
I see people all the time that ask me, “Are you still running?” My response…”I’m running a different kind of race right now.”
It’s been hard. Facing fears and then the harsh reality is like a cold slap in the face. The hardest part of it for Jim…He lost his independence. Jim is a Vietnam vet, has had numerous back and knee surgeries and a triple bypass in 2010, yet he will clearly and unequivocally tell you that this has been the hardest year of his life. It has been such for me as well.
We are very blessed though with a large family and good friends who have done so much to help us on through this dark ultra-marathon-like journey. Very thankful and couldn’t do it without them.
In the beginning, Jim couldn’t get out of bed without two people lifting and pivoting him into a chair. He had to relearn how to:
- Retrain some neurotransmitters to reconnect or create new paths
- Compensate for the lost vision
- Balance himself as he becomes unsteady when he walks.
- Do things with his arm, hand, leg and foot that don’t feel anything.
The medication he takes makes him sick and the side affects are sometimes brutal and come on without warning even after taking for months.
To see pictures of Jim before the stroke at first, were too painful to look at. Now, I’m thankful we had that time together and now this time as well. I wish it could be like before, but realize it could have been so much worse. The first few nights I stayed at the hospital because I needed to do so. The next few nights I stayed because I was afraid to go home. When I pushed myself to do it, walking into our house was like walking into my Dad’s house after losing Mom. It was an unbearable kind of deep pain. Our lives were never going to be the same again. Will he even be able to come home? I didn’t know at that point what life was going to be like. I felt so alone, scared and overwhelmed.
As we went through the motions of moving forward like with anything, there were good days and bad days. Also, God has a way of easing you into reality and slowly reveal what lied ahead. So we adjust our hopes, dreams and expectations.
I thought I knew stress, but not at this level.
So Jim is now through his rehab and goes to the gym 3 times a week. He still sees a lot of doctors and struggles with each days challenges – some better than others. We’ve accepted the fact that our life together will be different going forward and make those adjustments daily.
I’m now climbing my way back to a consistent running schedule. I ran for second time in last 4 days and am exhausted. I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been gained 29 pounds this last year, but am putting picture of Rhonda Rousey on my bathroom mirror – great come from behind story – to inspire me on days I don’t feel like running. I bought her book. I”m not into fighting and have never even watched cage fighting, but her story fascinates me. So I’m using that to push me forward. I’m using anything I can – anything that works. If I don’t do this now I may never.
I signed up for the Las Vegas half marathon to run with my teammates the LIFE Runners. Alex is coming home that weekend to be with Jim.
We do a lot of praying. We rely on God and do as much as we can leading up to such. Live life to the fullest. Don’t look back. There will always be something there to cause the playing field to be uneven.
So many times since October I planned to get out and run. It’s great way to deal with stress, weight management, etc. laid out clothes, even dressed for such but couldn’t get out the door. Today was the day! With lightening in the distant sky, I grabbed my phone at 5:30 am with flashlight app blaring and ran 2 miles. Doing that every day and growing mile base. Do it with me then let me know about it! Running for Life! Great way to live. See you on the road less traveled!
Make it the best day ever!
Your world stands still as everything else around you keeps going. What just happened? Is this happening? What am I supposed to do? Say? Feel?
My husband Jim had a stroke last week. I was home, heard him yell out and called 911. Pressed the medical personnel to move faster and brought in family in case this was it.
The record for an ambulance to make it to Columbia from JC is 18 minutes. Jim’s got there in 20 – it was a rainy, stormy night.
He went to the local hospital first then they sent him on. He arrived at the University of Missouri Hospital with a team of doctors/nurses waiting on him. He would have been life-flighted if the weather cooperated – doesn’t matter, he got there in plenty of time. We were very lucky. He was able to receive the “clot-busting” drug just 5 minutes before the 3 hour window closed.
It’s been a little more than a week later. He was transferred from the very good care of the hospital to Rusk Rehab facility.
I keep trying to do normal things each day to make myself believe that life is going on and we will get back to our life together as it was before.
I will admit it that I’m a little afraid of what the future holds. Who wouldn’t be…The evenings are the worst – tired and defenses are down. Begin imaging the worst case. It’s a cycle. Just like running and the mind game that is so common with long distance racing.
We all will face these circumstances sometime. When the sirens are coming for you or your family member, I hope you’re as fortunate as we were to get all we needed in the right amount of time.
Jim has done so much for me over the years. Aside from the son we had together, I think the next biggest blessing was his support and encouragement of me going back to school to get my undergraduate degree in business. I would have never done that otherwise. Oh and by the way…William Shatner delivered the commencement speech. I graduated summa cum laude too.
Below is our blended family – Rich, Carrie, Jim, me and Alex. So proud of all of them.
Our son Alex is in his 2nd year of college. He’s smarter than both of us together.
Here’s a video from 2 years ago – we just celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary this year…Enjoy!