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Last summer, I had an epiphany on my state of being. I didn't like where I was physically or emotionally. I realized that the emotional side had so much to do with the frustrations and inability to change physically. This epiphany was "Just Focus and Do It!!" I wanted change but had been unwilling to give change my focus. I was determined to FOCUS.

I had been researching WLS for a few years. There were so many options and they all sounded so radical. I started hearing about the LapBand and about the same time I had my epiphany, I ran into an old friend. We had dinner together, Chinese food. She was eating slowly and talking quite a bit. Something inside told me to raise the issue with her. She had lost some weight since the last time I saw her. I told her that I had decided to get fit and healthy. She asked me what I was prepared to do. I told her that I had been looking into LapBand surgery. She stunned me by telling me that she had LapBand surgery 3 or so years prioir. I told her that I had noticed she had lost weight and looked good. She told me about her experience. I had nothing to fear!!! My FOCUS was just beginning.

A few months after discusiing the LapBand with my friend, I had the surgery. My Re-Birthday is 12/6/07. I'm less than a year out as I write this. It has been life changing!!! I have my LIFE back.

Prior to the surgery, I set a few goals for myself. I had to ask myself, why are you really doing this? My answer was to become fit and healthy. It was not and is not about losing weight! That had been my focus for years and I had come away frustrated and feeling like I failed. If you don't like your results, change your approach. Weight is the measure of alot of thigs. But is it the measure of success? No!!!! It is a number. That's all. Weight loss would come as a result of my focus on becoming fit and healthy, no doubt. But it would not be my focus. Also, I decided that I would not treat this experience as a diet. Diets had left me empty and frustrated. Diets NEVER work!!! Changing your lifestyle will work, if you are committed to it! I'm still not on a diet!!

One major goal that I set for myself to measure my fitness level, was to run a 5K within one year of my surgery. I started riding an exercise bike as soon as I could. That was about a month after surgery. I don't want anyone to think the surgery is painless and easy. There was some pain. I was lucky that I didn't experience any complications. Sorry to those who do!! I stopped drinking all soda pop, a requirement of my surgeon. I thought that would be the most difficult thing, and maybe it was. After the surgery, the pain meds also kept the caffiene headache away. Water became my FRIEND. I started to exercise and see great results, both on the scale and how I generally felt. My Focus was working. I went skiing for the first time in a few years. Wow, I love skiing. I decided I would do more. Skiing is a serious workout. Especially to those of us who aren't in the greatest condition!! I felt great doing things I loved to do, but had quit doing because of my fitness level. Oh, my legs burned and I walked down stairs sideways on more than one morning!!! I skiied 8 times last season, some were all day events! Then spring came. I decided that my mountain bike would give me some variety in my workouts. I was riding 5 miles, then I got it up to 10. Wow, I felt great! One day, I rode 16 miles on my bike. As I was almost done with that ride, I realized that my goal to run a 5K was not any closer than when I made the goal. In order to reach the goal, I would need to start running. Granted, skiing and biking put me in the position that I could realistically start running. I measured out 2.5K (1.55 miles) on the parkway. I was committed to get out the next day and run that course. Ok, run/walk. I had a miserable time sleeping that night. I knew that the next morning, I would begin the training for the run. I got up and drove to the parkway. I got out and started down the pathway. I ran about 100 yds and had to walk. I walked for awhile then ran some more. This continued until I reached my turn around point (2.5K). More of the same on the way back. How would I ever run that whole thing? I kept biking and run/walking every few days. 2 weeks after the first run, I determined that my focus was a problem in the run. I picked an object out in front of me, sometimes 50 yds away, others 10 yds away. I told myself I could run to those things. Often, I would run to the object and realize I could go further. This FOCUS changed how I trained. The next week I ran to my turn around point. What a huge deal for me!!! I celebrated that victory. The next week, I told myself I had to do as good as the week before. Guess what, I ran the whole thing!!! Albeit very slowly. But I did it!!!!! That day I had my bike in the truck. After the run I decided to bike the same course in order to warm down. I rode to my turn around point and realized I felt awesome. I kept going to the end of the parkway. I turned and rode back to the truck. As I got near the truck, I told myself that I should go to the other end of the parkway too. I did! When all was done, I had ridden 16.4 miles on my mountain bike. But more importantly, I HAD RUN THE 5K!!!! When I got home I started looking for an event to make it "official". I wanted to run in an organized event. I came across a website that had a triathlon. I had always thought that meant IRONMAN. I learned there are 4 types of triathlon. Sprint, Olympic, half Ironman, and Ironman distances. The Sprint consists of a 750m swim(821 yds), a 20K bike (12.4 miles), and 5K run (3.107 miles). "Hey, I did 2/3 of that today!!!" Just add a swim to it. The next day I swam 34 lengths at my local pool (850 yds, 777m). Wow, I could do a triathlon!!!

On Saturday, 6/21/08, I did my first triathlon. I set a goal of 2 hours. I did it in 2:02:41. Some unfortuante things happened that day during the race. A man drowned in front of me. I missed my goal, but I still felt I made it! I had to overcome more mental things that day than physical!!

It wasn't until 7/4/08 that I did my first "official" 5K, eventhough there is a 5K in a triathlon. I ran a 5K with my brother, who I had inspired to get into shape. To date, I have run 5 official 5Ks and 4 Triathlons. That's 9 5Ks in all. Do you know what they call the last person to cross the finish line in a triathlon? The same thing they call the first person, a Triathlete.

Yesterday, 9/6/08, I did my 4th triathlon. My fitness level has increased and I feel so much more healthy than I have been in years. I have a bike race next weekend and one more triathlon this year. Do you know why this was possible? Because I JUST FREAKING DID IT!!!! You can too.

Edited by UT LB Loser

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You Go Boy!

I've often thought about doing a triathlon - I was a swimmer in college and worked summers as a lifeguard, but haven't swam much since the kids arrived - 24 years ago!

You've inspired me...I'm going to set a goal for myself after surgery to complete a mini-triathlon first, then go for a full-fledged tri. Who knows - maybe the two of us will wave across the Ironman course some day?:thumbup:

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You CAN do this too!! I know if I can do it, there are countless others who just haven't quite made that committment. It is so fulfilling! Let me know if you need a booster! I'm there for you EbonyRose!!

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Congrats to you and more power to you for the bike riding as well as the triathalon. I'm not quite that energetic. haha! Keep up the good work!

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"Do you know what they call the last person to cross the finish line in a triathlon? The same thing they call the first person, a Triathlete."

God bless you Chris! This is totally motivational to me! GOOD FOR YOU!!! And thanks :w00t:

Riley

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I am being banded this coming Friday -- I have already joined a marathon training program. I have lost 10 lbs. but get so down because I am ALWAYS last -- and I know in my head that it is NOT a race but my competitive side tells me differently. I LOVE LOVE LOVE your comment about the first and last TRIATHLETE. I just gotta keep on truckin'. Thanks for the inspirational words!

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I am happy that my experiences have given you all some inspiration. I am inspired everyday with what people are overcoming to better their lives.

I have a new Quest that I am on. On 12/6/08, I will run the Death Valley 1/2 Marathon. 12/6/07 was my Band date. I am excited to give my self this present for my Bandiversary. This represents 1 full year of control of my health and fitness. What a gift!!

I did my 7th triathlon today. Each one is so satisfying.

I have charted everything since getting my band. If any of you are interested in getting an excel copy for yourself, let me know.

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Chris:

Very inspirational story. While I was reading it all I could think of was "I wonder if he's tried trikking?" Take a look at www.trikke.com To me it is alot more fun than running or biking. Check it out when you get a chance because it could be another option to you in your life-long Quest to be fit.

Like you, I started my lapband journey in 2007. I am more active than most people now and really look forward to getting out on my trikke. I am kind of "hooked" on trikking, though the weather in New England gives me a reality slap with the cold weather and wet leaves I cannot trikke as much as I want to. I walk at least 3 miles per day and go to the gym for strength and weight training twice per week. I trikke on days when it's warm enough and not wet on the roads. With the band and my changed, active life I've gone from 324 to 176. I love my band!

Thanks for the inspiration, and let me know if you get a chance to try out trikking.

Sue

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Congrats Sue!!! YOU changed your life by using the tool that we've been given. It is hard work, but is so very satisfying!! When I look back, the hard work was actually fun - because the results could be seen. I have had the greatest summer of my life!!! I have bought a season pass to the best kept secret of a ski resort in Utah. I skiied 8 times last year. This year it should be every weekend!!!! My legs are in great shape, so none of that lactic burn I struggled with last winter. Plus I have my 1/2 marathon coming up... There is still so much fun to have this year!!!!

I will check out Trikke.com. Good luck to you in your workouts this winter!!!

Chris

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Hello Chris,

Like many others I am inspired by your achievements and dedication to change your life. I to am from Utah. I hope I have the courage to make the changes you have made. Keep up the good work and keep us posted.

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Here is a quick update on what I have been doing since my original post in September. I've done alot, actually!!! This past Saturday was my Bandiversary. It has been one year since I was banded. I celebrated that day by running the Death Valley Half Marathon. Yes, 13.1 miles!!! I did it!!!! I had not run that far in over 27 years since I ran my first Half Marathon in 1981. 26 years, a lot of weight and inactivity, and no FOCUS got me to the point that I needed to change something. I did and you can too!!! I ran 13.1 miles in training about a month ago. I did it in 3:05:11. Going into Saturday's race, I had a goal to be under 3 hours. I shattered that! I did it in 2:46:03.

In 2008 I have done 7 Sprint Triathlons, 9 5Ks, 2 bike races, and 1 Half Marathon. I feel great!!! I have FOCUS in my life again. What a sweet thing!!!

Always remember and never forget... Where ever you go, there you are!

If It Is To Be, It Is Up To Me!!!!!

Happy Holidays!!!!!

Chris

Edited by UT LB Loser
Forgot signature

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OK Chris,

I'm ready to go for it. I've been banded a month and have lost 25 lbs. I run/walk on the tredmill 30/45 minutes a day as well as lift weights for about 30 minutes. Where do I get info on doing a race and how do I start training? I live in P.G.

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mrboswell,

Congrats!!!!! That is great to hear that you've had good early success! Don't forget to measure the NSVs (Non scale Vitories) as well. They are everywhere early on. Think about how out of breath a certain activity made you before being banded. Now? There are little changes that we aren't always aware of.

My approach was, and you are welcome to emulate it, to not set WEIGHT goals, but FITNESS goals. Sure, I still keep track of the #. It is what we all understand. However, if that is/becomes your FOCUS, you will miss oppportunities for growth and lasting change. As one of my larger fitness goal, I set a goal to run one 5K in 2008. I'll admit, it wasn't a very lofty goal now that I have hindsight. I did not know how I would adapt to the band and did not have a mentor to "show me the way". Set a goal you are comfortable with. Remember, a goal not written is only a wish. Once you set the goal, think of milestones that will help you to measure your progress. I have a form that I created in Excel called LBGoals. I'd be happy to share it with you. It now has 16 tabs to the spreadsheet. I measure everything there. I have a quote on my Goals page that headlines it all. It says: "When performance is measured performance improves. When performance is measured and reported the rate of improvement accelerates." Thomas S. Monson

Pres. Monson gave that quote more in a business setting than religious one. It is quoted everywhere in business. Google it. He is so right on target with that! I have a "Coach" who is a former neighbor who used to run track at USU. He knows about my band, but he isn't there to talk to about the band. I went to him for advice on running. I asked if he would mind if I shared my workouts with him each week. I copy a portion of my weekly workouts into a training log that I send him each Sunday. He helps me to focus my workouts to where they will help me improve the most. These are short emails. I've only seen him a few times in the past year as he now lives in another city. I feel like I "owe" him an accounting of my workouts since he has been generous with his suggestions. He helps me - and lo and behold, I've helped him to FOCUS too.

I can share a whole lot more. I am open to discuss any of my experiences with you. Let me know.

Chris

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Wow Chris,

You really have changed your life! I would be very interested in your charts and anything else you would like to share. I'm struggling a little bit because I feel like I have no help from my band yet. I have no restriction what so ever. However, I have stuck to a 1700 calorie high Protein diet that has worked so far, but it's hard. I remember that quote from President Monson and it is indeed a great one. One last obstacle I am trying to over come is getting off pain pills. I have arthritis and back problems but I know losing the weight will help with this, and I know I can do this with out the pills. So thanks so much for your encouragement, I look forward to your advice and your continued success.

My e-mail is mrboswell@msn.com

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