I’ve always been a heavy framed girl even though I’m a runner, swimmer, and soccer player.  Never will the words ‘tiny thing’ be used to describe me, even though I’m only 5’3″.   When I was pregnant with my daughter, 17 years ago, my doctor was okay with my 40 pound weight gain as my bp stayed 90/60, and my blood sugar never changed. Unfortunately, the 40 pounds turned into 55, and my once muscular and strong physique was 188 pounds of sloppy flab.  On top of that, in my late 30s, I hit menopause like the other women in my family.  I was ashamed of what I had done to my once beautiful, strong, healthy, kick-ass body.

So, two years ago, when we booked our third cruise, I decided I wasn’t going to go on this one a fat girl avoiding the camera. I started a food journal, counted calories, worked out, and started toward my goal of 140 pounds set by my doctor. I didn’t deprive myself – I just followed your philosophy of eat less, move more.  From June 2012 to the day I got on that boat on June 16, 2013, I lost 44 pounds. It was so great to embrace the cameras again!
In October of 2012, I upped the ante. My brothers-in-law mentioned Tough Mudder, a 12 mile marathon/obstacle course created by the British Special Forces and benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project. We decided to do it in honor of our adopted warrior, Derrick Rage Ross, a soldier injured by an IED a couple years ago. Team RAGE was born! We downloaded the recommended workout and started on that, too. My goals were to finish and at least TRY every obstacle. I DID IT.  My two biggest obstacles were Arctic Enema (where you have to swim under a barrier of melted ice and ice) and Funky Monkey (monkey bars). That one shocked me as I was always good at it. My daughter, husband, sister, and niece got me through that one with my little girl yelling “ONE MORE MOMMY, ONE MORE!” 

We crossed the finish line, as you see by the picture, totally gross, but elated. That orange headband and the Tough Mudder Finisher shirt are now my prized possessions, and proof that menopause and middle age are NO EXCUSE for being out of shape.  Staying that way is a CHOICE, 99.9% of the time. The picture is my brother-in-law, me, my younger sister, and my other brother-in-law. Both men are veterans and one is also a firefighter and arson investigator. Now, I’m trying to get my husband to join us so he can be in the next one. He’s coming off of a back injury, so he’s hesitant especially when he saw how banged up we were the next day. But sore? Not so much!

Michelle


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