I was asked recently if I really liked beer. It was a strange question in the context of the situation. Apparently I never noticed that the nickname “REEB” was, in fact, BEER spelled backward. I do like beer every now and then, but that is not the origin of “REEB”. Shortly after I met my husband, he wanted to have a nickname for me. I disliked being called “Becky” or “Becca” so he came up with “Reeb” and it stuck. There’s that. Nothing too exciting.
I’m a mother of two crazy kids, wife, and nurse. I gave up bedside nursing mid-2015 to have the opportunity to work from home doing case review for an insurance company. It’s something I never thought I would do, but the benefits of being home have been phenomenal for my family. I’m also a photographer and run a salsa business (food, not dancing) with my husband. And, since I didn’t already have enough going on, I decided to become a TRIATHLETE.
On October 1, 2013, I had a moment where I looked at myself in the mirror and saw the “fat stranger”. Meredith Atwood from Swim Bike Mom describes this very well in her Triathlon for the Every Woman book. Basically, I didn’t recognize myself and was simply unhappy not only with my appearance, but the way I felt. I was not taking care of myself. At all. At the time, my daughter was about 6 months old. I was working night shift. I was eating crap food, not sleeping, and miserable about everything. I needed to make a change.
My first step was to “cut the crap”.
No more processed foods. Sounds simple, right? One simple rule. Well, the problem was I was a junk food junkie. Bad. I loved the drive-thru. You name it, I loved it. It wasn’t uncommon for me to leave work at 3am and hit up one of the 24hr drive-thrus for a 3,000 calorie gut bomb right before heading to bed. I knew if I tried to “diet” or make a bunch of changes all at once, I would fail. So, I started concentrating on one thing at a time. I started by cutting the fast food. Not only did that save me a ton of calories, but it also saved me a ton of money. I was spending HUNDREDS of dollars per month on fast food. HUNDREDS. Insane.
Next, I moved to my home meals. If it was a food and it had more than one ingredient, I was scrutinizing it. Whole, real foods. Real fruits and veggies. Lean meats. Nuts. Water–and lots of it. Something amazing happened. I had always said I couldn’t afford to eat healthy. Fruits and veggies were so “expensive”. Welllllll…I wasn’t spending all that money on fast food, soda, chips, candy, and snacks anymore so my grocery bill went DOWN–and by a lot.
I also started group fitness classes at the gym close to me. I knew that food, while important, would not get me where I needed to be by itself. I needed to put in some work. I forced myself into the gym 5 days per week for the first 6 weeks. I dropped 25 lbs. In only 6 weeks! I felt GREAT!
The holidays came around and I did my best to stay on track. I allowed myself some treats, but stayed focused on my goal of living a health lifestyle. See, that’s the thing about diets. They have rules. A healthy lifestyle is long term, so there isn’t a micromanagement going on about everything you eat. Sure, you shouldn’t eat cupcakes and donuts for every meal, but you shouldn’t feel guilty about the time when you do have a treat.
I kept it up and come January, a friend said I should run the Mini Marathon. She was nuts. I hadn’t ran since high school. I couldn’t even run down my street. But, she talked me into it. I went on my first real outdoors run the middle of January. If you don’t already know, January is COLD in Indiana. Like negative temperatures cold.
However, I hate treadmills. Hate. Them. I went for a 2 mi run and thought I was going to die. I ran 11 minute miles and was so proud of myself for not dying. I kept running and went through the training series (5K, 10K, 15K) for the Mini.
I kept getting faster and stronger and thought “hey, why wait for the Mini?” so I did the Carmel Half Marathon in April.
My time was 2:21, which I was very happy with for my first half marathon! I made it! The Mini came along and I wanted to be under 2 hours. I barely skipped by at 1:59:09. I went on and did several other 5Ks, 10Ks, and another half, the Indy Women’s Half Marathon in 1:58:17.
I was then able to win my age group and have some overall placing in the small 5K and 10K events. Things I had never thought possible!
My first triathlon was Tri Indy and you can read all about it under the race report page. I went from not knowing how to swim, bike, or run properly only a few months prior to going feet first into the water and on my way to planning my first Ironman competition.
With a lot of hard training and the related trials and tribulations, I completed my first half and full distance triathlons in 2015. I competed in the IRONMAN 70.3 event in Muncie, IN in July of 2015. I finished in 6 hours on the dot (6:00:27) and had an amazing experience.
I then completed my first full IRONMAN event in Louisville, KY in October 2015 and finished in 14:40:31.
Please, stick along with me and follow my journey. My mission is to inspire others to get involved with their own fitness journeys. I’m a full-time working mother with a crazy schedule. I know how hard it is. But, believe me, if I can do it…so can you! We’re in this together!