I Choose FIGHT!

For those of you new to my story, I’ll bring you up to speed. In 2012 I began a journey that saw me through a significant weight loss, and more exciting, a tremendous life transformation.

I’ve been on this wild ride for almost six years and I’ve experienced a multitude of highs and lows. Keep in mind, I’d previously gained and lost weight throughout my adult life…more like a roller coaster than the yoyo thing, really.

So my history was to lose the weight and then, for whatever circumstances, gain it back, plus more. It was a cycle that left me more ashamed and further defeated each time. Until 2012!

This time was different…SO different! I didn’t just focus on the food this time, so not only did I have the support of a dietitian, but I regularly met with a trainer and a health coach. Work in these areas were key to my lasting success…know how I know? Though I’ve gained back some of that weight over a longer period of time, I’m continually turning toward the issues instead of away from them. Here’s what I mean…

I’ve been taught to mindfully pick apart my behaviors, to pinpoint what needs to be fine-tuned. So lately I’ve noticed that creep on the scale, trending in the wrong direction. I’ve found myself feeling uncomfortable in my own skin again. In the past, I would consider these failure, I’d further busy myself with distraction, give up on me, and proceed to emotionally eat myself back to where I started and beyond.

One of my key, lifelong struggles has been to try to do it all. I know that when my calendar is relatively clear, I’m more in tune with myself. But as soon as I take on too much, spread myself too thin, that whole busyness thing…well, my progress collapses.

Now that I’ve been equipped to pull back and observe self, I’ve noticed some areas I need to revisit to hone a more positive outcome. Number one, I looked at my recent schedule to find there has been a ton of travel combined with a new job and countless epic things going on with my kids…none of it bad, but I have to retool to find myself in all of it, to regain the balance I know is just right there!

Number two, my diet has been off the rails. Am I seriously still dealing with this struggle?!? I could list the reasons, but they would quickly appear a simple laundry list of excuses. It is what it is. I’m on day three of journaling my food and although I hate it more than almost anything, this has to be another big priority for the time being. No excuses!

And number three, though I’m good about staying active, it’s time to refocus those efforts. Again, lots of reasons…frequent injury/arthritis associated pain, the onset of menopause kicking my ass, the reality that I’m older than I was when I started this journey…again, these could be looked at merely as excuses. I’m not going to give up because in doing so, it will all get worse! I’ve been fruitlessly arguing with myself over this part for too long…what a waste of time and energy!

I’ve considered returning to work with a trainer for a while. My strength training has become less and less and I realize it is KEY if I want to turn everything around. I stopped meeting with Kasi about 18 months ago to finally aim for autonomy; when it became clear the ship was sinking on my own, there was only one thing to do. I’ve committed to meeting with her once a month to buoy me back up to a place I can confidently breathe. If I employ that higher level of watching the watcher, I see that this is not failure, this is survival at its best!

Yesterday was our first session back together. My previous apprehension about it is gone. I know I made the right choice. Friends, we can either wallow in the poor me, I can’t do this hard thing alone flight response, or bite the bullet, ask for help, grab someone’s hand and courageously choose to fight together.

Though it can be so, so tough…I’m renewing my vow to choose FIGHT from here on out. Forward really is the only option, an important way for me to put my Best Foot Forward.

52 Fridays…3 For 1

Happy, Happy Friday, Friends! I’ve been so busy diving into my new job, attempting to keep up with my teenage son’s jam-packed activity calendar and embracing the last few snowfalls to the fullest. Well, something had to give, and I’m sorry to say I’m pretty behind on 52 Fridays posts. So today, to bring us current, I’m offering a 3 for 1!

For those of you participating, grab a favorite beverage, settle into that favorite chair, dust off that journal and let’s get back to that journaling adventure of you! I’ll post three quotes this week; work with them however you like, whether that means examining all three in one sitting or chunking it up into three separate sit-downs…it’s totally up to you. Also, I’m going to make this week’s journaling exercise a freestyle…minimal commentary, just the quotes to spark your thinking and exploration. Without further ado…

I couldn’t help chosing that one in light of my new job and recent travels. I picked this next one in observance of Tax Day…

And finally, because nature is constantly beckoning, not just on Earth Day…

There you go, Friends, a 52 Fridays 3 for 1! Try these thoughts on for size and let your pen reveal what comes up for you.

52 Fridays…Breathe

Happy 52 Fridays, Friends! Have you been experiencing times lately where you are so stressed, when you stop to think, you aren’t even breathing? Well then, grab that journal and breathe! Take a few moments to relax, breathe deeply!

Consider those times you may find yourself holding back your breath in anxiety, frustration, disappointment, struggle. What would happen if, when you find yourself in those moments, you take a step back and breathe?

Is there a time or place you associate with peace? When I’m in one of the moments mentioned above, if I’m able to recognize it, I not only breathe, I try taking myself to one of those places. Here’s an image I go to regularly…

Jot some thoughts down in your journal regarding those moments you realize you’re holding your breath. When you find yourself there, take that breath. Where can you journey to in your heart, mind and soul? If you have a few places in mind, at the ready, you can escape nearly any situation, any time, Friends…give it a try! It really can be this simple to put your Best Foot Forward!

52 Fridays…What are You Afraid Of?

Another wonderful Friday has rolled around and it’s time to talk 52 Fridays again. So when you’ve found a few moments, treat yourself to a refreshing beverage, grab that journal and cozy in!

Are you fearful? If so, what is it that you fear? Do you feal like it’s logical? Rational? Can you pinpoint when this fear began? Or do you feel like it’s been with you forever? When do you notice it most profoundly? Does this fear even make sense to you?

As you may have noticed, I’ve been doing my darnedest to kick fear’s butt. But just yesterday I had an insightful reiki session that brought up past fear that is still holding me back. I’ve done a TON of crazy, thrill-seeker stuff in the past several years, so it’s not that kind of fear.

I will need to dive deeper, sit with it a while to determine what I’m still holding back…what’s holding me back. And when I’ve allowed those feels to pour out, I will step forth in faith with the other piece that spoke loudly in yesterday’s session and forgive myself.

Faith is an extraordianry tool I’m continuously working on implementing every which way in my life. So here’s the idea to consider on this 52 Fridays journaling journey of you…

Do you feel ready to break that fear into smaller pieces, to slowly move toward letting faith work away at them? It can be a scary process, I know! But in facing that fear, you will be amazed at what you find on the other side of it. One more way to put our Best Foot Forward.

Of Closure and Gratitude

It’s been well over a month since I traveled to Jacksonville to participate in the Donna Marathon Weekend’s half marathon. I’ve meant to blog about it for weeks, but I think it has taken me until now to understand its significance.

If you read this post a while back, you know this event has become far more important to me this year than when I participated in 2016. Though I walked it back then too, I was in the thick of my marathon and half marathon addiciton…I was seriously running out of control! The proof is in the bling I earned throughout that year…

Oh how I loved my running, it was an obsession that seemed to come out of nowhere…it was a total escape from life’s crazy, and the endorphins were a reward second to none. So much so, that when I found I needed that lumpectomy, I calmly rescheduled it so I could run a half marathon in California. And when I finally faced the music to have the lump removed, I was running another half only days post-op.

Yeah, that was a tough run for me. When I look back at this pic, I’m right back in that moment with the weight of all the feels. I know now, it was the running that kept my mind north of the worry and fear.

But, it’s also clear to me now, I was’t exactly running toward anything…I was running away from things. That girl had a LOT going on.

The running continued nearly every day until later that year when this dumb thing happened…

I awoke the meniscal beast, and though I eeked out another marathon and one more half that year, that was the end of that. Though the meniscus has quieted down, runner’s knee, osteoarthritis and my sports med doc have made it quite clear. I’m finished.

So there I was in Jacksonville, wondering what in the world I was doing. I picked up my race packet and enjoyed the expo with my friend Julie, because I kind of knew it might be my last.

Although we had walked plenty of training miles and planned to walk every last step of those 13.1 miles, I secretly feared my body wouldn’t be able to cut it.

So I gave my regards to Jeff Galloway one more time, just in case!

Before I left for Jacksonville, I checked in with my friends at OOFOS (my beloved recovery footwear company). Mind you, their footwear has supported my body throughout my injury and eased a TON of my pain since. It just so happens they have a Project Pink line…the same amazing comfort, but as part of their charitable giving effort, $10 from every Project Pink Collection shoe purchased goes to breast cancer research! Check out OOFOS’ fantastic Project Pink line here.

Well they generously sent me a pair for the occasion, so what else would I have worn to the pink carpet Expo?

Same amazing comfort/support, extraordinary cause near and dear to my heart! And I’ll just tell you right now, I couldn’t have recovered from this half later without them!

I was really rusty at setting out my flat Carla the night before. I barely remembered how and hoped I hadn’t forgotten anything important.

It had been well over a year since my last event, Friends. Past disappointment, the threat of pain…it was a crazy-loud loop running through my head I could not silence. Where did that even come from? I thought I was over all that. But there it was, and I barely slept that night.

I tried to reason with myself…I was only walking; but I was walking 13.1 miles on a bum knee. Ugh. Well, there was only one thing to do, so I put my best foot forward…just ask Elvis!

And the moment we crossed the start line, I remembered what I love about Donna’s event.

It’s not about the race or my pace. It’s about something so much bigger, and Julie and I were reminded of that with every neighborhood corner we turned…

Those homeowners embrace this race for the important cause it is. And to keep it light…

Though I felt I might lose my emotions multiple times along in gratitude for my own breast surgury scare results, these people kept reminding me to laugh and enjoy the journey.

 

My knee was getting angrier and angrier, and I hate to tell you how many times I thought about quitting. The emotion was raw as it became clearer and clearer with every mile, the race days I loved were drawing to a close. What if all the running was just a temporary vehicle to ease me through a tough time?

A deep, comforting feeling washed over me like the waves of Jax Beach…a gentle yet unmistakable clarity. What a gift to be there, to be able to take that winter walk with a great friend on a beautiful, sunny day in Florida. A day that’s not promised to any of us. A day I was grateful to be alive.

That medal is a symbol of closure I will treasure forever.

 

 

 

52 Fridays…Do You Have Plans?

I don’t know how, but it’s that time again, Friends. So welcome to the weekend! When you find a quiet moment for yourself, gather up that journal, pen and mug, then cozy into your thoughtful spot. Take a few deep breaths and let them go. You’ve made it through another week! Here are some thoughts to consider on this 52 Fridays…

Have all of your weeks begun to look the same? Do you find yourself going through the motions?When is the last time you took a break from your routine? Do you have any travel plans on the horizon…something to look forward to?

I just returned from some time off, a getaway with my husband. In fact, in the past couple years, I have found myself traveling somewhere new nearly every month. I crave new places, new experiences and adventures. Travel has become my passion, maybe even my addiction.

I’ve been bitten by the travel bug. HARD!

There was a time in my life when I never went anywhere. And although I love where I live and who I live with, I was missing something tremendous. I felt it ever so deeply, I just didn’t know at the time what it was.

Since becoming a frequent flyer, I’ve been bathed in that secret tonic. The creativity it provides is so incredibly refreshing!

Oops, I didn’t mean for this to become my journaling entry! I’ll stop now, but I hope this gets you thinking about what travel might do for you. If you’ve been experiencing a lull of enthusiasm, maybe it’s time you give yourself something to look forward to. Take some time to think about what that might look like for you and capture these thoughts in your journal!

#makeplans #goplaces

52 Fridays…Which Life Are You Living?

Happy Weekend, Friends! For those of you who are following along, it’s time for another 52 Fridays installment.

So when you find yourself a quiet moment, treat yourself to a soothing beverage, grab that journal, cozy up on the couch or your favorite chair and take some time to explore this thought…

Are you living the life you’ve imagined or the one you’ve settled for? Do you continue to forge ahead through life with dreams, aspirations and goals or are you stuck?

If stuck, is it time to turn things around? Can you remember the last time you thought about what your life could look like if you allowed yourself to dream?

It wasn’t until a few years ago I that I even allowed myself to dream. It took some time and getting used to, but once I began considering how I wanted my life to look and feel, only then was I able to create a roadmap toward that new life.

Give yourself permission to dream, and while you’re at it, DREAM BIG! Put those ideas to paper, consider how you can move forward to make these ideas reality rather than telling yourself you can’t. This will very likely become an ongoing conversation. It will take time and patience, but take that time to design your unique roadmap, to navigate the direction of your dreams…

Go confidently, Friends!

52 Fridays…How are You Moving?

What? Already Friday again? Well here we go, Friends; get out those journals, grab a beverage and ease into a comfy spot to consider this…

How are you moving through life? What’s the result…is it working for you? If so, how is it working? If not, are you willing to change up your motion, aiming for a different outcome?

52 Fridays…Expectancy

Grab those journals, Friends, it’s time for 52 Fridays. I’ve been exploring a little something today I’d like to share with you…

I’m sad to say I went through much of my adult life without any sort of goals, dreams, or aspirations. For the longest time I went through the motions; my expectations were not all that high. I was living out a play it safe/take no risks existence that had been ingrained in me longer than I can remember, but never recognized until recently. I’m so glad that throughout my weight loss journey, I spent some important time examining and mindfully recreating that part of me.

I’ve learned to look forward with hopeful expectancy, and that has made all the difference!

Take a look around your life…what are you expecting out of your experience? Do you move forth in an optimistic or pessimistic manner? How does this affect your everyday outcomes? Do you notice any correlations?

Allow yourself some time to turn these thoughts around in your mind, then allow your pen to put your observations to paper…let it flow, Friends; you may be surprised by what comes up. Don’t judge it, just notice.

52 Fridays…Who Lifts You Higher?

Friends, these Fridays seem to come faster every week! So, you know what time it is…

Take some time to get cozy this weekend with your journal and beverage. Take a few deep breaths and find your calm. Now think about those around you, your family and friends, and consider this…

Do they lift you? Do you lift them? Put some effort into taking a closer look at your relationships. Observe what you notice, then pause with gratitude for those you hold dear.