Monday, December 31, 2012

Bye Bye 2012

Wow, has it really been THAT many days since my last blog post??

My sincere apologies for NOT blogging but life has been crazy (and I mean CRAZY) the last couple much so that I have not even had a few minutes to sit down and jot down my thoughts (which were in the thousands! ha). Life has delivered some topsy-turvy times with some ups and downs and this gal is just rollin' with the punches. But just when things seem darkest, that is when you notice the little bits of light shining through and it gives you hope.

No matter what this little ole world throws at me, I am strong and I am resilient. I will be just fine.
Having an amazing support system of family and friends also helps :) and they have been amazing.

My word for the last couple years has been BELIEVE. A word that still serves me well and I believe that everything is going to be just the way it needs to be! 

So do you think things are going to settle down now? 


In two sleeps, I will be hopping on an airplane and heading SOUTH to sunny Florida to run with my From Fat to Finish Line crew, film a little movie and have an absolute BLAST!!

I cannot believe IT is here many months in the making and the time just flew by! 

Then once I get home from Florida, it's off again to snowy Colorado to see some of my favoritist people in the entire world (more on that later!). I just love my Rev3 peeps and I am one lucky gal to have a crew like them around me. I consider them all family!! 

...and speaking of Rev3...

I am now working with a new Coach, THE amazing and wonderful Carole Sharpless and I am excited to head into 2013 with her at my side! 

2013 promises to be a year of 
Change, Growth, Positivity 
and being FEARLESS!!

Wishing you all the best in the coming new year! 
I'll post as much as I can on Facebook while in Florida. 
Who knows, I might even throw up a crazy blog post 
(from my mobile)

Happy New Year!! 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

What the Camera Cannot Capture

I was recently asked to be a guest blogger on My Endurance Dream and thought I would share that post here as well. Please, take a moment to stop by Robin's blog and say hello. 

What the Camera Cannot Capture...

If you look at me today, you will see a woman who is fit, healthy and smiling. 

If you look at a picture of me from just a few years ago, you will see a much different image. What you will see is someone who was carrying around a lot of extra weight as well as a lot of sadness.

What started out as a quest to change my physical health and appearance ended up being a journey of emotional growth, self-love and finding true joy in life. There is no camera that can capture the biggest changes that have occurred in my life over the last four years.  

I was not always fat. I was “normal” (whatever that is...) most of my life. It was not until some drastic life changes brought me to a place where, in hindsight, I see that I had lost respect for myself and my health. Years of overconsumption took its toll on my body and before I knew it, I was in this body that was completely foreign to me. Not only did my body change, my personality changed drastically as well. A once social butterfly was content to sit home, watch TV and do absolutely nothing-isolating herself from the world. I neglected myself, friends and family. It was a dark time and a lifestyle that was in a downward spiral.

One day, I just had enough. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I was so over feeling depressed, I was done with the sadness and I was ready for change. I wanted to be a Mom and I knew that there was no way I could be a Mother to anything the way I was...and just like that, one day I quit. 

I quit making excuses.

I quit smoking, drinking and eating garbage.

I quit quitting on myself.

The first fear I overcame was actually walking through the doors of the gym that first day. I was petrified. I thought everyone would be judging me (what’s that FAT GIRL doing in a GYM?). I think I lasted an entire 15 minutes walking that first day and I vowed to return the next day and walk just one minute more. The days turned into weeks and the weeks into months. Before I knew it, I was running. Running a mile without stopping was a tremendous victory for me. I was making small goals along the way and every time I would reach a goal, it gave me a boost. I was ACCOMPLISHING something. Little bits of self-esteem started to grow and each small step in the right direction was a learning experience for me.

I then discovered I pregnant and the journey to health became so much more important-it was no longer about ME, but this precious life that God had given me. I was going to be a Mother and I was determined to be the role model that this child could look up to and be proud of!

After the birth of my daughter it took me about 14 months to lose 100lbs. I would workout at home, in my living room, while she napped. We would take walks together and when Spring time came, I started jogging with her. I was in love! In love with being a Mom, in love with the new healthy life I was living and I was starting to love myself.

I kept a journal from day one of my journey where I would write down all these goals and dreams. Big or small, crazy or completely doable. If it was something that I wanted to do, I would write it in my journal. While losing the fat was important, the most important part of losing the weight was actually in achieving those goals I had set along the way. I started running for the sheer joy of running. I started racing and loved the challenge of racing against myself. I wasn’t out there to beat anyone else except myself.

It taught me to fight for what I want because it’s not always easy.
It showed me that I was stronger than I ever gave myself credit for being.
I learned that it is ok to make mistakes, there is only failure in quitting.

Running helped me discover an inner drive, determination and strength I had never known; it also gave me a self-confidence and sense of accomplishment that had been missing my entire life.

The process of change continues to evolve - I learn more and more every day.

I am no longer fearful of change, I embrace it. 

I live a life that is happy and joyful. My daughter has never known me fat and unhappy, that is the biggest victory of all. 

So while I am a very different person on the outside, it is the inside, the real me where the biggest make-over happened.  That change was the most important one and no camera can capture the real changes that occurred.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Cutting Off Limbs {reload}

...cuTTiNg oFF LiMbS...

Big or small, we all have had limbs that need to be cut--It doesn't matter if you needed pruning shears or a commercial chainsaw.

A few years after I moved into my house, I decided that I wanted to plant more trees. I only had 2, so I added 3 more. I chose specific trees for specific spots for specific reasons. At first, each of my new trees had stakes with wires that wrapped around the trunk. I didn't like the way it looked but I knew that it was important in order for them to grow straight and be protected when storms or high winds came. Soon, it was time to remove the support system. My trees were big enough to stand alone.

After a couple of years, I was excited to see that my trees began to much so that they needed trimming. My brother, that doubles as my handyman, explained how you know what branches to cut off. Any branches that were too low or growing down or even small branches growing inward, needed to be trimmed off because they were taking "energy" away from the healthy branches and doing nothing to help the tree become bigger and stronger. It's important to not wait too long because as long as there are branches that need trimming still there...they are taking energy and nutrients away from the branches that are good. And if you never trim the tree, it will never become as big or strong or beautiful as it COULD have been.

Back in February, I did something I thought I would never do...something I thought I would never need to do. I started seeing a therapist. My marriage was a mess and demons from the past were haunting me. I felt like I needed someone to talk to that didn't know me and wouldn't judge me. I still remember the first day sitting in a strange room...on an old ugly couch...looking at a I wept uncontrollably and tried to tell her all the things that have hurt me or that are bothering an hour. I am a control freak. I like to have control because there were times as a child when I had all my power taken from me...times when I should've been protected but I wasn't...feelings I felt that were not feelings I should have been feeling at that age. And so I try to have as much control now as I can, even though it doesn't change the past. I like to do things how I want to do them...when I want to do them. I like to always look just right and stay composed when I can. I felt so out of damaged. This was completely out of my comfort zone, but there was something strangely comforting at the same time about just getting it all out...telling all my secrets...admitting my shame...letting myself be vulnerable.

After I purged myself of all the things that were bothering me...I quickly began to try and regain control by telling the therapist what exactly I was doing to make changes and try to correct these problems. I told her how hard it was/is and how disappointed and upset some people were with me. I told her that I felt alone and scared. Finally, when I let her speak, she looked at me surprisingly unfazed and said,

"You have been hurt badly. You have held it in and made the choice to never use these things as an excuse to protect everyone else and keep a sense of pride. No one would ever believe the things that you have suffered because you have covered them up so well. Now, you have chosen to correct this by cutting off the things and people that cause you pain. The problem is that you are like a tree that hasn't ever been pruned. Instead of getting rid of these things as they came, you waited and let them continue to grow. You had so many limbs to cut off that you now feel very bare and very alone."

This made perfect sense. I had let things grow that should have been cut off sooner and made some huge changes in my life. It wasn't until the secret pain became unbearable that I finally did something about it...and I did it all at once. It has been scary to make these decisions and hard to deal with the consequences that have followed, but every day is a little better. New branches are growing where old, unhealthy ones were and the people that love me are learning to accept my changes and love me unconditionally.

So, you probably wonder what this has to do with anyone other than me. It's a warning if you will. Don't let unhealthy "branches" grow on your "tree" because it seems too hard to get rid of them. Take the things out of your life that weigh you down or keep you from reaching your true potential. Don't have friends that don't accept your commitment to eat and live healthy. Don't surround yourself with jealous people that want to drag you down. Avoid unhealthy relationships that cause you to doubt your worth and rob you of your goals. And when you do need to cut off branches, be brave. Value yourself enough to put in the work it takes to be your best. Don't be afraid of feeling alone at times or vulnerable, because in time you will be glad you made the changes. Finally, don't be too proud to ask for help. When trees have large branches that break or need to be removed, sometimes it takes a professional because the job is too big to do on your own. Rely on the people that care about you to help you make changes. 

I cannot take credit for this blog post--but it is one of those powerful messages that I think everyone should read and anyone could apply to their own life. 
I just had to share. From the blog STRONG IS THE NEW SKINNY

Just as it takes pruning to help a tree grow tall and strong, it takes making uncomfortable changes in our own lives to become the person we are meant to be. After the struggle...because of the work it takes to get the end...we will become stronger than we ever thought possible