Someday is here

The sun crept over the horizon, the mist and fog cleared and there it was, the water in which I would swim in very shortly.  The hustle and bustle of the already arriving athletes greeted my ears.  Anticipation continued to rise in my stomach, reaching my ears.  

I barely slept, and couldn’t eat anything when I got out of bed in the early hours of the morning.  Nervous couldn’t even begin to describe how I felt about taking on this feat.  
This idea, this dream, this goal had been taunting me for years.  Even before I accomplished other feats of athletic strength that I had discovered after college, I had known that this was something I wanted to do someday.  I had written into my bucket list years ago, thinking it would be fun to try someday. 
This someday was here.  

I watch others arrive with their own cheer squad, as I unloaded my bike and gear from my car.  I didn’t bring anyone with me, which in the end was something I needed.  I needed to do this one on my own.
On my own, for someone who seeks approval and looks to others to define who I am, is a hard thing. But I needed to do this hard thing.  I needed to prove it to myself, that I hadn’t let myself fall too far behind where I wanted to be.
As I walked through the body marking station and set my bike and gear up, I took in all that was happening around me.  Women, all shapes and sizes were setting up their gear.  The pro athletes, the groups of friends, the young girls, all seeking to tackle this course.  A different kind of energy infused the transition area, an energy that can’t be found many other places.  The kind of energy that comes from doing something out of the ordinary, the something that isn’t for everyone, the something that pushes your body past what you think it can do.
Sure, I had run races and done hard things in the last 6 years of my life, but this was the one thing that  I knew that would show me what I was made of. This gave me a chance to redeem a very hard summer.  
For me this was more than a race, it was marking point in my life.  
See I had just spent the previous 2 weeks laying on my couch in a depressed state, angry that I didn’t have the summer break I used to have, mourning the changes going on in my life.  Some good, some hard, but changes none the less.  
I slacked off in my training, too sad and lethargic to get out in the heat and train.  I was tired, spent from a hard school year and harder year emotionally. God has wanted to do stuff in my heart and mind and I had been running, because I know that what he wanted me to surrender was not going to be easy.  Putting down dreams and hopes even though you know that your God is faithful is still a hard thing. 
This event has become a pivot point.  I want to choose to live differently than I have before this time. I want it to be a moment that I told myself “enough” time to move forward, to take steps toward where God has me headed.  
So that morning as I got out of bed, earlier than I had in 2 months, I faced a big goal and some ugly demons in my head.  I couldn’t have just not done it, not shown up, telling others that I was injured and not prepared.  But that isn’t how I roll.  I was going to do it.
And…I am glad I did.
During the triathlon, I biked past women cheering others on, shouting encouragement up hills and towards the finish.  I ran with women who were ready to give up.  People I didn’t know shouted my name and gave me cheers to keep pushing myself further.  
So friends, I write to speak out about doing hard things, about pushing yourself to not settle in with the demons, to give yourself the chance to prove yourself wrong.  More than anything to wake yourself up from a stupor that comes from wallowing during hard seasons. 
I am not an expert, I don’t have it all together.  My Instagram feed lies to you, because I choose not take pictures of the days I don’t get off my couch.  I often fail and skip workouts and run from hard things.  But I know that on the other side is a better day.  After mistakes and failures there is a moment when you can just start over say, “Today, I begin again.” 
Today is someday, I can start over and begin the ascent from the valley, to move toward a better day.  Not to say it is easy or without challenges, but that when we put one foot in front of the other, you will continue to move forward.  Friends, choose to move forward.  Choose to take a step, just one step at a time.  Eventually, you will find yourself on the other side of the hard thing, the someday you didn’t think would happen. 
So friends, what is one hard thing you have been putting off to someday?  (Maybe yours isn’t physical, but emotional.) What is one step you need to take to get there? 
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Small Wins

I frequently read the Biggest Loser Olivia and Hannah’s blog and recently they talked about the Bad Days.  …..the days that we fall back into old habits
…..the days that we are discouraged
…..the days when all we want to eat is…well everything we see. 

In this video, Olivia mentions something that was something I never though to do.  Make a list of all the things you did right.  If you are like me and get to the end of the day and can only think about all the ways that you didn’t meet your own expectations or others for you, this could change your life.

So instead of making a list of all the ways I have failed….I am going to make a list of the things I did right…the small wins!

Here are 3 ways that this idea has begun to change my year: 

1. My job: As a teacher of 12-13 year olds, I constantly feel like I am losing the battle to win their attention, their focus, and any ounce of academic success for them.  I feel like I have been losing the battle for the past couple of months.  

Thursday as I drove away from school, I wept because I felt that I had let down my students by harboring frustrations from hour to hour.  My impatience grew when they didn’t understand something I thought I had explained clearly and the apathy they showed to this assignment I was excited about, drove me crazy!!

Today, could have been about the same, but I am choosing to celebrate the small wins.  The little things that went right today.
– I didn’t have to write a detention or referrals today.
– The student who didn’t do anything yesterday in class, completed his assignment today with little prompting.
– We had library day, which meant that they worked on a fun activity.
– I got all my grades updated.
– I make Certificates of Awesome for the kids who did great first semester!
– Created a rubric for in class debates on Monday.
– Our newest ELL student who doesn’t speak any English seemed to make some friends.
– I found out that I would look really cute in hipster glasses. (All the girls at least thought so!)
– My 7th hour were very concerned with whether I was having a good day today.
– I had fun!!

2. Mental/Physically: Over the past 3 months, I have gained about 10 lbs back from where I was.  Big picture, this is not that big of a deal.  However, I was so close to my goal weight and I got off track after I ran my 3rd Half marathon this fall.  As I try to get back on track with eating well, (Let’s be honest, that is the hardest part of losing weight and I am a stress eater!)  thinking about the small wins of the day helps me be more positive about my progress. 

So this week instead of thinking about the gummy worms that I ate on Monday night, I want to think about my small wins!
– I worked out 5 days this week.
– I ran outside on Wednesday!
– Resisted the 2 offers of doughtnuts on Thursday (This was the stressful day!)
– Instead of getting Chipotle with friends on Friday night, I made an omelet! (Saved me money too!)
– Had salads 2 days for lunch this week!
– I didn’t eat anything after dinner 4 times this week.
– Resisted buying snacky foods that keep me munching!
– No cookies or chips for me during a meeting today at church! (It wouldn’t have been worth it.)
– Got up early this morning and ran with a friend. (Big win since I usually like to run by myself!)

3. 2012 Reflections: Don’t get me wrong 2012 was a great year and ended with a fantastic trip Down Under, but I started thinking about all the things that didn’t happen instead of all the things that did. 

So here are some good things that happened in 2012!

– Made a lot of new friends!
– Ran 2 Half Marathons
– Traveled to Denver to visit one of my favorite people in the world.
– Took 7 hours of Grad classes
Survived year 3 of teaching.
– Made it very close to my goal weight!
– Put myself out there and went on a few dates! (Didn’t turn out too well, but it was a good first step!)
– Stepped into a different role at church
– Said yes to a lot of things! (Color Run, going to Concerts, going to Australia!)
– Traveled halfway around the world to AUSTRALIA!
– Took on a lot of new things for my job and personally.

See I would say that 2012 was a great year.  I easily discredit it because not everything I wanted to happen happened….but whose to say that God doesn’t want to spread out the good things.

Ultimately, making a list like this brings to light the fact that as much as a fail, God is so abundantly gracious to me and does not leave me alone in that failure.

    For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
(Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV)

In what areas would it be helpful to make a list of your small wins?  What are some ways that you can practice grace to yourself or others around you?

Proactive vs. Reactive

Maybe you were or are like me, you spent a lot of time reacting to what was being thrown at you, being drug along the train of life trying to catch up or even watching the train fly by longing for a hand to reach out and pull you up.  Its a rough metaphor, but you get the picture.  I made a choice 2 years ago to join a gym, and made a choice to do something different then I was doing before.

Recently, I had an pretty important anniversary.  I forgot to post about it, but I still wanted to share what sort of difference 2 years can make.

Here are a few pictures to show the difference:

Before and After

My first day of teaching! (3 years ago!)
A year ago in Mexico!
My sister and I after my 2nd Half Marathon                                

Recently.                    

Last year I wrote a long post about some of the differences.  Even since last year, I feel like a different person.  

Recognizing 2 years ago, that I needed to make change and I had a problem has forced me to be more proactive with my life rather than reactive. 

Losing weight was like opening a door to realizing the other issues that I need to deal with.  If people ever claim that losing weight is just a physical thing, they probably have never had to.  It is much more emotional and spiritual than anything else. 

I don’t claim to everything under control nor am I perfect at living a healthy lifestyle.  I am continually making mistakes and learning new things.  More than anything, I am learning a lot about myself and being okay with being me, others’ approval or not. (‘Tis a post for another time.)

What I do want to share for anyone that was like me, stuck in a life that I didn’t want and thought impossible to break out of, it is possible.  For me it has been a slow journey, I have taken steps back, I have made bad choices, and given into temptation.  However, what doesn’t change is that I get up the next day and start over or start over the next meal.  It is all about making a choice to be proactive then reactive.


Change isn’t easy, but I don’t think it would be worth it if it was.  I wouldn’t want it any other way.  The difficulty of it makes the pay off so much more valuable.

A Year Ago….

Before:A year or so later:

This is a pretty big day for me today. A year ago today, I started my weight loss journey (as they say on Biggest Loser). I joined a gym because I knew if I was paying for it, I would go. I was convinced to get a personal trainer by a very good salesman at my gym. And I haven’t looked back since.

My trainer, Angie, asked me on a scale of 1-10 how serious I was about losing weight. When I started it was at about a 6. After about a month into it I was at a 10. Now almost 65 lbs and a year later, I am still going. My story isn’t different than many others, I just decided one day that I didn’t want to live the life I was living anymore. I wanted to make a decision to change. And what followed was an amazing year. I think in many ways, I still have a long way to go. I want to do so much more, and I can do all the stuff physically, but until my mentality about food and life changes I won’t get all the way there.

Now, as I step into another summer of relaxing and rest after a busy school year, I have to make that decision again. I have spent this last week sleeping and doing a whole lot of nothing. I am slightly discouraged because I have given into temptation food wise and been exhausted. There could be a lot of reasons for this, but in reality, I have been making the choice to give into the exhaustion and not fight through. I have to ask myself how serious I am about this weight loss journey. It is just going to get harder from here on out. As much as I would like to just maintain where I am at, I really want to go further in this.

So on this blog, this summer I am going to commit to posting about what I am going through. I know it has been done, but I think if I have more than my friends to hold me accountable, I will follow through. Just as I have been motivated by the contestants on Biggest Loser, I want to do that for others as well. Who knows who will stop by the blog.

So friends, will you hold me accountable to kicking this weight loss journey into high gear and finishing it by the end of the summer?

change….slowly but surely

One day this summer, I just sort of decided that I was going to make a change. I was going to lose weight and take care of myself. I was going to live differently than before. Through research of different gyms, I decided to take a tour and perhaps get a free week to check it out. It didn’t take much convincing, but I decided to not only join but purchase some personal training.

3 months later, I am 25 lbs lighter, and am still working with the same trainer. She is wonderful, she herself has been there and understands what it takes to change your lifestyle. And that is really what it is about, changing your life. You might think I am crazy…but it doesn’t matter. I have completely changed my eating habits, trying not to use food as a reward, but a necessity to be able to function and have the energy I need to go throughout the day. I am now able to run a mile without stopping which I have never, ever been able to do. Running a mile in PE was the day that I pretended to be sick.

I will not live in the guilt anymore, I will not live in the shame anymore. Being overweight makes me feel guilty about what I am eating, it makes me feel shame that I am not doing what I should be doing. It is almost as if I am carrying around every bad moment or stressful day that I choose to hide in ice cream or mac & cheese. Getting rid of it helps me cast that guilt and shame out of my life, and doesn’t allow the enemy to continue to hang it over my head. I will choose to live and I will choose to change.

Granted I still have a long way to go, but I am doing it….I make the choice everyday to stick with it or not, and I have to live with that decision. That pretty much goes with my spiritual life as well. I realized this weekend that in a lot of ways I am not making the same sort of day by day
choices for my soul. (more on that later.)