Monthly Archives: June 2014

A New Perspective…

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This is my goal:  Don’t focus on being better than anybody else.  In fact, don’t even focus on anyone else at all.  Compare myself to only myself, and as long as I’m moving forward and progressing, then I’m on the right track.  I don’t have to be the best.  I just have to keep doing better.


Finding Beauty Amongst the Trash

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Two little girls were riding their bikes one morning while I was running.  We were sharing a paved trail which used to be train tracks that went through my hometown in rural Indiana.  It was particularly beautiful on this morning, as it was early June and trees, shrubs, and flowers were on either side of the trail.  Beyond the side of the trail, cornfields and wooded areas.  It was early in the morning, so the sunlight was poking through the trees, creating the most beautiful display of light and shadow.  Birds were singing, and chipmunks and squirrels were in search of food, running in front of me and up random tree branches.  It was a beautiful day, and I certainly needed to be reminded of beauty.

It was the morning before my grandma’s funeral, so naturally I was feeling down and a little uninspired.

But these two little girls lifted my spirit and flooded my soul with hope.  And they had no idea their actions would ever do such a thing.

The older of the two, probably around 8 years old, hopped off her bike and began to pick the wildflowers on the side of the trail.  I was happy to see her do this as it brought back warm memories of my own childhood when I would do the same and give them to my mother to place in a glass on the kitchen window sill.  I was also happy that she was picking the flowers because they were just going to die soon anyway.

While the oldest was happily skipping and choosing the most beautiful flowers, her sister was on the other side of the trail picking up trash, candy wrappers and chip bags and empty plastic bottles.  There wasn’t a lot of trash, but there was certainly enough to notice it, so I was thankful that such a young little girl was cleaning up what someone who was no doubt much older left behind.

Here are two little girls.  One picking flowers to share  beauty, and one picking trash to show beauty.

How refreshing and what a great reminder for us.  Be on the lookout for beauty in this world because it’s there.  Sometimes we have to clean something up first for it to be beautiful so others can enjoy it, and sometimes we just need to look past the trash and share the beauty that’s already there.

Make something better or share what’s already there, because beauty is all around us.


Supportive People are Lovely People…

Yesterday I read some of my diary entries and poems from my younger years, and by younger years, I mean young.  Like ages 10-15, young.  I laughed at myself quite a bit.  Sometimes I was even surprised at how insightful I was at that age.  But mostly I was just sad.

I wrote a lot about my weight and how I hated being fat.  I wrote about feeling left out all the time and wanting to have more friends and be noticed by people.  I wrote about failing and wanting to give up and feeling lost.  I even wrote letters to people that I wanted to be friends with, acting as if we were friends already.  I wrote about the boy who always called me BIG MOMMA BERTHA every day in the cafeteria.

I’ve done a fairly good job at hiding and ignoring all the pain from my childhood and teenage years.  Somehow I tucked it away neatly into the back of my mind because I remembered a lot of what happened only after I read my old diary entries.

My diary reminded me how sad I was… how fat I was… how insecure I was… how lonely I was.  One entry even talked about how I wished I had the courage to kill myself.

So I had all of these old but new emotions running through me when it was time to go for a short afternoon run with Ben.  I’ve been trying to run for a few weeks now and have been doing pretty good.  I used to be so self-conscious about running in front of people, and I overcame that.  But yesterday I was so paranoid and felt like a fat blimp struggling to barely move her body.

Was everyone staring at me, or was it just my imagination?

Either way, it made running hard.  Then I came home to use the elliptical to finish my afternoon workout while Ben jumped rope.  I love working out with him because he keeps me motivated and I always tend to work harder when he is around.

I was going hard, really pushing myself.  I was so overwhelmed with such a mix of emotions.  Proud of myself for going hard.  Discouraged because I wasn’t sure it would make any type of difference.  Sad from remembering how lonely and fat I was as a kid.  Angry for taking so long to finally start taking care of myself…. and it just goes on.

All the while Ben is talking to me, encouraging me, making me pay attention to his words and drowning out my own thoughts and even the loud music playing.  “Keep going, Laura… You’re doing it this time… Yep, push through it all… Don’t give up…….”

About this time a song (Get Away by Brian McFadden) comes on that says:

Why don’t we get away
Out of this town
Shake all those yesterday’s
They’re dragging us down
There’s nothing left round here for you and I
All the signs
Tell me to get away

And I cried.  Tears and sweat both blurred my eyes, trickling down my cheeks, blending into one another.

It was time to shake those yesterdays that kept dragging me down, but I wanted to quit and wallow in my pain.  Ben noticed me wanting to quit and told me to keep going and to finish strong.

What happened in the past already happened.  It hurt, and it’s uncomfortable, but it’s time I move on from it.  I’m not that person anymore.  I’m stronger.  I’m happier.  I’m more confident.  I know who I am.  I have direction.  I have love.  I have support.  I have all I need.

I finished the workout strong, so thankful for my journey even though it’s been painful at times.  I’ve learned from it, and I’m still learning.  I’m still growing.  I like where I am right now, and I’m so thankful for those who support me… especially Ben.

He’s saved my life, really.  I’m in a much better place because of his love and support.  He devotes so much time to help me and exercise with me, literally hours at a time.  He keeps me focused and lights a fire under me when I need it!  I’m pretty positive that I would still weight 312 pounds if it weren’t for him… actually, probably more.

Me & Ben after our workout.

Me & Ben after our workout.

Reading those diary entries reminded me of a girl who longed for real relationships but was so discouraged by her weight that she denied herself love and support.  Don’t be that girl.  Please don’t be her.  You deserve to be loved.  You deserve to be happy.  Don’t deny yourself.

We all need support, no matter what it is we are trying to accomplish.  Do you have a “Ben” in your life who comes alongside you and supports and loves and encourages you no matter how many times you fall?  Are you a “Ben” to someone in your life?  How has support from friends and family helped you?  I’d love to hear from you!


it’s up to YOU :)

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We can’t always control what happens to us in life, but we can certainly control how we react to it and how we let it influence the rest of our lives.

Heroine or Victim?

It’s up to YOU 🙂


I CAN RUN!

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The title should probably be: I can jog…….slowly.

But oh well 🙂

I feel like I’ve been trying to lose weight my entire life, mostly because I have been.

I’ve been following a healthy lifestyle plan that Ben and I created (one of my next posts will be about that!), which really works when I follow it!  I’ve lost 10 pounds since April, which honestly would be a lot more if I would follow it better.  But still … it’s a loss!

And what’s even more exciting is that I’ve finally gotten into running!  I’m terribly slow, but I realize I have to start somewhere.  I have to be slow before I can go fast.  I have a feeling it’s going to be worth the wait and the hard work!

My grandma passed away a few weeks ago, so I went to Indiana to visit my family.  I usually use an elliptical for my cardio and wasn’t sure how I was going to get my workouts in regularly.  My first day I decided to run a trail close by my parents’ house.  To my surprise, I ran the entire thing without stopping (1.6 miles), which took about 26 minutes.

I was there for 12 days, and I ran 8 of those days and went to the gym another day because of the rain.  One day I ran to the trail and then ran the trail twice (!) and then ran back to my parents’ house.  I ran for 49 minutes straight.

When I got back home, I went for a 5 mile run and ran it without stopping once.  It took me one hour.

I’m excited about the running because I know it’s going to help me lose weight faster!

It would have been awesome if I would have eaten really clean while in Indiana, but at least I can run now!  Oh the places I will go… I’m pretty excited.

What have you accomplished recently that you are really proud of?  How did you do it?  I would love to hear your stories of overcoming something you thought you could never do.

 


to fail … or NOT to fail

It isn’t fun to fail.  I’m aware that’s kind of a “no duh” statement, but I struggle with failing.  I know how discouraging it is to fail, and yet I allow myself to fail over and over.  Granted, there are some things I have no control over.  Some things I’m going to fail at because I have no other option but to fail.  That’s not what I’m talking about here.

I’m talking about how it sucks to fail at something that I know I should be and CAN BE succeeding at.

In this case, I’m talking about my weight loss journey.

I fail.  I give up.

And then I feel sorry for myself…

And while I’m moping around because I failed at something I should have conquered, I find myself in an even deeper hole than I was before because while I was moping, I was slacking on the exercise and stuffing my face with unhealthy foods.

So by the time I can talk myself into trying again, I have to play catch up…

And by the time I catch up to where I was before I gave up in the first place, I’m so exhausted that I can easily talk myself out of going any further.

After all, I did just work really hard to lose those 5 or 10 pounds, right?

So I give up… again… at the same exact place I was the last time.  Before I gave up.  No progress.  I worked hard in between the two failures, but it doesn’t even matter because I’m still in the same place.

I’m so annoying.

I’m tired of annoying myself.  I’m tired of getting close to something great and letting it pass me by so I can take something of lesser value.

Makes. No. Sense.

I’m saying all of this now because I’m on the cusp of something great again. 

I don’t want to ruin it.  I don’t want to fail, especially by my own hands.

So I’m going to try something crazy here and actually not let myself give up.  I’m not giving up.  I know my pattern, and I know that right now is about the time I would give up.

But I’m not going to this time.  I’m going to go beyond where I usually go.  I like what I’m seeing in the mirror.  I like how strong I am becoming.  I like this version of me, and I’m not ready for her to go away.

I’m ready for her to become even better, stronger, healthier.

And I’m not going to accomplish that by giving up.

So onward I go…

Whatever it is you are struggling with, whether that’s an addiction or self-acceptance or some goal, don’t give up.  It will be worth the fight.  Yes, the fight may be long, and you will fall down some.  But get back up.

Always. Get. Back. Up.

Always.

You owe it to yourself.  You really do.

To fail or not to fail… What’s it going to be?

 


Goal: To be less sucky at blogging

So. I haven’t posted in entirely way too long, which honestly doesn’t really surprise me considering I have a ridiculously hard time committing to things and seeing them through.

But I haven’t given up, because this blog is important to me for a few reasons:

1. It’s a great way to keep record of my own successes, failures, and ideas.

2. It’s also a great community that I can tap into for creative recipes and workouts, and more importantly, it’s a community that I can be part of to motivate.

So my new goal is to blog at least once a week.  That’s it.  I imagine it should be doable!  Let’s hope so, at least 🙂