I've been trying to sit down and write this blog post for about a week now. I come up with tons of great ideas, but none of them really seem adequate to describe what the last year has been like, or how much my life has changed since last November. So here goes - read on if you wish as I see if I can stumble through the challenging and amazing journey that the last year has been.
Last year at thanksgiving, my mom was here visiting. She'd been asking what I wanted for christmas, and I'd been talking with A about joining one of her small groups at the gym. Little did I know, that during the day after thanksgiving "pie blaster" class, mom had made a stop in at body boutique (yes, WHILE I was in class) and purchased one-on-one personal training sessions for me. Of course, I didn't know until Christmas, but I was more than thrilled. And of course, after those first five sessions with Jessica, I was hooked.
I owe a lot to Jessica - and I miss her terribly. I began this journey with her, and it was she that really made me believe I could do things I'd never done and I know that at that point, needed a lot of pushing. There's something about having someone who believes in you, and knowing that they do, even when you don't necessarily believe in yourself. She did that for me, and I am so thankful that I was able to work with her. But just when I'd started having some success and was starting to feel better, Jessica moved. :-( Boy was I bummed. I will never forget the night I sat on my couch and literally cried for a half hour. I just couldn't figure out how changing trainers was going to work. (Or who it would be for that matter!). Logically, I was sure it'd be FINE. ;-) But, I was torn emotionally.
Enter Amber. After our first few workouts, I was convinced, that yes, I was going to be fine. The transition was the hardest, but we worked it out. In all honestly, Amber has taken me places physically that I didn't think were possible and, really, that I never would have even tried on my own. The best part? It's fun! I've become addicted to seeing what's next, what more I can do, and what the next level is. So, we started training in April and have been going ever since. This summer she ran a outdoor bootcamp, which, I joined in the 2nd session and grew to love. Bootcamp was a blast and I'm super sad that it's too cold out now for outdoor sessions. I can't wait till spring when we start up again and get going! Amazing how attached you get to something after 18 weeks of it! I often wonder - how do you say thank you to a friend like her? How do you find the right words to let someone know that they've changed your life for the better, and for good? I'm not sure I can come up with a big enough gesture, or at least one that I would find adequate. So I'll leave her with this...
A - THANK YOU. There truly aren't words. Thanks for being there, listening to me bitch and moan and making me do things that I don't want to do. (frog jumps!). I'll never be able to say thank you enough for the things you do. I know I put in the work, but I wouldn't be here without you, and I hope you know how truly grateful I am for the friendship we have. I will always and forever know that indeed, Yes I Can!
So, now, here I am. A year later. 40 pounds lighter. A whole lot happier. I've run in a 1/2 Marathon and dropped more sweat on the gym floor than I ever thought possible. And it's not just about the weight. It's been a year of saying no to negativity and getting rid of all of it in my life. As I started to feel better, I wanted to help others more and so really, it's been a year of giving too. I'm beginning to realize just how many have been inspired to do something better in their lives by what I've done. That's pretty amazing. I never really set out for that to happen, but I'm happy and willing to share my own personal journey if it can help someone else get to theirs. I'm hoping to pass it on in bigger ways in the future, but for the moment, I'm focused on me, and losing the rest of my weight and even more importantly, keeping it off!
Even work has changed. Co-workers are stopping in to ask for alternative recipes, monthly birthday dinners are a LOT healthier than they used to be, and the candy dish isn't always full of candy at school anymore! It's humbling, really and I hope I can continue to pay it forward as I go on.
I'll always remember where I came from. And to the girl above (this was when T and I got engaged in 2007) I bid goodbye. Thank you for helping me to understand who I am, and for allowing me to see that I had to make a change. Thanks for working hard even when you didn't want to to be healthier for yourself.
And to this girl.... You're beautiful and amazing. You work hard, and you're worth it. Remember where you came from, how hard it was to get here, and keep stopping to help people along the way. Take the time to tell others that "yes they can" too. Try to let go and don't stress. Rome wasn't built in a day, and you know that. Have your cake, but eat it in moderation. Don't let negativity get in your way, you're worth more than that and you can't reach your own goals focusing on all the negative. You will get there. The hard work is paying off. And never forget that Yes, you can! and it's always always always gonna be fine!