You just never know who you are inspiring…..

SO…. Just the other day my friend Bonnie posted on FB this status:

This is the post that did it. This is the one that turned my head in the right direction. I have lost a lot of weight, but, you know, while the number of pounds I have lost over the years is impressive; there’s another number that I find even better: 12…. This is the number of inches I have lost around my waist since I read this post almost 3 years ago. How can you ever repay the person that has ultimately saved your life? I’ll tell you…12 more inches. Tonya Schwartz I love you!

So many thoughts. First of all… Bonnie Z (as I call her) is amazing. She has no idea how much of an inspiration she really is. I am sharing this story with her permission. I just can’t believe how much she has taken back control of her life…. from the inside out. I mean really! I told her that status just about made me cry and made me wanna give her a hug.. BTW I still owe you a hug my friend! I share her to story to inspire you. You really never know how much of an impact what you say and do has. For example just today I was told I was “tiny” by a person I do not even know. Me? really? huh… interesting 😉 but it made my day. What can you do with your life that will inspire someone? I had NO CLUE that one little note posted on Facebook would have such and impact….but man am I glad I took the time to share my thoughts (or ramblings for that matter). Sooo. Do what you do, keep being who you are… you just never know whose life you might change!  Below I have posted a comparison photo of where Bonnie started and where she is today. 198 lbs lighter. yes you read that right 198! She is a rock star in my book! I also am sharing the FB note that she says started it all

Who inspires you? One who inspires me is Bonnie Z!

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Here is what I posted on Facebook Jan 3 2012: (edited for some horrible spelling/ grammar errors I couldn’t leave in there)

So, it’s that time of year again… Time to reflect on the year that 2011 was and the year that you want 2012 to be… Also a time that people make New Years Resolutions. I just figured I would take a minute to throw out a word of encouragement to my Facebook people who may be making weight loss goals this year. I, myself, have been on a weight loss journey for over 10 years now… So I have a little knowledge on the subject 🙂 I am not where I want to be, but am far (75 lbs or so) from where I once was.  So here is some of what I learned…

First of all. Diets don’t work.  Actually I didn’t diet. Diets don’t make sense to me… If you go on a diet… it is something you can come off of… I needed to make permanent changes in my eating habits. I chose a program I could follow that taught me what to eat. It’s about healthy eating choices, and not depriving yourself. I can still eat pizza, ice cream… French fries… whatever I want! It’s about portions and choices. I also learned (the hard way) that I needed to be tracking what I was eating.  I hate… really hate… writing down what I eat. Know why?!? Cuz then I have to see it! And that makes me accountable for what I put in my mouth. Know why its such a big part of the Weight Watchers program.. cuz it works!! Also Its about making small changes. What I first had my “Wow, I really need to do something about my weight” moment, I didn’t go change every one of my bad behaviors overnight. I changed one thing at a time.  Also realize that the weight did not come one overnight.. and will not just fall off overnight (I hate to tell ya that…)

In all honestly when I first started my journey the whole eating right thing was a bit overwhelming, so i started working out.  At that point i was intimidated by a gym and I didn’t know how to workout, so I joined Curves.  (I have since gained the knowledge and confidence to go to a “real” gym)…. but it was a starting place. It was about doing something. Moving my body. Its kinda funny to look back and see how things have changed… I used to hate running!  HATE it!! there is a reason that I put that all in caps. I’m not joking. All through elementary and high school I would come up with reasons…okay excuses.. that i couldn’t run.  Now, I can say that I am a runner. I compete in 5ks.. I crave it when i haven’t done it in a while. I just really like how it makes me feel.  Ps. I NEVER thought i would say those words… but its true.  Also, when I started running I could barely make it 30 seconds at a 4.0 on the treadmill. (not an exaggeration)  Compared to now when I do between 5.5-6.0 for about a half hour to 45 minutes! It’s so great to see how things have changed. And I haven’t been running very long.. 2 years maybe?! BTW the program I followed was the couch to 5k program. I highly recommend you google it if your interested 🙂 But honestly, it doesn’t have to be running. Find something you like to do and do it. Sports, swimming, walking, lifting weights (which i also hate), dance, play a sport…whatever. Just find something and Do it!!

My next lesson… set goals. Realistic…attainable goals.  Had I started my journey and said I need to lose 75 lbs..and I need to do it in one year…I would have quit.  Now I Probably could have worked harder and done it a littler faster…but I am a slow learner 🙂  I am actually very proud of how long I have been able to maintain and stabilize my weight. Also, Don’t focus too much on the scale. I used to be obsessive about weighing myself and drove myself (and my sister) crazy.  Measure success in other ways. . . How your jeans fit… How you feel… you know other things..  Reward yourself for hitting goals and try not to get frustrated if its taking longer than you would like. Keep trying! Btw, when I say reward yourself I’m not talking about hitting up Cold Stone every time you lose 5lb…but do something to recognize your accomplishments.

Also, Tell someone what you’re trying to do. Set up a support system. Mine Rocks!! It honestly helps to have a support system in place… You guys know who you are… thanks for keeping me accountable and in line…People want to help you. I am always here if anyone needs help, tips, motivation…whatever. I actually could talk about diet and exercise all day (ask the people who sit by me at work…think they get annoyed some days… but they still love me) You need to realize that you are worth it! You deserve to be healthy and happy!! Don’t beat yourself up if you have a bad day.. Tomorrow is a new day.. realize that and move on! Okay, I could seriously keep on going… but I will quit for now 🙂

So, let me just leave you with this thought… How cool would it be to look back at this time next year and say… I did it!?!?  I am healthier, stronger.. thinner (whatever the case may be…) We can this guys… We can!!! Trust me on this one.. I know 🙂

Happy New year Friends!

Thanks for reading my blog…and Go inspire someone!

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I am a what?!?!

This is something I have been thinking about for a really long time…
I have a lot of nicknames and been called a LOT of names throughout the years. Everything from “four eyes” to all the fat names: lazy, chubby, chunky… My oh so loving uncle called me *pleasantly plump* once… Some of my favorite names I get called are: girl, TJ, sunshine, angel, bestie… Among others…Because they were all given to me by people who call me these things with Love. Also often get called an overachiever, a rock star, a runner, a role model?!?! And recently… I got called an athlete… By two people who don’t even know me….me? Yes me! These names do not describe all of who I am….I am also… Daughter, sister, cousin, niece… Co-worker and friend. One of the best things I am is Auntie to 5 of the coolest kids on this planet. I am also… A bill collecter, babysitter, weight watchers leader… Etc.

The point of this is to make us all stop and think about who you are. You are more than your past..; more than your name.., more than a number on a scale. More than the job we have (the ones we even like). More than the bank accounts we have…. It’s really about the person you are on the inside that matters…

Here is Something my pastor says often “You always act like the person you believe yourself to be”.

Who do YOU believe YOU are?!?

Ps… I hope this makes sense.. Blogging on the stationary bike 😉

Well isn’t that funky?!?’

Well isn’t that funky?!?’

So…. I have to be honest. Been struggling a bit lately with having my head in the game as far as eating right goes for the past 2ish weeks. Luckily I have a super awesome support group that recognizes and gives me a swift kick in the booty and helps me get out of my funk. Well, I decided today that my funk needed to end. Figured I won’t ever get to be where I wanna be if I don’t keep moving forward.

I am working my way toward a butterfly tattoo to symbolize my weight loss journey. It will be a butterfly and will happen WHEN I hit 81 lbs total loss. I feel like a butterfly symbolizes a transformation that can not be reversed. My middle name happens to mean Butterfly also. And yes… There is even more meaning behind it… But for today’s moment to make sense…that’s probably all you need to know.

So… Here is what happened today:
Was going out for an In-between jobs run when I happen to notice a butterfly… I was like “thanks for the reminder God, I got this” and yes I realize seeing a butterfly isn’t all that big of a deal (I am all about the little things in life) but the very next thing I looked at was a city bus that happen to have the number… Wait for it… Yup.. 81 on the back. Crazy?!? I think so!!! Guess that cemented the end of my current funk huh?!? Also made me realize that not only do I care about the little things in life… God cares too. Cares about me and my little things too! What a great moment. Made me smile and energized my entire 5.5 mile run.

Final thoughts:
Quitting is not an option.
Enjoy the journey.
I am not finished.
God cares.
Thank your support group.
On bad day/ week/ month or year doesn’t make you a failure. Everyday is a new chance to start over.

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Did that just happen?!?!

Did that just happen?!?!

So…. I just need to take a minute to write about my 10k today. So.. I set a goal for myself to finish the race in 57 minutes. With a stretch goal of 55 minutes (which really made me giggle when that thought even crossed my mind… But I was like…. that would be pretty cool if I could do that!). It was a beautiful morning in Minnesota and I couldn’t have been more excited. I felt really good going and and just knew it was going to go well. And guess what!?!?! It did! I crushed my goal and came within 14 SECONDS of my stretch goal. Official time was 55:14!!! Needless to say I was/ am kinda feeling on top of the world!

Now… I am not writing this to brag… It’s to share my recent thoughts while running. These have been reoccurring thoughts for the last several months so I figured someone needs to hear them… So here they are:

–don’t compare your journey to someone else’s. Everyone is different and everyone is unique. You are you… Embrace it!
–enjoy the journey! New places, new faces, new experiences
–Focus on little accomplishments! Fitting into a smaller pair of jeans is my favorite 😉
— thank your support group! I wouldn’t be where I am without being surrounded by people who believe in me (even when I have my doubts)
— give yourself a little credit. You might not be exactly where you want to be…but if you are taking steps in the right direction.. Acknowledge that and be proud.
— you never know who you are inspiring and how you are inspiring them. I get so much inspiration from the strangest places. In today’s race it was the girl with the butterfly tattoo (which has it’s own special meaning for me personally) that was trying to pass me (eventually she did and ended up getting 3rd place in our age group by 38 seconds!!!) but as not to dwell on that… I can chose to see it as inspiration to do better next time and still extremely proud of winning against my biggest competitor…ME! Ps. She will never know she inspired me…and that makes me wonder how many random people I inspire. All the people who I pass as they are eating their DQ as I am running by… Wonder if they are like “hey, if she can do it, maybe I can too?!?!” Guess we will never know.

Final thoughts: keep on keeping on! The journey to health and wellness is NOT easy (for me anyways) but let me assure you that it’s totally worth it! And we are all in this together! We need each other and together we can! I know it sounds cheerleader-y… And I’m okay with that! It’s how I roll 😉

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