So I had a really interesting run the other day and I learned a few lessons that I figured I should right about. Started with a thought. Let’s try and run this beautiful quarry area by my house and experience the fall colors. Trail run they said… It will be fun they said. Well… Less than a mile in I twisted my ankle pretty good. My thoughts were “ouch, ouch, ouch… And please don’t hurt… Please don’t hurt…” I had two choices at that moment… Quit or keep going. Well.. I keep going. I figured with the uneven terrain..and well.. Me. Being. Me… I slowed down a tidge. It was absolutely stunning. Weather was beautiful and colors were breath taking.
Here is the view:
At about 1 1/2 miles on my way out of the quarry I had a thought. And it was something I hope I don’t fall down because it would suck to get hurt the day before you leave on a vacation. Before the thought finished being totally formed in my head… That very thing happened. Fell flat on my face. Really glad there was no one around… I’m sure it didn’t look very graceful. I got up… Found my phone that had been launched a few feet away, brushed myself off and again and again I was left with two choices. Quit. Walk home. Quit and call it a day. Or keep putting one foot in front of the other. As I am in the process of making this decision when I get a text from a friend saying that because of me she was choosing Joy despite her current situation. So of course I did the same. I can tell you my five mile run was cut to 3.5. And I did it with a smile. I figured I should be smart and not get home and stretch and heal. I wasn’t hurt bad. I am a little sore today… But not broken.
Here’s what I learned. Falling down is okay. It happens. It what you do when you fall that builds character. What did we learn from being knocked down. How do we move forward and be stronger because of it? Of course I’m no longer talking about running. Life presents all sorts of opportunity to fall down and stay down. Challenges. Struggles…. Monday’s! Do we let things define us or shape us?
Challenge yourself. Try something new. Go somewhere you have never been. Get out of your comfort zone. Sure I fell… But I had an experience on that trail and saw things I would have never seen had I stuck to the roads I’m used to. If you want things in life you’ve never had, you have to do things you have never done. Scary. Sure. Might you fail? Yup! But maybe, just maybe you will succeed. How will you know if you don’t try?
Also there is a choose joy component. Joy is always an option. Is it easy? Nope. Not always.
Question: what will you do when you fall?
This whole blog has been brewing in my head for quite some time. And I’m not really sure I can make it make sense… But I’m sure gonna try. It all started when I started seeing people post photos of kids going back to school pics of their kids. Along with senior photos. I decided to look back at mine. It generated a lot of thoughts. Here is one of those photos:
That was 1999.. And I was probably about 70ish lbs heavier then, than I am now. Here is the deal. I am gonna be real honest. I have been struggling lately. Not so much taking my healthy living journey seriously. Tired of constantly making good choices. Feeling a little…maybe a lot.. Stressed out. So I take it out on food. Why? Cuz that’s what I know. That’s what my fall back has always been. Eating right is NOT always fun. Working out flat out sucks sometimes. Quitting is really…really an appealing options. Eat what I want and be lazy.. Sign me up. But wait just a second. Let’s think about how unhappy, unhealthy chubby Tonya was. How much it sucked to carry around that much extra weight. How I could not see my feet beyond my belly when I stood up. How self conscious I was. How I couldn’t do the things I wanted to do. How I didn’t even try because of my size. How quiet and shy (some of you don’t believe that… But it’s true). Sometimes I don’t even recognize that girl… But sometimes she is so close to being back it’s a little scary. Do I want to go back? Who do I want to be?!?
So these were the thoughts that were going on in my head when I get a text from my brother. Said he showed my 5 year old niece this photo:
Her response was: Auntie Tonya (I am the one in the grey) looks different. Which lead me down a whole new train of thought. I have 4 nephews and a niece. Ranging in age from 3-6 years old. They currently don’t know “Chubby Tonya”. They know auntie Tonya who loves to chase them and play on the playground with them and race them (Carter says I am the fastest). They know an Auntie that tries to make good choices and tries to teach them about balance. They know an auntie who runs for fitness and for fun. An auntie who has run a lot of 5ks (I should count!). An auntie who is learning to be happy with how far she has come. They know a much more confident person than I was in high school. I think I want to be the Auntie they know. I don’t think they need to know Chubby Tonya. I am not ashamed of who I was…and I am not yet who I want to be. And I may have even gone backwards a time or twenty… But I didn’t give up. I WON’T give up. I can’t give up. That is the lesson I want them to get from my journey. Not giving up. And being healthy is worth it. That is the Auntie I want to be. Yes, I struggle… And I expect that to continue. But I will keep fighting. For them and for me. I know what to do. I have the support system to make it happen… But it’s ultimately up to ME to make this happen. And you know what?!? I got this.
Confession. I have been struggling recently. The basic struggle is the feeling that I am not where I should be. Not where I want to be. Thinking I should be closer to my goals than I am. Not so much struggling to the point of wanting to quit. Just frustrated. This got me thinking… (Scary right?!?) Then I realize that there are choices involved. I choose to push through the struggle and come out on the other side stronger… Or choose a different struggle. 77 pounds ago A LOT of things were a struggle. Physically, mentally, emotionally. It was just a different struggle. This whole journey is all about choices. Choosing to lace up my tennis shoes and go for a run.
Choosing to make good food choices. … Sometimes.
I did say No to the doughnuts! We won’t talk about the French fries I had later…
Choosing not let the *couch of awesomeness* win the couch vs gym battle.
Choosing the stairs.
Everything is a choice.
Today I volunteered at the extreme inflatable 5k. Below is my favorite photo from the run.
Our obstacle (wrecking ball) was about half way through the 3 mile course. That’s Niki!
It was halfway up the third hill of tourture the runners were facing. Talk about a struggle!
This is looking down the hill… The runners were going to come up… And looking up the hill they were facing after our obstacle.
I heard lots of “I quit” “this sucks” “who’s idea was this?!?”. The saddest thing I heard was “I’m too fat for this” I quickly encouraged her and told her she was doing awesome! She was struggling but she was out there doing it! So inspiring. But it got me thinking. I never want to say that again. I have been there!!! I hated it! So I am choosing this struggle. The healthy eating (with out deprivation). Active. Feeling better. Still not where I quite wanna be… But definitely not where I once was. Struggle. What will you choose?!?
This week I fell. In more ways than one. Here is a picture of the results of my literal fall is week:
Was running the track at the gym and I fell. Just a little rug burn is all. But it hurt my ego. Of course I was not alone up there and was more than a little embarrassed. Long story short.. I got up and kept moving forward. Ended up walking and talking with the girl who witnessed the fall for about a half hour. For the next few days I started thinking about falling. It’s a part of life. It happens. Things do not always turn out the way we think they should. Choices are made, circumstances happen and we fall. Bottom line. This week I fell pretty hard in a not so literal way as well. I chose to let the circumstances of the week and the stress, fear, anxiety, excitement and all sorts of other emotions that I went through dictate my food choices. I will not list all of the not so stellar choices that I made this week… Let’s just say… I fell. I let myself down. I know better. I am NOT looking forward to weighing in this week. At one point this week I was mentally in a place where I didn’t care anymore. I didn’t care about making healthy choices, I didn’t care about whether or not I worked out. I just didn’t care. Then I got in a conversation with someone about running. Ended with a comment from her about me being an inspiration and her telling me that she weighs what I used to weigh at my heaviest. Talk about a wake up moment. Her telling me that was more of an inspiration than I probably was to her. I have come to far and worked to hard to not get back up.
As some of you know I have had a plan to get a butterfly tattoo when I hit my ultimate weight goal…. Well I hit that and wrote a blog about that… But have since.. Uh.. Well…. fell 😉 so.. I have a little ways to go to get back there. However I was needed some sort of reminder that I got this… So I got a tattoo yesterday.
A reminder to believe in myself.
To believe in the process.
To believe in God and his plan.
To believe that everything happens for a reason.
To believe that it all works out in the end.
To believe in love.
To believe in the good in people.
This is just a crazy period in my life and I need this reminder as an anchor.
One more thing that hit me about this whole falling thing this week actually is right in line with the weight watchers topic this week “who’s got your back”. Got me thinking… Who is there to help me up when I fall? The answer? A boat load of people! I am so lucky and wanna give a shout out to my peeps! Couldn’t get back up without ya! Bottom line here: we all fall down. In weight loss. And in life.
Don’t let it be the end of the journey. And because I am all about the butterflies… A butterfly can’t go back to being a caterpillar. Quitting (staying down) is not an option. Let’s stand back up and keep moving forward. I didn’t fail… I just fell.
I feel like I have to start this blog with a disclaimer. I realize this is easier said than done. Trust me. I am writing this for all of us who struggle. I gotta be real honest. Life has been kinda sucky lately. Causing me lots of stupid stress. I try not to stress out… But it think it’s getting to me. I realize there are things going on that I have zero control over and that being stressed about it doesn’t do any good. However… Sometimes the brain goes crazy. Mine, probably more than some others. I kinda just wanna stay in bed all day… Or hop on the next plane out of this place! However, What I realized it this stress was causing me to be a crank-bucket. I don’t like being cranky. I would rather be happy. Here is what I realized… My crankiness and negativity was rubbing off on those around me. Was infesting my environment. Apologies to those who had to deal with the toxicity of this. The “cove of positivity” is no place for negativity! Today I woke up with a new attitude. I chose JOY. Man oh man did it change my day. Everything went better and the atmosphere seems better around me. Rainbows and sunshine if you will. Maybe your life in not turning out like you thought it would. Maybe you are in a situation that seems bleak and helpless. You can’t always control the circumstances but you can change your attitude about them. I stopped and looked around me at all the reasons I am blessed and quickly realized that my life could be worse… A LOT worse. I am way to blessed to be stressed and I know things will work out in the end. I may not see the plan… But freaking out isn’t going to be helpful. So. I am choosing joy. That being said if you see me not choosing joy… A gentle reminder might be needed. So… Not matter what is going on in your life. Choose joy!
Pintrest find! Figured it was appropriate!
Now that I have got your attention.. and quite possible the Kit Kat jingle in your head (you’re welcome). Here is thoughts that have been brewing in the wonderfully complex brain of Tonya as of recent. I have actually been experiencing a little blog withdrawl… it’s been 12 days since I added wisdom (or ramblings) to the blog world. So here goes. As you all know I am on a mission to run 100 miles in January. Well, Just a quick update. I am RoCkInG it! As of today I am at 86 miles. And have a plan on how to get the rest of them in before Scrapbook Camp. Well, Here is what happened on Wednesday. I was feeling nothing short of exhausted. My body was like “okay, Ton… you have ran enough I can’t run another step let alone mile” I wanted to run.. like in my mind I had a goal to hit. I also had other stuff to do at the gym. Apparently my exhaustion was apparent and was told to take a rest day. A WHAT!?!? I can’t.. Not now. Are you ILL?!? are you kidding me?! these are all things I either thought or said. Well contrary to my desire to just run regardless.. I took it easy and called it a rest day. I took a BREAK!?!? huh. Interesting concept. I actually took off Wednesday and Thursday. Funny Part… I felt better the next day. More energy and more gumption. Here is the bottom line. You deserve a break. Maybe it’s a break from running, or whatever your workout of choice is. Maybe you made poor choices at Pizza Ranch (oh..wait..that was me) and instead of giving yourself a lecture.. you give yourself a break. Maybe you didn’t hit a goal you were striving for in your perfect little time frame… I don’t know what it is… Just..Gain a renewed focus and do better tomorrow. Maybe your life is super scheduled and you feel like you are pulled in a billion directions. Take a break. Relax. read a book… watch a movie. DO NOTHING. it’s okay. Healthy even. Take care of you mentally and physically. Why? Cuz you are worth it. That’s why. Life isn’t perfect and may not be exactly as you thought it would be. It’s OKAY. Give yourself a break and make this the best life… you really only get one. Make it matter.
First of all I must start this blog out by pointing out the obvious. It’s what’s on the inside that counts. The number on the scale and/or the number on the pants doesn’t matter. Healthy living is MUCH more than that…. and can be measured so many other ways. How you feel, how much energy you have… and so on. This Blog is about Pants. Well…actually jeans. I like Jeans. A LOT. I have had a lot of jeans over the years: Fat jeans, Skinny jeans, someday jeans, yeah..right…never gonna happen jeans. Jeans are the first place I notice if I am getting way off track. The jeans don’t fit, they get to tight and uncomfortable or even worse.. the “muffin top” (well I call mine a cupcake top cuz I don’t care much for muffins…but cupcakes is another story) starts spilling over even more. It’s a wake up call to get back on track. I specifically remember a conversation with my mother near the beginning of this weight loss journey (about 10ish years ago) about wanting to be a certain size. At the time I was wearing men’s jeans because the women’s jeans just didn’t fit quite right. When I switched to women’s jeans I was about a size 18. I wanted to be a size 10. I wanted it so bad. I told my mom…who loving told me to set realistic goals. I told her I was being realistic because I wasn’t really setting a time frame. I just thought it would be the best thing ever to be a 10.
Well, here is what happened tonight. I went into the Lucky Brand store looking for jeans. The lovely sales lady asked me what size the Lucky jeans I was wearing were. I proudly held up 4 fingers. (still kind of in disbelieve that I am in a 4, even though I have been for quite some time) I saw these cute jeans and she grabbed me two pairs. Told me that the sizes run a little different so she grabbed me a size 2. Wait, what!?!? You think I could wear a 2? uh…. whatever lady. I humored her and tried them on. Hmmm. Interesting… They Fit!!! Not only that but they look quite good if I do say so myself. Disclaimer: they do have a little stretch in them… so I get that I am not really a size two..but it still got me thinking. Here are my thoughts: do NOT underestimate yourself. Don’t quit, just don’t! Be proud of how far you have come. Set realistic goals, and when you crush those one… set some more. It’s really about small, itty bitty changes. You got this! Maybe you have those “too tight jeans” right now… let me just tell you ” a year from now you will wish you started today”
And Find a pair of jeans that makes you look and FEEL good. You got this!