If you can’t say something nice…. 

Warning rant ahead. But bear with me…. It gets good. But first a little background. Friday I was hanging out with the boyfriend and he had to run an errand for an hour or so. My first thought was “do I have enough time for a run?!?” Pretty sure there was a sparkle of joy in my eye as I said it. My second thought was “yup… I’m a runner”  He said “go for it… But not too far cuz we are going to go for a walk when I get back” seemed like a deal to me. So first I had to define “short”… So I decided that anything less than 5 miles was short. Well…  

 4.75 is less than 5! Hehe. Anyways, this is what happened on my run. I was out… Minding my own business… Enjoying a lovely Minnesota summer night.I’m running across the bridge when some idiot yells out his window something about me being slow. For the next 4 miles I had all sorts of thought percolating in my brain. Before I get into my rant I just want to say I know I’m not the fastest runner… And I am 100% OKAY with it. Sometimes I just run to clear my mind. Sometimes I run for fun or to release stress. Sometimes I run Because I Really…. REALLY like food… (You get the idea)… 

Here is what at I took from this little “insult” 

First off. You don’t know me. Which means you don’t know how far I’ve come. You don’t know the battles that I fight on a daily or hourly basis. You don’t know what I struggle with.   

  

In other words. Shut your face. Why do you have to try and put others down? Keep that crap to yourself. But also…. Don’t let other  people’s negativity hold you back from doing your thing!!! Who cares what people think! You go out there and be amazing…. And pay no attention to their negativity. I also realized I had a choice to let his observation define and ruin me… Or help push me forward… I didn’t let him continue the outcome. I win!  

  
Don’t give into your own negativity. I am my own worst critic most of the time… And can get down on myself real quick. Don’t do that. It’s not helpful. And most of all Don’t quit. What Happens then?!?  We go back to where we started… Or worse? And how does that feel?!? Keep pressing on. It’s worth it. 

  
I get a lot of smiles, nods and waves from people when I’m out running. You have no idea how much that pushes me along. Why can’t we be that? People who encourage and build each other up?!?! 

Bottom line: you have no freaking idea how hard I worked to get to… And stay where I am. Still not exactly where I wanna be… But heck of a lot further than I once was. 

Also. This is just as true in running as it is in life. Can you imagine how different the world would be if we set aside our differences  and just encouraged each other to follow our dreams. Hmmm… Something to think about…. 

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Legacy 

I have been thinking a lot about death recently. It all started when Prince died. It was April 21st 2016. A day many Americans will not forget and a day the world turned purple to honor and remember him. Here are a few images that were floating around the Internet of how cities remembered him: 

   
   
The world mourned and you heard tribute after tribute of how he inspired people. Musicians, famous people and well…. America.  As a graduate of the class of 1999 our graduation anthem  was 1999 by Prince. Full disclosure I never really got into his music much. I was more a boy band girl myself. However I can not deny his unbelievable talent. Or the widespread impact of his musical talent and his life. 

So here is what it got me thinking. What is my legacy? What will people say about me when I am gone? What kind of impact am I making? Am I living my life in such a way that I can look back and be proud of the person I was?  What have I done to make a difference? To make the world a better place? Is my generosity reaching further than I could ever imagine? Is my kindness being felt by others? Am I someone people enjoy being around? Am I using my talents and abilities to Impact others in a positive way? 

I guess you could say it left me asking a lot of questions and examining my attitude and my actions. Questioning how I make people feel… Wondering…. What I can do to make the world a better place? I still don’t know how that all plays out or what that looks like… But it’s rolling around in my brain, but it is there. 

I have heard it said that we should live your life so that the preacher doesn’t have to lie at your funeral.  I am endeavoring to live a life that I am proud of… And maybe writing this will inspire someone else to do the same. Is that to say that I won’t screw it up… Fall down and fail miserably? Nope! Have ya met me? I am not perfect. But… That’s the beauty. We keep learning and growing. Let’s create a life worth remembering. 

Dreams do come true

Time to blog… It’s been quite awhile since I posted a blog. Several reasons. Technology hasn’t been my friend. Been… Let’s say a little stressed out and a little busy. But I do have to take a moment and talk about the good things that have been going on. Take a quite trip back a few weeks when my boyfriend posed an interesting question. The bottom line was how fast could I run a mile. I don’t really run just a mile anymore. I like to run 5 miles when I go out for a run. So I set out to answer the question. I went to a local track and ran a mile: here is what happened…  

The girl who could barley finish a mile in 14 minutes in high school (yes… I know that was a long time ago… But still). I must admit I was pretty dang proud of this. I don’t brag on myself much… But when I started running just like 4 years ago I couldn’t run even a mile. I literally couldn’t run like 30 seconds… So I am going to be proud of this. So there 😉 full disclosure I didn’t stop after this mile. I ran another 2. But not as fast. Second mile was 8:22 and the third mile 7:25. I am actually more proud of being able to knock out that third mile at that speed. 

Bottom line. Do NOT give up. And when your tired… Just keep going. It’s worth it. I promise. 

Up next. A little weekend road trip I have been dreaming about since I learned it exsisted. A little background. I am a Minnesota girl who loves the Green Bay Packers, it’s a long story and I get A LOT of crap about it… But it’s all good. I stand by my team. However I have never been to Lambeau Field. I discovered last year that they do a 5k where you actually run iN Lambeau field! Of course I wanted to go. Somehow I conned my non-runner, Eagles fan Boyfriend to go on an adventure to Green Bay, Wisconsin. (It wasn’t really all that hard and I think he enjoyed it just a little)  

 
For me…The experience was more than I dreamed it would be. Just being there was incredible. But the run was so well organized and FUN! Not going to lie I got a little emotional entering the players tunnel and as I made the lap around the field. The coolest part of the whole run was seeing myself on the jumbotron as we ran around the inside of Lambeau!  I couldn’t get a photo of me on the screen without really affecting my time (yeah.. I’m a little competitive now, and no it wasn’t my fastest…I didn’t expect it to be)… But here is a photo of me at Lambeau with the Jumbotron in the background. Soooooo cool!  

 

Was a beautiful day/trip that I will never forget! 

They say you know your a runner when you plan trips around running… Well I guess I’m a runner. What a great way to see the sights. Wonder were our next running adventure will be….. 

Here are a few more photos from our trip… And of course technology is still fighting me and I can’t get all the photos I really want on here… But whatever.   

  

Seems only fitting to go to titletown brewing company! I had a delicious cream soda! 

  

We wanted to go to the hall of fame.. But it was closed… So took a photo of the giant Lombardi trophy! 

  

I am a cheese head and I know it…. 

  

Pre run selfie… 

  

The finish line… Aka… The end zone! 
   

So yeah.. Pursue your dreams people! You never know what might be possible!  Surround yourself with supportive people and never give up. Ever! 

I did that?!?! 

So a month ago I wrote a blog. And I received some of the kindest words from a friend of mind. Apparently I inspire people! Me?!?! I guess so! How did I do such a thing? Just by being me I guess! Here is what a friend of mind posted on Facebook….     

First I need to say that I am so freaking proud of how she has taken control of her life that it’s an inspiration to me! It’s definitely a full circle type of deal. 
It really did get me thinking. How Would 221 lb Tonya have reacted if you would have told her that someday she would inspire someone to lose half their body weight? What would she say if you told her that countless people would look to her for inspiration and motivation on a regular basis? If you would have told Chubby Tonya that people would literally make different choices from the vending machine just because I walked in the break room? 

This much I know. I would not have believed it was a possibility. I didn’t have enough belief in myself that I would be able to make the changes necessary to even be where I am today. But I started on a journey… That has been steal,y quite amazing ….

I think The coolest part about what Bonnie wrote is that fact that I inspired her just by being me. By my being imperfect and flawed and being honest about my struggles and just by living my life. Not shoving healthy living down her throat.  That’s how I hope to continue to be. An inspiration just by being me.

It’s people like Bonnie that keep me having my head in the game. It was really easy when I was leading weight watchers meetings (chubby Tonya would have laughed if you told her that was in her future!) and had to stand up in front of a group of people and be accountable. Now, I don’t have that. I don’t have to weigh in weekly. It is up to me to keep going. And it’s hard…

Being someone’s inspiration is really kind of a cool thing… But it’s also a lot of pressure. Like I can’t slip up. I have to stay on my A game. However, it also means that when I do have a moment there are always people to knock me back to my senses 😉 I am so blessed to have such a solid support system! 

Your future is in your hands. What are you going to do with it? People are watching you… Be proud of who you are. And be You. You are beautiful, capable and amazing… Above all.. You are worth it! It’s not easy! Losing weight was not easy and keeping it off is not any easier. But don’t give up! Deal?!? 

As the sun sets….

As the sun sets….

Let me set the scene for you. I have been a little cranky recently. I am trying to chose joy… But there has been an internal battle waging inside of me. Why… You might ask. Well… Because I just turned 34. Big deal? Well it kinda was… And let me tell you why. But first I have to show you what I did to mourn not being 33 any more… I mean… celebrate turning 34.  

 This was the view… 

 that was my course. So fun! 

Celebrating. Tonya-style. On my birthday eve I ran 6.24 miles (my birthday is 6/24/81) get it?!? Okay. So as the sun set (literally as I was running, the sun was setting, it was beautiful and symbolic) on my last day being 33 I was working through some of the reasons why this birthday seemed to be bothering me so much. 
I think I figured it out: first of all, both of my parents claimed they would always be 33. Was both of their favorite ages. So 33 always seemed like an “old” age to me. Like that’s how old parents are, and parents are old. I don’t want to be old. I also figured that I would sort of have life figured out by now. A house. A family. A dream job. A car that doesn’t need work done. As I look around it seems everyone is living the things I had been dreaming about, the life I thought I should have… And thought I wanted to have by 33.  Not only that but I started thinking about Jesus. It is believe that Jesus lived to be about 33. He did so much… And inspired so many. Made such a difference in his time on earth. What have I done? Who have I inspired? How have I made a difference. These are the things I was pondering for 6.24 miles. As the sun was setting on 33. 

Let me tell you this. The crankiness of the recent days… Melted away after a few miles. And by the end I felt a thousand times better. Here is the conclusion I came to. I don’t have it all figured out and… That’s okay!!! I don’t have the family that imagined (husband, twins and cute dog) but I do have a family that I love more than anything in the world. As far as kids go… I’ve got the greatest niece and adorable nephews ever! I don’t have the job I dreamed of when I was growing up… But have a pretty great job that is making me into a better person… And allowing me to live a pretty great life. I believe I’m not where I totally should be… But I’m having a pretty great time. There are people in my life that I love and that love me. I’m healthy and overall pretty freaking happy. I try to make a difference in people lives (hopefully positive) that I am around. I can’t be Jesus… But I can work with what I have been given. I believe we all have a purpose.. Even me. And I’m okay with not quite knowing what that is at 34. The plan as I embark on 34?!? Be awesome. Keep being me (cuz everyone else is taken). Continue to figure out who “me” really is. And have a fantastic time doing it. Not going to compare my life to the life I thought it would be (or someone else’s life) And be excited about what my life is. 

Life is too short to be cranky (sometimes I forget). Let’s live life to the fullest…. Live your life. Possibly Make a difference in someone’s life. K?!? 

Be kind

So. I had to have a little talk with myself again. I basically had a wake up moment and I needed to tell myself to shut up. They say you are your own worst critic and I believe that. I must admit I am way hard on myself. For not being where I think I should be. For my thighs that are not as small as I want them to be. For my muffin top that is too squishy (more accurately a cupcake top in my case). I beat myself up for not working out as hard as I could. I sometimes freak out about making good food choices… And get disappointed in myself when I choose unwise choices. Are any of those things helpful?!?! Nope! Not at all! How would it make me feel to lift myself up instead? To be happy with how far I’ve come?! To be proud of how freaking strong I’ve become? You know there was one point in life, oh about 77 lbs or so ago that I would haven’t given just about anything to look/ feel/ be able to do what this body can do. Speaking of which.  Check this out: 

  
  
Both of those are me. I really am not the same girl as the top photo. Lacking self confidence. Even super shy (which I know those of you that know me now don’t believe)! I was not comfortable in my own skin really. So many things are different!

Thinking maybe, just maybe I should be a little nicer to…me. What do you say? Will you join me? Make it a daily goal to just be a little better than the person we were yesterday… And if (and by if I mean when.. Let’s be real) we mess up… We be kind to our selfs. K?!? Let’s do this! 

Choose your struggle 

Choose your struggle 

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?!?