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 ūüėČ 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! 

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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 ūüėČ 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?!?

Old Glory 

So many thoughts to share I just don’t know where to start. I think I will start with a story. Saturday May 16 was the Old Glory run in cold spring. another 5k!!!! Was I nervous for a full 24 hours before the run. Seems silly right?!?! I get knots in my stomach and everything. So I decided to call Friday a rest day. Apparent rest day in TonyaLand = a beautiful 5 mile walk with the boyfriend.  

 Fitbit said I had 21,680 steps total on Friday. So much for a rest day. The morning of the run I was even more nervous. Oh, I should mention I was dealing with some pain in my inner thigh area…. I think most of all was the pressure I was putting on myself to do well. Apparently I’m a tidge competitive. I wanted to beat my PR. Then the pressure got to be too much and decided to take the “just have fun” advice of the boyfriend. When the run started something came over me and I just ran my little heart out. I got to about one mile and was making a good time so I decided to keep pushing. Thought I was going to die right around mile 2… But I just kept going. As I rounded the last corner I said “not me strength but yours God, I can not finish this on my own” and just kept going. As I approached the finish line there was this little 9 year old girl was right in front of me and everyone was cheering for her. I used that energy to push me across the finish line. I used to run out of steam right at the finishe line… I don’t so much do that anymore. In case you are wonder she beat me by 2 seconds!  I was (well I still kind of am) in disbelief of my time. I figured I would finish in about 25 minutes. My official time…. 23:36. Yep… Not a typo! Nailed it!! In a rare 5k moment I didn’t take a selfie… But I did make this to commemorate my achievement: 

  Here is a little perspective for you… In junior and senior high school we had to finish the mile in like 14 minutes and that was a struggle!!! No lie! That one whole minute faster than the iRock run that was just 2 weeks earlier! 
Here is my historical old glory times:  

 I’d say I have come a long ways. Not gonna lie. I can’t help but be proud of that! 
Wanna know what else is awesome?!?! My friend Celeste CRUSHED her best time too! Her husband and I were thinking she would come in right around the 30 minute mark and we’re super impressed when we saw her flying towards the finish line and crossing it at 27:43!!! Al rocked it as he always does! They both inspire me more than they will ever know! Here is a super cool photo of us:  
  Here are the lessons I learned: do not under estimate yourself. You are stronger than you think you are. And push yourself outside of your comfort zone. You are capable of more than you think you are. And you never know who you are helping/ inspiring. Don’t try and be someone else…  But be the best you that you can be! Life begins outside of your comfort zone. And there is the whole progress not perfection thing too. I’m still not where I wanna be but I’m definitely not where I once was.  I never thought I would be this crazy obsessed runner girl I have kinda become but I am kinda liking her ūüėČ until next time… Make good choices and make yourself proud. 

Believe in Yourself

I am guessing I am not¬†alone in this… but sometimes I have doubts. Crazy right?!?!? I think things are impossible so sometimes…. just sometimes…. it stops me from even trying. Do you know how strange that is? Let’s think about it… how do you know you can’t do something if you never tried? What do you have to lose. Sometimes my confidence waivers and I start believing the “you can’t do it” lie. And thoughts of quitting and doubt and fear try and creep in. This is where my Believe tattoo come in handy cuz I need¬† a constant reminder to believe. ¬†Here is a story about a time where I didn’t quit…

This story takes place in Cold Spring MN at the iRock Run 5K that was on Saturday May 2nd. First I have to tell you that this run hold a special place in my heart. The run starts at the company that a lot of my uncles worked and my grandpa Mack worked as well. I just feel a sense of connection to them being there. The run brings you through the lot that houses all the granite and part of it even went through the warehouse. It was just so cool to be surrounded by the product (granite) that they used to work with for years and years.  I can only imagine how proud my grandpa would be of me. He passed away when I was a teenager. I was a VERY different person then! Just being there made me feel nostalgic and I wanted to do really well to make him proud.

Me with grandpa mack (2)

This is the last photo I have of me and my grandpa Mack (he made me sit on his lap). Love this photo.

I really had my heart set on doing well in this 5k. I knew from past experience that this was a small run with few participants so I figured I could end up in the top finishers. However… the week before the 5k I logged 23 miles in 7 days.(that is a lot for me in a week these days… so the doubt started creeping in)¬†Needless to say my legs felt a little like Jello. Oh and I Rollerbladded 6 miles on Friday night also.

The day of the run was HOT. It was 75 degrees. Unseasonably warm for May in MN. I wasn’t ready for that. It seemed like my dreams of doing well were shot a few times. The legs, the heat and there was a HUGE issues with my music. This girl doesn’t run without music. Long story short I got to the starting line and my iPod has been wiped of ALL my music. So I had to run listening to my iPhone music that kept playing the same song on repeat!¬† Funny story the lyrics of the song go ” you’re not gonna die tonight” that was just what I needed to hear. (not necessarily over and over and over again)¬†Needless to say I was fidgeting with my phone more than I should have been. I never stop and walk in a 5k. well I had to this time. I got a major side pain! However I pushed through. I had grandpa Mack to make proud and most of all I had Me to make proud too.¬† So I just kept putting on foot in front of the other. I had a little chat with… well me… and it went something like “you aren’t a quitter anymore.” I have decided that quitting is caterpillar behavior. I am working on making butterfly decisions.¬† The butterfly decision here was to give it my all. When I started running (in 2011)¬†I would slow down when I came close to the finish¬†because I think subconsciously I figured I was gonna finish so I would take a break or something dumb. Now I power through to the very end. As you might have guessed it I didn’t quit.¬†¬†¬†Not this time!

I came across the finish line like a champ.

11150367_845105288894442_9060773124381262383_n¬†That is me finishing with flair. Yup. I am a dork. But I didn’t quit. I chose to believe in myself. I killed this 5k and I was so freaking proud of me. Had I let those doubts win… I would have never had that feeling. I would have never got a twenty five dollar gift certificate towards new SHOES (I like shoes) and I would have never got this cool little granite plaque thingy ….

0180cde43e043d864986570ec732886695aa2d8a96The reason behind the award… well I was the second female in my age group to cross the finish line. The reason behind the gift certificate was because I was the 3rd female to cross the finish line. Even better is my time was 24:22. My fastest 5k time yet! Nailed it! Here is the fitsnap I made of the run.

01388fd3b1d4e571da416a7a05f6c9794ebae6f7e6_00001So much orange= Awesome! The moral of the story is this: Believe in yourself. Whether it’s in business, in weight loss, in fitness or basically in life in general. You are worth believing in. You can do things you never thought were possible. Be the person you want to be. Only you can control that. The future is what you make it. I know all of those things are clich√© but they are true. Think of the things you can accomplish if you acted like you believed in you. I know I have quoted it before and I am sure I¬†will quote it again “You will always act like the person you believe yourself to be”. My Pastor Brian says it a lot. So my question to you is: Who do YOU believe YOURSELF to be?!?!?