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.
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?!?
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!
I have to take a moment to recognize the epicness that was Friday night in TonyaLand. First I have to start by telling you that this particular 5k is one of my favorite runs of the year. Many different reasons A) it was my very first official 5k that I ever did. b) the course is beautiful c) the atmosphere is energizing d) it takes place at the college I graduated at. I look forward to this run for months. This year I even picked out my running clothes the night before (yep, I’m THAT girl). So Friday comes and the weather couldn’t be more perfect. Making me super gitty. Sunny and warm! I had a hard time sitting at work that day (who am I kidding I have a hard time sitting at work most days!)
As the start time approaches I start getting sick to my stomach. Nerves. Butterflies. Whatever. I thought I was gonna puke. It was awesome. If your not a runner this next part will make me sound even more crazy. But the thoughts that go through my head when I am running are ALL over the place. Thoughts of quitting, walking, fainting, breathing, hyperventilating, tripping, maybe even dying (yes I can be a little over dramatic) are frequent.
Running is so much of a mental sport. Have to keep calming myself down and telling myself to shut up. Reminding myself I can do it. One foot in front of the other… Just keep running… You know. The believe tattoo comes in handy in these times.
I had huge goals for myself. I wanted to finish right around 25 minutes. I also wanted to try and keep pace with Al. Who is Al you say? Well he is Celeste’s husband. Who is this Celeste you ask… Well she is my inspiration. My friend. My mentor… My accountability partner. Between Al, Celeste and I, we are running a combined 2015 miles this year. Team ACT! Al is a rock star runner. Also an inspiration. He has beat me every single run we have ever been at together. Every one. Well… I’ve kinda increased my running and my weight training… and I guess it’s paying off. I do have to thank him because I passed him… And then he caught up and passed me… Which made me run faster… And also said something encouraging to me when I was passing him. Quitting was not an option! Bottom line I finished in 25:16. Even better I took 3rd in my age group out of 139 girls my age. Even more motivating is the girl who finished first in my age group finished 86 seconds faster than me…. Oh the possibilities. If I keep training and working hard… The sky’s the limit!
I should mention that the girl who finished first in my age groups last name is FAST… I mean really… How are you supposed to compete with that?!? So I did a little comparing me to… Well me…. Conclusion= I am not quite who I want to be… But I for sure am not who I used to be. I am really my biggest computation and sometimes just need to get out if my own way. Friday I kicked chubby Tonya’s butt. Overcame my own doubts and pushed myself beyond my preconceived notions of my inabilities. I let go of “I can’t”… And wondered if I could. I gave it my all.
My weight loss journey started in 2001. Hit a plateau and was conned/ tricked/ dragged… Somehow convinced to start running. And now I can’t stop. But here is a fun little side by side of my first earth day and Fridays run:
Bottom line. The little things you do day in and out great big changes!
And how does the girl who comes in 3rd in her age group on Friday night celebrate? By going out for a 10k run on Saturday afternoon of course. I was just going to go out for a “little, slow recovery run” and well 6.2 miles later… Again the weather was perfect! I ran my old neighborhood. Where I started this whole running thing. Crazy how much easier it is now. They say one day your workout will be your warm up. Never before have I believed that. Here is a photo from that run….
Yes I ran up that spiral ramp. So much fun!
And as if this blog wasn’t long enough I need to brag on my boyfriend for just a minute. Speaking of inspirational. This guy has pretty much lost as much as I weigh. No joke! He is NOT a runner…. And probably will never be one. And that is okay! However he knows how much I love it and humored me and did the Earth Day run with me. He did so with a smile and all 😉 it meant so much to me that he would do that for me. He refuses to recognize how far he’s come so I have to do it for him. Here is an adorable after photo of us….
You just never know who you are inspiring with your life. Be the person you want to be. Don’t quit. Keep smiling and choose joy. That’s all for now… Until next time… Make good choices.
Todays blog brought to you in part by my revelations from this mornings run:
Warning I’m slightly caffeinated and this might be all over and a tidge rambly.. Oh wait all my blogs kinda are. So. Never mind.
So.. I continue to struggle recently with the whole choosing joy thing. I try. I really do… But some days I just don’t have it in me. I have been in a funk recently… And I’m gonna be honest.. I don’t like it. I prefer happy Tonya. Life is way more fun when I’m happy. And people around me tend to appreciate it too. Either they appreciate it or they are annoyed with me… But either way I’m happier when I’m happier. Hehe. Anyways. This whole life throwing me a curve ball thing is still affecting me mentally. I know it shouldn’t. But I really really want to succeed… Like really! So what happens when This girl is struggling mentally!?! I eat. I stop caring what I put in my body. Luckily I have not stopped working out because it make me feel way better than ice cream… And it allows me to sorta be off my eating game a little. However the scale might be noticing my deviation more than I would like it too. Anyways the point here is I did not choose my circumstances but it is 100% up to me to make it happen. It’s nobody else’s responsibility and above all I get to choose my attitude. Truth be told, today was better than most days recently and the only reason was the way I viewed the day. Brain felt more clear and I just… Well…. Chose joy. Made a huge difference. And I made better food choices and I think that makes me feel better too. Bottom line is that I refuse to quit. I will not give up on me. And I recommend you doing the same. I have a list of reasons why quitting working on me in not an option. I probably should look at it more often. As I’ve said in another blog about me not wanting to look myself in the face and say that I blew a huge opportunity to succeed…well.. I most defiantly do NOT want to look myself in the face and have it be a less healthy and happy version of me. That’s not acceptable and not an option.
Another reason to write this particular message is due to the fact that some dear friends of mine are going through an unexpected life event that could cause them to stray off a journey. In all honesty we are more like family. These are my weight watchers members. Even after I had to leave they are and will always be my people. The meeting that we had grown to love had to close… But I am I am telling you now…That quitting isn’t an option. It’s a lifestyle and you owe it to you to finish what you started. I have faith in you. You are worth it. DO NOT QUIT! As you might have guessed all those things were written as a reminder to me as well. We are all on this journey of life (and weight loss) together and I hope you never forget that I’ve got your back.
Found this just today as I was scrolling t through FB. Seemed fitting for me today… In this time:
Truth be told not having to be held accountable to my weight watchers people on a weekly basis has not help me keep my head on the game. I don’t have to stand up in front of a group of people on a weekly basis and try and motivate and be an example of weight watchers makes me a little more relaxed. And the truth is that’s a little scary. The last time I lost this kind if accountablity I gained like 20 pounds. No exaggeration. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…. Butterflies can NOT go back to being caterpillars. Time to get my head in the game… Break out of this funk… Get my big girl panties on and keep on spreading my wings and FLYING. The sky is the limit… I totally got this and guess what?!?! So do you! I’ll leave you with one more Pintrest find that I found rather fitting.
Make good choices!
So lately I’ve kinda been full of excuses. Excuses of why I can’t eat healthy or can’t work out. Of course I am fully capable or doing both… It’s just hard. Stress, changes and challenges are making it more difficult. Bottom line is I tend to turn into a whiney baby and don’t wanna. Don’t wanna work out and don’t wanna eat right. I like easy… But easy doesn’t really pay off now does it?!?! I think I covered that I’m my last blog. So why do I have to cover it again?!? Well cuz tonight I had an encounter at the gym that inspired me and needed to share it.
Sometimes the right person crosses your path at the right time. There is this gentleman I see at the gym quite frenquently. I will call him Jeff. His name isn’t Jeff…. But we never knew his name so we started calling him Jeff. Even though I learned his name at some point….he is still Jeff to me. Anyways… I haven’t seen him for a couple of months. Tonight he was at the gym. He always smiles and waves and says hi. Not usually a conversation to be had beyond him telling me I’m looking good and me saying thank you 😉 He is a super friendly guy. Anyways… I have noticed over the past year or so he seems to be having a harder time getting around. He is walking with a cane and doing way less than he used to. Come to find out tonight he has not been able to move his body for months and has not been at the gym for 2 months, he is dealing with Parkinson’s and dealing with bursitis and he is 66 years old. Says he can barely get up the stairs. When I asked him how he got to the second story of the gym, his response was “one step at a time.” This was super inspiring to me. Healthy living really is a “one step at a time” journey. He will never know that I’m sure… But him pushing through a workout, doing what he could was inspiration to me. He can not do what he once did. But him being there doing something was impressive!!! He did more than I wanted to do. I did manage to suck it up and Do my thing. How could I not after that! I know he wanted to do more… He told me that himself, but he physically couldn’t. Made me step back and realize that I have NOTHING to complain about. Seriously Ton… Suck it up. So next time I wanna play the “i don’t wanna” “I’m stressed” “I’m trapped in the couch” “I just wanna get fat” card… I hope I stop and think about Jeff. If he can get off the couch with actual reasons to stay there…, I can surely get my butt in gear. Dontcha think?!?! Think this photo I found on Pintrest sums it up the best.
I don’t know what your excuses are… But I’m sure you can do something. Another quote I see on Pintrest a lot is…. “Do something today your future self will than you for” I don’t know who said that… But I think it a lot. Maybe it’s walking to the end of the driveway. Maybe it’s putting down the Little Debbie and picking up an apple. Little itty bitty teensy changes make lasting impact. Trust me on this one. We got this! Let’s dump the excuses and make headway in 20-FIT-teen. K?!?!?!
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.