I Have Been Here Before


Five years ago yesterday I quit smoking; this was a significant life event for me.  I started smoking when I was seventeen; I was forty-eight when I quit.  I had stopped a few other times in my life but always went back to smoking within a year.  Hitting my five-year quit anniversary is exciting!  Quitting is not easy and maintaining it is hard work; it does get easier over time but is still difficult.

Right around the time I quit smoking I also started eating better and exercising; starting this healthier lifestyle, I lost nearly 50-pounds.  It is the first time in my life I lost that much weight without the assistance of weight loss medications or a frozen food plan program.  I simply changed my eating habits and started to exercise.  Like anyone who has been on this journey I was excited and convinced that this was it, I would never gain the weight back.  Looking back on my five-year quit smoking anniversary, I realize that I was very wrong.

I did lose a lot of weight, and I did it the correct way, using food and exercise.  I maintained the weight for maybe a year, and then it slowly started to creep up again.  I am now at the same weight I was before my first journey.  This is disheartening and hard to accept.  I mean I can take it because the scale tells me that I have to accept, but it makes me sad.  Today I was reflecting on being a non-smoker and how happy that makes me.  That is when it clicked, weight loss, like smoking cessation may not be a one-time journey.  I have to try again.  I have to look back on what I did right and where I failed and begin again.

Also, I have to be ready.  I was ready to quit smoking.  I was not just stopping because it was expensive, or because of my health.  I wanted to stop because it was annoying to me, it was getting in the way of what I wanted to do.  I wanted to stop smelling; I wanted to exercise more, I wanted to feel better, I wanted to have more time in my day, and so many other things.

Now, I am ready to lose weight.  Just because I failed once, it does not mean that I will fail this time.  If I do fail this time, it does not mean that I will fail the next.  We have to continue to try; we have to find THAT time, the time that is right for us.   I believe that this time exists and that this is the time for me.

Oh, the Humanity!



Sometimes my faith in humanity needs to be restored.  This story helped today.  My posts are usually about me, my journey, my running, etc.  I do not usually share stuff from the internet because chances are that if I found it you have already read it; but this story bears sharing and repeating.

Someone on Reddit posted the picture of this young lady with the caption – “I’m not sure what to conclude from this“.  It seems this happened months ago, like I said, if I found it, you have probably read it, I am not exactly a cutting edge internet explorer :).

The young ladies response to the original poster, and then that posters answer are priceless, hopefully real and genuine.


It is critical that we respect one another and not judge; that we give and not take; that we love and not hate.

Altruism and Grace

I am going to forego my running updates (well at least in part, I will mention it in the end), to discuss giving and forgiving.

I had a situation this weekend where at some point I said to someone “Take off the saint hat, it does not fit”.  It was certainly a mean thing to say and I probably should have explained myself better.  So, that is going to come out here, today, in my blog.

When you choose to give, when you choose to forgive; you have to do both without expectation of something in return.  You have to decide to do each out of kindness, out of a sense of humanity, you have to be altruistic; you have to offer grace.  If that is not your intent going in, you will be disappointed.


Altruism is about selflessness and grace about giving and forgiving without strings.  These are both hard, I think they must not come natural to a lot of people, they certainly do not come naturally to me, but every day I keep them in my mind so that I may grow into them.


Now on to my running, something I do for myself.  I Did a couple of short runs this week and tomorrow my daughter and I are going to do a trial run on the hills that are part of the course for our race next week.  Next Saturday we run a 10-miler, the 3rd race in a three race series.

And what about altruism and grace in running?  I give my all to running, I do not expect to win every race, I do not expect to PR every time I go.  I go to give to myself and sometimes to forgive myself for that piece of cake I ate last night :).