I Have Been Here Before

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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!

gAcNN

 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/25/balpreet-kaur-sikh-woman-proudly-sports-facial-hair-faith_n_1913355.html

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.

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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.

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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.

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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 :).