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.

Cheaters never win, and…

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I found out today that someone I have run with in the past has cheated in several races.  It really disturbs me that someone would do this.

My journey to get healthy through running, exercise, and better eating has been pock-marked with successes and failures, I could never imagine cheating myself out of this journey.  I think the thing that bothers me the most is this person, much like me, does not look like your “typical” runner.  When you struggle with your own demons and add in what others think of you it can be hard to keep going sometimes.  To have someone soil that with cheating is distressing.

I know this person does not represent me, yet I cannot stop being angry about it; the cheating was deep too, over at least three races.  Just to get people to think you are running and to get medals!?  If someone puts a medal around my neck you better believe I earned it!  Earned it with every painstaking mile, squat, and push-up.

Do not cheat yourself out of your accomplishments.  The way you live your life is up to you and you should not be ashamed of who you are.  If you do not want to run, don’t; if you want to eat fast food, eat it; if you want to smoke, then smoke.  But do not pretend to be something you are not.

There are too many people in this world who cannot do the things that I am able to do; people who are ill, or depressed, or otherwise unable.  To soil you ability with cheating is just wrong.

I had to get this out here so I can stop thinking about it and move on; thanks for reading my rant.

Give me a break! Or not…

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I have used this little bit of advice in my blog before; but it bears repeating.  Giving up is NOT a good idea, changing your course, changing your method, changing what you are trying to accomplish are OK, but giving up is not.

I took a break from my workout routine for the past couple of weeks, not really giving up, but I had a horrible sinus infection and some tiny bit of drama going on in my life so I “took a break”.  Here are the TOP 5 reasons it is not a good idea to take a break –

5.  You lose ground, all of that hard work to get where you were, and now that you have taken two steps back that is an extra two steps you have to take again.

4.  You know you want to workout, your mind is craving it even if you body is trying to convince you otherwise.

3.  You start to think of other things to do, like eat too much, or spend too much, or watch some awful reality TV.  I will not knock you for wanting to have an extra glass of wine though ;).

2.  People still ask you about your running, boot camp, progress and you either have to lie or tell them about your “break”.

1.  The number one reason not to take a break – your body will hate you for it!  When you get back to it and decide that an hour of leg work at boot camp one day and then a run the next day is a good idea; your thighs will scream at you like a colicky infant!

Understand that I do know there are times when you have to take a break, injury, severe illness, etc. even my sinus infection could have warranted a few days.  But two weeks!?  No way!

Do yourself a favor, the next time you think you are too busy or too tired instead of sitting down and resting go for a run or to the gym.  I have never regretted working out, but I have regretted NOT doing it.

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The Inevitable Thankful post

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First, Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  This is my favorite holiday because I get to be with my family with only the expectation to eat, and laugh, and love.  We have so much fun!  I will miss my extended family this year, but with just my immediate family alone a good comedy writer could come up with a sitcom.

I have not posted a daily “thankful” post online at all but today I do want to say a few of the things I am thankful for, because there are many, and it is important to reconcile them on occasion.

I am thankful for –

1.  My family – they cost me money, they make me think, I feel so much love for them, they make me cry, but most importantly they make me laugh and keep me real.

2.  The women in my life – I have so many amazing women in my life, women that are amazing and women that help me remember that not everyone can be trusted.  But mostly amazing women, women that inspired me to write this post  (and I have a few more to add to this).

3.  My health – a little over a year ago I would not have been able to say this.

4.  My ability to run and workout – After being so unhealthy for so long, to have run two half-marathons, with three more scheduled, to go to boot camp several times a week, feels amazing!  I am certainly thankful to be able to do these things.

5.  The amazing people I have met through running – the encouragement from those far better than me, and the kinship of those pushing through the same odds as me are invaluable in their ability to inspire.  If you do not run, you should start, the people are kind and amazing.

6.  My relationship with my father – my mother passed this past spring, I have learned more about my father in that time than in the past 49 years.  He still gets mad at me, which hasn’t changed since I was a teen.  I will miss my mom as long as I am on this planet.

7.  My job – and the people there that have taught me so much.

8.  The OPP – I will not say any more about this one :).

9.  Old Friends – those who remind me to be kind, those who remind to visit, those who remind that I will be there for them and they for me NO MATTER WHAT.

I wish everyone a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.  Enjoy everything around you and be aware of all of the things you have to be thankful for every day.

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Today, I need beauty in my life

I have not blogged about working out or eating in at least a few days.  Still on track in case anyone is wondering :).  I have found myself stumbling on beautiful things on the web and I just cannot help but share them.

Today, in particular I needed a little human kindness and beauty in my life, I found it in this video, so I am sharing it with all of you.

Take pause and give strength

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My blog, From Here to Me, is really just a journal where I keep my thoughts and experiences as I go through this journey called life.  I have made a lot of changes over the past year and a half, I have failed at some goals, and far exceeded my expectations for others.  When I fail I have become much better at getting back up and trying again; when I succeed I feel great.

My journey is personal and a choice I have made for my life.  During this journey I have become more aware of others life experiences; some are on a journey not of their choosing, and others, like me, have chosen change, but may be struggling in ways that I am not.  The strength in the human spirit is remarkable!

Since I truly believe that there is strength in numbers and strength in positive thoughts I am going to share with you some information on folks that I know need strength.  I am asking you to offer a brief positive thought, or if you are so inclined, a prayer, for each of these folks and anyone you may know that needs this strength.  You could even share and add my strength to your list of folks in need.

Right now I know someone who is –

  • Trying to bring hope and a new life to a child in a bad situation
  • Watching their child lose her battle with cancer
  • Struggling with her loss of physical well-being and her marriage
  • Mourning the loss of her husband
  • Hurting because a relationship has ended
  • Dealing with excessive pain
  • Putting her life in order after getting laid off a job she has had for over a decade
  • A couple overwhelmed with debt because of recent illness

These experiences and journeys are all very different from mine and likely from yours; yet they are still similar and very human.

Take a moment today, pause, and send positive thoughts.  I will do the same for you.

 

Move! Damn it!

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This morning my husband came into our room while I was standing on the scale; I was standing there looking down, just lingering on the scale.  He said “What is the matter?”, I said “I cannot get this number to budge and it is irritating!”(I think my language may have been a little more colorful than that).

He then went on, in the best way a good husband should, to tell me the number does not matter, it is definitely evident that my body is changing for the better; I look slimmer and my clothes look better, etc. (and my clothes definitely fit better over the last couple of weeks).

You know what though!?  I WANT THE NUMBER TO MOVE! I want to see weight loss in numbers on that scale.  And I do not care how many people say, it is ok, as long as you look and feel better; I would bet a large percentage of women, and men, are with me on this one.  If I were at a lower, healthier weight I would agree, it would not matter as much, but I am not and I know I have a ways to go until I am.  So, move! Damn it!

Now that the rant is over, I will be honest and tell you that in the past two weeks it has moved, I am down 5 lbs, but just hasn’t changed in the past couple of days.  The fact that I want it to be down more is just me being impatient.  I am working and running regularly now, I am over a week into my healthy eating challenge and it is going well, and I feel great!  And these are the things that really matter.

I have a weekly weigh in tomorrow then I have to make myself not step on the scale for at least a few days, or at least until I am calm and rational again :).

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Until next time…