I have tears in my eyes as I proof read our article for the magazine next month. The above quote was from me when speaking to the group about what they each have meant to me...
These women are now positive role-models for the world around them. THAT is more than I could have ever imagined for this journey. Wow. The only way we can make this world a healthier place is by each of us spreading that inspiration throughout our families, our friends and our communities!
I get emotional thinking the role model I once was or lack there of...
I was a drinker, smoker, junk food addict that felt sorry for herself so she never pushed beyond her comfort. Comfort was, for me, a place surrounded by "I can't", failure and insecurities but in that bubble, I felt safe because nobody could hurt me there. The food was there for me when others had let me down and food was there for that emotional roller coaster I rode for years...filled with ups, downs and tons of regret of all the things I couldn't do because of my weight. Food numbed the emotion for so long that it was hard to decide how to feel anything. That safe place I built left me feeling dead inside. My life had a different meaning, almost like going through the motions but never really FEELING anything. If I felt this way, I can only imagine how others feel that are trapped in this same place. Have they given up on everything? Do they remember what it's like to feel happy and strong? For me it was never and will never be about "skinny" because that struggle to find balance can swing both ways. It should always be the way you feel. How do you feel after a great workout? How did I feel after a binge that lasted hours and left me feeling physically sick? How do I feel now as I cross the finish line of another race? It makes all the difference in the world!
It will help you succeed or help you fail, we are in control of the outcome ALWAYS!
Today I choose to eat healthy, to put exercise as a high priority for myself and my family. I don't feel sorry for myself for the obstacles I've faced, rather I use it to push me further and make me stronger. I regret nothing because it was all part of the journey. I am inspired daily by those around me. I choose to balance my foods, my exercise and my life. I no longer turn to food to fill an empty hole, I instead choose positive behaviors that make me feel alive and happy. That burn I get from a great workout, when my legs are shaky and I'm short of breath-that feeling replaces all negative feelings for me because I am strong and I work hard. I used foods to coat sadness, stress or anger but when the food was gone, I was left feeling lower, a cycle that was so difficult to break. I now use workouts to fuel my emotions and IT WORKS. Wow!
It is a gift to fuel my body properly and I feel so much better filling my body with nutrients rather than foods that have no nutritional value but served as comfort for so long. I quit smoking because my kids don't need to see that unhealthy behavior either. It was just another "crutch" I leaned on to get me through emotional times. I never knew how to deal with the happy and sad times in life...I only knew how to "fix it" and that led to my unhealthy lifestyle I, myself had created.
I'd like to share some of their comments regarding our group.
I dare you to not find inspiration through their words and stories. Once you convince your heart and mind that it's time for change, there's nothing holding you back any longer. Amazing how our minds sense defeat and it can take over our lives in what feels like a matter of seconds. Rather than defeat, our mind needs to feel success. One positive change will lead to others and you'll forget that person that you once were. YOU have the power to change and become better. Your children are watching and they will pick up the habits they see from you, both healthy and unhealthy.
“So, I started about 14 months ago, about a week or so after my last cancer treatment, and, unlike the other ladies, I haven’t lost weight, but I’ve gained weight, which I wanted because I felt really crummy after 6 months of chemo and radiation. I got my strength back, have made a bunch of new friends, and also finished the half marathon with Marissa by my side. I was really freaked out about the whole idea of even trying it, but she told me, ‘I will be with you. Don’t you worry, I’ll get you to the finish line somehow!’ And of course, we prepared to some degree, but 13 miles is a lot, but we did it and she was with me every step of the way.” Gerda P.
“I’m down over 70 lbs. and have lost 35 of that since I started Move It Mommas. But the most amazing thing is that from November to now, I haven’t lost any more weight but my body has changed very dramatically. I also came off my cholesterol medicine and am trying to come off my diabetic medication!” Kelly S.
“There is no intimidation here. You can come here and feel comfortable at any size, at any level. You can do the workout; she has modifications and I don’t feel separate from the group. I still feel like part of the group just because I can modify and still move. I would have never gone to a gym.” Christine K.
...and those are just a few!
STAY INSPIRED and keep working hard. You might be at the beginning, middle or climbing further and further on your journey but never allow it to end! Never get comfortable with the way things are and think about the lives that are WATCHING YOU! Are you being that positive role model for your family and friends?