Listen to the Tim’s…

Have you missed me?! A computer crash topped off by a million other issues unfortunately left me silent last week.  No fear…I’m back and better than ever!  As in “Let’s celebrate the next major milestone” better!

70 pounds gone! 70 pounds of hatred, self destruction and self-sabotage gone! 70 pounds of depression and negativity out the window! My mind is in a better place than it’s ever been, but unfortunately this week, my heart is hurting….

In the last few days I have had two unfortunate examples of our inevitable mortality. I am relieved to say that I did not lose anyone, but the reminder that life as we know it can change in an instant has been all too in my face over the last few days.

The two situations could not be more different…One an 85 year old, walking encyclopedia who happens the most gentle, most chivalrous man I have ever known. He is the biggest role model in my life and he is also my grandfather…my Poppy Doc.

 

The other is a 32 year old wife and mother who has fought the most courageous battle with cancer. She has held her head high, she has never given up hope and she is one of the most selfless, inspirational people I’ve ever met.

Though the circumstances are different…they both have sent my mind into a whirlwind. I inevitably started thinking about the way I’d been living my life. Was I doing everything I could everyday? Was I finally living my life the right way?

“Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows.” 

– Pope Paul VI

Only so many tomorrows….kind of gets you thinking, doesn’t it?

Living in the moment led me to do a lot of things I wouldn’t have otherwise done. Living in the moment led me down a path of personal annihilation. With no regard for my desire for ‘tomorrow’, I ignored my needs for far too long.

Living should be done with purpose…with conviction.  Tim McGraw sang it with his “Live Like You Were Dying” ballad…Tim Robbins said it in Shawshank Redemption: “You better get busy living or get busy dying.”

So listen to the Tim’s!

Do It Now:  There is no better time than the present. This very moment. Start living your better life now.  Whatever it is…exercising, no more smoking, saving yourself from an abusive relationship, rekindling a friendship, telling that special someone that you love them…whatever you can do to put yourself in a better place, do it. Don’t wait…there are only so many tomorrows.

Seize the Opportunity: Take these opportunities when they appear. Don’t live your life with regrets. Don’t look back and wish you had taken that job or gone on that vacation. Don’t keep your feelings for your loved ones to yourself. Find your happiness. Believe that being joyful is worth it and do what it takes to get yourself there. The little things in your life can make a big difference. Taking some risks can pay off…but you never know unless you try…seize it now….there are only so many tomorrows.

Hold Onto It: Whatever you do…Never Give Up. “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas Edison

My success at this whole weight loss thing has proven this theory to me. I didn’t give up and I still have no plan to.  Keep pushing…keep your head held high through the most difficult of circumstances. The road may be a treacherous one…but the finish line is worth the journey even if you can’t see that now. Don’t stop short….keep going today…there are only so many tomorrows.

Know Thyself: You must know yourself inside and out. You must know what makes you happy…what makes you feel beautiful and complete…what makes you feel loved…and you must find your way to these things. I know too many people who simply don’t know themselves, and I was one of these people not that long ago.

After all this time pursuing my own self-discovery, I have ‘discovered’ that it is more about being comfortable with who you are rather than discovering what you actually are. In doing so you will, as I have, accept who you are, what you are and where you are.

This, my friends, is the greatest gift I’ve ever received. I have discovered my ideal life…the ideal life that makes me happy when I wake up in the morning, and leaves me fulfilled when I lay my head on the pillow at night. This is an ideal life that I choose for myself, not one dictated by society or others’ opinions.

I am finally being true to myself…I am finally living my life with purpose and not just by accident.

At the end of the day, your life will be what you make of it. We come into this world with our genetics, our family and our personalities…we leave with our legacy.

Who knows what our impact will be. Who knows what we will leave behind for generations to follow. We have this one life…this one chance to leave no stone unturned. This one opportunity to make our time on Earth worth every minute.

Make it count now..Do It. Seize It. Hold Onto It. Know it….

For there are only so many tomorrows….

 

Fear less, hope more;
Whine less, breathe more;
Talk less, say more;
Hate less, love more;
And all good things are yours.

– Swedish Proverb

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What Is…Not What If

Ok guys…I apologize for the late blog post! The last 48 hours have been a real-life version of Planes, Trains and Automobiles. I have managed to travel across most of the eastern seaboard (some of which was not planned), so I am a tad behind.

This past weekend I had the great pleasure of watching my precious cousin, Mary Kate, in a gymnastics tournament.  This thing was insane! As a girl who can hardly find the ability to focus at a 3-ring circus, seeing boys and girls of all ages flipping around all over the place in the coliseum put my brain into overdrive.  Mary Kate did an incredible job of course! (She and her sister are exceptionally talented.) She’s a ball of energy with the most graceful hand movements I’ve ever seen. At 6 years old, the girl is so fit she’d make Jillian Michaels jealous.

While I was sitting there watching her, I started thinking…what if I had not begged my parents to let me quit gymnastics when I was in 3rd grade? What if I had continued all that strength training into my teenage years? Would I have eventually gotten up that stupid, tortuous looking rope that hangs from the ceiling of every gym in the country? If I had toughed out all those days flipping around everywhere, pulling myself up on the uneven bars, and perfecting my balance would I still have become an overweight kid?

And of course, as it always does, my brain started down the path of thinking about all the other ‘what ifs’ in my life…

What if I had focused a little more in college? Would I be a pediatric hematologist now?

What if I had not walked away from my drink that night? Would I still have found myself as a date rape statistic?

What if I had tried a little harder? Would my marriage still have fallen apart?

What if, at 6 years old, I hadn’t felt like I had to choose someone’s side when my parents got divorced? Would I have not had such a chip on my shoulder towards my dad and made it a little easier for us to get along growing up?

What if I had not found comfort and security in eating to make myself feel better. Would I have still suffered from the compulsive overeating disorder?

What if I had called Daddy George like I was supposed to when he had his surgery? Would I still have had a difficult time getting over his death?

What if I had turned my back when the red flags started popping up in a previous relationship? Would I have saved myself from eventual abuse?

What if I had learned to love myself at a young age? Would I have still suffered from such a deep, debilitating depression for so many years?

Over the last few days I’ve been running through those thoughts over and over. And then while I was sitting on the plane tonight, it hit me….

What if I hadn’t gone through those things? What if I hadn’t hit my rock bottom?

Then I wouldn’t be the quirky, sometimes crazy, strong-willed, kind-hearted, absolute firecracker of a person that I am today.

The me that I love today is the same me that is a product of those battles. I don’t want to know what might have been anymore. I want to focus on what is.

With that being said, what if I had not posted that abysmal 248 pound starting weight a year ago? Would I still have lost  65.2 pounds?!

So enough with what if-ing things that I cannot change! It’s time to celebrate the person that all those negative, regrettable things helped to create….because what I am now…what my life is now…is worth hanging onto.

“Accept everything about yourself – I mean everything, You are you and that is the beginning and the end – no apologies, no regrets.” ~ Henry Kissinger

Food ≠ Happiness

So you think food is going to make you happy?

It won’t, you know. I chased the happiness I was hoping it would bring for years and years…only to find myself exponentially more miserable each time.

The idea that those M&M’s, those bags of popcorn or that cheeseburger and French fries is going to make you happy…it’s all absurd.  Crazy as I tried to tell myself it was…I was still searching for it. That magnificent moment when that milk chocolate grazed past my lips or that first salty crunch of a French fry dipped in crimson ketchup.
But it is each time as it always was… a short-lived moment of euphoria… there and gone in the blink of an eye.  The next day, all that’s left is ridiculous guilt. Mounting, suffocating guilt…along with the salty sludge floating around in my system.

 
Where did this come from? Where did I get the notion that food would make me happy. That food would take away all the hurt or despair I was dealing with. That food would fix what was wrong. Food was there to comfort me when I was down…it never turned its back on me…or so I thought. In essence the very thing that I was turning to, was destroying everything at the same time.
But this thought that food equals happiness has put too many of us in a place that we never wanted to be.

A place where we’ve lost control. A place where it’s much easier to keep giving in to temptation than to change what we know every time we look in the mirror is broken.

I know what it feels like to say over and over again “This ends today!” only to blow every semblance of a structured eating plan later in the same day. It’s a truly disheartening feeling that always leaves you discouraged.

I finally feel as if I’ve made it over that hump. The hump that doesn’t leave me running for the closest bag of potato chips when I’ve had a bad day at work or I’m bored out of my mind on a Saturday afternoon. I finally feel emotionally disconnected from the food I’m putting in my mouth. It’s not a filler or a substitute for my happiness. Learning to separate the emotion from the eating will get you over that hump too.

Disconnecting my association between eating and happiness has certainly helped me get this far…

 

Please don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy good food…hell I love good food. But it is not eating it that makes me happy. It’s having control over all of it that makes me happy.  And as far as ‘good’ food goes…I’m redefining “good”. I’m eating with my head now instead of absent-mindedly, robotically shoving things into my mouth.  It’s been near impossible to change almost 30 years of bad habits, but changing them I have.

I could give you a thousand and one weight-loss tips but until you do a little spring cleaning upstairs… I seriously doubt you’ll have the kind of success that you’re looking for.

Food won’t make you happy in the end.

Feeling good makes you happy.

Feeling good about yourself makes you happy.

Being healthy and fit and strong makes you happy.

And you deserve to be happy.

 

“Life is made up of small pleasures. Happiness is made up of those tiny successes. The big ones come too infrequently. And if you don’t collect all these tiny successes, the big ones don’t really mean anything.” ~ Norman Lear