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Humbling Fame

(NOTE: the orange linked words are the videos from the show)

I posted recently about being invited to be on the Rachael Ray Show as a guest for a makeover.  The show has since aired and while I thought maybe I’d believe it happened after I saw it on TV, I still don’t.  It was such a whirlwind experience; a once in a lifetime, but the most amazing part about the entire thing wasn’t the trip to New York City or the makeover, it was the response from family, friends and people I don’t even know.

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Over the last couple of weeks, I have been completely overwhelmed.  I have gotten so many comments and messages of support, and compliments.  While I’m a lot more comfortable in my own skin than I was a year and a half ago, I still am not much for being the center of attention.  When someone comes up to me to talk about it, I tend to let it roll like it’s no big deal; not because it’s no big thing to me, but because I don’t know how to handle the attention.  It’s also an amazing thing to me that people think of me as an inspiration.  I know losing more than 100 pounds with diet and exercise alone in a little over a year is not an easy thing to do.  I have struggled, I have said no to things I wanted, done things I didn’t want to, worked out on days I would have preferred to sleep in, and fought a battle with my mind to realize, I’m not a failure, but to me, I simply did what I needed to do to survive, for myself and for my family.  Hearing I inspire others, has really become inspiration for me; inspiration to keep going, keep trying.

I was able to watch the Rachael Ray Show with some of the most amazing people in my life; women who have inspired me; my mother who has battled hormone cause weight problems for much of her adult life, she taught me how to be a mother, a wife and how to be tough as nails; my sister who has fought her own weight loss battles who was the reason I started going to Weight Watchers to begin with; cousins who have been my best friends growing up and have struggled with their own weight battles along the way, an aunt who was like a second mom to be growing up; my mother in law who has cheered me along the way and who raised an amazing son whom I never could have done any of this without (more on him in a minute); my 2 grandmothers who are both strong and beautiful women;  men who have cheered me on and encouraged me including my father in law who was my zumba partner for a while and my husband who has been amazing, telling my I was beautiful and believing it even when I was at my heaviest.  I couldn’t have done any of this without him; my children are the main reason I started pushing myself the way I did, and a friend who has shown immense courage and strength fighting her own weight loss battle.

While these people filled my living room, people all throughout my community were watching as well.  My aunt called immediately following and we shared sobs over the phone; and the messages that came in on my facebook page were astounding.  Words cannot even begin to describe how moved I was by the response from everyone.  I had people message me saying I had inspired them to get started or to not give up, I had people encouraging me and congratulating me on what I’ve accomplished.  My life has changed so much in the last 18 months and it all started with the decision that I wanted to be a healthier mama for my kids, myself and my husband.  That is what helped me lose the pounds.  What I have found out about myself along the way is what has changed my outlook forever.  I know I am stronger and capable of so much more than I have ever given myself credit for and I look forward to pushing myself further in the future, for now, thank you all for your support and for inspiring me.

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Surrounded by Incredibly Strong Women

Yesterday morning I was at TRX bright and early per my usual Thursday morning routine.  For the most part, the people in the class are the same week to week which is great!  We all get comfortable with one another and get to know a little bit about each other.  One woman said the other day she felt it necessary to learn all our names sine she sweats with us 2 times a week.

Yesterday was the usual group, plus or minus a couple people.  As we were doing forward lunges with a chest press with the rip trainers, I realized in my group (we are broken down into 2 groups and alternate cardio and resistance bands) I was the youngest.  Not only the youngest, but the youngest by about 25 years or more. 

To my left was a woman I know is in her mid 60’s (I know this because as she was running several feet ahead of me this fall she mentioned her birthday).  She is in amazing physical condition.  While I struggled to push on without stopping for a break, she made it look easy.

To my right, a woman who I would guess to be in her late 50’s.  She can do burpee circles around me.  Of the 4 women in my group, I was the youngest, in the other group of 5, there was one woman I would guess to be around my age, and all of these lovely ladies push me to work harder.  They are so strong and fierce.  I can only hope that 25 years from now I’m as strong and capable as these beautiful women.  One came in to TRX after an hour swimming, another I see on a regular basis on the cardio equipment before class.  As a twenty-something I strive to be as athletic as these amazing ladies. 

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Posted by on March 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Amazing Weekend of Leader Training

This weekend, I spent 2 days training to become a Weight Watchers leader.  I was nervous about the training and even more worried about leaving my boys for the weekend.  I headed out for the 2 1/2 hour drive on Friday night.  I will not say whether I cried when I left my boys (which gives you the answer without me saying it).  First my trusty GPS took me to the wrong hotel in the wrong city.  It was amazingly horrible, and just when I was starting to think this training might not be such a great idea, I finally arrived.

I said no to the whoopie pie at check in although it looked so good.  For those of you who don’t know, a whoopie pie is 2 chocolate cakes with icing in the middle, think giant oreo!  My roommate had not arrived so I settled in for the night, called my boys, watched some TV, called my boys and finally went to sleep (my Dunkin’ Donuts Eggnog Latte helped keep me awake for the drive and then about 3 hours). 

The next morning I got up, called my boys (they were still sleeping), got showered dressed and headed out to my training with a belly full of melon and cornflakes. 

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When I walked in to the training room there were 8 unknown faces (9 if you count the regional manager from the other side of the state).  It was pretty quiet, and training got underway with an over whelming amount of information.  As he day went on, we all started to relax and started getting to know each other a little better.  For the first time out loud, I shared how I stopped looking people in the eyes and how at my heaviest, I just wanted to hide.  At the end of my story, I was supposed to share how I felt after overcoming it. 

This is something I still struggle with.  I still have days where I don’t know what to feel.  I still have days when I see a different person in the mirror.  Maybe it’s because I was able to take the weight off fairly quickly for the amount I had to loose, maybe it’s because I’m still hanging on to those feelings of failure that I built up for so long.  I still find it easier to feel those feelings I felt before; the shame, the disappointment, the disgust.  Every once in a while the pride, and amazement in myself creeps in, so I’m getting there.

After training that night I went to dinner with my roommate and after our meal, for the first time ever in my life, I worked out in a hotel fitness facility.  Of course I called my boys on the way to dinner, when I got back to the hotel, after my workout and before bed (can’t tell I missed them, can you?).  That night after my workout and shower, I got to spend even more time getting to know my roommate. 

What an amazing woman!  Seeing her before picture and knowing her struggle, I was honored to be in a training class with her.  It is amazing the things we are capable when we put our mind to it, believe in the process and commit to change.

The next morning at training, the atmosphere was totally different.  We were no longer a room full of strangers, we were all friends and the roar of laughter, chatting and excitement coming from the training room that I’m sure caused a bit later of a start Sunday morning. 

As far as the training goes, it was amazing.  I learned so much about myself and the Weight Watchers process, but even better, I learned more about the people I spent the weekend with.  At the end of training, I was happy to be heading home to my family, but sad to leave the people I had gotten to know over the weekend, not knowing when I would get to see them again.

It’s amazing what being in a room full of inspiration can do for a person.  There were people who had lost 25 pounds, some that had last more than 100 pounds, but every person had committed to change and were now standing up in front of a room of people with confidence and ease.  I couldn’t be more proud to have been in the training class that I was.  We all exchanged emails at the end of the training and I can’t wait until the next company training where I hope to get to see them all again.

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Leader Training Just Around the Corner

I’m super excited to say I have training to become a Weight Watchers leader in about a week and a half.  I’m so excited!  Not only am I looking forward to the motivation to stay at goal weight (you can’t be a leader if you’re not at goal), but I’m really looking forward to sharing my story with other people and hearing about others’ weight loss journeys.

Losing weight is not an easy mission to accomplish.  It never comes off as fast as we want it to, when it does come off, the scars physical and emotional scars left behind, stick with us much longer and once the pounds are gone, it’s a constant battle to keep them gone.  There are some of us who will always have to watch what we eat and will always have to spend hours at the gym to keep our metabolism moving.  It is a constant battle, one that doesn’t end at goal weight.  That’s why I’m so excited about this next chapter in my life, because that is what it is.  I have changed my life, and I’ve changed it for good.

Like another leader said to me the other day, the reason I want to be a leader isn’t about being paid, it’s about motivating myself and others to get healthy and be happier.  I know how inspired I am on a regular basis by all the wonderful people at my meeting and I’m so looking forward to more.

That being said, it will be my first time going away from my family by myself since I met my husband 7 years ago.  My husband went away for military training on a regular basis early in our relationship and our marriage (right up until last year really), and he and I have gone away fro a night without our kids, but I have never gone by myself and left them at home…

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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My Motivation

It has been nearly a year since I started on my weight loss journey.  I have managed to keep my eyes on the prize this whole time, sticking as closely to the diet as possible and logging many hours at the gym.

I’ve been asked at my Weight Watchers meetings and by family and friends about what motivated me to lose weight and what keep me motivated.  After a conversation with my mother in law the other night, I really got thinking about it and I wanted to share some of my motivators.

My husband has always thought of me as beautiful at any weight.  On his desk at his former job, he proudly displayed a picture of me on our wedding day.  He came home from work one day, telling me, what he thought was a compliment.  He said when one of his co-workers said, “Wow, now I see why you married her.  She was hot!”  The only words I head from that sentence were “now” and “was”.  It broke my heart.  I never wanted to be one of those couples where people looked at us on the street and wondered what he was doing with me, although I wondered the same thing myself on several occasions.  But knowing that was what other people were thinking, really hurt.

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Another motivator for me was my children.  I watched my husband get down on the floor and play with them and have so much fun with them.  When I tried, I could only spend 5 minutes on the floor because my feet went to sleep.

I was unable to play at the park with my son.  If I even got out of the car, I spent all my time sitting at the picnic table because after only 5 minutes my feet and my lower back started to pound.

A child does not understand why mama is too big to play, they just know she can’t.  Then one afternoon while reading stories with my boys, my oldest, poked my belly, and in his unknowing innocence told me I was fat.

I choked back tears as I explained to him that fat was not a nice word and that saying things like that can really hurt someone’s feelings.  he apologized and gave me a big hug, but that didn’t take away the sting of his hurt any less.  I know he didn’t and still doesn’t understand why such an obvious observation could be so hurtful.

While I was pregnant with our second child, I went for a boat ride with my husband’s family.  It was a beautiful day filled with lots of laughter and pictures.  I asked my mother in law to snap a photo of my son and I.  I was so excited to think I’d have a new picture I could frame of use together.  Later when she posted the picture on Facebook I was disgusted by what I saw.  I know I was several months pregnant, but in the photo where you can only see my face and my arms (and of course the bag of chips I was eating) I was mortified.

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Those are just a few of the moments that opened my eyes to the problem that my weight had become.  If I close my eyes, I can still feel the shame, the embarrassment and the pain of those moments as if they had happened only yesterday.  I carry them with me and it keeps me moving forward.

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Me? An Inspiration…?

This morning I headed to my Weight Watchers meeting as is my Wednesday morning ritual.  I weighed in (50 pounds this morning, since mid October!!  Yay!!) and headed into the meeting.

While I was weighing in, I heard the girl in front of me, who has been coming to meetings for a while, (who lost 4 pounds this week) say she decided this past week she was going to really focus and work hard at it. 

On the way out, she stopped me and asked my name.  She then told me, the reason why she decided it was time to get serious is because I have inspired her.  You probably could have knocked me over with a feather.  There are days I struggle to be inspired myself, let alone to inspire other people.

This isn’t the first time someone has told me that in the past month.  I had someone send me a message on facebook that said she had decided to join Weight Watchers because she had seen what I had been doing.  The night I got that message, it brought tears to my eyes.  It has been so hard for me to get here and to know that because I decided I wanted to change my life, someone else might want to do the same, is amazing to me.  I am humbled, and my own motivation is renewed whenever I hear something like this.

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I look around me on a regular basis and see so many people that have inspired me.  My sister is one of the most inspiring women I know.  She worked hard to lose weight before she got pregnant with her 3rd child.  After he was born, she mustered up the motivation to do it again.  She is still not to her goal weight, but she is beautiful, just as she has always been, and her motivation is what motivated me to start in the first place.

My running buddy has also been an inspiration to me.  She has done an amazing job getting to a healthier lifestyle.  She has been through some truly life altering experiences that might have left some to let go of their fight but she has battled.  She looks amazing and her strength physically, as well as emotionally amazes me.  She is the reason I started trying to run and the reason I haven’t given up.

My mother has also always been such an inspiration to me.  My whole life she has inspired me because she is my mom, but more than that, she has always taught me how important I was as a person rather than a size.  My mom has battled with her weight for a long time, and has had to deal with some pretty harsh people and judgements because of it.  In my mind, that has only made her stronger and only made her that much more beautiful.

There are so many others who I take inspiration from.  My friends that are no longer here on this Earth are a constant reminder of how blessed I am to be here and that I should never take anything for granted, including my health; my children, who remind me on a daily basis how strong I am and how much I have to live a healthy life for; my husband, who no matter what our lives throw at us, is always my biggest fan; my dad, who would walk through fire for me if I asked him to; my in-laws who were the first (and to this point only) members of “Team Beth.”

You never know when you’re inspiring someone.  You never know when the kick start you give yourself to get out of bed and go to the gym is kick starting someone else, and it doesn’t really matter.  What matters is at the end of the day you inspired yourself, everyone else is a wonderful bonus!

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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