Saturday, April 23, 2011

Letting Go... something I've always struggled with.

In some aspects, I am really good at it. I believe that everyone comes into your life and has a purpose, teaches you something, and even if for a brief moment, change your life. So when I drift apart from someone, I understand that it's a part of most relationships, yet I am grateful for the lessons I learn from everyone every day.

Over the past several years, I have have been living life with a sense of adventure- I've been lucky enough to travel to some cool places across the globe, transitioned from school to work to school, Minnesota & Wisconsin to Japan to Florida to Rhode Island back to Florida. With the opportunities I have had, I have met some of the most amazing people of my life. I get attached. I live, breathe, and bleed the experience taking everything in.

But the truth is, everything has an end. What has made it easier for me is knowing that another adventure lies in the horizon. So as time passes, I hold on to the memories, but have learned how to let go...

Yet here I am at the end of another adventure, and this one is hard -

During the past week, I have been reminded in amazing ways how special my life is down here.

I have fallen in love all over again with the water. I have found myself staring into the bay realizing how much I will miss it. Even after a year and 9 months, I still smile every time I see the ocean. If all goes to plan, I will be moving to a place by water, with mountains, but it won't be the same. I won't be able to drive 15 minutes to sit in shorts & a t-shirt, reading a book, and watching the most beautiful sunset. Even as I write this, I am looking into the black water, the reflections of light glistening with each ripple. So peaceful. So beautiful.

Through a series of events the past 3 days, I have been so proud and more inspired by the students that I work with at USF-St. Petersburg. Thursday night, we had a banquet celebrating the accomplishments of the year, and it was such a moving evening. From the excitement of everyone being together and being all dressed up, and recognizing the people that make up the heart and soul of the institution is refreshing. Taking a moment to remember all of the great things this campus has done over the past year (and last year too) was so incredible, and I have been honored to be along for the ride. Last night, we had our planning retreat for next fall, and we started the night off with a very simple activity that had a profound affect. We spent almost two hours answering questions about life, and listening to everyone's responses and seeing everyone open up with each other was great. Truly one of those rare moments that you feel blessed to be a part of. Even as I know I am saying goodbye in the near future, having conversations with the students and getting to know them in different ways has been incredible. Above anything, it has taught me that it is never to late to make a connection with somebody and gain something meaningful from them.

As I was sitting with some of the people in my cohort eating brunch this morning, it made me realize how much I will miss spending time with them. I am so thankful that my family could grow by 30 people, and they inspire me to be my best every day. I am lucky to call them my friends.

So, needless to say, this time around, letting go will be a challenge. I will never be able to erase these two years, and I will cherish all of the experiences that have made the past 2 years some of the best of my life. So instead of letting go, instead, I will keep this one tucked away. Because I am not ready to let go.

I think I'm going to hold onto this one a little bit longer...

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Wake Up Call

Race day.

Normally, I'm excited.

Not today.

Do I really have to do this?

Not a single ounce of me wanted to wake up. I rolled over, shut off my alarm, and tried to fall back asleep. But the competitive drive in me won. I got up. I got dressed. I drove 30 mins to the site of the race. I checked in. I put my bib on. I stretched.

It's going to be a good day!

Started running. Felt solid. Mile 1 done.

That's when I tanked. By a mile and a half, I had to start walking. Started running again. .2 later, I was walking. Repeat this for another mile, then awkwardly juffle (part jog, part shuffle- I'm making up a new word) across the finish line, head down, shaking my head.

Insert excuses here:

It was too early. I haven't had time to run lately. It was too hot. It was just an off day.

Even with all that, it still wasn't a TERRIBLE time.

The truth is, I gave up on myself a long time ago.

I've been content with letting the last several months slip away and not focusing on myself.

I've heard advice that if you want to make drastic changes in your life and hold yourself accountable, make it public. Throw yourself out there. Make other people aware. Find support. All of that.

That was partially the reason why I started this blog. But with all the goals I had, and after the strong start of 2011 I have had- I have started regressing. A lot.

At this point, I was hoping to be somewhere in the 220 lb range and gearing up for my first 10K. I am far from both of those.

Throw it all out there.

For those of you who knew me in high school, I got up to 275 lbs. My life was out of control. So I made some drastic changes. By graduation, I was at 197. Over the past 8 years, I have been roller coastering - gain 40, lose 20, gain 30, lose 20, until last year at this point, I reached 284- the heaviest of my life (although I admit I didn't look it).

So, then came the goals. The ambition. But it has been SO hard to stay consistent (thanks grad school).

The plan was to lose 37 lbs toward between spring and fall, then about 60 by graduation.
I lost 20 lbs without really trying... but then put a few back on and stayed the same for 5 months.
I lost 15 more, but then stayed the same for another 4 months.
Now it's mid-April, and I'm sitting in the low 260's.

I know the more weight I drop, the farther I will be able to run, so I am putting more emphasis on weight loss.

So here are some iron-clad goals:

I will be at 247 lbs in a month (ideally by graduation, but that's tight)
I will be at 230 by the time I move to my next job.

I have decided to treat this summer as a "fat camp," and for the second time in my life, devoting my time, energy, and will power on improving myself.

I have gotten to the point where I have gotten over myself and realized I can't do this by myself. So I will need all of the support I can get.

I need your help!

Clearly, I had a lot on my mind while I was on the course. Maybe I should start thinking about bunnies or something.

See you when I've lost a small child!