Tuesday, March 30, 2010

If you show up, life is beautiful

This morning I heard someone say, "If you show up, life is beautiful".  I couldn't have said it better myself!  What an amazing statement.  The person didn't say it would be easy or simple or stress free, she just said it would be beautiful. 

Along this amazing journey to reach my pink goal I am discovering beauty in so many things I hadn't before.  I've always known the beauty of giving back but I understand it more today than ever before.  I've discovered the beauty in setting a goal & working hard to reach it.  I've discovered the beauty in listening to my body, nourishing it with what it needs, in choosing less excess, in being BOLD, & in accepting opportunity when it presents itself.  I've even discovered the beauty in working so hard that your eyelids sweat.  What an amazing gift this journey is. I'm blessed to participate in the 3day.  The finish line is in site & reaching it will be a beautiful thing!

Saturday, March 27, 2010


This weekend I've had the opportunity to learn about a group called www.forkout.org  What an amazing group of people! 

Here's the basics:  group of young people, a website, a video camera, and 14 days of traveling through Indiana to tell people about Komen & raise awareness about breast cancer. 

So freakin' cool!!! The even cooler part is that these are MEN talking to people about breast cancer!  Their putting aside their uncomfortable awkward feelings about talking to women about the breasts & getting out there to make a difference.  AMAZING! 

So amazing that you totally have to check them out at www.forkout.org!!!

As for where I am on the journey to my pink goal.  I'm up to walking 7 miles per day, catching up with great friends who are willing to walk with me, learning so much about myself, and taking things one step at a time (literally).  I've lost almost 40 pounds while feelin stronger & more powerful then ever.  I have 7 months left until I reach my goal.  Its all happening so fast but I'm lovin' it!  Everyone's so encouraging & so motivating!  What a gift this entire journey has been.  I can see the finish line ahead...it's going to be awesome!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Listening to my body even when I don't like what it's saying

Last night I walked 6 miles with my friend Steve in addition to spending about an hour on the bike.  This morning, I put in the hour on the bike & walked with my friend Amy after our board meeting.  I was hoping to put in another 6 miles but my knee told me otherwise.  As we walked our couple of miles, my knee started to feel better or at least went numb enough that I walked through the pain.  I wanted to keep going so badly but knew that my knee was telling me otherwise.  That competitive person in me wanted to just keep pushing through the pain but I had to remind myself that this training is a long process & that I can't get to 20 miles over night.  It was so hard to make myself stop & then to fight that defeated feeling that came when I did.  What I realized on the drive home was that today was a win because I listened to my body & am treating it with the respect/love it deserves.  Today I took my largest steps toward the finish line yet.  Crossing it's going to be great!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Managing the "transformation"

What an amazing weekend I've had!  It started on Thursday evening with dinner/drinks at Club Soda with friends.  Friday was low key (ok, so I was in bed early thanks to the night before) & Saturday was an amazing night at the Puttin on the Ritz fundraiser.  I haven't had that much fun in quite a while.  What an awesome night!  I put my sabatical from drinking on hold & kicked up my heels to celebrate.  I admit, today's workout was a tough one but it was worth it given the fun I had all weekend.  I guess you really have to pay to play sometimes. 

As a super social person, I'm often out with a variety of friends & am frequently being introduced to new fun people.  I love meeting new people & so appreciate how eclectic my circle of friends is.  People have always been warm and welcoming to me probably in part due to the fact that my personality sort of takes over.  Even if someone's uncertain about me, I tend to just assume they love me until they say otherwise.  Doesn't leave much room for dislike unless you really have reason to do so.  The funny thing is that lately I've been asking myself why people are being friendly or taking interest in me.  I find myself actually wondering if they would have taken interest 35 pounds ago.  Would they be as friendly?  as flirty? as fun? 

Let me say up front that I know how silly this thought process is but yet I seem to have these thoughts anyway.    I'm a pretty smart girl with loads of common sense & yet these thoughts are still creeping in.  Since I'm not one to keep my crazy thoughts to myself, I've confided in a couple of close friends.  My BFF says she saw this coming & is not surprised by it.  Her take is that I need to get these thoughts under control before they become something I can't control.  She's right.  My friend Steve is on the same page reminding me that I could make myself officially crazy if I let these thoughts continue.  Then there was Teresa's take on the whole thing that I found surprising.  I have changed.  Hmmm...that's an interesting thought.  Maybe people are different because this journey really is changing me. 

I need to point out the Teresa's on that short list of friends that can tell me things I don't want to hear & I listen because I know they're said out of love.  She pointed out to me that I've changed because I've let down the wall I've been putting up for all these years.  Wall???  I have a wall???  I'm the friendliest person I know!  She also tells me I'm getting softer (in personality that is).  Was I hard to begin with??? It's taken me a couple of days to even process this information.  Now that I've had time to think about it, she's right.  It hurt to hear that, but she's right.  I was so busy proving myself to others and to me that I probably was coming off a little hard.  Now that I'm focused on doing what is right for my health, listening to my body, and taking care of me inside & out, I am softer & more approachable.  Its still hard not to wonder if the weight was a barrier for some people.  However, the truth is that I have probably been the one that put the barrier there not the other people.  Some how it has been a "cushion" between anything negative people my think about me & how much that could hurt.  It's been my "go to" thing to blame.  If someone didn't like me or didn't ask me out or didn't treat me a certain way it was easy to blame the weight.  I'd say they just dont like me because I'm heavy even if they dont realize it.  Funny thing when you realize it probably had a lot more to do with the hard shell I presented than it did what the scale said.  That's an eye opener for sure.

 Brenda & Steve are right, I have to keep this in check or I'll make myself crazy throughout my journey.  So each day I'm reminding myself of the good I've done for myself and for those around me by working as hard as it takes to walk 60 miles.  I'm choosing not to believe anyone is so shallow as to just look at one attribute.  I'm choosing to believe instead that people are getting to know me for me.  Maybe the extra weight intimdated a few but I doubt it had much to do with it.  It all boils down to attitude & making a choice to be happy.  It's a journey I'm on and one I'm learning lots from!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lesson #36

A few days ago I posted something I wrote on my 35th birthday.  It was titled, "The 35 things I've learned at 35".  People seemed surprised that I'd taken the time to write those things down.  Some were impressed while others were just amused.  Needless to say, I believe taking time to reflect without judgement on lessons learned is vital for moving forward to the next goal. 

With my 36th birthday tomorrow, I've been thinking about what I've learned in this past year.  No doubt, My Pink Goal has seriously impacted my year & the lessons learned.  And while the lesson I take away from this past year does have direct ties to completing the 3Day, its a lesson that has applied to all areas of my life.  So here it is....{drum roll please}

"Completing a goal is not nearly as impactful as the work necessary to attain it." 

Now don't get me wrong...I get teary just thinking about crossing that finish line hand in hand with some of the women I've loved the longest in my life.  However, that's just one moment.  Training for the 3Day impacts my entire life for the rest of my life.  This is a journey...this is a blessing of life lessons...this is a lifestyle....this is change....this is opportunity.  When we lace up our running shoes & hit the trail every day in training we're taking steps that create a ripple effect in the rest of the world.  It's hard to imagine that sometimes but its true.  We're standing up for those who we love who can't stand up for themselves.  We're standing up for ourselves....for our health....for our future & the future of others...for the opportunity to provide everyone the lifetime they deserve. 

Maybe it's the time that I have to reflect while putting in the hours of training necessary to attain my pink goal but training has impacted my life in such an incredible way.  My workouts give me time to think about what I'm really doing & how it impacts my life.  They give me the opportunity to reflect on what matters, sort out what doesn't, and even give me time to have a conversation with my inner Goddess (as my friend Bev would say).  Attaining this goal has allowed me to focus on nourishing my body physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  Working to attain this goal gives me strength to say no to things that are bad for me physically, personally, professionally, or even physcologically.  It's even helped me take pleasure in saying yes to things that are good for me physically, personally, professionally, and even physcologically.  I guess you could say I've become a believer in the phrase "Life is the journey not the destination". 

Monday, March 8, 2010

Dancing was this weekend's cardio

This weekend I attended the Black & White International Ball.  It is always a great time & an awesome fundraiser supporting the Fort Wayne Urban League.  In fact, I participate in the planning of the event so it was extra special to see our community come out in support of a great cause.  As you can imagine it was a lot of planning & set up that morning before the big night.  Then of course the afternoon was spent with lots of prepping...nails, hair (that I worried mocked Ivana Trump), makeup (redone twice because I couldn't get it right), careful shaved legs, borrowing a great bracelet from a girl friend, and the perfect dress that I felt great in. 

I was ready and out the door by 5:30 but admit to being a little nervous.  My dress (see the pic of me cuttin'  a rug) was unlike anything I normally wear. It was a fitted & a burgendy jewel tone that was a bit bold for a black & white ball (I was the only one in color that night).  My incredible friend Steve often doubles as my personal stylist & as usual he was dead on about the dress.  It was a huge hit!  Everyone kept asking me what I was doing because I seemed to be "glowing" and looked great.  What an amazing feeling to know that I didn't just look like I dropped a few pounds but that what I was doing for myself in training for the 3 day is showing on the outside.  Talk about great validation! 

Steve & I danced all night as well.  At the Gala in November I couldn't keep up with everyone on the dance floor because I was simply too tired.  That wasn't the case this time!  We danced & laughed & felt great.  Trust me the next morning I realized the muscles used for dancing are different than the ones used for walking.  I felt it a little bit Sunday morning but still had the energy to head to Indy for a little birthday celebration with my family where the Cheesecake Factory is a tradition for my sister Bernadette & I who share a birthday month.  Yes, I did have their amazing cheesecake but this year we shared the FANTASTIC red velvet cheesecake instead of eating one by ourselves.  With B's wedding & the 3Day this year we were willing to splurge but stay in check.  It was perfect!  I love sharing my birthday with family especially when they haven't seen me in a while & can't stop commenting on how much I glow.  Selfish perhaps, but it felt great!  Almost as great as I imagine we'll feel crossing the finish line in October.  I can feel it!  It's gonna be great!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

35 things I know at 35

One week from today, I'll turn 36.  I LOVE BIRTHDAYS!!!  It's such a great way to celebrate those who have blessed my life.  On my 35th birthday last year, I wrote & posted the "35 things I know at 35" to my facebook page.  I'm reposting it here as I think about the 36th thing I will add to it for this year.  You can bet it will have something to do with My Pink Goal!

As I reflect back on the last 35 years I realize I've learned a lot, experienced tons, and have even more living left to do. However, these are the top 35 things I know for sure as I turn 35!

1. I couldn't be where I am today without the support, encouragement, and honesty of those who have cared for me & loved me.

2. Family isn't about genes, blood lines, last names, or street addresses...it's so much more than that.

3. If you're as lucky as I am to have the same BFF your entire adult life than take time every day to be thankful! Very few people get that opportunity.

4. I'm proud to be a feminist, pro choice, & liberal.

5. Great romances come in a variety of packages and aren't all meant to last....in fact some are so short that you don't know how great they are until they're gone.

6. Having two sets of parents makes me twice as blessed...after all 4 parents who love you can never be a bad thing.

7. Fat really does look better browned/tanned.

8. A winning personality, solid common sense, & a killer smile will take you a lot further than book smarts & pieces of paper almost every time.

9. My grandmothers & mothers, all of them, are/were the most beautiful, talented, smart, outstanding women that ever lived.

10. My Dad is, was, and forever will be the first man I ever fell in love with.

11. The saying, "If you love what you do you'll never work a day in your life" is crap. Loving what you do makes it easier to do the hard work it takes to make you great at it.

12. My nephew Caleb Michael Merritt is officially the most handsome man on earth.

13. My dads, grandfathers, brothers, uncles remind me all of the time what it means to be REAL MEN & I'm lucky to have them.

14. Perception really is reality.

15. Spell check is a gift from God.

16. The more grounded I become in my faith, the more open minded, liberal, and accepting I become.

17. It's ok to cry but not ok to wallow in self pity.

18. Men can really be just great friends without trying to take advantage of you.

19. Approach all you do with an honest heart & even being hurt wont seem as bad.

20. Forgiveness is more about letting go for you then it is for them.

21. Dignity, decorum, & political correctness are good things most of the time.

22. Following the advice of a friend who tells you that you need a vacation can change your life.

23. There's no better ice cream than Butter Pecan.

24. The person who told me "You're told yes so often that you notice when people tell you no" was right...even if I didn't admit it at the time.

25. Becoming a survivor instead of a victim all boils down to choice.

26. The women in my life really are the coolest chicks alive.

27. Red heads are simply as fabulous as you think we might be.

28. Making friends is the easy part...being a true friend can be a challenge but one worth doing.

29. Love doesn't conquer all but it does make you feel more deeply

30. Lingering over breakfast on the weekends is awesome. Staying in bed all weekend with a hot steamer lover is even better.

31. Never propose a problem without at least one suggested solution because problems without solutions are complaints. No one wants to hear you complain.

32. Go out and better the world. It will change your life.

33. Patience is a virtue given by God that should be practiced daily. However, God skipped me when handing out this virtue.

34. Love can come from the strangest & greatest of places but the best place is from within your own heart, mind, and soul.

35. I am simply blessed.

One of my greatest moments...