Since my last post life took a turn that was not necessarily part of my life plan – I was laid off from a job that I love. HOWEVER, when life hands us a “bump” in the road, we have a choice to make. We can either choose to rise above it and move forward OR we can choose to wallow in self-pity and depression.
Prior to having lost my weight, I would have went the route of self-pity, depression, “woe is me” and figured that I was doomed. That is not to say that I didn’t feel sorry for myself, wish it hadn’t happened, said a few choice words or felt sadness – I did all that and then some! BUT, the difference this time, for me, was that as a result of having starting the journey of being healthier and happier being well on its way for me – I was able to stay focused on what I needed to do – find a job and keep moving forward.
Just prior to the job loss, I had signed up to be part of Team HOPE, a community-based group of individuals, who were raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. In fact, they were attempting to raise $100,000 to fully fund a blood research grant to help eradicate blood cancers. By signing on to the team, I was committing to personally raising $1,800 – scary now that I didn’t have a regular income. It also meant taking on training for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon. Something that I had NEVER, EVER done before. So the choices continued…stay the course, raise the money, support my friends – or drop out and quit. Oh I thought about the later more times than I can count but…I also had committed to myself that this was the year (2014) that I would identify an exercise that I would enjoy to help me keep the weight off.
Here is how I tackled what seemed impossible:
- Job front: I emailed every person I know in my network and sent them my resume along with a short snippet of what I was looking for and asked them to share opportunities with me. I applied for jobs that didn’t make sense just to put my name out there. I met with anyone that was recommended either by phone or over coffee. I listened. Stayed engaged on LinkedIn.
- Fundraising front: When you ask people to give to a great cause, it is amazing how generous people are – I did team events, sent personal emails, posted on social media – and gave people a reason to get involved. My uncle has CMML, a blood leukemia, and a I asked him to “borrow” his story to put a face to my fundraising efforts. We had to meet a $1,800 minimum by April 14 – scary to say the least – but I met it and exceeded it by more than $500. As I write this post, I am at $2,378 with one outstanding corporate donation!
- Race training: I made myself get out of bed every Saturday, except one, and went to training – cold weather and all. I scheduled time to train during the week with other teammates. On the one day that I missed team training, I trained by myself. Found out quickly that training with the team was more fun.
- Weight control: To keep the weight in check and not fall back into bad habits was a challenge for me during this time. I found that it was easier to grab something on the run instead of planning meals which I allowed to happen on certain days ‘just because’ but was quick to put myself back on a protocol of eating more protein than carbs. I used my Unjury and Body by Vi products to help me stay on track. I put a few pounds on; however, I was moving much more and didn’t allow the scale to get out of control.
I committed to completing the half marathon with a smile on my face. What happened was much more. As I rounded the 12th mile and headed into the finish line all I could do is let the tears roll. Walking 13.1 miles was and is a HUGE accomplishment for a girl who couldn’t run stairs just 27 months ago without feeling like she was going to have a heart attack.
Here are some fun pictures of the half marathon that will be forever my reminders that I simply need to stay focused and keep moving…