Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Power of Positive Change

When I first started out on this adventure back in February of 2011 there was only one goal in my mind- save my life.

I was obese, inactive, and headed down a very short path to self-destruction.

When I started off, my journey was 100% focused around me. What I needed to do to lose weight. What activities I could do to get in shape. What foods I needed to eat that would allow me to both.

When I first started writing I shared my blog with a few of my friends, Paul after some time, and that was about it. I kept it pretty private, at least at first. I didn’t share it with family, I kept it off Facebook, and I never discussed it at work. Why? I don’t really know. Maybe because I was ashamed of myself, maybe because I thought no one would ever want to read it.

But in time, I changed. I became more accepting of myself and in turn open with my story. I openly discussed my weight loss with friends, family, co-workers; you name it- pretty much anyone that would listen.

Now, well now I am here. You know pretty well that I will talk openly in pretty much any forum about pretty much any topic. I’ve talked about the shitty stuff; mom’s cancer, our infertility and I’ve talked about the awesome stuff; running my first mile, Paul’s commissioning, and everything in between.

But one thing I don’t think I have ever written about, or even realized would happen, is the impact the changes I make to my life have on other people. You see, when I sit down to write I really just write about what’s in my head, what’s going on in my life, things that matter to me. I never really think about what I write and how  it could possibly affect someone else’s life. That same rings true for posting on FB or Twitter, talking with friends/coworkers, phone calls with family- I never really have given much thought to the impact my stories, in whatever form, have.

Until recently.

I am starting to notice more and more lately how my life changes are affecting the people in my life. And that is really cool.

Like my Dad-the kale addict. He’s not a vegan, or a vegetarian for that matter, but he ate kale when he was visiting back in 2011 and has been a kale junky ever since. He recently called to tell me about how his blood pressure and cholesterol were in the normal ranges for the first time ever. I asked him why, what had he done to change them and he said ‘I eat kale!’
Is this not the best shirt ever???

Or Paul, when I said earlier this week about not doing a CSA pickup since I’ll be going out of town. He said ‘no, we should definitely get it. Then I will have fresh fruits and veggies to eat while you’re gone’. Big change from the man who would have happily eaten pizza/take out every night until I returned. Now he is cooking his own, super healthy meals every day. And that is awesome!

Or my mom, who said that after her mastectomy she wants to become a vegetarian. She doesn’t want to eat dead animals (her words) anymore. I never have told anyone that I think they should become vegetarian/vegan, especially my parents. BUT I have tried to encourage them to eat less processed junk and more real foods- you know, like a sweet potato instead of rice a roni. But the fact that she views her health as something that can be controlled by diet- well that makes me super happy.

But probably the most amazing thing through all of this is hearing your stories. I am always shocked to receive comments/messages from people, sometimes complete strangers, telling me that I have affected them in some positive way- maybe through motivation to start running  again, or trying out meatless Mondays, or even just saying that something I said resonated with them. It’s amazing.

And I hope I can continue to be that way. I always want to be me and authentic to my true self but if I can be a positive light into just one person’s life- well that’s just mindblowingastronomicallythecoolestthingever….