Friday, May 15, 2015

This Is Not My Punishment

Life. The decisions we make daily. These choices are not our punishment, these are our gift.

These past few weeks have left me in this crazy state of introspection meets pure bliss meets crazy lows meets exhilaration meets sadness meets overwhelming happiness.

Basically I have all the feels lately.

About a month ago I did something I wasn’t sure I would be able to do but tried anyway…I ran two half marathons in two days. The second being the most challenging (because of the elevation and the weather and of course, the soreness from the day before) half marathon I ever ran. When I finished I thought my heart might burst. I was beyond happy, beyond proud of what I had completed.

Then two weeks ago I got to walk across the stage during commencement for my formal hooding and to collect my empty (soon to be filled though) diploma cover for my Education Specialist degree. My parents and E were there cheering me on. So were some of my co-workers and friends as well. It was a pretty amazing feeling. I didn’t walk when I earned my MBA (I had to move to start a new job the day before the ceremony) and my mother was ill during my undergraduate ceremony so it was really nice having both my parents there to celebrate. And of course, I cannot wait to do it again in three years (hopefully) when I complete my doctorate.

Last weekend I spent 36 hours running and relaying the Ragnar Cape Cod with 11 other weight losers/maintainers. For the most part, this was the first time our group was meeting in person. Then we had the pleasure of running 192 miles, relay-style, from Hull, MA to Provincetown, MA. A Ragnar Relay had been on my bucket list since I had first learned what it was a few years ago so I was beyond excited to not only finish one but to finish one with 11 of the most amazing people I have met on this journey. These memories, jokes, hugs and stories will stay with me for life. These people are my Ragnar family now. Time and distance can never change that.

So, as you can see these past few weeks were quite the rollercoaster of emotions. Whenever I reach a new high I tend to be hit almost immediately with a new low. Usually it’s “I can’t believe it’s all over” or in terms of my doctorate it’s more like “holy shit, I am not ready for this”.

But through these recent experiences I have really thought about my life. Life as a weight loss maintainer. I often write about being happy in the decisions I make and how that allows me to sustain this lifestyle. And it’s true. But another thing I have been thinking a lot about lately is the fact that I have a choice at all. Right now, if you are reading this post then chances are your life is filled with choices. Most of which are probably taken for granted. I know most of mine are.

You see, my lifestyle today is completely different from what it was four or five years ago. Like 180 degrees different. I eat differently, am active in different ways (active vs sedentary really) and I even dream differently. And I get to do all of this because I have the freedom and the means (for the most part) to make these choices. I choose to eat a certain way and I can. I choose to register for races and sign up for boot camps because I can. And I choose to dream big because I am no longer afraid of my limitations. I dream big because I can.

These choices I make in the moment, daily, weekly, yearly these are gifts. They are not my punishment.

I choose health and that is a gift. I choose activity and that is a gift. I choose to believe that the sky is the limit and that is the biggest gift of all.

I am not saying that these decisions always come easily or naturally and there is always a battle going on between head and heart, or really between old habits and new habits. I am not ‘perfect’ nor am I without flaws. My journey has never been, nor will it ever be, a straight line. But I can’t beat myself up for living the best way I can each day. I can only be me. And I can only make myself happy. Or in turn it’s only me that can make myself miserable. I have the power to decide my fate and my feelings. And for me that power lies in my perspective- is it a gift or is it a punishment?

It is a gift.


Love and hugs,