I have had so many wonderful opportunities the past two years to meet some very special and remarkable SparkPeople members who continue to motivate and inspire me to carry on with my own journey to embrace all that life has to offer. Hearing the inspirational stories of so many members who have overcome their own obstacles in life, such as losing over 100 pounds, running their first half-marathon or even lacing up their running shoes to race their first 5K is a blessing beyond words.
In a few short weeks I will celebrate six years of being diet free. I have never considered this journey I am on as another diet. I consider this my way of living. Running, strength training, Pilates and watching my diet has become my way of living, so much so that I no longer have to think I just do--something my running coach taught me years ago when I was new to the sport of running. In order to make a habit we must constantly make ourselves aware of the changes we need to make until we no longer have to think we just do--that is what we call a habit.
Last week when the Special Health edition of All You Magazine featuring Coach Nicole and a number of our members was released I must say I was quite nervous. I was honored to have been asked to share my story. Unbeknown to me, Coach Nicole had submitted my name and story to the magazine. Last August before I was leaving to run the Hood to Coast Relay with eleven other SparkPeople runners from across the country, I was given the AWESOME news. I was sworn to secrecy and let me tell you I was dying to tell everyone.
Some of you may not realize, but before I was asked to come work for SparkPeople in August 2008, I was just like many of you. I was a member who came on board daily to share a little glimpse in my life and to share my knowledge of how I overcame the adversities in my life.
Writing my story was the easy part, but I will confess the photo shoot was a challenge. I met with the photographer at the end of September and was asked by the All You editors to wear something as though it was January. OK, that would have been fine, but Texas was in the midst of a triple digit heat wave and high humidity. I was sweating even before I got to our destination, mind you in my car with the A/C on high.
The photographer had me running. The first few shots were going well, but as you can imagine, wear a half-zip long sleeved jacket and black running capris, the sweat started pouring down my face. Keep in mind, my hair was too short to pull back and because they did not want me to wear a hat, well let's just say it was not a great experience. I knew 95% of the shots were of me sweating.
Having spent the better part of my life avoiding cameras and allowing others to define me, this one day was a terrifying experience. I was hoping I didn't look goofy or fat. It was tough, I will not kid. Something that many people find thrilling had me reliving the days when I hated having my photo taken. As the old saying goes, "We are our own worst critic."
When they made the announcement about the magazine, I did tell a SparkFriend and fellow runner my fears of looking like a sweating pig. She stopped me dead in my tracks and said, "isn't that what you do when you run, Nancy. You sweat!" That one brief statement changed my whole perspective. I do sweat when I run--just come run with me and you will find out and for those who have, they can testify that I am a sweater.
I would have hated going out there in full make-up with my dolled up hair because that is not who you see when I run. When I run, you see me. And while my hair is plastered to my head, I am blessed to be where I am today. I This journey I have been on has been quite surreal and I have discovered that it's because you all keep my life in perspective. THANK YOU to you all for your amazing support.
What have you discovered about yourself on your own personal journey? Have your SparkPeople Friends given you a perspective that you could not see for yourself? Are you able to see past your flaws and accept where you are today?