If Not Now? Then When?

I had a really nice Christmas, Valentina was happy with her gifts. I had a few people over and I enjoyed all the food and company... it was really nice to share it with others... I think that's the best part of the holidays, visiting with each other and spending more time getting to know one another.

Saying all this I have been out of control with food, using any and every excuse from it's Christmas, it's a sad time for memories to I'm injured so why not? (basically feeling sorry for myself)... I kept telling myself I'll get back on track after this or after that. I lost focus and I didn't allow myself to see how far I have fallen. Not until a couple of days ago when I felt so uncomfortable that I could no longer ignore it.
This brings me to this blog post title: If Not Now? Then When? ... so I am not waiting until New Years or another predefined date, I am never successful with a date, I just have to do it and most of all I need to make a commitment to myself. So although I am not able to exercise the way I like to or need to, I am going to be accountable for my food. No matter what I eat, I will be tracking it in My Fitness Pal and I will be publishing it daily there.

I would love it if anyone of you wanted to join up there (my user name there is launnk) and work on your goals, even if you just want to maintain, it's a great way to stay healthy. I am and have always been about getting to and maintaining a healthy weight. It is not, nor will it ever be about losing a lot of weight. 
I'm a curvy girl and I love my curves... I have no plans to ever lose them all. We are all built with different shapes and sizes, I say celebrate it and love ourselves no matter what size or shape we are...however; feeling comfortable and healthy in our skin is important.

I don't want it to be an obsession, nor do I want to be so rigid that I feel like I am denying myself any food groups. This is going to be about portions and feeding my body the healthy food it needs and desires. Ever since I hurt my leg, I used it as an excuse..  then I kept thinking how I needed to get on track. Yesterday I thought, If Not Now? Then When? ... Now is the time.... 
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Letting Go Of Self Judgment

A couple of incidents brought this post about, I have been thinking about it for the past year or so off and on but this week it has been at the forefront of my mind. With that it seemed like people were talking about it and writing about it more... I do believe that what you think about you draw to you. Saying that I don't think we draw overwhelming challenges or trials to us as I believe we all have them regardless. Some of us are just better at hiding how they affect us, I am not one of them... I am the girl who wears her heart on her sleeve and doesn't hold back, even if I may be judged for those feelings. 

However; saying all that I am also the girl who self judges all the time, I work so hard at trying not to judge others as I am always reminding myself that I don't know what is going on in their lives. When I was younger, I saw life more in black and white and made judgments against people but as I went through my challenges and gained a deeper understanding that we are all dealing with overwhelming trials, this helped me to judge others less. I often wished that I was one of those girls that could tuck away my feelings and show only the sunny side of life.
 I don't think it is wrong to show the sunny side or positive side of life, very few people want to be the negative person who brings others down. Truthfully, I don't want to be her either but I believe for me, saying how I feel, being my authentic self and showing others that even though I don't always handle my trials in life easily or with a big smile on my face... I still overcome and I never give up. Believe me there have been times I wanted to pack it in and say enough is enough but I know, really know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. 

No matter how difficult a trial is that comes into my life, I know that I will find a way around it... I might take the long path, the bumpy one that adds a few more challenges but deep inside, I don't let that give me a reason to ultimately fail. I used to say if I survived this or survived that, I can survive anything... then a bigger challenge would come. I still believe I can get over the hurdles that are put in my way but I don't think any one trial I came through will get me through to the next one, I think they are all cumulative. 
 What brought this all about is that I have great admiration for people that survive and thrive from incredible trials that I see them struggle with... and I have often judged myself and thought I couldn't get through this or that... I don't have that type of strength... but I think we all have that strength, regardless of what we tell ourselves... and I don't just mean this for trials, I mean this for making changes, living the life we were meant to live

I self judge myself and think who am I do do this or that?  The real question is who am I not to do this or that? If I honestly believe others can attain their dreams, then I can attain mine too.... The choice then is mine and always has been mine, who am I going to listen too... all the people who believe in me or the few people who don't believe in themselves... As a good friend said, no matter what, we are enough, we always have been and we always will be enough.... The only question I really need to answer for myself is who am I to judge myself?
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I Am Bent But I Am Not Broken

This week ended up being a lot to deal with, first my leg is still injured... when I saw the physio therapist the week before I promised myself and her that I would do anything that she asked of me. She had given me exercises that I have done every morning and night, I slowed my walking down and I walked much less then I normally do... yet there is no change. It has become almost unbearable to walk and I ended up searching for my cane that I had to use a few years ago. 
I started thinking about people that have chronic pain and I felt so much empathy for them, here I am with a pain that it almost certain to pass eventually... yet I am not dealing with it very well... how do people deal with this all the time, everyday? With no light at the end of the tunnel... yet I know people like this in my own life and many of them handle it with very little complaining... I am in awe of them.  
Next I had moment at work where I did not handle myself well... it was many things, all the changes, the pain in my leg and the time of the year (The Christmas holidays are not happy for everyone). Thankfully I have very understanding people that I work with and they were able to alleviate some of the stress I was dealing with. It will still be a bit trying as it is coming into year end, one of the busiest times of the year for payroll but at least I am seeing a light at the end of the tunnel now... unfortunately I had to have a bit of a meltdown... however; I am sure we have all had a moment when we had to much going on at once. 

Then of course this time of the year has not been good for me, it is a constant reminder of what I almost had and what I lost. I know that by holding onto that sadness, it only holds me back from what the future has to offer. There were times I thought I had got over hump and I could see a different path to take but then I'd have times that brought it all crashing back. Acceptance is extremely important to moving on and it is one of the most difficult things for me to master. 
I am well aware that my future has nothing to do with my past anymore, it hasn't for a long time... deep down I don't even long for what I felt was to be my future, as time has proven to me that no matter how happy I was then, it couldn't have been a long lasting happiness as I have come to know things about 'him' that would have bothered me over time. Things I would not have been able to brush aside... and no, he isn't a bad person by any means, he really is a kind and sweet man... however; he doesn't have it him to forgive people that make mistakes. I need the person in my life to be forgiving as unfortunately I am going make mistakes, like anyone else. 

That was a tough lesson for me to learn, one that nearly broke me in the past few years... I had refused time and time again to see 'him' as he really is... I wanted to remember 'him' the way I had dreams about 'him'... if I really saw 'him' as he was, I would have to admit that I am the one that is responsible for the challenges I have had to deal with... no one but me. I couldn't hold anyone accountable, not 'him'... not her... just me... With that realization I also knew I could change the future, as I am bent... but I am not broken.
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Reflecting How Far I Have Come

I had a bit of a rough week as I would think I was healing and then I would re-injure my leg again, I finally ended up seeking out a physio therapist and decided that no matter how much I want to exercise, I am not going to be able to for a while. I have been given the green light to walk some, just shorter lengths and much slower... this has been pretty difficult for me, however; I think it has given me the time to reflect...

I have a way of using things so that I don't have to think, I am sure we all do it to some degree. We all have our ways of coping when we don't want to deal with what is in front of us. I kept giving myself permission to do whatever I wanted, why not I asked myself? Besides, it's Christmas, a very hard time of the year for me and I know for many others as well... I thought why not just let everything slide for the rest of month and then get back on track? 
I have to say I am good at telling myself I have the right to do what I want, haven't I been diligent and put in so much effort to follow my dreams? What was wrong with cutting myself some slack? I realized that I was hurting myself by not holding myself accountable and I began to question why? I wondered why I was going to let Christmas do me in and take control of me? ... I am worth more than giving in... 

I started getting real with myself, something I haven't done for awhile... it's not easy, it is much simpler to just allow myself to wallow and say why not? I deserve to feel this way, I have had numerous let downs and challenges... didn't I deserve for something to finally go right for me? I allowed that mentality to rule my decisions... I frankly thought why bother following my dreams? They never seem to work out, right? 
I had an incident happen late last night that opened my eyes and made me really reflect, a person that is always trying to make everything look perfect showed their true colors last night... they showed they are insecure, unhappy and not at peace and yet profess to have what they want... at least they think they do... Believe me when I say, I am well aware that no one has a perfect life, I just wonder why some people try to make it look that way? ... I am past that phase of wanting everyone to think I have it all together...

The mind is funny thing, at least mine is... I honestly don't believe in living in the past, it can't take me into the future, it will only bring more sadness, trying to figure out why some things didn't work out as I had hoped for and planned. Am I still sad about the disappoints and losses, I won't lie, I am... but allowing myself to crumble because of a person, an incident, a failed dream or a challenge will never bring me joy either.  Reflections can be a good thing from time to time... they can be reminders of how far I have come...
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Overcoming Trials With New Dreams

I never have a difficult time writing, usually I sit down and the words pour out of me, then I go back and fix up thoughts, add or delete things... this last week zapped my thoughts. It seemed like there had been one thing after another bringing me down.

First I'm overwhelmed at work, there is a great deal of changes happening... not all good, it's causing me a great deal of anxiety. Second I was walking and near the third mile I suddenly felt a pain... I thought all I would need to do was keep persevering ... then I injured it more. Third, with all the stress I've been out of control with my food.
I'm totally frustrated that everything seems like it is out of control... for the longest I time felt gratitude that I was able to exercise... I was feeling stronger and in control of my health. I kept thinking that no matter how many challenges or trials I have, I could walk the stress off. Then I injured myself and I am trying to figure out another way to de-stress, instead I am feeling completely overwhelmed... I hear myself saying Why me? Haven't I had enough challenges? Where is my break?

Then I feel guilty for thinking this way when I know there are many people without a job that would be grateful to have mine... there are people unable to walk, let alone exercise... and there are people going through bigger challenges than I am. Yet I felt despondent with having one stressful thing after another this past couple of weeks. I don't enjoy feeling this way. So, I started reading older blog posts that I had written and saw how far I have come, how much I've changed.
Although I don't feel excited about any of the trials I have, I do have hope that if I can get through ten years of child abuse, being a young single mother at eighteen, an emotionally abusive marriage, then being raped by Andrey... and losing David as my very best friend...

Surely I can deal with a stressful job, a physical injury and having to change the dreams I had for myself to different dreams. That's what life is about, making new and better dreams by overcoming trials...
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Writing Is Like Breathing To Me

It feels like a very long time since I have written, yet it has only been a couple of weeks... I am glad that I took the time for a variety of reasons, one I actually started getting a handle on my housework, it had began to be a problem. I still have a bit to do but I am on the right path. Two, I needed to think about if I wanted to write here again... I took the time to go through many of my blog posts, reading and sharing them. What I concluded from all of it was that although I may write about the same topic often, I have grown from it each time.

Nobody masters anything immediately, we learn a little more each time, be it about forgiveness, love, growth, challenges... etc... It is much like how I changed to become healthy by eating better and exercising. I found that with writing, it kept me accountable... these past two weeks I have been doing my own thing and feeling the effects from it. I want to change that, I want to get back on track and I knew with writing I could get there again... I wrote a thought down about a week or so ago and I thought about it a lot each day. 
I heard someone say how music was like breathing to them... I then wrote 'writing is like breathing to me'... I think we each have something that we are passionate about, something we love that makes us come alive... Well, writing is what does it for me. I remember when I was growing up and most of my family were artists and I thought, why didn't I get that awesome talent? I came to understand that this was their passion and mine came through writing my thoughts.

I don't pretend to think I am a great writer by any means but what I do have going for me is that I am open and honest about who I am and how I feel... I have had many people tell me how they appreciate and admire that in me... I never understood that it's not something that is easy to do until recently... each time I write it's like exposing a part of myself ... that isn't simple. 
When I started writing many years ago, something I had wanted to do for a long time, I had no idea that I would have so many people throughout the world that would care about what I was going through or what I have come through in my life. When I decided not to write and to think about if I wanted to continue, I offered for you all to connect with me in other ways and I was extremely touched with how many people reached out to me.

I've heard many people talk about the page views they have per day, the massive amounts of followers they have attained and how successful their blog has become... I realized that even if I don't have all of that I am successful in that I have wonderful people that really care about me throughout the world... besides the truth is that no matter what, I will always write because 'writing is like breathing to me.'
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Time For Me To Learn The Lesson

Before I start to write my thoughts today, I want to thank each of your for the kind and honest comments over the years. I have been incredibly grateful for having this form to get my thoughts out, whether they have been daily or weekly... whatever it was that I needed at the time. I love the blog community I am in, so much so that I have a great desire to meet so many of you... I believe one day that will be possible.

Saying all this... I have been thinking about not writing here, at least not where I publish it for anyone to read for a while. Why? Well when I started this blog in 2009 it was to deal with the aftermath of being raped by my ex husband, I had lost my voice in that relationship and I needed to write what I was feeling inside. I had changed a great deal in my marriage... I tolerated behavior that today I would never accept.  I didn't write a great deal for the first three years...my blog was more of a personal diary that a few people read which I didn't promote. It helped me just to get my thoughts out... then my life took a huge turn at the end on 2011.
David, the man I'd always had a crush on became interested in me, I was over the moon... I cannot begin to explain how joyful I felt. I had a permanent smile and I believed in us, there was no doubt in my mind that we were going to be together. We had even discussed marriage, he came home for Christmas and it was amazing. However, he went home and in the new year he had a change of heart and I started writing almost daily to be able to handle the pain of losing us. It helped and I was working through a lot of the emotions, I had even got my head wrapped around eating healthy and exercising... I began to change my life for the good in the Summer of 2013.

Then that fateful day in September 2013 happened and I was changed permanently. I stopped sleeping and depression took over, I wondered if I would ever feel good or believe in anything again. I exercised even more... I started writing weekly and I found it was what I needed and all that I had time for... I came through most of that pain and found a way to move on... they were two of the most tumultuous years I had ever had to deal with... pain brings a growth that nothing else can.

Lately I wonder why I've continued to write? I'm not even sure I have the answer... part of me thought it was helping me but then I realized last week that I've been recycling my thoughts and not really learning from them, isn't that what writing a personal blog is about? Learning and then changing? I know that sometimes we learn a concept and a year later, we learn more about that concept. However; I feel like I am relearning the same concept over and over... 
I am going to take some time, real time to decide if I want to continue writing here, if I feel like writing can change me for the better I will be back. Until then I will continue to write for me because I need that... if any of you want to stay in contact with me, feel free to add yourself to my Facebook Launna Krivousov - Twitter @LaWannish - Instagram @launnak or Google+ Launna Krivousov. I love staying connected through social media. Also, although I will miss all your blogs I am taking time away from them too... I need to make some changes in my personal life as I have been feeling like I was spiraling out of control... I need to focus on me and Valentina... and hopefully learn the lesson...

I do know that I will be back to read and follow your blog posts after I have taken some time to get my life under control, I will miss you all a great deal, especially all of you who leave me such beautiful and heartfelt comments.
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Rising Above The Pain

I had a dream last week that was unnerving... one because I actually dreamed (I rarely sleep long enough to get to the dream stage), two because I woke up twice and went back to the same dream and third it wasn't a pleasant dream... yet I learned something that really made me think... which then had me considering all the trials and challenges I have had to deal with in my life. I actually felt different about them.

I think many times after getting through a trial where I am finally able to breathe and have gratitude that it is over... I never really looking at what it might have been teaching me, never really seeing the good that may have come from it... just knowing it made me stronger. The dream made me think of the worst possible scenario that could happen in my life, hence why I wasn't thrilled that I kept going back it...
The next day I was watching a program on TV that had two people who had gone through a great loss, much like the one I had dreamed of... the first person could not get passed it, they were angry and said that although they had gone on with their lives, they were sure that it would always leave a dark cloud over them... The second person suffered a huge loss too but they chose to look for the good and became the best person they could, they went on to do wonderful things with their life.

I cannot judge the first person as I am not her and I did not go through what she did but it made me think of the many difficult trials that I have dealt with and what I had learned from each of them... If my life had been different and some of them had not happened, I would not be who I am today... I would not have learned some very important lessons. What I learned from that dream was that no matter what trial or challenge befalls me, I have to get up and never give up. 
Which then made me think of how I lost 'him' out of my life and where I would be if I had not... I began to think how I took the pain I had from losing 'him' and put it into exercising with my whole heart. Every time I would feel any sadness I would go out for a walk ... I became healthier than I have ever been, If I had not lost 'him' the way I did I probably wouldn't have kept up with it when I got close to my goal as I never did before, this time was different ...

I have seen two people go through the same awful trial, one rose above it and found their purpose, the other one lived in their sadness and never grew... Yes we have all had unthinkable challenges that we could continually question 'Why me'? ... No matter what it is, someone else has gone through it and rose above it... Regardless of what the pain is, it is teaching us something we need to learn... I had to decide to learn the lesson so that I can rise above the pain...
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I Need To Stop Fearing The Answer

I've been in an off mood this past week, I wasn't even sure why... tonight it came to me, although I love the Fall season, I am literally unhappy that Winter will be following. I cannot think of any real redeeming qualities of that season. The only one that even remotely comes to mind is that it makes me appreciate every other season that follows it much more... I don't like being house bound, nor wearing so many clothes I feel like a snowman, or fearing the ice that could have me fall and hurt myself.

Until a couple of weeks ago, I wasn't even allowing myself to think about it but with the cool air reminding me that it's not too far off and seeing the year flying by at the speed of light has brought last years memories back. I honestly thought of moving somewhere, anywhere, as long as there was not massive ice there. I know that all places have their downfalls, nowhere is perfect and for the most part I do enjoy living where there are four seasons... just not where one of the seasons drags on for more months than I care to think about. 
When this time of the year comes, with the time change, less daylight... less chance to enjoy the outdoors, it leaves me edgy. I already miss that I could take off at 9:00 at night and walk for an hour... I especially miss that I didn't need any sort of jacket. I need to be able to just get up and go, it always clears my mind and when I can't I feel muddled... which leaves me off balance, if that makes any sense. This week I was eating food that I normally wouldn't eat, I realized it was my way of not dealing with a question I have, one I don't want to hear the answer to... Last night I reminded myself that not dealing with it would only cause other issues, eating poorly isn't the answer.

Finding out the answer whether I want to hear it or not is the only way to deal with it... because although I am still exercising a lot, I know that I cannot exercise my way out of a bad diet. Thankfully, I don't allow myself to stay in that place of denial like I used to, although I fear the answer I don't want to fear it enough to give up what I have worked so hard to attain. Besides, although I don't want to hear the answer, it probably isn't as awful as I think, it rarely is, right...?
I'm struggling right now, most people don't want to hear that and I understand, I think it's because most of us are struggling and we want to hear good and uplifting things so that we can believe that there is a way through. Well, even though I am struggling I do believe that it will get better because it always has... however; I still have to go through low, challenging trials where I have to put in the work to get to where I want to be...

Though I know change is inevitable and ultimately good for me, it still isn't easy to see the good that will eventually come from it... Today as I spoke with some friends, I was reminded that all those difficulties and challenges that I dealt with in the past taught me strength and empathy... maybe the question I have been afraid to ask is the very thing that will make me stronger when I am finally willing to accept the answer I fear...
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The Choice To Help Or Hinder Our Progress

This weekend I accomplished another goal I had made about 5 months ago, I never spoke about it, I just decided that I was going to complete it by the Fall. I have been exercising a great deal for the past few months and walking has been my main method as I have come to enjoy it a great deal. Most of you know that I have a Fitbit that keeps track of my steps, I have even walked 10 miles through out the day once or twice. Last week I made a decision that I was going to get in at least 25,000 steps on this Saturday past. The first thing I did was buy groceries earlier in the week, I did the laundry on Friday... I made sure there would be no excuses for me to not complete this goal.

So, I not only achieved the 25,000 steps, I made it to 30,000 steps for the day... I set myself up for success by being prepared, by walking practically everyday and building up strength and by not using any excuses. It was quite a bit more than I have done previously, I had made it to 20,000 steps a few times in the past... I ended up having to walk a total of 14 miles for the day. I have to tell you, I feel great... I was sure I would not be able to walk the next day but I went right back out and walked 6 miles today beating my last time by 3 minutes from 2 weeks ago. 
I remember a few short years ago I was so unhealthy, I rarely walked more than a few blocks, I smoked, I only ate salad that was drowned in salad dressing and other veggies were an occasional occurrence. Today I regularly walk 3-6 miles per day, I don't smoke, salad dressing is a rare item and vegetables are a daily food that I love to eat. Of course I eat food that isn't always super healthy but it is within moderation and definitely not daily anymore.

I am really thankful that I had that a ha moment in May of 2013, the one that 'he' unknowingly ignited in me ... the one that got me started on a path I will be forever grateful for being on today. 'He' might have got me started on the path but it took my own strength and determination to stay there and do the hard work. To really stop looking for excuses not to do the work.... I say that because I look back to when I used to put in some effort to lose the weight over the years, invariably it wasn't about a life change, it was until I hit a certain mark. 
Whatever clicked in me that day has never left me completely. I continue to want to keep working and being my best as I never want to go back to that unhealthy girl that was sad in ways that I ate so that I didn't have to feel. Today I walk and write when the sadness shows up... both are much more conducive to reaching and maintaining my goals. Is it easy? I will never say that, the easy way would be giving up and giving into the sadness and food but I won't do that anymore. 
Whenever I think I don't have time or that I won't be able to accomplish it because of my age or the many other reasons I might come up with, I remind myself of the quote above that is very true, we all have the same 24 hours in the day, it is what we choose to do with them that matters. I need to work on other aspects of my life such as decluttering my home which I won't make excuses for as I prioritized other things as more important for now. Besides none of us are perfect, we are always a work in progress... forever making choices that will change us in ways that will will either help or hinder our progress. Today I choose to help my progress by making the choice to be better...
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Gratitude For What I Have And What I Lost

Sometimes it seems like I never have enough time in the day, between working, walking and having a little down time... I have a desire to write but it always gets put on the back burner for other things. When I first started really writing in early 2012, I wrote nearly everyday and I did this for almost 2 years of my life. Sometimes I wonder how I did that but it was something I needed to do to heal my heart, that is what writing does for me.

I rarely go back and read those posts I wrote a few years ago because they were raw and bring back memories of a time I believed in dreams that never came to pass... I read a couple of them this week and although they were very sad at times I also saw that I have grown more than I ever thought I was capable of... There were days back then where I wondered how I would or could make it through. Days I was sure that my life would never get to a point where I could ever believe in anything again. 
I had a couple of defining moments, one was when I finally decided I was tired of the excuses as to why I could not lose weight ... for the first time in my life I shelved every single one of them and put my whole heart and soul into me... I believed in myself, I saw my successes and each day I begin to know more and more that I could and would succeed. The second was losing 'him', I cannot even convey the pain I dealt with... words could not describe it... although I still miss 'him' I gained closure that I was unsure I would ever find.

I even think one day I will know why I had to go through that loss, there has to be a bigger reason, I will get the a ha moment out of the blue and smile to myself and think... that was why. Until then I rarely let myself think about 'him' or the past ... he pops in and out of my mind but I don't let 'him' reside there for too long. Usually I get up and go out for a long walk... it clears my mind and I gain focus again. One thing I learned is that although you can have a best friend as we were, you can only rely on yourself, people change. 
This is a difficult weekend for me as it is the anniversary of the fire where I was burned so badly at 15 months old and where my sister died... that catastrophic event changed my families life and challenged us all. Even though we lost so much that day, I still work on finding gratitude for what I have and what I lost... I survived and I thrived... 

Yesterday I went for a long walk, part of me was trying to convince myself that first I could skip a day and then second I only needed to do a couple of miles but I didn't listen to that part, I walked for almost 6 miles and I felt gratitude that I didn't give up, I pushed myself even though part of me didn't believe I could... It was an accomplishment that showed me, each day I wake up and make a choice to be better than I was the day before, I fought against all the odds and became a strong person who refuses to give up.
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Believing In The Light I Couldn't See

I have been really busy for the past couple of weeks, I realized I had the opportunity to get to a milestone that I never thought was possible when I was looking over my stats on Fitbit and noticed that if I was willing to go all out and walk as often as possible that I might be able to reach 600 miles in three months... and I did it with a day to spare. From July 1st until September 30th I walked over 607 miles, 126 hours of that time was active exercise and I ended up with more than 1,200,000 steps.

I was thrilled when I reached the milestone for many reasons, one because I proved to myself that I could do it, two I proved that age is not a factor if you put all your effort into it and three I removed many excuses out of my life to achieve the goal. There were mornings I thought about just hopping on a bus, misty days I thought about staying home and days where I thought what's a couple of days off going to hurt?... Each time an excuse came up I brushed them off and just walked... do you know what? I don't regret one moment of the steps I took, not one... each one made me feel healthier and stronger. 
What is my next goal? With the cooler months approaching I am going to have to use every available good weather moment to exercise and I have started strength training... I am new to it, so it will take a little time to get comfortable, nothing new feels easy right away, eventually I will be a pro at that too... I have stopped looking for excuses to give up and I just started doing. I think one of the best slogans is the Nike one that said 'Just Do It'... there is nothing more simple and more true.

Am I trying to say it is easy? Not at all... I think we have to work hard to keep getting better, at least for me there is one excuse after another that I could come up with to validate why I can't stay on this path but none of them are true or good excuses. It is funny how I spent so much time talking myself out of doing when it was far less effort to just do it... What I gained more than anything from this was finding out how cathartic exercise really is, whenever something tough or emotional would come up, I would walk and it gave me time to think things through and clear my head. 
This was especially true with the last part of September being an anniversary that could have pulled me down if I let it, instead I walked the pain of that anniversary away... I was a little melancholy but I dealt with it in a really good way... I did not give into the sadness. There are more of these days on the way but that was one of the worst ones and if can get through that one, I can get through the other ones... at least the other ones are not nasty painful ones, just good memories that became sad... We all have those, finding out that life doesn't always turn out the way it should or the way we expected....

You know what I learned from the horrible challenge I had to deal with the last two years? I became incredibly grateful for all the trials that I made it through before that one... because each one of those trials was building me stronger to make it through the most difficult one. I knew there was a light even though I couldn't see it, I held onto that... that little bit of Faith and Hope... Trials are a little like exercise, it doesn't necessarily feel good while you are going through it but ultimately it makes you stronger...
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Life Is About Doing And Not Portraying

I know it's been awhile since I have written, it's not that I haven't wanted to write, it has been a time issue. I have stepped up my exercise, this month I have over 133 miles logged so far... also, I spoke of strength training the last time I wrote, hopefully I will be starting that this week... I am working on getting together with the lady who will be giving me some pointers. The last thing I want to do is injure myself by doing it incorrectly, so I will be waiting before I start.

Also, my mood has changed a great deal in the past two weeks... it happened almost overnight... I'm not as melancholy as I have been, which isn't to say that I am overly joyous by any means either... I don't know how to even explain my mood... maybe it's come with all the exercising and focus I have put there, maybe I've come to a point of change finally... All I know is that I have not had any major lows but neither have I had any major highs... At the moment, this is what I need ... I have a lot of anniversary dates coming up that I was not sure how I was going to cope with... Today I feel like I will be able to deal with them... 
Since I last wrote, I was able to lose a little over 4 pounds which was great from all the hard work I have put in... I never want the numbers on the scale to rule me, as that is not what my journey is about... it is about becoming healthier and stronger. As I have stated before I will never be really tiny as I don't want to be, I want to be able to be the best me with exercising and eating nutritious food. I want to do what I say ... instead of saying things I wish and then not doing them. Too many people I know say they want to make changes and then never do anything about it, that was me in the past but I no longer want to be like this.

That is when real change happens, when we really decide that we are important enough to put in the effort and time. When I changed my mindset in June 2013, I didn't do it for a week, a month or a year... I changed if for a lifetime. I fail from time to time as I am human but there is a part of me that will and can never go back to the girl I was before I made it important to look after myself physically ... I am grateful that switch was turned on then because I think that if I had not made those changes then, that all the challenges that came not long after would have buried me. 
I have often wondered why I had to deal with all the loss I did... lately I have come to see that it ultimately made me stronger by not relying on others to show me my worth. It has been one of the most difficult lessons I have ever learned in my life but one that I needed to go through. There were so many times that I thought I was not going to make it, that the pain and grief would be too much to take. However; I am getting through each day and I see my own worth which no one can take from me.

I think the biggest lesson I learned these past two years was that no matter how hard someone tried to take me down, they didn't succeed... I was and am stronger than they or I ever thought I was... Although I wondered for a very long time how someone could be so hurtful and still seem to have all that they desired, I came to learn that it just looked like it... I want to live an authentic life, that means I don't want to pretend everything is perfect when it's not... we all have ups and downs and trying to portray anything different ultimately only hurts ourselves...Life is about doing and not portraying....
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