Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’
My beautiful friend Karen recently had the rug pulled out from under her, health-wise. And yet she rose to the occasion and has become am amazing inspiration for so many people — including myself. I am so moved by Karen’s journey (not to mention her courage), that I asked her to write a little about what she’s gone through, in hopes it might move and inspire some of you. I know Karen inspires me daily. No matter what we might be facing, there is hope. In fact, like Karen, we can become the hope. It’s all about taking the next step (no matter how small of a step it might seem to be).
And for those of us (including myself) who sometimes complain that we don’t feel like exercising, Karen’s commitment to fitness and to being her best self is incredibly motivating. Don’t believe me? Keep reading…
My Friend Karen’s Story in Her Own Words:
I am a runner, love to cycle on the road or better yet on the trails. I play tennis two to three times a week. I am an athlete and cant ‘t seem to get enough of the great outdoors. The running, biking and tennis came to a screeching halt December 24, 2014 (yes — Christmas Eve) when I was diagnosed with not one but two cancers — ovarian and uterine.
I had surgery that morning and stayed in the hospital for a few days until I went home to start my recovery. I began my journey by walking around the island in my kitchen, I could complete four laps before having to take a break. After a week of this I was ready to get outside, however living in Michigan in January can be cold — really cold.
We had record low temperatures this past winter but it wasn’t going to stop me, I layered up and was out the door going for my walk. I started by walking around the block and then around the block twice — three times. It was then I started putting the miles on and found myself walking for over an hour at a time in the bitter cold and snow. I then began my 18 week chemotherapy program the end of January. I also went out for my first run (okay — slow jog) since my surgery ten days after my first chemo and I was never so happy.
“I am a runner and I am running,” I would tell myself — “Chemo or not!”
Backing off from tennis for two months while my 12″ incision started its healing process, I decided to pick up come spinning classes at my club. These activities continued through my treatment, not every day, slower on some days than others, but on my good days I was out there doing something and having fun doing it. When I rang “The Bell” (see picture of this event) on May 28th in celebration of my last chemo treatment I felt like I was on the podium after a big race and I had just won 1st place.
I am the winner and I have won BIG! I am a SURVIVOR and ever so blessed to have the medical care, my husband, friends and family along with the mental and physical strength and drive to be where I am today. Today I celebrate and am so grateful to be cancer free for 7 months.
I have just returned from a three week trip to Moab, Utah, Fruita, Colorado, and Prescott, Arizona — where I was mountain biking on some of the best trails, running and getting back to the mountains and the great outdoors. Happy trails and may they always lead you on a wonderful journey.
Photos Source: Karen B. (Used with permission.)
Who can turn the world on with her smile? Turns out it’s not just Mary Tyler Moore, but also Valerie Harper, who has bravely come forward with her brain cancer diagnosis and is inspiring all of us with her brave and positive attitude.
After recently catching Ms. Harper (appearing with others from the original Mary Tyler Moore show) on Katie, I was moved by her joy, her courage and her refusal to stop living life even after being told by her doctors that she may have just months to live. Instead, Ms. Harper gracefully cautioned us all to “Not go to the funeral before the actual funeral.”
I realized in that moment (while watching her speak) that despite what I thought was a stressful day (the kind of day that made me want to reach for the nearest package of cookies and eat them all), that I actually had nothing to complain about. After all, if Ms. Harper could smile even when facing her current circumstances, then why couldn’t I?
Ms. Harper is a great reminder for us all to live in the moment. As she recently told CNN, “I just want folks to see me, that I’m OK, that I’m not suffering so far. There may be pain. There may be a lot of things ahead, but whatever they are, they’re ahead. They’re not now.”
She went onto tell interviewer Piers Morgan that she is trying to live in the moment and then offered this advice for others: “Keep your chin up and don’t go to the funeral, mine or yours or your loved ones, until the day of the funeral because then you miss the life that you have left.”
“Death is out there for all of us,” she told Mr. Morgan. “There’s other ways to handle it than just sit on the couch and accept.”
I always find it very inspirational when people facing odds we can’t even imagine share their courage and inspiration with the rest of us. It helps make whatever we’re facing seem tolerable — while also reminding us to count our blessings and be thankful for every little thing in our lives (cookies and otherwise).
Photo Source: knue.com
One of the beautiful things about being in touch with readers and fellow (and female!) dieters like you is that when it comes to inspiration, it’s definitely a two-way street. I am always motivated and inspired by the people I hear from – whether they’re facing a challenge or sharing a success story.
I recently received an email from 17-year old Trisha and was filled with said inspiration. After reading (and re-reading) her words of triumph, I quickly contacted her to see if she would mind me sharing her wonderful and inspiring words with you. And I’m happy to report that she was more than happy to share her story with others. So without further ado, here’s the email I received from Trisha:
“You are such an inspiration! You gave me hope that I could get healthy, too. I’m 17 years old, and as of December 1st, I was 437 pounds. Today is March 1st, just 3 months later, and I am now 377! 60 POUNDS GONE IN 3 MONTHS! All from eating less and only eating healthy foods, and exercise. Not even any crazy work out plans! Just walking every evening. I never could have done any of this if I hadn’t heard your story and been inspired. I plan on continuing this path to getting healthy, and maybe someday I can do for someone what you have done for me. Thank you so much!”
Besides having an attitude that shines bright, I love that Trisha has put together a plan that is working for her (and her lifestyle) – while incorporation the basic tenants of losing weight in a healthful fashion:
• Eating Less
• Moving (Exercising) More
• Getting Plenty of Rest
• Drinking Lots of Water
Trisha is a reminder to us all that any goal can be reached – and that the “end goal” isn’t necessarily what it’s all about. Whether we’ve lost a half pound or more of excess weight, that number (and triumph) is worth celebrating – no matter how many more pounds-to-lose we have ahead of us. It’s all about living in the now, loving ourselves as we are in this moment and enjoying the journey toward lasting health.
Do you have a success story, pictures or even a challenge that you’d like to share or have me respond to publicly? If so, please reach out and tell me – no, tell us – your story. Whether we’re working to lose the excess weight or working to keep the excess weight we’ve lost off permanently, we’re all in this together.
(Thanks again, Trisha! Please continue to keep us posted on your journey and know that we’re all behind you every step of – and pound on – the way!)
Set your DVRs, Just Stoppers! On Monday, April 23rd, I will be appearing on The Today Show, on which I’ll be helping to promote my friend Joy Bauer’s new book, Joy Fit Club: Cookbook, Diet Plan and Inspiration, which I happen to be featured in. As of the time of this posting, I’m scheduled to appear during the Kathie Lee and Hoda hour of the show with Joy and 2 other Joy Fit Club members who are also featured in the book.
This one-of-a-kind cookbook and inspirational guide to healthy living is filled with motivational stories (including mine!), satisfying recipes (including one of mine!), and strategic meal plans. It also offers amazing encouragement and real-world advice for anyone looking to reach their healthiest, happiest weight. It is seriously my honor to have been involved with this project.
And no, this is not a paid endorsement – none of us Joy Fit Club members who participated in the book received any compensation and instead participated as a way to share our stories in hopes of inspiring others who may be facing the battle of the bulge.
Since appearing on The Today Show the first time, I have been lucky enough to not only stay in touch with Joy Bauer, but also to become her friend. Her commitment to health and well-being is truly such an inspiration. And all of her advice is grounded and healthy – and also (most important) highly do-able. But don’t take my word for it. You can “Look Inside” the book at your local bookstore or even on Amazon.
I will absolutely document my latest Today Show adventure with pics and insider details in a future post. In the meantime, I thought you might enjoy a few behind-the-scenes pics from my first appearance (November of 2009):
I made it my #1 goal to crack Joy up whenever I could (even going as far as to
enter the studio acting like I thought I was there for a segment on modeling).
Mission accomplished (in regard to making Joy laugh)!
I hope you’ll watch the show as it airs live (or set your DVRs) on Monday, April 23rd for The Today Show’s Kathie Lee and Hoda hour on NBC. I promise I’ll be thinking of all of you (who continually inspire me with your amazing posts, comments and feedback!) when on the show. And I sincerely mean that.
If you’d like to check out my first appearance on The Today Show (from November of 2009), here you go: