Hey all! Happy Friday!
As many of you know, I am working on the #whatsbeautiful campaign with FitFluential & Under Armour Women. Throughout this campaign, I have not only been inspired & motivated by some of the most amazing women out there, but I have realized how many beautiful moments people in my own life are having. Last weekend, during my day/night day with my boy, we ran into my girl Jen while we were out to dinner. It completely made my day, not only because she gives the MOST AMAZING HUGS EVER, but just being around her inspires me to reach my goals. If you don’t know who I am referring to, I highly recommend you checking out Jen’s Weight Loss Story & seeing how amazing she truly is.
While we sat & talked after dinner, for two hours, we covered so many topics. She pulled out her phone & read to me a status she had posted to Facebook a few days prior, which also happened to be her Anniversary of quitting smoking. While she read this out loud to me at the table, my eyes filled up with tears. Her words are so real & genuine. She means everything she says and on top of it all, she is an amazing writer. With every word I was finding that I wanted her to keep talking because I was so drawn in.
When she was done reading,
I looked at her & said – this needs to be shared.
I am so grateful to have a blog as a place to share these messages and stories with others. So, today for Feature Friday, not only do I want to feature Jen & her update on where she is at now, but Jen wants to share her update & where she is at now; and I think that’s #WhatsBeautiful.
“The first year of not smoking was Hell On Earth.
The second year, a whoooooooole lot smoother.
Today, I walk into my third.
The first year was one of the hardest years of my life…but still these past two have been amazing, an epic journey. When they say it’s one of the hardest things you’ll ever do, they are NOT JOKING. But it is not impossible.
“I’m not saying it will be easy, I’m saying it will be worth it.”
In the last two years, I have: finished a bachelors degree in biology with a minor in chemistry; overcome major personal/emotional tribulations; survived amounts of stress that many humans can’t imagine; thought I was unintelligent, unworthy, unable; made some pretty gigantic life decisions; thought I’d live in a straight jacket if all these things continued all at the same time; thought I wouldn’t make it thru a lot of days without coming really close to a nervous breakdown…all while quitting smoking and missing it tremendously and wondering if I’d actually succeed…these were during the inaugural nicotine-free year.
*The adorable Jen (in the middle) and two of her girls at a 5k race last week.
I have also: NOT smoked an estimated 15,000 cigarettes; I’ve gone from someone who couldn’t run a quarter mile two years ago to someone who has completed twelve races in fifteen months, including a 5-mile race and a 10k (seven more to go for this year’s goal), and last Sunday’s long run was 7 miles; I eat as clean as possible; I’ve gone from someone who never enjoyed the thought of exercising to one who works out about ten hours a week; I’ve lost 105 pounds, six clothing sizes, given away pretty much my entire wardrobe; I can do a whole bunch of man-style pushups and hold a plank for a pretty decent amount of time; I’ve found inner strength, found that exercise is therapy, found that I have far more determination than I ever thought I had; I’ve crossed over from the person that needed as much encouragement and push as possible to one who now gives it to others; I am mentally, physically, emotionally stronger than I thought; I have challenged myself more than I ever have, embraced my goals, and learned that almost nothing is unachievable if you work for it…and I have worked damn hard; I’ve gained more confidence and peace in myself than I have ever had in my entire life; and I have gained an entire crew of amazing people in my life and also shared this beautiful evolution with my old friends; I feel the best I have ever physically felt; I am healthy..all because I quit smoking.
I didn’t want to give up cigarettes…. there’s no smoker on the planet that will say they hate it, I just knew I needed to. What I didn’t realize is that I would go through an entire life transformation in the process. It has not been easy, I still miss cigarettes, I crave them sometimes, I dream about them occasionally, and every now and then I could punch somebody in the throat for one. I never actually thought I’d be able to do it. But today, I celebrate a huge victory…two whole years and knowing I’ll never go back because I can kiss all my goals goodbye if I ever start again…and I have a lot of goals.
All of these things have happened because #1 I made a decision, #2 I didn’t give up, and #3 I have absolutely fantastic friends who have supported and still support/encourage all of my health and fitness goals, both people within reach and ones who are many miles away from me..you all know who you are and I love you for it. All sorts of triumphs and goals met and accomplishments made in two short years. Whatever can I get myself into next?”