Monday, February 9, 2015

Steph Says: Getting By With a Little Help From My Friends

If you've been reading this blog or if you've known me for a hot minute, you know my whole "always been fat, lost some weight, got pregnant, ate everything, got fat again, now getting fit and healthy" story. If not, welcome to the circus. Join us. We're all crazy here.

I've been thinking a lot lately about how I've gotten to this place where I'm finally happy with my body. I never thought I'd be here, you see.  Am I still focused on improving?  Yes. Do I want to feel leaner and look even better in my clothes? Hell yes. But when I look in the mirror these days, my first thought is no longer "Ugh." It's "Girrrrrrl check YOU out!" I mean, which would you prefer? It had been "ugh" for two decades. It was about time for some self-love. It was about time to see my reflection in a store window and think "Not bad!" instead of "Get thee to a gym!"

So how did I finally get here?

I made a conscious decision to surround myself with 1) people who want to see me succeed and 2) influences that make me want to improve. Those two factors gave me the strength I needed to get started, and has continued to give me the focus I need to keep moving forward.

I would not be here without the support of The Hubs, first and foremost. This guy lets me go to the gym and go on my runs and work out in the garage with him. He puts up with my healthy eating kicks (and goes on kicks of his own). He loved me when I was at my absolute worst, and he loves me through this wild ride I've been on for the past year. He's my better half and I just adore him. 
Don't mess with a man, his fro-yo, and his Finding Nemo sticker. #dadlife
I would not be here without the support of my mom. She rocks, y'all. She is the most wonderful person I know. She has such a big heart and she has taken such good care of me through the years. Now she is Super Nana to my little Rascal Mae AND she's lost a bunch of weight herself over the last two years! I think chasing the kiddo around has helped with that. She and The Hubs are my support system when it comes to my "me time." Without them, I wouldn't have time to go run or work out. So those two deserve some major credit in my weight loss success.
This is an old pic, but I LOVE it. My hair was ON POINT. 
I would not be here without the support of MEGGERS. My blog partner in crime. My swole sista. We have bonded over so many things, it's hard to remember where it all began. We dealt with some pretty ridiculous stuff by drowning our sorrows in donuts, queso, and margaritas. Somewhere around midterms last year, we decided that enough was enough and we traded in our lunches of leftover basketball banquet brisket (yes, that's a thing) for tilapia and broccoli. Everyone LOVED when we'd heat that up in the teachers' lounge microwave. 
Doesn't mean we don't ever commiserate over queso...but now it's a special occasion when she comes to visit, and not a Thursday just because. I'm hungry for queso.

I would not be here without the support of my runners. Amy, who convinced me to run my first Cajun Cup and first half marathon. She got sidelined by plantar fasciitis before the half, which makes me so sad. I miss running with her. Erin, who got me involved with Team RWB. I'm so ready to be done with marathon training so I can start running short distances on Thursday nights with her again! And Mary Clare, my sweet girl, my little sister from another mister. She's ten years younger than me, but I swear she's ten years wiser. This little chicky inspires me to be happy with myself and to ENJOY the ride instead of just using it as a means to and end. Plus, my hilarious group of Saturday morning girls. They actually make waking up at 5 a.m. an enjoyable experience!

I would not be here without the support of  my gym peeps who I see for RPM on Monday nights. They make the 45 minutes of pedaling nowhere slightly less agonizing... Mostly because we're killing ourselves laughing. I'm just gonna clap my hands and say "Whooooooo!" They'll understand.

And I would not be here without those healthy influences. Honestly, one of the biggest contributors to my success is social media. Say wha? Social media has come so far; in particular, the 'Gram (that's how I refer to Instagram in my head). Thank God I am an adult and I don't have to deal with the cattiness I experienced growing up... And I'm sincerely hoping I'll never have to... 
One of the things I love most about the people I've found on Instagram is that they are so positive.  They're not about competing, they're about building each other up. They're sharing struggles, overcoming obstacles, and celebrating successes. 

So here I am. I've reached a point on this journey where I truly feel like I'm worth so much. I'm not just getting by and settling for "this is a good as it gets." NO!!! No more feeling inferior. No more making excuses! I am a boss.  And bosses do not cancel meetings with their most important client. Or however that saying goes.

I hope that you have the support you need to go out there and do exactly what you want/need to do while being exactly who you want to be.  And if you don't have that support,  go out and FIND IT. Instagram, blogs, social media- it's all right there literally at your fingertips.  But don't forget the power of real, true, genuine friendships with people who have your back, your front, and your sides...especially your best side.
And if all else fails, I'm here for you, sista. Get out there and do something awesome today.

Follow us on the 'Gram @presentlyfree!