You ARE Enough

I first met Tasha when I visited Under Armour headquarters a couple of years ago, and we were ambassadors together and roommates. She has become a wonderful and inspirational friend who is very dear to me, and I am honored to have her guest post today. She has an amazing story of overcoming shame, guilt, and anorexia that she is sharing here today. I hope you will read it, it’s worth it!

Shame, as defined by vocabulary.com, is “a painful emotion resulting from an awareness of inadequacy or guilt.” In my life, it defined an entire period of my life, a darkness, a private hell that I lived in and out of for far too long. With my daughter just turning twelve last week, memories of how my life came crashing idem, all over my weight, shortly after her birth came flooding back. I decided, now, more than ever as she enters a very delicate period in her own development, to really acknowledge how I got there, how I can deal with any remnants of what was and make to decision about walking in freedom about my body and my weight and being a worthy example for her to follow.

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Six months before I became pregnant with my daughter, I had just successfully lost a little over forty pounds. I had been dating a man for a little over a year and had gotten “comfortable” and had ended up getting very close to two hundred pounds again, something I promised myself I would not do. I had gotten a membership at the local YMCA, cleaned up my diet and was really really proud about being under 160 pounds, a weight I had not seen since my first year of college. Within a month of reaching a healthy weight, my boyfriend proposed and we were married three months later. I became pregnant three months after that. All of the quick changes (not just getting married but losing my job, going through a custody battle over my oldest child and moving to a different city) made gaining fifteen pounds SUPER easy. I felt “happy” but out of control. So many people were inspired by the changes I had made and I was now feeling as if I was letting them down. That guilt on top of the guilt of being put on a diet by my doctor for gaining too much weight (as a pregnant woman) on top of no longer having a job on top of feeling bad for being “vain” about my body when I was supposed to be taking care of myself to bring another life into the world. The weight of it all was super heavy on my shoulders.

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When I gave birth, I became obsessed with losing the weight. I wouldn’t go visit family and friends because I was ashamed of what I had become, or in my mind, become “again.” On top of severe post partum depression (which I’m sure was affected by the way I felt about myself), I exercised excessively. I battled my second round of anorexia. I rarely slept. I almost killed myself. I felt trapped, again, all because of a number on a scale. It’s amazing how trying to be what we think is acceptable to others will destroy us.

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I have battled the same thing since entering the fitness profession some eleven years ago. Shame is what led me to a binge eating disorder. I was a yoga teacher. How does a yoga teacher explain to her students that her emotions are our of control and she is ashamed of her body when she is telling them to breathe and love themselves? I shoved brownies down my throat before class in the corner of the parking lot where no one could see, cried for ten minutes and then went to play the role. That’s what shame does to us. We play roles to feel “accepted” and hide from who we really are. When I came to terms with who I really was and that it was o.k. that I was super small or that I didn’t dress a certain way or that I wasn’t a runner and that who I was indeed was ENOUGH, my battle with shame became less and less and less and while I still struggled (honestly, struggle) with body image from time to time, I no longer hide from people or the issue. When I feel that way, I get to the root of the issue and not just accept it as before. I have not only had to change my thinking but there are times I had to change environments, friends, who I was following on social media, where I was shopping and what I watching on television. If it made me second guess myself, it had to go.

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Shame is hard. Suffering is hard. Silence is hard. It secretly kills. If you are in a shame cycle,may I encourage you with these words: you ARE enough. Shame attacks us when we feel inadequate. You are more than capable and more than worthy. When we believe in our own worth and power, shame dissolves. When shame dissolves, we can see who we really are and go from there. There is nothing wrong with self improvement. We just can’t become undone trying to undo who we truly are. Be encouraged. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Thank you Tasha for sharing such a personal story! If you are not already, please be sure to follow this amazing lady on her social channels, here are a few: Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook

QOTD: Can you relate to Tasha at a time in your life? How did you overcome these feelings?

Inspiration in Everything

I love inspiring quotes. They help me through the hard days, and especially through the hard runs. My all time favorite is “you are stronger than you think”, but there are so many other great ones out there as well.

If you look hard enough, you can find inspiration in just about anything. Thankfully, the folks at The Universe Knows have made it super easy to find! They sent me a few of there inspirational items, and I have loved using them to keep me inspired and maybe even inspire others. I was given a journal, a mug, and a long sleeved hoodie.

My favorite of the quotes is on my journal. It is a great reminder! It is a leather journal with a ton of pages. I haven’t yet decided what I will use it for, but I love the color and quality.

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I have used my mug several times (dishwasher safe) and absolutely love the summary they put with the mug on the website, so I am sharing it below.

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what a difference a day makes.

just for today I am going to allow myself to be imperfect. I will forget my past and not worry about the future. today I will love myself, forgive myself and relinquish any feelings of guilt that I have. today, I know that I am enough. just for today, I will stretch my boundaries and push just beyond my comfort zone. today I will smile more and be more generous. just for today I will be grateful for the simple things, celebrate little things and allow myself to be loved.

I love it! So well put. I think of that quote when I drink out of my mug.

I was also given this great pink find your balance hoodie. I however haven’t had a chance to wear it because it has been in the mid to upper 90’s every day this summer! It feels so soft, and the words are stitched into the fabric. I can’t wait to have something new to wear this fall.

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Be sure to check out their website for other great products, colors, and quotes. So many to choose from!

You can follow along with other product reviews and tweets with the hashtag #inspirationwear

QOTD: If you could choose a quote to put on a product what would you chose?

What’s Beautiful: Blogger Inspiration

This post is sponsored by Under Armour through Fitfluential

I have been posting a good bit about the Under Armour What’s Beautiful Campaign here on THLG, and I wanted to give you an update on where I am with my goal.

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I aim to inspire people of all walks of life and at all fitness levels. I think everyone should feel welcome in our community, and should feel encouraged and inspired by others to reach their goals.

So, I thought what better way to get the message out about inspiring people than to enlist some amazing female bloggers who are also a part of the What’s Beautiful competition. They have all agreed to do SOMETHING this week to inspire others. Let’s see how many people we can reach and keep the inspiration going. Pass it on!

Cristina:

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“I will get four people to do this with me tomorrow.”

Erin:

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“I will encourage as many people as I can to get up earlier at least once this week and workout!”

Stephanie:

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“I will inspire other busy mom’s to prioritize time for themselves to be healthy. I will do this not through words, but through actions.”

Suzi:

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“My goal is to successfully complete my yoga course so that I can inspire my clients to try something new as I offer free Yoga classes over the summer.”

Natalie:

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“I will encourage a friend to lace up and go running”

Jennifer:

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“I will leap outside my comfort zone of fitness and encourage someone to try new things!”

Coco:

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“Show friends on Facebook not to be afraid of getting sweaty”

Amy:

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“I will encourage my step daughter to run with me”

Presley:

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“I will inspire my family members to make smarter, healthier choices every day this week!”

One simple act of inspiration is all it could take to get someone moving! Will you help me pass it on? If YOU need encouragement or inspiration be sure to visit one of these ladies’ blogs and follow their What’s Beautiful profiles. You can join the What’s Beautiful Competition, join my team, and help inspire other people!

QOTD: What is a simple way you can inspire someone this week? What about something with social media?

Give Yourself a Break

I don’t know about you, but I am always so hard on myself. If I PR, I could have run faster. If a meal is yummy, it could have been the most amazing one ever. If my house is clean, I will find dust somewhere. If I make X amount of money, I could have made more.

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Why do we do this to ourselves? Don’t get me wrong, competition, setting goals, and pushing are awesome qualities to have…but we seem to jump to the “could have been” so quickly, we often don’t take the time to celebrate the small victories, or the things that we love about ourselves.

I grew up in the south, where you are taught to be super humble and modest when it comes to compliments. No matter what. Even if you know you look awesome in that new dress, it can be said we are “trained” to say “oh, no, this old thing? Eh. it’s ok. It would look better if I lost a few pounds.” It’s almost awkward and embarrassing for some people to accept a compliment or say something good about themselves that could be misconstrued as being cocky, egotistical or snobby. Friends, we need to wake up and realize how AMAZING we are! Sure we all have room to grow, but even just the way you are, there are SO many great qualities you possess. You are unique, there is no one on this earth exactly like you.

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It’s ok to accept a compliment and just say “thank you’ or even “I know right? I love the way it looks on my too!” Be PROUD! Give yourself a break and stop looking in the mirror and picking your body apart. Stop thinking you should be smarter, better, faster, or funnier. Just be YOU! Let’s all do something together. I want you to list something in the comment section that is a “brag” about yourself. No, let’s make it two. 1.) something you love about yourself physically (I have awesome hair, or my butt looks great in jeans) and then 2.) something you are proud of that you have accomplished in the past month. Claim it! Be proud of yourself and start acting like it. Love yourself today!

QOTD: 1.) Physical attribute you love about yourself 2.) Brag on an accomplishment from the past month

What’s Beautiful? Inspiring Others!

This post is sponsored by Under Armour through FitFluential

There is something so beautiful to me about helping others. It can be anything from a shoulder to cry on, a warm meal for a needy family, or an encouraging note to help someone get through the day.

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If you look around our world, you will notice opportunities all around you to help people by motivating and inspiring them. As an athlete, I particularly have a soft spot for helping people to get going on their fitness journey. Not just beginners, but sometimes even the most experienced need a little nudge. As people with an online/social media presence (who doesn’t have twitter or Pinterest or Facebook? I know you have at least one!) we have an opportunity to really reach those around us. So let’s inspire other female athletes to get out there and be the best version of themselves that they can be!

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Here’s how you can join me. Under Armour just launched another round of their successful What’s Beautiful campaign. A quest to redefine the female athlete. You set a goal, and work towards it by uploading videos, photos, joining teams and connecting with others. It’s free and a great motivator! Want to join in the fun?

1.) Create a profile on the What’s Beautiful site

2.) Follow my profile on the What’s Beautiful site

3.) Join my team, I would love to have you help me to be an inspiration! My initial goal is to put at least ONE inspiring thing on a social media platform a day. This may change or grow, but it’s what I plan to start with.

Under Armour will have weekly and overall WINNERS as well. Did I mention that? (Hello trip to Costa Rica!)

For more info on my plans and how I came to my goal, check out this short video:

Be sure to use Under Armour hashtags #Whatsbeautiful and #IWILL and if you join my team use #teaminspireothers

QOTD: What do you do online to be an inspiration to others? What is your goal for this campaign?

You Leak What You Love

 

I was reading my In Touch monthly magazine this weekend, and one of the articles really spoke to me. Ever read something and one certain line just, bam, jumps off the page and sticks with you? That’s how I felt reading a part of this article, and it really got me thinking. Well, let me back up and first tell you the part that really jumped our to me. it’s short, it’s simple. It’s profound.

You leak what you love.

Genius right? Why didn’t I think of this before? Subconsciously I’m sure I have, but for some reason, yesterday it just really spoke to me. Now, this can mean really great things for you, or not so great things. Of course, in the article I read it was in the context of Christianity and sharing the love of Jesus. I of course first and foremost want to leak the love of Christ, and I want people to see a difference in me because they see Jesus through me. But in my opinion, it doesn’t stop there.

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Leaking what you love can mean SO many different things. For instance, I LOVE health and fitness. I live it during my workouts, through the clothes I wear, through the things I tweet, my blog, it’s everywhere. I hope I leak it in a positive and encouraging way to the world.

But unfortunately, this can mean some not so great things. Fear not! Sometimes it’s good to take a nice long look in the metaphorical mirror and see what other people see in us because eventually what’s on the inside is going to come out.

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All of these things can lead to self destruction and can also really hurt other people. Of course no one “loves” to be angry or impatient, but if it’s rooted in your heart you can and most likely will leak it out at some point. You can’t hide forever, and it’s not healthy to try to do so. Bottom line is two fold.

1.) If you have some things you don’t like to see in yourself, deal with them! Don’t leave them bottled up inside to leak out on someone else in a way you will regret. Get some help, tell a friend, email me, do something.

2.) Think about what you “leak” most. Not sure? What do you spend the most amount of time doing? What adjectives do people use to describe you? What do you WANT to “leak” for other people to see? I hope that through my life and my blog I leak a passion for Jesus, health and fitness, my family, encouraging others, and of course, Disney.

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What do you want to leak? Remember, you leak what you love.

QOTD: What is something you hope that you leak when you think of the phrase “you leak what you love?”

Also, Happy Memorial Day! a huge thank you to all our service men and women all over the world. Without you, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy so many freedoms and I am truly grateful for you and your families!

Get Healthy, Starting NOW!

 

As a lot of you know I am a FitFluential Ambassador. I was so excited to be chosen back when it all began, and things are really starting to move now and I couldn’t be more excited! We were asked to share 7 steps or tips we could give to someone who wanted to start being healthy, right now. SO many people say “I will start Monday” or “I will start in January” but why not start now? We are not promised tomorrow, so make today the first day of the rest of your life, and make it a good one! So, here are my 7 tips/steps. Small things you can start doing NOW that will put you on the path to being fit and healthy:

1. Find your motivation/inspiration: Everyone has a reason that they want to be healthy. It is the thing way down deep that keeps you going even in the hard times. The thing you think about when you don’t feel like working out. This can be your family, an upcoming race or competition, wanting to be alive long enough to see your grandkids get married, anything really! Once you figure out what it is, it can help drive you and push you on to meet your goals.

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2. Get enough sleep: Sounds so simple but is so difficult for some people. If you are not getting enough sleep, you will fall into a vicious cycle of exhaustion, excuses, and grumpiness! How can you adequately care for your family if you are exhausted? How can you feel like working out if all you want to do is take a nap? Aim for 7-8 hours and notice a big jump in your drive and energy levels.

3. Cook more: We all know that restaurant meals are way larger than an actual portion should be. A person can easily consume a day’s worth of calories in one meal out. Pack your lunch before you go to work, celebrate the weekend in some other way than eating out, and save restaurants for special occasions. Or, learn where you CAN eat out that has healthy options with correct portion sizes.

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4. take time each day to be still: Here on RWS I place a lot of importance on mental health as well as physical health. I feel that you can be as physically fit as you want but if you are mentally or emotionally exhausted or struggling, you aren’t truly “healthy.” So take a few minutes each day to sit in the quiet by yourself and reflect. For me, it’s praying. For someone else, it may be taking a nice long bath. But take some time to be still and decompress every day. Even if it’s just five minutes.

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5.  Eat Breakfast: So many people think if they skip breakfast they will lose weight. Breakfast is wht kick starts your metabolism for the day and keeps your energy levels up. If you skip breakfast not only are you more likely to be tired, but also more likely to over eat later in the day.

6. Move more: It can be parking at the farthest away spot in the parking lot, or going to an extra spin class this week, but just move more! Have a dance party with your kids while you help them clean their rooms. Walk the dog. Play tag with your kids in the backyard. It doesn’t have to be an hour long sweat session to count as a workout, just get your body moving and you will WANT to do more and more!

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7. Make it fun: If you don’t enjoy what you are doing it’s easy to let new good habits die. To make them tick, make sure you are enjoying what you are doing. If you hate running, don’t run! Take a zumba class instead. There are so many ways to stay active and fit, just get a little creative and see what you can come up with!

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QOTD: Do you have any tips for someone trying to get healthy?

*Check out the poll on the right sidebar if you are running Disney’s Princess half marathon and would like to participate in a meet up!

*email me a picture of your Christmas tree or outdoor lights and I will post on my blog with your blog link!

Waiting is a Waste of Time

 

Today’s guest post comes from Laura. Please read and take to heart her story. Remember readers, beauty isn’t in a clothing size or in a number on the scale.  You are all beautiful! Have a great day and enjoy the post!

Most of my life I struggled with food. I was the chubby kid growing up always being told “you have such a pretty face, why don’t you lose the weight?” I thought there must be something wrong with me since I didn’t have the “willpower” to lose the weight once and for all. Therefore for most of my life I spent hiding because I was too fat.

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Only prom picture that I have and I am wearing red

I avoided relationships, dating, shopping for clothes, trying out new things because I was fat. In my head the only reason that is keeping me from living life is my weight therefore I needed to do something about it. I rather be skinny and miserable than fat and happy. Crazy thought, huh? Well the chasing to be skinny took over the years took a deadly turn  as I developed severe eating disorders.

After hitting countless of rock bottoms, four years ago I asked for help. I went to therapy, group, 12 step, writing and started to live life. The process hasn’t been linear. The weight didn’t dropped right away yet my relationship with my body shifted. I now exercise 6 days a week because it is my source of sanity. I eat real food. I live a full life taking on new challenges on a regular basis. My life is full of love.

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Me Today!

This past summer I decided to do something completely out of my comfort zone and signed up to take an 8 week burlesque course. My intention for taking this class was to really walked the talk and come to a place of love and acceptance of my body as it is. I wanted to move away from hiding and finally be seen.

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Me in my dress rehearsal attire.

This class gave me permission to stop hiding and be a girly girl that I always wished I could be but I thought I was too fat to be. I have walked through the fear of going to Sephora and MAC  store and asked for help regarding makeup. I have learned how to walk in heels. I now look myself in the mirror and my first thought is “I am gorgeous. Look at my body that continues to get stronger and sexier everyday.”

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Kitty Cavalier, teacher in the middle, me and a classmate at a fabulous Hotel in downtown NYC

As part of the class, I learned a routine that I would  perform at a show in NYC to friends and strangers. I am excited to really walked through the performance and prove that old storyline that is wrong once and for all.

The biggest lesson I have learned is that waiting to have the perfect body to start living life is truly a waste of time!

Be sure to stop by Laura’s blog and say hi!

QOTD: Have you ever done anything outside of your comfort zone like Laura? Were you glad you did?

*Don’t forget to enter my raffle, for a good cause and win great prize packs!

RWS Features: Tanya from Vegan Faith

 

I am so excited about today’s gust post! It comes from Tanya at Vegan Faith. I was blessed to get to spent a good amount of time with Tanya at Helathy Living Summit. She is so sweet and easy to talk to! Her story below is very honest, and very touching. It does deal with relationships with food, so if this is touchy or a trigger for you, please proceed with caution.

A big thanks to Heather for sharing her space on Running With Sass, with me! I blog at VeganFaith.com and I am so excited to be over here today to tell you my story. The really neat thing today, is that this is a brand new story. And one that I have been dying to share for a while now.

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For many years I have struggled with disordered eating and low self-esteem. I have never suffered from a diagnosed eating disorder such as binging or purging, but have simply had an unhealthy relationship with food (let’s be honest…what is so simple about that?)

From the time I learned what a calorie was, or even how much sugar or fat or carbs were contained in certain products, I have obsessed over the food I put in my body. It began as a wholesome effort to eat better and more compassionately. But like many things in life, a good thing easily became a bad thing. I restricted my diet to extremes, and then when off the “diet” I would just eat everything in sight.

Throughout each day, I would agonize over the hours. When was my next meal? And what would I eat. I became fanatical as I waited in anticipation for noon each day, just so I could eat again. Meal times were engraved in my mind, and I couldn’t eat outside of those times. I forgot how to eat intuitively and began living only for the rules I created. Many foods were off limits and deemed “bad.” Guilt was associated with eating these “bad” foods. My happiness was determined by the type of food I ate each day.

An unhealthy relationship with food is a slippery slope. You think you are doing great things for your body, and in the end you find yourself in a hot mess. That is where I found myself earlier this year. Consumed by my consumption. Sliding down the slope happened so quickly, yet climbing my way back out is taking much longer.

The first step for recovery for me was relinquishing control over the situation. For me, that was releasing it into God’s hands. Acknowledging he was Lord over all, including my disordered eating. I knew that there was no way I could dig my way out of this one, and I needed a stronger, more able entity. For me, there was no one but God to help me out.

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Of course I had to do my part. I had to pray, and continuously remind myself that all things are possible through God who strengthens me. Even in my darkest moments, I needed hope. And I needed to take baby steps to set new habits in place.

Those baby steps will be different for everyone, for me it was listening to my body and breaking the rules. Those same rules that I thought were in place to help guide me, but ultimately steered me in the wrong direction. If I was hungry, I needed to eat. No matter what time of day it was. And when I ate, I needed to stop after a portion, and wait. Sometimes I would drink a glass of water, or sit at the table for at least 5 minutes before getting up. Those new habits helped me to listen to my body to find out if I really was still hungry and needed a larger portion, or if my stomach was full and it was time to move on.

All year I have worked at these new habits, and just recently I have recognized how far I have come. This is what makes my story new. While I still struggle with some of those old temptations, I am better equipped to fight them. I have several Action Mantras that get me through dark periods:Table, Plate, Chair” “Make an Effort, Not Excuses” or “Social Sweets Only.” But now my all-encompassing theme is this: “Grace and Consistency.” In everything in life I simply try my best to be consistent and when that isn’t enough, I have grace.

Rather than beat myself up over a missed workout or an unhealthy meal, I use grace to allow myself to take a break. I cut myself slack with a reminder that one day will not change the course of my life. What I may fall short on today, there will always be tomorrow. I look at the overall picture saying to myself “Today I may not fit in a workout, but this week I made it to the gym 4 times!” or “Right now I am going to enjoy TCBY with friends, and then later I will nourish my body with lots of whole grains and greens!”

Now I am in a much happier place. Food isn’t my enemy, rather a passion that I continue to pursue and enjoy. I no longer dread exercise, but look forward to it as one of the best parts of my day. I have no regrets that I went through this experience. I have grown as a person, a believer, and a friend. It has made me more aware and compassionate of others who struggle with similar issues. And it has brought me closer to my passion for a healthy life.

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On Vegan Faith I share my life and the healthy choices I make every day. Some are healthy for my body (fruits and veggies), and many are healthy for my soul (daily Bible devotions). Meanwhile, there are also those choices that are just healthy for my sanity…like the delicious cupcake I ate yesterday after the 5k! For me it is all about living my life with Grace and Consistency.

QOTD: Show Tanya some love! When it comes to food, in what ways have you learned to listen to your body to have a healthy and happy relationship with it?

*Don’t froget about my raffle for TNT! Great running gear prizes!

RWS Features: Greg’s Inspirational Story

 

Today’s guest post stems  from an e-mail I received from Greg. It touched my heart so much I asked if I could share his story here on RWS. It is so inspiring, I hope you are just as motivated as I was after reading it!

It all started back in high school at the age of 16 when I joined my local volunteer fire department and met all my friends whom, like me, spent almost every free hour at the station, hanging around, going on calls and such. What this also brought me was to eat out almost 6 days a week multiple meals a day, and lets just say it wasn’t healthy establishments we chose to dine at. With this, my awful eating habits began and spiraled way out of control. By the time I began reaching my mid 20s, I was well over 200 lbs and my weight was climbing steadily.

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My weight kept me from realizing some personal dreams like military service amongst others. As my weight began to climb, I began to hate myself and fell into a deep depression, and I continued to turn to food to in a way ease the pain. I had tried all the fad diets, and they had worked but once I stopped the weight came back and seemed like it did with a vengeance. At my heaviest I was 331 lbs and around that time I started noticing (don’t ask what took so long) little things were becoming a lot harder for me.

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I had health issues like cholesterol, high blood pressure and an elevated heart rate. Finally one day I bent over to tie my boots up and I came back up and was completely out of breath. I remember that day like it was yesterday, and after that I crawled in my truck and drove around for 2 straight hours thinking about my life and all things I wanted to do and still want and how my weight and unhealthy lifestyle weren’t going to allow it. The very next day I began a diet which consisted of a few different things I had learned from previous diets. The diet began to work and I started feeling better day by day week by week.

Around this time, I discovered Heathers blog I believe through the disboards. Her blog became an almost daily read for me because her words reached out to me about her running and her outlook on life and all its challenges. She truly inspired me in a way to set my own goals and to treat this diet and life change as a challenge. I began running and working out twice sometimes three times a day and eating around 1200 calories a day. In roughly 7 months I went from 331 pounds and not being able to run from telephone pole to telephone pole, to now weighing 221 pounds and running 2 miles in under 16 minutes, my cholesterol and BP are perfect and my resting heart rate is 54!

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I proudly serve in the US Army National Guard as a combat medic, and have recently followed another dream and moved to Florida to begin working at Disney world as a monorail pilot. I have set my next goals in life and that is to run for distance and complete a 1/2 and full marathon by my 30th birthday and become a police officer.

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I reached out to Heather a few days ago to thank her for the small but not insignificant role she played in turning my life around. She asked me to share my story and at work last night I decided if my story helps one persons life the way Heathers blog helped mine it was worth doing.

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This is what it’s all about friends. Motivating each other to be the BEST version of ourselves that we can be. This is why I blog. In hopes that my stories, tips, and life lessons will help to motivate and inspire, even if it’s just that one person, then it is so worth it to me. I hope you find as much encouragement and hope in Greg’s story as I did! Be sure to show him some love! Thanks SO MUCH Greg for sharing your story! I appreciate you!

QOTD: Have you ever had a dream or goal that you felt you were held back from due to health reasons? 

*Don’t forget about my raffle for cancer research! Please donate, every little bit helps!