Thanksgiving = Thanks Living

At this time of year, I like to reflect back on my year and remember all that I am thankful for.  I am a firm believer in God and all of His blessings, and I truly believe that God has put the right people in my path this year to help me live life more abundantly.  I am going to try and be brief, but you all know how that goes.  I am thankful beyond measure for Ryan Teal, Mana Shigematsu, Suzanne Barnes, Jon Drackett, Semaj Baldwin, and for ALL of the friends I have made this year.

Some of the many friends I have made this year.

Ryan Teal – The simple fact that you believed and still believe in me has helped me believe in myself.  I cannot thank you enough for being willing to teach me how to eat (and how to eat enough), how to exercise, how to not be a slave to the scale, and how to recognize my self-worth.   When you left Golds a lot of people actually told me that “change” would be good for me and I know there are a lot of people that maybe don’t understand why I still work with you.  But I understand it and my husband and family understand it and that’s good enough for me.  Thanks for speaking up and offering to help me way back when.  It has changed my life!

Mana, me, and Ryan

Mana Shigematsu – I am so thankful for you Mana.  In the beginning all I could see or hear was Ryan.  But as time went on, Ryan would tell me how you were an integral part of helping me succeed.  You were quite content to be behind-the-scenes.  I would make Ryan uncomfortable by praising him in a blog post and you were always just fine when I didn’t mention you.  But let me tell you, I recognize your part in my journey and I am thankful for you.  I specifically remember an ab workout that you led us in right after I had hurt my knee.  I couldn’t put much pressure on my leg, so you just turned the entire workout into an ab workout in the supine position.  You had/have a great sense of my mood and I was living a nightmare in my head.  I remember clearly you telling me to “get out of my head.  I would be fine.  My knee would heal.  The progress would continue.”  I had been fighting back tears up to that point.  I think it was the first time I really realized that you were as invested in helping me as Ryan was.  There were many times you had that sixth sense of my mood and said the right thing at the right time to “snap me out of it.”  So thank you!

Suzanne and my rehab days!

Suzanne Barnes – I am so thankful for the weeks of rehab we put in together to get my knee whole again.  I love that you believed it would heal and strengthen and that together we pulled off what the doctor said would not happen.  We got my knee strong again.  I loved those weeks of training together and I will be forever thankful for you.

Jon Drackett

Jon Drackett- Jon is a trainer at Gold’s gym but is also a pastor at 970 church.  Jon has helped Joe with corrective exercises for his back and for his hyper-mobility.  I remember letting Jon know about the results of my knee MRI – torn medial meniscus.  Jon knew I was a Christian and so he simply asked me, “Has anyone prayed for you?”  I said, yes.   We then went on to have a ten minute conversation that simply reminded me that God is a God that heals.  Jon’s fire for the Word was evident with every word he spoke to me in that ten minutes.  I went to the orthopedic doctor a few days later and was told that surgery was NOT needed.   And as you just read above, Suzanne helped me get my strength back in that leg.  Sometimes all you need is 10 minutes with someone to change your life.

Semaj and me

Semaj Baldwin – I do believe that God has the right people at the right place at the right time.  I believe that is the case with all of the people mentioned above and with Semaj as well.  He was hired at Golds right after Ryan and Mana left.  Our relationship is still building, but I love the way he motivates, inspires, and trains.  I am thankful for you Semaj!

More friends

And more friends

To all my friends:  You have seen me at my best and you have seen me at my worst, yet you have always been there for me to encourage me, to hug me, or to just simply be there.  My life has been enriched by each and every one of you and I could write something about each of you, but the post would go on for days.

As I learn to love myself, it becomes so much easier to love others.  This year has not only been significant in weight loss and fitness goals, but also in learning to love myself.  This has only strengthened my relationship with my husband and with my children.  They have given me their full support to do what I do.  They have changed their eating to correspond with mine, they have allowed me to be gone for hours to the gym, they have pitched in on chores and grocery shopping — all of this allows me to work on me.  Working on me and building a stronger version of myself is going to pay back dividends for years to come.

My family – Love them all!

So to all of you who have touched my life this year – thank you.  Have a great thanksgiving!  And thank you for being a part of my thanks – living!

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