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Posts tagged ‘saying yes to life’

The mountain and me

Six years, countless climbs. Still conquering the mountain & me!

It started on this mountain in the depth of winter a little over six years ago. This is where I dug deep and found myself – my strength, my determination, my resolve, and my desire for a better life.

This is where I officially decided that I wanted more out of life than being obese and living small. This is where I decided I wanted it all. And most importantly, I decided — YES, indeed, I could do it!

It was December 2010 when I first met Oberg – a little mountain on Minnesota’s North Shore of Lake Superior. I weighed upwards of 360 lbs (down 20 from my all-time high). I was on day two of weight-loss boot camp when they told me we were going to climb a mountain…in snowshoes.

I was pissed, scared, and a bit defiant when it came time to suit up in our snow gear. Fear took over as I contemplated my first mountain climb ever. I stood there and allowed Jeremy, the young activities director, to strap on my snowshoes because it was too hard for me to bend over and I had no idea how to assemble those contraptions to my feet.

How time flies and circumstances change!

Today, March 18, 2017, I find myself back at the foot of Oberg Mountain Loop strapping on trackers over my hiking shoes. I am alone. I am -200 lbs lighter in load. I am strong, confident, resilient and beautiful. And this time, I am oh so grateful for the trip up what I now refer to as “my mountain.”

I KNOW this mountain. I know me. And I know that I will find exactly what I need today as I make my way up the deceivingly steady incline at the start of the trail, on the switchbacks, and as I make my way around the hilly 2.2 mile loop with breathtaking views. Read more

Hiking under the Arizona sun

You almost LOST ME at rattle snakes, scorpions & tarantulas!

Last week I got to spend some quality vacation time with family and friends under the warm Arizona sun. I’m an ocean-loving girl, so it’s been more than nine years since I’d been to Arizona.

The last time I visited, I was at my all-time heaviest weight of 381 lbs and it was a very different trip. Needless to say, I was more of a passive observer of the Arizona mountains on that trip. I had trouble walking even short distances and couldn’t imagine actually getting out in the wilderness and hiking.

But this year, as a fit and healthy girl, it was important to me to get out in the dessert and experience it up close and personal via my favorite outdoor activity — hiking the mountains. At least that was my plan UNTIL I learned that rattle snakes and tarantulas frequent the trails! Eeek. Literally, my worst nightmare and one of my biggest fears. That said, my desire to hike was greater than my fear of reptiles and creepy crawly things (barely). So, off we went.

We had a host of hiking recommendations in the Superstition Mountain Wilderness — including the Siphon Draw Trail and Flatiron. But, after hearing my 20-something niece and nephew describe the difficulty of these hikes, we decided our inaugural dessert hiking trip would start with something simpler — the three mile round trip Hieroglyphic Trail near Gold Canyon. Read more

Embracing the whole, beautiful & imperfect me. Swim outfit & all!

The surprising gift of my first 2017 adventure

This lucky girl just got back from her first adventure of 2017 — a fabulous and fun trip to Cozumel, Mexico to kick off the new year!

This trip was significant for me as it meant tackling a list of fun “FIRSTS” that included pushing outside of my comfort zone. I’ve been on a personal mission to say “YES!” to life since I lost weight and put myself in the equation five years ago.

Before my personal transformation, I held back and lived a “small” and safe life. I didn’t put myself out there or take risks. Too often I let fear rule my life decisions — fear of what others would think, fear of looking silly or doing it imperfectly, and fear of failure often stopped me in my tracks.

Perhaps the saddest part of this reality is that I had convinced myself that I could be happy living small and safe. But the truth is, I wasn’t happy. I was hiding behind the layers of fat I donned for self-protection. I hid behind my work. And at my core was a foundation of low self-esteem, lack of confidence and a fear of not measuring up.

But I’m a success story. In 2012, as I reached my goal weight and the peak of living a healthy, happy and WHOLE life, I realized by definition “living WHOLE” meant putting myself out there. Taking risks and going for it, even and especially when I was scared. I decided to live brave. That meant saying “YES!” to life and tackling a whole list of “firsts,” seeking opportunities to grow and expand — even if that meant falling or failing. It’s been a fun and joyous ride, and five years in, I’m still going strong.

So what surprised me about my first big adventure of 2017 was how in the process of saying YES! and doing new things, I ended up embracing my whole and imperfect body and self in an even deeper way. That’s pretty cool and the focus of this blog. Read more

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