Wednesday, September 8, 2010

how to get this life

Usually Wednesday is "wordless" for me - but not today.

A few weeks ago, I got this email from a dear old friend of mine (I don't think he reads the blog - but hopefully he won't mind):

"Katie,

So, let me get this straight...you're all skinny & hot & bicycling & motorcycling & happy?

All this while I'm fat, out of shape, stuck in a loveless relationship & miserable?  How do I get YOUR life? :)

Looking good girl.  Hope all is well...."

Wow, right?

I know I've talked about this before, and I also know that many of us have been there.  All those words he uses to describe his life have all described my life at some point - and all at once, during a really dark time in 2009.  I remember being married, feeling trapped in a loveless relationship.  I also remember very clearly being able to see what my life would look like on the other side, when I was out of it and happy.  The problem, for me, was figuring out how to get through.  The only person that could decide to do it was me - despite the incredible amount of support I had from my friends.  No one could do it for me, and that, I think, is the hardest thing about changing your life.  There is no magic pill.  There is no easy way.  NO ONE can do it for you.  You have to gut down and belly crawl through those really dark days, eyes shut tight, not even knowing if you're headed in the right direction, only knowing that you couldn't sit for one more minute and let your life rot away.

But that's not what my friend wants to hear.  He's a good friend, an old friend, but like many people I know, he is content to complain about the state of his life, because it's comfortable.  Staying the same isn't difficult.  Complaining is easy - we all do it, all the time!  I remember spending a lot of time complaining about my marriage, about my injuries, about working 2 jobs, about how tough my life was.  But I remember the moment I woke up and decided to end my marriage, because it was making us both unhappy, and there was no going back.  I remember the moment I decided to quit one job and leap fearlessly at the second, not knowing if I could do it, or if it would last, or if it was even right for me.  And I remember ALL of the moments that I've decided to not let injury drag me down, but instead look for new ways to stay in motion.

Changing your life isn't easy.  Living my life now isn't always easy - but boy, is it fun.  I spend a lot of time being amazed and thankful for all the reasons I have to be glad to be alive.  I woke up this morning next to a sweet man who runs at life just as fast as I do.  I spent 2 hours cycling and then took the puppy for a walk.  And it would have been so much easier to stay in bed, to be lazy and snuggle down under the covers because work doesn't really get going very early due to all the west coasters.  But instead I went out and greeted the sun and the wind and spent time with a friend and my sweet baby Graham, and my life is richer and fuller for it.

So, to my friend, I say, with all the love in my heart: get off your fat ass and change your life.  A lot of it will be hard.  But the hardest part will be deciding to do it.  I'll be there to help you whenever you need it, and I'll be so glad for the day when you can wake up and be thankful for your life.  I can promise you this - it's worth it.

16 comments:

  1. I've definitely been there before, and you are right that the hardest part is the decision to make big changes. And no matter how well meaning your friends are, it always has to come from within. Congratulations on making your own positive life changes, and I hope your friend uses your example to make a better life for himself.

    Cheers, B

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  2. Amen sister!! Change is hard but worth it.
    I too was in a very miserable place in my life-while not in a loveless marriage, I was in a loveless relationship with myself and 100lbs overweight. Then I decided to change my story.
    I think that fitness also gave me my self worth back~I was able to achieve things I never thought possible.
    SO yes, when you friend is ready he can get the life he wants.
    Cheers!

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  3. The big thing I have learned is not to believe two very prevalent lies: One, that you can get hot (abs, buns, pecs, fries, debt-free or happy) in 30 seconds. Two, that any piece of plastic will do anything for you. You have what you earn. You get paid back on what you invest. You get to keep what you fight for. Life is a ultra-distance. There is no shortcut. But like any run, it goes much better if you do it for joy.

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  4. I just forwarded this post over to my cousin who is struggling through weight loss, the section you wrote "The only person that could decide to do it was me - despite the incredible amount of support I had from my friends. No one could do it for me, and that, I think, is the hardest thing about changing your life. There is no magic pill. There is no easy way. NO ONE can do it for you. You have to gut down and belly crawl through those really dark days, eyes shut tight, not even knowing if you're headed in the right direction, only knowing that you couldn't sit for one more minute and let your life rot away." is so true and I hope it helps not only her but many others to realize that it takes YOU to make a difference in YOUR life. Congrats on everything girl!

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  5. Great Post! You said it right, Only YOU can do it!

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  6. Hey girl. I'm proud of you, and thrilled for you. I hope you know that. Because it's so much better seeing you happy than it was seeing you unhappy.

    Love you.

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  7. And I would have pulled you out of it myself if I could have. But I couldn't. I'm glad that you realized that you could do it. :)

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  8. i don't think i've been in the lowest low's yet, but i think the same idea/philosophy applies to choosing the best life as you go along. i look at some of my friends and wonder how i got to be so "lucky" to not have the complications that their lives do. but really, if you sometime choose the "hard path" it eventually pays off in the end.

    sorry you had to go through the rough to get to the sweet, but SO happy that you made your life better! way to take control and not let it weigh you down anymore!

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  9. Spoken like a real survivor! You are an amazing lady and this post speaks to that! I've been there, looking down the dark road with all the uncertanity that it brings. But it feels oh so good when you take that leap and leave it all behind you.

    Congrats on staying positive and being a fighter! You deserve everything you have in front of you right now because you have worked hard! Hugs and love girlie - glad you are a part of my life ;)

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  10. Well said!
    Every day, we decide what to do with our life. To do what we always do, and get what we always get, or change something, in order to get different results.
    And I think that lesson is worth more than being "lucky" in life - because how could you possibly appreciate it even a fraction as much?

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  11. Beautifully honest - it's awesome you were self-aware enough at a young age to figure it out. Some people never do, so congrats!

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  12. All so very true. What a wonderful, well-written post.

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  13. Amen. Well-said, well-intended and right on the mark.

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  14. amazing post. Amazing responses. Thom's "Do it for joy" might be my new motto in life :)

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  15. Amen SISTER! AMEN! SCream it from the mountain tops! To quote a popular children's book... 'you can't go over it, you can't go under. You HAVE TO GO THROUGH IT!'

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