Believe in the better version of you

I was thinking about all the changes that have occurred in my life over the past three years.  I am a much different person than I was back then and I feel like I’ve made a lot of changes for the better.  There are things that I still struggle with, but for the most part I know I’m definitely a healthier, happier and focused person that I was before. I am still the same person, but I’m just a better version of myself.

I struggled with depression.  I’m not afraid or ashamed to admit it.  I had a really horrible tumble down a dark road after graduating from undergrad and moving on to grad school.  I was unmotivated, didn’t care about much and fed my feelings.  I would sleep all day and would just eat.  I would isolate myself and was basically just a bump on the log. I felt like I was letting everyone down which is a big deal for me because I am a people pleaser. This was one of the lowest periods of my life.

It’s painful to even sit here to write about that time in my life because I just wasn’t happy and nothing could change my state of mind.  There is a point to me sharing this story with you; I want everyone to be the best version of themselves.  I get a lot of e-mails about people struggling with their weight and how it makes them unhappy.  This breaks my heart only because I understand what it’s like and unless you’ve struggled with weight issues you can’t really identify with the thoughts and feelings.

I want to share a strong message with all those who are battling with their weight and/or are trying to make a lifestyle change. Don’t let your weight define you! The world is already defining you by being that “big girl/boy” or the “fat guy/girl in the corner” so don’t let that be the way you define yourself.  The thing about being overweight is that’s the first thing people notice about you so why not keep pushing past that to show you’re more than just a number on the scale.  Ultimately, the person on the inside should matter more than the person on the outside, but our world doesn’t work that way. We all are more than what the scale says.  Some of us are great at math, have great people skills, can sing a beautiful song, save the world on a daily basis, but people will never know these things because weight gets in the way. Make people see the person you are in the inside past the weight! Your weight is not who you are!

Believe in yourself! Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re not capable of doing something.  Some people never thought Willie and I would stick with losing the weight and that we would actually succeed …and keep it off. Keep pushing through and you can achieve anything.  If you want to lose the weight, you can do it!  It may not be easy or happy fast, but it will happen.  Most importantly, you won’t succeed unless you try. Quitters never win because they never finish!

When I share my workouts, races, life or whatever else here, it’s not because I’m trying to celebrate my accomplishments.  I share because these are things I never thought I would because I wouldn’t physically be able to run and without believing in myself none of these things would happen.  I share to inspire and motivate others to be the best versions of themselves no matter what your chosen path.  I share to give people the hope they need to make a change to be a better version of themselves.

Two years ago I weighed 338 pounds and could barely walk up stairs without getting winded; now I’m training for my first marathon.  Things can change if you want them to change.  All you have to do is believe in yourself and commit to taking the steps.  Small steps lead to big differences and everyone is capable of those small steps.

Today I’m asking everyone to commit to being a better version of themselves by doing one thing to take the step to a better version of yourself!  It can be anything like helping someone out in need or jus t sitting and listening to someone.  We are complicated people and there are many facets of ourselves that we can make better.  So what is the one thing you would like to make better in your life? And how are you going to make the change?