Take care of your body with steadfast fidelity.  The soul must see through these eyes alone, and if they are dim, the whole world is clouded.

~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe~

100 days….it’s hard to believe that we are here.  I wanted to share the results today, so I can take tomorrow and celebrate Stephen.  I started this challenge with my husband to honor Stephen, but as each day has passed, I am realizing that this challenge has shown me how to honor myself too.  I have learned how to really take care of myself in the way I deserve.

100 days later, I feel I’ve really turned a corner in my life.  The way I care for myself on the outside is starting to match up with the way I’ve nurtured my soul on the inside since losing Stephen.  I did a great job for the past three years working through some of the hardest emotions one can imagine, but truly ignored the outside vessel as I did so. Now, I am feeling good, I have more energy, and I think I may be slightly more pleasant to be around.  It all seems to be falling into place.

We’ve also heard from people all over the world who have decided to start their own challenge and work on their health.  How exciting to know we are all doing it one pound at a time!  People from Ireland, Australia, Canada and the United States all working towards feeling better about themselves.  This challenge was not ever about being in competition with anyone else, it’s about your choice to become the best version of yourself.

So, here’s the final numbers.  My husband and I laughed this morning as we compiled the results, as we actually tied in the exact number of pounds lost.

img_5973 On my way….and looking forward to continuing the journey towards health.[/caption]


Weight:  Down 35 pounds.

Total inches lost: So far, I’ve lost a total of 29.6 inches. I feel great about those changes, especially that seven of those total inches came from my waistline.

My total steps?  968, 327.

img_5964Brady, looking and feeling great and ready for a 10,000 step walk on the beach.[/caption]


Weight: Down 35 pounds

Total Inches Lost:  We measured, but he did not measure from the start so we were going from old measurements.  It showed a 6 and a half-inch overall decrease, with 2.5 of those inches from his waistline.  I think it is much more, but we have no way of knowing the details.

But the biggest result we want to celebrate is the change in our thinking. My eyes have been opened to possibility with each step I take.  We feel stronger, and have made the connection between physical activity and emotional peace.  We’re  encouraged for the future, and know this is just the first step in our journey.  Brady and I have already planned out our goals for the rest of 2012.  I intend to keep going, to get myself to that goal weight.

The past 100 days have not always been easy.  Some workouts were fun, some were terrible.  It was tough confronting the issues I have with food.  It’s been an emotional  roller coaster ride as I dealt with body image issues that I’ve carried with me my entire life. I still have them.  When looking at  the recent photos of myself for this post or the Observer article, I see what I don’t like before I see what I do…..

I am a work in progress.

But, just as I learned with practicing gratitude after loss, that’s what life is about.  It’s about being a work in progress.  You are creating your own masterpiece and you alone are the artist.  My painting is not finished yet but I’m using more color, I’ve added some flowers, and a bend in the road.  The key is to keep adding paint.  Just because your life is not working now, it doesn’t mean you can’t change it.  Pick up your brush, you are in control.

I can’t wait to continue this journey.  It’s truly become part of our lives now.  It’s not a diet, or a workout, it’s just life.  On vacation, we jump out of bed and go for a two-hour walk.  Not because we have to….because it makes us feel good.  It gives us a chance to drink in some of the beauty God has placed before us.  It gives us perspective on the rest of our life.

Tomorrow, as we celebrate Stephen and the 4th of July, I will do so as a healthier person.  Looking up to the blue sky and the heavens, I feel Stephen’s smile.

Wishing you all a huge canvas, plenty of paint, and a brush to create the masterpiece for your life,