I realize not everyone reads this blog – I can be a rambler, but this post is FOR YOU (honestly, read if you just read one of my posts, this might be the one)! A year and a half ago, I decided my life needed to change. Some friends and I took the journey to the gym, and after several failed attempts at losing weight, I stuck with it. For those first couple of months, my friends helped me just to get to the gym. Having that peer pressure to be there and not let your teammates down was enough for me to not miss the sessions. At that point, the nutrition pieces were difficult, as I was still eating rather atrociously, but it began my fore into my transformation. The program at the gym helped me exercise, and as different members came in and out of the group over the next year, it was a place I felt comfortable to throw my body around in a sweaty mess. For that, I thank those individuals for just starting the journey with me, as it made the voyage to the gym a lot easier. 

During the 3 times I did the weight loss program at the gym, I had the same trainer. Katie was motivating and always helpful. Nearing the completion of my third (and final) time doing the program, she started running with me, as one of my goals was to run a 5k. She met with me outside of our scheduled training times, and ran my first race with me. That race was one of the first times I realized that I could hit one of my goals and achieve something I never thought I could before. Although I did the work, and I put my legs in front of each other, I have to thank Katie for her dedication and time for helping me. Since then, we’ve done a bunch of races together, and now we do CrossFit together! She’s a great trainer and a wonderful person, and I am glad that she was assigned our group that first time because her commitment to MY fitness and health made a huge impact on where I am today.

In the same breath, I want to thank the other instructors at the gym. Everything there has been kind, and I enjoy the classes that I take. Even some of them have noticed the changes I have made, which is nice. The CrossFit instructor, Mallory, is the right mix of hardcore and motivation, but kind and fun! Having these resources so close to me feels indispensable and I am in no way taking these resources for granted. 

During last years winter break, I did not have the program at the gym or others to motivate me to go to the gym, and during this pivotal turning point, I started going to the gym on my own, cleaning up my diet, and changing my outlook on the gym and how I needed to start living my life. 

After a few months, I started posting more on Facebook, and as I lost more weight, people were cheering me on through the netosphere. Most of the time, when I write online, it feels mostly reflective and I feel like no one is reading what I write (although, I know at least one person MUST BE). 

I want to thank everyone online who has supported me throughout this journey. Every time someone likes a post or comments on something, it gives me another little piece of confidence in this lifestyle change. I know, for some, it is motivating, and for others it can be difficult to see someone they know go through a transformation like this. It does feel as if some people have written me off, but there isn’t anything that I can do about that, and I won’t apologize for making positive and healthy changes in my life. I have never acted smug about my weight loss, it has been an emotional and difficult year and half. I am humble for the opportunities I have gotten, but I am also proud of the work that I have done.It is in the top tier of hardest things I have ever done in my entire life. It has been straining in every which way : physically, mentally, emotionally, psychologically  financially, and socially, but the benefits for the sacrifice has been beyond worth the costs. 

Even though they will never read this blog, other people’s journey has been a constant inspiration and motivation for me. On the reddit forums, my friends on fitocracy, and the people on Biggest Loser and Extreme Makeover (and the trainers) – they all give me the confidence that I know I can push on. So, even though they will never know of my journey, theirs gave me hope and affirmation that I too can do what seemed impossible.

I also want to thank a few of my friends who have gone through their own transformations in the recent past. Sometimes, as difficult changes need to happen, it becomes difficult to talk to others about those changes. I don’t want to impose myself onto others with changes I have made, I don’t want to myself seem self-righteous for losing weight, and I don’t want others to think that I am judging them – none of these things are focused on positivity – something I am trying to grasp onto and hold onto during these changing times. So, thank you to the friends whom I can bitch about refined sugars and burpees with. It is important to have a context, and being able to talk about weight loss in a candid and deep way is helpful, as the changes are highly psychological.

So, if you have liked, commented, replied, messaged, congratulated, or otherwise taken time out of your day to be part of my transformation, I want to thank you because no matter how little time or effort it takes to do these things, they make a big impact on me. If you have called me and inspiration or motivator, I am beyond flattered, like I said, I feel like I am just typing words out into the internet, but if you have taken the time to speak with me, thank you so much. Something that means a lot to me is helping others who might need advice and going through a similar experience.

Thank you to all of my “IRL” friends who have supported me, whether it was the ones at the gym with me, or the ones who have just talked to me and congratulated me. Family, friends, and everyone else who believes in me and lets me know that I have done something great for myself!

Finally, to all the strangers out there in the tumblesphere! Thank you for following me and maybe getting to know me a little bit through this crazy blog that I write in! 

So… To all those who have aided me in my journey, THANK YOU