|A cake made by my friend Misty Beard for last year's Chocolate|
Fantasy - coming in just over a week! Funny thing, I don't crave
chocolate any more - something I once thought impossible.
Another cause to celebrate: I am coming to terms with clipless pedals! I did a small ride around my neighborhood yesterday evening without a single fall!
Over the past year and a half I've come a long way. I've learned that most of my limitations exist in my head.
Who would have thought that a 300 lb. woman (I am pretty sure I weighed well over 300 at one point in my life) in her 40s would start biking to work, go on a diet, conquer obesity and then start training for a six-day bicycle tour? I was the last one to think all of that was possible ... until I changed the way I thought about myself.
Too often I hear women say unkind things about their bodies, or that they're too old to make a real change in their lives. So many of us give up too easily on ourselves, not recognizing the power we each hold within our souls.
Put your fears about finances, what others might think, your physical abilities, or whatever it is that's keeping you from your dreams aside. Stop using the words "can't" and "impossible" and take a single step in the direction you want to go.
At the beginning of my journey all I did was buy a cheap bike and started riding it the mile and a half to work. In a couple of months, without even thinking about it, I lost my first 25 lbs.
I left my mind open to new possibilities and after that, things just started falling into place. A generous friend gave me a nicer bike because she didn't need it anymore and I started riding longer distances. A relative drug me (kicking and screaming) to a local chiropractic clinic where I heard a woman who was once close to my size talk about Ideal Protein and I started to believe I could lose weight, too! After I lost over 100 lbs. I started thinking about what I could achieve with this new body and started to revisit my childhood dream of going on long-distance journeys on a bicycle!
On a whim I bought a copy of Prevention Magazine, not realizing there was an article about bicycling and touring companies in the issue. In that magazine I learned about Woman Tours, a company that supports all woman bicycle tours all over the US and in Europe. I could go on an on about the coincidences, the money that just came available or the anonymous gifts that dropped into my lap that helped me achieve my dreams. I truly believe that my small spark of belief ignited and drew these miracles into my life like moths to a flame.
You can lose weight, go on a European cruise, find a wonderful job, whatever you want to do ... all you have to do is take a small step of faith, believe in your own power and love yourself.
My life is far from perfect. I am a constant work in progress, but I can tell you my life is so much richer, brighter, happier than it was seven years ago when I was experiencing my own dark night of the soul. I know from experience that you don't have to stay in that pit of dispair or hopelessness. The power lies within each of us and a single step in the right direction can change the rest of your life.
God bless you in your own journey!