one voice in a million

I am doing everything possible to remain positive. Reminding myself that I am slowly getting to my goal. But still, I feel myself hitting a wall. It's both mental and physical.

I started working out (again) at the end of April. It was a zumba class here and there but nothing stead. Then I went to a deep water aerobics class, and it all began to change.

The date was May 4, 2011. I pressed send on an email and agreed to begin meeting someone three mornings a week for a short cardio work-out and then thirty to forty minutes of weight lifting. This week I have turned the three mornings a week to five mornings a week. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday will be a short cardio work-out and then thirty to forty minutes of weight lifting. Tuesday and Thursday I will spend forty minutes to an hour doing cardio. And then, for the summer, I plan on attending water aerobics or aqua zumba every day during lunch.

And I will continue to watch what I eat. It's the one thing I struggle with the most. Specifically, I struggle once I am home from work or at a restaurant. It's much easier to watch what I eat while at work because I do not have much choice on eating food other than what I bring to work with me.

As stated previously, I feel myself hitting a wall. Or maybe I have already hit the wall but am determined to climb over it instead of allowing it to stop me. I've let it win in the past and have thrown in the towel and found excuses to support my reasons for stopping this effort to lose weight and be healthy.

But this time, I have done everything to overcome every excuse. Even when I was sick, I worked out. In the past, I would have stayed away from the gym. And that would have led to the same cycle of never going back until months later. I'm proud of myself for going even when I didn't want to.

And I am seeing changes. Slowly. More slowly than I would like, but they are there.

I took pictures on 5/17/11. They were taken about two weeks after I started a regular routine. Two weeks and a little less than ten pounds ago. I decided to also take pictures today. I've heard people say it looks like I have lost weight, but I wanted to see it.

And I do.

Granted, the outfit is different. And possibly more flattering. And I am much more tan, thanks to deep water aerobics and aqua zumba outside (along with assisting/teaching swim lessons five evenings a week). But still it's there.

I see it the most in my face. And a little in my arms and stomach. Such a little thing to see a difference, but it is also such a big thing. I think it was exactly what I needed. A reminder I can go to when I hit the wall and feel like nothing I do will make a change. A reminder that the change is there. I just have to look for it.

This is all about me. It's not about looking better for someone else or fitting a certain mold. I've tried to lose weight for other people before, and it always fails. I've also used other people and commitments as a reason for not being able to work out. But not this time.

I deserve this. Everyone deserves the chance to create the best version of themselves, and everyone should do it. And the things that suffer, if anything does, possibly weren't what you were meant to spend your time doing. At least that's how I look at it. Because it would be far too easy to look at what is suffering and spend my time worrying about that rather than worrying about myself.

Is there a time for service and unselfishness? Yes. Do I want to be able to serve and assist others? Of course. But I also know that I am practically worthless if I have not first taken care of myself.

One of my (current) favorite television shows is Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition. I love seeing real people transform in the midst of their real lives. Last week's episode, chronicled the journey of a man who lost over 300 pounds in just one year. So much about his story struck a chord with me, but the one thing that got me a bit teary eyed was when he said he was going to pay it forward. Once he lost his weight, he would help others. (see more here)

I don't know if I will be in a position to help others lose weight, but I know my heart is to help others. I am passionate about foster care and adoption. About families. About ending cycles of abuse and neglct. And I want to be the best advocate I can be for those going through difficult times. I want to be the best person I can be for the children and parents and families and loved ones who need a helping hand and who need to be reminded that someone cares for them.

And so I continue on my journey. And one day, maybe a year from now and maybe longer, I will get there. And I can't wait to see what happens both during the journey and after the journey.

(title from "strip me" by natasha bedingfield)


  1. i see it! you are looking great. keep it up! and keep this as encouragement. :)

  2. You're a doing a great job! Thank you for being such an inspiration. I've felt like giving up so many times this week. I'm glad that I'm not the only one who feels that way every now and then.

  3. I can tell!! That's awesome, so impressive! Also, high five!

  4. You are looking great! I can also tell a difference in your back. Have you checked out www.sparkpeople.com? I highly recommend it!

  5. Leslie, you look great! I just wanted to encourage you and let you know that you inspire me. On days when I really don't feel like working out, it seems like you always post something that reminds me of why I'm doing this in the first place. Thank you!

  6. Way to go! I am also on a weight loss adventure, but the last two weeks have not been so good. This is good motivation though! And wow, aqua zumba...that sounds awesome!

  7. Kudos to you, girlfriend! It's not always easy to make a plan, set goals, and stick to them! I am so proud of you for your progress, and even more than that...your determination!

    Popping over from Imperfect People!



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