Stay ‘till the end…

This past weekend, we traveled to Minneapolis, MN for a little vacation before school starts. We went to a Vikings game on Friday night. None of us had been to an NFL game. We toured the Cowboys stadium when we went to Dallas, but we hadn’t been to a game before. Since this is considered “pre-season,” the tickets were cheaper. We scored seats in the corner of the end zone in row #12!

Instead of trying to find parking in downtown MSP, we decided to take the tram from the Mall of America to the US Bank Stadium. As we filed through a sea of purple and gold, we could see the giant stadium with lots of glass. No food is allowed in from the outside, so it gave us a chance to have an over-priced supper. There was plenty to see before the game and the stands filled up in no time.

The game was a good one – lots to take in. With the Vikings losing to the Seahawks, several fans decided to leave early. I asked our friends if they wanted to beat the crowds for the tram or to stay ’till the end. Luckily, my friend suggested to stay. The Vikings came back and won the game by 1 point… scoring in the end zone right in front of us! We almost missed it. We aren’t huge football fans, but it was quite a sight! The energy was amazing! The 95 foot tall glass doors were open, letting in a nice breeze. We almost missed it. “Wow, good thing we stayed!”… was heard over and over amidst the crowd.

How many times in life do we stay ’till the end? How many times do we leave early, or stop too soon – thinking we will save time or get something else accomplished? As we stood in line for the tram, and packed in like sardines with thousands of other people, I thought about this. I’m guilty of quitting too soon or leaving too early at times. What else have I missed out on? There are many times I have stayed though, and it’s been worth it. What if I didn’t “stay ’till the end” of my cancer treatment? What if I didn’t “stay ’till the end” of my son’s cross country race? It applies in many aspects of life… not only showing up, but staying.

I’ve started several online classes, but don’t always “stay ’till the end.” Something comes up, life gets in the way, my head gets in the way (or 100 other excuses)… and I don’t finish strong. It’s not fair to me or the people I’m in class with or the teacher. I need to stay ’till the end more. Maybe you’ll join me on my journey of enough & be the friend that says, “Let’s just stay ’till the end & see what happens!”

I still do…

Wow. Where did a month go? It’s been a month since my last post. Summer in the upper Midwest is a precious time of trying to soak up as much good weather as we can… & that’s what I’ve been doing. Soaking up summer like a sponge. Maybe I’ll remember these warm days when it’s -40 in January.

About 2 months ago, I wasn’t able to wear my wedding ring. It was hurting my finger and my hands had gotten too “puffy” due to some extra weight that has crept up on me. I know it should be an easy equation = eat less + move more. It’s just not that simple for everyone. Many factors come into play. Last fall, someone I know had their breast cancer return after 20+ yrs. It’s now stage 4 and in several places… yet she wasn’t overweight, ate plenty of fruits and vegetables & took vitamins daily. This was hard for me to deal with – the possibility of this happening to me was scary. I had a “why bother eating healthy” attitude & a bit of unspoken self-pitty. I had an “I deserve a donut” mentality and it wasn’t healthy.

There is something I didn’t realize right away… her story is not my story. Just because it happened to her doesn’t mean it will happen to me. I go in for my check ups, I’m an advocate for myself and I want to be around for many more years.

2 things happened to spur my desire to shed some extra pounds. 1) Relay for Life. As I posted last time, the Relay for Life event was very powerful. Walking around that track made me feel like I had an obligation to continue to survive. Seeing those white balloons release in memory of those who have passed made me realize all those balloons were symbols of someone who people wished was still here. I don’t want to take my life for granted. I don’t want my kids to live without their mom. If there is something I can do to extend my life, then I should. 2) My husband asked me if I needed my ring re-sized. It was an innocent question, but one that was hard to answer. “I just need to shed some weight.” Funny that he brought it up because he hasn’t worn his ring in years, but he never thinks that it insinuates that he’s not married. (Ok there might be 3 reasons – the third being vanity, if I’m honest. I saw those pictures of me with a double chin and a belly larger than I’d like, & it made me self conscious)

So, 3 weeks into a keto lifestyle, I can wear my rings. I am drinking a lot of water and have drastically reduced carbs and sugar. I’ve discovered that I’m likely gluten sensitive because I feel so much better after eliminating it. I have a higher likelihood of getting diabetes since I had gestational diabetes & my dad is diabetic. Having PCOS increased my health risks for other diseases & my history of breast cancer increases other risks. It would be easy for me to give up, but I feel like this is different. My “WHY” … why I do this – is to live longer. I want to be able to keep up with my active family. As I told my oldest son, I want to be around to annoy you when I’m 95. (To which he replied, “Um, I’ll be fishing – you’ll have to annoy my brother.”) I think it felt safer for me to hide behind extra weight. I wasn’t attracting attention that way.

I still do want to be married. I still do want to run. I still do want to feel fit. I still do want to live to be 95. I still do want my journey to continue. I still do want to write a book. There is so much yet to do. I’m excited to feel amazing! Peace be with you on your journey of enough. May you find the support you need to keep you going… whatever your goals are. I hope to report at Christmas time that I’ve met my goals and have discovered some amazing gluten free & lower sugar recipes.