Where it all began 5 years ago...

5 years ago today, I went to a conference at work where I had an 'ah-ha' moment that started this whole thing.

One decision to start led to losing 75 pounds, learning to love myself, gaining confidence, finding my purpose and the courage to pursue my dreams and start my own business.

ALL OF THIS from one simple decision to just start. 

The next day, after the conference, I decided to start blogging again. I used to blog way back in college about running, but I stopped when I hurt my shin and life spiraled after that. I blogged the early days of my journey and I then moved to this lovely site instead. I wanted to republish a few of my blogs in the early days of my journey. Maybe you are on the starting line of your journey, looking at all of these women on social media, feeling like they just don't get it.

Girl, I get it. I was there too once. And one simple decision to start could change your life, just as it did mine.

Here is the blog I wrote, September 28th, 2012, the day after I attended the work conference:

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This is weird for me. This blog used to mean so much to me and now I have not blogged in over a year. I have stopped running, I am not happy with myself and honestly I feel like I don't even know who I am anymore.  As I read through old posts on here, I remember how much joy running brought me. Why did I let a stupid injury stop me?

Lots of things in my life have changed over the last year. I got into a bad relationship, forgot who I was completely. I gave up my entire life for someone who I wasn't all too interested in.  I liked the idea of him, but didn't really like him. Eventually, I realized that he wasn't what I wanted and I broke things off. Ever since then, I feel like I have been in this weird process of trying to find myself.  Who the heck am I? What do I want? What are my goals?

I have been doing a lot of soul searching, lots of reading, trying to pinpoint what I need to do to get back on track.  Yesterday, I went to a luncheon for work.  It was an all women's luncheon and to be honest, I was completely dreading it. I have lots of work to do and I really didn't want to drive 30 minutes to eat lunch and be lectured.  Anyways, I went and oh my, it was EXACTLY what I needed.  Funny how that happens.  The speaker talked about how to find harmony in life. How to be at peace with yourself.  She made us write a list of our accomplishments, ten of them. Ten accomplishments?  I sat there, my mind was blank.  While everyone else scribbled things down quickly, I sat there frozen.  An accomplishment? I have nothing. So my accomplishments were:

1. Bought a new car
2. Ended a bad relationship
3. Got a new job
4. Adopted a new puppy

...and that is as far as I got. Four things? That is all I have done in 2012? We are 10 months into the year and I have four lousy accomplishments?! All of my coworkers had long lists of accomplishments that included getting married, having children, running marathons, getting promoted, being happy. I won't lie, I felt pretty lousy.  The speaker then had us write down our Disappointments.  Oh phew, something easy.  So while everyone at the table sat there looking puzzled, I scribbled down a very long list.  Pretty sad.  Well, my list included not saving as much money as I wanted, losing friends, being single, not making as much money as I wanted to, not losing weight, not working out, not being happy...and oh boy, I could go on forever. 

She then asked us to compare our accomplishments and disappointments. And just as everyone in the room noticed, all of our accomplishments and disappointments were within our OWN control.  Those accomplishments were things I did, things I put my mind to and succeeded. The disappointments were things I did not work hard enough at, things I had a bad attitude about.  If I want to gain more friends, lose weight, workout more, make more money...I can do all of that. The only thing in my way is myself. 

Why? Why do I do this to myself? Why do I allow my fears get in the way of accomplishing the things I want to do with myself. Why do I downplay my accomplishments and focus on my disappointments? 

I started to read "Your Best Year Yet" today, one that was recommended by the speaker.  10 steps towards having the best year of your life.  Easy enough, right? Step one...make a list of your accomplishments. AGAIN?! Ok, so I sat down and took an inventory of the last year. I made a good attempt to give myself credit where credit was deserved.

My new list of accomplishments:

1. Bought a new car - my dream car
2. Ended a horrible relationship
3. Got a new job, which I really enjoy
4. Adopted the sweetest puppy ever
5. Learned to clean and maintain a clean apartment - constantly
6. Gave up gluten completely - solved my stomach issues
7. Remained single after tough breakup, giving myself time to focus on ME
8. Lost weight on my own from eating better
9. Learned to manage my anxiety without medication
10. Gained responsibility at work

This time, I was able to get all 10. And I feel really good about all 10. Sure, there are things I wish that I could put on that list. But, I guess that is what the list is for. See your accomplishments and all the things you wish you could put on that list go on your 'disappointment' list. And the goal is to make those disappointments become accomplishments. 

Next step is making a new disappointment list. I will make time to take a deep inventory of what I want.  More to come :)

Jess