Well it’s Thanksgiving Day here in Canada and it has me reflecting on the concept of gratitude.  I try my best to be mindful of the things I’m thankful for daily but life gets busy, I get frustrated with the grind and lose sight of it all sometimes.  Thanksgiving has me reflecting on my life and the journey I’m on.  Thankfully, I’m really lucky and have plenty to be grateful for.  I’m thankful for the love of my family and friends.  I’m thankful that I have more work then I know what to do with most days.  I’m thankful for the creature comforts I’m afforded because of the aforementioned glut of work.  I’m thankful for all the good things life has brought me.  It’s easy to be thankful for those! Hooray for the good times, right?  In taking stock of the laundry list of good things I realised however that I’m also thankful for the struggles and the hard times because they’ve help shape the person I am and the person I want to be someday. 


6 years ago, I set off on a journey to get myself into a better physical place.  It was launched by someone who likely doesn’t even know they pushed me to need to change.  I was well over 300 lbs and I hated every minute of it.  I felt trapped in a body that didn’t reflect the person I was on the inside.  I sat behind a desk working endless 16 hour days and when not working would hide myself away from the world.  I was mentally exhausted so even just the idea of exercising was tiresome.  Today I find myself some 60 lbs lighter with a longer journey to my goal still ahead and that’s totally FINE.  I’m actually thankful for the road ahead.  As challenging as it may seem at times I have embraced a healthier lifestyle and become more active and it’s changed me in so many ways. 


So, on this Thanksgiving Monday in Canada, here are 5 things I’m thankful for that came out of this part of my journey:


I’m thankful for ….



… WALKING.  You’d think after starting my efforts walking 7 kilometres one way to and from work eventually working my way up to doing it 5 days a week both ways I’d be over walking.  I’m not and I’m as surprised as you are about that.  Whether it’s a stroll with friends by the lake, a hike up a trail solo or just strutting down the downtown streets, walking has allowed me to explore my city in ways I never had before.



I’m thankful for ….




…. YOGA (and Angela the friend that opened my eyes to it).  When my friend Angela, a yoga teacher, first suggested I try it I thought she’d lost her mind. How in the world did she expect me to contort my ample body into pretzel poses?  She pushed me to try it and donated her time to show me the ropes while in the comfort of her home.  She even took me to my first ever in studio class.  Angela was caring, compassionating and an encouraging voice and she continues to be all those things. 



I’m thankful for ...




THE STEPMILL MACHINE.  Although if you asked me that same question while I was on this dreaded contraption, sweating until I thought I’d puke, my answer might be different.  You see, I have this love/hate relationship with the Stepmill machine.  Mostly I’m thankful that I’m done but I’m also thankful that it challenges me EVERY SINGLE TIME I step onto it.  I’m especially thankful that even the fittest people in the gym look like they want to die while they’re using it. Sure, they are on level 12 and I’m on level 6 but still it makes me feel better knowing that even they find it challenging.



I’m thankful for …




… PLANET FITNESS.  I know some of you are likely rolling your eyes right now but honestly, I totally am.  I was so intimidated by the idea of going to the gym I seriously never thought I’d join one. I hated the idea of heading into a room filled with fit bodies for fear of judgement.  I started slowly by using my friend’s mum’s condo gym in return I baked her cakes.  Yup we jokingly called it the “you get fat, I get fit” barter system but seriously how many cakes can someone eat?  So, I finally worked up the courage to join a full up gym.  Turns out I’ve found a home at my local Planet Fitness even if it is at 5am!


I’m thankful for …





… THE POSSIBILITIES.  I’m doing things now that 6 years ago I never imagined I’d be able to do.  I want to continue to build on those successes and those failures and I’m dreaming of the possibilities.  After 20 years of not strapping on my ice skates this is the year I do it.  I’ve booked myself into my first ever indoor rowing class. I even have plans to try rock climbing with a friend.  Don’t get me wrong the possibilities are daunting for sure.  I know some things I try I'll like, some I won't and some just won't be the right fit for me at this stage in my journey. I also know I have to try the options on for size and see what fits.



So, there you go. 5 fitness things I’m thankful for.  I also want to take a moment to thank you for reading this post and hopefully the others in the food and drink section that I’ve created (haven’t seen them yet? Whatcha waiting for?).  Thanks to all the people who’ve liked and shared our posts on social media and who’ve helped spread the word about us. Lastly, I need to take a moment to thank the very kind founders of who have allowed me the opportunity to tap into my creative side and try something new. Your support and encouragement have meant the world to me and on that sappy note I say - Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!

Many of you will be familar with Laurie's food and drink posts on Soul Snaxs.  Laurie wanted to do something different for Thanksgiving Day.  Thank you for sharing your amazing fitness story with us!  Keep at it Laurie we are all cheering you on and remember one pound at a time!!!