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.