I came to NYC to work for a production company three years ago. The limo picked me up & took me through the Lincoln Tunnel.
Little did I know that was yet another metaphor for my life. Going through the tunnel would lead me to a life I never imagined. Or maybe I did imagine it, i just never never imagined I’d act on it.
I remember feeling nervous excitement during that ride through the tunnel. I soaked it up knowing that as soon as I hit the end of the tunnel my life would never be the same.
I recently went through that same tunnel. All the feelings of my first time through came flooding back. The only difference is this time at the end of the tunnel was my home.
I found my way through the darkness & not only found the light, but also found my home. I realized the light waiting for me at the end of the tunnel was coming from inside me, not anything or anyone outside of me.
I am the light.
My true self has been waiting for me at the end of every dark tunnel I’ve ever been through.
The light always comes. This I promise you. The tunnel won’t last forever. Some are longer, some are shorter, but there’s always a light at the end. You are the light.
Run to your high beam brilliance.
Learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable.
Some of my best moments come from stepping out of my comfort zone.
This one in particular was uncomfortable for many reasons. I had to learn the art of spinning, get comfortable with cardio, find my rhythm & wow the Soul Cycle judges in a 60 second window.
Oh & did I mention practicing for this while sorting through & packing up my 3,000 sq foot house to move to a 1,000 sq ft NYC apartment?
But none of that was as uncomfortable as having to move one week before my husband & daughter so that I could be there for the Soul Cycle audition.
I missed out on saying good bye with my daughter to the house she’d grown up in the last 15 years.
Missed out on walking through the empty house remembering the princess birthday parties, the the Thanksgiving dinners, the leisurely pancake breakfasts with Elliana playing guitar in the background, and making s’mores in the backyard.
Missed out on watching the house get smaller in the rear view mirror as the Penske truck pulled away from the only life she’d ever known.
So why did I choose the Soul Cycle audition over all that? Because my daughter said “Mom, if you don’t go you will always wonder, what if??!!”.
I used to hate running. I wasn’t good at it.
It scared me. Feeling out of breath like my lungs might collapse wasn’t my idea of fun.
So I hired a running coach, Andrea Atkins, who taught me form, breathing & more importantly to believe in myself embracing this new running journey I was on.
I trained with my sister-in-law, Misty, a seasoned runner who I assumed loved every minute of running. One hot Tucson summer morning I was almost in tears saying ‘I hate this, I hate this.’ Misty, said “So do I”.
I thought I heard her wrong. I said “YOU” hate running??? She said “Yes, sometimes, many times; but I like the way I feel after.”
Then she said “Look ahead. See that cactus way up there? That’s what we are running towards.”
Then I did a half marathon. When I saw the finish line a half mile away I sprinted as fast as I could towards it.
Running is now my therapy. Moments of clarity come to me when I run.
This happens to be one of them:
When I weighed 226lbs my trainer would run around the building with me.
After I lost about 50lbs he would send me out to run alone. I asked him why he didn’t run with me anymore & he said “I ran with you in the beginning because I wasn’t sure you’d make it around the building even once”.
I felt like I would die running around that building when I was that heavy. He would say “Just start & before you know it you will be finished”.
But even after I lost weight, running was still a struggle for me. I’d get out of breath quick, and after 3 minutes I wanted to quit.
When my sis-in-law, a seasoned marathon runner, asked me to do a half marathon with her, for some odd reason,which is still unclear to me to this day, I said “ok”!
So the training began. Running 3-4 times a week with someone who is faster & more seasoned than me was frustrating & hurt my ego at times.
I kept at the training because I didn’t want to die running 13.1 miles. It scared the shit of me—13.1 miles is a lot more than the laps I had been running around the building.
Up to that point I’d only run a mile at most.
I pushed through even when I didn’t want to get up at 4:30 a.m. before the Tucson summer heat kicked in. A friend even told me I wasn’t built for running & I was too old to run my first half marathon.
I was determined to get myself to the starting line. Yes that’s right, the STARTING line not the finishing line.
I realized it’s much harder to get myself to the starting line; once the starting gun went off I’d knew I’d finish. For me the victory was not in finishing the race but actually starting the race.
I was begging God the night before to give me food poisoning or a broken toe or anything that would prevent me from getting to that starting line. Instead he gave me the gift of facing my fear & running right through it.
In training even on vacation on our 25th Anniversary. I fell down, got a little hurt but picked myself off & still ran back to our hotel.
I made it. The starting line. Facing my fear head on.
My daughter would run with me on days I needed an extra push.
My first & only 11 mile run along the Hudson River on vacation. The night before I was at a scotch bar but I still got up & trained. I was dedicated to not dying the day of the half marathon. My fear was my biggest motivator.
It’s never to late to rewrite your life. I have many times over. My biggest rewrite came after my weight loss journey.
I had no idea how much my story would change. I became a trainer in my forties, and moved to NYC at 48 years old after living in Arizona for nearly 3 decades. I opened up my own successful company at 45 years old.
I ran for PA President of a top Manhattan school at 49 years old & won the election even though I’d never held or ran for office.
I went from being painfully shy to speaking in front of hundreds of people on a regular basis. I found my voice at age 45 & it keeps getting louder.
I changed the characters in my story when needed. During my weight loss journey I could not hang around people who didn’t value or respect my health & fitness lifestyle. It’s no different than an alcoholic getting out of rehab & not being able to hang around her drinking buddies anymore.
When I moved to NYC I knew one person, one “friend”. He encouraged my family to move but when I arrived he became toxic to both me & my family. I held on too long because I thought I needed him since I had no one familiar here.
The familiar—the comfortable—can keep you stuck in jobs, relationships & circumstances too long. My weight loss journey taught me to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
When I finally stepped out of my comfort zone new doors opened even when old doors slammed shut. My life truly began after I lost 80 pounds because I became the main character in my own story.
I decided I had the power to rewrite my life as many times as needed until it was truly my own.
Click on this link to hear more about rewriting your life. You are worth it.
Click the link below the workout to see how I stayed sober on St.Patty’s Day during my weight loss journey.
Earn your corned beef, cabbage & green beer! Or do this as a fasted workout the next morning to burn off all those indulgences.
Click here to find out why St.Patrick’s Day is so special for this sassy polish lass:
I do not want you to lose weight. Losing implies you lost something precious you won't get back. Do you want to get the weight back you lost? No!!! Of course not!
A very intuitive client of mine made this wise distinction for me when I asked her if she wanted to lose weight. Now I pass this wisdom on to you & all my clients.
My client, Dawna said "I do not want to lose weight. I want to shed weight" Shed meaning out with old and in with the new.
Shed away those pounds, inches & fat but do NOT lose what you have no intention of finding EVER again!!!
Dawna showing off her Canadian backside.
Watch this video to see me helping Dawna shed.
Shedding everything but her hat collection!
My Dad is not a man of many words. When he does speak it's usually with very carefully selected words full of depth & meaning.
After I lost my 80lbs I went through a period where I was beating myself up over why I gained the weight in the first place. I used to be a swimsuit model for God's sake so how could I ever have let myself get to that point?
I was very scared of the weight coming back & kept looking back to try to make sense of it. Old Lisa kept reappearing. One day I told my Dad "It's as though I can see my old fat self in the rear view mirror."
My Dad said something so profound I have to share it because it has stayed with me. I even use it on my clients now. He said "That's why the front window is much larger than the rear view mirror. The rear view mirror is only to glance back every now & then. To serve as a reminder. The front window is for moving forward and the expansiveness of it serves as reminder of the endless possibilities that lie ahead."
Thank you Dad. XO