Get Gutsy: Be Better Than Yesterday

Friday, January 2, 2015

Getting gutsy is all about stepping outside your comfort zone to reach your goals and live a life that makes you truly happy. This post is my entry for Jessica Lawlor’s Get Gutsy Essay Contest. To get involved and share your own gutsy story, check out this post for contest details and download a free copy of the inspiring Get Gutsy ebook.

We don't need to make a new year resolution. We've got 365 days of them. Be better than yesterday.

But you can’t be a better you unless you make a change. It doesn’t matter how far you have gone on the wrong road, you can still turn around. As Socrates said, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

And that’s what I did; I got gutsy on September 4, 2013 and vowed to never be that same unfit, unhappy individual ever again. I was ready for a new me. I strive each day now to better myself.

I was committed to making myself a happier, healthier Amanda – pushing myself to limits I have never stepped on before, knowing that the road would not be easy and I would have a long way to go. (Which to this day I still have a ways to go!)

With a bubbly, happy-go-lucky personality on the outside for all of my friends and family to see, I
I Run 4 Liam and GA1 Awareness!!
was filled with self-hatred on the inside – ashamed of my weight, my looks, my life. I was in a dark, DARK, hole for many years. So instead of feeling sorry for myself day after day, I decided to make an active change.

You are the only one who can produce happiness. I wanted happy – the happy I saw in my friend’s eyes and lives – I wanted that.

So I made it happen. I made the choice to change my lifestyle after being haunted by pictures of my over-weight self and the awfulness I felt each and every day from being physically out of shape and in bad health. I was an athlete my whole life – it was time to get mentally strong again. Be that confident young woman that lives inside the roots of my soul. The choice to better myself has been the best decision of my life.

In 16 months I have lost a total of 35+ pounds and I have accomplished fitness goals I never knew possible! Even though I started running back in 2011, I now have the self-assurance to call myself a runner – I competed in 13 races during 2014, getting a new personal record in my half marathon (2 hours 1 minutes) and beating my previous marathon time by an hour and 25 minutes (a new PR of 4:49).

But the best thing that has come out of me getting gutsy is that I’ve helped others get gutsy, helping them get out of their comfort zones. I truly feel like I have touched the lives and inspired so many individuals who realized, ‘wow, if she can do it, I can do it to!’ We can all do it, you just have to want it. That's a reminder to myself each and every day.

Making the commitment takes sacrifice – no raging weekends with friends because of training runs, opting out to go to dinner because you’re being extra good, getting up at 4:40 a.m. to hit the streets by 5 a.m. on hot summer mornings – but all of that was and still IS worth it to me. It's what I want, it's now who I am.

Be selfish with yourself because in the end your happiness is all the matters in life. And when you’re happy others around you are happy – it’s infectious. So get gutsy by taking control of your life -- you're the one with the reigns, take them where you want to go.

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