It was the end of the second week of my summer and so far it was the best one I've had in years. I think it's pretty evident that my family means the world to me. I spend so much time with them and they truly are the greatest people in the world. I was raised by amazing parents (Mama and Papa Schur to most of you) and lucky enough to have the most amazing big brother (Andy) and little sister (Angie) in the world. Over the years, I was so blessed when Andy married Kristin, who is now one of my best friends and when Angie gave me another brother by marrying Seth. Parents say the world is never the same when their first child is born. Well, I'm not a mom but my world was forever changed in 2008 when my nephew was born. He quickly became the light of my life. In 2011 and 2012, our family was blessed with arrival of my nieces (only 5 months apart!) and they make the world a brighter place.
When I finally decided that I needed to change my life, I realized I was doing it for my family as much as I was doing it for myself. Especially my nephew and nieces. I wanted to be able to enjoy being an aunt by having lots of energy, chasing them around and just enjoying every day moments. Although those 3 little buggers could always make me smile, I wasn't happy. As I lost weight, had more energy, and was overall just a happier person, I could see it reflected in the way I interacted with them. Instead of sitting on the couch all the time, I wanted to get up and play with the kids. I wanted to play basement soccer, go for walks and do lots of other active things. And, I wasn't as tired! As I lost weight, from time to time I would tell my nephew how much I'd lost. As the number got bigger, he would open his mouth wide and say "that's a lot Mimi". I remember Kristin saying to me one time that my nephew asked her "Is Mimi getting smaller?". I don't think I stopped smiling the rest of the night after she told me that. To realize that a 5 year old could see that I was changing my life was an amazing feeling.
In addition to all of that, my parents have always cherished each of their children as individuals. Over the years, I started to retreat from that some because I thought the (grand)kids were more important (don't get me wrong, they definitely are). But I was missing that time my mom and I would spend together. She and my dad had moved about 25 minutes away from me and we weren't able to get together and walk, I couldn't just drop by the house for 10 or 15 minutes, etc. So, when my mom asked me if I wanted to spend the day with her that Friday at the end of June, it made my week. We went shopping (I got some capris), ate lunch and saw a movie. She had me laughing all day and it was so nice to spend some time with her. It meant so much to me. We both get busy so we promised that we would try to make time a little more often to have some mom/daughter days.
That weekend I went to a 4th of July cookout (still June, but we would be traveling with this family over the 4th) and it was so fun to see some people that I don't see often and their reaction. Although I knew I still had a ways to go, all of the compliments just made me feel even more confident. These types of gatherings are always tough for me. I love greasy, unhealthy food. But, I made an effort to pack a couple of snacks for myself so I could enjoy some dinner. There were several desserts to choose from (sweets are my downfall) so I let myself have one and then I walked away. Since I had still been eating like I normally do, I found I wasn't that hungry and one treat satisfied me. Crazy. Here's a picture from how I looked on that day -
Other than Renee's help, guidance, support and friendship, my family is the reason I've found success. They have supported me 200%, changed some of the food we eat when we get together as a family and just been there through everything. Of course, by this time, I also considered Renee' to be a member of my family. She was becoming like another sister to me - The two I have are my best friends so why not add another one :)
Angie had been wanting to celebrate all my success for awhile but our schedules just never seemed to work out. We finally found a day and headed down to the Reds game - although the weather wasn't the greatest, we had a lot of fun and it was great to spend some quality "sister" time, just me and her. The picture below is from that night.
My family is the greatest support system I could have ever asked for. I have a huge extended family and I was so pumped to be heading out on vacation and seeing some of them the next week. I could only have imagined how amazing our vacation would turn out to be this year :)