Jenny Stradling

Eminent SEO Owner and CEO. Working on making the web a better place. Quality. Ethics. Collaboration.

A Lesson On Humility

A Lesson On Humility

Hooray for 2017! I thought you’d never come!

2016 was kinda crappy.

I know, I know… how can I even begin to complain when I have so many blessings in my life?

But, let me preface this blog post: I am not complaining. I was and I did, a lot. But this blog is about the journey, not just “the lesson”, and this one happens to be a little bumpy. So here goes.

Towards the beginning of 2016 I found myself in a rut. Physically I was the biggest I had ever been and I was feeling not myself. Mentally I was burnt out too, working too many hours and never feeling like it was enough. My story, this journey, begins with a doctor’s appointment. Starting this way makes this blog feel really personal, but I share to hopefully give some insight. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism

What happens next is a long story (and a different blog post, hypothyroidism is no joke!) so I’ll keep it brief. I was given a very strict warning and was told that I was obese and needed to lose weight in order to reduce my chances of cancer.

Cancer.

If you have ever heard a doctor say that word, you might really understand what I was feeling in that moment. But, let me tell you something: I had never felt that way before in my life up until that moment, and it scared me to the core. It was like my future life flashed before my eyes. I thought about all of the things I had never done. I was sad.

I’m not really scared of dying, oddly. Not in the way that I am scared of other things that truly give me fear. Growing up religious might have something to do with it, but I always believed that there was life after this and that we are endless beings. My mom said “there are worse things than dying” and that stuck with me. If you believe this life is temporary, it does take away some of the fear of death. If you believe in heaven, well, you might even be glad to go! All the stories I hear of people coming back from the dead or having a near death experience say that they had the chance to go and they wanted to, but they decided to stay because they knew their time on earth wasn’t finished.

Well, I don’t know how I will feel when my time comes, but I do know this: I am going to live on. I am not scared of dying for me, but I am saddened about who I would leave behind. The thought of Chris and the kids, my family and my team – the thought of leaving all of them behind and what that would mean was almost too much. I couldn’t let that happen, not if I could make a change. So, I did. I did it.

This year was pretty much a roller coaster ride for me. We moved offices. I had to short sell my house. I started taking thyroid medicine and began a yearlong weight loss journey. Work was crazy and I ended up in 8 different states. I would have made it 9 until I broke my foot. In a nutshell, it was rough.

I Am A Warrior | Jenny Stradling

The good news is I lost 65 pounds and, despite the broken foot, I feel better than I have in years. I can finally see myself again and it feels good. I will never stop being insecure in my way, but I do have some of my confidence back. It’s hard not to beat yourself up when you have a health issue and don’t realize it. Mine caused me to slowly gain weight over an extended period of time. I would beat myself up over it constantly, even though I had just given birth to my fourth baby and knew my body was still healing. Us women go through a lot!

I don’t know if it’s ironic and I’m still waiting for the silver lining, but this broken foot has been a setback for me. I would love to say I have stayed strong, that I haven’t had any mini breakdowns and question “why me” ever. But I have, a little. I do recognize my gratitude towards Chris and I try to tell him often how much I appreciate him for (literally) taking me everywhere for the last several weeks. Sure, it helps that we do work and life together, but this man literally has had to haul me AND my scooter (and kids) everywhere we need to go. And, he did. Bless. His. Heart.

Chris Weatherall

The Lesson

It took about 9 months, but when I met my weight loss goals I was feeling ecstatic. The night I broke my foot I was dancing (okay, it was more like jumping), celebrating my newfound energy and feeling light on my feet. When my bones broke it sounded like a pool stick snapping. It wouldn’t be so dumb if I didn’t break my other foot 6 years earlier. I am still kinda baffled. But, here we are, almost 12 weeks and I just started walking. If you have ever had an adult injury you know it’s not the same as when you were a kid. Getting up and down the stairs is exhausting. Taking a shower sitting down is the pits. Not walking sucks.

You know the saying “you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone”? I am starting to see the lesson in that and, honestly, it’s humbling not being able to do things for yourself. I have been so focused on work and myself maybe I have forgotten what’s most important. It’s so easy to take life for granted when you are moving so fast. A sweet friend on Facebook said maybe this was Gods way of slowing me down. Okay fam, I hear ya.

I don’t have to do it all. It’s okay to slow down sometimes. I can take a break (ha, no pun intended). It’s okay if everything isn’t perfect all of the time…

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