#TBT Revelations

A few weeks back when I was running at my parents house in Anna Maria, I ran {literally} across a situation that got me thinking.

Let me set the scenario for you.

Anna Maria Island is an ordinarily quiet, little community with a few well known restaurants and landmarks. One of the most recognized locations is the city pier {I talk more about AMI and share a picture of this pier in my post here} Usually, the pier is crawling with tourists and locals fishing for whatever their bait draws in, but this evening, evidently, had attracted more than just the casual sightseer and anglers. It had lured a couple of rowdy folks, one of which had gotten herself thrown in the back of a squad car. As I ran past the paddy wagon with the cuffed woman in the back seat, I couldn’t help but remember the night when I sat in that very same position. Needless to say, I finished my run that night in deep thought over how far I’ve come in the last 6 years.

If you are feeling a little out of the loop, allow me to explain.

Several years ago, I was arrested for a DUI. I was pulled over for speeding on my way home from a bar early one morning – around 4:30am to be exact. I hadn’t been drinking heavily, but that was a rarity. This particular night I had only consumed enough alcohol to result in a 0.136 on the breathalyzer – legal limit in Florida is 0.08. I ended up spending the rest of my Tuesday morning in jail waiting to make bail, wondering how to find an online bail bonds service at quick notice, so I didn’t have to bother my parents. But they ended up saving my life, as my relief came at the hands and wallet of my merciful parents. I don’t think I’d ever been so grateful to them as I was at that moment. They truly saved my life. I thought they’d have to use somewhere like Riverside Bail Bonds to help them post the bail because I thought they may not have been able to afford it otherwise. But I was wrong, and I guess they must have some money stored away for emergencies like this one. It was a truly humiliating and expensive situation {it cost me over $5,000}, but it was the necessary catalyst that transformed my life. It was my rock bottom moment when I realized that I couldn’t keep partying and wasting my life away doing these kind of things. I couldn’t spend every night in a bar and every afternoon in bed.

First, I began to make changes with my eating habits. I had to modify my meals drastically. I chose to cut out all late night eating and alcohol consumption and started a fitness plan. I started setting my alarm for 8:00am – which is early when you work in a bar don’t get to bed until 2 am – and going to the gym and the cycling studio. I discovered a love for HIIT, Spinning, Yoga and Pilates, but my passion for running didn’t come until after I had my daughter. I would run on cardio days, but I never ran longer than I had to and I definitely didn’t start tracking my mileage until much later.

During my reform and transformation process I lost 35 pounds, I went from a size 12 to a size 6 and discovered my passion for fitness; I became a certified spin and Gravity instructor and met my husband along the way. As you can imagine, it was one of the best things I could ever do for myself. The benefits have had a positive domino effect on my life ever since.

That night in Anna Maria when I ran past the police car, it was a real revelation. All I could think about was where I’d be now if I hadn’t been pulled over that night long ago.

Wanna know what I think ??? In my gut, I believe that God had a plan for me. Period. I believe it was his will for me to experience that moment of “revelation” so that I would want to make the changes I needed towards a better life. In any situation, you have to want to change. It can’t just be about other people wanting it for you. You really have to want it bad. And I did.

And you wanna know something even greater about it? When people began to see me making those changes and getting healthy and fit, they started to ask about how I was doing it, and that fueled my desire even more.

And now here I am years later, living and loving the healthier version of myself, feeling great about how far I’ve come.

And the icing on the cake? It keeps getting better. It’s always nice to get compliments, especially from your friends. Just a few weeks before my encounter with the police car in Anna Maria, my best friend sent me this text message with a picture of me from 2006 – possibly at my heaviest and unhealthiest. Her comment really filled me with pride and made me realize just how influential the people in your life can be to your lifestyle. If it hadn’t been for her positive influence in my life, I might not have established myself as a runner. In a very poetic way, the contagious concept of healthy living and specifically running was cycled through our little group of friends over a period of time. She was encouraged by Geddy to run a half marathon, then the completion of her first 13.1 and success in the sport was transferred to me…… and that’s what we call the Trifecta!!!

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I’m not the type of person who is comfortable showing unflattering pictures, but in a situation like this, I feel it’s necessary to tell the story. {This will probably be the only time I do this} I hope it finds someone who needs to see it, and I hope it helps them realize that anyone can make the decision to change – it just has to be the right reason.

Did you ever experience an “ah-ha” moment of revelation that lead to a fitness or healthy lifestyle change?

Hey there! Thanks for stopping by my little space on the web. I'm Haley. I’m a digital marketer & social media strategist, a running coach, compulsive movie quoter, wannabe photographer, Capricorn, and a slightly sarcastic, ultra chatty extrovert living in Tampa with my awesome family. I love spending my time helping folks find their best self through fitness, health and wellness. I strive to help you live your best life, and enjoy the journey. Sometimes I write. It’s rarely worth reading, but I like to put it out there anyways.

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8 thoughts on “#TBT Revelations”

  1. Your story is just amazing. Thanks for being willing to share it. I think too often people are so ashamed that they won’t tell people, but in the telling you are being a witness for Him. I agree that He most definately had/has an amazing plan for your life! Keep it up!

  2. Right on!!! Thank you for sharing this with us (and revealing your before picture). I’m still on my path to health and I have a long way to go. It’s important for me to hear that it took six years for you to get to the point you are now. I always want it to happen NOW. You really hit the nail on the head when you said, “You really have to want it bad.” People can’t change unless they are at rock bottom in many cases. That low point really can be a blessing because it is freeing–it opens up the opportunity for anything to happen since you have nothing else to be afraid of (or to be embarrassed about).

  3. Thanks for sharing your story! I’m the same way about old pics, if there are even any of me that exist at my heaviest because I wouldn’t let people take them. That’s great how you were able to turn it all around – some people miss out on those aha moments, but you carped the hell out of that diem.

  4. Thanks for being so honest and sharing your story! I’ve lost over 200lbs and had my big a-ha moment in 2008. Clean eating and exercise saved (and changed!!) my life.

  5. Wow – what an amazing story!!! So amazing how things work sometimes!
    And, we were on Anna Maria Island this summer and loved it – can’t wait to visit again!!!

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