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I stood up for Me.. And got what I needed.

December 4, 2011

Here at “A Work In Progress”……  Gee, I like saying that!   🙂

Counting calories and deciding what is the best new running shoe is not the only important thing..

This post is about something different.  It’s about Your health but the health of your heart, soul and mind.  Because what it means to be healthy is not just about working out and counting calories.  Yes,  that’s right,  I said that.     (for those who know me, and know my occasional 3 hour workouts)

I think wanting to be healthy and wanting to take care of ourselves begins in our heart,  soul and mind. It begins how we feel about ourselves and our lives.  We have to like ourselves, love ourselves to care enough to continue on the path of a healthy life or take  steps to change the life we are living now,  and take the right steps to create one that is healthy in that,  a happy one.

When I sat down to write this post I had an idea of what I was going to say.   I wanted this to be a post on everyday life and everyday concerns.  Stress, work, Family, how it affects your time, or maybe…how it affect you time in finding time for you….  Those were my idea’s…….

   I changed my mind..

Something right now in my life  reminded me of one of the most important moments of my life AND of a very important truth, that is…..

Sometimes you need to stand up for yourself and what you need regardless of the world’s opinion of it.


This is NOT a story of exercise or counting your calories. It is about knowing what you need and not giving up on it until you get it.

It’s my story..


Life before “Gymgirl”

I lived my Life for my Mom for 10 years.  I have for the past 4  1/2  years been coming into my own as a person I feel.  Hence, “A Work In Progress” ..Taking care of Mom, my life “stood still” for those years. . In other words, When Mom left, and I looked around, I was… and AM ……The same person I was when I started taking care of her….. 10 years before.

You can say I got started late.  I guess I had put life on hold for that time,  for my Mom. 

I  chose to help Mom.  I would do it again a million times over.  I remember the moment a Nurse asked “who will be taking care of her?” I held up my hand slightly and said “That will be me”. 

 I didn’t know at the time that I was,  putting my life on hold.  People were always telling me that though . I had so many compliments in that time on how I was such a wonderful daughter to do it. Which was very nice….But all I cared about,   was that Mom was happy and healthy.   The bottom line for me was, and is the one thing I always told the doctors and nurses and anyone who was thoughtful and caring to ask  me …..”Colleen how are YOU doing”?   My answer was always…

“If Mom is okay, then I’m Okay”.    Like I said, that was my bottom line.

I love/loved my Mom.

Simply, I was Honored and blessed beyond words to take care of and share my Mothers battle, as much as I could share it,  I fought for her,  beside her.  She …was a warrior.    My/our  hero..   I was merely… me….Colleen.

One thing  the past 4 and 1/2 years without her have taught me is this…. This is what this post is about.


                                         *******You have to fight for what you want and need.********



The beginning

When I realized I wanted to get in shape it was only because I had something come into my life I wanted more than anything and I knew that I HAD to lose weight to get to it. 

So I started walking. It was what I could do immediately.  I remember the day I walked out the door  to walk.  The day I started,  I got to the end of my driveway,  I can see that first step in my head right now  ..I remember stopping for a second and thinking about it.  What I was doing, what it meant.   To think of that now….Wow.    No words.

 I did it everyday.  Good days,  bad days,  rain,  snow,  sleet.  I walked through it all.  …There were days I came home from walking,  face frozen, soaking wet, legs and arms so cold and numb, couldn’t feel my face.. That’s weird by the way..  ….It  didn’t matter the weather or day,  I was out there.  Regardless.

In a small amount of time I had worked up to   7  miles a day.    I lost 40 lbs walking everyday ….No matter what.

Like I said….I had something I wanted. …Something ….I needed….

I got to a certain point however,  I realized I needed more.  I knew what I wanted, where I wanted to take this and I knew it was not going to be achieved…. by just walking . 

I Knew I needed guidance, I needed advice, I wanted to go to a gym.


The fight for something  better

 I wanted to go to a gym so I went to one in town, the one closet to me.   It was a start.  A place called “Exercise“. 

I went in.  It was great!.   Quiet and shy, I walked up to the desk and spoke to this tall,  good looking guy who turned out to be a really nice guy.   A Trainer named Mark.  I was so shy I barely spoke.   I kept thinking  “Oh my God …It’s a ….REAL guy”       Thinking of that today…. So embarrassing. lol

Yes, I was very sheltered..  Mark introduced me to the owner who introduced me to Kara.  Who became my Trainer…. And my first good friend aside from Mom,  in a very long time.

 Kara and I walked and talked about me, what I wanted, where I wanted to go with it all. What I wanted to accomplish .  As we walked around, she showed me the gym.  It was different for me, but I liked it. I knew it was where I needed to be to do what I needed to do.

I think I was always that girl in my heart, The one who wanted this…To be in shape.

She gave me information on the gym, the classes, what it offered,  and what it would cost to become a member.  I took it all home and looked it over….. I was in heaven.   I wanted to go more than I wanted to breathe.  I knew I needed to go …….

to keep breathing. 

But money was a problem. I, myself,  didn’t have it. 

It’s simple, you need to make money to live , so 99% of us work. but for those 10 years,  my ” job” was taking care of Mom. Period. It was a 24/7  job where I slept maybe 3 hours a day and my “job” so to speak , which was not a job to me   Was making sure my best friend was as happy and healthy as possible. That was all I cared about and lived for.

If you are wondering what I did before that, I had just graduated from a business school when Mom needed me in a  24/7  setting .  But in my eyes, Mom’s health and life,   took precedence.. So I let school go, set it aside,  and for those 10 years… that was my life. 

So back to not having money at that time.  That along with My Dad and  both of  my brothers telling me they would help me,   all three were well-meaning.  I know they love me but they didn’t think I really needed a gym, a Trainer,or advice.  Dad and both my brother’s felt it was a lot of money that I would have to borrow, they didn’t want me to be saddled with that.   They didn’t want me to have to borrow it and be worried about how to pay it back.   

But the guys had  a  suggestion…  That in our cellar, there were some weights my Uncle (my Dad’s Brother) had… That my brothers,  both of them at one time,  had used.  The guys thought that would be good enough for what I needed to do.    What I was being advised to use consisted of an old rowing machine and a stationary bike from God only knows what year and some old weight that were… REALLY OLD.   According to my Family that was all I needed to get the job done.  That was the consensus between My Dad and my brothers.

I hesitated and thought..maybe…it would be wrong to spend the money, I would have to borrow it from my Dad.  I didn’t want to do that. For one reason, I knew my Dad would never let me pay him back. 

 I have an amazing Father.

But did I mention that BOTH of my brothers were members at a gym at the time?.  Now if the stuff in the cellar was what was going to get me into shape,  wouldn’t my brothers be down there instead of spending the money to belong to a gym themselves?

In all honesty,  It  kind of ticked me off.  But…

 Sometimes even people who love you and would do anything for you ,can’t know what the best thing is for you and know what YOU need…. better than you do.


—-Mom was listening and watching….And She….Knew .—-

I DID have a weak moment.    The guys were wearing me down.  I was missing my Mom, tired of being strong,  I had been that for 10 years without hesitation and for the first time  I was fighting for something without her there backing me….Boy did I feel alone.     I sat on my bed for a while  and talked to my Mom. I told her maybe this wasn’t for me. Maybe that life I wanted, my dream,  wasn’t for me.   Where was I going right?…I had always felt that was possible, that I might be overweight …my whole life. 

 Again, I was feeling alone and missing my buddy,  my Mom.  

That,  my weak moment in this.  

The only one


A second wind

I thought about what I wanted, why I wanted to get into shape and I knew in my heart without a doubt that I HAD to have this chance ……Or I would never have a chance to reach what I knew I needed. What meant more to me than anything …since Mom. 

Believe me…..that….. is saying more than you can ever know.

So, I had them all together and I told all three of them …….”I need this” 

 It was really the first time in , well really my whole life,  I asked a for anything substantial.   I told them this, was mine.   I told my Dad I knew this was my chance and I would not have a life, not have the one I wanted, or even a chance at the one I wanted,  if I did not do this.  There was no getting around that. 

The truth will always stand. You can’t run away from it or hide from it and the truth was that walking wasn’t going to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish.    Neither were the prehistoric weights  in our cellar.    (my shot at sarcasm)

 My Dad is caring, gentle, loving a Great Dad.   The best man I have ever known.  But he never had to understand  a daughter’s  feelings without his wife  to help if needed…….It was hard for him to really understand what I felt . 

But I didn’t falter,  I didn’t give up asking. 

I talked with my Dad more about it. I told him this was MY life and decision. Not for the boys (my brothers) who were trying to help, but not really listening to decide.   He agreed I needed to go.  He could see, finally, how important it was to me.

Just so you know. My Dad would give his children the world without any hesitation. Like I said he is the best man I know. My brothers,  follow.  I am more than blessed and lucky to have these men in my life than you can know.   But I had never asked for anything like this and simply,   they were …guys who didn’t know what this girl needed.

But in the end never giving up and never backing down on my desire and need to start my own life now…….. Paid off….

Mom.  She, was taking care of me this time.

I went back to Exercise, I talked to Kara and it was Official……….. I had a gym.  It became home away from home.

For me, MY life began.


The bottom line

Sometimes in life we have to have the strength to fight for things we want.  Sometimes we feel alone.  Our family and friends may not understand.  I’m here to tell you , If they don’t , stand your ground.   Your Family and friends are people who like you,  and love you.   That doesn’t mean they can always feel what you feel, what you need, what you want.  You have to remember the need is in YOUR heart not theirs.  Don’t take it personally.  Try to have patience.  But be persistent.    If it’s in your heart  and soul and you know it’s what you need to be happy..Don’t give up.  Never walk away, never put away that dream,  you might be walking away from something that will change your entire life,  shaping who you will be , possibly the biggest reason you become who you will be in the future.

That’s what my dream, has done for me.  You can’t walk away from the truth.  You can tell yourself you don’t really want it or you don’t really need to do it,   in that moment, sitting on my bed.  I knew it was a lie .  If I had let that moment in and take over I would not have any of the friends I have now, I would not have the life I have now, I would not have the heart and soul I have now, I would not be the girl that I am now.

My dream made me, guided me and saved me. Filled up my heart and made it whole again and put me back together after Mom.

 In my heart, I know my Mom sent that to me, and made sure I didn’t give up…. I didn’t.

Don’t YOU either.


The results of not giving up

I have a life.  I have a happier more full life and for me, again…a meaningful life.

I have friends.  Yes. Something I hadn’t had in a long time.   I am blessed with so many people I have met and call “my friends”  because of my dream and never giving up and having unfaltering perseverance of that dream.

My Father and my brothers now think it’s the best thing I have ever done.

I now have possibilities I never would have had otherwise.

My dream….it’s closer and I’m still working and praying for it.  But I feel closer.

I’ll get there.      In time. dreams call for something else  at times…….Patience. 

For my dream, I will always have enough.   Hey, I’m stubborn.

The good kind.

The next time you’re wondering if you should take a stand for you…Think about what the results could be !

If there is something you know in your heart and soul is right for you, you have to fight for it.

Period.    🙂



Thank you for coming to my blog. I appreciate the support.!

At the end of every post I tell you about this blog.  Dan Gheesling’s website.  The blog is both inspiring and smart,  as is Dan . He is always willing to help out and reply to your comments.  Give it a look, I promise it will be so worth your time and consideration !.

As always I would love to hear any comment you might have about this post or what you would like to hear about!.. criticism is welcome as well ! good or bad it will help me be a better blogger 🙂 thank you !

Have a great day!      🙂

4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 9, 2011 6:34 PM

    Hey COLL, Is that finally a picture of you on the beach on your twitter page??? Or is that a girl Olympic swimmer 😉 Hey, I’m asking because first we got a pic of Eve (yea, Adam’s chick with the apple) Then, we got a tropical flower. Then, Darla from The Little Rascals 🙂 So, Is This The REAL you?? BTW….YES, you do have my permission to call me FRANK!!! You started reverting back to Mr. Granda (?) Unless you want me to call you Ms. F. Kelly on Dan’s blog site 🙂 🙂 I hope you have a Merry Xmas… BTW…Did you check out my Xmas rare film reviews from the link on Dan’s site? Hey, don’t watch any of the Xmas horror films, they’re not for you (those are mostly for the guys) For you I recommend : “A Christmas Memory”, “The Homecoming”, “Christmas In Connecticut”, and for fun…”Santa Claus Conquers The Martians” 🙂 🙂 For those that missed Dan’s blog: They can just click my name on This page above my comment, then when they get to film site Click : Blogs, then Click : Obscure Xmas Films…..Once again Merry Xmas to COLL and to All on her great blog!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • December 10, 2011 1:40 AM

      Okay…”Frank” lol ..Sorry I have always done that. “Mr.” or “Mrs.” Yes Maa’m , “No Maa’m”, “Yes Sir”, “No Sir”. I was taught to be respectful of everyone and so it’s odd for me not to do that. Since you would rather be called Frank, then that is different 🙂

      The “Chick” Okay, All I can do is tell you the truth. I know it could sound like bull ….but on Daniel’s Blog…. I promise lol, That girl is what I look like. I am still having trouble with my puter. After we had a power failure a 3 weeks ago. (we were off for 6 days) it has not been printing correctly and the HP Imaging is “not accepting commands”. lol I Want to get my picture up because as you know I lost 120 lbs and worked HARD for 3 years to get there lol
      I’m proud of what I look like!.. I went through like 100 pics to find a girl who I looks like me. We match on the body… As for her face I can’t
      Thought it was interesting though. you listed my choice of Pics…Darla — nice little girl, Flower– girly,, “Eve”–in shape– this girl — in shape…. Maybe my view of myself is just that then….A girly girl, nice and in that
      I have seen Christmas in Conneticiut” Actually, Mom’s fav. I have it. I will have to check out your list I love Christmas movies.. Thanks for the recommendations too. no horror flicks though.. lol what did you think of the post ?
      Thanks for coming I sure appreciate it ! see ya :))

  2. Prentiss permalink
    December 10, 2011 4:35 AM

    Great post! Loved reading your story…backs up how incredibly sweet and strong you are 🙂

    • December 10, 2011 7:13 AM

      Thank you for reading it Prentiss ! I sure appreciate it !. I am usually a quiet person. But I wanted to possibly help someone with the blog and I wanted to show others how if you have something that you know is right for you you shouldn’t give up on it. You are So great to take the time to read it. I so appreciate it!. Did you decide to exercise more ? If I can help out in anyway let me know ! Thanks Prentiss ! you are a great heart ! 🙂

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