Thankful Thursday: Sister-Friend

Gratitude. Appreciation. Praise. Please join me in Thankful Thursday, a weekly pause to appreciate people, places & things.

Today I am grateful for my sister. 

It's not enough that she is raising six kids (three of which she and her husband adopted) and has, over the years, been foster mom to three other youngsters.

Now she offers even more inspiration: My sister Cindi has lost 75 pounds — steadily, healthfully — and has become what she haltingly calls a "real runner."

Two months ago she ran her first 5k, and last month completed her first duathalon. This is shocking! Cindi never ran, never even walked fast. She and I were sportless children, happy to hang out, watch Brady Bunch, and eat Capn' Crunch. 

Now she runs four to five miles each day. All her life, she has struggled with weight, gaining and losing the same dreadful pounds. Those of us who battle our bodies are well versed in the "eat less, move more" mantra. Knowing how to lose weight is the easy part. The real challenge is moving the body and changing the mind — day after day after day.

Even with this dramatic turnaround, Cindi is bashful about her success. "Oh, I've got a long way to go," she says, dismissing my praise. "This is the hardest thing I've ever done," she adds,  forgetting (or unfettered by) the burden of youngsters demanding everything her heart can give.

The weight loss is not just about fitting into the skinny jeans. Cindi is modeling good health for her family. At her daughter's grade school, she's active in the running club (while the other mothers walk and chat, Cindi runs).  And for her first 5k, she and her 12 year-old trained and raced together. 

Most important, she has finally put herself first. Sometimes that's the hardest part, she says. To let go of guilt. To feel worthy of time and effort when family needs press for attention.

"Today, instead of eating the box of chocolates, I went for a run," she says after a stressful day. "The old me would have ate like crazy. Today I chose to work out. I think I'm making progress."

More than progress, I say. Cindi is nourishing mind and body in the best possible way, and inspiring others (me!) to do the same. On this Thankful Thursday, I am thankful for Cindi, my sister and friend.

 How about you?  What are you thankful for today?