This blog post is launching my “friendship” series where I talk about a friend who has influenced me.
I think that if you have read through my blog posts you can see that this blog is really a space for me to share what is on my mind, to share my journey with wellness, a platform to discuss issues I am passionate about, and a place to connect with others.
For this “friends” I want to share about my friend Mandy. Hopefully she is okay with me talking about her. I met Mandy about a year or so ago through a Facebook group I created called “Bariatric Exercise & Health“. This group has kept me going through the hills and valleys, for sure. I started doing accountability “challenges” with the group to keep us all on track with our health. Mandy started participating in the challenges (Healthy Bingo, Climbing Mt. Everest, etc) and was so motivated to help manage them.
Through the connection of Mandy and I working together to motivate others, motivate ourselves, and stay sane; I have learned a few things from her.
- As caregivers we NEED to care for ourselves. Mandy is a caregiver and she gives to her family and friends. She has such a huge heart she is always checking in on people and making sure they are okay. Because of the caregiver in her, she often puts herself last.. However, she is now finding things that help her decompress and things she enjoys (zumba!)
- Advocate and use your voice! Mandy is the kind of person who will fight for what is right. I have followed her advocacy for her kids and herself. She doesn’t give up with a “no” and pushes forward to make sure that the health and welfare of her family is being taken care of. Sometimes this means making the hard decisions; but she has confidence in those decisions which pushes her.
- Don’t get discouraged with unknowns. Mandy has defiantly been through it. This warrior woman has so much faith she can move mountains. She is a rock for her family and others through challenges and uncertainty, and she pushes forward instead of giving up. For Mandy, failure is not an option.
- Family isn’t always blood. Mandy has gone through struggles of limit setting with family and discovering that her true family isn’t always “related”. I think many of us can understand this. Recently when I have gone through struggles, friends (even ones I never met- like Mandy) came out of the woodwork to check in on me and to be there for me. Sometimes our family isn’t the go-to and sometimes we have to walk away.
- Make memories. Mandy is always showing me the things she is doing at home with her kids. There are days that she is tired, not feeling well, stressed; but she rises above to spend time with her kids and show them new things. I know that there was a time period with my own kids that I call, “The Blur”. I look back on those years and have almost zero memory… Things are different now, but I do wish that many moons ago I was able to push through challenges to make memories with my boys.
6. Be a Superwoman. Mandy is a superwoman. If she needs something done, she does it. She is an independent woman who loves her husband and kids something fierce. She takes the bull by the horns when it is needed. Heck, a few weeks ago she cut down trees in her yard because they were dying (I think that was the issue) and she knew that she just had to figure it out. When I am confronted with a challenge I need to step back and instead of focusing on “This is too hard” or “I don’t know how to do this” type thinking- I need to figure it out!
7. Don’t “pause” your health. Mandy has multi-tasked all of her “hats” while still making sure her health is a priority. She even works on her Zumba with her kids dancing along.
8. Be vulnerable. Mandy isn’t perfect. She doesn’t pretend to be. Mandy shares when she is struggling, when there is a challenge, and she expresses her frustrations instead of holding them in. Mandy demonstrates that we are all imperfectly perfect.
We all have a “Mandy” in our lives that teaches us about ourselves, others, and how to truly live. Thank you Mandy for being a good friend and an amazing support❤️.
Share this post if you have a “Mandy”!!