Misty Marshall: Best before...

You may be thinking to yourself â??I was best before (fill in the blank) happened to me and I donâ??t have the strength to go on" but today I am giving you an assignment for this week that hopefully will get you thinking about the positive life you have left in you!

Hi there again my favorite friends at 7&4. Itâ??s been an interesting week filled with snow days andâ?¦well, just lots of snow!

To be honest it hasnâ??t been a very good week in the exercise department because the weather hasnâ??t cooperated but I always try to do something even if I canâ??t make it to see Ryan at Grand Traverse Athletic Club. Boy, do I miss it though when I canâ??t make it! He is so encouraging to me, the only person I know that can make bench squats and stairs seem fun! I start to feel down in the dumps when I donâ??t get the body moving enough! This is such a change in lifestyle for me that I am growing to love as I am learning to listen to my body tell me when I need to find an arc machine or treadmill. I find that my level of stress lowers as I take out my frustrations of the day listening to my favorite music on my ipod and getting my heart rate elevated! Cardio workouts to me have become a time of therapeutic healing as my body continues to get smaller!

It seems like it has been a while since I have poured my heart out in a blog about feelings but in a quest to be transparent as I promised todayâ??s blog will probably get you thinking a bit about yourself, which is my ultimate goal. Change is never easy, it is a process filled with many speed bumps but I know for myself I am not where I was yesterday, therefore I have progressed! Please leave me comments about your progress as we journey together. I have heard so many positive things about my success and I know it continues to keep me going, I would love to hear from you, my inspiration!

Ok, time to get really deep in thoughtâ?¦Think about this statement for a minute â??Best before does not equal spoiled after unless you are cleaning out your refrigeratorâ??. As I was preparing to write this blog I was thinking about what I wanted to say and I kept thinking about how past experiences in life sometimes try to determine what our future will look like.

Unfortunately, too many times we allow ourselves to be victims of our past experiences, traumas, hurts and pains. I know that I am guilty of doing this in several different ways including allowing some pretty hurtful words to stick to me like glue and become part of my self-esteem. I remember back to the first time I was called â??fatâ?? and it made me feel different from my peers. I remember growing up as a teenager knowing I was different, not having a very active social life because of my circumstances and becoming sort of an introvert who liked cuddling in my bed watching politics on television rather than going out with my friends.

As I grew older I have made several mistakes in my life. I allowed many not so healthy influences turn into some pretty bad decisions. Sometimes I look back and think to myself â??what was I thinkingâ??? I could blame it on circumstances but ultimately the responsibility lies fully on me. My weight is a product of bad choices that have been made and even though circumstances contributed to those situations I am glad I am not stuck forever reaping the consequences becauseâ?¦I can change!

Everyone has those moments in life when they can look back and say â??this is the day (insert your own personal experience) changed my life. I can think of several. First, there was the day my brother Zachary passed away when I was sixteen years old. Zacky was only two and a half years old when he died. He was adopted and was a victim of Shaken Baby Syndrome (which to me isnâ??t a syndrome at allâ?¦its child abuse). Before Zacharyâ??s death our family hadnâ??t experienced death so closely. At the time my grandparents were all still alive, we had the occasional death in my fatherâ??s congregation but those experiences although sad didnâ??t affect me as much as losing a brother that I felt like was my own son! This experience uprooted our family causing an entirely new atmosphere around the house. I ate my pain away. Once, while babysitting for my mom and dad I ate three frozen pizzas all by myself and cried because I remember how things had â??been better beforeâ??.

Another day that changed the entire course of America was September 11, 2001 when we had tragedy strike within our nation. I remember this day as if it happened yesterday. I was working at a fast food restaurant when I first heard the news on the radio, later to go home and learn of the extent of the tragedy just in time to see a second plane crash into the World Trade Center. I sat in my apartment in disbelief not quite being able to take in the full scope of what had taken place, once again turning to food for comfort. That night I ate two large pizzas from my favorite pizza place. I remember because I had them delivered to my apartment because I didnâ??t feel like going out to pick them up.

These two are very small examples of times I could point back and say that things were â??best beforeâ?? but just because circumstances change us we cannot allow them to determine or spoil our future. As a person I was able to pick myself back up eventually after the death of my Zachary, allowing his death to inspire my choice in career, and passion. I still think of him and sometimes tear up but his life gave me the courage and inspiration to adopt my boys, who stole my heart in so many ways!

September 11 did not end America; I still live in the greatest nation, one filled with diversity and freedom! It may have changed us as a nation but I can still boast about how proud I am of the country I call home!

Bringing this down to a life lesson for this week I want to say that regardless of our past experiences in life today is a new day filled with new opportunities and new experiences. I can honestly say that throughout this journey there have been moments that I have thought I had gone too far, become completely spoiled, or was best beforeâ?¦but I cannot afford to live in the past when I have such a bright future ahead of me.

My life is not a can of soup on a shelf, a container of yogurt in the refrigerator or a condiment waiting to be tossed in the garbage because it is too old! Life is a precious gift that we have all been given for an indefinite amount of time best used until we take our last breath on this earth.

You may be thinking to yourself â??I was best before (fill in the blank) happened to me and I donâ??t have the strength to go on" but today I am giving you an assignment for this week that hopefully will get you thinking about the positive life you have left in you! My faith in you as a human being tells me that if you are still breathing you have a purpose in life.

This weekâ??s assignment, Whether it be abuse you suffered growing up, hurt and pain from a loveless marriage or relationship, sorrowful experiences of being teased or bullied, or throbbing wounds from a dysfunctional past remember and live this statement â??Best before does not equal spoiled afterâ?¦unless you are cleaning out your refrigeratorâ??.

Sincerely not spoiled,