I was having one of those really good days. It began in the morning by hitting a few milestones on the bike. At work, I had a proud moment confirming a super inspiring woman to join our SXSW speaker lineup. And it was a Friday. Donut Friday to be exact. I’d even go so far to say I was sitting on Cloud 9.

Until I received a text from a friend that included a photo of me. It wasn’t just any photo — I was in a national magazine as part of really cool story that thousands of people would see. I was on my bike, smiling, having the time of my life (the photo shoot was easily one of my favorite days), but looking at it, I was anything but smiling. I was numb.

“That’s what I look like? How? But I’ve been working so hard. What about the 30lbs I lost? Maybe it’s a bad angle?” These questions replayed in my mind for a solid hour.

Rather than focus on how happy I was in that photo, or how hard I’ve been working on this entire 2.5 year journey, let alone the past 14 weeks of hard bike training, I went straight to plotting a harder workout for the next two days: “How can I step it up? I feel like I’m already working so hard. What else do I have to do?” 

Then it hit me like a brick wall. In that moment, I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to do better that I forgot I am doing better. Every single day I’m doing better.

Always Forward is the new motto around these parts. So I opened up at the text message again, stared at the photo and mindfully asked myself these questions:

Are you having fun?
So. Much. Fun.

Are you making the right choices to reach your goal?
Absolutely.

Can you see and feel positive changes?
Yes. I’m losing weight + becoming stronger.

Are you pushing yourself?
Most definitely.

Are you happy?
I am really happy.

The only thing that was left to change was my perspective of myself.

From there, I chose to let the photo motivate me. Not in a “Push harder and do more” kind of way, rather, “Keep going, do not give up!” It’s exactly what I say to myself when I’m climbing a tough hill on the bike. I’m encouraging. I’m truly my own cheerleader.

Almost instantly, I loved the picture. It represented me currently: mindful, hitting new goals, and achieving the unthinkable.

I WAS SO PROUD (this picture says it all). Plus, the feature (in one of my favorite publications) was absolutely amazing and I was in great company. Now I’m choosing to shift my perspective and be proud for all of the hard work, effort and time I’m devoting to being and doing better, both on and off the bike.

image source 1|  image source 2 

17 comments
  1. 1
    Candidlycan | October 15, 2015 at 6:42 am

    This is so true…! Thanks for sharing, it’s a real motivator!

    Reply
  2. 2
    Vanessa @ Living in Steil | October 15, 2015 at 8:02 am

    Those are great questions to ask yourself when you are trying to put a situation in perspective. I love how you answered them and how they helped you appreciate the moment!

    http://www.livinginsteil.com

    Reply
    • Kelly Krause | November 17, 2015 at 11:54 am

      Thank you, Vanessa!

      Reply
  3. 3
    dianna | October 15, 2015 at 8:21 am

    I think I will be adopting “always forward” as well. Great words!

    Reply
  4. 4
    Michelle | October 15, 2015 at 10:28 am

    I often have similar thoughts, and they can truly be paralyzing. I’d say in the past year I’ve learned that by changing my perspective I can change everything from my mood to my anxieties. I’m glad you have too. You’re doing such amazing things. Stay on cloud 9, girl.

    Reply
    • Kelly Krause | November 17, 2015 at 12:03 pm

      Thank you Michelle. I’m sure trying!

      Reply
  5. 5
    Hadley | October 15, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    I love this! Perspective can be difficult beyond belief, but asking yourself, “Am I doing better?” is so key. Thank you for this reminder.

    Reply
  6. 6
    Avery | October 16, 2015 at 8:15 am

    This is wonderful, thank you for sharing Kelly!

    Reply
  7. 7
    Dianna Patterson | October 17, 2015 at 5:56 am

    Great perspective on life, very positive and wonderfully joyful!

    Reply
  8. 8
    Kathi | October 17, 2015 at 6:15 am

    I think you look beautiful!

    Reply
  9. 9
    Mbcos | October 17, 2015 at 10:17 am

    I think you are amazing!! Keep up the good work <3 Kisses ,beauty !

    http://www.mbcos.net

    Reply
  10. 10
    Muriel | October 18, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Thank you for this great article. It is so important to realign our thinking to what is real and positive rather than to look at something skewed and negative as a bad camera angle. You felt beautiful and you are beautiful not to mention strong! This is powerful stuff!

    Reply
    • Kelly Krause | November 17, 2015 at 11:56 am

      Muriel, thank you so much for saying that!

      Reply
  11. 11
    Michelle Vardjas | October 18, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    We are often our own worst enemy…. what a surprisingly inspiring story….I thought I was going to see a model complaining…you are such an inspiration for all normal woman! Thank you! We make things so difficult for ourselves……lets move forward!

    Reply
    • Kelly Krause | November 17, 2015 at 12:02 pm

      Amen, Michelle.

      Reply
  12. 12
    Froukje | October 19, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    I loved to read this. I am also so judgemental of myself. I climbed the Alpe D’Huez (France) 5 times on a day for a good cause and still I thought I looked a bit puffy on pictures of me on my bike. I forgot…: Girls who bike are instant cool and come on…bike outfits are not your best 😉 “we look ridiculous but we are happy!” Good luck to you!

    Reply
    • Kelly Krause | November 17, 2015 at 11:55 am

      I thikn you’re my new inspiration! That’s a lot of climbing. . . and I’m always puffy after a long ride like that, no matter how much water or Skratch I drink. You’re right, we are cool 😉

      Reply
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