Fat Girl Wearing Thin

Life beyond the loss.

   Jan 31

Challenge Wrap-Up

Today is the last day of this year’s HL Challenge and there’s much to say in this wrap-up post.  First of all, I’m so proud of every one of you who worked so hard to complete the exercises.  Having such a great group to learn from and connect with was a real treat for me.  Thank you all for your commitment.  I hope each of you found something useful from this year’s challenge with the goal being that you’ve learned something new about yourself and how to navigate through this world a bit more easily.

This was my jar entry on the day that I wrote about my break-up with running:


Even though I was upset, frustrated and clearly feeling the ‘Poor Me’ syndrome, I had a long talk with myself before bed that night after reading through all of your supportive comments.  You were right of course, and I realized that giving up something could either lead me to a dead-end, or to another opportunity.  It’s easy to feel defeated when you can’t see your new path laid out clearly in front of you, but that’s precisely the time to have faith that things will unfold the way they are supposed to.  It was/is up to me how I see my world and I chose to look beyond the things I can’t do and focus more on the things I can. 

Two days after I wrote my post and put the note in my Jar, I received a call from the owner of the store where my artwork is on display.  She was calling to let me know that two of my paintings had been sold that day.  I cannot allow myself to feel bad about my ending love affair with running when I have so many other things to be thankful for.

Today I am grateful for opportunity. 

This is one note I will keep referring back to when I don’t know what lies ahead.


When I’m in yoga class and it’s time for shavasana, or final resting pose – my yoga instructor performs a short reading for us. A few times she has read a piece called Be Thankful, which I always love to hear. I was able to locate it online and wanted to end this year’s challenge by sharing it with you.

Be Thankful
Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don’t know something
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you’re tired and weary
Because it means you’ve made a difference.

It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.

GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.
~ Author Unknown ~


I’d love to hear what/if you got anything out of this month’s challenge.  What was your favorite 31 Days of Gratitude entry this month? 


Stop by tomorrow where I’ll be announcing the winner of this month’s giveaway for the print of one of my paintings!

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  1. didi says:

    Ok, I cannot even BEGIN to begin a comment of reasonable length to post here. Can I just say (keeping brevity in mind) that this is the best January that I have ever had in my life? There is a very long post (containing pictures of a revived Ophelia in lingerie) talking allllll about my month and the challenge, and I swear it’s worth a read. Check it out here


    Some of my favorite gratitude jar moments: I am grateful that I have so much hope in my heart. With it I can transform myself. I can transform the world; I am grateful that I am so loved; I am grateful that I am giving up control and letting go

    This challenge has been so amazing. It makes me wish that somebody was doing a hate loss challenge every month.

  2. Brandi says:

    Ellen, I can’t begin to tell you how much this challenge has changed my life! For the first time in a very long time, I really like myself. Spiritually and physically, I feel like my eyes are on the right things. The confidence that I have gained this past month started with this challenge. I wouldn’t want to be in the same room with myself let alone anyone else. I took chances this month and got out of my comfort zone.
    Here’s the funny thing, I kind of put blogging on the back burner. I mean I posted, but I really wanted to enjoy this month. The start of a brand new year and a brand new me! I even met someone and actually took a chance to put myself out there and it has paid off so far. (he is pretty amazing)
    Thank you Ellen. Thank you to everyone that has shared their stories and struggles, for it is our struggles that help us to appreciate the good things!
    You guys are awesome!

  3. Beth says:

    I really enjoyed the gratitude jar. It really made me search every day for one thing to be greatful for. And not just the ordinary things that I’m always greatful for, like my husband, daughters, job, etc… , but I would really search for different and unique things to be greatful for. I think that even though I might not be keeping a gratitude jar, I will continue each and every day to search for something unique to be greatful for.

    • Ellen says:

      Thank you for supporting this challenge this month, Beth. I’m so glad you feel you got something good out of it. I have the same thoughts about the Gratitude jar as well. It encourages us to dig a bit deeper and find things we normally would take for granted.

  4. Hanlie says:

    I am so glad I joined this challenge again this year! It made all the difference for me and I feel empowered to continue raising my standards and implementing better strategies for living. The gratitude jar was a revelation (more about that in my post – http://www.hblewett.com/blog/2013/02/04/january-in-perspective/ – password “Africa”) and I intend to continue practising gratitude in this way for a long time to come.

    Thank you so much for hosting this again and coming up with such inspiring and fruitful challenges. You are a blessing!

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