Feeling Thankful

By Shani Petroff

Some days it’s easy to get discouraged, to think about all the things we don’t have, and of all of the things we want that are currently out of reach. There have definitely been occasions where I’ve seen the negative and ignored the positive. I’m trying to turn that around, to see the good, and to make the best of situations (and yes, some instances are easier than others). But as Thanksgiving approaches, I’m reminded of just how much I have to be thankful for.

Family and Friends. I have some amazing people in my life. People who make me smile, who are there for me, who make me feel loved. No matter the situation, even the difficult ones, they are the silver lining. When I’m sick, they’re there to check on me, when I’m upset, they’re there to support me, and when I’m celebrating, they’re my biggest cheerleaders. I hope they know how much they mean to me, and that I will always be there for them, even if we have a tiny squabble or manage to drive each other up a wall. I will always have their back, and I know they will always have mine.

Career. I get to do something I love for a living. I still sometimes take on other work to help pay the bills, but I’m going after my dreams. I just had another book come out, My New Crush Gave to Me, that I’m really excited about, and I even got to narrate the audiobook — which is something I’ve wanted to do for years. I actually tried to break into the voice-over world more than a decade ago, but I got discouraged. This has breathed new life into that dream. I’m human and still have those moments where I wish I were further along in my career or was on The New York Times best-seller list or things like that, but when those feelings arise, I remind myself of how far I’ve come, and how lucky I am. I didn’t give up, not even when I had to squeeze in writing between two jobs, and I’m not going to give up now either. I’m going to keep at it, keep doing what I love, and keep working toward my goals.

Health.  A couple of weeks ago I felt lousy. Really lousy. Enough so that I went to one of those urgent-care centers over the weekend, because (given my father’s heart history) I got nervous something was really wrong. It turned out to be nothing serious, and a few days later I felt back to my old self. It reminded me how I thankful I am for my health and the health of those around me. It’s when I’m sick that I really appreciate feeling good, to not be in pain, to have energy, to think clearly. My health is something I don’t want to take for granted. I often put off going to the doctor since I have a pretty high health insurance deductible, but I’m working to make taking care of myself a priority, so I set up a routine physical for this week (a birthday present to myself). I’m truly grateful that I have the opportunity to do so.

The Things I Often Take for Granted. The water in my apartment was shut off for a bit earlier this year while the super worked on something. It made me appreciate that I have access to clean water. The same for a place to sleep, a roof over my head, heat, food, clothes to wear, and luxuries that I sometimes forget are luxuries — comfortable pillows, moisturizer, Netflix, high-speed Internet, etc. I try to remember (and not just at Thanksgiving), how fortunate I am to have all of these things — and how important it is for me to give back and help those who need it.

Weight Watchers. Through my years on the program, I have a lot to be grateful for. Of course, there’s the health aspects and the losing and keeping off of weight, but there’s also a lot more. Through this program, I’m learning to love my body, even though I’m not at goal. I’m learning to be proud of myself. I’m learning to feel confident (or at least fake it ’til I make it). I used to be so worried about how others viewed my appearance, and while that hasn’t completely gone away, (I’m still a work in progress), I’ve come a very long way. And a lot of that can be attributed to the Weight Watchers community. Articles on the WW website, posts and comments on Connect, all helped me see that I’m not alone — and that my weight doesn’t define who I am. I am so thankful for the Weight Watchers community. You are like a second family — there for the highs and lows and supporting me, and one another, throughout this journey. For all of that and more, I just want to say thank you.

What are you thankful for? You can find me on Connect @shani!

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