Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What scares me. . .

So, I am part of a 21 day challenge where I am supposed to do one thing that scares me.  I have until next Monday to do it.  I have really had a  hard time figuring this one out, despite the fact that many things scare me - and on a regular basis.  For example:
Or this:

Or this:

I am more scared of Snooki than the shark, by the way.

Haha - I am an expert at hiding my fears behind a quick joke or smartass comment - the scariest thing of all is to admit how scared I actually am. 

What am I scared of?  Now that's a little complicated.  I was challenged this week to look at what is stopping me from meeting my goals, from continuing on in my lifestyle change, from putting myself first and really committing to this work.  It sucks to be asked the hard questions.  I t sucks even more to actually try and answer them in an honest way.  But here goes. . .

I am scared to fail.  Really scared.  What if I have put this all out there, and at the end of it all I am still the fat, unhealthy and unhappy chub that I was in January.  Will people roll their eyes and whisper "I told you so"?  Will they nod and say "I figured she couldn't follow through"?  What if I do all this and nothing changes?  Or worse - what if I do all this and EVERYTHING changes?

As much as I am scared to fail, I am also scared to succeed!  Nuts, right?  Why I possibly be scared of succeeding?  Well, being fat is a bit of a shield for me - keeps me safe, provides an excuse for a whole lotta things, and provides me with a handy dandy reason for not facing the myriad of issues that I ( and everyone) has  - I mean, why not blame it on being fat?  Health problems?  Too Fat.  Not exercising?  Too fat.  Relationship issues?  Too Fat.  Crappy day?  Must be because I am fat.

It has been a convenient safety net for a long time, and it has allowed me to avoid some the less pleasant aspects of myself under the guise of - "if I was skinny, I would have a better wardrobe, more money,  no parenting struggles, no disagreements with my spouse, a better life!"  Sounds a bit like an ad for a weight loss pill or shake, doesn't it?  But there is no magic something to help me lose weight, and there is no magic weight that will make my life perfect.  Both are unrealistic ideas whose time is past.  But I still want to hold on to the fat so I don't have to face those things.  Looking that deep is really , really hard.  No wonder I am scared to lose weight!

Fortunately, I am already having to face the hard questions - it is a necessary part of this process.  And it is damn scary.  I wish it were easy, but nothing worth anything ever is.  And doing this in a public way holds me accountable - so being afraid to publicly fail is just part of the deal and I am slowly getting over it and ultimately I will succeed because of that accountability, or maybe in spite of it.

So back to that 21 day challenge - the one where I have to do something that scares me - I guess I don't really have to think of anything to do now -  I think, maybe, I just did it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Inspiration (and new photos)

After last week's hurtful comments from the unnamed idiot, I have much support from friends, family and supporters near and far.  Thank you.  You have no idea how much it means to have the ongoing encouragement and support I have from so many.  You keep me going.  And keeping going has been tough the last couple of months.

It's one thing to do this for a short period of time - I have done that MANY times before.  That is precisely why I have gained so much weight - yo yo dieting and periodic bouts of exercise do not a fit and healthy woman make.  But making the changes to my lifestyle are hard, and difficult to maintain when things get rough, and I hit unexpected obstacles like emotional struggles, illness and injuries.  And I have had my fair share of the last two ( and some of the first!) over the past couple of months.

Stress at work, bronchitis and more recently a back/hip flexor problem that has halted my running plan and forced me to adapt my workouts has made sticking with this whole lifestyle change pretty hard.  In fact, I seriously thought about throwing in the towel this week.  Lucky for me, inspiration comes in many forms.

I have some amazing support and encouragement from my friends at Body Dynamics Headquarters - the folks who got me into all this!  I can't say enough about how great they are.  And they put a new photo up at the gym that surprised me - you can check it out HERE, along with some incredible stories from some of the people I have gotten to know - they are truly inspiring!  As I train alongside them, I realize that I am not alone on this journey, and I can learn so much from those who have been there - that inspiration has made a huge difference in my attitude and kept me going when I really wanted to quit.  ( Also many nagging emails, texts, call and facebook messages - I respond well to threats! )

And yesterday we were at the Oak Bay High School track for our Monday night workout.  We were so lucky to be training alongside some special athletes who were getting ready for Operation Trackshoes - a Special Olympics program for track athletes.  Now that is inspiration - here I was, crabby, defeated and complaining about my sore back while these amazing athletes worked their butts off  - many with physical challenges, as well as developmental delays.  Helped me with some perspective, let me tell you!

Finally, I have an amazing friend who is going through treatment for brain cancer right now.  She epitomizes inspiration - a craniotomy to remove a tumour, now radiation and chemo, and through it all she has remained strong, positive and never fails to send me happy thoughts to encourage me along in MY journey.  Debbie - you are a freaking rockstar - and you inspire me everyday to get off my ass and live every minute.  Thank you.

So - inspiration IS everywhere - as long as you take the time to look.  Thank you to the many who inspire me on my journey.  I have posted some new photos on my progress page.  I don't see a huge difference on the outside, but I am definitely changing on the inside - and those are the best changes of all.  And that's just a little inspiring.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sticks and Stones . . .

Let me start with a warning - I will definitely be using some unkind words in this post.  If that offends you, then stop reading right now and go back to Pinterest!

Someone (who I would love to name because she is a total idiot, and the world should know it) asked me the following question today:

"Are you disappointed that you haven't lost more weight? - I mean I would have thought you would have lost at least 50 pounds by now - why do you keep doing it when you aren't getting results?"

Whoosh - the sound of my exhale after basically being hit in the stomach.  Thanks so much - your support and encouragement are very much appreciated - NOT!  I was actually speechless - and for those of you who know me, you know that this is an occurrence which happens about as frequently as hell freezing over.  To my utter disgust, my eyes welled up and I just had to walk away - straight to the washroom to try and pull myself together.  All of a sudden I was once again the fat woman in the mirror - out of shape, depressed, and completely lacking in self confidence.  The power of hurtful words is incredible.

How do I respond to a comment like that - loaded as it was with criticism and disrespect?   What I wanted to say was:  "Are you disappointed that you are still such a bitch?  I mean, I would have thought that you would have found some respect and compassion - why do you keep being mean when it does such damage?"  But I didn't - the queen of the snappy comeback had no comeback today.

I have spent a lot of years feeling as though I am not enough - not skinny enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough, or sexy enough, or, or, or. . .  It is a really miserable place to live and it impacted every area of my life for a good part of my life.  I am so happy that I don't live there anymore, that I have moved on from that negative place to a place of confidence and happiness. At least most of the time.

Am I disappointed I haven't lost at least 50 pounds - well it would be nice, but I didn't put the pounds on in 4 months, so I don't expect to lose them in 4 months.  Anything worth doing takes time.  And I am mostly happy with my progress - I look and feel a lot different from this crabby person:

I have worked out harder than I ever have, I am learning to eat to fuel my body instead of cope with my emotions, and last week I ran a 10K.  I wasn't the fastest - but I finished:

Check out the 10K evidence here!

Two days ago I registered to run a half marathon in October - a HALF MARATHON, people! 

I never, ever would have believed I would be doing any of this 4 months ago - these are the results that matter to me - and I am damn proud of my "lack of progress".

So in answer to the rude question of the day - why do I do this? 

That's the kinda progress I am talking about.  So watch your back, rude person - my legs are strong from kicking so much ass!