Friday, June 03, 2011
Realizing on your own, without needing anyone to tell you, that youíll never have a flat stomach or get rid of your gut or be able to wear a bikini is a blow. Itís like being told thereís no Santa. Itís ok to mourn the loss of those dreams. Itís ok to be sad knowing that youíll never reach the goals and standards that have stood as a glittering beacon of motivation for the close-to-20 years youíve wanted to lose weight. Itís ok to get down because weight gain and loss has ravaged your body and left you with a plentitude of stretch marks and loose skin and a myriad of other issues that remind you on a daily basis of the worst possible times of your life that youíd like to forget.
But even though all those things are true, and itís ok to feel upset about them, you need to remember:
This is not a waste. Youíve proven to yourself that you have courage and determination; willpower and persistence; the ability to NOT be lazy; to show grit; to battle your depression head-on; to rise above your pain and obstacles, barriers, hang-ups and holdups, fears, and history of weaknesses, failures, timidity, self-defeatism, and standing in your own way.
You canít go back and change the past. You canít change the decisions that led to you gaining weight. You canít stop the hurts from happening, you canít time-warp yourself into preventing the arrival of a body that would eventually look like this after 'improvement'. But you hated your body and wanted to lose weight for over 15 years before you actually committed to doing it. You didnít tackle your issues and start changing on the inside the way you wanted until you lost a MASSIVE amount of weight. So, as much as you hate what gaining that weight did to your body, maybe thatís just what it was gonna take for you to get where you are now. Maybe you needed to reach 258 lbs because it was gonna take you over 100-lb-loss worth of time to get to a point where you were able to like yourself at all or feel good about your body on any level or actually be able to deal with all your crappy emotions and depressing life circumstances in a way thatís not totally self-destructive. Cuz you know what? Your stomach and arms DID look a h*ll of a lot better when you weighed 175 lbs 8 years ago, but you still hated who were you were and what you looked like. The worst of the eating disorders, self-injury, depression, maladaptive coping techniques, they all came after that. And you sometimes still do feel like crap now but youíre *dealing* with the ED and depression and youíre not turning to self-medication to deal with all the things in your life that are wrong.
You are strong. Even though your knees wonít work right and your neck and back hurt, YOU. ARE. STRONG. You have a body with limitations but it has taken you this far. It has allowed you to use exercise to strengthen your mind. Even if sometimes it seems like youíre weak because you have to modify/avoid certain workouts or because youíre vain as h*ll and just cry about the reality of your appearance not matching your dreams, youíre strong. Youíre strong because youíre listening to the little voice of reason in your head. Youíre strong because when you feel like sh!t on the inside, you keep going anyway. Because you could throw in the towel, because you could say ď$%^& itĒ and stay in bed crying or binge-eating or Ėdrinking; and because you DONíT.
That is strength.
So look down and see your battle scars. See the effects of all the things that went wrong in your life. See the mistakes you made, and see the people that have hurt you, and see the pain and grief that confront you every single day. Feel the regret and shame but donít let them overwhelm you. Use them to become a stronger person. Use them to become better than you were when you gained the weight, to be better than the people that think nothing of stabbing an emotional machete into your soul, use them to cultivate forgiveness and hope and optimism. Take your pain and regrets and body-image issues and transform them into something that makes you beautiful in a way that a bikini body or a perky @ss donít guarantee.
♦ August 14th, 2010: post-5K
3 months after starting/3 weeks after completing the C25K program
Hitting your personal goals of running the entire distance and doing it in less than 35 mins
♦ December 2010: recovering from tonsillectomy
Being told not to work out at all for 2 weeks
Downloading and doing the Zumba routine for Beenie Manís ďGimmie GimmieĒ at a really low intensity level because you missed it so much and just couldnít go 2 weeks without
♦ Early Spring 2011: finding your list from last summer of things you donít like and want to change about yourself & in your life
Realizing youíve actively worked on changing almost everything listed
♦ March 8th, 2011: first Stride class
Watching E demonstrate & cue plank walks, thinking thereís no way you could do them, fighting the temptation to quit, and doing all of them
♦ April 16th, 2011: visiting R for Easter
Getting out of the car and having him say ďYou look AWESOMEĒ
♦ May 27th, 2011: fitting into size 8 pants for the first time in your life
See your tears of joy in the first pic
♦ Late Spring 2011: watching season 11 of The Biggest Loser
Tearing up for weeks hearing the contestants talk about how much theyíve changed internally, because you can finally relate