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I Can. I Will. I Believe.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

This entry started out as a post for one of my teams chat threads and morphed into a blog...
To give a little background, I started having some hip pain in November and pretty much ignored it until I had nerve pain in my back/butt/leg and was diagnosed with two slightly bulging discs in my low back. I've been rehabbing from that for about 6 weeks now. Another lesson learned - LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!!! (Plus doctors are really there to help and MRI machines are really loud!)


So I personally made a bit of progress today...

Today I have been 2 weeks Advil free and about 3 weeks major pain free.

Joe, my physical therapist, has cleared me to go back to the gym and workout - except for squats, lunges, bent over rows, and overhead presses... I have his blessing to Zumba at home and build up my time there (so far have done 12 minutes without any ill effect). Great news, right?

Well yes... BUT (you felt that "but" coming on, didn't you?) I am AFRAID of the gym. I've been on this journey for just over 2 years. I overcame a fear of the gym a little over a year ago... and now I'm afraid again... totally different reasons... but I'm paralyzed again.

Joe has encouraged me to use the different weight machines... and to do core and balance work like before... BUT I haven't used any machines at the gym for over TWELVE YEARS. I've been training with Kurt and the only machine I've used with him is the cable cross machine... I'm overwhelmed at thinking about learning all the machines and figuring out a whole new routine. I'm AFRAID to work with Kurt as half of what I do with him revolves around squats, lunges, kettlebell exercises and presses... I can't envision another type of workout with him...

I've been STEWING over this for a week now... but tonight I "got brave" and e-mailed Sue. Now Sue is one of the instructors at the gym... she's been a mentor in a lot of ways to me and my friend Sionne. She's actually the one who encouraged me to take the Zumba Certification... anyway, Sue's "real job" is to train trainers. She's got a degree in Sports Psychology, she teaches all types of classes - strength, aqua, dance, yoga, Pilates - you name it she knows it... She's also the one to told me that I NEEDED to go to the doctor and have my back checked out because the thought my symptoms sounded like disc issues because she's "been there/done that" too. I reached out to her because I knew she'd be the perfect person to help me get past this current block.

Sue agreed to meet with me and help me!!! We aren't going to be able to meet up this Friday as our schedules don't mesh, but we're on for the Friday after that. I already feel better knowing that I have a direction again, even if I'm not sure exactly what direction that is!

I've been in limbo for too long now - really since last November. I need to MOVE FORWARD again. Bouncing between 160 and 165 isn't the end of the world, but it's NOT where I want to stay.

I've been looking at myself in the mirror lately and ONLY seeing the FAT. I look in the mirror and I'm 300 pounds again. I'm DISGUSTED with myself...

Then tonight I read this blog by my SparkFriend and fellow Orange Crusher, Simone:

I guess I'm not the only one who needs to step back and be friends with her "present self."

It was just the reality check I needed. Throughout the injury, pain, holidays, rehab, stress, fear... I've pretty much maintained... I've done stupid things, I've fallen off the wagon, I've gotten back on the wagon... but I'm STILL HERE. I STILL BELIEVE that I'm going to make it to goal. I know that I CAN do that. I might not make it to goal as quickly as I'd like, but I'm not really in a race... I'm in this for the long haul. I want to be HEALTHY for the rest of my life... and that means refocusing and getting back to business.

Those tips I have for new Sparkers - Water, Track, Move and Spark... well guess what - they're STILL the CORE of my program. I NEED to get back to those BASICS on a consistent basis again. Water hasn't ever been an issue. Sparking hasn't been an issue... but I have gotten lax about tracking and staying in range. I went for over a year staying in range - and I lost about 120 pounds. Guess what - maybe if I stay in range for another year, I reach goal and learn to maintain at my goal weight. Nice idea, right? If I get moving again and find BALANCE I'll be in the BEST shape of my life. Nice idea, right?

Here's the thing... they aren't just ideas - they are POTENTIAL REALITIES. There's NOTHING that's stopping me from making that happen except for ME. I have GOT to quit being my own worst enemy. I stop my progress. I FEED my fears. I hold myself back. I have to STOP those behaviors. I have broken down so many walls and pushed past so many barriers. I've been inspired, challenged, supported and awed by my SparkFreinds. I know that everyone on here who I've had contact with, no matter how small, has been instrumental on my journey.

The friends I've made at the gym, coworkers who are into fitness or dance and urged me on, my mom who still is my biggest supporter (and has lost 100 pounds herself!)... my friends who I grew up with who see my current photos and leave me messages that they can't believe it's me... the new Sparkers who stumble onto my page and thank me for sharing my journey because it gives them hope for their own journeys... every last person has helped me get this far. And I'm NOT going to let THEM or MYSELF down. I'm going to do it. There's no way I can't!

SparkPeople has opened doors for me that I didn't even know existed. Twenty-six months ago I was dying. I was killing myself with food. I was so unhappy. I hid it well... but I was miserable. I had no idea that if I could see my future, I'd see that I'd have a blast shopping for clothes. That's I could rock a LITTLE black dress. That I'd be a "dancer" or become certified to teach Zumba. That I'd own a road bike and be planning to do riding events and dreaming about doing a mini-tri. That the gym would become a second home and that I'd find so many new like-minded new friends. I didn't know that I had collar bones, shoulder blades or ribs! I didn't know that my fingers and wrists would shrink so that I could wear bracelets and rings. I had NO IDEA that I'd find a community such as SparkPeople and that I'd find a place to fly.

I truly can't thank SparkPeople's staff enough for making this site available to help so many people change their lives. I will continue my healthy journey and I'll do my best to Spread the Spark along the way.

Everyone has speed bumps and personal challenges and fears that try and hold them back. I'm no different. But seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, the flash vision of life as a healthy person, the dream of an amazing future... I'm holding onto all that. I'm determined to make it. I will. I can. I believe.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post

    2479 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/5/2011 11:27:06 PM
    You did it once and you'll do it again! You've already proved to yourself how strong you are. I call you Warrior Woman!
    2480 days ago
    Thank you for being so transparent and real. thank you for sharing the deep down fears that so many of us can identify with. Thank you...
    2486 days ago
  • GLC2009

    2492 days ago
  • AJOHNSON27261
    I to understand being your own worst enemy. The progress that you have made is amazing! You are an inspiration and I know you will be able to get back on track with the gym. You are strong and I know you can do it!
    2512 days ago
    Good for you! Fight for the future you know you deserve!
    2545 days ago
    Audra, I posted on your wall before I read this blog. You can do it. You are so awesome and have done so much. Don't let starting a new routine frighten you. I remember how scared you were the first time you went to the gym and look how far you have come since then. emoticon
    2574 days ago
    I know I will always find inspiration on your page. The advice here is as timely as the day you posted it. I shared some of it on my blog today, directing people to your page. I wish I could say I've made as much progress as you have in the time I've been here, but some of us are very slow learners. We keep trying. I love the formula you posted: Water, Track, Move and Spark. It works.
    2778 days ago
    I know how you feel i hope you find the grove like it was at the beginning be strong and keep going you are so close..Dont give up!!!!!
    2809 days ago
    Hi Audra. It is so good to see you trying so hard and still hanging in there. You are truly an inspiration. I am still on and off with Sparkpeople but when I read your blog it gives me more hope. I do wish to be where you are one day. I need to be consistent and try to belong somewhere I think. Thanks for posting. I look forward to more of your blogs. I hope to be a white hawk again.
    2859 days ago

    I found your blog by chance on the White Hawk link. What an awesome story. You are truly and inspiration to me -- Thank you for saying what I feel.

    Keep up the excellend work! I can't wait to read more about you.

    2868 days ago
    Loved your blog -- you are an inspiration!!
    2869 days ago
    Thank you for sharing your self with us! You really are an inspiration and a great big emoticon on the progress you've made. It's nothing short of amazing and shows me that it REALLY is possible. Thanks again for sharing.
    2880 days ago
    Amazing insight into yourself and your needs, you are an inspiration for those of us just starting on the path to rediscovering who we are, and what our real direction in life is!

    Keep it up!!!
    -Melissa emoticon
    2880 days ago
    Wow, I think that was the best blog I've ever read. You are truly an inspiration! I really needed to hear the part about it being more than an idea but a potential reality. That I am the only one stopping me from making this a reality. Thank you so much!!!

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    2897 days ago
    OMG thank you for being here.. such inspiration. I am dying right now too. Subscribing to your blog please pop by now and again and say hi.
    2905 days ago
    THis is the core, the deepest reality--and you are facing it, and grappling with it, and coming to know and recognize and face and grow past these internal issues. I value that personal struggle, that real self recognition and growth, the very most of all of this process, and I think I admire you for doing the hard things--this one most of all--and becoming more and more able to be who you really are.

    What's a word bigger than congratulations? And kudos? And Wow, and You amaze me, and touch my heart? THank you for your transparency--it's the best and deepest and most freeing--and WAY most challenging, as well as rewarding--way to live!

    And I am also so happy to find that your mom is changing and loving her self too!!

    Love surround you Audra.
    Deb emoticon
    2909 days ago

    1.) I wish we could go to the gym together! You could teach me Zumba and I could teach you all the machines. emoticon We do the opposite things and could help each other.

    2.) I admire you so much for everything you have achieved, and so do so many other people. Try to see yourself in the same light! I know how easy it is to think negatively - I am really trying to work on that problem myself.

    3.) Kudos to you for not only admitting to yourself (and us to) your challenges, but for reaching out for help. I think that is so strong and smart of you!!

    You can do anything and you are already proof of that!!
    2909 days ago
    I think many of us - those who set out to lose a lot of weight - often "pause" as we get within view of the goal line. I don't know why that is, but it seems to be fairly common.

    You WILL make it. You CAN!
    And, YAY for being major-pain-free for most of March!! That helps everything.

    2909 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/2/2010 2:08:12 AM
    Audra.. your blog really hit home with me today!! You are such an inspiration to me! I know you will push through this and reach your goal. Thank you for reopening my eyes.
    2909 days ago
    You are amazing Audra! I know you can finish this and get to goal! You've got it down mentally which is a lot of the battle and I have no doubt you will succeed. I have enjoyed watching your progress and also being your spark friend!

    Now kick some butt and get to goal! You know you have it in you! We all know..... : )

    ~Hugs my friend~

    2910 days ago
    You have to reach goal. You can reach goal. You will reach goal.
    You are still here. I am so proud of you for calling your friend at the gym. That took a lot of courage.
    And by the way, you DO rock that little black dress!
    2910 days ago
  • MJPECK7015
    Audra - Thanks for the blog. You're such an inspiration, and seeing that you, too, have encountered speed bumps and are overcoming them is an inspiration in and of itself. You're such a giving, caring, and encouraging person--just what the doctor ordered! You'll be reaching your goals, of that I'm sure.

    2910 days ago
  • JAXX06
    You're moving forward again, that's really great.
    2911 days ago
    You have no idea how much we look up to you and love you. I truly wished you blogged more often. You are going to reach your goal. I have no doubt. Stop being so hard on yourelf. You are the best.You know that most of the time. I think the fact that you have had the health issues has made it hard for you. But it will all work out. emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2911 days ago
    Audra~ What an inspiring blog!

    I think it is great that you conquered your fear and got yourself back in that weight room. This blog proves how dedicated you are to yourself and your new lifestyle. Thank you for the inspirational messages in your blog and for putting this all out there. You are one amazing woman!
    2911 days ago
  • BANAN2
    I love that you took the initiative and reached out for help from a person who you knew would understand and have answers that fit with your situation. So often we get paralyzed by fear, and if we don't fully trust that the people telling us we have no need to fear are taking the whole situation into account and understanding it, they can't help us move past it. I don't think fear is ever irrational, sometimes it's just outdated. But it started based on something real in our lives, so we honor ourselves and our history by addressing those fears respectfully, investigating with as many people as necessary until WE are convinced that our fears are not applicable to the present situation. I hope your consult with your fitness friend gives you the direction and feeling of confidence that it is the right program for you so you can go forward. Thanks for taking the time to blog about this. I'm sure you struck a responsive chord in many people.
    2911 days ago
  • CSHELL75
    Thanks on the awesome, very transparent blog. We all have personal challenges every now and then. It's what we do when we're in the midst of them that really matters. I'm having a bit of a challenge myself. However, I'm going to allow myself to have this moment. Part of it is beyond my control (a physical issue that I'll hopefully get over soon). So I'll be patient.
    2911 days ago
    Audra... You are truly an inspiration to me... You have taken what seemed to be a life sentence and turned it all around. I've said it before and I' ll say it again. You ARE an AMAZING woman! There's nothing you can't do!! emoticon
    2911 days ago
  • ENJOYINGLIFE57 brought tears to my eyes. I am you, plus about 20 But seriously, so many things you said are true for me as well. It is a thrill to shop, a thrill to MOVE in ways I never thought I could. Things that were difficult before and are easy now always take me by surprise. Rings floating on my fingers and bracelets that twist around are welcome nuisances. And the collar bones, while still hiding a bit, are there, I can see them!
    YOU are such an inspiration to me and so many others..we all know you'll get there and as you say, it's not a race, it's a life long journey.
    Thank you for everything you do for the nest and for anyone who comes in contact with you here at Spark.
    2911 days ago
    Wow Audra, I'm so flattered *and a little choked up* that my blog inspired you to blog, and that my own challenges hit so close to home with you. This whole process is such a psychological one, I've been learning more about myself than I ever imagined I would. Good for you for being able to see how far you've come and give yourself that appreciation that you deserve!
    2911 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/31/2010 5:00:20 AM
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