"When I lose weight I'm going to......''
"Someday I will be able to.....''
"I wish I could.....''
"If I was more like him/her I could.....''
I remember when I weighed 420+ pounds. I would sit on the couch watching Biggest Loser and say to myself "When I lose weight I will be able to work out like that.'' I had basically given up on myself. Walking across a room was tiring for me. I always planned for tomorrow when I would magically find the strength to start working out. "Tomorrow I will start my diet.'' "Tomorrow I will start eating better.'' "Tomorrow I will give up sodas.''
Tomorrow never came. I was Dreaming my goals, and doing nothing to see what I wanted in my life become my reality. I was dreaming, rather than DOING.
I spent years in that fog -- no self esteem, no motivation, so scared of failure that I never tried to change my life.
It took a diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes to wake up the fighter in me.
I got up off the couch. Instead of watching Biggest Loser, I got outside and starting moving my body. Over time, I realized that all along, even at 420+ pounds, I could have been working out every day.
My failure wasn't trying & finding I couldn't do it. My failure was NEVER TRYING AT ALL.
I held myself back.
Yesterday I found a page on facebook by a triathalon group called "Swim Bike Mom''
GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY. I love that phrase!!!
The biggest obstacle in my way to fitness was ME.
I didn't believe in myself.
I was depressed about my weight.
I was tired. I was fed up. I was slowly killing myself.
I was afraid people would laugh at me if I tried a 5K, or dared to join activities I thought were only for The Fit People.
But, in reality, the only thing holding me back was my own fear.
I wish I could remember the exact wording (or who said it), but there is a quote I've seen that is very true.....when the fear or consequences of not acting overcomes the fear of acting, then change occurs. That's absolutely true! When my fear of the consequences of Type 2 Diabetes and high blood pressure became stronger than my fear of trying to lose weight, my life changed drastically.
In order to succeed I had to work to make physical changes.....but I also had to work hard to change myself mentally. I was my own worst enemy in the beginning.
I started out walking up and down my driveway. Then I moved up to walking around the block. I noticed that neighbors waved and started talking to me when they saw me out walking. As I lost weight, I had friends, family & neighbors who would join me on walks. I started to feel more confident because I was seeing results (I wasn't failing), and NOBODY was making fun of me. Then I moved up to walking across town, and walking at the track.....I was growing stronger and making a huge difference in my life.
That's when strangers started coming up to me. "I see you walking everyday, and I just wanted to say that you really inspire me.'' I can't count the number of times I had total strangers walk up and say that, or something similar, to me.
That's when I signed up for my first 5K. I was scared to death. I called the organizers and asked if it was ok that I signed up since it was technically a run, and I was going to walk. Of course they said yes.....I showed up that morning and wanted to turn around and go back home. Here was I.....260 pounds at that time....coming up to an event with a whole crowd of Fit People. Lots of folks with that runner's physique....stretching, warming up, talking to other runners....and here I was....The Fat Chick. I totally expected someone to ask me "What are YOU doing here???''
Didn't happen. :) In fact, several people came up and introduced themselves. "I see you walking downtown all the time!'' a few of them said. I explained that I had lost 100+ pounds and couldn't run yet, but I was there to walk. I got SO MUCH encouragement from them! Not one said anything negative to me! I was INCLUDED. Oh my --- The Fit People included me!! It wasn't like middle school PE class. LOL. :)
I walked that first 5K in klunky basketball shoes because that's all I had.....and I came in last....but I finished. And at the end, I had scores of people standing at the finish line to congratulate me! I got advice on how to begin training to jog/walk a 5K, and I even got help from the local runners store to buy more appropriate shoes.
Since then, I've had so much help and support from every single runner and fit person that I've come across.
But, I'm a different person now. I walk up and introduce myself. I'm not afraid of people any more. I don't come into things expecting to be laughed at....and I'm no longer afraid to try.
I got out of my own way.
I still haven't run a 5K. I'm still working towards that goal. I can, however, walk 10 miles now. And I can run 1/2 mile without stopping. Coming from barely being able to walk, I think that's a wonderful improvement. My journey isn't just about losing 200+ pounds -- it's about gaining strength of body, mind, and soul.
I'm not afraid of life anymore. I'm not afraid to go to the track and train in front of people who are much fitter than I am. In fact, I'm more inclined to walk up to them, introduce myself and tell them what an inspiration they are to me. :) I have learned SO MUCH from them over the past year. I stop and ask about stretching. I ask about my gait. I ask about when to replace my shoes. And I've never once gotten anything but a pleasant positive response.
I wish I had known this before. It would have been so much easier to get off the couch had I known what a great support structure Fit People are.
My son, who is in the Navy, helped me develop a training program for hitting my goal weight (still 50 pounds away) and for increasing my fitness level. He's also looking to up his running distance. He is much much more fit than me, and he's a 5 hour drive away. But we're going to be workout buddies and share out fitness logs by email. It's not about who can go the farthest, or how fast they get there --- it's about getting out there and DOING IT.
This plan will strengthen me until I can run an entire 5K. It will strengthen my body and my mind and lay the foundation for me to forge ahead once I meet this goal I have set for myself. Maybe I will decide to run a 10K, or try a triathalon......who knows.
If self doubt is holding you back.....just take a deep breath, and GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY. If I can do this -- anybody can do this!!!!
Just look at my before and after photos. I had a belly that literally hung down to my knees. It hurt so bad for me to just walk, that I was well on my way to being wheel chair bound. But I got up....and every day I walked as far as I could go. At first, I couldn't even walk one block.
Now....I could walk all day.
Don't give up. Close your eyes, take a deep breath and just TRY. And keep on Trying. Never give up. Believe in yourself. It takes time. It's not easy -- there will be days where you want to quit. But persevere. Work through the tough stuff.
The payout for your hard work will be beyond belief.
I'm no longer a prisoner in my own body. I got my life back.
And you can too.
JUST DO IT.