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BLC#21 - Back to the Future (Forget the Past) Challenge

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Every weekend of the BLC (Biggest Loser Challenge) there is a challenge to help us stay focused through the weekend as that's a difficult time for some Sparkers. There's two parts of this weekend challenge that call for blogging:

1) How will your life change when you reach your fitness/weight goal? How will you feel?
Journal or Blog about it

Honestly? It won't change any more or less than it has been through the whole length of the journey. The changes are what has been happening along the way, not something that will occur at some arbitrary numbered goal.

Now, a lot WILL have changed; a lot ALREADY has changed. To look at a snap shot of when I started and when I finish, that much will be obvious. This whole process has been about looking at my life and seeing which patterns weren't working, making the changes that I wanted to make most.

The biggest change is that I'll be adjusting my calories to remove the deficit. Because I noticed I was filling in that deficit with treats, I've looked at how I want to fill it instead (more lean protein and/or adding a protein smoothie at breakfast).

I don't expect to feel notably different. I will feel satisfied to have passed that scenic point on my journey, but life isn't all about weight or fitness. Those are just two small pieces of a much grander puzzle. Before I started this leg of my journey, I was fixing my finances. It was much the same thing - yes, there was a point when I "finished" the major portion of that, but I can't just slack off and run up the debt. Most of the changes are still part of how I handle my money. I still track my budget closely. I expect to keep tracking my food. I still have bad days where I splurge more or have an unexpected emergency - both money and food - and have to recuperate.

The biggest thing I will feel, and already feel, is a great satisfaction in knowing that I ~CAN~ do just about anything I set my mind to and a joy in growing positively in my life.


2) Forgive yourself for one thing you regret in your past-write it down or blog about it

I briefly mentioned in my team's chat thread that this one would be challenging, and it is.

I don't spend my energy on regrets. When I said that, the response was to not get stuck on the word regret and just find something I could forgive myself for. Which was an interesting response to me.

When I say I don't spend my energy on regrets, this doesn't mean I don't have them at all. I regret many things in one sense. But I let the regrets go as easily as I have them, because I know the past is unchangeable and the present is what matters.

For example, I could say I regret not going to college. I'd have done well. I could have a career in something fascinating (chemistry? astronomy and physics? higher mathematics?) I could be a greater career and financial success. I could even bend that further and say I regret not figuring out a way to go to Stanford. There was a point in high school where I wished I could make that happen, even as I knew it wasn't in the card(inal)s. emoticon

However, that isn't the path this life took. If I had gone to college, it would have altered this life so completely, I might not have learned what I did, might not have had three beautiful children, might not be looking into a future as a vet tech. I'm happy with where I am now. I'm happy for all the experiences, good and bad.

So it's less about not having regrets than it is about owning every choice I've made and the results of those.

I also don't feel a need to forgive myself for putting on weight, something that was brought up. I did it on purpose for a reason that I recognize now as illogical, but which made sense to me and seemed to work as I needed it to. I forgave myself the moment I faced the illogic, the damage it was causing, and took action to change things. (The best way I forgive myself is to change what is harming me. I forgave myself for the condition of my teeth by implementing good dental hygiene. I forgave myself for not putting money aside for retirement earlier by doing it now.)

Anyway, that's why this one has been very difficult for me. I'm rather proactive, so if I ~KNEW~ I was regretting something and needed to forgive myself, it has most likely already been done. It has taken a bit of poking and prodding to find something I do regret, but avoid thinking about often.

I actually had a lot more written that kind of led me around to this.

I mentioned to my team that I was a loner, but it got taken more in the introvert sense because that's how I framed it. It's more. I find maintaining a friendship HARD. It's a lot of work, and I feel like I'm not that great a friend because I'm more likely to do something alone than think "Oh, I should do that with -friend-." Most people I know, even the introverts, if they HAVE friends then their concept of activities tend to be including those friends. Go to a club ... with friends. Go to the movies ... with friends. Go hiking ... with friends. Go to the gym ... with friends. Even if I had a whole slew of local friends, every one of those activities is one I would naturally do alone unless ASKED to do it with someone, and then might inwardly resent that I had to adjust to someone else's preferences and pace.

I regret not ever making a very real friendship that would be satisfying to ME. I am forgiving myself for being so emotionally detached and independent that I tend to only let myself get close to people who are more dependent on me, and who thus carry more of the weight of maintaining a friendship that never comes into balance. I forgive myself for being such a difficult person to be a close friend to.

Because that last is what it really comes down to. Both friendship and relationship require an emotional investment, and ability to be interdependent, and I feel somehow lacking in both of those areas. (I can perform the actions to be a good friend. I do them for my best friend. His dependence on me as friend helps. But deep down I end up feeling like a fake, like only I know that I'm not really as involved in the friendship.)

Only problem I've got now is that saying I forgive myself isn't enough. I need to take it that extra step and take action to change things. Not nearly as easy to do as to say.
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