Funny I started this fixer upper project (my body) back in August of last year, at which time I weighed 147.2lbs. That was over seven months ago. And here I am now, 6 six days away from my dress fitting. What was I hoping for? Big changes. What was I expecting? Miracles. What did I get? A good dose of reality. What has this time been though? A pretty amazing journey.
I found myself creep up to 150.4lbs at the beginning of this year. The plan to “eat clean” and be more active of last year’s resolve really left me inconsistent and unaccomplished. But baby steps right? There was a lot of great self-analysis and looking back that helped me move forward with a better understanding of myself, my flaws, my ghosts, my experiences and my path. Then of course came Geha and my discovery of the Wellness Clinic on Whyte that helped me hone and shape my vision and plan. She made the intangible, tangible and things started to come together for me.
I went on the 17 day Diet which proved to be a good fit not just diet wise for me, but lifestyle wise. I focus more on protein, veggies, I drink green shakes every morning, I obediently take multiminerals, multivitamins, extra vitamin D, I drink lots of green tea and I stay away from refined carbs like bread and pasta. I like to snack on seaweed and carrots, and my vice is banana chips and dark chocolate with nuts. I can’t even think of the last time I went through a fast food drive thru, and to be honest haven’t really craved the grease I use to live off of. I definitely sleep better at night and get more rest. I feel less lethargic and heavy. Overall these changes have felt slow yet steady.
My activity levels have been more spotted. When I initially started the 17 Day Diet, I wasn’t working out outside of taking Teddy for walks. But over the past couple of months, I’ve reintroduced, treadmill runs, weights, full body exercises, bootcamp workouts and outdoor runs back into my regimen.
So where did I end up? At 143.5. Only 6.9lbs and a meagre number of inches from where I started from. Sure some of my clothes fit better and I don’t end up with a deep waist imprint every time I wear my jeans, but it was miles away from what I was wanting. What was I expecting and hoping for? 124lbs again. Sigh. The frustration and the disappointment had been seething in my bones for the past couple of weeks. The almost anger to step on the weight scale and find no noticeable movement was almost unbearable. I was constantly complaining to Jason about how crappy it was that I was making all of these great changes to no avail and how frustrating it was to keep seeing the same numbers on the weight scale. And Jason would try and placate me by telling me how I was creating a new environment in my body. That I was building a new foundation that would set me up for the potential of a slim athletic healthy body. That it was probably “just around the corner”. Blah blah blah. But that didn’t make me feel better.
To be honest, I felt worse these past couple of weeks than I have probably at my heaviest.
They say what you hate perpetuates. And I literally started hating my body and myself for this perceived failure.
And then it finally dawned on me. What was causing me the dis-ease, was the way I was seeing myself. When I looked in the mirror, I was only hoping for the past me. I saw my arms, bigger than they use to be, I saw my stomach, thicker than it used to be and my hips wider than they use to be…I saw a bigger version of who I was, well past my “best before” date. But who really is this that I see in the mirror now? The image I keep overlooking and seeing through?
I recognized how shitty it was for me to not accept myself for who I really am. I realized that I needed to get over my issue of needing to be skinny the way I use to be, and be comfortable with how I am now. But how really was I going to make that leap of actually accepting myself for who I am, right now? Could that even be possible? Could I love and accept this bigger version of myself? Could I feel confident and whole without any desire to drastically change and self loathing for not? So I started to dig.
Where really was the anxiety of not reaching my goal coming from? It shocked me to find out it wasn’t really from me, but from my worry about other people’s perception of me. They would see me and think to themselves, “wow she’s put on a lot of weight, she’s not as pretty as she use to be” – they would think the things George said to me that night at our highschool catch up; and I would feel the guilt and the shame of their unvoiced opinions. It surprised me to recognize how much I was still waiting for the approval and validation of people around me. I mean come on, I’m 36 years old now. Haven’t I stopped trying to fit in with the cool kids and conforming? Haven’t I stopped buying the latest trends and keeping up on the latest fashions? Haven’t I grown out of my people pleasing ways? So much of my life has turned out unconventional. So many of my adult choices have been my own and true to myself despite the cautions of people around me….but wow, old habits die hard.
I realized that if I lived in a bubble, where I wasn’t affected by the judgements and perceptions of others I would experience a freedom I’ve never fully enjoyed before. But the irony is, these external judgements and perceptions is wholly based on MY perception of what I THINK they might be thinking…it also stems from my own fallacy in so foolishly and selfishly judging people the way that I do. Why would I do that or care? Maybe to make myself feel better? Should I be affected then by someone else’s foolishness and selfishness? What if there was no standard for myself, or what if I created my own? Could I?
I’d never tried self affirmations before, but had heard about them so many times. It always felt a little too Anthony Robbins, “I am good and people like me” ish for me to truly stomach or embrace. But yesterday after my workout, after a few minutes of some deep breathing meditation, I looked in the mirror and really looked at myself. I looked at my arms and unexpectedly said to them, “I love you, you are beautiful, whole and complete, thank you for being part of me”, then I looked at my stomach and said “I love you, you are beautiful, whole and complete, thank you for being part of me” then I looked at my thighs and said, “I love you, you are beautiful, whole and complete, thank you for being part of me” – and for the first time in two years, I actually felt “in my skin” – I felt grounded and whole in a way I haven’t before. For the many months of fragmentation, separation or disconnect, my body actually felt like my own, and I finally felt inside of it. I wasn’t out of it looking in, I was inside looking out. It’s almost hard to describe really.
And then the greatest thing happened. All of a sudden I saw my body in a different way. Instead of all of the things it wasn’t, I felt a gratitude for all that it was. This is the body, that allowed me to recklessly fall in love without care or caution. This is the body that didn’t complain when I stopped temporarily caring for it. This is the body that forgave me when I started missing workouts and didn’t reject me when I started binging on forbidden foods. This was the body that still functioned though I shorted it rest. This is the body that took the fall, while I fell in love. And this is the same body that is still with me now. Like an old weathered friend that stands the test of time. My body, that is ready now to be strong and be healed the same way my heart and spirit have been.
It’s funny almost, when I set out last August, the first thing I wanted to fix was my weight. I wasn’t concerned about what was going on inside of me. But it’s funny, looking back now, it seems the last thing to fall into place is the first thing I was hoping to fix. It’s amazing how each step takes us to where we are going.