My girl Karvs said it best yesterday when she said, "I'm glad that May means that you won't be fixated on getting to the 200s for good..." She's right you know? I have been fixated on this one goal since about 2005. I busted my butt to get out of the 400s and then the 300s just mocked me for years. "You're 300 pounds!" became quite the negative mantra in my head. I belittled myself and berated myself while I watched other people enter the 200s and even the 100s without looking back.
What was wrong with me?
Where did I go wrong?
Sure, I'm not perfect...but certainly they weren't either.
I was making excuses for myself.
I was doing everything I could and nothing was working.
I was meant to be 300 pounds.
I was never going to succeed.
I was never going to have what I wanted.
Eat less, exercise more.
Eat more, exercise less.
Eat whatever, don't exercise...because it doesn't really matter anyhow.
Ooh! 298! Yay! I did it.
Oh, sh!t. Back to the 300s. *sobs*
Truthfully, I've put my family through hell over this. I can't tell you how many times I've started a week yelling and screaming and acting like a 5-year-old ranting about how life isn't fair and telling them that something MUST be wrong with me. Telling them I was weak. Telling them I wasn't good enough. And all the time still trying to make it work. I'd spend the better part of each Sunday in tears, and then I'd pull myself up on Monday and try again. And got disappointed again. And round and round we went.
I'm sure that my AB girls and my Spark Friends are sick to death of hearing about my struggle to reach 299...or, as I prefer, 298. (Because, for some reason, 299 isn't "good enough" either.) I've ranted and raved and talked about giving up more times than I can count.
But the worst part of all is that I've let myself believe this BS I have floating around in my head.
I'm going to have an Oprah moment here, so bear with me. The other day as I was flipping through the channels, I saw one of Oprah's "Life Class" episodes on OWN and Tony Robbins was on. I caught a few glimpses of him talking to some woman about success, and why we think we always fail to achieve it...and how we can get past that and grab success by the horns and ride off into the sunset. He had the woman stand up and he asked her, "Whose love did you want more than anyone's growing up? Mom or Dad?" The woman was taken aback. Whose love did you WANT the most? I answered the question in my head along with the woman on stage. Dad's. I know this. I fought for years to MAKE him love me...and he never would...nothing I could do could make him love me the way I wanted him to...the way I NEEDED him to. Tony: "And what could you never be for him?" The woman thought for a while and then finally answered in an "ah-ha moment" type way...but I don't remember a word of what she said. Because the one word that popped into my head (and hasn't left since) is "enough". I could never be enough for my father. I wasn't strong enough, brave enough, smart enough, pretty enough, clever enough. It didn't matter what I did, I lived my entire childhood trying desparately to simply be "enough"....good enough for him to love me. And time after time I fell short.
I remember camping once. My parents were Girl Scout leaders and we didn't have a lot of money so camping was a go-to vacation idea for the summer. We were camping as a family once and my father and I were tossing a softball back and forth. I remember so clearly him throwing the ball at me with all his might, me missing it in my glove and it pummeling me in leg. I felt like my lower leg bone was shattering. I collapsed and starting crying. Holy HELL that hurt! And then I remember the remarks that came flying out of his mouth. I was a wimp. (Not strong enough.) Why the hell was I crying? (Not tough enough.) He wasn't going to "play" with me anymore if I was going to act like that. (Not worthy enough of his time.) I got up. I made myself stop crying. It still hurt. I could still feel it burning. I wiped my tears and grabbed the ball, but he was gone. And we never played catch again after that. I kept thinking in my head that I wasn't "boy enough" for him. Even from a young age I knew he would have rather had a boy than a "stupid, silly girl". He already had my sister and she was perfect...so why did he need a flawed little girl after that?
This memory haunts me to this day. And there are plenty more "not enoughs" to go with it. (And if my father were to read this, he'd go on and on about how horrible I am because I only remember the bad things and none of the good. But all of the good I remember was followed by moments like these...moments of "not enough" berated into my head over and over again.)
So as I've fought for this milestone I thought was the most important thing I could ever achieve in my life - hitting the 200s - and didn't make it, it became very clear to me...I wasn't good enough at this. I didn't deserve it. I wasn't worthy.
Hold the flippin' phone there, buddy!
You aren't "good enough" to lose weight? WTF is that about?
How does that even make sense?
When Karvs (Okay, I know her screenname is RUNNINGCHUNKY now, but she will always be my Karvs) said that it hit me right square in the gut. In a good way.
"Single-minded to the point of recklessness." (2 points if you know what movie that's from.)
I promised you all progress pics...but I don't have them taken yet. But even taking my monthly "face shot" hit me today...as well as looking at some pics on my phone I'd taken of myself throughout the month of April.
That's me in 2009. See me? Hiding WAAAAY in the back. Covering myself up with my own children as human camera shields? You gotta look closely.
I had given up the fight then. I didn't think I was strong enough to keep fighting. So I just gave up.
And then April 19, 2010, less than a year later, I woke the fluck up. Finally.
I joined Spark and stopped hiding. (You can note, I even let my Sparkversary pass without a second thought...because I didn't seem to care about that number either.)
At 416.2 pounds, I thought nothing of whether I was any "enough" to do anything. I just put my chin down and went forward. Come what may. If I failed, so what? If I succeeded, cool. But I just wanted to try.
It came on like a storm.
*I* came on like a storm.
I did things I wasn't supposed to be "enough" to do.
I wasn't skinny or fit enough to walk a 5k - especially not one with a monster hill to start - just 4 months after trying to lose weight.
I guess I didn't realize that at the time.
I wasn't "cool enough" to meet one of my Spark idols. Someone who inspires me still to this day.
It took two seconds of Hello to vanish that thought from my mind.
I wasn't cool enough to be anyone anyone wanted to know about.
But I became a Spark Motivator anyhow.
I wasn't tough enough to brave a gym with all the hard bodies and rock hard abs staring my fat belly in the face.
Well, maybe sometimes I just "faked" my way through...
Suddenly...I stopped hiding and started shining. I kept a strict record of each recorded weight for each picture I took and, yet, I don't remember how "big" I was when I hiked for 5.5 hours after getting lost in June of 2010. I do remember being brave enough to climb over rocks bigger than I was and walking down narrow slick paths that should have meant the death of me. I remember my family telling me how great it was that I remembered to pack filling, healthy, protein and fiber packed meals. To this day Hubs remarks that had I not packed properly, we likely would not have made it through that hike in one piece.
I was silly enough and good enough to be included in "reunion" type anniversary photos of my aunt's wedding (I was the flower girl around age 4 or so).
I was "brave enough" to buy my first car...and take a full-body side shot in front of it.
I was chic enough to visit the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs.
I was "fit enough" to start running.
I was strong enough to run a mile without stopping.
I was seriously done hiding.
And I began to reclaim the life I once dreamed I would have.
It didn't matter that I was "still 300 pounds". It didn't matter that my weight loss had stalled out like the fading embers of a fire long forgotten. None of that mattered the tiniest bit.
And as I looked through my pictures and thought, "My! How I've changed!" A thought occurred to me...
No...I haven't...not really.
I've always been bold and silly and goofy and wild and crazy.
I've never accepted that what other people say I can do is the limit of my abilities.
For no matter how many times I was told I was not "enough"...I knew that I could show myself, if not anyone else, that I was more than enough. I mattered. I was important.
I'm not here today to boast that I'm in the 200s now.
In fact, I refused to weigh myself this morning.
I'm done weighing myself right now...because Karvs made me realize how reckless I've been to become so fixated on a silly number.
I've come to celebrate the fact that not only have I lost 115 pounds with Spark...and not only have I lost more than 165 pounds through simple changes in diet and exercise since 2005...my biggest accomplishments are a different set of numbers entirely.
3.1 - My first 5k, and several that have followed
1 - The first mile I ever ran without stopping
5 - The total number of miles I was able to run without stopping
2 - The number of children that have changed their eating habits and have started playing outside more and exercising and being more active
1 - The number of Husbands I aim to shock each and every time I hit another NSV
And even more important are other numbers that don't even have a definite value, because they are too numerous to count...
The number of pictures I've "posed" for without trying to hide since April 2010.
The number of times I refused to give up even when it got hard.
The number of people whose lives may have been touched just a tiny bit by my unwillingness to give up, even though the road is long and full of dusty, rocky, bone-shattering pot holes.
The number of people I have encouraged to try, or to keep going, or to give it a go simply by setting a good example.
The number of times I've allowed myself to be brave, and goofy, and wild, and vulnerable in front of other people, always afraid I won't be "enough" for them, but never letting that stop me from trying.
Remember, the scale is not the end all, be all of this journey.
It's in the number of steps you take toward living a healthier life.
It's in the lowered risk of death and disease from having a healthy heart and lungs.
It's certainly in the number of pounds you can squat on a barbell! ;)
For now, the scale has been excused from this journey.
I don't know if it will return on Sunday for weigh-in, or if I will stay away from it for several weeks or all of May.
It's really not all that important.
What IS important is...
...the number of beads of sweat pouring down your face in the gym.
...the number of grunts coming out of your mouth when the going gets tough and the lift is pretty hard.
...the number of swipes of a gym card.
...the number of minutes spent cooking healthy meals, making healthy plans, feeding a healthy heart with the proper nutrition and exercise.
...and the number of breaths that this new chosen life of ours has allowed us...simply because we took the first step, and followed it with another, and refused to give up or give in or say die.
I'm good enough to put the time and effort into....are you?