Life’s lessons I’ve learned along the way.
Three years ago, I started out on a journey to lose weight. I had been overweight my entire life, and had made multiple attempts and approaches to getting fit and healthy. It took one “a-ha” moment to get me into the mindset of making changes. I worked really hard for almost a full year, and made the accomplishment of losing 100lbs.
For five minutes, I was a "success story" in my mind. Even though I wasn’t at a “goal weight” yet, people were so wonderful and supportive. The attention I received from people often made it uncomfortable at times, since I was completely out of my comfort zone.
As with all things, you have to keep at it to be successful. Over the past few months, I had gotten a little more laid back with my food journaling and planning. Weight was slowly creeping back.
I want to share a story with you that happened this summer. While at the gym, I ran into a person who I had not seen in months. He jumped on the treadmill next to me and we talked for about twenty minutes. At the end of our conversation, he said “so, I see you’ve slipped a little...let yourself go, but don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll get back into it.” I was mortified. Rather than retaliate with a comeback, I wanted to crawl underneath the treadmill. He wasn’t telling me something that I didn’t already know. I wish that I was able to just walk away and brush it off. Instead, I allowed that comment to absorb every ounce of my being. I’m sure he thought he was offering motivation or constructive criticism. I found it hurtful and shameful.
These last few months have been especially difficult and challenging in this journey. I was physically working, but emotionally tired from that comment. That was my mistake. I gave someone’s negative comments too much power. Learn from my errors, because self destruction in this manner is just wasted energy and time. These are some key points that I have tried to focus on:
- It’s a daily battle and can be rather overwhelming at times. There may never be a “finish line” for me, but moving forward in this journey is most important. Don’t allow the comments and criticism of others ever make you doubt yourself or wonder if this is “as good as it gets." We are all worth fighting for our goals and dreams.
- Listen to the roar of your cheering section. They are there because they love us for the people we are, not the people we are hoping to be. I’ve spent a lot of time keeping them at an arms distance because I thought I could do it all on my own, it was "my problem." Ask for help and lean of them for support when necessary.
- Allow yourself to take a compliment. Whenever someone would say, “wow Karen, great job”, I would often answer “Thank you, but I still have a long way to go.” I still do that. It’s hard to embrace your strides and goals when you are always focusing on how much more you have to do. They are our milestones, no matter how big or how small. Shame can be very powerful and difficult to navigate. If we hold it in and allow it to grow, it can overtake any progress or positive strides we’ve made. I once considered not going to a gym class because I was trying to avoid someone who I had not seen in a while. I was afraid of what she might think when she saw me. I am trying very hard at letting down those walls and not keeping everything in. Find just one person that you feel comfortable sharing these feelings and thoughts with. Sometimes it helps to just verbalize what you are thinking or feeling.
So my journey continues. I have the tools (meal plan, my trainer John Moljo, gym schedule) in place. I’ve incorporated new classes such as Kettlebell Inferno (see previous blog about this new local exercise company) to change up my routine. There will always be roadblocks along the way. Unleash those inner warriors and challenge them rather than being overcome by them.
Life is short..don’t spend time trying to blend into the background. But rather, embrace the spotlight at times and smile for the person that you are. I am more than just a number on a scale. I cannot change anyone’s opinion or perception about me, but that is okay.
Wish me luck..we all deserve our silver lining.