Auburn Aries and I joined a local Biggest Loser group that runs from January 15 - May 7th. I thought it would be a great way to reach some goals with like-minded people. Living in the PNW with nine months of rain, it can force you indoors when you otherwise wouldn't be. As long as I've lived here and integrated the rain into my life (no, I don't own an umbrella; only tourists do), I am not one of those people who'll go running or biking in it. I'm more the lazy type who looks outside and sees it blowing sideways, rolls her eyes and says "maybe tomorrow."
Following a discrimination lawsuit a few years back, I spiraled into a depression that reached far and wide. I've written about it before - at least I think I have. There's not much I can say about it as I'm legally bound to secrecy over it (like anyone gives a shit. And, lawyer people, if you're reading this, you can move along. You're not worthy of my time and you won't get any tasty morsels here).
Following that suit and the sense of betrayal that came with it, I tried to eat (and mostly) drink my way out of it. I thought I was perfecting my Margarita-making skills. Turns out I was drowning betrayal. Although as a byproduct I did get damn good at making Maggies.
I didn't realize how deeply it would all affect me. I didn't know what to expect when you go up against The Man. BTW, I don't recommend it. A bank of lawyers that size can spin absolutely anything any way they want to. As a result and after lingering in the darkness around five years, I awoke to find a spare tire around my midsection. My long legs were shortened by a heavy ass and my biceps, which I love, were completely hidden.
About the time I realized that somewhere in the darkness I had just simply bought a bigger waste size in my Levi's, all of us techs (storage engineers, Unix engineers, etc) were told the office was relocating and we would not be given cubes. We'd all be working from home. I'd never worked from home before. We were all excited. That was June 2008.
It's four and a half years later and my longest commute is to the kitchen.
If you add telecommuting to a bout of situational depression, you have a woman whose muscles have been in a long slumber. You have a woman who's 49 years old (50 on March 5th) who's covering the gray now and not at the top of her game. When Auburn Aries and I go shopping, people look at my 15 year old and don't even notice me. Kudos to her for being so beautiful but shame on me for not keeping myself in the shape I deserve to be in.
Well, no more. I started working with Kaelyn Pehrson (heretofore referred to as KP) who owns Naturally Obsessed. She's helped introduce healthy eating into my life. I now drink green smoothies made with kale when not six months ago I swore I'd never eat it because it was a plant I grew in my flowerbeds for curb appeal. I'm trying to adapt her 90/10 rule where I fuel my body with good nutritious whole foods 90% of the time so the other 10% there's a little flexibility. Granted I'm not to 90% yet. I'm probably more at 70/30 but that's okay, too. Six months ago I was at 5/95!
Now I hit the cancel button on negative thoughts (a work in process as well) and try to focus on only the positive. I'm getting better at self-love and forgiveness and moving forward toward healthier goals. I know the methods I'm learning now, slowly, are in fact lifestyle changes. No fad diet, no hurrying to get the extra weight off and then gaining it back but baby-stepping to build a healthier me from the inside out.
Mentally I feel great. Physically I feel a world better. I'm not constipated as much. I have energy I didn't have before. I can no longer sit in front of the TV for mindless hours in the evening without the thought popping into my head that it's not conducive to who I want to be. Not that I don't watch my favorite sitcoms or dramas. I do. But I record them for later when I can watch them commercial-free and at my convenience. Instead of sitting there, I get up and do something: a chore, go through a box in the garage, read a book, work out, walk the dog.
I love who I'm becoming. I love that the blinds are no longer closed on my mind and my spirit. Along with that however, is now my realization that the number on the scale doesn't reflect how I'm feeling inside. To date I've not worried about the number on the scale. I've put so much emphasis on that in the past that I decided temporarily in the initial phases of working with Kaelyn, not to step on it. Instead I'd integrate the easy-to-follow steps KP provides and get some focus. There was a lot of banged up mental processes in my mind that needed to be stripped and refinished.
While I'm not exactly where I want to be quite yet, I can accept that this is a journey and I can now enjoy the road I'm on and not look at the gaps as character defects or flaws. It's like I was on a path that had been neglected. I had been walking it accepting that it was in sad shape and in disarray. The flowers were hunched and brown, the grass was overgrown and untended; the path cracked and dangerous.
But now after working with KP, the cracks in my sidewalk have been replaced with brick pavers (one at a time and worth it) and there's sunlight beaming down and flowers are starting to bloom. The grass is tended and inviting. I know it sounds all new-agey, hokus-pokus but I've had a complete change of heart. I didn't know I could and I couldn't be happier about what I'm learning. There's still plenty to go. It's a long path but the journey is great and I'm not in a hurry to get to the finish line and prove anything.
All that being said, however, I do feel I'm at the point I need to give the scale some attention. Thus, Biggest Loser, local version. While this version of Biggest Loser provides nothing in the way of diet or exercise (that's all on me) it will make me accountable for stepping on the scale each week and tracking my progress. It will get me writing in my food journal. And although I'm not in it for the prizes, if that happens then that's cool, too.
I filled out my card with my username, stepped over to have my before picture taken and then headed toward the scale. I knew the scale wasn't going to be my friend but I didn't care. The only thing I cared about was the fact that I was about to unbutton the first button on the lawsuit/work-from-home fat suit I've been wearing the last five or six years. My sedentary life will finally be over.
I stepped on the scale and glanced down at the number as I stepped off and tried to act all cool like, "eh, I knew it was going to be higher than I wanted and it's okay. No shock here." What I wanted to do was lean down at the scale and scream "WHAT THE FUCK?! HOW DID THIS HAPPEN??? WHO DID THIS TO YOU?!" But I couldn't. Even if I had, I knew the answer.
What I could do was own the fact that I'd let myself get to this place. For a while I was lost - my self-awareness (something I pride myself on) vanished. I'd lost my way. But those times are gone.
Don't get me wrong...I'm not so evolved I looked at the scale and had some Zen moment where I thanked the fat for making me the person I've become. Oh no. I cursed a mean streak in my head that was truck-stop worthy but not because I was beating myself up. I gave myself a moment to be disappointed that I'd let it happen and then stubbornness kicked as I muttered at the scale "I'll show you motherf-cker."
Nothing left but the sweating and discomfort while I wake those muscles up. To be honest, I don't know when I've look forward to anything more.
Let's get it on!