Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Trimming the Fat

It has been a while.  Life continues to clip along and I continue to fight the demons of being a single, fluffy girl trying to improve, grow and embrace this life I am living.

I felt compelled to write last night...as I walked into the YMCA for what feels like the 10,000th time in the last 3 years.  I'd like to think that was in fact, the 10,000th time.  I would like to think that I have made the decision to walk into a gym, with pep in my step and motivation to move mountains 10,000 times over in the past 3 years.  I would like to imagine that as I stepped through those gym doors...to the less than pleasant scent of other people's sweat and good intentions that mine was the prevailing scent...just by sheer volume alone and that upon entering...it would be visibly apparent that I had indeed, walked through those doors 10,000 times and have the body to prove it. 

But as I sit here and write...the reality is that I, regardless of how many times I have walked through the doors of that YMCA...the only thing I have probably done 10,000 times...is wonder if I will ever reach my goals AND insanely hum the Village People Anthem...Y-M-C-A...as I entered the building. And the body...well...it speaks for itself.

Fighting this fight is not living up to my expectations or my doubts.  It is however, seemingly, trimming the fat off all of the self-imposed defeatist ideas that I seem to have collected over the years.  That does not show up on any scale I have found and it is only visible to those who take the time to look and truly see the changes.  It is profoundly uncomfortable and a total pain in the ass AND seems to be absolutely necessary for this fluffy girl.  That has been uncomfortably apparent from the very beginning. 

My proclivity for over-analyzing and for wearing self doubt like a badge of honor, leads me to think that I must continue to do so...trim the fat...both internally and of course, the goal...externally as well. It is a necessary evil in my personal journey.

My last post in July was a statement of my battle with that inner fat and the need to just stop processing it in such a public fashion.  It quite frankly was getting old...and not helpful.  I know that I need and will continue to need, to work through all of the things that hold me back...whether I choose to do that with just a few poor souls...or with a wider audience.  Accountability still is a HUGE piece of this puzzle for me.  Being honest, owning the steps of my journey and accepting that there is no turning back are part of the process...even if participating in that stirs every shameful feeling I have ever had..."The only way out is In" (Junot Diaz).

I can say this...with complete conviction.  Trimming the internal fat is gross, ugly, revealing, embarrassing and might drive some away...but conversely, it is freeing, revitalizing, fortifying, rejuvenating and leads us down paths to those who can and are willing to embrace us...fat and all.

Lastly, I speak of faith often...how it is a must and how I can really suck at having it.  But over the past 7 months, I have connected more with the reality that God moves in my life in ways that cannot be fully comprehended until I am on the other side of them.  My struggle is to trust my experience and not launch into full scale doubt and panic when, in the process of trimming the fat, I feel like I am drowning in it.
I am aware that God has placed people in my life who have the uncanny ability to embrace faith with an optimism and a joy that I just can't do today.  As I stumble into the 1st quarter of year 4 of this journey...I can readily admit that I, in the recent past, view these strong, spiritual optimists as a reminder of all that I am not!  But I have gotten it all wrong...these people are not in my life as a reminder of my shortcomings...but instead, as a mirror to the possibilities...the promise of God's grace and an opportunity to grow.

It has been brought to my attention...many times...by some of the grounded spiritual bad asses in my life...that there is no time limit to trim the fat. It is not a year long, 4 year long or finite journey...but instead it is a lifetime of infinite possibilities.  For now, I will defer to the bad asses! For me..it is going to be about willingness...to be patient, to trust, to believe in myself and to keep trimming the fat...until I don't need to anymore. Be Brave and Forge On!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

When Only God Knows It

In the past several months....I have been uncomfortably seated on my most feared ride in life's amusement park...The roller coaster.  I have discussed that roller coaster many times here...in many different ways and in the past 3 years have not learned to fully embrace it.

I have tried...to love the uncertainty of it...the thrill of it...to embrace the unknown...but generally lately am just nauseated by it.

In the past months, my life has been one constant roller coaster filled with big changes, big growth, and a few serious butt buster moments that leave me distrusting of the process.

I, in the past 3 years, have let me myself be "seen" in a pretty public way...and have allowed myself to trust my story with others on a very personal level as well.  Some pretty amazing things have happened because of it...and some pretty painful things have happened because of it.  That's life...It happens...Thank God.
 Life has seasons...and I have recently come to realize that it may be time to turn inward...be a little more introspective, be a little more selective with my trust, limit my exclamations and dissertations, reduce my expectations of others and increase my self-reliance.  

This is no perfect journey...and I, could not be farther from being the perfect journey taker..but I am worth the continued effort...even on those days when only God knows it!

As I continue to intentionally navigate through this life journey...I am sure that there will be many seasons...many joys...many blessings...disappointments...renewed hope, lost faith, and faith found again.  I have learned so far...that you never know where the next right step will lead and that the picture I have in my head....may not be the picture God has painted in His.

So...as this Journey continues...I may find myself here writing...from time to time...for a bit of an outlet...and that dose of accountability...but after today, this blog will be here only for those that know where to look...no more posting on social media, emailing, texting...for a while.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Comfort in Words

As I progress along on this Journey...there are some days that seem longer than others...some goals that seem harder to reach and some challenges that seem too difficult to overcome.  On those days, I try to find some comfort from something other than food...or margaritas.

Today, I am finding some comfort in words...which I find soothing...but difficult to swallow if eaten (just a note from my experience).  Hopefully, I want have to eat any of these words since they belong to other people!

Below are  few favorite thoughts that I like to ponder on these long, more challenging days.

Every day I learn something on my way to the next.  Every day I am given the opportunity to overcome those mindsets, experiences and fears that hold me back...and every day I am aware that even when I feel a bit wayward...there is a guiding force that never gives up on me...and never gives in to me.  This Journey continues...even when it feels like I am standing still!

Forging ON! 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

An Intentional Reminder

So in my last post I created a list of action steps to "practice" as I move forward...as I again try to boost my momentum on this Journey. In an effort to stay on track...I am reposting...for accountabilty and for reinforcement...for a written reminder that this Journey is intentional...it is important...it is an absolute necessity!

As I re-read the below...some of the action steps feel a little lofty...a little out of reach...but I am hopeful...I am determined...and I am fighting the insecurity and fear. I will keep my eye on the prize...even when I don't see it clearly.

Here is what I know...Grace continues to meet me where I am!

Living intentionally

Praying daily that I am walking in God's will and not in nasty insecurity and fear

Taking risks that might feel scary and exposing but that in the end, lead to courage

Taking time each day to step out of my "self" and be available to others

Daily practicing trust...that I have all I need...the faith I need...the support I need... to take daily steps in the right direction.

Staying true to the course even on those days when I am feeling defeated, optional, destructible, invisible or just plain ole pitiful!

Believing EVERY day that I am  courageous, deserving, faithful, worthy and fearless enough to walk-the-walk and talk-the-talk!

Lastly, BE IN ACTION.... LIVE as a priority

Monday, June 15, 2015

An Inside Job

Hello to all...I came across this quote a few days ago...even posted it on Facebook...but decided that I had a few things to say about it.

For anyone that knows me well...or for those of you that are kind enough to take time to read this blog...you know that I have experienced some significant changes over the past 3 years and that those changes have not always been so easy for me to "get". 

I won't lie...there have been many times over that past 3 years that "running away" from some of the more unexpected changes has seemed like a really viable option. 

I use the word "overwhelmed" often...to describe what for me feels like a deluge of feelings...none of which I can succinctly describe individually...so "overwhelm" becomes the catch-all word.

As I have shared...over the past several months I have experienced some significant change...on almost every front of my life....some harder to manage than others and ALL have felt overwhelming.

As I face the challenging emotional growth from some of these changes, I am continually reminded that though my own very personal, but somewhat public, weight loss journey started as a journey to "repair" my outsides...my physical appearance, it more importantly became (pretty damn quickly) about repairing my insides. It became apparent very early on that this Journey was going to be an Inside Job!

Given that every one's experience is different, I am sure one could read/watch any number of posts/articles/videos, etc about tackling weight loss and quickly determine that each person experiences this kind of change differently...that each person takes on the challenge with their own unique perspective and collection of life's experiences that see them through.

Mine has clearly been about working from the inside...out...despite my protestations!!!

No matter how hard I may try...I can't run from that!  No matter how uncomfortable, embarrassing, time-consuming and ultimately, revealing that truth may be...It is my way...my Divine path...without always feeling so divine!

My only way out of this challenge is through it...no matter how messy it may seem or is or will be...Straight through the muck..."The ONLY way OUT is IN".

Today...I find myself fighting this reality a bit.  This requires that all too difficult thing called vulnerability.  I don't like it...but can acknowledge that there are moments when I know that my willingness to be vulnerable has brought me to a new level of courage. But for me...the hallway between that door from vulnerability to the door that leads to courage can feel dark, scary as hell and quite lonely.  It has and will again, leave me dependent on the faith of others and on my own experiential blind faith.  That faith that I know exists because of the blessings I have experienced when I did not believe that Blessing would come!

So...I keep moving through it....hoping that I don't look as clumsy on the outside as I feel on the inside!  Hoping that by acting as if I am courageous, I will become courageous! 

I think the keys to my success lie in the following...

  • Living intentionally
  • Praying daily that I am walking in God's will and not in nasty insecurity and fear
  • Taking risks that might feel scary and exposing but that in the end, lead to courage
  • Taking time each day to step out of my "self" and be available to others
  • Daily practicing trust...that I have all I need...the faith I need...the support I need... to take daily steps in the right direction.
  • Staying true to the course even on those days when I am feeling defeated, optional, destructible, invisible or just plain ole pitiful!
  • Believing EVERY day that I am  courageous, deserving, faithful, worthy and fearless enough to walk-the-walk and talk-the-talk!
  • Lastly, BE IN ACTION.... LIVE as a priority.
Here's what I know...Change is in fact, necessary, and some might even offer up good.  I am a reluctant "changer" but can now, after so much change, acknowledge the "good"...even the better.  I still though, have changes to experience...and being the flawed human I am...have my reservations!

I am refocused on losing weight...have lost 12lbs in the last few weeks thank to the Standard Process 21 day detox and my body continues to heal after some of the 2014/2015 physical challenges.

I am aware that I am missing having a "mini-goal" to train for...so....I am considering setting a physical goal for myself for the Fall of 2015...And am open to suggestions!!!  Something that physically pushes me, gives me something to reach for and preferably does not kill me!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Stuck in the Middle with Me

So I am rapidly approaching my 3rd year anniversary on this, what was to be, 1 year, fluff busting, 120 lb mission to a new me or at the very minimum, greatly improved, old me.

I have filled these pages with my Journey...the good, the bad, the ugly and the some might argue, grossly over-thought...over-stated reality of what my experience has been trying to move from a sickly, fat, 45 year old to a healthier, happier...albeit...still fat...48 year old.

I have shared some of what for me have been nothing short of miraculous moments and experiences and I have shared the moments that detailed the struggle...the muck and the yuck!

Over the past year, I have found myself spending less time writing here.

Lately though...life has been chaotic...filled with tons of unsettling changes and quite a bit of muck and yuck! I find myself wading around in uncharted waters...feeling lost and highly considering painting a face on my Kerri Walsh Jennings autographed Wilson volleyball for company (movie reference)...:)

When I started this voyage...so to speak...this blog was a place for accountability...but became a life boat for me...a place where I chose to tell the whole gory story of my road to losing weight.
So tonight I find myself back in my lifeboat and absolutely clear that I am in need of the accountability .

So...as you may already know...early on I got a big dose of reality...that being that this Journey was not only about losing a few (120 to be exact) lbs...but oh so much more...layers upon layers...lots of unplanned emotions.

So...I am an emotional eater...pretty much any emotional moment makes me hungry...eating has always been my preference over feeling...still is...which is largely why this whole 1 year journey idea got tossed pretty early on.

Lately...I have been painfully aware that the weight  "loss" just isn't happening and hasn't been for quite some time. However...the emotions...they have not slowed down a bit!

Now...I have stayed the course in some aspects...physically challenging myself...allowing myself to be vulnerable with a few people...telling the truth and hoping for the best...AND praying like a mad woman.

And still here I am...feeling permanently stuck somewhere in the middle between where and who I was and where and who I am hoping to be...no sense of belonging...

I was recently reminded that I think too much...a completely accurate evaluation. It lead me to thinking that I talk to much...share too much...etc... If you are nodding your head Yes...trust  me I get it!!! I have to live with me every day!!! :)
However...It was indeed an emotional death spiral for me though...I was left wanting a cupcake and a margarita! But alas...I went to the gym instead...progress, I suppose.

But I have had to come to terms with this exfoliating of emotional dead weight as I progress on this Journey...the profound discomfort of being vulnerable as a part of the absolutely necessary need for personal accountability. 

It is not my favorite part..it translates as weakness for me...and letting that be spoken or written or SEEN...is a complete ass kicker!

But it seems that embracing the vulnerability is part of it for...as painful and uncomfortable as that is...

So...my challenge is to remember that God will not lead me into any darkness without the promise of Light...and though it may feel like I am lost...I am not...

For today...just feeling Stuck in the Middle with Me...This Too Shall Pass.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Out of the Worries...Come Wonders

Hello to all. It has been a long time since I posted here...have tried to several times in the past month...but just could not quite get the words out of my head...through these hands and into print!

Honestly...I have been living at break neck speed (at least my brain has been), dodging curveballs, managing change...well..."managing" is a strong word...feeling everything from from ecstatic to completely overwhelmed.

It has been so long since I posted...I could not possibly recount all of the events of the past several weeks...You're Welcome!

But for train of thought sake here are the ups, downs and all arounds!! A recap of sorts...

In April, and my focus was getting back on the bike and training hard for the MS150, after taking a tumble in late Jan..

Fell again on April 6th....effectively ending my training...but vowed to ride.

During 2nd week of April my Mom became very ill...very difficult time. Hospitalized for 10 days...so challenging but surrounded by some amazing, loving friends.

Despite all of the "signs" that cycling may not be my sport...I rode in the MS150...or as it were, the MS75...due to a deluge of rain...the 1st day was cancelled...I may have been the only rider that thought that was a miracle of God!

Good news...I finished...with very little Grace and few style points...but completed my longest ride to date! Better news...the people that supported, cheered, encouraged and stuck with me to the bitter but triumphant end!! You know who you are!!!!!

After MS150...literally the next week...I resigned from my job of 5 years to accept a new position that I started in late April. A move I had been trying to make for close to 1 year.

Now...as May flies by...

Mom is now officially on dialysis...We call it D'LaLa...to lighten it up a bit. She is better and she is adjusting to this life change that quite frankly, is one of those strange blessings...you know the ones...those "blessings in disguise".

I am doing my own adjusting...again with very little grace or style...but doing my best to put the focus back on the importance of this Journey...back on improving my health...growing my faith...and NOT getting sidelined by my own worry and stress...BACK to the business of DeFluffing.

As it were...my body is "Tore Up From The Floor Up" so...I am taking it very easy...light workouts...mostly just moving and about giving myself a place to release stress.

I have some obstacles to overcome...some "stuff" to work out...BUT... It is time to center my focus back on the goals of this Journey.

One of my closest friends wrote this to me in an email during one of my most difficult days...

"This too Shall Pass and out of the worries will come wonders.  All in due time".

Out of the worries will come wonders...She was right (she often is)...Out of some of my biggest worries...my deepest fears...Wonders have risen!
What a gift that she shared this insightful, loving reminder...it opened my eyes to the reality of God's grace in that moment and continues to do so...with an occasional reminder needed. ;)

Over the past several weeks...I have done my fair share of worrying...and probably everybody else's share too...But there are Wonders to be seen...to be had...to be grateful for...every day.

As this Journey continues, a Wonder in and of itself, I will keep my eyes open to the possibility...to the presence...the inevitably of Wonders.

I have some work to do...some challenges to overcome...some growing pains to stretch through...some worries to convert to Wonders...and I will...All in Due Time and by the Grace of God.

Oh...and to the uncredited author of Out of the Worries will come Wonders...You are a wonderful "Wonder"! Thank you.