Overcoming life’s obstacles can be really, really difficult. Or not. It all depends on your perspective. Let me explain…
Over 4 years ago I was at a local theme park with my family. It was my turn to ride with my youngest son on a roller coaster that I had been avoiding all day. I was avoiding it for a variety of reasons: I didn’t want to mess up my hair, I didn’t want my glasses to fall off, I didn’t want to feel sick…all excuses. So, when I could avoid it no further I got in the hour long line with Baby Jake and waited. There was a growing sense of unease as the line crept forward. My son kept asking me if I was OK. I was sweating, nervous and chatty (what I do when I am nervous).
See, I knew what was coming. I knew what was going to happen and I was dreading it. I hoped against hope that today would be a little different and that maybe something had changed. I chanted “please let this go well….please let this go well” a few times in my head to calm down. At this point you may be wondering why I am so freaked out….
It was finally our turn. My son was so excited because we were going to be in the front car, hence the hour long wait. After the previous occupants of the front car exited Jacob scurried across the deck to our seat. He buckles in and waits with anticipation for me to climb on in. I am getting nervous and sweaty all over again just typing this….
So the real reason I was SO afraid to ride a roller coaster with my kids and why I avoided them all day was not for the reasons (excuses I told my family) I previously stated it was because of this : As I climbed in the seat I confirmed my worst, deep dark fear.
I could not fit. Not by a long shot.
The ride attendant tried to discreetly tell me I could sit sideways a little and she even tried to push my hips down a little but to no avail. The look on my son’s horrified face broke my heart. This was the single most humiliating moment of my life and it was on display for 100 strangers to see. How could I not fit? How did this happen?
Luckily my husband was waiting in the area where you get off and the attendants kindly let him get on in my place. None of us spoke of this for the rest of the day, but I could not hide my red eyes and tear stained cheeks. My family loved me enough to not rub salt in my wounds.
So, I decided then and there that this had to end. I could not let this define me. I weighed in at a whopping 340 pounds. I had packed on the bulk of this weight in about 1 year. It was just all of the sudden there. Everywhere. It was not that I had a poor diet. I did drink most of my calorie’s through coffee drinks and soda. That was the first to go. That was the easiest step. I felt like I was always moving throughout the day. Obviously not nearly enough, though. I started doing 30 Day Shred by Jillian Micheal and walking. I had always done yoga, but I switched to a more calorie burning version also by Jillian.
Once I started to lose a little I felt comfortable joining a gym. That is exactly what we did 2 years after starting to lose weight. We got a family membership to a local church-affiliated gym. It was one of the best decisions we have ever made. I now had a routine that included 3 days of running 3 days of weights, and cross training. I also went to Zumba 2 days a week and sometimes boot camp or Body Pump. I kept my time filled with physical activity, my kids activities, work and keeping up with housework. I had no down time but thats what I needed to do to get through this. I know that’s not for everyone but it worked for me. At this point I had gone from a size 28/30 to a 10/12. The same size I was when we got married (well…that was before kids so I was a little more firm and perky if you know what I mean ????
I had many supporters along the way. My awesome husband who rocks, my parents (Mom had her own weight journey and she was looking hot), my friends and coworkers. I also have a friend, Isabelle (http://isabelleathome.wordpress.com/ ) who helped me create a successful workout and went to the gym, ran and walked with me.
So I am going along…I had hit the 150 pounds lost mark and I have my first brush with the Big C. I am not going to dwell on this point here, but needless to say this has given me a 1 year setback. It is hard to work out and eat right when you have no energy, feel nauseous all of the time and really have a lot on your mind. 2010 was a huge year full of heartache, sadness and stress. I gained back almost 20 pounds from my lack of activity and the medications I had to take. I know that there are real people out there who have had way larger health obstacles to overcome and were able to continue on with their lives…but for me this was a life halting experience. I hit the bottom of a dark emotional well. I started to feel sorry for myself and this really affected my family and my marriage. I felt like I had gone through enough. Miscarriages, marital stress, depression and now this. I saw myself becoming a person that I didn’t like…much less anyone else.
I had a light bulb moment around Christmas. I knew I was slated to have my last (hopefully:) surgery. I decided then and there that this was over. I decided that I was the ONLY one who could improve myself. There is no magic cure, no special pill or drink. No book or guru. I am the one. I had to take that first step and dive right back in to self empowerment. I am lucky, healthy and I want to celebrate that!
I joined a weight loss competition at work. I will be cleared from the doctor this week to hit the gym and hit it I will. Hard.
So hold onto your hats fellow competitors. That piddly 2 pounds I have lost in the last 2 weeks will be a thing of the past. I may not win but I am certainly going to try. Then it will be my time to gloat….But I won’t.
Everyone has their own journey. This is mine. It has been hard and long but I am not unlike most women. Busy mothers who are trying to make a life for their families, work and maintain a sense of self.
I will do this. My family will be proud of me…I will finally be proud of myself.
Have you struggled with overcoming life’s obstacles?
Leave me a comment below and let me know if you’ve been successful, and if you have, I’d love to hear how you did it! If you’re still struggling, share that with me and let’s be a support system for one another!