Commando Steve said: "Amy, you've carried the burden of being overweight since you were a young child. Over the past three years you've had time to reflect on your relationship with food and how you came to be 188kg in the first place. But now I want you to focus forward. Tell me what life will be like for you in 2012. Will your dreams be accomplished? How will it differ from the way you live today? Compare it to your life when you first joined The Biggest Loser Club. Here's one of your early forum posts from the vault.
WOW. What a challenge… You’d THINK it would be fairly easy to pluck out some ‘dreams’ and send them in, but it’s one of the hardest things for me to do…
I’ve been procrastinating on this one for a few days – my excuse being the job deadlines I had going on which demanded attention – but that was just an easy excuse so I didn’t have to think too much! I knew this one was going to upset me… and I knew it was going to read like an essay because it’s one of the biggest issues I’ve had to work on – so forgive the length of this one… !!!!
I read that ‘early forum post’ the other day – and it hit me quite bluntly just how broken I truly was. I don’t often “revisit” my old photos or entries on this subject, because I know how much I was suffering at the time and it just upsets me too much… It’s still very “raw”. To read the sorrow in my words – that person three years ago is SO different to the person I am today, that I pain for the girl that was so ridiculously broken back then.
I know that early on in the process, that I was desperately clinging onto hope that I could somehow get my life in order – and I guess spruiking ‘positivity’ on the forums was my way of trying to get that message into my own head – through helping others, it actually helped ME process my own thoughts and motivations, and made me push harder to break through my own demons. It’s like that saying, “Fake it til you make it”….and wow, boy was I faking some fabulous positivity there!!!
I was absolutely riddled with self-doubt and (like a total hypocrite) just wanted to be that happy girl that I seemed to emit to everyone else… but most of the time I was just broken, and trying desperately to do something I thought would just fail (like everything else) because I really didn’t think I deserved anything else anyway?!…
Even in the ‘safe haven’ of likeminded BLC members, I was STILL so ashamed of my size – it was a VERY long time before I admitted that I actually had 100kgs to lose… (well and truly into my mission before I started admitting to my real numbers). In that early post, I’ve confessed to just half of it… I was so ashamed. I couldn’t face the reality of the task ahead…. And there didn’t seem to be anyone else who had numbers like mine ahead of them?! Always envisaged I was the only one… or IF there were others out there, were they also too ashamed to confess to these daunting, overwhelming and heartbreaking numbers?! I really didn’t know….
SO I pushed on, forced my own “positive spin” down my own throat and tried to do this the best I could – trying always to push for just another ‘good day’ ahead… One day at a time – one foot in front of the other – five kilos at a time! The 50+ers section on the BLC forums was born later that year – and I started the “Mini Five” thread after that – which really made me feel like I had a place in the forums, and my weightloss (and the overwhelming task ahead) started to take shape into something far less daunting, and much less shameful – just pitching for one little chunk at a time…
Given my stance on trying to get through this just one day at a time, I’ve adopted my own mini mantra “Always Forward” - and I did chuckle when I read Commando’s Challenge saying it was time to “Focus Forward”. Be still my heart, that’s exactly what I try and DO!!!
… and it’s by far - THE HARDEST - thing for me to do….
Having fought years of self-hatred and having no value for myself left, I gave up believing I actually HAD a future years ago. I don’t want to upset anyone or bring the tone of my reflections down too much, but this is what makes my success REAL and what’s driven me to push so hard for the last three years… It’s the crux of the issue.
As far as I was concerned, a future was just something everyone else had – I didn’t even WANT a future…. and I had no idea if I could actually HAVE a future... All that self-doubt at the beginning of my ‘mission’ was plagued by the fact that I’d already given up on my life years before – and the only reason I was still “living” was that I couldn’t actually go through with what I’d wanted to do. Eating myself into the grave was an easy (and cowardly) substitute….
When I joined BLC, I’d actually had enough – I HATED that attitude and I despised the person I’d become. I’m not a horrible or nasty person – but those thoughts and emotions (in my mind) were nasty and spat in the face of the few people who DID care about me. I couldn’t do that anymore – I couldn’t do that to them... It was time to get real… but I knew I had one hell of a job ahead of me, and some seriously distorted demons in the head, who weren’t going to make this easy!
Again, back to just facing one day at a time…
If I’m honest – and let’s face it, I clearly have no issue with being brutally honest with you guys (haha) – my ‘dreams’ and future visions were few and far between. I guess most people grow up thinking things will just fall into place as they go along – school, uni, career, partners, marriage, babies, houses, travel… you get the jist?! I was watching everyone around me experience all these life transitions and adventures, and yet I was stagnant… and seemed to be getting left further and further behind… which just made it harder and harder to envisage ANY possibilities of a future ahead…
Hitting rock bottom, and not believing I was worth ANY of those beautiful things, I gave up believing in a ‘future’ – and stopped dreaming in the process… After all, I was “day dreaming” all these beautiful things that were simply non-existent in my world – and wondered why I bothered thinking of them at all, when all it did was break my heart?! Trying to be happy for someone else’s success or “happy moment” cut like a knife EVERY time….. and still does…!
A gorgeous forum member sent me a message the other day – after she’d read my old post (found here as part of the challenge) – and asked me if I’m ever “bitter and jaded” because of everything that’s happened – which I had to laugh!! As much as I go on my big “happy happy” rant on the forums (often), yes I DO have my bitter and jaded moments, and yes I DO have times where I just hurt (terribly) trying to understand and overcome some of these challenges that I’ve been thrown in my life.
That’s part of my transition – having to deal with these emotions and the old haunts – that’s the mental side to this weight loss business that takes a whole heap of work!!! Number-crunching and sweat sessions aside, the mental hurdles I’ve had to face and overcome are far harder than anything else I’ve done to date – and there’s NOTHING out there that can prepare you for that!!
It’s also THE BIGGEST SUCCESS I’ve had so far – being able to change my thought processes around, and encompassing a new lease on life that resonates from my heart through to my head – and know I actually DESERVE this now. My drive, enthusiasm and positivity are now finally REAL!!! I AM that painfully annoying optimist that I’ve always wanted to be, haha!
NOW wanting to actually HAVE a future is my greatest achievement ever… 80kilos lost is just a number…!
SO, now that we’ve got that part out of the way…. (and I can stop being so melodramatic and tearful)…. Let’s put some goals up on the board!!!
What’s my plans for 2012?
Well, it was only recently that I put on my “brave hat” and ventured off to see a surgeon about my saggy skin issues, to see what options I had. Having been the size I had been, and having to deal with what I’ve got ‘left over’ is just too disappointing in my eyes, and surgery is well and truly on the cards for next year. … I may have to sell a kidney first to afford it, but it’s GOING to happen!! In light of that meeting, dropping down to 90kgs (or under) is a HUGE incentive for me – as the Surgeon pointed out – that would reduce the surgery time by a good couple of hours, and make his job easier and the results of his work even better! BIG, BIG reason for me to really work and get my numbers down even more!
Next year I’m also planning on travel – no idea where or when just yet – but I’ve never been on a plane (too scared I’d never fit in a seat, and never had the opportunity to go anywhere)… so this is a MUST DO on my agenda aswell! Even if it’s just a small adventure somewhere, I NEED to do this for myself… I owe the ‘dreamer’ in there a holiday or two!!!
I may or may not also leave my humble little Bathurst and try for something bigger on the career and lifestyle path too! Bathurst has been my ‘safe zone’ for the past 14 years – and whilst I love living here (it’s an easy place to live) I’ve been living here on my own since I was 17… and I’ve never really been anywhere else, or pushed for more?! I missed out on all the social scene of Uni and my 20s, and the lure of something a bit more ‘exciting’ is pulling me towards somewhere else now… I WANT to go out and have fun and do all those things I’ve missed – maybe even try for an exciting job in the big city, or re-establish my business elsewhere?! Not sure yet, but there’s definitely a flicker of an idea in the back of my head with that one…!!!
I’d love to speculate there may even be some romance on the horizon – but I’m not going to start rumours that don’t exist… hahahaha! (I’m teasing, I know…) That’s very much a topic I avoid cuz it’s embarrassing to me – but you do have to laugh. My bestie said in an email yesterday that my turn will come with all of that… but we’ll just wait and see shall we?! (now I AM back to day-dreaming…blush!)
Apart from that, I have lots of other crazy challenges up my sleeves too – like I want to climb the Harbour Bridge (am I insane – I’m scared of heights?!)… I want to jump out of a plane (I pose the question, should I do that before or after my surgery – don’t want to waste $50grand if the parachute doesn’t open?!!!)… I want to go snorkelling on the Barrier Reef…. I want to dance with dolphins… I want to do a ‘hot lap’ in a V8 Supercar right here on my beloved Mt Panorama (preferably with Craig Lowndes, he’s a legend!!)…
Then there’s the more ‘sane’ short term challenges – like wearing a pair of “real jeans” for the first time in my life… or wearing a dress for the first time since I was a kid (bought off the rack – not homemade)… maybe even wearing a pair of swimmers in public WITHOUT a shirt or shorts to hide the body! Lots of possibilities and “dreams” to come… and I’ll be crossing them off one by one as I go! .. and some of them may very well be a lot sooner than next year!
OHHHH and that’s not to forget the fact that in 2012, I WILL hit my ultimate goal weight!!! … I’m just not entirely sure what that is just yet?! Haha…
Amy xx :)