Monday, April 18, 2011

Week Six - 1 mysterious envelope, 5 words

After my session on Friday, The Commando handed me a mysterious envelope, and I was told I wasn't to open it until Sunday, when the new Challenge was announced...

So you can imagine how painful THAT was - and how obscure it all became when I opened it up on Sunday and found a bunch of cut out words....  HMMMMM I said to myself.... !  THEN the Challenge was posted up on the BLC webby...

Commando Steve said: "When we met in person last week I gave you an envelope containing 50 words. I want you to look through them and choose five. Each day you are to give one of these words to the weight loss community and blog about what it means to you and why it is important. This is your chance to impart some of what you’ve learned during this challenge and over the years. Pass it forward, Amy."

SO, upon closer inspection of all these WORDS - I see a bit of a theme going on here, and feel that little tug to the tummy (uh oh, yep, it's gonna be another one of "THOSE" challenges...!!!!).   These WORDS are ALL meaningful, evocative and extremely powerful - and they're all (for the most part) POSITIVE.

These WORDS start swirling around my head as I read them - they all carry different connotations and meanings to who I am NOW, where I've been and what it is I'm trying to do to turn my life around. The fact I could read the positivity in these words and feel them wrapping themselves around who I am today, was a HUGE revelation to just how much *I* have changed in the course of the last three years, and how different my outlook on my little world has become...  NOT an easy challenge, by any means!

SO, let's break it down and see just what these WORDS are....  (in no particular order)
moral, sense of purpose, kindness, ingenuity, creativity, modesty, determined, fairness, originality, gratitude, humility, caution, self control, judgment, generosity, loving, humour, perseverance, curiosity, confidence, discretion, purposeful, bravery, independence, perspective, diligence, courage, faith, genuine, leadership, open mindedness, hope, worthiness, focused, respect, playfulness, optimism, equity, inspiration, adventurous, spirituality, forgiveness, motivation, passion, explore, decisive and integrity.

.... and I'm to pick only FIVE from this extensive list?!  Ohhhh dear...!!!

SO, sitting here with the words spread out in front of me on the desk, I hit a stalemate... They're all VERY powerful words, and I had to let them "talk to me" in order to pick which ones resonated the most...  I thought I had it all worked out, until I saw the one word that tipped me off kilter....  I'll save it to the end though, it's the one that brought on the waterworks..!!!  (but what's new?! haha)

Five words...  I've numbered them in order of impact - in other words, there's a pattern that emerged here too, and it correlates to the changes I've made in the last three years.  It's funny, when I picked the words out a few minutes ago, I didn't see it until just now....  That's how subtle your mind works - and yet here it is, right in front of me - and I can visually SEE my own mental transition and progress in just five words....

So here we go...  My first word:  (and the emotions are already on overload, ohhh it's gonna be a big week...!)


Forgiveness.... it's a REALLY hard thing for alot of people to do.  We're all so stubborn and set in our ways, that pulling our own heads in sometimes and offering up a good old dose of forgiveness - for anything - is often something we shirk from, just to "save face" and not have to contend with the issue?!  We're all pretty good at harbouring grudges and getting a bit bitter about what's already passed...  (are you nodding there yet?!)

I reckon most of us have come across a scenario or situation where we've had to bite the bullet - irrespective of whoever or whatever is at fault - and just "let it slide".  But it's that saying that springs right to mind here "forgiven, but not forgotten"...  (.. and I have the chorus of a Corrs song playing in my head right now.... maybe it's not a saying after all, just some song lyrics?!!  - they just happen to be very perceptive ones! Anyhoos.. back to the point of my story... ).

Why did this word resonate for me?  It's pretty easy actually... (in writing!).  At my heaviest, and the decade preceeding my "choice to change" - I was nothing short of self-brutal.  I make no secret of it - I hated who I was, what I'd done to myself, my place in the world... and I was my own worst enemy, just digging myself deeper and deeper into the mess that I loathed more than anything else - my "life".  I hated that girl for being so weak that she wouldn't fight, and I hated the body that I was waddling around in.  I hated that I'd somehow just wake up every morning when I'd have preferred not to at all - and I hated that I was so fueled by all this hatred!! (ironic)   It was a sick cycle and one I had NO IDEA how to break.  (...and yes, I realise I'm talking in the third person here!!)

As far as I was concerned, that person didn't deserve to live, breathe, exist....  she was ruining "my life", and she was her own cause of misery.  If that's how I felt about MYSELF, then why on earth should I expect anyone else to feel any differently about me?   ... and the cycle would just continue, the hatred feeding on itself, and pulling me down deeper and deeper...  

When I decided enough was enough, I knew I had to break that revolting cycle - it had to go... There's enough issues with just physical change for weightloss, least of all this self-hatred undermining all the good intentions of trying to restructure a new lifestyle. I KNEW I had a world of hurt to break through - but I had absolutely no idea how much of an impact that would have on me three years later...  (here we go with the hindsight...!)

I guess I make it sound "easy" now when I say I'm an "entirely different person" - both on a physical, emotional and mental level - but it's because of hitting so many barriers and forcing myself through them that I've been able to break, rebuild and then forward momentum through the next one...  It's the ONLY reason I've stuck it out for this length of time - proactively change the way I think, and in turn, the body has followed mind...

BUT what happens when you hit a stumbling block of self-doubt?  Or when you run out of energy to contend with those horrible negative thoughts that filter through?  (and they always do...)   When you don't have any self-worth, or you can't see your own value - how on earth do you propel yourself further through, knowing full well you could either have a breakthrough or a breakdown in that one pivotal moment?

I sincerely don't know if I have an answer for those...  It's where I could apply some of those other words from the list - like motivation, perseverence or diligence...  and yes, they DO all apply (they're all so interlinked)... but I don't think they're the ones that push you through in that moment of weakness or despair...

There's something bigger at play for me here. When I opted-in to change my life, it wasn't for superficial reasons - it was to rebuild me from the ground up.  Strip away the stuff that fueled the hatred, bring me back to raw bones and then rebuild, bit by bit...  Change who I was entirely...

... and you can't do that if you can't forgive yourself for what's already been...  You can't move "FORWARD" if you're still dragging bulk of your past with you!

Now, like I said before, "forgiveness" is one of the hardest things to give - least of all yourself when you're fueled by a lifetime of self-hatred and lack of worth... but it's essential.   And it only happened recently for me...  Three years later of busting my butt, trying to prove to myself that I was worth the changes, worth the sacrifice, worth the pain and tantrums...   Stripping the negatives away bit by bit, being humiliated by the layers of pain underneath, leaving me somewhat broken, raw, and vulnerable...   There is nothing EASY about a transition like this... and it's taken three years to prove to myself that I have a potential light at the end of a very dark tunnel...

I can't tell you specifics about WHEN or HOW it happened - it just did, something 'clicked', and I'd hazard a guess, that going public with my weightloss mission earlier this year, and finally shedding that foul shame that's been sitting on my shoulders for as far back as I can remember, was probably a catalyst for instigating that change of attitude.   

Whatever the reason, I know I somehow subliminally "forgave" the old me, somehow clicked into the new version of myself.. it was just time to let her go... 

I get SO ANGRY and lament all the things I've missed out on (I physically pain sometimes from envy), everything that's passed me by, all the time I've wasted that I can't get back...  I get UPSET that she didn't fight or stand up for herself, try and fix it in a way that would have given me a shot at a "normal life" just like everyone else...   I want to shake her and tell her to WAKE UP and not let life pass her by anymore...   I want to yell and scream at her - but that's what has raged through her own head for years and years of self-abuse... so there's no point in "getting even" or trying to hurt her in retaliation - she's done a fine job of that all on her own...    What's the point in harbouring so much angst, pain, anger, hurt, loathing... they're all the useless things that have hindered progress in the past.  You can't move forward if you're forever pulling yourself back... 

There's no point in hating who I was 'before' - I can't rewind time and have a "do over" of my life.  I nearly gave up entirely on what "lay ahead" just because I hated all that had already passed me by.... and that's NOT how it should be!  Time is precious, life even more so - and I see NO POINT in carrying grudges any longer. 

... so I forgave her - all her indiscretions, all her pains, all her pitfalls, all her mistakes, all her hurts... 

"She's forgiven.... but not forgotten...."

And in doing that, I've been more FREE and more ME than I've ever been in my entire life!!!    Everything changed and has kept on changing since!  I can finally breathe... !

Forgiveness is one of THE most empowering and amazing things you can give somebody - it costs nothing, but is worth EVERYTHING

The minute you forgive yourself for what you can't change, you'll open a whole new universe of potential for everything else...   It's a basic fundamental that can totally change the course of your life...  and should be treated with the respect it deserves!  Forgive yourself, and you'll never look back.... 



  1. There is a chant that AA use at the end of their meetings. I recite it daily.

    "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

    Sounds like you've learned that one well. Such a hard lesson, but one of the most powerful you will ever learn (along with thanking your old self for the lessons, telling her that you love her and saying you're sorry to her for being so angry at her)

    A wonderful, wonderful post.


  2. I knew you'd appreciate this one Pand... given it was a topic of our conversations recently! :)

  3. Hello my gorgeous friend. Thank-you. Reading this has brought a lot up for me. Not about my weight etc but about where I've come from, what I accepted and allowed to occur. The other part is about forgiving myself for what making a change now means for those I love the most. A very timely post for me :-)
    Pand - we are truely blessed to have you in our lives

  4. Hey Amy, this one is huge for me. It was a breakthrough I had earlier this year that finally allowed me to START my weightloss journey. Massive kudos to you for achieving this WHILE DOING IT! I couldn't get there until I had that click... at the time, you thought you had no choice, now you know better, and it's time to let it go. I'm sure you'll agree that everything that comes after that moment isn't sunshine and roses, and it's easy to temporarily misplace that knowledge, but on the whole, it is indescribable how much your outlook changes when you realise you don't have to be angry with YOU anymore! Beautiful post! xo

  5. Thank you darling girl. This is where I'm so very stuck at the moment. It's like I'm moving forward but through a quagmire of negative emotion.

    Forgiven but not forgotten my be the very words I need to hear in my own journey.

    Thank you, as always, for sharing and baring your soul because it not only touches people but in many cases HELPS people, myself included.

    Bless x

  6. Thanks again Amy, I really needed to read this this morning.

  7. Oh Amy, not only did the old you do all those things you had to forgive "her" for...she put in the hard yards at the start and let "you" shed her, layer by layer so you could find the real inner you. For that, she deserves your thanks, as well as your forgiveness! She made a very very hard decision to rebuild herself three years that could not have been easy to make! You should be just that little bit proud of her (despite the wasted time) for not allowing you to waste any more time, and to grab hold of life with both hands!! :-)

  8. Once again Amy, I have tears flowing down my cheeks after reading your blog. This time, however, it's for the girl I was whom I have not yet worked out how to forgive. Your words have really struck a chord with me today and I think I really need to do some long thinking and soul searching over the easter break... Easter is all about re-birth anyway isn't it?? I think it's time to 'let her go' and forgive the old me for years of self hatred and negativity. I'm still not sure how, but the time has come to try. Thank you so much, I don't know if you realise how huge an impact your words have on so many people, but for me, you are life-changing. Love you x Kell.

  9. Amazing post Amy.
    The last paragraph says it all in a nutshell.
    BLC should include this in a training manual to help others on their journey.
    I'm going to print the last paragraph out for Rob - my beautiful gentle husband seems to think he's responsible for all the World's woes. He KNOWs he's not but there's a huge difference between knowing and accepting. Thanks kiddo! xxx

  10. oh amy.... your words spoke to my heart... that is one thing that i still struggle with today , i find it soo hard to forgive myself for getting into the state that i was.... when i look at my before photo..... i am sad that i threw myself into that dark world.

    What a amazing task the commando has set for you ...well done beautiful girl :)

  11. Beautiful and painful and wow.

  12. So I sit here with the tears welling as I read something I too have been confronting for the past 2 years. Words are easy to say but the action speaks louder. Thank you Amy for sharing such a personal and thought provoking piece.
    I had a conversation with someone recently that ended with them saying, "You don't need an enemy. You're doing a great job on your own!"

    It is a great task for getting the mind and memories in order - such a big part of this journey as well.
    Love Cazz71

  13. Well that really hurt to read. It took me three goes to get through it and scared the hell out of me that I may never get to forgiveness. I feel like I have missed out on so much and want to change that for the sake for me kids. You brought several tears to my eyes. You are truly inspirational to us all!!!

  14. Ohhhh I know, stings like a bitch... I still have to work on all these things too, but it's amazing what happens when you acknowledge them! I can only talk about them like this 'now' - because of hindsight! ... and trust me, hurts as much writing this as it does to read, I'm still a work in progress too!
    xxx :) :) (LOVE LOVE!!)