Saturday, April 23, 2011

Week Six - Word 5: Gratitude


Another biggie in the word list - and my final word of this week's challenge! This one was really easy to pick at the beginning of the week - it floated SO perfectly after all my others... and yet, here we are at the END of the week, and I find it rather ironic that I'm now writing about the very thing I've needed to remind myself about ALL DAY!

You see, I wasn't having a very good day...  I'm tired, sore, a bit sick, and mentally all over the shop.  My body is exhausted - my knees have seized up after a HUGE exercise week and the change of weather - and I feel like I've been running on 'empty' since I woke up this morning...   And it's blatantly obvious something's "not right" when I sit here for five hours with my joggers, workout clothes and heart-rate monitor on, on the brink of tears, but can't actually bring myself to GET UP and go outside to train... No, not in a good way at all...

So, I've had a very big day of contemplating, deliberating and sussing out just what it is that's blocking me - is it purely physical exhaustion or is it something more? 

I'm mentally drained too.  Not only a HUGE physical exertion week - but this word challenge was really rough 'mentally', and as suspected, has very much taken its toll this end of the week.  I LOVE that I can write about these things for you guys - and let you delve into what makes me tick on these sub-levels...  but it hurts.  It might come across as something "easy" for me to do - given I keep getting told I'm a natural writer - but this is my heart and soul here on the page - this is ME offering up all remnants of myself to everyone else; drudging up and deliberating on all my history, choices and dreams... and splashing them out there into the Universe so that "someone else may benefit from it."      .... and it takes its toll.

I'm very much feeling the pressure of the impending deadline too - despite having made MY goal weight two weeks early, this last three kilos is proving to be hellishly stubborn... and I feel like I'm letting you guys down...  Despite working my backside off (literally) - the scales want nothing to do with me - and now my body is joining in on the picket line!  I was willing to push through that - "just two weeks to go" - until this morning when my head joined in with them and left me dangling out in the cold...

A VERY swift wake-up call that I've pushed myself a little too far...  and now I very much need to apologise to my body for putting unrealistic expectations on it...   Was that not the point of my post just two days ago - about RESPECT?!  Respecting my body, respecting myself, and doing this with integrity?!...  and here I am disrespecting this beautiful machine because I'm more worried about three kilos in two weeks, versus the ninety that it's so willingly helped me shed the last three years?!  Hmmmm....

If this is the part where Amy needs to eat her words, can I please take them in a low-fat variety?!!   Wake-up call heard... 

SO, five hours of mental ping-pong today, feeling hellishly guilty for not breaking a sweat, and then eating my bodyweight in anything not tied down just because I'd lost my focus and control (yup, I still do that too!), enough is enough....   Today became a necessity 'rest day' whether I liked it or not. 

Time to stop focusing on the negatives, the pressure, the unobtainable or be overcome with the stress - break through and change focus. I did.

And here comes the ironic part....

I sat down tonight and made some presents for a few very special friends of mine - a special gift that I've been meaning to put together for them for AGES, but have been so "time-poor" lately (looking after everyone else), that all these meaningful things have been thrown to the back of the list...

These friends of mine are the people who KEEP ME GOING - they're the reason I've been able to push through hurdles like this during the Challenge - and after today's meltdown, and a pep-talk or two from them, I realised just how GRATEFUL I truly was for people like this in my little world.

Aside from one very fluffy ginger cat and a wilting Mint plant, there's noone else here in my house to talk to - all my support network is here in cyber-world - and knowing full well that most people are off on Easter activities and spending time with family and friends, I was feeling extremely isolated in my struggles.  It made me appreciate these gorgeous friends of mine even MORE - that they can be so readily available when I need them - always with open arms, unbiased opinions and realistic advice - and they truly care.... 

SO I used this as a "distraction technique" - so I could break the emotional drudgery (and hence, get my head out of the damned fridge!) - put my mind and hands to work on something meaningful and heartfelt...  I made them something special....  a little present of appreciation - my token of GRATITUDE...

AND THEN - it dawned on me that I had to write this post tonight - about this very subject!   Ohhhh yeah, the Universe throws me all sorts of crazy signals and timing... and here she is doing it again!!   Does make me wonder just who is up there jiggling my puppet strings...!!!!

So let's talk gratitude.... 

Over the course of the last three years, and as I've mentioned through all my other posts, my whole little world has taken quite a change of direction!  I've learnt to adapt what is available to me into something tangible and positive - and find the drive and determination within that I never thought could exist for me...

Now, we're not here for an Oscar speech - though with all my melodramatics the past week, I'm sure I'd be right up there with some of the best contenders!!!   ... but I have one EXTENSIVE list of people I'd like to thank for their help and support over the past few years.  I won't name-names - the most special people know who they are - they're the ones who know me, probably better than I know myself!!!  (given how ridiculously different I am now, haha)  - so a blanket "THANK YOU" to you all for your most beautiful selves - and heartfelt gratitude for filling my world with meaning and love.... 
I absolutely adore you and thank you forever...

Add to that my extended network both on the BLC forums and now through my social networks too - a HUGE thankyou to you guys for being as super supportive and gorgeous as you are.  You make me feel like I'm doing something right - and your kind words and messages never cease to amaze me... I am truly humbled by your support.

PLUS - I wouldn't have gotten this far without a few 'tools' neither - and that's where the BLC comes in. That diary is my best friend - it's helped me understand nutrition and foods, and became an integral part of my success over the last few years...  and that success lead to recognition with the Club, and a jaw-dropping, butt-busting workout with the one and only Commando (*swoon*) and getting the opportunity to "tell my story" via this fabulous Challenge - and in turn, have the capacity to help others...   MUCH GRATITUDE HERE for all these amazing opportunities...

To say "I'm grateful" for this change of direction and these positives is one of THE biggest understatements I can make. How on earth do I ever truly describe how relieved or happy I am that I've now taken my two feet out of the grave (that I'd so willingly put in there 'before')??    Who do I thank for that?  Where do I send the flowers?!   I don't feel like a 'thank you' goes far enough - and I don't know where to direct it anyway?!!  There's something much bigger here at play, and I don't know that 'grateful' truly does it any justice either?!

But in saying that, I guess I have to stop looking at everyone and everything else as the factors that changed my life - and look back at my five words...   That pattern that emerged at the start of the week didn't happen by chance...   Out of an envelope filled with 50 words, I chose just 5 remarkable, life-changing words that validated everything that I've done to date.   It wasn't my head that chose the words - it was my heart...  I didn't "pre-plan" what I'd write about, nor think up something that I thought would sound fabulous on paper...   I picked five random words, put them in the order of importance to me, and then wrote up, each night, why they mean something to me...

And you know what - what an AMAZING insight that has given me!  Yes, this week has been an emotional one - but hindsight and reflection are EXTREMELY powerful tools.  These five beautiful words have reshaped my life... and I didn't realise until I saw it here in action...
1. Forgiveness - to clear the heart and start anew
2. Courage - to push through and try something new
3. Respect - to validate my actions and create substance 
    (and Integrity - for purpose and reason)
4. Hope - to feed the fire and soothe the soul....    and lastly,
5. Gratitude - to make the transition and my life meaningful and real

GRATITUDE... again, massive understatement!

I guess this is where I need to thank that girl, three years back, who took that first tiny step out of the dark, who didn't know who she was, where she was going or why...  She's the reason I'm here now. I lost her somewhere along the way - she just kind of "fell away" when I outgrew her  (ironic I know!!!  Maybe "shed" her is a better term?!)...   Either way, my gratitude towards her extends through all those five words - I forgive her, I applaud her courage, I respect her for her choice, she gave me hope, and I'm now filled with gratitude for it all...

I realised recently that I've effectively "wiped the slate clean" having come through such a drastic, HUGE life transition the way I have.  As much as I've missed out on, I'm also EXTREMELY lucky to have the uncluttered and beautiful opportunities awaiting me that I never had before...  There's nothing stopping me now!!    I have a world of "new" at my fingertips to experience - and because of where I've been, my outlook on these things is different to those that take alot of these things for granted...   I'm GRATEFUL for everything - and that's the most amazing feeling!

I live a life filled with gratitude!

So, wrapping up this powerful word challenge this week, and closing off a very emotional day, I KNOW I'll be back out there tomorrow - training like a trojan, working on my goals and focusing on what lies ahead...  it's a given.  This is my new life now - this is who I am and what I do... and I'm in love with it!    I'm not quite sure when it happened, but I gave myself permission to live, and I guess when it comes down to it, out of everything that's changed, that's the thing that I'm the most grateful for...



  1. hugs hun, I was worried about you earlier when I saw your fb status, glad you've taken some down time today.

    Your word challenge has come at a really good time for me this week, I'm struggling on a few levels at moment and yeah I think the most important thing is to remember that we owe ourselves first and others after.

    take care i'm so proud of everything you've done over the past 3 years xx

    ps- if that doesnt make sense I blame it on an overly emotional brain and late night writing

  2. Hi Amy
    Ive read about all the words you've used this week but this message to me was the best and most significant.I think you've described how many of us feel at times.Many people dont realise that being obese traps you in your own cage where you dont allow yourself freedom to experience certain things.
    I really hope you succeed at this challenge and for sure you most likely will. But at the same time if you dont make the mark it just demonstrates the human reality that losing weight is a battle and we can all relate to that.You are representing the BL club and we all here both fall and rise with the challenges of losing weight. Its just so hard.
    So im sending you love and prayers because i can only imagine what this coming week will be for you.

  3. Gratitude...thank you for being who you are Amy and for sharing some really personal moments with all of us. You've given us food for thought (low fat variety) and you've been and still are, a terrific friend to all the rest of us weary travellers on the weight loss trail.
    People like The Commando and Michelle might be great motivators and trainers but they've not had to totally reconstruct their thinking and their bodies the way you have, so if they're handing out medals for tenacity, then the very first should go to Ms.AW from Bathhurst!
    Lots of love,

  4. I am crying! Thank you Amy as I know you have had to dig deep and revisit a place you could have easily said no to.
    Right now I wish to let you know of my gratitude to you for writing this week as each word has meant a lot to me too. Thank you for sharing your experiences as it DOES give hope to many - especially me at present.
    You have your life to live anew as you stated and that's fantastic - I AM going to be there too one day.
    Thank you Amy - love Cazz71