Saturday, June 4, 2011

Operation: Take Back Control...

So for those following the goings on lately, it's been one HELL of a big couple of weeks!  ... so much so, that I found myself in a whole myriard of emotions last night, trying desperately to cling to some semblance of sanity - and ultimately failing miserably!!

I've dubbed this second week of the AIM TRAIN as a "Red Rag" week - in other words, there's been so many ups and downs, bumps and scrapes, triumphs and tears ... as if someone has been waving a red rag in my face. 

All that resulted in was one cataclysmic BOOM at the end - this stubborn Taurean was bound to chuck a wobbly...!

 I wrote to my AIM TRAIN passengers last night the following:
*Steps into the confessional*...

"Forgive me for I have sinned... multiple times... over and over with gooey naughty goodness that serves no purpose but to undermine everything in which I now no longer tolerate...

This week has been terrible... Everything from over-eating until my insides are reduced to a comatose state... through to non-movement of the seriously lazy variety. Oh, not to mention the over-abundance of mental-torture and seriously exaggerated guilt and mind-games. I fear I'm failing at this Captaincy like Ricky Ponting... and I don't want my train to derail entirely because of my inconsistency and incompetency this week.

I can't place blame on anything but ME - though I've been desperately searching for something to point the finger at and exclaim that THAT was my undoing (like the cookie jar today, or the company that makes the nicest dried apricots I've tasted..)... but sadly, since I wisened up and got accountable, I (painfully) have to wear all my foul and poor choices as my own. *sigh* Oh how I wish I could pretend it wasn't my fault for just a minute... maybe the guilt would lessen?!

SO, here I am sitting in the confessional booth, on hands & knees (because that might burn a few extra cals than sitting on my already widening bum)... and praying for a bit of remorse, a slight reprieve and if I'm truly lucky, not too much damage on the scales on Sunday - though I deserve nothing less than an insufferable gain. I don't deserve any miracles in that department, but I think I fell off the train this week and went for a ride on the emotional rollercoaster instead...

Forgive me these Week Two digressions... I shall chalk this one up in my travel journal as the 'Week of the Red Flag' (blog to come later, when I can reduce the emotional pull and figure out what the hell has happened)... and commit to making better food choices from tomorrow; pull my socks up and put my shoes on and exercise; and numb the intensity of the mental games to a dull roar and get my mojo back in gear....

All going well, I can take the train off 'Auto Pilot' for Week Three and really start the momentum moving again thereafter. After all, this destination won't find itself and my passengers need me...

Forgive me... right after I learn to forgive myself.

Yours humbly and embarrassingly,
Over-bloaty Captain Amy"

I have had a SHOCKING second week on the train challenge. Had lost all control of my eating (though once again, the healthy habits I've put so much time into creating kept the seriously bad binging away... just way too much good food and no STOP sign in sight!)... and the lack of exercise has left me feeling lethargic beyond measure.  The change of weather here in good old Bathurst hasn't helped either - the cold is already torturing my knees - they're sore and gritty, and make exercise painful - which makes me want to sit on my butt instead!

BUT those are just the pitfalls of the big one - the emotional hurdles.  The big bad, dirty mind-games that wreak havoc with everything you're trying to do.  "I'm not doing enough, not working hard enough; Have already failed and it's only week two!".    Hmmmmmm she says!

NOW, slip-ups are common and I'm human (so I've been repeatedly told today!) - and it's not for lack of understanding on my behalf that these things will happen.  I just wasn't quite prepared for all of this...

Having come off the back end of the Commando Challenge on a (surprise) high - then my whirlwind, mind-boggling trip to Melbourne - taking some "much needed time out" was my little indulgence a few weeks ago, and really threw all my brutal routine out the window...   THEN I lay down the law, put some new goals down on paper, head out with a new vision and relegated over 130 amazing people who wanted to do the next 12-week challenge with me!

Shocked.... yes!!  Pressure... yes!!

I had it all planned - all envisaged...  There'd be big challenges, big successes, and big celebrations at the end - for us all!   (... and there still will be!)

... but after the past two weeks, things were starting to unravel.  I just hadn't really had a chance to catch them before they took over...

Off to Sydney I went for the Celebration dinner with the Commando - and a HUGE two days there, my whole little world was in a spin. I said it in the last blog - but "whose life is this?!"    I wasn't joking...   I couldn't see MYSELF in all that was happening - trapsing around with a TV camera in my face; dining with a celebrity; flicking around Sydney...  these weren't the goings on from my little safe world, this was very much out of my zone!

Now, I don't mean to sound ungrateful or negative here - the experience was AMAZING!!!   ... but it festered, and I started questioning who I was, where I am, what I'm trying to do...   You know, the stuff you don't truly want to think about too often, because it generally equates to second-guessing what you're doing "right now".   Well, my "right now" is focused on a 7kgs goal to crack my mammoth milestone - and these 'luxury' experiences are so far removed from that focus, it served only to knock the wind out of my sails...   

Coming home, I got caught up in the 'catch-up' - trying to put a routine back into place that was progressively going to pot before my eyes. I was getting frustrated with myself for not being able to cement something tangible - and the more frustrated I became, the quicker I was sinking...

 Enter the airing of the Today Tonight segment  (you can view it here!

Being told it was to air on Wednesday, I spent bulk of the day with butterflies in my stomach and something shoved in my mouth!  I was NERVOUS - 8 hours worth of fluffing around Sydney with the journo and crew, and I had no idea what would come of all that...   The online preview made me cry - and that was just a tiny snippet!  I wasn't even sure I could handle watching the real thing...

... only to have it postponed!!!!   I was getting messages all day - people who couldn't wait to see it, which was then followed by messages of disappointment when it didn't go through.  I spent bulk of my day fielding off messages, trying not to vomit from nerves, and essentially did nothing else but stuff my face trying to smother all the emotions!

Off we go again the next day, and I get the word - right in the middle of a quick shop at Woolies - that the segment is to air on Thursday night.   The pit of my stomach just collapsed, I couldn't breathe, and I felt instantaneously sick.  I did well walking out with a Kinder Surprise as my 'emotional binge' hit  - but that only started the next one...   I ate and ate and ate and ate...   The pot of pea and ham soup I'd slow-cooked overnight, I should have just slopped it in a tub and swam in it - I ate so much of it, it's a wonder it wasn't oozing out of my pores...   I had absolutely NO CONTROL - and the worse it got, the worse *I* felt about it all.

It was nothing short of AGONIZING waiting out the airing of the segment.  I literally had to walk out of my lounge room - it doesn't show on TV here, - had to wait for it to be available online to actually watch it myself.

Meanwhile, my phone was going OFF!  I had multiple messages one after the other - none of which I could actually bring myself to listen to or read.  It was a good hour or more until I felt ok enough to sit in front of the computer, and there were posts EVERYWHERE.

The feedback was amazing - all positive and extremely humbling...  But I hadn't seen the segment, and I was still sick to my stomach with anxiety about it all.  My sis gave me the head's up that it was good, I looked good, the message was good...  but I was still at breaking point.  I literally couldn't breathe...

A couple of hours later, and lots of deep breaths...  and it was available online.  Can't even begin to tell you how nervous I was - but it's like pulling a bandaid, kills like a bitch to start with, but you get over it thereafter...   OR that's what I was hoping for at least?!

I sat here and watched it... and bawled my eyes out.  The story was fantastic - the Today Tonight team did a brilliant job - my message was clear and succinct and it was OK!  It was all ok....  I lost count of how many times I watched it, and I'd still tear up on certain points (that's a given) - but it was good, and I was happy with it, and wow... my story and message is really out there?!

Off to work on Friday, and I wasn't quite myself.  Lack of exercise and having eaten my OLD bodyweight in food in just a few days, I felt nothing short of revolting.  Something just wasn't right.  I was fatigued and drained - and the cookie jar was full.   .... that was until I got to it.  I think I hoovered at least half a dozen biscuits before I pulled myself up - and then the chocolate binge hit.

By the time I got home - all my resolve to actually go to the gym or do any exercise was gone. My knees were sore, my body was repulsed by the crap I'd eaten, and I was going downhill really quickly...

... and then it hit.  Everything.  One thing after another after another.  Bang, bang, bang.  I didn't really see it coming (though normally I would - just too much happening, being thrown around and pulled at from all angles lately really took its toll).... and I went into major meltdown, serious self-sabotage mode.

I can't even remember what I ate... I sat here and cried through most of it. That feeling of being utterly repulsed by my own actions, pulled so bitterly from one emotion to another and just trying to smother it in anything not nailed down in the kitchen...  

I didn't prep myself for this - I thought airing my message so publicly was going to be a good thing, help others and show them it's possible (and it IS!)  ... but I wasn't ready for it, I didn't prep to accommodate everything that's changed so rapidly lately (my emotions in particular), and I'd forgotten just how fragile this girl still is...

... it was being reminded, by words coming out of my own mouth via a TV interview, that did it.  I forget that I used to be "that girl" who'd given up - and I've never seen ME saying that out loud. I was grateful they didn't push the subject (I'm not yet ready to talk so openly about bulk of it, clearly!) - but seeing ME talk about these things was really hard...   I was NOT ready for that.

It's SO different being in front of that camera - I was talking so honestly and openly about these things...  that's ME, that's what I do?!  I can't help it...   But to sit down later and hear yourself say them, was a whole other thing.   To literally hear yourself talk about the number one thing that breaks your heart was too much...   It was the one that pushed me over the edge.

SO, I sat here and sabotaged.  Right to the point of nearly bursting my sides...   EVERYTHING hit - from the dark memories, self-hatred, the loneliness, battling the extremes of your own self-expectations... everything.   I was NOT in a good place, and I was questioning my authenticity for going off promoting a messages that says "hey look at me, my life is great now!" when I'd literally just blown that out of the water, and having so many gaps in my current world that makes it far from perfect!!

One word: hypocrite?!!

Waking up this morning, I thought I was 'ok'.  My confessional to my AIM TRAIN crew was my way of trying to absolve myself and get my clarity back again...

I sent my girls a message to say I was cancelling my bridge climb in August (my milestone celebration) because I didn't feel I deserved it, nor did it warrant a celebration when I felt so revolted in my actions.  The bridge climb signifies two things for me - and without going into the finer details, one is in 'celebration' for the new me; the other is my brush with mortality.  Last night I couldn't justify "celebrating" when the latter was plaguing my head in preference.

.... and I forgot just how powerful these girls are. They know me better than I know myself! (not hard when you're still trying to figure out who that is?!!)   A "counseling" session later from one of these amazing ladies, and already my clouded judgement had lifted.  I'm NOT a failure, I DO deserve to celebrate, irrespective of whether I make my goal or not (which I still plan on doing), that was ME taking a moment to reflect and absolve all that's passed, and it's time to be HAPPY!  I've earnt that, really bad breakdown or not...  It's no longer applicable to denigrate myself, or believe I'm undeserving of happiness - I've bloody well earnt it, whether it's there or not right now isn't the issue.  It WILL happen, but it starts in my acceptance of myself... as a whole person, just as I am. 

A few reassurances and some unbiased butt-kicking to get my priorities back in order...  (the non-brutal variety - the type that helps you overcome the icky and just get going with the good again)... and I was back to planning, back into strategy mode.

... like a red rag to a bull!   You throw crap in my face, and I'll react.  You keep waving that crap in my face, and you better be ready to run...

I reckon I could fit my bike in here too... at a push?!

Operation: Take Back Control went off without a hitch this afternoon.  No more time for tears or tantrums, there's already strategies being implemented for the week ahead to overcome the blip.

I dragged my heavy arsed cross trainer into the middle of my lounge room - to counteract the cold from outside grating on my joints.  It'll get me back to moving again (in the warmth) which in turn will encourage better eating, which will motivate me to leave the house and head to the gym again when I feel 'normal' and not so horribly food-infused bloaty.   See how it works?!   One little change, and the rest follows!

Today I had a VICTORY.  I was well within my calorie allowance and good eating.  I'm back to using the diary for accountability and honesty.  I was on that cross trainer quicker than you could say... well... VROOOOM and spent an hour on it, puffing and sweating away as I watched Hairspray (upbeat musical to make me smile)... and then I hit the kitchen to cook dinner.  Found a new recipe - another success - and portioned out the balance into the freezer.  There's "time out" from my "public duties" on this strategy to recuperate and heal - and a major crackdown on the eating and exercise to see me through the week ahead, starting with fresh grocery shopping in the morning.  My strategy is in place - and my head WILL find its way back into the zone... THAT is my victory.

I have my CONTROL back.   Don't care what damage has been done on the scales - that was the least of my worries...  It's my mindset that copped the biggest whammy, and deserved a bit of TLC.  Tears and tantrums only get you so far - they're valid, but they don't fix the issue.  I get much more momentum in the right direction when I reassess, take accountability and put a plan of attack into action. 

As I was reminded today, so much has happened in the last few months - particularly the last few weeks with my story going so public and the amount of messages I've been receiving (I'm like a sponge - reading about people's hurts effects me significantly) - that I was bound to have a moment of collapse.

I am human, I feel, I hurt... but I'm also a force, and I don't stay down for long these days.  I refuse.  Too much to do, too much I want.  The fire in my belly has never gone out and I appreciate the red rags being slapped against my face - they only make me push harder and prove to myself that I'm not the girl I used to be...

... and I feel 150% better already...!  


  1. hell yeah, girl! you've come waaaay too far to start veering off the road now. there IS no going back, i am sure the road behind you is overgrown already with all the weeds you have left behind you! and anyhoo, there is such a massive crowd of people behind you, you will have to fight all of us off with a stick to get through! keep shooting those demons down and just yell out if you need more ammo. xx René Mouton-Laan

  2. Sweetie,
    We support you in all you have achieved and are so proud of how you have shared your journey to try to make a difference in others lives.
    It takes alot of courage to be as honest and open and we admire your generosity of spirit. With much love, Mum and Dad xxxxxx

  3. Amy, I reckon your Mum said it all kiddo.

  4. xoxoxoxox You're amazing no mater what. And we all have ups and downs it's what makes us human. <3 <3 <3

  5. Amy,I love your 'like a red rag to a bull' scenario. It's brilliant!! All of us, should always remember that part of your story you tell here. How powerful is that!! Daring that 'bull with a red rag' is a tool of our mind set and emotions we can all use, to help us get back on track, when just like you, we too will take a big fall at some time, when we least expect it, let alone be prepared for it. I'll be 'daring that bull with my red rag' next time he oversteps the mark and tries to over power and take control of me. How dare he!! Amy,I sincerely appreciate you sharing with us this difficult period you have recently endured. You continue, by your experiences, to teach me so much, to give me hope and the inspiration to continue with my own weight loss journey. Thank you, Amy. Anne

  6. Thanks lovelies! Another solid day so far - so it's working!!

    xx :)