Thursday, June 16, 2011

So what if you're NOT an exercise machine...

Now, if you ARE an exercise machine, killing serious cals in your workouts, do about a gazillion gym sessions each week, running out your door and bragging about your multiple-workouts in a row - this one's NOT for you!  You're fine... you don't need me!

Nope, I'm talking to the person whose hiding out in their loungeroom with serious 'exercise envy' because they simply don't know where to start, or are talking themselves out of even trying because they "can't match it with the others".

... and I'll tell you why.


The last two weeks I've copped a serious dose of REALITY.  If you've been following my story the past few months, you'll know that my little world turned itself upside down with the introduction of the Commando Challenge.  EVERYTHING went into overdrive - eating, exercising, blogging, publicity...   turned into a bit of a "monster" on all fronts, so obsessed with that wretched goal that I feared eating, was working my body into the ground, and regretfully... I had a physical and emotional breakdown because of it.  I hit a brick wall with a whopping great thud because I turned my nose up at reality.

.... and it's taken its toll since.  Not only has my body battled pulling ANY numbers since, but I lost the plot - literally - and went into self-sabotage binge-mode eating, emotional breakdowns, enormous self-doubt, and I'm really loathe to say it, but the "black" started to seep back into my psyche.  Then the onslaught of Bathurst's fantastic winter weather hit, and my knees packed it in, mobility became an issue and the 'hibernation munchies' took over...

Tomorrow I lose my gym membership (which was sponsored for three-months for the course of the Challenge) and shattered at the prospect of losing that outlet, promised myself I'd take advantage of my final week.... and you know what, I haven't even walked in there once this week.  I'm just too gutted because I can't financially afford to pay to renew it.   Needless to say, some part of me threw my hands up in the air and said "why bother?!!!" - and I've been fighting it since, somewhat pathetically.


I've been sitting here this week working on strategies to get myself out of this horrible funk, self-analysing what's going on and why I'm so upset, and wondering "what the hell I did BEFORE all this stuff" - publicity, gym, competitiveness - when I used to do this in secret and without a gym - that was working so well, before I turned into the ignorant, arrogant, number-obsessed junkie that I've turned into!

I sit here and read other people 'bragging' about their results, successes, wins and big calorie-smashing exercise sessions, and the lump in my throat is enough to suffocate me.  I'm seriously shattered.  There WAS a time when it was ME sitting here doing the bragging (which in all fairness, before someone takes offense, it's NOT bragging really - it's often someone surprising themselves with something they never did before, so are so excited they just want to share with everyone else!  ... well, that was ME anyway... am sure there's others out there who ARE literally bragging!!!)...   I read this, I congratulate, I fly the happy flag for them...  but I'm hurting.  A lot.

The last few weeks I've been loathe to exercise at all - my mobility is very much hindered with my knees out of action, and it breaks my heart.  My eating-binges have me up and down a few kilos on the scales, and I feel bloated and icky because of it - and just want to hide away in a moo-moo cuz my self-perception is so distorted, I'm back to feeling the way I did three years ago at my heaviest!  I want to hide, I don't want people stopping to stare at my lumpy body, trying to move when I can't...   and I can't even begin to explain how disappointed and upsetting it is to see so few calories burnt when I DO exercise (distorted perception again, because my fitness became so strong, I have to keep working more and more to see the same levels of calories burnt = superior fitness. So going back to 'realistic' routines and smaller burns, I'm so distorted, that I'm severely disappointed..)

It was only a few weeks ago I was doing double classes a day at the gym, or a good solid 2+ hours nearly 6 days a week.  I was kicking BUTT - like a freaking "professional exerciser" - but let's face it, I was so wrapped up in that constant WIN, I was living off adrenalin and so brutally obsessed with my results, I was completely ignorant to the fact I was hurting myself (literally) - and stuffed my body entirely because of it.  I minced my knees, exhausted all the reserves, and my body started retaliating with weird side effects (ones I didn't tell anyone about when they were happening).   NOT realistic, NOT normal... ignorant, arrogant, brutal and quite frankly.... STUPID.

I lost the love of exercise - which broke my heart - because for a girl who could barely move 'before', it's that liberation that I'd fallen in love with... The more freedom I found, the more I loved it.   ... and now, I'm stuck in a zone where I degrade doing something simple (because it's "not enough"), I question why I bother if it's not big or brutal enough, fob-off the basics and opt for hiding instead, because my head-space is so out of whack!

My breakdown the other day was necessary - they always are - it's the trigger-point where I come to cross-roads about what I'm doing versus what I SHOULD be doing.   I sat here and cried, because I miss the girl who was happy to plod along with her weightloss - who rejoiced in losing half a kilo a week cuz she worked to pull that and it IS enough...  who rejoiced in going for a half-hour (!!) walk and didn't care so much that it wasn't burning "over a thousand calories", the girl who ate realistically and was humbled by finding new things about herself and her body all the time that she didn't know she could do...  who didn't feel compelled to hit goals (or hurt herself for them) for a 'deadline' or let someone else's expectations rule her actions! 

I miss her...   SHE was real. 


Yesterday I forced myself to walk to the post office, bank, shop and home.  It wasn't a big walk by any means - in fact, it was nothing in comparison to what I've been known to do...  but it was MY achievement.   My head was telling me to drive, "stay warm Amy, your knees are bad, don't do it... Don't want to be seen in my tracky pants strutting down the main street... You can just hide and do the cross trainer in the loungeroom (which I probably wouldn't have - even THAT strategy isn't necessarily working!)...  It'll take too long to walk there and back - you should be doing client work instead."    BULL.   It took about 40 mins, INCLUDING the stint in the shop... and it made me feel GOOD. 

Simple walk.  Didn't wear my heart rate monitor - because I didn't WANT to know...

SO WHAT if my heart rate didn't reach some ridiculous point that my temples wanted to explode... 
SO WHAT if it didn't even register a solid hour's walk
SO WHAT if someone sees you in tracky pants
SO WHAT .... ?!   What what what what?!!  

I came home really humbled, and really relieved.  I smiled as I unpacked my groceries and made my delicious lunch with the goodies I'd found marked down, that I'd have missed otherwise.  It empowered me enough to strap on my shoes last night and go to my Zumba class (the one I ADORE but have been avoiding too cuz "it doesnt burnt enough cals"... OMG I cry for that... ) and it gave me the spark today to go and have lunch with my friend and LEAVE MY FREAKING HOUSE and be social, when my head is in "hermit mode".

.... and just as we were sitting there having lunch outside today, the sunshine broke out from behind the dark clouds, and I said to Dan, "I'm going to go for a walk! I NEED to walk!"...

.... and I did!

Came home, geared up and walked out the door. I walked for 55 minutes - out to Kelso and back (roughly 5kms).  It was the track I was ECSTATIC to walk not that many months ago, when I'd built up enough stamina and endurance to handle such a long distance.  It was the one I'd fobbed off since, because "it wasn't enough!"  (ouch...)

As I was coming down the back straight on the way home, it hit me....   I was doing what I loved - I'd literally zoned out - had stopped telling myself this was wasting my time, wasn't good enough, my heart rate wasn't peaked enough, I wasn't working hard enough...  BULLSHIT.   My knees were handling it ok, I could feel it in my thighs, I wasn't huffing and puffing (fitness is awesome, but basic movement is bliss) and I felt GOOD.

SO WHAT if I'm not a freaking professional exerciser?!   I stopped loving it when I went obsessive...
SO WHAT if I can't do what I did just a couple of months ago?   That person killed her body because she turned ignorant and pushed herself into dangerous territory...
SO WHAT if I can't match numbers with people 20-30kgs lighter than me.  They weren't nearly 200kgs to start with, and learning how to walk again from scratch!

SO WHAT if you have to start again Amy.... 


I thought of YOU GUYS when I was walking today. The people who are stuck in their loungerooms, broken hearted, hurt, with serious 'exercise envy', wondering how the hell to get up and take that first step...    It wasn't that long ago that I was there with you.   I was the girl who could barely move, was so ashamed it took a good couple of years before I was brave enough to exercise in public...   I was the girl who cried the first time she went outside for a walk, from shame.... then cried the day she pushed a jog into the mix, from pure joy!

Sitting here writing this with tears streaming down my face (again!) - literally with my training gear still on, having walked back through the door and sat down to write this...  I needed to talk to you guys....

I was so relieved and happy to reconnect with the girl who loves to walk, not for anyone else, but because she CAN....   She and I have a lot of 're-bonding' to do again, she's the heart and soul of this whole operation, and she's a little bruised from the abuse she's copped the last couple of months... but  we're gonna be ok, she's pretty forgiving...   But she had a message for you...



I LOVE exercise because it empowers ME, it makes ME feel good. It humbles me because I gave myself a second chance to move, it recharges me and fills me with pride that I CHOSE to do this for the sole purpose of benefitting ME. It works hand in hand with my proactive lifestyle choices, healthy eating and working on the psyche...  everything works together when it's balanced, heartfelt and REAL.


SO WHAT if we're not all insane, maniac-style gym-junkies and professional sweaters?!!    It's not about them, it's about YOU.  Every choice makes a difference. Every step is worthwhile.


SO WHAT I'm doing now... is empowering YOU to get up and make that stand.  Next time you'd prefer to hide away, just don't.  Walk out that door with me in your head - just as I had you with me today.  You only need to take that first step...  the rest is just magic!

Be proud, and just get up and DO.  The smallest things can mean the most!

xx

18 comments:

  1. Tears of happiness that you have rediscovered the only important person in this exercise - YOU.

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  2. WOW! This is so real and honest, well done on sharing and on getting out there and going for a walk! You should be very proud of yourself! I don't know you but im proud of you Xx

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  3. stay positive, stay well, be happy and healthy, love life and the journey you're taking and making for yourself, one very inspirational woman whome i for one admire...

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  4. It's just what I need Amy. :) I appreciate the honesty especially when I'm feeling bad about the exact same thing.

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  5. Thank Amy, this is just want I needed to read today, and I could of wrote it word for word myself over the last two weeks. As I sit here crying at what you wrote, I only looked at my workouts last week and said the same thing, so I just stopped, and started eating again, only to see an extra 2.5kg on the scales at this weeks weigh in, so today I just went enought is enought I dont want to go back to the person I was before I started this, I dont want to gain back the 65kg I have lost, but I need to address why I am doing it, and why I started it all that time ago. Thank you so much, and tonight I think I might go for a good walk along the beach and think about this, just like you have.

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  6. I loved this blog Amy and really applaud your honesty. This is a huge breakthrough as you've said. I think this reality check you've gone through is the sort of thing that is going to make your weight loss sustainable. So many of us have been there and done that with the obsessing and when we fall off the wagon we fall really hard, right back into our old habits (speaking from experience here!!). We loose the weight, feel great but exhausted and can't keep it up. The thing is, we haven't done the real work - that's accepting ourselves but making those boundaries and developing those strategies like the 'reality check', the nice walk that you enjoy for the sake of it and being brave enough NOT to wear your monitor!!! Keep up the wonderful work, maintain what you've achieved and keep reveling in that success. We all love you! Sonya :-)

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  7. Melvin Nicholson (Preston, UK)June 16, 2011 at 7:58 PM

    Awesomely inspiring and refreshingly honest. You're a winner Amy, other people see it in you and I'm so happy that you've finally seen it for yourself. x

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  8. Well said Amy, just remember to get up and get going again the next day, you have inspired so many people to change their lives just by being YOU not some exercise junky or someone burning big calorie numbers or losing big numbers on the scales but by being the gorgeous person that you are.

    Glad to be part of the train and share the journey with you, now get to that caboose and hang on and run! Yes it will hurt but you will love it at the same time.

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  9. hey beautiful girl, I am definately NOT a lover of exercise, I love certain activities, and if it wasn't for the presence of music videos at the gym I doubt I would last there very long, I am one who needs a lot of variety - I know how you feel, I am so glad you share it with the rest of us. xoxo

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  10. Amy, you really are such a courageous young woman and I continue to admire you so very much.

    I personally feared what might happen when you took on the Commando's Challenge and I was quite concerned for you. However, with it now over and done with and with you having met the challenge so successfully, you have no doubt learnt so much about yourself. The experience, as I see it, from reading this chapter of your story, wasn't at all wasted as it appears to have taught you so much about yourself. It also seems to have made you into an even much stronger person.

    I cried with you as I read this part of your story and I just wanted, so very much, to hug you and comfort you. It's great to see that as before, you've been able to pick yourself up and move forward and on with your journey. Well done, Amy. Stand tall and be proud.

    Although it may take some time for you to fully get back to the 'Amy you use to be and want to be once more', since before going on Commando's Challenge, just try to be patient, take one day at a time and you will get to that very place, where you feel most comfortable with yourself, once again.

    Yet again, by sharing this part of your journey with all of us, you have personally taught me a very big lesson and I really thank you for that, Amy.

    So, it's time to dry those tears, Amy, and put a 'smile on your dial'. Take all that pressure off yourself, relax, have fun and get back into enjoying the 'new you' and your new life. After all, that's what your entire journey has been all about - TRUE?. Take care, Amy.((HUGS)) Anne

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  11. I'll keep this short and sweet...Welcome back Kiddo!

    Love & Hugs,
    Vickie.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  12. HEY AMY...WOW...THIS ONE REALLY HIT HOME FOR ME.... FIRSTLY FROM ONE BBTHURST GIRL TO ANOTHER I CAN SOO RELATE TO YOU RE THE WEATHER.... SOMETIMES WE DONT SEE THE SUN FOR DAYS AND THAT CAN REALLY AFFECT A GIRLS MOOD AND THE WAY SHE FEELS... I HAVE STRUGGLED IN THE LAST FEW WEEKS QUESTIONING WHY I DIDNT THINK MY MORNING RUN WAS GOOD ENOUGH AND WHY DID I HAVE TO AFTER BEING SOOO CLOSE TO MY GOAL GO THROUGH HOURS AND HOURS OF EXCERSISE TO GET A GOOD RESULT AND BE ABLE TO MAINTAIN IT.... I ALSO WENT THROUGH A WEEK OF SELF SABOTAGE... AND FELT LIKE THE 94 KILO GIRL OVER A YEAR AGO ... I FEEL LIKE THAT RIGHT NOW ...BUT AFTER READING YOUR POST I HAD MY LIGHTBULB MOMENT.... I ENJOYED MY MORNING RUN... I ENJOYED MY TRIPS AROUND MT PANARAMA...I ENJOYED THE ZUMBA CLASS.... I TRULY REALISED THAT AFTER READING YOUR POST I HAVE TO COME TO TERMS WITH A WAY OF INCLUDING EXCERSISE INTO MY LIFE WHERE IT AINT GUNNA BREAK ME......LIKE IT HAS THIS WEEK... THANK YOU AMY FOR YET AGAIN HELPING ME TO SEE THINGS FROM A NEW PERSPECTIVE ...STAY TRUE TO YOU AMY... AND YOU WILL BE ON YOUR WAY :)

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  13. Oh Amy that blog is so significant.I loved the comment 'loungeroom girls' because i reckon most of us are.Even on the BLC i was feeling left behind with everyones talk of crossfit, gyms and personal trainers combined with members losing these huge numbers.Through reading that i felt you were here with me talking about the same struggles of everyday life that im experiencing.
    My life has changed too. Now im a new mum again and not working i cant keep up with all the expensive things i used to have like the gym memberships, brand name sneakers and fancy health foods.After reading your words i now feel better about myself that it doesnt take money or fancy things to get healthy and take your mind into that positive place.Its not about conforming to other peoples expectations either.
    You're such a unique and lovely lady.Id feel so blessed if i could find a friend like you with your qualities in my local area. Anyway, stay true to who you really are and good things will come your way. Melxxx

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  14. man this was a good post!! i dont always comment, but i always read- but today i just had to write in about how i totally relate!!! i am not a lover of exersize. never have been and dont think i will love it totally ever- but i like what it does to me. and as long as i remember that i will keep on going. i read about everyones exersize goals on BLC, and what they are doing now, and it amazes me. i totally look up to you all in this regard, cos i MAKE myself do it- its like medicine to me- nessesary for my health even if it dosent "taste" good at the time. the weather (tassie) hasnt been good and although i usually work out at home anyway, i havent these past 2 weeks. ive felt... BLAH.... out of it, gross and lethargic- the weather DOES make an impact dosent it?- but your psot has lifted me.
    i think i will go for a walk this morning!!! thanks amy!!!

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  15. OMG Amy .. why have I only just found this entry .... it has made me so happy that you have become one of us again and are happy with your little results that mean a whole lot, because they are done from the heart and for no one else but yourself .. you arent accountable to us, you arent accountable to the Commando, you are accountable to yourself to be true to yourself to do what you can with what you have and each one of us can relate so much to what you have just written especially me ... its great to see that it really doesnt take anything fancy, no great exercise machines as you had proved before over the last 3 years .. your life has turned full circle and its great to have you back with us again .. not that you ever left .. but you know what I mean ...
    I love you Amy I love that you are still learning with all of us .. I want you to be happy with your life because you are just so inspiring for all of us "loungeroom girls" that it can be done .. always remember slow and steady wins the race :-)
    Love and big hugs HUGS to you ♥♥♥
    Karen xoxoxox

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  16. I have to admit I do get a lot of weight loss/exercise envy. I read this blog (and others) and just feel absolutely useless. Seeing everyone else getting massive results, whilst I seem to hover around the same numbers just makes me feel like there's no point to even trying.

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  17. I have just refocussed and am so excited to read this as it echoes my thoughts. "What's the point?" I thought. "Will nothing good ever happen to me?" Well, I hit the bottom and then dug my nails in to pull myself up and today I did an hour of ballet - oh and I hurt as I'd been in a car bingle and hurt my ankle. But I persevered and I feel so happy for it. And fresh steamed veges never tasted better!!!! Luv you Amy - hugs to you and special, happy thoughts hun. Luv Cazz

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