Monday, September 26, 2011

Fighting the gamut of emotions...

If someone (anyone) tells you that weightloss is ONLY about food and exercise... then slap them up the side of the head for me and tell them "they're dreaming!".

It's not.

In all my 3.5+ years of doing this, I have NEVER felt so up and down emotionally as I do right now...  but why?!  That's the question I'm not entirely sure I know how to answer...

I KNEW at the beginning that I was embarking on something "life changing" - literally. I don't make light of that, nor say it tongue-in-cheek...  My entire life HAD to change - I wasn't allowed to put myself into that grave like I wanted, therefore it HAD to change.... and I had absolutely no idea then just what that meant or how the hell I was actually going to do it...  Blind faith, it just happened.

I think I 'assumed' that when I shrunk, that my little world would just somehow magically open up - that birds would fly around my head and chirp melodies of pure happiness!  That all my "dreams" (whatever the hell they were?!) would just sprout out of nowhere, without effort or consequence, and I'd be transformed from the 'broken girl in the invisible cloak' into this "vision" of supreme awesomeness, beams of light floating through the ceiling and hitting my cheeks!

... well, not quite...   but I DID think that things would just "fall into place".  Somehow. 

The last few months have proven testament that THIS IS NOT THE CASE.  Weightloss success aside (in which I'm acutely modest, I don't 'see' the hype about it myself - I still haven't finished and things aren't "glowing with the after-effects of pure sunshiney happiness") - there's been so many changes the last few years, that it makes my head spin. This year alone has been so fast-tracked with changes, that I'm almost nauseous just trying to catch up!

I'm finding myself questioning EVERYTHING. Why did I do this, why didn't I do that... Why can't I have this, what happened to that... I look in the mirror and I'm disappointed - not because of what I see (the physical changes are there, I look much better, not perfect, but better)... and 90% of the time I SEE it in my eyes how much better it truly is...  But then you hit a patch like I am hovering in at the moment, and that 10% of doubt rears its ugly head. Taking a really deep look into your own eyes, you realise you're still... Empty. Longing. Broken.

I loathe being broken.

That to me says "you need fixing" - and hellllooooooo isn't that what I've been doing for the past 195 weeks for crying out loud?!    Fixing myself - one kilo at a time. One workout at a time. One tear-jerking, heart-wrenching, breakdown at a time...

Yes I have.

Fixing myself... for 'everything'.

There's reason for everything. I know this. Do I want to admit to it and acknowledge it... (in the headspace I'm in right now, hell no!!) - but it's true.

My 'everything' is what makes me get up each day and try.  Some days I try harder - some days I don't try at all...  it all evens out in the end though, right?!  I've been trying and working, fixing and healing for 3.5 years now...

So WHY am I so upset NOW?!  Why do I feel as empty and hurt as I did 'before' all these changes came into play?!   Not looking to answer these questions - they're just questions!!  Like I said before, everything happens for a reason,  and sometimes questions are just questions... !

Finding myself 'stifled' at the moment - torn between feeling like I deserve things to have "fallen into place" from 3.5 years of severely focused, very commited changes...  to knowing full well my 'everything' will only happen when I step up and make it that way - and even then, that'll change as time progresses anyway!   Just like I wrote in my 'goalposts' blog - I don't WANT to catch up with my goals - I want them to be forever changing and always ahead of me.  IT MAKES ME MOVE FORWARD. 

... but I'm struggling.  I'm tired and I'm lonely.

It's funny, for 3 years I chipped away at my weightloss slowly, and in secret.  Noone "in real life" (outside of the forums) knew what I was doing - least of all what numbers were ahead of me or just how all-consuming the pain truly was beneath the surface.  I didn't tell anyone - I couldn't.  How do you explain something that "those who don't understand" would assume was self-inflicted and I deserved nothing less?!   Secrecy and solitude it was - was just "easier" that way.

This year is proving to be something entirely different. I'm no longer "the invisible fat girl" - in more ways than I can account for.  My 'secret' isn't a secret anymore - it's splashed right here all over my blog, on my website, over Facebook... I have hundreds of people who read my words and gain momentum to empower themselves from what I say (and I LOVE THAT - it's the sole reason I'm doing this)...  it's opened my world up.

I opened a door, stuck my head outside and said 'Hello, I'm Amy!'.  It changed the course of my changes... and those changes have changed my life.  It makes my head spin!

With that, came the introduction of a self-confidence I didn't see coming...  but even more profound, was the self-worth that grew with it.  I now appreciate who I am, what I've done and why I've done it.   THAT is worth everything to me.  THAT is what will keep my feet planted on the ground, even when my heart is breaking, I'm questioning everything, when I feel like I'm failing...  My 'everything'.

It just doesn't feel like it at the moment, I'm struggling to deal with all the changes I've put into place.  Trying to push past concrete boundaries I set for myself years ago thinking I didn't deserve happiness, and it'd just be "easier" if I barricaded myself up?!

My head and heart are at loggerheads at the moment...  All my old 'haunts' are having a field-day with my emotions!!  I keep forgetting just how bad I used to think about myself - when you're too busy pushing forward and making (and dealing with) new changes... I forget just what self-inflicted hell I used to put myself through. Til it happens that it comes up again... and it stirs up a wad of emotions!

Like the fact I believed I was too repulsive to be hugged - actually believed I made people physically (and violently) ill if they touched me.  So stopped letting people touch me.  No hugs, no nothing. I'd flinch and pull away, or just avoid entirely.  Entire avoidance in EVERYTHING is something I'm really good at (it saves on humiliation later)...  And yet when I was hugged recently, I wanted to crawl into their lap and close my eyes, and just have them hold me forever cuz I was just so overwhelmed with how much that meant to me in that moment...  I am NOT the same girl I used to be.

Socialising and relationships were something on my 'list' that were going to come into play eventually - after I dealt with some of the other stuff first.....  Came under the "too hard basket" for the first three years - after all, my reasoning was "you can't make someone want you" so I negated that aspect of my life changes. Easier to just stay solitary - though there's nothing good or 'easy' about solitude, it rips my heart right out of its socket.

... up until now.  The other week, I threw my hands up in the air and said I've had enough of the weightloss!  It was doing my head in - the scales had had their time and NOW I NEEDED MORE - and said now I want the LIFE that I'd been putting 'on-hold' while I got healthy...  I wanted all the things I'd been hiding away from, because I DESERVE them now. 

I wasn't wrong... I DO want all those things - but was I ready for it?!!  Enter here the Universe, in all its crazy, confusing glory - who heard me shout it out there and has hit me with all sorts of challenges since!

It seems I came out from under the invisibility cloak, and got a little attention - real stuff.  The real stuff I'm aching for ...but I'm flinching. I'm emotional and I'm feeling VERY overwhelmed.

I got told the other day 'Amy, you need to deal with your past before you can handle being with someone' - and they weren't wrong.  The thing is, I've made peace with my past - it's the past 15-years of mental hell and 'nothingness' that I'm fast-tracking back through to "catch up with everyone else" that is proving problematical.

I'm having meltdowns and breakthroughs all at once.  I'm finding new things about myself I didn't know - new grievances and new acceptances.  I'm growing by the minute - filling that inconspicuous void inside that sometimes just wants to strangle me from within.  I'm not the girl I used to be, and my past isn't dictating my actions (not entirely - influencing yes, making me hesitate and reevaluate, yes.. but not dictating entirely).  It's all part of my changes... and it's all happening for a reason.

Gamut of emotions... !!!   One minute I'm up, the next I'm back down.  Feel like a hypocrite half the time - I'm happy, but I'm still sad.  I'm excited, but I'm plagued with fear.  I'm 'out there', but I'm still hiding.  I'm surrounded by people, but I'm insanely lonely.  I'm totally, undeniably stubborn and committed, and yet I'm insecure.  I'm clearly ridiculously complex, and yet it's all so very simple.

I'm EVERYTHING, but I feel like I'm nothing.

No, I'm not nothing...  I.AM.EVERYTHING.   (breathe...)

I got to this chapter of my changes and KNEW it was going to be some of the hardest to handle yet - and I wasn't wrong.  Anything to do with the heart was going to prove gutt-wrenching, vomit-worthy and internally-strangulating!!!   I WANT my life - I want the everything that goes with it - adventures, career, family.  I want to love and to be loved in return, my heart is aching for it.   I crave those freaking hugs like I need air... feel like I'm suffocating cuz I'm holding back from throwing myself on everyone who comes within a few metres of me!!    I want the partner I've never had, someone to help me grow and share all this amazing life-stuff with...  I want happiness.   ... and I finally believe I deserve it.

... but if I hear 'Amy, there's someone out there for everyone' OR 'It'll happen when you least expect it' OR 'You have to love yourself first before someone else can love you' one more freaking time... I'll ring their bloody neck!   If it was that simple, then I wouldn't be so torn!    Back to the 'you can't make someone want you' philosophy, riddled with the fact that I AM deserving of all things love and beautiful, and yet I'm struggling to find someone who can cut through my crap, handle the emotions and let me heal - all while I'm desperately trying to hold back from suffocating them with everything I want to give that's been brewing like a lava-pit inside - because that's just how I am?! 

My god... battle in my head much?!!  ... So I'm back to sheer avoidance, because I can't handle the hurt of not having what I so desperately need.  To heal.  To live.  Life isn't life without people in it to share it...

Feel like I'm banging my head against a brick wall, repeatedly...  TRYING to overcome all the things that hold me back... be "a better version of myself"...  all the time knowing I ALREADY AM a better version of me.   ... and yet I'm still lacking.

Everything happens for a reason.  The gamut of emotions are here to teach me that too.  All I can do is breathe and keep moving, and have that blind faith that I am exactly where I'm supposed to be in the course of all these changes.   Might have been the girl who got left behind, but if I stop long enough to recognise what it is I've done, I'd realise that I'm so much more advanced than I give myself credit for.

... just need to stop pushing the beautiful things away, and push through the boundaries some more... and step up and BE that "vision" with the sun streaming through the window, bouncing off my hair and making beautiful shadows against the wall...  !!! 

I guess to answer that question at the beginning about 'why' all this happens... it's as simple (or as complex!) as this.  In the creation of a better version of Amy, without the questions, there'd be no reason...  I have EVERY reason now, therefore I'll continue to question...

Dr Seuss would be proud, no?!  haha...    SIGH!

More tears and breakthroughs ahead...  ugh!  Give me strength...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

... that Bridge strikes again!

Just a quick blog about my little weekend adventure - my Sydney Bridge Run (as part of the Sydney Running Festival's half and full Marathons - to which I was both insanely envious!!) - 9kms for me!   ... and without any melodramatic "life affirming epiphanies" to enlighten us with!  (this one's pure sweat and enjoyment!)

Sunday 18 September - a bit of a manic start to the day when I pre-set my alarm wrong and my sister set hers for the afternoon (hahaha... between the pair of us, we couldn't even get ONE alarm right?!!).  So 20 minutes to shower, dress and get our butts to the train station (for an hour trip) to make the start of the race, certainly brought on the adrenalin rush slightly ahead of schedule... !!!

We hit Milsons Point right in the thick of the crowds - right on time really... and joined the ENORMOUS toilet queue...   What race-day fiasco would be complete without an endurance toilet stop (grrrrr.... reminiscent of City 2 Surf's 40-minute pitstop?!!!  At least this one was BEFORE the race!!)

.... still standing in the line, and it's notoriously close to kick-off time...  By the time we get in and out of the rotten cubicles, spray on the sunscreen and plug the headphones in, the crowds are already underway!   ... and off we go!   

I was trying to warm up at the beginning with my sis, but she waved me on and left me to my devices!  ... the legs wanted to go, so off I went, with the flow of the crowd... and hit a run pace pretty early on!!

In a rush of sweaty bodies and the sound of joggers on the pavement, we veered over onto the Bridge - THAT Bridge - the one that took my breath away just a few weeks ago, when I was standing ON TOP of it - now I was directly below, running across the centre of it!   ... and RUN I did!!!

I've been interval training my jogging ever since City 2 Surf - when the knees and hips prevail.  My Bathurst Jog just last weekend was STELLAR (7.5kms in 55mins with heaps of runs)  - and this one proved equally as awesome!   The course was pretty flat, so no dreaded hills to aggravate the pace too much (though the thirty-degree heat wave that hit on the day was proving to be irritable!!!).... but I pushed on.

Now, I'm a pretty low-key exerciser in that I don't tend to need to take on much fluid (or if I do, it bogs me down and I feel sick...).  Well, the heat was playing havoc with me - and the sweat pouring off my face, the dry mouth and the serious hot-flash hits I was experiencing were all fluid related - so hitting those drink stations was a HUGE necessity!  ... and probably one of the only reasons I managed to haul arse through to the end without suffering for it like so many others did!  I know my body well enough to read all the signals...  which was such an eye-opener and I'm kinda proud of myself that I've learnt to 'talk' with the bod in such an awesome way!   We did great!!!

9kms later, and I'm running through the end wondering where the rest of the course is... ?!!!  I clocked in with an official time of 1:09!!!   SUPER STOKED!!!  Considering I'd pulled a 7kms just a week earlier, a Mt Panorama walk amongst all my other weekly exercise before I left for Sydney... yep, 1hour and 9minutes of AWESOME it was!!

Aside from some seriously sore hips and wonky knees (which are still slightly tender, but they pulled through my RPM class quite ok today!)...  hitting the finish at the Sydney Opera House was pretty fabulous!  Lots of freebies and water later - (not to mention me grabbing that bloody medal, no chance I was leaving without THAT!) - and I'm walking around thinking this is pretty sweet... Not bad for the girl whose only ever done a couple of these types of events before - even more so for the girl whose barely even started her running career!  (hahaha)    ... seriously HAPPY!!!

25mins later, my sis makes her way across the finish line, and is pretty much stuffed... We park on the grass in the shade for a while, and yep.. my hips call it quits for the day, haha!   She's drained and dizzy (and very much suffering from the heat - didn't pull up so well) - but we have that wretched hour train ride ahead of us yet... so off we head to the station..... right behind all the other people who look equally as hot and bothered as we do!!!    (gotta love the after effects of a super workout - everyone looked completely stuffed - a job well done by all!!)

SO... what's next?!!   I'm feeling rather sad that I don't have any new events lined up for the next month.... (hahahaha... got the bug much, Amy?!!)

... Though just before I headed off to Sydney, I DID get a message to say I'd won a free entry into the Melbourne 14kms City2Sea for November!  It was on the wishlist, so I guess the Universe is definitely working on this one for me... !!!    All going well, that's the next goal - more intervals and hill training in the meantime - I want more endurance, better fitness, more lower body strength and I'm pushing for a better time than my City 2 Surf...   Fingers crossed I can make this one happen!!   ;)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Changing the goalposts...

I DID IT!  7.5kms in 55:40 during yesterday's Bathurst Jog!  I didn't actually set out for a particular time - in fact, I had no idea what I was in for (what's new!). It was the first time I'd participated in this local event, and only my second attempt at a fun run (the first being the City 2 Surf just a few weeks ago - as per the previous blog post).

It wasn't until I came through the last turn and headed up the last few metres of the course, spotted the monster clock above the finish-line, that it suddenly dawned on me that I'd pulled a new PB!   A BIG PB too - normally my hour yields about 5-5.5kms...  here I'd just hooned through an additional 2kms and did the entire 7.5kms (including a heart-busting hill or two) under an hour and bulk of it I had JOGGED!!

All the training I've put in the last couple of months is paying off!  My fitness is FANTASTIC!  Despite the wonky hips and sore knees today (that's a given - they're still getting used to the jogging) - my endurance for running is fast improving!  I've been building my distance up gradually, and any time I feel my knees whinge, I back it off to my (maniac) fast walking again, just so I don't provoke injury.  My 'smart girl' tactics are paying dividends!!

.... and I have another 9kms on the agenda!  Off to do the Sydney Bridge Run this weekend, and I'm freaking excited!!!!   What can I say... I'm addicted?!

For a girl who couldn't even walk a few metres up the block from her house just a few years ago - shame, anxiety, severe lack of fitness - for me to participate in events like this is nothing short of LIBERATING!!  I forget, "in the moment", just what it is that I'm doing and how profoundly different it is for me - even just being part of a large crowd like that is severely different for the girl who preferred to hide in her house, least of all strutting her stuff in a singlet top (another WIN) and "look at me" runners... and gallivanting down the road with 1600 other crazy enthusiasts!!!

It makes me feel ALIVE!!   ... and the great big grin on my face said it all!  Both before AND after the run!   I AM IN LOVE WITH THE NEW ME!!!

... which brings me to my moment of reflection - POST ACHIEVEMENT - and what's in store for the next 12 weeks.

As some of you know, and as my Aim Train facebook group are aware, I've joined the 12wbt this round and we've just kicked off our next 12 weeks worth of challenges!   .... However, I signed up with some reservations and hesitation...

Coming off the back-end of the previous few months and winter - the gain and the severe mental shutdowns, tantrums and body breakdowns - I was SERIOUSLY reluctant to align myself with any sort of time frame that was going to create even more pressure. 

I'm still not 'ok'....   I'm still struggling to get my head around all the changes, all the publicity, and all the 'expectations' I've put on myself!

Never did put a time frame on all this in the past - and doing that in the last few months has proven highly UNSUCCESSFUL!

The thing is, despite that, I'm not finished.  I still have work to do and a way to go... but for the first time in this whole mission of mine, my new goals aren't KILO related. It really doesn't come down to that this time.

Nope.  I've moved the goalposts. 

I've been deliberating over this for a while now...  It's not something I've been speaking about publicly - there's a lot of beautiful people out there who look to me to keep them moving forward, motivated and who need to see 'possibility'... and I'm well aware of how influential my "backing out of the game" can be.   Rest assured, I'm not doing that!  ;)

Nope, this one's a bit more profound than that.  It's a biggie.

For the first time... well... in forever (?!) I'm actually OK with my weight.  I'm HAPPY.  I'm seriously HEALTHY.  I'm maintaining without an issue - I eat like a horse and elephant combined, I've stopped counting calories, I work my arse off and I'm super merry - and I've knocked my winter gain on the head and happily maintained "without pressure" for the last few weeks.

...THAT in itself is a shock to the system!

My body is cruising quite happily along at the moment - and *I* am HAPPY!

*key point*

The more that this has happened, the less inclination I have to actually ruin this beautiful thing I have going on...  whatever it is?!

My entire life should NOT just be about weightloss, kilos, calories and number crunching (just the thought of it makes my heart sink and my brain ache).   *I* am worth more than what those scales say. YES they are part of my new lifestyle.  YES they are reshaping the new Amy.  YES I'm addicted to it and love what it's done for me... but NO, this is NOT what my whole entire life boils down to!

It's NOT feeding my heart and soul anymore...

I moved the goalposts.

I don't think it was intentional - more a natural progression.  Either way, they moved.

Suddenly, a "goal weight" seems ridiculous to me.  It's not feasible - it doesn't DEFINE when I'll be happy - if that was the case, then I'm still about "twenty excess kilos unhappy" and that's utter bullshit!!!

Suddenly I've gone from having 3.5 years of traumatic vision, where EVERYTHING was so brutally focused and hinged on the scales - it's like I'd put everything 'on hold' because I let myself believe everything would fall into place when I was thin - and hey, guess what?!  It's crap!   Your life does NOT just miraculously eventuate because you lost some kilos - I've had to WORK for everything - happiness included!!   EVERYTHING all hinged on my weightloss..  and now, it just seems RIDICULOUS!

NOW, I want LIFE.  I want friends and social activities, I want holidays and travel, I want to allow myself the beautiful things and moments in life that I've missed out on... I want love.  I want pure happiness.  I want AMY.  

I don't want scales.  I don't want counting calories.  I don't want sweating until I puke because I'm trying to be like people 30kilos lighter.  I don't want to be so intertwined with weightloss that it undermines all the other things I can't see because my blinkers are so tightly affixed to my head all I can see is my numbers!   STUFF THE NUMBERS!!!

I deserve more.  I've EARNT more.   I will NOT be a person who lives their life defined by their love-hate relationship with a set of incidental scales!!!   They're a piece of NOTHING - my heart, soul, body and life deserve better!

The goalposts have well and truly moved.

I don't know what my "ultimate number" is now - quite frankly, I don't care!  I have excess skin to contend with yet (and I'll deliberate and discuss more in time - surgeon's appointment ahead).  I'm in the process of building serious muscle (am now addicted to weights) which does nothing but do my head in when I see up and down discrepancies on the scales because of it - but am seriously IN LOVE with the way it's changing my shoulders and physique!   It's getting messy and AWESOME all at once, and the numbers are pissing me off!  The scales are cruel, cold and manipulative - they no longer warrant my attention. 

I'm hovering just under 100kilos at the moment, post-winter gain, post-breakdown.  ... but I'm so freaking fit, healthy and HAPPY right now, do I really care anymore what those scales say?!!   There's more to this, and there's more coming...  !

My goals are now fitness and fun related - the next 12 weeks I'm going even harder!!   I want more Pump classes and muscle, I want to resculpt this body (surgically AND sweat enhanced) and I'll be hitting more and more of these social sweaty events, because they make me feel ALIVE!

I. AM. ALIVE.   
.... and it's about fkng time I got out there and enjoyed it! 

I'm DONE waiting for my life to start "when I get skinny."   Bugger off!!!   The goal posts for THAT were never feasible, it's just taken me a long time to see how shallow that truly is.  

Nope, things have definitely changed... 
*I* have changed.  ... and irrespective of where I go from here, those bloody goalposts better keep on moving!! 

I want MORE!!!

(... oh my god, I love when I get feisty!  hahahaha!!!!)

BRING ON THE NEXT 12 WEEKS BABY!!!   (... but sorry, scales, you're not invited!)