Friday, January 27, 2012

"Finding Amy"

So here we are, already approaching the end of January (eek!) and I realised I haven't even written a blog post in aaaages.  Not that I haven't had anything worthwhile to say - just bulk of it has been brewing in my head, and a lack of time and energy to actually sit still long enough to write it out has come into play...

After ten months of insanity (haha!), a wad of publicity I never saw coming (nor was I ever truly prepared for), a few photoshoots and a whole wad of 'followers' later... some on and off financial issues, lots of give (.. and more give... and more give)... some massive life-lessons and big wake-up calls that not everyone is on the same wavelength as I am (boy, does that hurt!) and some heartbreak and serious exhaustion later...   Ahhh, this is where I admit to being a little defeatest and maybe even apologise for letting the team down...  

I lost Amy.... somewhere amongst the flash bulbs going off, the hundreds of messages I've received and replied to, the strain and pressure of the unfamiliar.  The faithful Amy of old (before publicity) went a little AWOL.  Got swept up in a world that was completely alien to the dreary pre-existence of the current - with attention that made me feel like I was WANTED - so alluring, yet so demanding... Being too inclined to help everyone else - and forget about the person in the background (who actually needed as much help as anyone) - I think I gave so much of my time and energy away to everyone else, I ended up voiding myself entirely. 

For the last ten months - amongst all the shenanigans - my body and head have not been in alignment.  As a result, I've literally gone nowhere on the weightloss, and despite the spotlight shining in my face (and me grimmacing cuz I can't see a thing behind it!) - sitting here reflecting on this a few weeks ago, amidst the heartache of realising I was on the verge of losing it all - I was pretty gutted.

I let myself down.  I let you all down.

"Before" I went public, I'd been persisting with my weightloss in secret. Totally private - hidden away and just dealing with it, slowly, bit by bit, on my own.  Aside from the forum members online, noone in "the real world" actually knew what it was I was doing... albeit, my clothes were getting baggier, I was obviously morphing into something alot smaller...  They just didn't (technically) know about it!  I wasn't carrying on, broadcasting my losses or blowing smoke up my own arse for the benefit of "attention seeking" (I'm not like that... despite what people may perceive and what I've been insulted with lately, I'm STILL not like that...) - I just kept it quiet, did what I had to do, and was just a shadow in the background...

I sat here in tears the other day - exhausted and feeling very isolated - actually remorseful for ever saying 'yes' to going public with my story.  It's not exactly easy sitting here with people begging you for answers, needing to know your "secrets" (of which there really isn't any!) and having others feel compelled to 'compete' with you for similar attention. Honestly, if you want the attention, you can have it!!  It's done me very little favour the last ten months - despite the big smiley photos - the "behind the scenes" side of it HURTS.  End of the day, I'm still "just Amy" - and that "just Amy" doesn't think very highly of herself!  I'm still a work in progress, I'm still trying to figure out who I am amongst everything else, find a place in this world that I didn't believe I deserved. I'm still lonely, still hiding away from people, still really "nothing" in the scheme of things... 

I'm struggling.   ... and if I'm completely honest, I'm still lost.

SO - putting my foot down recently, after crying my eyes out (...always the way!) I put some big decisions out there - some hard choices had to be made. I opted to stand back and not give myself away entirely (after all, I can't be of ANY benefit to anyone if there's nothing left of me to give), and after having a few of my local mentors / friends express their concern about my welfare, and having come so close to losing my footing (again) - it was time to make a few hard calls.   I've suffered the consequences - I've upset people, and in turn, I've been upset...

.... but times are changing!  Through hurt, there comes growth.  In growth, there comes renewed self-respect.  That self-respect is driving me forward into new areas, and I'm responding in ways I didn't have the energy to respond to the past ten months.

Operation: FIND AMY is well and truly under way!

I have big goals for this year ahead - things I haven't had the courage to "put out there" the way other goals have been made public before.  Some of them I'm keeping to myself - I owe myself a little privacy (haha!) and others I'm happy to scream from the rooftops!   When the time comes to talk about them, I will...

For now, though - for those that are worried or concerned... please don't be!  I'm actually really OK!  For the first time in months, I'm relieved, I'm getting my energy back, I'm rebuilding my business and the income is following slowly, and I'm actually HAPPY!  I feel like I can breathe again...  It's really difficult for me to upset people - as contrived as that sounds (I HATE conflict, and can't handle causing issues - and have been harbouring a huge amount of anxiety with people's invalid opinions of me) - but taking a step back to reevaluate what I was doing (or losing, in this instance) was enough for me to find the fear of failure, and that was a NON-option!  You know I'm far too stubborn (read: Taurean! haha) to let myself fall back into that trap - I've worked too hard, and too consistently to lose it all.  Old habits are really hard to break though, and "giving it all away to please everyone else" was REALLY easy to do - but it didn't win me friends or favours - it just left me depleted, anxious, upset, broke and left a whole wad of hurt on my plate!

SO, what does this mean for Amy now... What is it that I'm actually up to?!   (mwahahaha... I have plans, don't you worry about that!!)

Starting on Monday is the new 1 Million Kilo Challenge - ten weeks of a national initiative to get Aussies moving in the right direction with their weight and health goals.  My 300+ team members have humbled me no end!  I put myself out there (again!) to get people involved, and you guys haven't let me down!!  With so much support and enthusiasm, it wasn't hard to get swept up in that with everyone...  That's ONE of my strategies to help me reignite the Amy-mojo.

In conjunction with this, I'm in for the first round of 12wbt this year.  I'm structuring my next 12 weeks alongside so many others who have achieved so many amazing results - and I've already asked them to unleash their butt-kickings to help me.  Yep, I've asked for HELP.  *I* need help...

With that comes my brigade of beautiful local ladies, who have offered their help, guidance, support and love - in the flesh!  They see past the glamour photos, see Amy for just Amy, and understand why I'm hurting - can read past the "yeah I'm ok" and know when I need some home truths that others may be too scared to give me.  They're helping to rebuild me from within...  I've never been one to ask for help, or accept it without guilt, but I need help and I need to know I'm loved, and these girls are filling that void for me right now, and I'm so very grateful. 

There's a few other goals and strategies on the agenda too - I'm taking it all back to basics.  Trying to backtrack a little, and find where I lost myself in the process.  Reignite the fire to get my weightloss moving again - as much as I've "loved" being a 100kilo chick, it's not where I want to stay, indefinitely!!  It's time to set my goals again - and I really really really want to knock another ten kilos on the head, for good!

After that, it's time to look at the skin issue. This one's been brewing in the background for months now - and I haven't had the courage to really deal with it.  The excess skin upsets me like nothing else - it's hindering my progress and my self-esteem.  I can't stand what I see in the mirror and I'm suffering the consequences. It's NOT how it should be - not the skin, more in the head!!  I SHOULD be proud of myself, overwhelmingly happy with what I've achieved and what I've done to get to this point.  ... but that skin, just undermines EVERYTHING in my own head.  I can't quite explain it, and those who don't have the same issue can't understand it... but I'm hurting.  When / if I'm brave enough to deal with this one, it WILL form an integral part of my next chapter... but it's on the agenda for later this year. At the moment I still have to prove I'm capable of getting to my goal and EARNING the skin removal.

On top of that, I'm dealing with alot of personal stigma - relationships being on the top of the list.  Nothing has highlighted this one MORE than the introduction of this year's Biggest Loser series - all about singles and how their weight effects their relationships. Ouch.  This one's cutting me to the core... and it's something I really haven't spoken about in such 'candid' conversation as they're doing on the TV.  It's brought up alot of emotions and hurts that I've been suppressing (maybe not so successfully!) over the course of my transition - and very much influencing my decision to get myself "back together" and really knuckle down to finish what I started.   Just as so many of those contestants have said - so publicly - I want to be loved too...   I would give my right leg to be loved. 

... wouldn't be very helpful to give my right leg away... would make it hard to do my fun runs then... hahaha...  but you get my point.   And despite the contentious "you must love yourself first" stuff that's cropping up with it all - well, that just upsets me too...  It's just not that easy.   This one may form an entire new blog sometime soon... haha!

SO, in light of "losing" the last ten months filtering messages from hundreds of people, helping everyone else with their goals and giving so much of myself away in the process...  I lost Amy.   And now it's time to find her again.

Operation: FIND AMY is underway.  In the next 12 weeks I NEED to see change.  I need to see results.  I need to prove to myself that I haven't just wasted ten months of my life (given I've wasted ten YEARS of it prior to all this, I'm not ok with doing it again..) - I have a wad of goals that I will NOT forfeit this year, including weight loss, personal relationships, health and fitness goals and mending the broken heart.

Probably should prewarn you now that in amongst all that, there's bound to be alot of tears and tantrums - it's always the way, and I'm ok with this!  Every breakdown is a breakthrough, and I know in myself that I'm now ready to tackle the next batch.

The fire in my belly got a little spark the other day, when I had the opportunity to meet Commando Steve and one of his black-team boys, Graham, out here in Carcoar.  Seeing how well Graham is doing, how strong he is in the short time he's been with Steve, and having him turn around and tell me he knows of what I've done and had seen my profile...  it was humbling, to say the least!  When I told him to "just keep going!" - having him turn around and say "you too!" ... may have just been that little ignition fuel that I needed to stop the pity-party that's been raging in my head for months, and actually get off my arse and do something about it.  I just "get it" and maybe because he does too, it was enough for ME to feed a little mojo off him...   Either way, it helped!

I don't deserve respect unless I'm working for it - and right now, I'm not.  It's time to change that...  When I stop living off the recognition of something I've now "maintained" for ten months (I'm writing it off as "maintenance") - and actually start walking my talk, THAT is when I'll know I'm earning your respect and admiration again.

Right now, I don't deserve it...   I WILL find Amy again, and I WILL finish what I started... 

I do NOT want to come back in three months time and apologise for letting you down.  Again.

I do NOT want to question why I bothered to do what I have, or why I am the way I am again.

I WILL NOT give up.  Under any circumstances.  I will NOT give up on Amy.

Operation: FIND AMY...  I just want her back.