Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Permission to be proud

I don't really know where the last twelve months has gone - it's mid October, and I'm currently in preparation for my "next chapter" - I feel like I'm holding my breath in anticipation of what this means or what happens next, but it's meant that I've been 'reevaluating' what's happened in the past year that's lead me to this point.

My surgery is only a few weeks away - and yesterday I pushed myself to go and do my mandatory 'bloods' (so they have something to compare against later, and check that I'm healthy etc) and then filled out the hospital form and emailed it in late last night. I've had to do these since late August, just wasn't quite ready….   Booking this in officially was my next major step to making this a reality, and it's taken me a good few weeks to get it together enough to do it.

Prior to talking to the Surgeon I questioned whether I deserved the help, whether I was just opting-in for an "easy way out", and I was petrified that surgery wouldn't give me the answers or results that I need. As it turned out, it'd been nearly twelve months since I'd seen him last, and my weight hadn't changed - but so much else had, and with so many beautiful new things in my life, they were being undermined by the sheer hatred I have for the body I've been left with. Unfortunately.  The skin had contributed to so many negatives, that it was pulling me backwards… the strategy, then, became surgery to help me push forward. 

The last twelve months has proven to be my hardest year yet - and it makes my head spin at the thought of what's happened in such a short space of time. In terms of weightless: nada, zilch, nothing - I've just gone up and down, backwards and forwards in the same 10kilos bracket. Over winter, I stacked the weight on found myself quickly heading back up to the 110kgs mark - but have pulled that all back off since, and turned my physical fitness around 150%.  In terms of 'life' - well it's thrown me around like never before - but I won't say it's without merit. I've had some beautiful experiences, I've had some hurtful moments - there's been tears and tantrums… and yet I'm still here, I'm still moving.

Yet I found myself the last few weeks still unable to find solace in the positives of this - even after pulling my stubborn head in, asking for help, and turning things around - I still couldn't find my pride. Somewhere along the line, I'd stopped being proud - shunned myself for the things I'd achieved - I let people take it away from me with their comments and criticisms - I'd lost the energy to contend with it all. I was embarrassed to talk about my achievements, I stopped taking photos, I stopped writing and sharing, helping and being happy, I started hiding again. I let the negatives win, and I lost my pride….

Mid this year I had a major breakdown - it wasn't pretty and it did its damage - but it taught me a lesson too (as things always tend to!).  When I sought help from my Naturopath recently for my emotional imbalances - driven in there by my sheer fear that I was reverting to the old depression days - she had me fill our three hefty questionnaires to judge what was happening, and figure out what impact it was having on my body. The month prior to this I'd been working with my Kinesiologist, who'd basically already told me my body was buggered because of my emotions - they were working against one another, feeding off each other in a negative way. I was going in circles and there wasn't much I could do about it!  But that was the whole point in seeking their help - I can't physically SEE what's happening to my insides, and I needed their help and guidance.  I knew my emotions were shot, but something wasn't right since the breakdown, and it went further than just what was going on in my head!  My body was breaking down, I could just feel it.

My Naturo put me on some tablets for anxiety - she said she wasn't surprised I was as highly strung as I have been the past year, considering how depleted I am emotionally and physically with all the changes the past five years, and the decade prior to that…  She's worked with me in the past - helped turn around a few of my weird ailments (my superior stress levels when I quit my job; my toxicity a couple years ago from the weightloss. She's helped me before, and I went straight in to have her help again).  The Kinesiologist's "magic potion" had been working on helping my organs with the stress and get me functioning properly, internally, again - the Naturo's tablets and mix were to calm my head.  I felt the difference the next day…. !

The last few weeks have been a MASSIVE turn around. I no longer feel like I'm walking on eggshells, and I feel like I can breathe. I forced myself to seek help (I'm a stubborn Taurean, I don't ask for help unless I have to!) - but I bit the bullet, and asked… and I'm so very proud of myself for doing that.

Enter the transition phase of "finding my pride".  As I move into this next chapter - my surgery phase - I knew straight out that this was going to be one of the hardest things for me to do.  Hell, just booking the appointment was a task in itself - and it all boils down to the emotions and my headspace.  Since I booked, I simply haven't looked back.  Yes, I've stalled a couple of times, I've had a cry, I've questioned and had to take a few deep breaths… but I haven't looked back.

So much has happened - POSITIVELY - in the past month, that I'm walking with my head held high again. My training is spot on - I issued myself a "50 days of fitness" challenge to keep myself honest and on track - and 25 days in, I've been working hard at it ever since and already see the physical difference, hit new monster PBs and I haven't even hit my stride yet!

My food intake has been better - now that I'm not EATING my emotions every day (the curse of being an emotional overeater - happy, sad, scared, bored… you name it - I'll eat my emotions… Emotional imbalance = food festival, and is seriously BAD for results!!). I won't say I get a gold star on the food just yet, but there's far more control here than there's been for MONTHS, and I'm a little proud of myself for that. I'll need that control when I'm in recovery-mode and can't train the way I usually do - so it's very much on my agenda at the moment to get a handle on it all

And as for my head….  ahhhh, all good things come to those who wait - or more importantly, those who diligently work on it!  I'm in a MUCH happier, healthier place than I've been for a while - it's meant that I've poked my head out of isolation and I'm "revisiting" the things that used to make me happy - instilled a sense of pride in what I was doing.  Little things - like writing this blog (!), taking photos (god help you all, I'm back to all the "selfies" again… haha!) - finding and booking in new activities to plan my year ahead, and happily thinking 'futuristically'.

My health and fitness are BEAUTIFUL right now - that is my ultimate goal pre-surgery - to be at my fittest and healthiest….  but that was to include my mental state too - and that has a strategy aswell. I certainly haven't gone into this without a plan, and I'm PROUD of myself for doing it this way - for stepping up and asking for help and following through with it.

I have no doubt that the next few weeks ahead are going to be a little rough, and I have those butterflies in the pit of my stomach starting to jiggle around at the prospect of the last countdowns…. but I'm gearing up now for the next chapter, and what it means. 

I feel like I have a world of expectations on this surgery - subconsciously holding out for everything "beautiful" to just magically happen after this bit of skin is gone… but the realist in me says I need to stop dreaming like that.  I've put so much on hold in the past based on me still feeling "freaky" in this left-over body, and it's done nothing but burn me for the past year.  It hurts, and bulk of that lies on ME and my response to it.  I need to take some responsibility for letting that turn negative…

My body isn't foul - it's wonderful. It's amazing what it overcomes - the torture I put it through (literally, I did a lap of Mount Panorama with 16kgs on my back on Sunday - my glutes are STILL giving me hell about it, haha!)… and yet all the crap I've put into my system, all the neglect, the torment…. it's still fighting with me. 

That's my goal now - to stop putting pressure on my body and love it "just as it is" - because when I part ways with this belly skin in December, I'll be saying goodbye to something that's been with me for 33 years.  I'm nostalgic and melodramatic at the best of times (haha!) - but it's true.  I shouldn't be wishing this away, I should be celebrating what it's meant to me, what it's done for me, who it's made me…  I need to convert the negative stigma into something beautiful, NOW, before it's gone.  I need to be PROUD of my skin, and I need to have pride enough to say goodbye, and say thank you with a smile on my face. 

That's my goal in the next few weeks…. transition back into being PROUD.  Proud of who I am, of what I've overcome, of the things I've achieved, of where I'm going.  I give myself permission to be proud… and I bloody well better start believing it.  The clock's ticking… !