Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sweat, 'that dress' and Emazon

It's happening.  It's REALLY happening.  My head has just been BUZZING since the weekend - and nothing has been able to wipe the smile off my face!

This is really happening.

For over 12 months I've been working on "the skin issue".  Over 12 months of fighting against the pain when I ran; the feeling of 'grossness' and 'freakiness'; the sweat rashes; the downward spiral of my mental health just because I LOATHED the body that was "leftover" after all the weightloss.  So bitterly disappointed, given I was still "too big to be a role model" (words that still ring in my ears) - and still feeling like there was something wrong with me...

I've fought my way through this year's breakdown, the subsequent meltdowns, and came to the crashing realisation that I simply couldn't do this alone anymore.  ... and called in for reinforcements. A bold move on my part, given my lack of "being able to ask for help" in the past.  This was strategy - I simply couldn't fight this alone anymore.

So one by one, I aligned myself with professionals - CHAMPIONS - who could help me facilitate the changes in my body and mindset that would help me get further AWAY from the degrading self-hatred that was ruining me.

Four goes it took me to be brave enough to front the Surgeon for the second time (just as I mentioned in the previous post) - and four lots of tears before I walked in that door, he handed me the form, and the decision was made.

... but it still wasn't real.  It felt like an illusion - far away and far too "day-dreamy" to bring me what I needed.  It was an easy escape surely... ?!

So I embarked on the 12wbt - with no other goals than pure fitness-related (given my weight wouldn't budge)... and diligently followed the meal plan the first few weeks.  I was so excited with bringing structure back into play - but a few weeks in, the lack of results (no surprise there - body and I were at loggerheads) and my emotional imbalances took over again... and I fought with it the entire way through the rest of the program.

I felt like a deadset failure.  My weight fluctuated up and down, I'd cry myself to sleep every night, I'd fight with my body and the frustration.  Again, I called in reinforcements.

Working with my Kinesiologist - a gorgeous friend of mine - he deliberately started picking me to pieces.  My body was shot - my headspace was ruined.  They were feeding off each other - and I was getting further and further "toxic" in all aspects, because of it.  So he started working his magic...  Week after week, he'd pick the next ailment - he'd push my emotional barriers (and generally have me in tears!) - and if nothing else, I felt like I had a guiding hand and a friendly hug each week to help me on my way.  It was my godsend.

When the emotions simply wouldn't let up, and my sanity was starting to waver (even more than normal!) - the nightly tears, and losing it multiple times at work...   I was scared.   The fear of returning to a state of depression (like the one that stole a decade of my life) sent me straight to my Naturopath.  My next reinforcement strategy.  I was so relieved when she said I was in a state of anxiety - and as she said, she simply wasn't surprised, given everything that had happened and what I was about to face.  Armed with a bottle of natural pills, I walked out the door.... and the next day, felt the relief already!  I've been on the tablets ever since - and it's already helped ease my nightly-tears, helped calm my nerves, meant I could focus and make rational decisions again, and my eating has improved three-fold.  For the first time in a long time, I was starting to feel like MYSELF again.  These tablets I'll be on pre and post-surgery - to make sure I can stay calm and rational through all the changes that are about to happen.

After booking my surgery, I was determined to make sure my body was at its fitest - make sure I was super healthy before I cut myself to pieces.  I embarked on a self-imposed "50 days of Fitness" challenge - which ended exactly on the 12wbt Finale weekend!  I'll confess, that when I set that up for myself, I didn't actually assume I'd do it... least of all see much result out of it, given I was still doing "the same old, same old"....   boy was I wrong!!

I just went about my usual training - Pump and RPM as my base, a lap of Mount Panorama occasionally on weekends.  I really didn't think anything of it - until I started getting feisty and pushing for higher PBs!  The 16kgs weighted lap of Mt Panorana that I did a month ago is still fresh in my mind - it's one of my proudest HEAVY achievements and it surprised the hell out of me what my body was capable of doing (and OMG I'm still reminiscing about those DOMS the week following, haha!).  My other major achievement, the 30kgs squat track in my Pump class that I now do as my regular weight - I was SO excited about hitting this marker, that it gave me the confidence to step it up to the next notch...  signing up with a PT and hitting the weights room.

I hit my first full session with my new PT on Monday, and am still walking slightly funny... haha!  He keeps asking me how I am, and "at the time" I thought the session was easy - that I was "all good"... ummm.... !!!!!!    He's a huge part of my strategy now too - a couple of sessions pre-surgery (I have one left next week) - and then it's all POST-surgery toning and rehabilitation when I get out.  He will help me reshape the rest of my body - and keep me sane (ie: stop me trying to destroy myself when I can't see the results!) - and I can't wait!   He's a MACHINE - and I'm so excited to bring that into play! 

... and little did I realise - while I was just "going through the motions" with my training during this couple of months, thinking my body was doing nothing (cuz the scales sure as hell werent)...  my body was in a whole new phase of transitioning.  Whilst I'd focused purely on fitness and strength to be super healthy for my surgery - my body was morphing again... !  I was just too distracted to see it!

Reluctantly doing my weigh-in and measure-up at the end of the 12wbt, I was feeling really deflated about the whole thing.  Big failure...  I even waited until it was too late to make the numbers 'official' because I was already believing I'd done nothing.   Ohhhh how wrong I was!   6cms off my hips - THE only place on my body I rarely lose because of the skin... and five kilos off - I was pretty "ok" with that!!!     Hell, I was MORE than ok with that when I saw the photos... (but now I'm just getting ahead of myself.. haha!). 

When I hit Sydney for the 12wbt Finale last Saturday, I was SO enthusiastic for the group outdoor workout!  Armed in our "army greens"  (the 30+ers group uniform!) - I ran out there like a crazy person!  NOTHING seemed to phase me - strutting my stuff in costume (that's a first!) - meeting new people and not wanting to run away and hide (another first!) - and then absolutely BELTING OUT the outdoor circuit (equivalent of a full-on Body Attack class - the one that I NEVER do because it brutalises my knees and I'm too unfit!) - and yet I smashed that out like I had no issues at all!   I was SO hot and sweaty by the end of it all, but totally pumped and left with a giant sense of achievement in my puffed-out peacock-style chest!!

... but it didn't end there.

Glamming up that afternoon for the Finale Party... I didn't really have much "grand hope" on this one!  I'd taken my dress (last time I took three choices because I couldn't make a decision - this time it was just one - and I prayed I'd still fit into by that night!!) - and figured I'd just make a little effort to look nice.  Try and make myself feel better - after the months of thinking I looked like shit again... (!!!! I know... don't say a word...!)

Makeup, eyelashes, hair extensions in - I was just in "experimentation" mode more than anything - just wanted to FEEL good about myself - in amongst a sea of sexy weightloss goddesses... I didn't really think I'd feel that great at all... but I'd give it a go at least.  I'd already tried a few things on at home beforehand, just to make sure I'd have the confidence to do it on the night...  Figured if I chickened out, I'd just go back to basics.

Wiggling my way into my dress as my final thing to put on - I breathed a sigh of relief realising I still fit into the bloody thing (mind games... hate them!!) - then took myself to the mirror.

... and stopped dead in my tracks.

I didn't recognise her.  I did a double-take.  The person in front of the mirror, surely that wasn't me?!  I'm pretty sure I let out a few expletives in my head at this point - I know damn well there was a LOT of OMGs coming out of my mouth!!

My roommate was having her own moments like that - in her tiny brand new dress (she's lost over 40kgs herself, and had a successful 11kgs loss that round, even with an injury) - both of us stood there gaping at the mirror, and loved what we saw!!! 

Too excited to cry (haha, how's that for a first!!!) - we set off for the party!  Fast forward to entering the building, chasing glasses of champagne, nibblies and general mingling.... it was GAME ON for FUN!!!   Manda and I spent the entire night strutting our stuff, DANCING (dancing, dancing, dancing!) and having as much bloody fun as we could fit into a handful of hours!   We were there until the music stopped, and were the last ones in the photo booth before they shut the doors!   We staggered out the front door to the bus on our way back to the hostel, and were so merry (ahem, slightly bubble-induced giggly wobbly... err... !!!) - but we were just on top of the world!   Whilst the bubbles may have played a slight part in that - I do believe the emphasis is truly on the SLIGHT.   There was far more going on here than intoxication.. haha!

... and then there were the PHOTOS!!!   These have got to be some of my most favourite shots I've EVER had taken - I'm so proud of these!   Yes, my body has changed shape again (I have SHOULDER MUSCLES!!!) - and yep, that dress is super flattering and I'm loving the look... but more importantly - I'm HAPPY!!    My face says it all!

But it didn't end there...

Sunday morning, up bright and early (err... scratch the "bright" somewhat...)  - it was off to a special session with Emazon.  Now, I had NO idea what to expect from this - but I'd heard only good things about this powerhouse woman and her "ways" of transforming women's minds...

... and I knew I was in dire need of some help in that department.

I'd been offered a place at the session, and I simply couldn't say no. After the months of mental hell, and despite my strategic help from my CHAMPIONS - my mindset was still stuck in the 'shit zone'.  I knew it was time to try something radical.

I don't really know how to explain what happened during the session - or how to describe what this session actually IS.... but something shifted.  Something magic happened.  Something clicked - FINALLY.

Early on in the course, I was in tears - Emazon doesn't mince her words.  She speaks the truth.  She's a no-bullshit woman, and her philosophies are so acutely aligned with my own... it STUNG to hear those home truths come back into play.  Things I already knew - like the limitations of my "superficial thinking"... the struggle of overcoming the barriers holding me back.

Everyone takes something different out of her class - but my messages were as plain as day to me.  Every time something would come up, it's like a light would go off in my head.  Every. Freaking. Time.

1.  Numbers are NOT my friend - they will NOT make me happy.
2.  I am far more than just my weightloss - this simply does NOT define who I am.
3.  My 'superior self' does NOT tolerate being used.
4.  My 'Red Woman' will NOT tolerate degradation to meet other people's sub-standards or superficial conscripts.
5.  I AM a fighter - there's a strength in me that has guided me through hell, and has ALWAYS known what to do.
6.  The barriers and set-backs have been there FOR A REASON.  Every time I fuck it up, it sends me back to get it right...
8.  There is FREEDOM in honesty and integrity - and I embody both of these things already.
9.  My passion and purpose is already there - it's already shaping me.
10. Who I am, as I am, in this moment - is enough.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.

I have others - but I'm still brewing on the power of these as they are right now.  I can match past events and outcomes in my head to these statements - making them even more powerful and the understanding even deeper. I KNOW this was what I was meant to hear - and I know the timing was absolutely perfect.

Her class empowered me - it gave me an energy.  It was pure self-recognition of who I am and what I've done, and what I need to do next.

EVERYTHING that I have done in preparation for my surgery - EVERY strategy and stepping up to make this work FOR THE RIGHT REASONS was validated in this session.  Everything.

I walked out of that room about a metre taller, and weighing ten kilos less!  I felt like months of fear had just been lifted off my shoulders - the "what ifs" were gone.  (What if I still look like crap after surgery and still hate myself?  Why do I feel like a failure and cop out for the surgery?  What happens next when my weightloss is over and I'm not "anything" anymore?  Who AM I in all of this when I feel like absolutely noone?!)

I had three key words at the conclusion of our course that have stuck with me since...  Three of the most powerful words I've attributed to myself, possibly EVER?!

- Validation - everything is starting to make sense, it has reason and purpose - it's "meant to be". The good and the bad - everything!  The hurts and tears were valid - they were there to teach and guide me.  When I do things for the RIGHT REASON - when I align to my true beliefs - the hurts simply don't hurt anymore.

- Consolidation - everything feels like it's finally coming together, all the work and the strategic planning, even aligning myself with my Champions - it's all coming together now.  The fact I can now see WHY I have endured what I have makes this one even more powerful - and simply understanding that trusting myself (faith in that inner awesome driver) is paramount to my happiness....  now and in the future. 

- Humbled - there's a huge sense of relief within me right now.  There's a higher power driving this train, and she's freaking AWESOME.  She's known from day one what we needed to do - and just went about and did it.  She's guided me the ENTIRE way through - endured the heartache, the tears, the tantrums, the self-abuse both physical and emotional.  And she's fought for me, AND against the negative me - time and time again - she's never left me.  She's the fighter - and I'm so incredibly humbled to FINALLY realise she's right there within me.  She IS me.

SO, with less than two weeks left before I head into surgery - I feel like the neurosis and the hatred of the past 12 months is finally starting to subside.  Finally.  All that work has been for EVERYTHING!!

This is really REAL.  No more tears.  No more fear of the unknown.  I'm so incredibly proud of myself and SO happy right now.

Less than two weeks....    !!!!!!!!