I’m sure you’ve been expecting this post. Many of you have been expecting it for a while if last week wasn’t a big heads up for you.
In July I got off track and didn’t ever really get back on. And now it’s time to get back on and stay on and not let anything or anyone get me off (uh…that’s actually not what she said…or meant…). Forget all my big goals about hitting my end point by the end of the year. I’m not saying I won’t dream big, just that I’m staying realistic.
I’m not really here to make excuses or wild claims about how “this time will be different” or any of that. I just want to get to work and work hard and not stop until I’m through. I can’t help but feel like the stakes get a little higher each time I do this.
I posted this picture several months ago. At the time I really liked it but I don’t think it truly hit home with me until a few weekends ago.
Here’s the thing. I signed up for Fitbloggin back when I was seriously blogging my weight loss and workouts and discussing all kinds of tough subjects. I did it on a whim and when I did my math I knew I would get to show up to Fitbloggin as an “after” – I’d have already lost all the weight I wanted to lose and I would be prepared to run the 5k in less than 30 minutes (my personal goal) and everything would be amazing. But that’s not the way it worked out. I can’t remember the last time I ran a mile, let alone 3 miles. I still have weight to lose. I am decidedly on the “before” side of the spectrum.
When I was getting ready for Fitbloggin I was pretty sure I was in for a weekend of faking my way through workouts trying to look like that stuff wasn’t as hard for me as it was. Pretending I was having a blast because working out is “OMG SO MUCH FUN” when inside I was secretly dying and wishing I could take a nap instead of pushing myself to look like I fit in with all the other toned and trim athletes in the room. Acting like I didn’t notice the way the other bloggers elbowed each other and whispered about how they didn’t know why I was there because I was clearly not a big deal blogger and clearly wasn’t on par with them physically.
Don’t get me wrong. I figured I would leave feeling motivated to get back on track and inspired to work harder and be better and go after my goals more than I was before. But I assumed that it would be because I’d spend the whole time looking around wishing I fit in with the others and being able to say things like “oh, yeah, I think we SHOULD do an easy 20 miles before Crossfit so we’re sure we got a good enough workout today,” all casual like that’s something anyone would actually ever say. I figured a good dose of self-loathing and public humiliation would set me back on track and I’d get to finish out my year hyped to come back and show those bitches in 2013.
And I am hyped to come back in 2013 and show everyone – EVERYONE – but I can’t call them bitches. And it’s not because they made me hate myself enough to change.
It’s because from the moment I walked through the door they made me feel like I mattered. They welcomed me with open arms, just the way I am. I didn’t have to fake a smile or pretend like I wasn’t in pain when we OD’d on burpees. No one looked at my abilities and rolled their eyes or pointed out that this was a fitness blogging conference and I am not a fitness blogger.
And after hearing everyone’s stories I knew that I’d found my home (my monkey tribe, if you prefer). I wasn’t prepared for the experience of hearing my own thoughts and concerns and struggles coming out of someone else’s mouth. I didn’t expect to find out that so many of us felt the same way about losing weight or that anyone could understand that there’s a fat girl who lives in my head who is legitimately batshit insane (if you know anything about my taste in music lately I think she’s also 16 and that makes sense because no one does crazy like a teenage girl, amIrite?). I certainly didn’t expect to cry as much as I did – this was a blogging conference! There’s no crying in blogging (</sarcasm>)! I felt loved and supported and uplifted even by people I’d never met in my life. Most importantly, I felt like I belonged there. I knew going in I would make connections but I didn’t realize they would be genuine friendships.
I know, it’s sounding kind of intense and cult-like – it’s not like that – I just have a lot of feelings. I don’t want to make it sound like we were holding hands and chanting or anything. I learned a lot about blogging business and fun things I’ll get to put into practice moving forward. But I also learned a lot about myself and my journey and the way I need to start looking at it.
I drove away from Fitbloggin ready to jump on the radical self-love train.
I may have also blared Never Say Never on repeat, but I won’t admit that (see previous comment about 16 year old girl in my head). I’ve written about this before – I never wanted to get to “After” and still hate myself. There are a lot of other aspects of myself that I need to work on before I can really reach “the end” of my journey and watching the number on the scale get smaller is just a part of that. It’s time to stop beating myself up for not seeing the progress I wanted to see by now. It’s time to love myself for how far I’ve come already. And yes, I am motivated and inspired to work harder and be better – but it has nothing to do with anyone else and everything to do with myself. I’m doing this for me because I need it and I deserve it and I am worth it.
So here we are. Not completely starting over, but not exactly picking up where we left off either.