Greeting and Salutations my dearest readers! It’s been a while, hasn’t it?
Sometimes a gal needs to go inward and take some time for herself. As open and transparent and forthright as I like to be on this blog of mine, I found that what I was going through I didn’t want to share. I’ll share some of it now that I’m through it all, but then I was not ready to. I hope you will understand, and even if you don’t, oh well lol. I’ll just say that I’m happy to be back, I’m happy that there is a blog post in me that wants to be written. I’m not even entirely sure what will come out of me tonight, but I was certain that it was time to get back to you, to the blog, to sharing.
So thank you for being loyal, thank you to all of you who checked in on me from time to time. I’m so blessed to be so very supported. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Okay so nothing dramatic has happened. In fact, it’s probably the exact opposite. It’s been a ho-hum couple of months. Like, I mean, very little fire. Partly it had to do with the holidays and being busy and distracted with that kind of thing. It also had to do with being a little bit depressed. I’ve had bouts of clinical depression in the past and it’s been so long, and I’ve created so many coping mechanisms in my life, and I’m genuinely so much happier in general with myself and my life than I was before, that I kept telling myself I was just in a little funk and I’d snap out of it. It took a friend pointing it out to me to really acknowledge what was going on. It was textbook anhedonia – for those of you you don’t know what that means, it’s basically Greek for “without pleasure” – the antithesis of hedonism. So, like, I wanted to be in bed all day. I couldn’t motivate myself to work out. I would back out of social engagements, even dance lessons. I would not experience joy doing activities that normally brought me joy. My life consisted of work and the most imperative of obligations. And working from home, I could go days without leaving the house or even showering (I did manage to brush my teeth every day – because, that’s just gross lol – even depressed Stef has her limits).
So with that context in mind, it’s no surprise that I didn’t make it any further on my body and weight loss goals. Okay, so here I am, a year has passed, and I’m basically in the same place as I was 365 days ago, in the same clothes. It bothered me. And, like, I don’t want to share that I’m totally depressed and stuck. It’s just such a downer, and I wasn’t in the place to either a) gloss it over and make up some bullshit silver linings or b) wallow in it here. So I just decided that I wouldn’t say anything, not to mention that I didn’t even have any motivation to do so.
That about sums it up.
The good news is, that even with the holiday fluff-fest, I know that I know that I know that I’m never ever going to allow myself to fall back to where I was over 300 pounds. It’s just not a possibility in my reality. On the upside, I’ve managed to mostly maintain, for an entire year, gaining only holiday-related fluff of 15 pounds. Yes it’s significant, and I was fully aware of what I was eating and the results it would garner. I forgave myself and permissioned myself to do this. And, there is something this demonstrates. So many people drop tons of weight then gain it all back. I have truly transformed something in myself because that would not be acceptable. 15 pounds is about the upper limit of gain that I would ever tolerate, and to be honest, in my current head-space, I don’t even think I’d tolerate more than 5 pounds. So I’ll just take the opportunity to give myself a little credit for not regressing.
Okay, so my friend pointed out the obvious that I was choosing to not know and I’ve gotten the support I need around that. Life is looking better.
And with this, I also had a weekend of deep introspection. In case you didn’t know, Phoenix hosted the Superbowl. During that same weekend was the Phoenix Open golf tournament. I knew it was going to be a chaotic, crazy weekend locally, plus my husband was reliving his fraternity years with 4 friends staying at the house for the festivities. I decided to get out of Dodge! I went to San Diego by myself to escape the insanity, and I couldn’t be more pleased with my decision.
Long story short, I was able to take the opportunity to take stock of my life, what has been working, what has not, who I want to be and who I have been being. I made a firm decision. I decided it was either life or death, truly. I could either jump in, make the necessary changes, and choose to value the time I’ve been given, or I could continue to slowly wither and die as a walking zombie through life. I got really clear about the choice and what I’d been choosing for the past months.
I think you must have gathered by now that I have chosen to live.
And with that choice, things were set in motion in the universe.
The cool part, is that I’ve been trusting my intuition and taking action. I’ve been saying “yes” more and it’s amazing how things are unfolding.
So I was driving in my car at a time when I normally don’t, and the radio station I normally listen to was full of static so I turned the dial. I heard this guy talking on the radio. I have no idea what he was saying, but it was about losing weight and I felt like, well, hey, what if this message is for me? What if this is speaking to me? The voice said, “I will give the next 5 people who call in before 5:30 pm a free $150 assessment if they sign up for a program.” I was like, I’m not normally a person who would call. But guess what? I did!
So that set something in motion.
I’m now being held accountable for my diet! Yay! I’ve signed up for 6 weeks with Dr. Fitness and he’s got me on a plan of 1400 calories and no more than 42 grams of carbs per day. I’m so glad I worked with Chelle last year. It really prepared me to take this on like a Rockstar. I’ve taken even more ownership for my choices, I plan my diet every day, and I send it in to Lance. I also get 2 half-hour training sessions per week. I’m down 10 pounds so far. It’s a living, breathing plan, this is just the beginning stage, but it feels good to be heading in the right direction, and I can definitely feel the difference 10 pounds off my frame makes. I can hardly imagine how free I will feel when I’ve dropped 60 more. It’s gonna be amazing.
I think my biggest aim is to really believe in myself -to say and to know that I will accept nothing less than my desired outcome – to say and to know that I will actualize my dreams in reality. I am determined to keep going UNTIL I reach my goal. The end. With this definite-ness of purpose and clarity comes a new level of commitment I’ve not experienced around this particular issue ever before.
And with this clarity and decisiveness, and new vigor has ignited in Damir. He’s showing up differently on our lessons because I’m showing up differently.
I told him that I didn’t like how I had been showing up (or not showing up, for that matter). I came clean with him. I owned that I’d been more flaky with my lessons that I’d ever been, ever, with Ivan or any other instructor. I owned the fact that when I did show up often I had a negative, defeated attitude. The cool thing is, he has totally allowed me to be who and how I am no matter what. He’s supported me and been available but he never pushed, or shamed, or cajoled. The truth is, no one can make me a champion except me. He, and I, know that it’s not his job to make me do anything – if I really want this, then it has to come from inside me. That wasn’t happening through the depression. But what a gift, he let me be exactly where I was and it was okay.
So I came clean and I declared the new reality. I said, the past is the past, let’s wipe it clear and start fresh from this moment on. The past has no bearing on where I am going. I’m now going to be who I need to be to be that champion I say I am inside. The end. No need for drama or self-chastising. No need to even feel bad about myself. No need to convince you with words because my results will be here, or they will not. I request of you to call me on it if in a month there is no visible change. All I need to do is be here now and take the next right step. That’s it! Show up, say yes, and do the work. Damir is totally on board and it is exciting to see his enthusiasm. We did some great work on my lessons this week!
So the goal still stands: Ohio Star Ball, 2015. Here I come!
There’s only one more thing I want to mention. As you all are aware, my relationship with myself and my body and my body-image and self-esteem have been major themes in this blog. A lot of what I share here is the transformation of these aspects of self, both internally and externally. I have, as I think many women do, had a warlike, contemptuous relationship with my body. I’ve hated it and felt shamed for having it the way it is. I hated it when I was 116 pounds as a teen, and I hated it at 313 pounds. Part of the process for me has been finding appreciation, and, dare I say it, even love and reverence for my body, even as it is. I’ve worked consciously and deliberately to acknowledge and appreciate aspects of my body, such as how it moves, how it works for me, how amazing it is, how it heals itself, how it has taken the abuse I’ve heaped upon it and still serves me so faithfully. I’ve also come to consciously work to build my awareness around how moving feels good! That it doesn’t always have to be a huge, horrible, painful, awful struggle. And, at the same time, I’ve come to be able to tolerate being uncomfortable and really pushing my limits, be they cardiovascular or strength or endurance. I have a confidence that I can handle it and push through.
Okay so what I’m trying to say is that as I transform my body outwardly, I’ve also worked really hard to change how I relate to myself and my physical body. I’ve worked really hard to forge a peace with it, rather than a hateful war.
The reason I say all this is because I’m so inspired by watching my Big Fat Fabulous Life with Whitney Thore. I remember when her dance video went viral. Now she has a show. I love how she is so fully engaged in life. I love how she just is who she is and it’s enough. I love her courage and her bravery and her audaciousness and boldness and her zest for life. I love that she is so generous to share herself. I love that she is passionate and that she dances and that she puts herself out there. I love her sense of humor. I do, also, see that there are certain aspects that would not be acceptable to me, personally. For instance, she has had to modify how she shaves her legs because of her size. I was getting to that place, personally, where it was uncomfortable to be on a plane, where I had to modify how I lived life just to function. That was a huge wake-up call and red flag for me. For me, personally, it is not okay. I don’t presume to judge others or their choices. That’s their business. And, also, I know how hard it was for me to move at 313 pounds…she’s 380. I give her major props for dancing. Most people in their lifetime will never know how hard it is to move with that kind of weight on their frame. It’s so desperately difficult! I tell you I’m freer with 10 pounds less on my frame. Anyways, mad props to her for moving like she does, and also, I think about how heavy and weighed-down it must feel and I think that it could be better.
Okay, so mixed bag of emotions but the most interesting thing to me was that I absolutely had no problem looking at her body. It didn’t bother me one iota. I didn’t feel bad or have shame arise seeing how big she is – she’s 380 pounds! I mean, it’s not the norm. It’s shocking, even. But I realized that people who react to a fat person such as Whitney or myself are actually not reacting to that person but to themselves. They are reacting to their own projections of themselves if they were that big. So many people say that they’d kill themselves before they got that big. I, myself, would occasionally see people at restaurants that were severely obese and feel upset about it in the past. No more. I’ve worked through it. They can be how they need to be right now, and it has nothing to do with me. They no longer need to be my scapegoat for the aspects of myself I’d be afraid to see, know, or own.
But somehow, and I think Whitney says it best, that it’s like the “worst crime to be a fat woman” and that people can’t seem to reconcile a happy fat person, someone who genuinely likes herself and is confident even while being obese. It’s somehow very threatening to others. There is a group consciousness that if you are are fat then you should be unhappy with yourself and embarrassed and ashamed, and you are probably lazy and stupid and have no self control etc. I had totally bought into this paradigm and it had stolen my joy, my self worth, my self regard, my view of myself as an attractive, lovely woman. I felt like no one would love me if I were fat, certainly I withheld love from myself for this reason. It did not help to make me thinner, it only served to make me miserable.
But Whitney says pooh pooh to all that crap! And I agree.
My worth, my beauty, my ability to contribute, my compassion, who I am, actually have NOTHING to do with how I am packaged.
Now, I’m clear that I want something different for myself. And let’s be honest, my appearance does have a bearing on how I feel about myself – it’s connected. In fact, I’ve hired a make up artist for some make up lessons and also a stylist to help me create a sense of style so I can do some work from the “outside-in” to affect how I feel about myself, and to bolster my confidence. It’s also another opportunity for self expression and to declare who I am without saying a word. I figure, even if I’m not where I ultimately envision myself at the final goal, I can still be “put together” and still enjoy how I dress myself, how I present myself to the world at large.
At the same time, I’m committed to creating the vision I have for my body and my life. And, while I’m on my way, I refuse to feel bad about myself anymore. I will support myself in any way I can to do this all positively. I will take a note from Whitney and love me, just as I am. I’m enough. I am important, special, worthy, lovely, active, strong, powerful. I am these things NOW. It doesn’t depend on my body fat content. It won’t change when my adipose content is less.
And as I look around in life, I realize, I’m not the only one. There are lots of us out there struggling with our bodies, our weight, our self-confidence and our self-worth. I’m taking a stand, for me, and for all of us. I’m choosing to accept full responsibility for all of my life and all of my choices and all of my results. I’m choosing to wipe the slate clean and be open to the infinite possibilities of who I am becoming. I am choosing to love myself like never before and to express my authentic self. I no longer need to hold any shame or sadness of who I’ve been. I’m choosing to let go of whatever stories I’ve made up about what I can’t have, or how awful I am – that’s simply junk. I’m just as precious and worthy as I was the day I was born. It’s just that back then I accepted it! Somewhere along the way I took on some beliefs that didn’t serve me. No longer will I believe lies. You don’t have to either. Whitney knows this truth and she’s living it. From now on, so will I, even as I forge ahead to create the body I desire. Why? Not because I “should” or “need to” or “have to” but simply because I’m choosing to express myself differently because that’s what I want to do. No further justification necessary.
The truth is I am an athlete. I am a dancer. I love to move. I’m active. I don’t care how my body looks from the outside in this regard, these are my truths. Soon enough the “outside” will be in alignment with my “insides” and will reflect my truth. I am now being the me who takes the actions that are in alignment with that.
Okay, so have I rambled on long enough? lol!
This is where I’m at right now….
I’m on my way 🙂
Ohio Star Ball! What a great goal 🙂
Stef – Welcome back! I was just thrilled to see your blog in my in- box once again. I have been worried about you, but decided to give you your space. You’ll want to know Thinner, Fitter, Happier: Dancing Will Change Your Life! is scheduled to launch in March. It’s everything I’d hoped it would be. Your Cha Cha with Ivan is one of the coolest videos in it. You have a lot of which to be proud…and more on the way!
So glad you’re back.
I am so very, very proud of you! You will do great.
Yaaaaay! A day with out a “Biggest Girl” post is like a day without sunshine;-)
My girl is back!
Cheering for you!
Way to go Stef!