Every time I start something, I start something else which ends up interfering with the first thing. lol The life of a creative mind.
Yesterday, I wore a pair of dark blue jeans that I had purchased years ago. I purchased them based on size alone. I was CERTAIN I could fit that size. I got them home only to realize that they could not go past my thighs.
I passed by a full length mirror yesterday while wearing those dark blue jeans. Initially, I thought to myself, You look good girl. Next, I started to critique myself. I felt like I was not losing weight fast enough. You know how we women are. Then, I stopped and really looked at my self. My face, my arms, my legs – everything looked tighter. I began to audible thank God for the progress. I clearly remember how before those beautiful jeans hung in my closet month after month. My after, I had to wear a belt to keep them up.
It is so easy to overlook the great achievement 'progress' is. It means I had a vision, devised a plan, acted on it and I am seeing results.
If you are unhappy about where you are in life, do not fret. You are stationed at the 'before' stop. You have to decide on your destination. Pay the fare and ride it out until the end. If you start and do not give up, there is always the after.
My first visit to Dallas, I took the Amtrak. Please do not ask me why. That was like the bumpiest, longest train ride ever. There were moments when the train raced across wide expanses rocking to and fro. There were moments the locomotive inched along. There was a moment when the train actually stopped and backed up to yield to the freight trains. I knew no matter what the route, if the train stayed the course, I would reach my destination.
I am not where I want to be but I am now in a pair of jeans that I could not fit. I am jogging on trails 3 miles at a time. I am lifting weights. I spend like 2 plus hours in the gym sometimes. Baby, if that ain't progress. . .
I was looking in the mirror as I got dressed this morning and a little smile developed. As I stared at my reflection, I noticed the woman looking back at me. I noticed her chin, her smile, the contour of her eyebrows, the light around her eyes. She looked like Felicia. Where had this woman been all of this time?
She, I, was hidden beneath extra pounds, defeat, insecurity, etc. In this move from Chicago to Dallas, getting settled, finishing my MBA, writing my book – it has been a whirlwind. I have set goals, met goals. Tried some things. Succeeded and failed. Through all of it, I had somehow forgotten this woman in the mirror. This Felicia who believed all things were possible, who had hope insurmountable.
Losing weight is more than a number on a scale. It is more than being a baddie in a red dress. It is remembering of who you are at your core. It is seeing yourself outside as you feel inside – beautiful. You are reshaping your life in your own image.
I am liking my own reflection. Every failure is a lesson. The people in my life – lessons and/or blessings. There is no room for regret, doubt, or what-ifs. For I have seen the woman in me, once forgotten, looking victorious.
You are – I am – victorious!
The half-way point of anything can be confusing to the unfocused mind. You are not where you started but you are not quite where you would like to be. You ponder:
Is the glass half-empty? Is it half-full? Are we there yet? Are we there yet now?
What do you do?
You keep moving.
I have had many rest stops on this road to fitness. I know full well what the side of giving up looks like. I long to see that place known as the 'Finished Line'.
I look at myself at lot in the mirror. Partly due to vanity. I can cop to that. I am a woman and it comes with the territory. I looked at myself today – full-length. I curled both my arms. I noticed a change. Am I back to stopping traffic with my walk? Not yet, but I am not where I once was. I am stronger, faster, better. I am winning.
I have previously fallen into the trap of complacency. Feeling so high that I have lost a few pounds that I decrease my committment and intensity only to fall by the wayside feeling defeated. Not this time. I have an actual plan of attack.
I encourage myself daily. I have accountability partners. A group of my friends and I do a daily fitness challenge. We check-in with each other on Facebook daily. It is fun and useful.
Nothing is more rewarding than seeing the change in yourself – body, attitude, confidence.
There has been some residual effects. I do not accept the poor treatment of others becuase – through fitness - I have learned to make myself the priority. I can say no to food and as an extension no to other things that are not good for me or that are not in my best interest. I have found that people who you love the most can take advantage if allowed. I have found the cure for this. It is the word 'no'.
I am feeling pretty confident about the rest of my journey. I know through it all God is with me. With Him on my side, I cannot, WILL NOT, lose. Except pounds of course. lol
It is like the lyrics to an old song my mom would sing while cleaning the house:
"I don't feel no ways tired./I've come to far from where I've started from/Nobody told me that the road would be easy/I don't believe you have brought me this far to leave me."
You must forgive me for my behavior and this post. I am usually very uplifting and positive. I like to see the cloud's silvery lining. Yesterday? Not so much.
My trainer is out of town. Not wishing to fall behind on my workouts, I decided I would check out the classes at my gym. Yesterday, I realized there was a Body Pump (weight-lifting) class followed by Zumba (cardio-dance) scheduled. My training is usually pretty intense so I decide to take both classes. Body Pump went as I expected. Life weights to music and we are good to go. I was super pumped for Zumba because this is where you get to GET DOWN!
The fact that Zumba (which is a pretty popular class) had all of ten people present should have been a warning. This Zumba class was taught by the most rhythmically challenged African-American woman that I have ever seen in my life. This includes me! lol
The music started and I noticed that the moves were pretty basic. No worries, I told myself, we are just getting started. How can you teach Latin dance with a complete inability to move your hips and snake your back? It was like Geppetto was controlling her limbs with invisible strings.
Bless her heart she tried. I mean, she was energetic and engaging. I even gave her a high-five in the middle of a routine. I was thinking, I can get through this. I can get through this UNTIL she busted out the Macarena!
I left after about 40 minutes.
The funny thing is – I have always wanted to be a dance aerobics instructor but I know I am #team rhythm-less nation. I wondered what my class experience would look like. Last night, I peeked into my future and it was not pretty. I still would like to teach the course but TRUST I am going to take dance lessons first!
When I was 17, I did what people told me. Did what my father said and let me mother mold me. But that was long ago. I'm in CONTROL! Janet Jackson
My weight has fluctuated since I was a young girl. My mother explained to us that she though we were unhealthy because we were so thin. She decided to give us multi vitamins and feed us to fatten us up and boy did she lol. You are taught your first lessons about diet, cooking, and shopping from home. You see obesity and its related illnesses as a family trait.
I know you have heard it. I'm a big girl all the women in my family are big girl. Big arms/butts run in the family. I remember as a little girl going to visit my great-grand mother. She was in a wheelchair because one of her feet had been amputated. Why? I asked my mother. My mother told me that it was because of 'sugar'. Why did she have this 'sugar'? "Keep living, child. Keep living." My mother would say.
I was so terrified. Is this what happened to everyone who got old? It seemed to be happening to a lot of women in my family. I looked at my little feet and prayed to God that He would let me keep them. As I grew up, I started to look like all of the other women in my family – overweight. Was 'sugar' (diabetes) and a missing foot in my future?
The devil is a liar.
The truth is my family did not follow a healthy diet. We generally ate soul food regularly. This packs on the pounds, the sodium and all of its related ailments. Feeling tired, sick and old – I knew something had to change. I had to take control. I am an adult. Mommy does not cook my meals for me. I had to become educated about eating a healthy, natural diet. I had to learn how to shop the perimeter of the store and avoid processed foods. I had to learn to structure my meals to feel full while eating less bad stuff.
I am officially down 35 lbs from my highest weight. I still have a long way to go but I am trending downward lol. I was always okay with exercising but my diet was still out of control. I follow a few weight loss blogs and Facebook pages. I love seeing the before and after pictures. Real women who have lost weight successfully through hard work and CONTROLLING their diets. This is the next phase of my challenge. Eating right all of the time. No cheat days.
The truth is I am in control. I determine if I will exercise, eat right, be motivated – OR NOT. I need a little help sometimes. I kid you not, during my training session I stopped and prayed to God for strength to finish that stairmaster! Chile that thing is a monster – BUT I did finish.
I had just written the perfect post about not giving up and facing obstacles when my computer froze! The entire brilliant piece was deleted. Here I am starting again.
Talk about practicing what you preach!
Long story short. I had a rough time during my workout and contemplated quitting. I was tired of overcoming one challenge only to fall short on another.
Then I had an epiphany. If I am tired of starting over, I should stop quitting when things become difficult; or when facing a significant setback, like losing my post a few minutes ago.
Weight loss and fitness Is about consistency. A preacher once stated that success comes by doing what you are required to do regardless of how you feel. I felt like giving up. Many excuses ran through my head but I have given up before. I know the outcome of that. I want to feel the outcome of not giving up. I want to see the other end of being consistent, disciplined and working hard for a fitness goal.
I am out of time so this post, while not as long as my original, is still kind of brilliant in its brevity.
Do what you need to do to get what you need to get regardless of how you feel.