If you didn't read my post earlier today, it's just below that one. It's a happy post.
Here begins the final week prior to the cruise. I have four no-carb days scheduled, I've had my cheat day, and I'm ready to take on this week and see what I can accomplish. If it's as bully as this last week, I should see something utterly amazing. Four days of Crossfit.
June 1, 2002, I had just turned 22, graduated from college, and was rather unhappy with myself. I should have been dancing on air: I had obtained my black belt in karate not two weeks prior, my undergraduate degree was resting on an unopened box in my own new apartment, and my life was beginning. I was ready to take on the world. But I wasn't happy. I was fat, out of shape, felt like I hadn't truly earned my black belt on the level of fitness, and generally wanted something to change. Everything else had changed in my life, why not this?
So, somewhere around that date, I walked into a gym, hired a personal trainer, and never looked back. Over the next year, I taught myself about nutrition (at least, what the Zone Diet looked like without any knowledge of vegetables), exercise (Body for Life, again, without any knowledge of vegetables), and learned that I actually LIKED regular exercise.
June 1, 2003, I was just about to get married, just learned I was pregnant, and was just about to go to Spain. I then commenced to have three months of morning/all day sickness and lost all motivation to eat right and exercise. When I started going back to the gym at month 5/6, I would get contractions during the workout, so that didn't last past month 7/8. I cried after having my baby, because all the weight I had worked so hard to get off in 2002/03 was back (and then some).
June 1, 2004, I was still reeling from the birth that happened in January, a stressful job, and knowledge that I REALLY didn't like not having a steady exercise program. During that summer, I again hired a personal trainer for accountability and dove in again.
June 1, 2005, I was finishing up my first year of a new degree, this time for graduate school. That degree took me four years (I had to take two years of undergrad prerequisites just to get into the program), but it led me in an entirely new direction. It's probably a good thing that I did have those two years, because they only cemented my desire to work in the health/fitness field. I truly was, at that point, no where NEAR ready to start training others.
Fast forward to June 1, 2010, and here I am: turning 30, working in the health and fitness field and happy as a clam about it. I've been observing my attitude quite a bit over the past few weeks/months, mostly because I saw myself entering an old cycle again, and I was ready to get out of it.
That cycle was one of becoming apathetic, of seeing others obtaining goals and myself falling behind. It was one of berating myself for not getting to where I was going. It was one of feeling like the spiral should be down, rather than up. I wasn't seeing where I had already gotten, and I wasn't appreciating that I was in that spot. That was very very very common for me. I wrote down and went through that past stuff, because I noticed how there wasn't much appreciation for how far I had come.
Go back to June 1, 2006. We were going to be moving in three short months to Volga, South Dakota, so I could be closer to the school where I was getting my degree. I don't recall what I weighed at that point. I was working out regularly (4-5 days/wk), eating decently, and while I was happy with my fitness level I still wanted to drop 20 pounds. I got my wish that fall, as I threw myself into Turbulence Training and new types of food/eating styles. Was I happy at that point?
Yes and no. Yes, because I knew I was thinner than I had ever been. No, because I still wasn't seeing what I thought I wanted to see: that bikini body. I still beat myself up almost daily for it. I would scrutinize myself in the mirror, and I wouldn't see any results that actually WERE happening.
Skip ahead to June 1, 2008. By that point, I had done what I could (so I thought). I thought, my body just isn't cut out for the bikini. But what was so magical about that? It allowed me to actually, finally, really start to accept myself for WHERE I WAS AT. I started to become HAPPY with my body. (Don't start to think it all became hunky dory after that- me/this story is way too complex for that.) It was so freeing, so wonderful, to know that I was okay. People didn't recognize me at my 10 year high school reunion. I truly was thin, regardless of the fact that I didn't believe I'd look any good in a bikini. I gained a bit of weight that summer, but was okay with it, as long as it didn't climb. I let go of a TON of pressure.
Unfortunately, a part of that letting go included the discipline I'd developed for eating healthy foods and decent portion sizes. So the weight did climb.
June 1, 2009: I was burned out from my job, but was just starting the busy part of it. I had stopped the weight gain back in January, but wasn't very happy with where I was at. I was still working on accepting myself JUST THE WAY I WAS. But again, that acceptance was huge. The more I started to accept it, the more I started taking steps in the right direction again. The big break came at the end of August, when they cut my position and I took off. Literally. Some wings that had been developing over the past few years, that had been getting groomed through the weight gain and subsequent stopping, came out and we took flight. How else can you explain how quickly I turned around?
In January 2010, I'd had enough of my clients getting great results while mine were minimal. I not only wanted to get back to the weight/size I had been prior to June 1, 2008, but wanted to see how far (and how quickly) I could go.
I still fought a lot of the same demons: discipline, mostly, but also motivation, whiny-ness, and general one-step-forward-two-steps-back types of mindsets. I was mostly sick of myself.
Sometime in April, two things happened: I encountered "What if UP?" style thinking, I got pissed at myself and told me off, and I realized that I really had made progress. Thank God I had taken pictures. The perfect storm, for me. I buckled back down nutritionally. I signed up for Crossfit. I got really, really happy with the results that had already come. And by that, I don't think there are words in English to describe how happy I was at those results. There were NO put-downs. There was no, "Oh,but I could do so much better=failure" type thinking. It just STOPPED. Really. I can't even describe it, and there's no way I could teach another person how to do that. You're gonna have to find your own perfect storm, I'm afraid. But the key here is just how HAPPY I got at this. I am HAPPY to carb cycle- it keeps my protein and veggies up, but I allow myself the non-nutritionally-viable options at least one/two days per week. I am, while not exactly happy at Crossfit (would you be? it's self torture, but on an upward spiral-type scale), finding that I was not pushing myself AT ALL in my workouts like I thought I was. I had that personal trainer effect again. Which is WHY I had joined Crossfit in the first place- the coach getting a coach to make me better.
So, being happy with what I had accomplished, being happy to follow the eating plan and workout plan, just created the cycle I needed. I am extremely happy, now, to say that the results over the past month have increased that happiness ten-fold. I haven't weighed myself too recently- two weeks ago the scale at the gym I teach at read 155 in the evening with my jeans on, and I haven't checked it since- but the measurements have decreased 1/2 to 1 full inch in most places over the last month.
I still have bulges. My stomach isn't flat. I'm not "cut." But, you know what? Who cares? I'M the one who has to live in this body, and I'M quite happy with what it looks like right now. Of course I still want to go further. I want to challenge myself. But that challenge isn't being looked at in a "Not cut=failure" sort of way. I won. I overcame myself the past five months. I finished my workouts on Thursday and Friday, dammit, and they were made to break me. I may have cried and hyperventilated for five minutes during Friday's workout, but you know what? I let it out, let it go, and got up and finished it. Because I COULD. Because I'm stronger than that. I HAVE WON.
And yes, I'm bringing my bikini to the cruise, and I will wear it. Because I know what I've done to earn it. It took me 8 years and many tears, but I've done it.
And I will ROCK that bikini by the end of August. That's a threat AND a promise.