This past week I felt like I hit an emotional wall. It’s been a few months now where I have been working on my fitness goal, and though I have seen some changes, in my head I’ve progressed further…at least I should have.
In a recent event where I was asked to model some designer outfits and walk the runway, I felt uneasy for a few reasons. 1) It wasn’t really my thing, as fun as it was and as awesome as it was to be a part of it, 2) it brought to the forefront my frustration with the fashion industry (when I noticed that instead of showcasing my body, most outfits given to me actually worked to hide it, and 3) I wasn’t particularly fond of the clothes chosen for me, as gorgeous as they were, and despite fitting into a smaller size jeans in the process.
Everyone, even John (my trainer), kept saying how beautiful I looked, and it’s a strange place to be because my perception is not that at all. What is wrong with me? And worse still, what impression am I giving others who compliment me and I thank them half-heartedly, seemingly ungrateful or unconvinced? Ugh, I must seem like such a jerk.
When speaking to my trainer and talking over one of the photos I said, “Look at that. You can’t even see my waist! What have I’ve been working so hard for, if in the end THAT is what I am going to look like?!?”
He looked at me confused and concerned that I couldn’t see what he was seeing. Slowly he talked me “off the ledge” by pointing out the parts of my body that have changed and the improvements that I have made.
“Though you say you can’t see the point, there is no way you would have looked this great if you had worn that same dress on the first day I met you. I hope you see that,” he said, with a hint of sadness in his voice at the thought that that I might not see what he was seeing.
Overall, in general, and for the most part, I do love myself. I love how strong I am. I love how I am almost reaching the 4-mile mark in my runs. I love the shape of my arms and how my heart doesn’t want to explode out of my chest when I run up stairs. I love working out and sweating and being challenged. For me, that is what is beautiful, and those achievements are what make me feel really proud and fulfilled and content.
But like most people, I have my days where I just can’t appreciate any of it. Being older definitely has made loosing the weight harder, slower. Most days I am ok with this because I know I am working hard, but some times I get frustrated.
And it’s all part of the journey. Achieving a goal of health and fitness is emotional and exhausting. It takes so much to stay on it and not loose the will to keep going.
I don’t do well with compliments from others. I’m great at being my own cheerleader and even cheering others on, but when it comes from others, I feel uncomfortable and uneasy, and I think the fashion show experience a few weeks ago put me smack in the center of that. It might be a good thing, as it helps me not take myself too seriously.
I do remember not feeling comfortable with my look, or really feeling in my zone, but convincing myself that, like any other challenge, I was going to hold my head high and just do it. One person even commended on how confident I looked.
It’s incredible the things that we can accomplish despite our own inhibitions and inner self-deprecating demons.
In the meantime, I am between 214-210 lb. John and I have been working to get past the 200 pounds mark. It’s so slow coming, but John has faith in me, sometimes more than I have in myself, and I have my good days and bad days.
On the bad days, I have to remember that 10 months ago I weighed 246 pounds. When I first weighed in at Lucille Roberts, I was 233. I couldn’t run or climb stairs easily. I was tired, and I had more physical limitations than I do now.
I may not see what others do, I may not really be able to appreciate the visual differences in the same manner, and my definition of beautiful may not ever be the same as how others define it when they look at me, but I can feel the progress and change, and that is all I am going by.
I just need to remember it’s taking me a while, but I am getting there. Slow and steady, but I’m getting there.