A new perspective... and audience participation time!

I like to provide daily updates, but with my last update being last night, I didn't have much new to say this morning (which meant I actually had to come into the office and do work *gasp*). It's actually been bothering me most of the day.

So, I decided instead I'd share with you some thoughts that have been kicking around in my head since last Wednesday's fitness assessment. (If you're just wondering where the fun audience participation section comes in, scroll to the last couple of paragraphs).

I have to say, as much as that assessment was stressing me out, now that it's over, and my results are in my hands (so to speak - Shawn didn't actually give me a copy, and I'm kind of wishing I'd asked for them), my perspective is very changed.

Back when I first started this blog
, I explained how I've been a yo-yo dieter my whole life. I swung from one fad to the next, with varying degrees of dedication and success. Ultimately, as I found myself 25 years old and heavier than I had ever been, it wasn't with any real success, as none of my attempts were sustainable.

This time, even prior to my resolution, my results have been slower, but more promising. The weight I lose, I keep off. The changes I make, I stick with. And yet, throughout all of it, I never really saw myself reaching my goal. Never. I know, that sounds a little depressing, but I just figured it would always be out there, something I would never actually get to. A little like Everest. I could look at pictures and dream, but I would always have to be happy with the view from the top of the big hill in Cape Breton instead (not that there's anything wrong with that - it's a great view, after all).

Looking at those numbers on Wednesday, with Shawn showing me how far I'd come in a month - for the first time in all of this, that goal finally felt attainable. It finally felt like something I could do. The top of Everest suddenly isn't nearly as far away as it once was in my mind.

With that in mind, I went home and started thinking. It's a funny thing about goals. All I've ever dreamed about is being thin. It has been an all-consuming endeavour since I was, oh, twelve? I had no idea how to do it, but I wanted it. And now I'm getting there. Now I can actually see myself succeeding at this. And suddenly just being thin doesn't seem like much of a goal anymore. It seems a bit empty... and even shallow. After all, what do I do once I'm thin? Then what?

Being thin (or even "fit") isn't a good enough goal for me anymore. For one, it feeds into an already unhealthy body image issue. My weight, my appearance, my confidence in myself as a result - that's always going to be a problem area, and if I make everything about my appearance, I'm feeding that insecurity. Two, it doesn't give me a long-term means of sustainability. Once I get the appearance I want (provided I can convince myself it's "good enough") where's the motivation for the hard work to keep it up? How do I keep that yo-yo from falling again?

So, I decided I needed goals that were more fitness minded. I like being active, I've discovered. I really do. There's a rush to it. I love a good cardio workout, or the thrill of pushing myself on a weight training exercise, or beating a personal best. So I can see myself doing more than going to the gym to lose weight, or keep it off. But what?

The first goal was easy. I want to run. I have always wanted to be able to run. That's why I love the treadmill so much. Because I can see, in a very quantitative way, how I'm improving in that area. But yeah that is a big goal of mine. I want to be one of those people who can run for twenty minutes straight on the treadmill and make it look easy, or who can have a bad day, and just put on their sneakers and literally run away from their problems. Someday down the road, I'd love to compete in a marathon (okay, likely a half-marathon). Just to prove I could.

The second goal was harder to come up with, because it was a little vaguer in my mind. It was also something I've never considered before. I want to be capable of being a fitness instructor. Not necessarily be a fitness instructor, just be capable of it. Right now, I'm not. Not only because I don't have the training, but because I just physically couldn't do it. I barely get through the classes. But I think it would be a nice full-circle thing, to go from where I was, to actually being able to teach fitness to other people. And teaching step would be so much fun.

My other train of thought this week (I know! Two at once! It's a wonder my head didn't explode!) was less a goal than a reward. Well, something like that. I want to do something big when I do reach my weight loss goal. When I finally do a fitness assessment and all those numbers finally reach the goals Shawn wrote down when we first met. Because while I no longer want to make weight loss my only goal, it is still a huge part of this for me, and finally reaching that will be a huge accomplishment.

People have suggested trips, shopping sprees, vacations, photo shoots, makeovers, etc, etc, but I wanted something that was very big, very "not-me", and very.... memorable.

I'm getting a tattoo.

I know some of you are completely underwhelmed. Well, I don't care.

Part of being heavy (for me) is being very body-shy and self-conscious. I don't want people looking at me. Tattoos... attract attention. They stand out. They're also permanent.

A permanent reminder of what I had to do to get that tattoo. And a reminder to myself each day to continue to work for it.

This is all a new plan, but right now, the idea is for a design incorporating a Celtic butterfly (which represents transformation in Celtic lore) along with some type of meaningful flower because.... I like flowers. And flowers are pretty. As for location, I am leaning heavily towards one of my shoulders, where once I never would have had the gall to show enough skin that people would even have seen it.

But... I'm open to ideas and suggestions! What are your thoughts?


baygirl said...

2 years ago, I started my weight loss journey, I set my goals and promised myself that when I got to the 50 pound mark I would get a tattoo (which I did last summer) it covers my inner left ankle and is a daily reminder of how far off track I let myself wander, how hard I worked to get it and how much farther I have to go. I have aproximately another 40-50 to go and when I reach that goal I will be getting another tattoo to commerate that accomplishment. Its not about showing it off, its a badge of honor. My suggestion would be to put your tattoo somewhere YOU can see it, you are the one who earned it.

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