Monday, July 21, 2008

Let's Start at the Very Beginning....

So, I just finished watching 'How do You Solve a Problem Like Maria'... and the beginning does indeed seem like a very good place to start.

In October 2007, I made a choice. I decided to give myself 6 months to lose 50 pounds. I wasn't going to be really aggressive about any sort of plan... I was just going to be more conscious about what I put in my body and what I did with it. If I wasn't able to do it, I would decide to take the plunge and get a laproscopic band... where a surgeon ties an adjustable ring around your stomach and makes it physiologically difficult to ingest lots of food. I have never wanted to get surgery, but was at a point when I was desparate. I felt like surgery was a bit of a cop-out, and didn't like the prospect of not being able to enjoy food for the rest of my life... it seemed like I was admitting that I had no control, and would have to rely upon a $16,000 piece of elastic to control me. And for people who know about my control issues, this would not work. So, I gave myself a short term goal. 6 months... 30 pounds.

And I succeeded. Without even really trying.

So, to celebrate my success two months ago, I took a flying leap into a world that I've never been to before. I was watching some late night television and tuned into a special on City TV that featured a personal trainer and some other health specialist. Needless to say, the idea of hiring a personal trainer had been on my mind for a long time, but I had never found someone with whom I 'clicked'... who I thought would 'get me'. Hiring a personal trainer seemed like the best way to celebrate my accomplishment, and a great way to keep the momentum going. I've maintained that for the past 20 years, after having tried every gimmick diet and weight loss program known to humankind, that overweight people are among the smartest people when it comes to dealing with food and weight. And I felt like I needed to work with someone who was going to not only recognize the path I've already been down, but also respect the fact that I wasn't a complete idiot who didn't know what to do.... In spite of the fact that there have been may times where I've felt like an idiot, I needed to work with someone who was going to meet me where I'm at, as opposed to drag me kicking and screaming to where it is he/she wanted me to start. Most importantly, I needed to work with someone who was going to fill the gap between knowing and doing -- that ominous, confusing, vulnerable space where we recognize what we should do, and actually put it into action.

That said, I met Sebastien ( and as we talked through my goals I learned very quickly that he got it.... that he was going to honour where I'm at, and gradually bring me closer to where I want to be. We started slow.. training once a week, with the goal of getting me moving and more comfortable with the idea of working out. I remember when we first met, he tried to establish what I did and didn't like to do... in terms of physical activity. I made it very clear that at the top of the list on the 'didn't like to do' side was 'I don't like to sweat.' I don't. Seriously. It's gross. But it's what I've got to do.

So since my first workout, I've been letting people know what I've been up to. It's been like coming out again -- as I slowly but surely told people in my life that I was taking this big step. Doing so was important -- because it helps to form a circle of support around me that I don't feel like I've had other times I've tried to tackle this situation. However... continuing to give updates is challenging. I'm a very private person, and don't like to talk a lot about myself... especially my 'problems'. I know, I know, I know. It goes against everything I tell students and people around me every day... but do as I say, not as I do. Get over it.

So this blog is a space for those people who are close to me to share in my journey. To get a glimpse into how I'm doing with this exciting adventure, and also to hold me accountable (to a degree) for what I'm doing. The only person (after my trainer) who is going to hold me the most accountable, and make this happen for real, is myself. But I know it's important to share this part of myself with those about whom I care, and who I know care about me.

Some people might say that this blog is self-indulgent... if so, then that's fine. But I see it as an opportunity for me to sit down every once in a while and download all of the stuff in my head about how things are going. And I don't necessarily have the patience, or the courage at this point, to have the same conversation with all of my friends and family, so this is the place to find out how things are going. I don't know exactly what I'll post here... my thoughts and reflections for sure... maybe an occasional picture... rarely my results... 'cause it's not polite to ask a lady how old she is, or any other personal detail (wink!). But I may eventually get to the point where I have the courage to tell it all... I'll keep you posted.

In the meantime, enjoy the read... if you read this and get a glimpse into my life ('cause those of you who are close to me know that asking directly is WAY off limits, ha!), then cool. If you post a comment or thought, then that's cool too... just know that everyone else who has access to this blog will read it... and if you don't read this at all, that's cool too... I'll never really know. But this space is my brain dump. And it will be an important part of my path, as finding a way to process my thoughts and feelings about this next phase of my life will be critical to my success.

So it is what it is.... and thanks for being a part of it.

all that said, I heard a cool quote last night as I was watching 'So You Think You Can Dance'. One of the judges, L'il C, told one of the people who was up for elimination:

"It's difficult to locate the avenue of gain when you're being chauffeured by loss."

I feel like I've found the avenue. Driving down it is going to be quite a ride, but at least I'm on the right street.

Kia kaha
(Maori phrase meaning 'Be Strong')