Friday, October 9, 2009

It is what it is.

I've taken a bit of a break from running in the past two weeks. I did my 5km run and am still feeling incredible about my accomplishment. But, the weather has been crappy, and life has been a bit nutty. My landlord decided to put the house up for sale, so for the whole of last week, I hardly got to spend any time at my place because teams of agents and potential buyers were coming through for private viewings and open houses. This surrender of my home really threw a wrench in my week. My friends Liza and Lindsay were a tremendous help with my dog -- Rosie was able to go hang out at there house during the day while complete strangers walked through my house (without taking off their shoes), opening cupboards, closets, and one person even used my toilet. Not sure how I feel about that. So, the surrender of my home also meant a temporary surrender of my routine for that period of time, too.

Last Wednesday, I went out to for a belated birthday celebration with my friend Jonathan, his boyfriend Elliot and Jonathan's cycling amigo, Andrew. We went to comedy night at a local bar, had lots of beer, ate pizza and nachos, and had a fantastic time. I stumbled home late that night, got a little bit of sleep before rising early to vacuum, sweep and prepare the house for private showings that day. I also didn't have much of an opportunity throughout the week to cook my meals. It's difficult to begin whipping together a culinary wonder when the phone rings and an agent is 'in the neighbourhood' (i.e. outside the front door) with a potential buyer. So, let's just say that the eating regimen got put on hold as well. And I didn't get as much time in the gym as I would have liked.

All of those factors combined, and yesterday, when Seb weighed me before our workout, we realized that I had put on just under three pounds.

I felt like crap. I had just dropped over 5 pounds the prior week, bringing my total loss to 177 pounds. And after a week of little routine, not a lot of structure, and an awesome night out for my birthday, I put some weight back on.

Not good.
Or is it???

Of course, my initial reaction was not positive. I went silent, pulled my baseball hat further down over my eyes, and sat with my arms crossed in frustration. Clearly, my body language indicated that I didn't want to talk about it. But Sebastien tried, and we processed what I was thinking/feeling a little bit. We even checked the scale twice, and it still showed a gain.

"It is what it is," I said.

It is what it is.

I've been saying that quite often over the past two years as a way to help me accept the fact that whatever happens in my life, is likely something over which I have little control. So why obsess about it. If something bad happens, there's not a lot I can do to change it in that exact moment. But there are many things I can do to better deal with it the next time it happens.

So I gained three pounds.
It is what it is.

I gained three pounds because I was stressed.
It is what it is.

I gained three pounds, because I unclenched about my routine, relaxed a little and allowed myself to enjoy an amazing night out with friends in celebration of my birthday.
It is what it is.

The more I think about it, I like what it is. Why do I like the fact that I gained weight?

Because now, more than ever before in my life, it's not the end of the world. My weight fluctuates. It always has and it always will. I've come to accept more fully the reality that weight is just a number -- not an indicator of overall health, wellbeing, and more than anything, self-worth.

For example, I now weigh in at about 260 pounds (which I haven't weighed since the 12th grade, by the way). And last week, I had to go to the emergency room because I got my finger closed between two car doors. Long story, gory at the beginning, all good now. When I met with the intake nurse, she looked at my finger, took my temperature, and then put a gadget on one of my other fingers to take my resting heart rate. She let the machine do its thing, and then she said, "I want to try this on another finger."

I realized at that moment what she was doing.

Sitting before her was a 260-pound man, who had just had his index finger slammer between two car doors -- a mildly traumatic experience. She likely assumed that my blood pressure would be through the roof. She likely assumed that my resting heart rate would be very high. I mean, I'm still a big guy.

And even after taking the heart rate for the second time, it still read: 49 bpm.

Yes, my resting heart rate (even when stressed) is 49 beats per minute.
My blood pressure is totally normal.
My weight is under control.
I'm healthy, I'm happy, and I'm pretty wise.

So, three pounds is not such a big deal after all.
If other people still get hung up on their assumptions about who I am and what I'm like. Well, that's their problem. At the end of the day, I don't care a whole lot about what they think. The only opinion that matters to me, is mine.

And that's why it is what it is.

I'm coming to this conclusion not only because I've finally made an important reconciliation in how I think about myself, but also because it's an important time of year. This weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving -- a time of year when we celebrate the harvest and reflect on all things for which we are thankful. However, over the past year, I've tried to remain acutely aware of all of the abundant things in my life for which I am thankful. And I make sure people around me know it more than just once a year at times like these. But indulge me if you will, and allow me to share my list of things for which I am most thankful.

I am thankful for...

My family, who is incredibly wonderful, fantastic, supportive and loving. And even though my parents and brother live in British Columbia, and my sister lives in New Zealand with her husband and three kids, they are always with me each and every day, each of them in his or her own special way.

My close circle of friends (Tony, Liza, Lindsay, Alison, Jonathan, Lisa, Patsy, Steve, Adina) who provide me with an unending level of support and love knowing that this physical and emotional transformation is the most important work I will ever do in my lifetime. I am particularly grateful because run with me, spin with me, workout with me, indulge in bad food with me, walk with me, drink coffee with me, and make me feel more incredible each and every day. They also understand me more than anyone else in my life. That understanding is a pretty powerful thing.

My dog, Rosie. She's a dog. She thinks I rock. She licks my cheek every night when I come home from the gym. What more could you want?

My trainer and friend Sebastien. If you've been reading this blog regularly, you know how important he is to me. I hope to have the opportunity to one day truly thank him for all he has done for me. But I think he takes great pride in knowing that he's created a monster. He's ignited a fire. He's taken a 435 pound man and tranformed him into an athlete. More than anything though, he's helped me learn, accept and celebrate the fact that out of all of the bullshit I deal with in life, that above it all, I am the most important thing out there.

The rest is, well...
It just is what it is.

Kia kaha.
Stay strong.
And Happy Thanksgiving.