I've been going through a period that has felt a little like an identity crisis. There have been lots of moments of self-doubt and insecurity, coupled with moments of sheer “I'm awesome” and happy happy, joy joy. Last week, I sent out an email newsletter (you can sign up here) where I let loose a lot of things going on in my head about identity and blogging and naysayers. Have you ever had something going on that you want to share, but aren't sure it will be received well? So you whisper to your friend to get feedback before telling everyone you know about it? That's what sending the email newsletter was like. It was a little whisper of “this is what I'm thinking.” This blog post is shouting it to the world, unapologetically.
I've been blogging for
three four years now. In the span of a life, that doesn't seem like long. But in blogging life? That's a hell of a lot of words. In my case, it's a hell of a lot of emotions and ups and downs. Things started off slow, where I posted tidbits of how being 455 pounds affected my spray tans and how I felt too fat in my little car (seriously, that was my first post.) I thought I was being cute. The following year, I started working out regularly with my first trainer, Trainer Rob (who I haven't talked to in eons, makes me sad!) and I did my first 5K. Fast forward another year and I did the half marathon. Then I went from an incredible high (and an “ohmygodthankgoodnessthatsdone”) to a perpetual state of stuck. That was April 2011. I'm still here.
It should feel like my growth has been stunted or like I'm a car just sitting in the mud spinning its wheels. Sure, some days are like that. Each doctor visit for my ankle injury seems like that. But other times? It's not. The scale isn't moving lower. It's bounced around and up and down the same 20 pounds for a while. It's no secret. It is what it is.
But these two years haven't been without progress. In fact, I feel like there has been so much more emotional progress and self-acceptance in the past year than the previous 3 combined. I've had to look hard at myself and become okay with a number on the scale that I don't want to see forever. I don't hate myself for it. I don't feel awful about myself.
I'm proud. Because no matter what anyone thinks, I know the effort I've put into this healthy lifestyle. I know when I mess up and I know when I'm doing well. I adapt, make corrections, and try to learn from mistakes. Isn't that all we can ask of ourselves?
From the email newsletter:
[Since I self-identified as a weight loss blogger] I kept feeling like I should apologize to my readers about not losing weight. And I don't want to feel that way, because while I am not 100% satisfied with what the scale says right now, I'm maintaining about a 100 pound weight loss and have for 2 years. I have food slip ups, hormonal imbalances, am on medications for my depression and anxiety, and of course have this whole ankle sagathat's affected my exercise. These aren't excuses. They're just things going on that have contributed to a massive weight stall. I could restrict calories further and most likely drop some weight, but that's my decision to make.
I was going through my day planner today trying to get things straight since Fitbloggin‘ and World Domination Summit are coming up in a couple of weeks. It struck me how full of things it was. Not like work tasks (which yes, it's full of), but things I actively choose to participate in. It feels like yesterday I was the 455 pound hermit sitting on my reclining sofa binge eating on thousands of calories of take-out and wondering if anyone would notice if I was gone. I wasn't living a life at all. I pushed away everything I could in an effort to make things more comfortable to me. If I could minimize the space I took up in the outside world, the better everyone would be. It's amazing how much I missed out on.
Today, I looked at my planner and saw speaking engagements for work, professional development luncheons, board meetings, volunteer commitments, and dates with friends. Last night, I went to dinner with some girls from the gym. That sentence would have been mind boggling 4 years ago. Going OUT to dinner? In public? With acquaintances? That I know through the gym? That I've squatted and slammed and deadlifted with? Yet it was completely no big deal yesterday. Mind. Blown.
This morning, I went to get some blood drawn for another set of labs being ordered from a new doctor. I've got surgery coming up in July and know I'll be off my feet, but that doesn't mean I have to stop working on things. I'm going to keep chugging along, learning to be happy with who I am, in THIS moment, and the rest will fall into place in due time.