Posts filed under ‘inspiring others’
When I was a kid, I didn’t have good self-esteem. Well, I did when it came to school; I was smart and liked school. But, socially, I did not feel good about myself. I was fat and ugly. I was literally the Queen of the Misfits. Those at school that didn’t fit in with any other group hung out with me.
It didn’t help that I was not athletic, or at least I didn’t think I was. I didn’t feel comfortable running around chasing after balls, and because I was fat, I never got picked for anything other than anchor for tug-o-war. Oh… wait… I did make the bowling team.
One of the most exciting things about my transformation is the fact that I am now physically confident. I believe in my body; I recognize and appreciate its strength. I’m now willing to try new things, even if I am likely to fail. In the past, failure was always due to my weight. I was sure people were laughing at me, thinking that I was too big to do anything with my body. Now, if I fail, I don’t indict myself for it; I don’t see it as my fault. Now, if I fail, it’s merely because it’s new to me, or I need to strengthen that body part.
This new-found confidence and attitude has allowed me to try all kinds of wonderful activities: sailing, zip lining, pole dancing, boulder scrambling, free climbing, rope walls, mountain biking, and more. It’s been a joy.
All through this process, I’ve thought that I should share my experience – my story – with others in some way. The transformation shouldn’t go to waste; it should ripple out to others who might need inspiration and encouragement. Up until recently, I hadn’t found the avenue to accomplish that rippling. Now I think I have.
Through my Leadership program, I learned about an amazing non-profit organization called “Girls on the Run“. It’s a program dedicated to developing self confidence and healthy living skills for girls ages 8 through 13.
“The programs combine training for a 3.1 mile running event with self-esteem enhancing, uplifting workouts. The goals of the programs are to encourage positive emotional, social, mental, spiritual and physical development.”
As soon as I heard about this program, I was certain I needed to be part of it. There’s no council here, so I looked into starting one. In the process of doing that research, I discovered that another woman had already assembled a team to bring this exciting program to our neighborhood. I emailed her, and earlier this week, we had a first meeting.
On the way to the meeting, I heard Paula Cole’s “I don’t want to wait”, a song that I haven’t heard in years… and one of my anthems when I splitting up from my first husband. It was incredibly apropos to hear that song on my way to this meeting. At the time it was popular, I was finally admitting to myself that I didn’t want to wait anymore to live life. I didn’t know what was ahead at that point, and I could never have foreseen all the wonders that I’ve experienced in these last couple of years. Specifically, I could never have foreseen joining up with a group of runners to help young girls prepare for a 5K!
We have a great group, filled with knowledge and expertise, and I think we’ll be able to conduct our first training in the fall. I am thrilled that I might be able to help at least one girl avoid being ashamed of her body, that I might help one girl learn to love to move and feel that amazing sense of accomplishment when she achieves something physical that she didn’t think she could do.
In less than a week after doing the Muddy Buddy Race, I competed in Scale the Strat 2010. This is a charity event, a fundraiser for the American Lung Association, so I had a raise a minimum of $250… and climb 108 floors or 1,455 stairs. It was the ultimate validating event for someone who climbs stairs as part of her regular workout regimen. My concern was that I didn’t know how I’d do climbing continuously. I only have 6 floors in my building, so I always have some built-in recovery time when I come down. The Strat doesn’t afford that luxury. It’s all the way straight up. I was even more daunted when I learned I couldn’t listen to music.
When the day came, I did it in 17:43 minutes, using the “turtle method”: slow and steady with no jogging or two-at-a-time stairs. I was BEYOND proud of myself. It was such a tremendous accomplishment, another huge first for me. I am already looking forward to next year. 🙂
After several weeks of being 3 to 5 pounds off my weight loss goal, I today dropped to another new low: 118 pounds gone! Now, a pound isn’t all that much in the scheme of things, especially because weight can fluctuate rather dramatically. But, for me, it’s a significant accomplishment because I’ve been fighting those couple extra pounds for so long and have finally gotten back on track. Yay!
And even more good news… after reducing his calorie intake for about three weeks, my BF has lost 9 pounds! Bravo!! I’m so proud of how he’s been diligently keeping track of his food, recording everything – and I do mean everything – in his PDA and modifying his choices based on how many calories he has left.
It’s been great to be with him at the beginning of this journey, and I’m very excited for the road ahead for both of us. He bought a Wii, and we’ve been working out with it, using the sports modules: boxing, tennis, baseball, bowling and golf. I’ve continued to do my stairs, the Cardio X, use the pull-up bar, and do my weights workout. We’ve also been doing yoga together. Adding the Wii to the mix has been lots of fun for me, and he really likes it, too… which means he’ll be that much more inclined to stick with it. He’s trying to track down a Wii Fit but hasn’t had any success yet. He’s committed, though, so I know we’ll have one soon!
The best part is that we are sharing something fundamental with each other that will make our lives better. I’ve always wanted to have that with my significant other, and now I do! J
I’m so excited! The assistant in my office has taken the stairs (1st floor thru 4th) twice today – twice!! – and she says it’s because of me.
Stair climbing is one of my favorite workouts. It’s free, accessible, provides great cardio, and offers options for strength training as well. I do at least 10 sets of stairs (1st thru 4th) every week day, and my co-workers are well acquainted with my obsession. I’ll give you the details of my stair climbing workout in a future post.
Well, today, our department assistant decided she was going to skip the elevator and take the stairs. She said, “You’ve inspired me.” Whenever I hear that, I get chills. For so long, I was Fat Girl, never a role model for health and fitness. Now, people look to me for advice and inspiration when they want to eat better or incorporate exercise into their days. It’s a great feeling, and I’m honored to share what I’ve learned. J
My boyfriend and I have been going out for about a year and a half. He has not personally known Fat Me, but he has seen me drop about 15 pounds in span of our relationship. He can testify to the fact that I bring my food journal with me everywhere and am constantly writing in it. He can verify that I weigh myself every day, and he knows my struggles to maintain my discipline when others around me are eating with wild abandon. He is a big supporter of my ongoing lifestyle change.
He is also a “burly” guy. In my vernacular, that means that he’s fairly hefty. I like my men that way. Sometimes, though, that extra heft isn’t healthy, and my BF is not happy with the weight he’s put on in recent years. Consequently, we have talked a lot about diet strategies. He has learned to read food labels. An avid movie goer, he has stopped getting butter on his popcorn and now drinks Coke Zero, instead of Mr. Pibb. He is applying the “think small” philosophy I’ve mentioned in previous posts by taking baby steps toward improving his eating habits.
One of his challenges is that he travels a great deal for his business, and it’s very hard to eat healthfully on the road. He’s been implementing small changes by eating fruit at the cafeteria where he’s working and by stocking his hotel room with bottled water, nuts, and string cheese.
Even better, tonight, he sent me a pair of wonderful texts.
“For dinner/snacks, I am having kipper snacks, reduced fat Swiss cheese, watermelon, baby carrots, heart healthy mixed nuts, and cherry cider water.”
“You are my inspiration. Just unpacked groceries and forgot to mention bananas and Slim Fast Optima peanut butter crunch bars. Now if I can not eat it all tonight.”
My BF not only supports my efforts but is taking steps to improve himself as well. It is something we can work on together, and it shows how much he values my accomplishment. How wonderful to be told by your “significant other” that you are an inspiration! I have heard that from my girlfriends, but hearing it from my man just takes it to a whole new level. I am, indeed, a lucky woman. J