Magical 12/12/12

I started exercising again (again) on Sunday night.  I’m riding on the delicious “third-day soreness” tonight, and I just want to talk…about what I’m doing…about why I want to do this…about why the hell I think it will work this time, because I think it will work every time.

So beware of the personal over-sharing that is surely coming.  And the over-honesty.  And the over-emotion.  Go read something else if you want.  I won’t be offended at all, and you just might still respect me tomorrow.  🙂

First, the lies…lies I always tell myself, and then you:

I don’t have a specific weight goal.  I just want to be healthy.  (Of course I have a weight goal!!!)

I don’t have a deadline in mind.  It takes as long as it takes.  (Oh, there’s a deadline, of course!)

Now for the truth:

I’m not going to tell you my weight goal.  If I did that, you would be able to infer how much I weigh now, and…I’d rather not.

I will tell you my deadline.  My magical birthday is coming this year:  12/12/12

I’m not so much intimidated by “round birthdays” or “milestone birthdays.”  But my whole life, I get to enjoy 12/12 as my birthday.  I turned 12 on 12/12.  That was pretty fun.  🙂  But this year is the only year, in my whole entire life, that I get to enjoy my birthday on 12/12/12.

I’ve had deadlines (that I lied and told myself I didn’t care about) in the past, which I failed.  My sister’s wedding…”Eh, well, it’s not like it’s my wedding…”  Vacations:  “Whatever, I’ll have just as much fun no matter what.”  The first day of school:  “Who am I trying to impress?  My coworkers and administrators care about my teaching.”  The last day of school:  “So I’ll spend one more summer avoiding a bikini.  Big deal.”

Do you see the common theme?  I feel confident and successful in many areas of my life.  I find myself to be tenacious and skilled at most things I try.  But in the area of physical fitness, I feel no confidence, no tenacity, and no skill.  I feel defeated before I even begin.  It has been this way since elementary P.E. class.  “I am not an athlete.”  I dare say I believe that statement more strongly than I believe the sun will rise tomorrow.

Well, as it turns out, I am in charge of my own life.  And I have much more control than I thought over how I think and what I believe about myself.  So it is time to change that belief.  My previous “deadlines” have been all about someone else, how I look to other people.

12/12/12 is not for anyone but me.  I really don’t care what I look like to other people on my birthday.  It’s my birthday.  But I’ve decided…and this is a BIG change from a few years ago…I care A LOT about what I believe about myself.

I no longer accept the belief that “I am not an athlete.”  I reject that statement, and I reject all of the darkness it has brought to my life.  I am, as John Bingham describes in his book The Courage to Start, an “adult-onset athlete.”  I am already an adult-onset athlete.

Christine at is a blogger I recently started reading.  She talks occasionally about her big adventure of losing weight.  She says:

I am not telling you that you have to be thin to be beautiful or healthy.  That’s crap.  Body shapes vary and I will never, ever have a waist and I will never, ever have curvy boobs.  Ever.  Never.  And I’m hot.  I’m crazy stinking hot exactly the way I am!  I was beautiful when I was 200 lbs and I am beautiful now.

However, I cannot stand here and tell you that I was healthy when I weighed 200 lbs.  I cannot tell you that I was loving my body into the future with what I was putting into my mouth.  I was being mean to…me.”

Well, let me tell you, I’ve seen my body.  I, too, will never, ever have curvy boobs.  I will never, ever have a butt that’s in proportion to the rest of me.  I will never, ever, ever, EVER be 5’10”.  Or 5’8″.  Or, let’s face it, 5’6″, not without a nice pair of heels.  But I’m “crazy stinking hot” now, and I will still be on 12/12/12.  And I’ve been doing a pretty good job of loving my body into the future with what I put into it.  I just want to love my body into the future with how I move it, too.  I don’t want to be mean to me anymore.

Christine also shared some great advice that was given to her.  Your goal should not be to lose a certain amount of weight.  Your goal should be to keep it off for a year.  That way you will establish those habits, rather than rushing to the quick fix and then yo-yo-ing back again.  I think that sounds like a very common-sense goal, one which can create long-term success.

So, yes, I do have a deadline.  And I have a goal weight for 12/12/12.  It is…ambitious.  Not entirely healthy.  Possibly impossible.  And my little secret.

But my real goal is this:

Between now and 12/12/12, I choose to believe that I am an athlete; that I have absolute potential to be physically fit.  I choose to act like a physically fit person, regardless of the emotional roller coaster that is sure to come.  We shall see what happens on the scale, but if I act as though I believe I am an exerciser, it can only be good.  I am not setting a certain number of cardio and strength workouts per week.  I am not committing to run a 10K in 2012.  I am simply choosing to believe that I am, in fact, not a big loser when it comes to physical activity.  Actions follow beliefs.

And then, on 12/12/12, I shall see if I am ready to start the “real goal” of keeping it off for a year.  Maybe 12/12/13 will be the real celebration after all, even though it doesn’t sound quite as magical.


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