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 http://www.welcometomybrain.net 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.