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Tunnel, Meet Light November 27, 2010

That was a pretty bleak post I wrote this morning. But you know what is so very awesome about being part of a healthy living community? You put your ugly stuff out there, and people come through for you. This is so very true. So first I got a bunch of supportive tweets. Then I got a phone call from my WW BFF (who also happens to be an awesome WW leader). She said, “It sounds like maybe you need to go to a meeting.”

Light bulb! I have not attended a WW meeting as a member in so very long. And that is something that we are supposed to never forget, that we are all members first. As it happened, HER meeting happened to be starting in less than an hour. So it got me out of my sad woe-is-me pajamas and into some exercise clothes (yay) and over to the meeting.

I felt like such a sad sack in that meeting, but it moved me. Something clicked. The theme was “Learning from Experience.” The thing is, these weekly WW themes can be SO DEEP if we let them be. I sat there and muddled and pondered and thought about what I can learn from this experience. I realized a few things. One, that I was not particularly enjoying my food these past few days because I was eating out of resentment. I wasn’t really savoring or tasting or enjoying my food, which is one of my own cardinal rules. So I vowed that I would really try to go back to savoring as much as possible.

I also realized that I had just been waiting, all this time, almost two years, to see myself stumble and FAIL. Because that little Gollum inside me has been lurking in there, chewing on dead fish and muttering, “You’re not all that, missy.”

Last night I stayed up and caught up on the Makeover Week episode of Biggest Loser. I just cried all the way through it. For those of you who have not been watching Season 10, there are these two women, Elizabeth and Ada. Elizabeth started out the season keeling over during the first challenge and having to be taken away by ambulance. Ada is this fierce Asian-American woman whose parents have been punishing her her whole life for the deaths of her brothers. Anyway, Elizabeth is often physically overwhelmed by challenges; she gets asthma and just has to stop. Ada is a total WARRIOR and really an unstoppable force but she clearly has all this hurt stuff inside. Her family is clearly still punishing her and they suck.

Anyway, in this episode there was this mega-stair challenge. They had to run up like 100 flights of stairs which believe me, is no joke. OR they could take this trolley train thing, for less credit. After like 50 flights of steps, Elizabeth was really struggling (oh I could relate!) and decided to take the train. She felt way behind and when everyone else was done, she was only at 70 and she just could not see doing those last 30 flights alone. She threw in the towel and then was really really upset with herself.

I’ve been that Elizabeth so many times. I’ve had asthma. I have diabetes and high blood pressure. I had pre-eclampsia and gall stones and messed up ankles and allergies. I always had stomach aches when I was little and I just never saw myself as a very healthy person. I would give up so easily. Even when I was on my high school track team, I’d often keel over IN THE MIDDLE OF A RACE and start throwing up or throwing some joint out of whack or whatever; ie not finishing because I was so afraid of coming in last.

But as I was watching I realized that I’ve also been Ada. I’ve felt like I’m not good enough (to live). And I’ve also been a fierce unstoppable beast in the gym. I’ve been all those things. They all live inside me.

After I went to the WW meeting I felt a lot calmer. I felt like I had a lot of things to think about (I still do). Then I went to the gym. I got on the elliptical for half an hour. It felt good and sweaty and clean. Then I got on the treadmill. After 12 minutes my feet and ankles were SCREAMING IN PAIN. I got off. I swore a whole bunch. I got back on the elliptical and did another 20 minutes.

So I got a good workout. But the running part sucked big time. I’m not quite sure what to make of that. I do know that I am determined to FINISH that damn half-marathon no matter what. I might very well be crawling.

To finish up on the Elizabeth/Ada thing: at the gym the next day, the trainers gave Elizabeth the opportunity to complete her final 30 flights on the stairmaster. And she did it and felt really great about herself. I was so happy for her. She also had her inner fierceness inside. I think we all do.

So I’m feeling calmer, better, sweatier. I want to thank everyone for the support you sent my way earlier. Everyone who texted me, tweeted, emailed and commented – you boosted me up a lot. WHICH IS WHY I LOVE THIS COMMUNITY. Thank you.

 

15 Responses to “Tunnel, Meet Light”

  1. Pubsgal Says:

    You will not be finishing alone. :-)

  2. kattroyer Says:

    Sending you some Aloha from Hawaii Susan. You are beautiful and strong. I know you are going to do great next week. I will be cheering you and Julianne on from here.

  3. terrepruitt Says:

    Ha! Your troops gathered around you. You used your resources! Yay you!

    As “teachers” we can never stop being students. Right?

    Muah!

  4. MizFit Says:

    maaan Im so late to the soiree and finally back at the computer.
    first I wanna say I LOVE YOUR HONESTY
    I know it’s why we blog but I appreciate the fact you dont pretend and you will lay it BARE and ask for help
    and goodlordwoman I know what youre saying on so much of it too.
    Im glad I THINK Im almost on the mend because I feared a big ole pity party here in Austin next weekend.
    neither of us shall pity soiree.
    what can you plan to do that night?
    for me the thought of the night alone to read or take a bath sounds divine giving the craziness of the rest of the weekend.
    you?

    and I know we can figure the temps thing out.
    I was surprised how LITTLE I took off as I ran (I wore my trash-em sweatshirt the whole time!) but I wasnt cold.
    and it was freezing in fla (who knew?)

    hugs and love for your tribe as well.

  5. you are never alone!!

  6. Brandie Says:

    I don’t always say a lot, but know that there are those, like me, who are with you, even if we aren’t there physically, or even verbally. I am greatly inspired by you and am thankful to have found you.

  7. First time commenting..YES.. And I agree …We all have a fierceness a fire inside…just sometimes it turns inward…love ur post (both of them) read the struggle one this morning and came back tonight to comment and found this one. Awesome

  8. tj Says:

    Ok…so I was gone all day but saw a few tweets of yours & went straight to the computer when I came home to see what was up. First off luv all the blogger/twitter support!! I never in a million years thought I would be able to lean on so many fabulous people for support and the comments you have are proof! :)

    I love that your WW BFF told you to go to a meeting! Back to the basics! That is so helpful. :)

    We all need to realize that just because someone is at goal does not mean that they don’t struggle or need us anymore. Right?

    I loved the BL makeover show…it’s always my fave!

    You hang in there girl! You are stronger than you think and I am proud to know you! :)

  9. ChristineZ Says:

    You should be VERY proud of yourself for picking yourself up in such a positive and constructive way. :)

  10. Fit Bee Says:

    everytime i feel down, i feel like i want to give up i reach out at a meeting, online, and to friends and it always keeps me going. what you described happens to each of us so thank you for sharing, makes me feel not so alone in this journey, also reminds me why i love ww so much

    i cannot get thru an episode of biggest loser without shedding tears, it just brings out your own inner struggles and unless you have been there and back you cant understand what those contestants are goin thru. seeing them succeed makes me so happy and i always feel renewed and empowered after each episode.

  11. Tilly Roche Clark Says:

    Hey- I’m a faithful reader if not a frequent commenter but I just wanted to say that I so appreciate your posting on BOTH the struggles and the breakthroughs. For some reason all of this reminded me of a sign that I once saw: We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing your human experience. Tilly

  12. Keta Says:

    FFBB – Your path is a marvel to behold. That said, this is your friendly nurse to remind you that pain is a symptom. If you ankle pain were intermittent and brought on by a specific activity then I could see ignoring it. But pain waking you up in the middle of the night? Hello? There is a reason for the pain and if there is a reason then there is a treatment. With all due respect for the “warrior” in you, disability is a terrible price to pay for “just pushing through.” Please FFBB, if you don’t have a sports medicine doctor already, get one and do it this week. If you do have one, please see them before you run on what could be a serious problem and make it far worse. xxoo

  13. biz319 Says:

    I could not agree with this post more. I wish the power athlete that I know is there would stay to the forefront more often, not the old really overweight me who just wants to order a pizza.

    Glad the WW meeting got your mojo back! :D

    Hugs!


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