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.