Thursday, October 28, 2010

Somewhere I've Already Been

Yesterday morning I did a five mile tempo run on the treadmill while watching Biggest Loser.  The whole time I was watching it I kept thinking that while I don't necessarily agree with the super fast weight loss these contestants put out, it really does amaze me that the body is capable of that.  You know, given the same conditions I'm sure I could have some big numbers like that too.  On the other hand, I wonder how long it takes their head to catch up to what has happened with their body.  Maybe slow and steady is better for us in the long term.

This morning, I wanted to run only 3 miles because I have Muay Thai tonight, but woke up to fog so thick we literally had zero visibility.  As you know, I run early, in the dark, so it's already challenging. Adding in that sort of fog is not a good thing so back on the treadmill I went.

As I ran, I watched the conclusion of Jackie Warner's Thintervention.  Which to me was a whole lot more realistic than Biggest Loser and entertaining in a completely different way.  The highest weight loss (from a man) was 64 pounds in the 13 weeks, which is still a lot.  But there were other participants who lost weight as well, like the woman who has PCOS.  Even though Jackie admitted that woman had a very real medical issue that slows weight loss, she still made the woman face up to what she had been doing to herself: not addressing her health and just letting herself go.

When one is faced with a long-term process, it feels easy to just quit and let go.  Speaking from experience, I can say that all that does is keep you mired in whatever muck you're stuck in.  This applies not only to weight loss but really to anything you are looking at dealing with. In fact I seem to remember a saying from some venture I was involved in: "If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got."

I supposed the big question  is how to stop the downward spiral, the negative thinking, the same old, same old?  The psychologist on Thintervention was talking to another of the participants who revealed a pretty big secret.  After the woman told her secret and cried a little, the psychologist looked at her and said, "Now you're free.  When you bring something into the light, it doesn't own you any more."

That's how to stop, right there.  Bring it out of the dark place and into the light so you can't be owned, shamed, or driven by it anymore.

I think the reason a lot of us start blogging is because that's exactly what we want to do.  But then, sometimes, even before we are being completely honest about our path, we start to get comments that are not so nice, or are very opinionated about the process that we've chosen, and we go back into the shadows.

In the spirit of lightness of being, I am here to say that is what I have been doing since January of 2009 (though I didn't start blogging until September).  I go full steam ahead for a bit and then I allow something, or someone, to knock me back.  It might be a remark someone made, or simple exhaustion from the process. However, with the recent doctor's visit I had, something clicked and I decided I'm not going to do that anymore. 

Alright, so I've made up my mind... and then I hit a rough spot. Today for example. I'm tired. My arm hurts from the flu shot I got this morning. My legs hurt from all the running I've done lately and I still have Muay Thai tonight. I feel like quitting everything and going back to bed. Obviously I need help and accountability to stay exposed and light.

A couple of weeks ago I was given the opportunity to put a spotlight right where it needs to be.  In the process of sharing some things that have been going on, one friend asked me to continue to share with her - even things I wouldn't put on the blog.  This is what convinced me: "Please keep me informed  - I can be your secret cheerleader!"

At first this sounds like I'm moving in shadowy areas - a secret cheerleader and all.  But I'm choosing to think of her more as an accountability PARTNER.  Someone who I can bare my guts to and who will cheer me on, but be brutally honest in the process.  Here's some of what I got yesterday after expressing frustration and tiredness to her:

"Keep doing the next right thing...enjoy the gift of health that you are giving yourself. Remember, it's about avoiding the meds first and foremost. Hang in there!!!!!!!"

Exactly what I needed to hear, because I really wanted to go back into the shadows.  Which as we know would get me nowhere, except somewhere I've already been.  So I'm choosing to do the next right thing and stay in the light.

I've always been a girl who loves sunshine.


  1. This is a lovely post and I'm not kidding.

  2. Awww. I'm so glad you are choosing to stay out of the shadows this time. And I love the message of bringing something into the light and no longer being owned by it. Going to remember that one. :)

  3. GREAT post, Helen. Our secrets keep us sick. It's hard to venture into the light, specially when someone fires a salvo from afar that lands in a sensitive place. I salute you for your seeking to step into and be in the light. Always rooting for you!

  4. Good thoughts. I am a big believer in accountability, and a little more accountability than the blog world--someone a little more 'in person.' And encouragement is the bigger part of that accountability.

  5. This is an EXCELLENT post...oh it's so true....those damn shadows are attractive sometimes, but all it does is harm us further to dwell in them. Love this! :)

  6. Great post - and stay in that sunshine. Vitamin D is good for what ails you.

  7. Great post!

    Besides the blogging that helps me in my journey which sometimes is indeed a tough one I have this amazing friend who has been supportive all the time. She's the one who signed me up for a run last year with other people from work (we work together too) and in fact got me running. I can always tell her my struggles and she's supportive. I love her and tell her often how much I appreciate her.

  8. HECK YES!!!!

    And in the nicest best NOT SNARKY WAY I always think:
    Im gonna be me. and this stuff is free :) if they dont wanna hear it then they can scattle dee dee.