10:50 AM

Action Cures Fear

This year I made a New Year's Resolution, which is an oddity for me. Normally I don't make them because I don't want to set myself up for failure, and it seems like 99% of resolutions are doomed from January 2nd anyway. But this past year, as hubby and I were walking home from a party we'd gone to, he asked if I was going to make a resolution, and I told him I was.

"I want to stop standing in my own way."

It's almost halfway through the year and, while I haven't done as much as I could have to fulfill that resolution, I do feel like I'm working toward it in some unexpected ways. It's kind of an open-ended resolution, and was made in the spirit of trying to develop a more positive attitude and not being afraid of failure. Embrace life, don't sit on the sidelines, don't be afraid to look like an idiot, that kind of thing.

Five and a half months later, I've done some crazy things that I didn't even realize were toward my resolution, but looking back on them I can see how they've helped. Let's start with the first one, and the one that's going to take me the longest to accomplish.

In February I was up early one morning and browsing the Etsy Forums when I came across a thread of Etsians that got together to support each other in losing weight and being fit. I don't know why I did it, but I read the entire lengthy thread, and a light switch came on in my head. See, I've been overweight my whole life. The smallest size I ever remember being was a 16 in high school, and that was after losing quite a bit of weight (and I only remember that size because I was so happy that I was in a size that was under my age). Sure, I don't look like I'm THAT heavy, but that's because I'm really tall and have a huge frame, so I carry it well. But I hated the way I looked. I hated squeezing in to size 18 jeans that dug in to my gut and I hated having to ask for size 20's for Christmas. Moving to PA also had thrown in to light just how out of shape I was, since the stairs in the house made me out of breath.

So, I signed up for a site recommended by one of the ladies in that Etsy thread, SparkPeople, and started making little changes. I started with drinking water instead of iced tea, then started taking walks, eating more fruits and veggies (a rare thing in the nerd diet, let me tell you!), and am finally up to strength training and cardio six days a week. I've even joined a challenge on Spark. Since February I have lost almost 25 pounds, and now the size 20 jeans that I had to ask for are falling off of me as we speak. My remaining size 18s are loose and I can wiggle out of them without unzippering them, when a few months ago I had to lay on the bed and suck it all in just to get them on.

I got to thinking today about how this has helped me toward my resolution, and realized that when I started this, there wasn't any fear. I just decided that I wanted to do it, and I started. I usually spend a lot of time second-guessing myself and trying to figure out if something is feasible, or what I'd have to give up to get something done, or whether or not I have the time and resources. But I jumped in to weight loss without a thought for whether or not I could, and I'm so happy I have! I still have a lot of weight to lose to get to where I want to be, and I probably won't get there until next year, but so far my progress has really been incredible and I feel great.

And this morning, something else happened that allowed me to break through another barrier when it comes to being afraid. I take 3-4 laps around the block a day, or do a Leslie Sansone DVD if I'd rather do that, five days a week. The DVD I've really been enjoying doing has jogging intervals in it, and this morning I was on my second lap of the neighborhood when I realized just how much I wanted to jog. I can't explain why, but I just... really wanted to. I stopped myself at first.

"I'll look like an idiot. I'm too big to be running in public, I'll just do the DVD tomorrow or something if I really want to jog that much. I've got a wedgie anyway because my underwear's too big and that'll just make it worse. If I jog I'll lose my keys and my mp3 player, and my headphones will fall off. I should just keep walking."

And then something changed inside. I realized suddenly that I was letting my fear stand in my way, and hadn't I promised myself I wasn't going to do that? Where was my determination? I mustered some encouragement from a book I've been reading (more on that tomorrow), picked a point to jog to, and took off.

After that, it got easier, and I did a little jogging twice more during my exercising without feeling like an idiot. Getting past that first time, that initial moment of fear, was all it took. And you'd better believe that now I've started, I won't stop. :)

More in this series tomorrow...


Julie Minter said...

I haven't talked about this anywhere online, but I feel like breaking my silence now. I had a doctor's appointment back on April 8th. When the nurse took my weight, I knew it would be high. I even took off my shoes as though that would help. My weight came to 212 (I'm 5'8"). The highest I've ever been was 215, and I told myself I would never be 215 again. I knew I had to change something. I don't eat much during the day, but I figured out it was what I was eating. You name the diet, I've at least attempted it. The longest diet I've been on was Atkins. Sure, the diet works, but once you slip up, all the weight comes back like *snaps fingers* that. During that attempt, I made it to 177. But all of it came back. However, this time needed to be different. I'm eating healthy now and staying at (or near) 1,600 calories. I started this life change on April 15th and have lost a total of 8 lbs. It could be more, but I haven't started any exercise routine yet. I'm afraid to go walking around here in fear that people will see me and judge me. But like you said, action cures fear. I just need to do it. To hell with my fear. This is for me.

You know what's ironic? I found some of my mom's workout DVDs I didn't know she had. They're 2 of Leslie Sansone's "Walk Away the Pounds" DVDs. I'm planning to begin my exercising today. Then I happened to log on here read your post. :D Here I go again, getting distracted by the internet.

Sorry for my rambling.
*runs away*