So I’m at training recently and my PT says that she has the next topic of my blog for me. I have no idea where this is going to go, but OK, what is it…”Why getting fat was the best thing that happened to me”. “Riiiiiight” I say, “and what’s the answer”.
(Note: this conversation was now about a month ago and it’s taken me this long to get the courage to sit down and write this)
But before I tell you the answer here’s some background:
I’ve been through this weight loss journey before. Numerous times. The most recent was about five years ago when I got motivated and lost about 2okgs with the same PT. Looking back, I was never really happy with my achievements and was also very focussed on achieving results before I travelled to Europe. When I got back from my travels I was initially motivated but that motivation dissipated for a variety of reasons and I ended up not only back where I started but in far worse shape than ever.
So, back to the answer. Kim asked me what got me singing in public for the first time ever (my first public singing event was the National Anthem at the local show in 2010). My response was “because I had nothing left to lose”.
Kim’s point was that I hit such a low point I started doing things I would never have previously had the courage to do. And maybe it wasn’t about courage anymore but such complete dissatisfaction with every aspect of my life that I just didn’t care. I do remember caring, particularly when I had to order Size 24 jeans before that Show because I had nothing to wear. But obviously not caring enough to make positive changes at that point.
I remember this is something that I struggled with a lot over the years and have spent a long time wishing I didn’t care so much what people thought of me. Even after it “clicked” and I got my mojo back I still struggled to go for walks outside. I was going to the gym fine and learning not to care what anyone may have thought but I still couldn’t walk outside. I used to tell myself that when I got close to 100kgs I would walk or run outside or do some other activity. I saw a psychologist for a while a couple of years back and she asked me what was the worst somebody could think about me if they saw me out walking. I said “look at that fat, lazy pig”. Her response was quite logical; yes I was overweight but out walking so I was doing something about it and quite obviously not lazy cause I was out walking. She applied that same logic to my fear of eating in front of people. If I was making the right choices with my food, what did it matter what other people thought?
It was around this time that it occurred to me that no one could think any worse of me that I already thought of myself. A sad thought but yet very true.
And I remember the time I went to training and told Kim that I went for a walk outside. She immediately recognised the enormity of that task and of course I kicked myself cause it was so lovely to be out in the fresh air and I’d spent so much time sitting inside worrying what people thought.
Since hitting rock bottom I’ve tried to apply that same logic to everything I do. I don’t care what people think when I’m out running cause in my head I’m thinking how happy and proud of myself I am. Just the other day I had someone comment that they saw me out running and I looked like I was doing it hard. That comment didn’t even touch the sides and my response was “probably, it was towards the end of my 6km run”. His response was surprise at the distance I had been running.
The fact that I went to Perth for my first 12WBT finale was a great example of putting this into practice. Buying a dress, flying over there not knowing a soul, getting hair and make-up done and turning up to both the workout and finale party alone. Previously doing any, let alone all, of those things would have sent me into a flat spin but not only did I have a fantastic time but I met some really great people and made some great friendships as well.
I guess the other thing is also the number of goals I’m setting for myself now. When I’m out running I’m constantly thinking of the challenges I can set for myself (both small and large) as well as trying to beat my previous times.
While I may have been aware of this change in me at some level, the fact that Kim has suggested this as a topic has really got me thinking about it. To be honest, I don’t know that I can really say that getting fat was the best thing that happened to me as I’ve been overweight my entire life. But I do know that this weight-loss journey right now is my last one because something has changed in me that has me more focussed, determined and damned sure I’m never going back to fat again.