Starting over. For good.

I’ve been absent for a while. And not just in my writing endeavors, but in a lot of other ways. I haven’t been a great friend—in fact I’ve been kind of the anti-friend. I haven’t been putting my best and brightest towards my job, letting small setbacks define the experience of productivity and success. And at the top of that failure list has been my fitness and nutrition journey. Friends, let me tell you something. I’ve gained nearly every single pound back that I lost earlier this year. Do you want to know why? It is shameful and pathetic and I hope that putting it out into the universe will help me deal with the guilt of it.

I stopped getting positive attention for my efforts.

Do you realize how horrible that makes me feel to know that is my truth? And know that now, you also know it?  I recently read that weight loss is like skiing. When you’re on the fast downhill portion of the route you’ve got people high-fiving you, asking how you did it, excited for the velocity with which you fly on by. But once you’re “there” and everything becomes your new normal, the event becomes cross country skiing and the fun, the challenge, the excitement, AND the high fives are ALL GONE.

This sort of dependence of the acceptance, awe and admiration of others is something I despise in those around me. I am disgusted by people who are more focused on the halo around their actions than the reason for those actions themselves. Perhaps I find that so profoundly wrong because it is the thing I dislike most about myself.

When I first started wanting to lose weight and get stronger it was because of a) the obvious—I’m a woman in 2016 and I yearn for the perfection and acceptance that comes with objective attractiveness, and b) I’ve always had a bad back. With a kid who isn’t always mobile, I needed that back to work. Don’t get me wrong, I do think reason “a” has merit. I think feeling good in your skin and sexy for your husband is noble, but desiring the attention that comes with it? No. That’s just ego.

I think feeling good in your skin and sexy for your husband is noble, but desiring the attention that comes with it? No. That’s just ego.

Two weekends ago I engaged in a few activities including carrying my son on my shoulders and moving heavy furniture around that earned my back a nasty bout of pain. I’ve been dealing with that pain off and on since then unsure of what I can and cannot do. I’ve spent many evenings laid up on the couch—one of my least favorite things to do when I KNOW I have a thousand other things that must be done. And today I find myself dealing with twinges of depression and frustration. Because I’m not someone who sits still. Just six months ago I could carry Finley NO PROBLEM. But ego led me astray and it was the pursuit of something surface-level and vain that allowed me to focus on the wrong reasons to be healthy and fit.

Today my doctor reminded me that I have a bad back. There is no way around it. The only arrows in my quiver are exercise and avoiding obesity—good grief that’s boring. There’s no antidote for this issue. And now I have to deal with the knowledge that had I just kept it up, had I simply been more consistent I’d likely be fine today. Of course, I should know better than to load my back up with that much in one weekend (I hear you loud and clear Mom, I know this is true). But I can safely say that my own pride and lust for a celebrity status belly led me to something that is not sustainable because it is not based on anything real. This is the reason your WHY has to be REAL and TRUE and not something you are making up to cover up the idea that all you really want is to be a skinny girl.

This is the reason your WHY has to be REAL and TRUE and not something you are making up to cover up the idea that all you really want is to be a skinny girl.

Well friends, that ends today. I’m starting over and I am doing it the right way. I’m not in it for congratulations. I’m not in it for jealous glances from other women. I am ready to do the work to get my back back and to have the ability to lift my kid in 2 months when we head to surgery.

Here are the things I’m going to do to positively move forward into the next phase of this journey:

  1. Read a good book. I think “The Power of Habit will be my audible credit of choice this month. I want to work on habit building for the long-haul rather than making daily, emotionally-charged decisions.
  2. Check in more often. I loved checking in here and on the Tough Girls Facebook Page about my life. It reminded me of my shared experience with others and gave me a fun place to talk about the truth of my experience, which I find I like to do.
  3. Surround myself with positivity. I need and want people around me who are eager to do and be good in this world. I need more of that. I need to engage my friends more and be more open about my struggles.
  4. Act out of love. Remembering that I’m a grown woman, not a teenager, and I know better than to be so vain, jealous, self-centered and ridiculous.
  5. Remember my real why. Not the silly one that was written by a 15 year old version of myself and just never fully faded away. Why does “teenager me” hold any power? I’ll never know.

Do you have any suggestions or wisdom on the topic of learning to move past your ego and into real stuff?

I’m open. Maybe you’re in the same situation too and need to shake it up. Come along and watch me try, try again.

toughgirl

Hi, I'm Shannon. I like to write about tough girls and tough things because I find strength to be an interesting and inspirational topic. My husband, Vic is my favorite person and my children, Emerson and Finley are right up there too. I am a disability mother and advocate. A woman-loving, lean-in type. And a fitness coach and cheerleader.

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