Re-purposing oneself in the midst of a focused effort didn't fit so well at first. Only because it made more sense to beat myself up for what wasn't happening (though I was striving desperately to achieve) rather than shrug my shoulders and embrace the opportunities in front of me While I continue my efforts, did I allow this to happen. I am speaking of my work to join the USAF.
March of last year, I decided to join for the career opportunities, educational possibilities, and the kind of self-fulfillment one should get from serving. I had just accumulated a few challenging injuries from a car accident, so the obstacle of losing the weight I needed to, in order to join was a bit daunting to say the least.
But I did it. Well, I've lost Most of what I needed to. I started my journey near 240 lbs and I am now 184. I also completed my physical therapy after the accident, began a rigorous job at Costco and helped prepare my little family for a PCS overseas to Guam. 2010 was quite the year.
Arriving on the island was difficult for all of the issues with pets and housing and military financing, so the stress got to me. I'm not excusing my food choices during this time (I ate enough Subway to NEVER find it appealing AGAIN) since we really had no choice but to eat out for a couple weeks until we could get settled, but the stress hormones raging through me were enough to make my body go all wonky. We've basically settled into our life here on the island and I'm still working on my Last 15 lbs...Since we got here until this last week, I've been on a rollercoaster of emotion regarding my body's progress based on my workouts.
I've been yo-yoing between 187 and 183 no matter what I did. Honestly, going on 3 months of this has left me weary because my goal is 170, because that is the max weight for my height in the af.
It's always easy to tell someone else that they just need to be patient and loving with their body While they are burning calories over their intake, but for me, what was it going to take?! I just couldn't justify telling myself that!! I felt like I didn't deserve to be "taking it easy" while i worked toward this goal when the number weren't reflecting the effort. I can't say I know how many emotional jags I've been on when the scale won't reflect what measures I've taken. I know I'm not the only woman to experience this, I certainly won't be the last, but I realized something, very recently, so cliche yet so True that I decided to listen to it: It is not about the Destination, it is about the Journey. "Not all who wander are lost."
I've been so caught up in making sure I did my 'Ripped in 30' DVD or took my Green Tea Burner so many times a day or how many calories I burned versus consumed that I obviously wasn't having any fun or feeling accomplished in anything I did, and I was blind with what Isn't happening instead of what Is. I've had it all back-ass-wards and beaten myself up over it for no good reason. Noticing that my jeans fit better wasn't enough because the fucking Scale wouldn't validate me. Who said the Scale was the one to validate that anyway?? Well, the bottom line is, the military wants me at that exact weight or I don't qualify, so without me saying so, the Scale really is my validator according to the USAF.
So, how do I drop the LBS and keep my spirit alive? Well, something I needed reminding of was this: Your body responds to how you nurture your spirit.
Our bodies also respond to our thoughts and how we choose to feel which decides which chemicals start moving around through our system. And if there are too many damned stress hormones, then really, no matter how much we do, these chemical occurrences won't allow the changes to take place.
I knew it was time to let go of the number and welcome the amount of time I had, outside of exercising and working towards my goal, and use it to do the things that define my happiness such as DIY projects, old timey how-tos and marry my nutritional efforts with my love of cooking. I started researching things that piqued my interest and would put my well-rounded self to work. The whistle while you work kind!
I've stumbled upon a few websites that have harnessed my inner domestic goddess and fueled my drive to create! I've always LOVED crocheting and knitting because doing it made me feel Useful, and because we only have my husband's income at the moment, what better way to contribute to our thrifty efforts than by researching ways to cut the dollar outside of just couponing (which I already do;).
For example, on Offbeathome.com, I learned how to make my own laundry detergent! All I had to do was find the THREE ingredients and follow the instructions! And guess how much it will save? Over $100 in laundry care items over the next year or more! That's a Big Deal when you're trying to pinch pennies. Also, we've taken to growing our own food, which still takes time, but we are patient with the impact it will have on us. I'm growing and drying my own herbs, investing in locally grown, established plants. I am working out in between episodes of True Blood and The Walking Dead, while I wait for my own homemade bread to rise and cooking my own tortillas. I work on a project for my loved ones, I carefully recycle our used goods and find ways to use things like toilet paper rolls as seedling molds.
A few weeks ago, I was too absorbed in my lack of transformation and dwelling on that to notice what I had. Now, I feel accepting of the process and how truly important it is that I do the things that help me do something for myself all at once, because these actions, and the love and care I put into these things are what nourish me. I feel more in touch with my goal knowing I'm already involved and present in my life, contributing in the ways I want to and that are needed.
Doing these types of things may not be everyone's cup o' tea, but you never know what may create that little inner smile you didn't realize you needed. And when it comes to feeling like you could give up on your goals at any moment, you don't need to change goals...you may just need to let the sights on the path get your attention for a bit because they may just lead you down a more fulfilling road toward that ultimate goal. Besides, you know you are SO much more than a damn Number, so Act like it dammit!