Sunday, February 5, 2017

Part III : Willingness To Change For The Better

We all have a time in our lives when we know something needs to change.

From there, we have two options:

1) to stay stagnant/unmotivated and carry on, even though the issue is still there


2) do something about the problem. 

My problem was that I didn't really understand how big of an issue my weight gain was. Ya, I knew I was a bit heavier, but looking in the mirror....that to me seemed to be "normal".  Normal to me was covering up with sweaters and pants even in the summertime. Normal was refusing to go to certain birthday parties if it involved a swimming pool or the beach.  I would even go as far as sporting the latest designer sunglasses and bags to divert my self-esteem issues and impress people. Who was I kidding?!?  But, that was MY normal. These were all pieces that made up my safety blanket. 

Real-Life Scenario #3: Trying To Change For Someone Else

In the beginning stages of our relationship, I was a skinny mini. But, life gets in the way and college life takes over. You do know what type of food is served in the cafeterias at school right?!?  Bad food!!  Chicken fingers with dill sauce, french fries, chicken burgers, fried chicken, and pizza were some of the things we kids ate at lunch.  You can only imagine how unhealthy I had got. I wasn't even doing anything too physical besides working out my retinas from the crazy amount of reading we had to do. 

Now, let's flash forward to a year after graduation.  Adulthood was on the horizon with new experiences, new careers and a new zip code.  Luckily, we moved to a city where we already had a few friends residing there. The fellas of the group decided to join a basketball league, which although was just for fun, is still physically demanding.  Just to keep up with all the other players, my boyfriend (at the time) decided to join the gym at his workplace.  I thought it was a great idea for him, but to me... it didn't appeal to me at all.  While he was getting his sweat on, I opted for going straight home to prepare dinner or straigght for the munchie aisle to chow down in my "no judgement zone" alone at home. It would be a habit of mine to hide my plastic wrappers, bags, containers of my junk food in the weirdest spots before he came home. Under the the back of inconvenient cupboard on top of the my closet. I was obsessed with hiding the truth. Most commonly, I would wrap up my wrappers in paper towel so he wouldn't see it out in the open in the garbage without me having to take out the trash.  

We would frequently argue about me not wanting to do anything fitness-related like all his friends with snowboarding, dodgeball and of course, working out.  I would consider staying home alone rather than going to a gathering with friends where there was any chance we would do anything physically active. 

We would also argue about some of the food I would get at the store and him saying it was "unhealthy". At the time, I didn't think pasta was unhealthy with the creamy, red sauce. I didn't think pork tenderloin was bad for the body. I didn't think crackers and dip was fattening.  All these things I thought were healthy were on my regular shopping list. I really didn't know any better.  I almost wish they would of taught me at a younger age in elementary school. I'd be the fittest young adult out there. But alas, there was not such a class when I was growing up. 

Eventually, I caved and got a gym membership because our relationship seemed a little strained. It wasn't like how it used to be.  Not all sunshine and rainbows.  My intentions for this particular journey were to get him off my case. He seemed so thrilled I FINALLY came around to working on my health/getting back to Skinny Kimmy. He taught me a few things with weight training and seemed so proud of me. It felt nice to be connected again. This ONLY happened in the first few workouts when newbies at the gym are all excited about getting into their best shape yet. This was all short-lived. Soon after, I would fall back into my old habits and retreat home immediately after work to pig out in silence. The cycle began again.  The fights and arguments started again.  But the more he pushed, the more I resented him for it.  I even recall this big blow up we had when I was so angry at him, I was kicking, screaming and crying my eyes out while we argued in bed.   Gosh, what an awful way to end the day!

For reasons beyond my unwillingness to change to get on the "healthy train", we went our separate ways. It was most likely one of the deciding factors in our breakup. 

Being forced into doing something that you don't want to do, never works out in the end. These were my issues, and no one, no matter how hard they'd fight to fix me, would make me want to change.

Fast forward to a few months after the break-up :
Now, living back home with my parents in Winnipeg and still following my unhealthy routine, I was assigned your basic house rules by doing my own dishes, making my own food and cleaning up after myself.  It wasn't until one time when I was cleaning up my room and underneath my bed were 4 empty canisters of Pringles, I thought "Yikes!  I ate all of that in one night?  Wow!  What have I've done!"  It was at that point when I knew something had to be done.  Who was going to love me (besides the unconditional love I get from my family/friends) if I didn't love my own body?!? This was my reality check. This was my sign. 

Kimmy 2.0 : Re-Booted : I re-signed back up at my old gym around the corner, paid for a bundle of personal training sessions, and started on a new meal plan. Just like that, I decided this girl was ready to flip my life around. This time, I knew I was ready to give it my 100%.  There was no one pushing me.  No one guilt tripping me. No obligation to anybody.  The decision to start this journey commenced on its own time...on my terms. It just took me a long while to get to my destination.

What I'm trying to say is this: There are no fitness challenges that will motivate you to stay on track for the rest of your life. Those are all temporary fixes.  Fad diets?  Been there. Done that.  Crazy, unreasonable workout schedules?  I don't think so.

Sometimes a person HAS to be forced into being ready, because their doctors are telling them their sound advice to get that body moving again to prevent any more damaging effects.  Your moment of clarity may be a friend who had passed away from a sudden heart attack, or perhaps a mother-in-law who had been recently diagnosed with fatty liver disease or being told by the doctor you need to start taking high blood pressure pills.  For me, it was that one monumental salty-snack moment that made me change my life for the better.

The journey won't be easy, but gets easier as time goes by. Will there be obstacles?  Will there be yo-yo'ing and "falling off"?  Of course!  Don't let those challenges steer you off course from getting to your ultimate finish line. Trust that everything else in your world will fall in its' place. Your confidence will slowly grow and grow with every passing day.  On top of growing physically stronger, your mind will follow.  You will be given opportunities that once seemed impossible now attainable. All these wonderful things... they are all just hiding until you are truly ready to embrace the "new" you.  Little steps get you to the big picture AKA overall health & wellness. It all starts with the decision to change when YOU are ready.  When that is? Only you will know.    

So, trust the process because ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. And it all starts with the decision to try. 

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