I did my first round in 2011, about this time.
That's me. A sad fat blob. I was miserable. I had the weight of the world on me, I thought nothing will ever change. I was too scared to do anything new and often scared to do anything on my own. Couldn't even go to the pool with my kids because I was too scared to get in the water, and didn't know how to swim. Inside, I felt I was always in the wrong, that people were talking about me, like I had few friends and the ones I did have were just doing it to be nice. Often a favourite fantasy was to live in a house surrounded by dense forest that noone could get through and in there I would live, hidden away, not having to deal with anything. I spent my time walking with my head down, looking at the floor. My diary entries I read were like from a starnger and they broke my heart. The poetry I wrote all through my teen and adult life until then makes me cry for that person.
Written September 1999
When you look at her face
All is calm, serene.
The face shows Happy.
But the eyes are the window
To the soul,
Eyes she keeps hidden
For fear someone discovers
how truly deep the fear goes.
How close she is
to ridding the world of her presence.
Why would anyone notice?
The children barely know she is alive....
Her employment would merely
" Another staff member down"
Could merely move on
Without her weight dragging him down.
Would it really make a difference
If she were dead?
Would it really matter if she remained alive?
We will never know.
For she lacks the courage
But then, on a whim, or a last ditch chance, I joined 12 WBT.
This really should be called something other than BODY transformation. For me it was truly a whole life changing experience. I followed the plans to the letter....which gave me a feeling of control. And the numbers began to go down. I found exercise made me feel GREAT and became something to look forward to. It gave me a purpose and I could feel it in my body and mind that I was getting stronger. Yes my body changed....but somewhere along the way, my whole way of thinking, my way of seeing life and myself changed completely.
I faced many of my fears..... for example, a friend offered to teach me how to swim. Those lessons were hard, so hard. So many false starts! Even now to put my head in the water I struggle with my fears but....I DID IT. I learned to swim, not gracefully or fast but enough to enter a tri-pink triathlon. That still to this day is one of my greatest memories....swimming in a triathlon.
I ran in funruns and found I was getting faster and faster. People were commenting on how good I looked, I began to grow more confident in myself and dared to think I WAS good enough.
End of Round 2 2012
I WAS succeeding. I WAS wanted! I looked up from the ground when I walked. I tried new things and set goals. Even my ridiculous thinking had changed...I had a morbid fear of using the phone to call people in case they were busy and I interrupted them, I avoided it at all costs. Now I can call and not feel like hyperventilating.
My self talk went from hateful vicious words to positive. When I got tired running, I could hear Mish's voice in my head egging me on supportively. Eventually I noticed the voice in my head sounded less like Mish and more like mine. It was my voice shouting " Just one more Km, Just one more Km" when I ran my first half marathon in 2 hours 19 mins. But it was Mish that created the environment for it.
The cream on the pie was being up on stage as a finalist in round 2 2012.
Now this round I have struggled. The old thinkings came back and crippled me, although nowhere near to the extent my whole life as I remember had been.
I felt like I failed because I wasn't a winner, and didn't recognise ( although I certainly felt it) being a finalist was the hugest and most magnificent honour I could have imagined. I didn't take pleasure in what I could do in the gym. I didn't believe it when people said I inspired them. All I could see was what I could not do or be. The ridiculousness of this hit when I said to my ever patient, very loving and supportive husband that I was useless because I can only deadlift and squat 60 kgs. What the????? A year ago I couldn't deadlift a bag of sugar! And now I'm doing more than 10 kgs over my bodyweight? Mental slap to the head.
But a year ago, I would not have been able to change that thinking. The tools and the sense of achievement in setting goals, even small ones through the program, have step by step transformed my muddy blackened mind into something as hard and as shiny as diamonds. The discipline behind JFDI and taming the inner labrador, exercising that willpower muscle also caused me to be more disciplined in my thinking....attacking the negative and replacing with positive thoughts. Taking the death wish that seemed to be my answer to everything and giving me a hunger and a yearning for life and everything in it. For the first time in years I can smile and really FEEL it inside.
Now I know someone people, if they have managed to read this far, have already rolled their eyes. Some might think I'm still being pathetic. But I can honestly say now....I DON'T CARE. This is me. This was me.
It could have been you.
So I want to take this opportunity to say thank you, although those words are nowhere near enough what I feel. Thankyou to Michelle Bridges for creating this program, for the mindset lessons, for showing that even she isn't perfect and for setting up the forum. Thank you to the people on the forums for their support, their friendship, their advice and their willingness to share the things that they go through. Thank you for your strength. Thank you for the feeling of belonging.