Monday, 25 March 2013

Lean on me

I used to think I didn't need anybody.  I was independent, I was doing my own thing. I didn't need any help, I can do it mySELF, especially looking after myself.

Result? I couldn't do it and my health started to decline rapidly.  I had a future of pills pills and more pills and the spectre of diabetes looming as well. That's when I learned one of life's lessons.

You don't have to be weak to have support.

Support can quite often be the difference between success and failure.  Between making it or wishing I could make it.
It's the knowing that someone has my back, is there to fan me with a towel when it's the third round and I am spent.
Support is the scaffolding that catches me if I fall and puts me right back up to where I need to be, to get it done.

I have to say, in getting fit and healthy, support has made the road a whole lot smoother than going it alone.

When I first attempted getting 'healthy', it was difficult.  There wasn't a huge amount of support. In fact very little, however this would be due to the number of false starts I have had before.  I can see how the family thought this time would be no different.

It was difficult, to be going to gym by myself, to watch the portions of what I ate when the rest of the family and my friends were not on board. I ran my first funrun one to cheer or watch...a huge thing for me but I was so so disappointed inside.

 I had all the well meaning comments..." you don't need to lose weight", "Just have one it won't matter", " I'm sure you could skip gym for one day."

I had the not so well meaning comments..." You're becoming a gym junkie", "You'll get too muscly and look like a man and your husband will leave you", "Your priorities are all wrong".  It was like swimming against the tide on your first swimming lesson.  It would have been so easy to just give in and go with the flow. Take the easy road.

But that would have just proved them all right....that I COULDN'T do it.

 Over time, through consistent effort, determination and my commitment to my health and new lifestyle won over my family totally. They could see the change and how much happier and more ME I had become. The friends that were there no matter what were still there. Support began to grow and the tide turned.

Support does so much.  It picks up the slack when strength runs out. To me, it is the stone on which my determination, motivation and internal grit is sharpened.When those things wane and I feel like giving up, support is there to remind me that I CAN do this and I am not alone.

Support keeps me what I choose to eat and how much I workout. Support keeps me to my word, to my self.

Support gives me strength when mine is waning.  It's the cheer squad when I am lost in a world of muscle soreness and out of breath, when I feel disappointed in results or when it is all just too hard.  Support gets me through.

My support is my amazing husband and super awesome children who follow the same clean eating, who are there at the sidelines for each and every run, if they are not running alongside me. They didn't bat an eyelash when I asked each of them at various times and locations to take a picture of me every day in February to do a challenge...a handstand a day. Especially when I hadn't done a handstand for the past 30 years or so!

Running a 4 km funrun dressed as Wonder Woman with my then 7 yr old daughter beside me....that is a huge standout moment for me.  Quite possibly because her style was run a little then skip a lot because skipping was more fun than running...but she did it, leaving me for dead to sprint across the finish line. Hearing my son ask if he can come for a run with me when I start to head out....all this reminds me we are in this together.

 My husband comes to every single workout with me and we follow the same program, keeping each other going.  He's there at the 5 am workouts and  also the ones that end at 9pm. When cooking the evening meal all seems just too hard and my hands are itching to call the pizza shop, he's the one in the kitchen cooking up a frenzy to keep us on track. The added side benefit of this is a deeper understanding of each other...being so much more than just 'married'.

My support are my friends who ask now not what I DID on the weekend but how MUCH did I do. My friends do some workouts with me, and don't bat an eyelid when I bring my own food to our coffee mornings. If I ask them to help me out with different challenges, the response is not "What the hell did you just say?"  instead they ask " What do you want me to do?"

My support are the people who read this blog, post on the computer forums and facebook.  They are the ones who give the positive feedback that gives me so much more energy, particularly when I wonder if it's all really worth it. They show me and remind me it IS and how much I don't want to go back to the way things were. They also have the knowledge and advice for the strange questions I may have and can laugh at things only those going through the same process can laugh at.

Taking on anything as big as a total lifestyle transformation, is a huge task. It can be done by myself as I proved, but it is hard hard work.  It requires a greater focus and steely mind to get through and eventually even the strongest steel can fatigue and give way. Then the whole rebuilding process has to start again....if at all.

But doing it with support, with someone there to help me up when things do give way, to be WITH me every step of the way, then that is when I need someone to lean on. . Something I am deeply deeply grateful for.


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