I took my before and after pictures this week and when I saw them finally side by side, I felt....deflated. Where was my dramatic change? Where was the definition I'd been working towards? Was all that hard work for nothing?
My eyes had become focused on the end product, and not on what was really important.
Ever watched a small child paint? They'll spend ages working with different colours and moving the brush different ways. They are so involved in the painting. Then they go 'ruin' it by painting it all black or wrecking it. That's because for them, the true value is in the PROCESS not the result. The fun is in the DOING not the HAVING.
The process is where all the learning is. The process is what we actually experience to produce a result. Ignoring the process is like looking forward all your life to your death....and missing all the cool stuff that happens in the meantime.
Society is results driven. It doesn't matter HOW I get there, so long as I get there. This can be a bad thing, look at the drug cheats in sport...all for the win, the result.
So I decided to look back on my process since I changed my life with the first round I did of 12 Week Body transformation.
I started in August 2011, heading towards illness and a lifetime of medication shocked me into thinking it might be about time I looked after myself. I was tired of struggling with anxiety and self loathing. During that round I gained happiness, confidence, empowerment, and lost the weight and centimetres.
Since signing up that day in August I have run 5 k, 10k, 15 k and a half marathon. I completed Tough Mudder!
I broke the 30 minute barrier for 5 k running a PB in 26.27 minutes. I ran an endurance funrun up and down a mountain for 5 hours. I walked for 12 hours to complete 50 kms. I learned to swim and took part in my first triathlon. I practised until I could do chinups, then nailed 5 in a row.
I went from struggling to carry groceries to bench pressing my 8 year old daughter for fun. I learned how to cook and not rely on fast food, and now love using the Japanese, South east Asian, Spanish, Mexican, Greek and Italian food influences.
I stopped looking at the ground and started to look up.
The process doesn't end, not while there is breath in my body. There is no 'end result' because I am always learning, always growing, always striving. The process is what keeps me going day after day, seeing the small triumphs and woohoos...the things worth celebrating.
The PROCESS is what forges my mind and my body. It has been and WILL BE an awesome ride.