Category Archives: Motivation

Conflicting Emotions

I don’t even know where to start.  Today has been the best day!  Today has been the worst day!  I want to laugh and smile.  I want to cry.  I want to eat.

What I really want is to be able to express what I’m feeling in a way that really gets my point across.  I hope I can do justice to the thoughts I’m having right now.

Guess what?  I did a 5K today. Yup.  3.1 miles.  In approximately 54 minutes.  I walked the entire course.  YIPEE!!!!!  And, it wasn’t just any 5k, it was a fundraiser for a baby  whose family I know.  Baby Mason was born with a congenital heart defect called hypo-plastic left heart syndrome.  He has already had two surgeries and will need at least one more–and will likely need a heart transplant at some point.  There were a lot of people from my home town there and it was so nice to see them and get to interact with so many people I love–but so sad to think of everything this little family is going through right now.

AND my friend Kellie, who is so super supportive of anything I want to do to improve my situation, walked with me.  We have set a goal to do one 5K a month through the summer and are looking forward to seeing our improvements.  Thanks, Kellie!

So, here’s the sad part.  When we finished, I was pretty happy with myself.  I walked.  The time was only 54 minutes. But, considering that I haven’t been working out much lately, I felt pretty good about the whole darn thing.   Until I saw this …..

and my “YIPEE!” turned into  a great big “I AM GINORMOUS!”  Seriously.  All of the pride and joy I felt at this accomplishment (which for me was really an accomplishment) suddenly disappeared in the shadow of every bad thought I have about myself related to my weight.  I wanted to cry.  And hide.  Instead, I went to the Maverick to get something to eat (old habits die hard).

The saddest thing of all is what I witnessed at the Maverick.  A woman was working behind the counter.  She was talking to a nice looking, fit gentleman while she was ringing up her customers and they were having quite an intense conversation.  I came in on the middle of it, so I wasn’t quite sure of the conversation’s context.  I heard her say things like, “I just want to be in a room by myself.”  “I don’t want to have to interact with anyone.”  “I don’t want to talk to anyone or be engaged in any kind of conversation.”  “I just want to be able to do my thing and be invisible.”  I wasn’t sure what they were talking about at this point, but I was making a mental note to not make eye contact with the cashier because she didn’t want to be engaged in conversation.

Then the conversation turned and I realized that the man was telling the woman that he would help her at the gym.  He told her that if she was willing to make the effort to go to the gym, he would be there to help her–show her what to do and how to work the equipment and what not.  An older woman ahead of me in line jumped in to the conversation and told the man, “It’s a woman thing, dear.  Women don’t like to do unladylike things–like sweating–in public.”

It was a really uncomfortable conversation to witness.    And that’s when it happened.  The woman said, “No, it’s because I am 35 years old and a complete fat a$$.”  Just as she said those last two words, we made eye contact and I started to cry while shaking my head and saying “NO.  No you are not!”  (I’m crying again now as I write this.)  I stepped up to the counter and said, “I know how you feel.  I just finished a 5K and am having a hard time being proud of that achievement because it is overshadowed by how fat I am.”  She brightened up a bit and said, “How did you ever do that?”  I asked her to come to the gym with me.  I told her it really isn’t as bad as she is imaging.  That the people at my gym are really nice and super supportive. But….she just moved the line along.  Oh, how my heart broke for her and for me and for every other person out there who has ever felt the shame of being fat.

Why are we so mean to ourselves? Why do we let how we look or this one area of our lives where we struggle define us?  I think in a lot of cases, our negative feelings and low self worth are not a result/symptom of being fat, but that  having feelings of low self worth is what caused us to get fat in the first place.  Add to that the times where people have confirmed our low feelings about our weight (I’ve been mooed at by a group of college kids, had a child yell loudly, “Oh my God she is FAT,” etc.) and it is a wonder that this is the first time I’ve seen a grown woman declare in public that she is fat and doesn’t like herself.

It makes me sad, people.  It has to change.  I can’t change the woman at the store.  But I can change me.  I’m proud of what I did today and I’ll be yelling WAHOO! at the top of my lunges until I can no longer here the negative thoughts.

WAHOO! WAHOO! WAHOO!  WAHOO! WAHOO! WAHOO! . . . . .

Choice and Accountability

Since I was a child I’ve been taught about the importance of choice and accountability.  My parents, church leaders, and teachers frequently spoke of the importance of making good choices, the responsibilities that accompany the right to choose and the consequences that we must live with once a choice is made.

For those of you who may not know, I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon).  Our Prophet, President Monson, recently spoke the priesthood holders of our church regarding the Three  R’s of Responsibility —outlining that we essentially have the right to choose, which comes with the responsibility to choose wisely, and ultimately we must live with the results of our choices.

This talk has been the impetus for a lot of thought on my part lately as it relates to the choices that I make in the arena of my own health and physical well being.  When you think about it, it really does come down to choice.  Yes, there are some things that are out of our control that we have no choice about.  Sometimes an illness is present and we need to learn to deal with the challenges it presents.  We don’t have a choice as to whether we have the illness or not in many cases, but we do have choices within those circumstances.  We may have work or civic responsibilities that, out of necessity,  must factor into our lives and will affect the choices available to us.  However, within that circumstance we have the opportunity to make choices every day that will either help us or hinder us—whatever area of our lives we are struggling with.

The realization for me is that I have choices every day—perhaps even millions of them—that can affect my life positively or negatively.  What a blessing that is.  I have the right to make decisions that will propel me down the path of my own life.  I get to make those choices for myself.   In large part, I determine what my life will be and I am grateful for that!

Along with that realization comes the reality that I have not always taken appropriate responsibility for making those choices.  It is up to me to weigh my options and make the very best choice possible—the one that will help me be the person I am meant to be.  I’m not just talking about big choices here either.  I think this is where I’ve gone wrong many times before.  Even the little choices matter.  What I choose to eat today (and tomorrow and the next day) may seem like insignificant choices at the time, but they become significant when the right or the wrong choice is made time after time after time.  Small choices become the equivalent of those big, life changing choices when they amass over time.

Regardless of the choice made there will be a consequence.  As it is with the choice, the consequences amass over time too.  When I consider where I am today with my health and fitness I realize, with much regret, that I am living with the consequences of poor choices.  I can look back now and see that those seemingly insignificant choices I made about what I eat, how much I move, how well I sleep, have combined to provide the circumstance I find myself in now.

The beauty of this thought process and principle is much like the beauty of the gospel.  I can change.  I can learn from my mistakes and move on.  I can start making better choices right now.  I have the right and the responsibility to start with my next meal and how much I move today and the result of good choices will provide results.  Just as the poor choices amassed to bring a result that is difficult, good choices I make from here on out will also combine to my benefit and this fills my heart with hope!

I don’t anticipate that I’ll be perfect from this point on, but I’m definitely going to be looking for those millions of little times each day where I have the opportunity to chose to make my life what I want it to be and I plan to live up to my responsibility to make the best choice possible so that I can have results that will make me healthy and happy for the rest of my life.

Time To Clean House

My friend Brandy (Hi Brandy) posted the following as her facebook status the other day:

“The place.. for what you want the most… is already filled… with what you’re settling for…”

My thoughts have returned to this statement several times since she posted it.

Am I missing out on what I want most because I’ve already filled it with what I’m settling for?

What am I willing to give up in order to have the life I really deserve?

Hmmmm…….. definitely some delicious food for thought.

Any thoughts or fabulous insights to share?

*Note:  I’ve been thinking a lot about the word “deserve” lately and how I’ve subconsciously used that to sabotage myself and bring some of the negative thoughts I have about myself into my reality.  I’ll be writing on that later in the week.  Give it some thought.

Shout Out

My posts lately have been pretty depressing.  I was thinking it might be nice to just throw a good vibe out there.  I was humming the song from The Biggest Loser–you know the one….lalala….what have you done today to make you fell proud …. lalala…  Yeah.  You’re familiar with it.

So I’m just wondering what everyone out there has done today–just one small, maybe even seemingly insignificant thing–that you have done today that you feel good about.

I decided to be proactive about my health issues and wrote a two-page treatise to my Dr. as a follow up to some things she asked me to consider and get back to her about regarding an issue that we discussed at my appointment two weeks ago.  I don’t know what will come of it, if anything, but I feel good about the fact that I acted on it.

What have you done today to make you feel proud????

P.S.  I expect a comment from all of you.  Everyone of you has one thing you have done today you can feel good about.  You don’t think so?  Give it a little more thought — it’s there!

The "Real" Teresa

Do you ever feel like someone else is living your life and you are just a bystander watching in horror at the train wreck this other person is making of your life?  I do.  I hope I’m not alone (actually I do hope I’m alone, because that would mean you all aren’t dealing with the same demons I am–and that would make me happy).

I mentioned in my post yesterday that when I was playing basketball on Monday I heard a faint whisper of the woman I used to be.  I did.  I really did.  At some point during that game I remembered.  I remembered me.  The “real” me.  Honestly, it was exhilarating to know she is still there, somewhere, waiting to be coaxed out.

I realize that I am the one who stuffed her way down deep inside this fat body–hiding her from the world and anyone who might hurt her.  Me.  I am the one responsible.  I overate.  I didn’t move enough.  Not surprisingly though, hiding from hurt in that way has hurt me on a level that I believe is much worse than what I feared.  (Apparently this post has a mind of its own because I’m definitely veering off in a direction I hadn’t planned–but I’m gonna go with it.)

I let circumstances in my life convince me that I wasn’t worth the effort.  That it wouldn’t matter what I did, it would never be enough. I would never be enough.  I let fear take the reigns and fear ran me off in a ditch.

One of the hardest things for me about being this large is how physically difficult things are.  I remember after I initially started gaining weight I got really depressed.  I didn’t think I was depressed about being fat, but after talking with a trusted friend I realized that my depression stemmed from a disconnect from the “real” me.  My whole life I had defined myself as a jock, and athlete, an active person, someone who is competitive, someone who excels at sports.  These things added to my happiness.   On some level I didn’t even recognize I was mourning that part of myself.  That realization helped me through the depression and has provided me with some tools to deal with it when it does creep back in.  I’m grateful for that.  And feeling that faint connection with that part of myself has provided me with a lot of motivation.

I hear people say all the time–what motivates you?  I remembered one of my biggest motivators on Monday.  I am motivated to move more, lose weight, and improve my fitness because I need her–the part of me who is happiest running, and jumping, and playing.  She is unapologetic and doesn’t feel the need to play down being good at something for fear it will make someone else feel bad.  Even though she was not a world-class athlete, or even the best player on her city league softball team, she always felt she was enough.  She mattered.

Physical activity is painful now, but I don’t mind it a bit.  For instance, this morning we split up in teams in my workout class and ran through a timed obstacle course.  It looked simple enough.  Weave around some chairs, army crawl (or do the dreaded burpee) under some benches, jump over other benches, retrieve and replace tennis balls, drag a giant rope (really–I think they used this rope to tie Paul Bunyan up–it was HUGE), jump over two giant tractor tires, do some fancy footwork through a ladder, drag the rope back, and then run to the finish line.  It was not easy.  I wanted desperately to army crawl, but was too large to fit under the bench (yes, the dreaded burpee came into play).

I was not fast.  It was hard.  But I would do it again (and again and again) because when I do those active things, I feel more like myself.  And I like me.  The Real Me.