Last week I was on a once in a lifetime trip to New York for the annual Anytime Fitness conference.
I say again, F-I-T-N-E-S-S conference.
Never in my wildest daydreams would I have ever thought that this would be my life. And certainly people who’ve known me a long time would agree. It’s wild times for me, for sure. When I first started this blog in 2013 I was so lost. I had no ideas about where I was headed. All I knew is that I was in pain and writing helped. I knew I needed to change, but I did not know how or where to start.
Fast forward to September 2016, and here is my view from the lodge I stayed at in Lake Placid…as a fitness professional.
What do I want to say about my experience last week?
How do I begin? Where do I start?
Do I start with the amazing and surreal sights and sounds of my 24 hours in New York City, before we headed up state?
Do I dig deep into my wanna-be-writer soul and try to describe how magical and soul stirring it was to be in the Olympic village at Lake Placid, where our conference was held? In the actual ice rink where the “miracle on ice” happened in 1980, one of the biggest sports upsets of all time?
Do I start with the intense gratitude I have for my boss’s, my team, my gym members, my friends, my family, my babies and my husband??? For everything everyone’s done to provide for me, inspire me, push me and encourage me to get to this awesome point in time of my life?
I’ll start with the REAL, less impressive, corners of my heart. That place deep down in the bellows of your guts that threatens to show up and ruin everything you’ve worked hard for with just a few seeds of doubt and shame. Yes, I’ll start there. Because it doesn’t matter where I’m at, or what I’m doing…when the mind starts traveling down that road of negative thinking, nothing else matters. And I know we’ve all been there.
You see, I’m still fat. Forget that I’ve lost 111lbs. To people who don’t know me, I’m still obese. 288 pounds is still ALOT. And that’s the number I carried around with me, and stuffed into airplane seats and restaurant chairs and yoga workout pants while I was gone.
My body is in this weird, middle earth realm of being smaller, stronger and more effiencient…but also (with weight still to lose) still big, and jiggly. And with the weight loss I’ve had, I’m starting to have skin droop and sag. It’s just the way it is. There’s no getting around that, I’d rather have that to deal with then where I was at before.
I know it’s TMI, but I’m just keeping it real people. This is the real life account of my “extreme weight loss” and it’s not all unicorns and rainbows!! Some of this is really weird and hard and I understand now why it must take so long to truly transform!! It is a grueling process and the mind takes time to catch up with the changes of your body and vice versa.
Ultimately, my goal is health and FEELING good, and be able to actively live my life. So, the cosmetic stuff doesn’t really bother me. Especially when I’m in my bubble where everyone knows me!
Here at home, everyone at our gyms knows ME. They know my story. They’ve seen me work out. They know what I’m capable of, and I walk around with complete confidence in my leadership there. That is why I was unprepared for how my insecurity would start to creep in and feel at our conference.
Being in a group of hundreds (at least 1,000?) trainers and fitness professionals who didn’t know me left me feeling pretty vulnerable. But I know better!!! I kept telling myself that this is what all of these people are passionate about! Not one person was rude to me or weird to me! The battle was all within my head. Which leads me to my triumphant moment friends. You knew there would be one!
The Saturday afternoon before we left, there was a group workout planned so that we could attempt to break three world records. The records we attempted were the most people doing a simultaneous 1 minute plank, 1 minute of squats and 1 minute of jumping jacks. The squats and the planks I was not worried about. But I have NEVER done unmodofied jumping jacks becuase I can’t jump on my feet! The pounding is too hard and my body so heavy. But, in order to qualify for the world record, each person has to do a perfect, unmodofied version of each exercise without stopping for the full minute.
It was a conundrum.
I DID NOT WANT TO DO THIS. I was silently agonizing over having to do it. Worried I would fail miserably. Do I sit out? Do I let my team down and refuse to do this workout that will surely end in my shame and humiliation? Do I surrender to that nagging negative voice that had been pestering me the whole time we were there, saying you DONT BELONG HERE?
Well first of all, my team wouldn’t have let me sit out so that wasn’t an option. And secondly, I thought about all of my people!! All of my members at my gym at home who love me and whom I feel in some small way I represent. I decided I’d try my best for THEM. And so I did. And you know what? I was able to do all three.
LONGEST three minutes of my life, but I did it. I could do it all along. And in that three minutes it didn’t matter what my body looks like or all my dumb feelings…all I knew is that I had DONE THE THING.
One of the best feelings of my life, I’ll never forget it. I was so proud of myself for not surrending to that old mindset that would have robbed me of being a part of breaking world records with my team. After the workout, the trainer who was leading us from up front ran down to the grass and created a huddle with us all around. He yelled,”Do you feel that?! This is why we do what we do. It’s magical! It’s tangible!” And I broke down and finally cried.
But, tears of joy!
It doesn’t matter who knows what about me. I know how far I’ve come and am excited about where I’m going. And it’s been announced that next years conference is in Palm Springs. :)