Jumping into Focus 

When I first started working out, everything hurt SO BAD and I hardly felt like I could get through 30 minutes of exercise. 

Everything made me winded.  

Everything seemed awkward.

Everything seemed uncomfortable, physically and emotionally.  

I was constantly tugging my shirt down, or pulling my pants up. Rigidly self-conscious and nervous, on top of physically uncomfortable. I understand on a deep and personal level why people join a gym and never want to step back in there…because I lived it. It is terrifying and humiliating. Even if you are fortunate enough to be surrounded by the right people who won’t let you quit or give up, it’s such an exhausting experience for your body and your heart, and it takes guts to keep going despite it all.  

One of the first movements my trainer introduced me to was step ups. I had to hold onto TRX straps to help me step up onto the single step, and then back down to the turf.  20 steps on each side got my heart rate up instantly and it took awhile for that to get easier for me. Now that I am a couple years into my journey, those first fundamental movements I learned have gotten MUCH easier, and I’ve moved on to more and more things that I am able to do.  

Last week I discovered that I am capable of jumping!!  For anyone who is overweight, especially “morbidly obese” as I have been, we know that JUMPING is not on the menu.  
Like, ever.
And if I’m being honest, I have avoided jumping movements for a long time out of fear.  
We had some box jumps to do during our new group training sessions, and I didn’t want to let all the other peeps down in the group by not even trying to see if I could do the jump. It was low enough to the ground where I didn’t feel like if I failed, I couldn’t recover gracefully.  
So, I did it.  
I jumped. I landed on the thing. Hopped down, and did it again.  
It was SO FUN!!! I will NEVER grow tired of learning what more and more I am capable of. Being able to LIVE life and do these things is why I have fallen in love with this process.  

That is the magic of fitness.   

BEING ABLE.

But sometimes I forget that.  

Sometimes that gets blurred by something negative, dark and gross that sneaks into my head and clouds my vision, and I lose focus. 

Today, while getting to workout with one of my favorite peeps, I was trying to show off my box jumps! I did 4-5 in a row and he challenged me to add on one more level. I knew I could do it, so I did! He filmed it for me because I wanted to share my newfound skill with the world! 

We finished our workout and I headed to my car to watch the video, anxious to put it on my Instagram as my new NSV (non scale victory).  
My heart sank.  
All I could see was my body through polluted vision.  I watched it 2-3 times and thought, “Well, I can’t put this up. I look so BIG, my skin is all loose, jiggly and hanging. Is this what I REALLY look like? Ugh. Nope.” And I threw my phone in my purse.  

I ran around and did some grocery shopping and errands and before I headed back home, I checked my phone and low and behold, my camera roll popped up. The last picture that I took on my phone before my box jump video this morning, was of an affirmation that my support group ladies had come up with last week as our mantra. I had posted it as an encouragement and reminder to everyone:

“I have one body and I am worth the effort.”

But as I sat I my car, the message pierced my heart and  hit home once again…FOR ME.   

Everything came right back into sharp focus.
That knee jerk reaction we have as women to see ourselves and instantly cringe and HATE what we see is what fogs our joy. 

 Here I am, with this strong, amazing body that has been through hell and carries me every day through my life, jumping with ease and landing on things like a boss…and I’ve got the audacity to think it ugly?! 

No.

I will not lose focus. 
 Just because I don’t “look a certain way” yet, does not mean I haven’t changed. Just because my body jiggles doesn’t mean I’m not fit.  Just because I’m not a certain size or weight doesn’t mean I’m not successful.  Just because I’m not where I want to be yet, doesn’t mean I can’t be proud.  

I refuse to continue to do this to myself. 

For those of you who are just starting and everything seems to hurt, and feel pointless…please don’t give up. Please don’t allow that darkness to creep in. I promise if you keep going, it will get better and better and BETTER.  
As a reminder to myself, I looked up my post from when I first started my journey,
(https://mandimonblog.wordpress.com/2014/12/05/update-of-the-year/).
And I will continue to remind myself how far I’ve come, because I have one body! And, it is worth the effort! 

Lifting spirits

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What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”
-Mark 9:23 NLT

“Realize the power that is within you and you will no longer be a victim of depressed spirit. And what is this inner power? Simply the God given ability to believe. To the extent to which you develop this faculty you will master the defeats of this life. The great issue is to learn to believe. Learn to believe! Learn to cast out doubt!”
– Norman Vincent Peale

I found this little old devotional in a box of old pictures that belonged to my grandma. We were going through them a few months ago to find pictures for the family reunion when I found this I decided to keep it and read it. I thought it was double special because it belonged to her and because the content seemed right up my alley! Call it serendipitous but I feel like I was meant to find it and enjoy if. After a few minutes of just resting my nose between the pages inhaling that delicious old book smell, I opened it up and was immediately blessed by the reading for day one.

Norman Vincent Peale is famous for authoring the book,”The Power of Positive Thinking”. Contrary to what some believe, he never implies that with affirmations and positive thinking we can manifest whatever we want. But rather, if we learn to have control over our thought life and train ourselves to look to God and trust in his power, the stronger our faith will grow and peace will abound. He says,” when you learn to believe, the area of the impossible is vastly reduced and the area of the possible is greatly increased.”
It seems like a simple and reasonable formula but it is the training of my thought life that I have found to be a black hole of doom. I am a certain kind of pessimist (which can be useful at times) that struggles with not living in constant terms of worst case scenarios.
Trying to capture my thoughts before they turn into feelings, desires and ultimately actions has been extremely difficult. Being constantly self aware is exhausting. Which is partly why I became so out of control in my addiction to food. It’s way easier to check out and not deal with myself. The always available cop-out of:

Ill start tomorrow.

FAMOUS LAST WORDS. These words will kill me if I let them to continue to let me off the hook TODAY.

So, for today I WILL…

Believe that God loves me and has a plan for my life.

Believe that he will give me the strength I need and the faith to believe to overcome this captivity of disordered eating and the bondage of this body that holds me back.

Believe that I can endure the path he is calling me to right now because he has supplied all I need.

Believe that I am on the road to recovery and freedom no matter how I feel or what I look like.

Believe that (despite battling omnipresent and continual pain) my body is healing and growing stronger with each good choice I make.

Believe that I will emerge as the woman I was created to be and not second guess myself and the strides I am making based on others opinions.

Believe that my husband and children deserve to have me at my very best and that I am striving for it minute by minute.

Believe that I DESERVE to be at my best and enjoy the life that I have to live today.

BOOMSHAKALAKA.

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