Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Missing the Forest

I had a minor breakdown today.  It took me out of the blue.  I'd just had a great workout with Chalene Johnson.  I worked so hard and lifted so much weight that I could barely bend my arms.  It was a great feeling! I left all I had on the basement floor.  I was feeling really good about my ability to work hard.

Then, I got on the scale. Not only did I get on the scale, I decided to use the feature that measures body fat.  I had a number in my head and the number that came back was much higher than I expected.  That did it.  All the good feelings, the pleasure of flexing in the mirror, the lightness and the feeling of being fleet of foot were gone.  Stolen.  I lifted my eyes to the mirror and saw nothing but fat. The softness covering muscles I worked until they burned suddenly made my efforts seem worthless.  I spent the rest of the morning crying and alternately begging the Holy Family for help and berating myself for being a fat slob.  I wrote an email filled with anxiety and questions to my coaches, who have been so supportive of me.  "What have I done wrong? What if I never reach my goal? Why is this taking so long?"  At home, the tears ran freely until my 5-year-old and toddler came into the room and I was forced to pull myself together.

As I went on with the rest of my day, it gradually occurred to me that I was missing something.  Something monumental!  For the last 20 months, since I started on my fitness journey, I have been working toward the goal of wearing my pre-pregnancy size.  Sunday, I tried on the jeans in my goal size and they zipped and buttoned and looked good enough to wear in public!  This same size wouldn't budge above my knees only 20 months earlier.  The event was marked with a nice compliment from my husband.  That's it. As I neared my original goal, I began to see what might be possible in the future and set bigger goals for myself.  That's not a bad thing.  But in doing so, I somehow missed that the one thing I have wanted for 9 years and been working toward for 20 months had been accomplished.  20 months of my life dedicated to this one event and I glossed over it!


How many people stick with a plan and a goal that takes that long to achieve?  I think not many.  It was a long, hard road filled with sweat, soreness and tearful prayers to God in the shower.  I sacrificed sleep, dessert and bread.  I experienced the gamut of emotion as I pushed toward, reached and surpassed each small goal.  I have learned what I am made of and, despite what that scale says, I am not made of fat!  I am strong.  I can do what I put my mind to doing.  I can run! I can jump rope with my daughter!  When I started, I couldn't leave the ground for jumping jacks. I can do 2 military push ups. When I started I could barely do 7 sloppy push ups from my knees.  If I could tell you all the magnificent things that have happened to me as I pushed through my frustration, anger, inability and weakness, I would never stop talking.  I have a new outlook and a new lease on life.  I wish I could give this gift to everyone who is unhappy with their weight and fitness and tell them that if I can lose this weight, fighting for every single pound and inch, anyone can.

How could I have missed this!  I have achieved a goal I have held for 9 years, since my first child was born. I have achieved a goal I have worked toward for the better part of 2 years.  Now I am going to sit down and let this amazing event wash over me while I give praise to God for answering my prayers. Then I'm going to celebrate!


  1. Yay!!! That's simply wonderful!! So proud of you!!! :)

  2. Sari (Sx3inSC)February 27, 2011

    Mary, a huge CONGRATULATIONS to you on such a great achievement! I had no idea..

    As someone who has struggled with my weight for most of my adult life, I identified with many of your words. I am at the beginning of your journey - I am for the first time trying to identify the reasons it is hard for me to respect myself, my body enough to stay healthy and devote some time to taking care of me. I strongly believe that it is a combination of things that need to come together for success to happen.

    Smiling for you.


"Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person." ~Colossians 4:6 (NASB)