Let’s get real here. This story is equally the most embarrassing and most liberating thing I’ve ever dared to document…I may regret it, but it needs to come out so I can face it. Here we go…
A few months ago, I was at a training class for work listening to my former Sergeant share his struggle with weight gain and how he made the conscious decision to get fit and live healthy. Now, let me tell you, I had already read his story in our newsletter and this was a man I both respected and admired talking to us about being overweight and feeling bad…I was shocked at his candidness. I went home, watched my daughter sleep for a bit (she thinks it’s creepy but I do it when I’m upset, it reminds me what I’m fighting for) and I took a long, hard look in the mirror.
I didn’t like what or who I saw.
I saw that I was suffocating my daughters teen years out of my own fears that she would relive my mistakes. I saw that I was tired, overworked, overweight, and unhappy. On paper, I am amazing..I have done everything right to plan and prepare for the future. In person, I’m a friggin riot…I’m smart, not horrible to look at, and I have an insanely quick witted sense of humor. It was all a front. Inside, I was upset that I had let my physical well being slide from being a surfer and 6 mile a day runner to someone who got winded after 3 flights of stairs. I had shielded myself so well from dating that it no longer was an issue, the men I worked with knew me well enough to know and expect my “no” as a standard response. I had pushed my daughter so far into my own workaholic mentality that she also knew and expected my standard response of “no, I have to work” and “no, I’m too busy” when it came to going to the beach (we lived 2 blocks away) and going to outings with her friends.
Enough was enough.
I called up a good friend of mine and asked him to meet me. If you have one of those friends that repeatedly piss you off by telling you the truth-hold on to them. They are a Godsend when you need a reality check…and I did…a BIG one. I started talking about wanting to get back in shape and the next thing I knew, I was in tears spilling my guts about EVERYTHING. When I stopped talking, he stood in front of me and asked me to try and get around him. Well, he’s a 6′ tall Police Officer so you can imagine how well I did. I tried, and tried, and failed. I was frustrated and bitched at him “will you just get out of my way already?” and he stepped aside. I stood there and let everything sink in. I had been raised a fighter, nothing in my life has ever come without a steep price or consequence…it didn’t even occur to me that the decision to change my path could be an easy one. I went home and prayed in the shower…and I woke up with an idea.
The Year of Yes.
First on the list-get rid of the weight. I adopted my Sergeants rules of “no sides, sweets, or sodas” and added two more of my own – no fast food and no excuses. I started working out (at home with an incline treadmill, stability ball, and free weights) and using meal replacement shakes in the morning and night 6 days a week with one day as my “free” day. If I want pizza or a steak, I wake up on my free day and go get it, there’s no starving going on here. Eating is a lot cleaner and simpler too…if it didn’t grow from the earth or walk on it, I don’t eat it. The results are insane-10 weeks, 35lbs, 4 pant sizes, 3 shirt sizes and most importantly-I feel great! I don’t skip my daily runs and I don’t allow myself to find excuses for not fitting it in. Before you mutter your “yeah, but” let me tell you – I work midnight to 10am and I’ve had acute insomnia since I was a teen (I’m 35 now)…if I can make it work, you can too. But I’m not here to lecture you so let’s move on.
Next up-loosen the reins on the kid. This one almost gives me a panic attack every time I do it but I’m sure most parents can relate. So far, I have seen the wild streak that I love come out more often in my daughter. She is laughing more and cracking jokes with a smart ass mouth to match my own…I love it. It’s like seeing a weight lifted off her shoulders and watching her fly.
Thirdly-getting out of my social comfort zone. Should be an easy one, right? Bar hopping in San Diego is easier than finding sand at the beach for most people but for someone like me who has built a fortress around her personal life for fear of being vulnerable or hurt…it’s like going up against Goliath. I had to go to church for this one. I had to forgive myself and the assholes I had allowed into my life, specifically, the one who had put me in the hospital after almost fracturing my neck during an argument 12 years ago. This one was hard and took several conversations with my friend and pastor…but I’m finally free.
So this is what I came up with for my ‘Year of Yes’: If it’s fun, if it doesn’t hurt anyone, if it takes me out of my comfort zone, if it means meeting new people, if my first instinct is to say no out of insecurity, if would make my daughter happy, if it would make me happy….then yes. YES, YES, YES! In just 10 weeks it has turned my life upside down for the better. Now, there are some days where I’m having to work harder to find the positive but for the most part it has been an unbelievable about-face. I am losing the weight faster than a crackhead, I was promoted at work, my daughter is blossoming and happy, my relationship with my family and friends have merged into one unified bond, and my life has become this amazing, full of love daily blessing…I am never giving this up again.
I’ll have some photos up soon…and some good stories about all the craziness some of my yes’s have gotten me into so far. Running from a killer bee, performing at an open mic night, being complimented by Lou Ferigno (boom!), and the dates-holy hell the dating thing has gotten out of control!
Till then….. SAY YES!