Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Strength and Courage

It's funny how everything has been working out lately. In a lot of ways it's almost like this isn't my life. I have been trying to change directions. You know, focus on things that are important to me for once.

It started with the realization that when I quit smoking I accomplished something amazing. I fought, struggled, and continue to beat something that people struggle with everyday. It's something I should be proud of, but like anything else it becomes part of life. My accomplishments seem to bleed into the day to day of taking care of the family, going to work, and the basic grooming needed everyday to pass as a human being. You forget the struggles that got you where you are because you are focused in the struggles of where you are going.

In a very rare moment alone, I stood in the Writing and Publishing section of my local Barnes and Noble looking for some kind of workbook or book of "jumping off points" to spur my creative juices. Cue the Angels singing and bright light. It almost jumped off the shelf at me. It was called "Courage to Write". I have been in this section MANY, MANY times and I can almost guarantee it had never been there before. It was destined to be owned by me. At least as destined as $14.95 plus tax can make it. I opened the first page and there alone was every penny's worth of knowledge. It basically said that writing as well as any creative endeavor is deeply personal. It's not like filling the fry box at McDonald's or filing some pointless Act of God accident claim. It's like baring my soul to my reader and then giving you a sheepish smile and saying "I hope you like it" and at the same time being sure that you won't because I have notoriously bad self-esteem.

This is still like my aha moment. It's not brazen and bold yet, but it's still there quiet and nagging...aha. I like the idea that someone else has felt that. Not only that SOMEONE felt that, but someone courageous enough to write a book about it and gutsy enough to convince someone to publish it and poignant enough to reach me in my favorite aisle of Barnes and Noble.

The idea of being courageous is an eye opener to me. I thought about my life and really started to note all the courageous things I have done recently. I had the courage to quit smoking, I find the courage to update you all on my progress and let you see my lowest lows and hopefully my highest highs. I had the courage to tell you all exactly how much I weigh.

I made a decision that 2010 is my year of courage. I need to be courageous enough to really focus on my weight loss.

I hear it everyday. I say it everyday. "I would like to do...but" I would like to write, but it's so loud and I have so much to do around the house. I would like to lose weight, but I live 45 minutes away from any real civilization and my kids have to be picked up at a certain time and blah, blah, blah... It dawned on me while listening to someone else do this same thing that it was less about figuring out a way to do it and more about listing my excuses to convince myself and to get you
(the collective you) to agree with me and say, "Yeah...I wish it was easier for you, buck up." That thought made me really sad. I do not want to make excuses, nothing is accomplished with excuses.

I made my next courageous decision. I called a personal trainer. I discussed my options with her and got a feel for who she was and told her that I needed to discuss it with my husband.

I sat Jim down and I told him that I have worked really hard to make things easier for him and in the process have complicated myself. This is no longer a partnership, but one person bearing the responsibility and the other living the high life. I told him that I needed HIM to buck up and do the hard inconvenient thing for once and help me with the kids in the afternoons so that I can focus on losing weight and being healthy. I was surprised to hear him say "Whatever you need" without skipping a beat. I am still kind of flabbergasted, but I wasn't going to question it.

I didn't have to call her back, she called me first thing Monday morning and before I knew it, I was making an appointment for a Fitness Assessment the following day.

That was yesterday. I went to see her directly from work for my Fitness Assessment. She put me on a 1500 calorie meal plan and on to test my physical abilities. I did not expect to do well. I am obviously out of shape, turns out that all the work I have been doing in the pool with the kettlebells have already started to pay off as she actually increased the weights twice so I did my assessment with 8 pound weights!!!!

There is something to be said about working with a trainer because I have tried alone and have faltered. It's about being accountable to someone else and for me it was a little bit of a pride thing. There were times I wanted to quit and say I can not do this, but I did not want to give her what you expect from the fat chick. I wanted to show her that I wanted to be there and I had every intention and desire to do what she wanted me to do.

At the end of my assessment she said to me, "Great Job! You are stronger than you think you are." Not stronger than she thought I was, but stronger than I thought I was. She was right.

Here's the deal.. I have signed up and I am ready to make this happen. I go back tomorrow. I hope you all continue to give me your support and follow my journey and I would love to hear about yours. My next courageous task is that I am actually posting my BEFORE pictures here and hope to update them periodically. There is nothing that anyone can say that I haven't heard or thought before.


  1. Christie - I am so proud of you! You will do great. One thing that will help is to set little the first 10 lbs I will, at the first 20 lbs I will. My first thought was always "if I lose 10 lbs I'm going to eat a big steak dinner." I needed to learn to change it to reward myself with other things (pedicures, new jeans, etc) My mind still goes there and it's a constant struggle (and I still have weight to be lost). Food becomes such an obsession for us in our culture...I know for me it has been the biggest addition I have ever battled. Sorry to go on and on. I'm just really happy for you and I know you will do great!

  2. Thanks, Hannah. Please go on and Some people think I am stupid for making this such a public thing, but I have several needs that are met by documenting my journey in this way. The problem with our culture also comes from not wanting to be uncomfortable or talk about unconfortable things and people can and do say what they want about me. I am just tired of not responding. So herein lies the

  3. Christie- I love that you are posting these you are my hero. I to am on my quest for self improvement and have recently gotten braces and am on the weightloss wagon. I wish you luck and will keep up with you on your journey as you are inpiring me to keep up with mine. Thank you

  4. I think it is awesome you are doing this, not at all suprised though you are stronger than you think in a lot of ways.

  5. Oh my god. I DON'T THINK IT'S STUPID AT ALL!!!

    You are doing two very powerful things here; 1) expressing yourself in a way that most people don't do well; by writing. You are a FABULOUS writer! You have such unique insights, a very strong "voice" and such a great sense of humor that it leaves any reader who stumbles upon it wanting more.

    And 2) you are creating such a positive environment for your efforts that they can only result in success. I can tell by just reading the first few paragraphs that you're totally in the right place to make the changes in your life necessary to make this a *permanent* change.

    Congrats on the success and ROCK ON in the future!

  6. I must say your comment about Jim saying "whatever you need" made me chuckle because Ray has done the same thing. I over-prepare myself for an argument, because of the times he'll say "no", that when I hear "go right ahead", I'm totally beside myself :)

  7. I love your blog!