Fear to freedom

It’s hot.

Like, I’m having trouble thinking because it’s so hot.

So today, I’ll let someone else do the talking.

But first, a story.

From senior year in high school until the summer after I graduated college, I worked as a life guard. I worked in all different kinds of facilities, but mostly at pools in apartment complexes. It was the kind of job where, a lot of the time, my main function was just to talk to people.

One woman used to come every night right before I closed down the pool to swim laps, and then she would stay to talk with me while I folded up all the umbrellas, put away the kick boards and filled the pool with chlorine for the morning.

I remember feeling incredibly lost that summer, unsure of who I was, where I was going and what the future would hold, and a lot of those fears came out during our conversations.

On my last day at that pool, she invited me over for dinner.

I remember two things from that night.

One, we drank Gatorade from wine glasses.

Two, this passage she gave me. In moments of doubt, it continues to serve as my guide:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously
give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

 РMarianne Williamson


Facing my big, fat fears

A few weeks ago, my gym began offering free spin classes. I go to a cheap, bare bones gym that doesn’t offer any classes, so this was pretty exciting.

Except, I had never tried spin before.

There are two thoughts that go through my head when I think about trying new things:

1. Am I too fat for this? I’m probably too fat for this.

2. It doesn’t matter if I’m too fat for this or not, other people will think I’m too fat for this.

Oh my god. Sometimes I think I got off “easy” compared to trauma other fat people face, then I become aware of my thoughts, and realize being fat has affected me in more ways than I probably realize.

It’s amazing what you hear when you start listening to your thoughts.

Rationally, I know I’ve been working out consistently for about a year, have run two 5Ks and have much more endurance ¬†than I did at 240 pounds. Also, there is that tiny detail of not actually being 240 pounds anymore.

There was nothing standing between me and that spin class except for my big, fat fear.

I was really nervous going into it, but just kept telling myself that I belonged there and I would be able to complete the class.

It helped that the instructor was really nice and because the spin classes are new at the gym, there were other spin newbies like me.

Since that first class, I’ve been back whenever my schedule allows it and have a great time every time. I leave so sweaty and so, so happy.

Source: Uploaded by user via Bobbie on Pinterest

I know that part of the good feeling that follows spin are due to endorphins, but there’s a feeling of accomplishment every time I leave the class that I’m doing something I didn’t think I could do.

Losing 65 pounds has changed my life in so many unimaginable ways, the most important of which have absolutely nothing to do with how I look.

I hate watching TV when I’m on the treadmill or elliptical, so instead I usually stare into my reflection on the dark screen and challenge myself to go when I want to stop and do what I think I cannot do.

Today, let fear be your motivation to action.

Get it together

Um, you guys, I forgot how hard losing weight was.

I’m not really sure how I forgot. But I did.

All calories matter. Even the candy you brought home from India and shared with the office but ended up eating a lot of. All the extra dips of hummus, the I’ll-just-have-one of’s and especially all the coffees from Starbucks. All calories. All matter.

I think I’ve been living in a world of compliments, because I’ve been seriously slacking on accomplishing any weight loss.

Even before I left for India, I was in a pretty rough spot between two stubborn pounds.

I’ve been relaxing on a web of fear and lies for the last couple of months, telling myself that it’s okay if my progress has slowed.

But last night I went to bed upset with the choices I’ve been making. I haven’t been honoring my voice. The one that knows better. The one that has the power to override all the outside pressures.

And for that, self, I’m sorry.

It’s time again to put myself back in the driver’s seat. Because at the end of the day, I’m the one that has to live with my actions. I will do what’s best for me even if others don’t get it. I will do what’s best for me even if it’s not popular.

I won’t be motivated by fear.

I won’t let fear make me complacent.

I won’t let fear tell me I can’t accomplish my goals.

I can.

And I will.