Changing my lifestyle is without doubt one of the most challenging endeavours I have undertaken- especially when I want to transform so many things at once. I have made resolutions to do this many, many times before, without success – but this time I’m viewing it not as a resolution, but rather as an EVOLUTION…
It’s a laborious process, and it will take time – this I know. Having made the decision 6 weeks ago, I am fully committed and will see it through – there is no quick fix. I think the most difficult part has been accepting help; believing that there are people who truly care for me; that listen; that want me to succeed. Having these people around me – you included- has served to strengthen my resilience and commitment. The fact that I can share my journey with so many people: that I can share my struggles and successes makes the work easier…and the mission less intimidating.
Having been an overweight individual most of my life, I have often had others tell me, and have managed to convince myself, that my weight “disqualifies” me from pursuing certain goals; from being loved; from being successful: from living a fulfilling life. I have let others define me, but never really taken control of defining myself.
I’ve often hesitated to pursue many of my dreams because I believed I wasn’t a contender – lacking the confidence that I could be successful in these endeavors. Don’t get me wrong, I have been successful in many things; education; personal relationships, various careers…but they were more things that I fell into, rather than things I pursued relentlessly. I’ve often felt that I was outside of my body looking in, just floating through life. I haven’t taken the lows well, often seeing them as confirmation of all the negative self talk that’s gone on in my head. I’ve often felt trapped, imprisoned even, in this huge mass; but it has also served as a protection – an excuse not to try and fail…it’s been safe. I think I might have even used it to test my friendships and relationships – will these people still love me at my worst? It’s fucked up I know, but it’s my truth.
When it has come to many things I have truly wanted in life, I have more often than not convinced myself that I was not worthy; that it’s too hard; that I don’t have time; that I’m not ready: that I’m not in the right frame of mind; that I’m not good enough; too fat; too weak…the list goes on…I’ve allowed self doubt, pain, insecurity and excuses to keep creeping into my life – sabotaging any positive movements I made forward. And instead, I’ve invested all my time & energy into other people to compensate, feel worthy and of some value; developing THEM, supporting THEM, encouraging THEM; motivating THEM – but not myself…I’ve never truly invested in myself.
I learned early on that society didn’t like fat people – I was part of the 3rd class …the ones that were mocked, and abused; the subject of repulsion – and perceived as the pinnacle of overindulgence and excess. And so I accepted my lot, and stayed that way – so as to not have to admit defeat; as a way of retaining some dignity for my ‘people’; because somehow I decided it was safer behind my layers of fat. That I wouldn’t have to expose myself to the world. That somehow that would protect me from pain. That they could laugh and mock my body, but not really get to ‘me’…
But I’ve slowly realised that I’m tired of carrying around the armour- it’s suffocating me; threatening to bring ‘me’ to an end. As a result, I’ve had to evaluate why I have not allowed myself to reach my full potential. And in confronting this, I am now starting to break free from the past and move forward in the direction that I choose. I am starting to see the value in myself; starting to shed the mask that I have held so dear, for so long. I am being selfish – maybe for the first time ever – and instead investing in ME; developing ME, supporting ME, encouraging ME, motivating ME. I still feel guilty sometimes, but I fight through it…it’s time to look after myself, and allow people to do for me, what I have done for them…
And so the change in me has begun. The changes I have made in the last 6 weeks, and work on daily:
* thinking positive thoughts
* surrounding myself with positive people
* working on ignoring negative self talk & changing the dialogue I have with myself
* eating heathy food
* exercising & keeping active
* setting short and long term goals
* spoiling myself – but not with food
* being grateful for, and kind to others
* understanding why I am where I am are, and taking the steps to heal
* keeping a smile on my face
* staying determined and focused
* keeping a diary and/or blog
* being kind to myself
* allowing myself to make mistakes
* acknowledging and understanding my impact on others
A lot of the time on our journey through life, we are so caught up in how WE feel that we fail to understand how we make others feel, or how our thoughts and actions impact them. I feel as though for the first time in a long time I am coming to life – and am so much more conscious of how what I say and do affects not only my own state of mind, but also those around me. This week I asked three influential people in my life, who I spend most of my time with, to talk to me about ‘change’ & how my journey has impacted them, and what changes they have seen in me : Mark my loving partner: Nik, my mentor and Kathryn my manger at work.
Below are their thoughts:
Mark – lover, best friend, gym buddy:
“Over the last 6 weeks I have seen a transformation in Maria that is beyond my recognition of whom I identify as this person. For years my beautiful wife has battled the demons of weight and self doubt. Many highs and lows have followed our relationship, none more so than the spectre of an early grave.
If you ask the universe for one thing you might get it. And I asked for my wife to stick around because she is the funniest, warmest and most compassionate person I have ever met – and a life without her, is well, just not a life. And boy did the universe offer up; salvation in the form of her crossing paths with the life changers of RBT!
Now in our future I see a healthy lifestyle that befits our divine right to live the best life possible. With her goals and mine combined, we can finally leave the past behind, and create the best future for us and our loved ones!”
Kathryn – Team Manger, friend:
‘ The difference between the impossible and the possible, is in a persons determination.
Being able to ‘stalk’ Maria on her life changing journey has been a privilege, and has been inspiring to watch.
Her dedication and determination has blown me away. She comes into work glowing, and is the person who gets the team pumped up at the start of the day.
Her attitude to work has also changed. She actions things straight away, rather than waiting till later in the day and then doing it. She has stopped saying this is ‘draining my life’ when referring to something difficult that she was working on – and now all I hear is ‘Yeah man, no worries’ or ‘It’s already sorted babe.’ By 5pm she looks as fresh as when she came in at 8am!!
Maria has a courage and determination which is infectious.
I’m so lucky to be able to work with such an amazing person x”
Nik – Mentor, trainer, friend:
“Change; you never fully appreciate what that word means until you are presented with an opportunity. When we offered to give someone a year’s free training, we didn’t think too much about it – we are in the industry of changing lives and sometimes we are blinded by that focus so much that we fail to appreciate the value that it has on others.
Then along came Maria.
I could easily write how Maria has changed us as an organisation, but I’m going to be selfish and write how she has changed me.
Profoundly, prophetically even. Words don’t do this woman justice to the impact she has had on me. I am fortunate enough to spend around 6 hours a week with her, which may not seem like much but those 360 minutes are minutes that you are always in the moment.
You are never lost wondering with her. She has this determination that you envy, you look at her do something that you find so simple like a squat for example – you see her struggling, you see the facial expression of pain, the sweat run down her face and you realise that what you take for granted cannot be taken for granted anymore. Not just a simple exercise like this but an opportunity, an encounter, an experience.
What change has Maria had on me? She makes me put things in perspective, she makes me not take anything for granted anymore, and for that, I am thankful for the opportunity she has given me…”
And now, for my results:
In the last 5 weeks I have lost a total of 20.5 kilos, bring my weight down from 167 kilos to 146.5 kilos. Woohoo! – I cracked the 20 kilo mark!
Waist: 155 cms +
Thigh: 76 cms
Arm: 47 cms
Chest: 145 cms
Today, Day 43
Arm: 36 cms
Chest: 129 cms
That’s 16 cms off my waist – 6cms off my thigh – 11 cms off my arm and 16 cms off my chest! So, a total weight loss of 20.5 kilos & 49 cms off my body!
So if you think you can’t change, you are just lying to yourself; you just don’t want it badly enough…and if you don’t want it badly enough, ask yourself why! Just remind yourself that you ARE worth it, you DO deserve happiness & health!
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got…and you’ll always feel what you’ve always felt…”
So, stop thinking about it and DO IT! Make the change! I’m breaking free kids – so can you!
If you too would like to change your life, or know someone close to you that may need that little push, enter yours or their details below for a free two week trial.