And... I did not finish it.
The last six weeks or so have really been a struggle for me. The fact is I stepped out of my comfort zone a bit too far with the 2010 Challenge at our gym. I had made amazing progress on my own since we joined last summer. I thought that by participating in the Challenge I could get a lot closer to my goal and maybe even win some cash. When I saw my before pictures it really threw me for a loop. Even when I was at my best I did not wear the type of thing I had to wear for the before and after photos. Gosh... I don't even change in front of the other women in the locker room! I have always been that way. One of the hardest things for me when I broke my back in 1993 was having my Mom, mother-in-law and sister-in-law help me shower and dress. The thought of my picture being on the wall at the gym... where other people we know also go... I just couldn't deal with it. I tried to push through it but I just couldn't. That is not me.
The last two weeks I felt like a failure over it. Today, I don't feel that way. The truth is I learned a lot through the challenge and I'm grateful for it. I have somewhat of an all or nothing personality. I think, at 43, I am finally learning to step away from that. It is that zeroed in sort of focus that gets me in trouble, as well as the throwing up of the hands sort of complacency.
We joined the gym last July and since that time I have lost 68 lbs. I was taking 7 different daily prescription medications and am now only taking one. I was diagnosed as being pre-diabetic and have learned that I can keep my blood sugar in normal range through what I eat and exercising.
During the 12 week challenge I lost 22 lbs and then gained 8 of them back. During the time I gained the 8 lbs back I learned that simply avoiding eating sugar is not enough to control my blood sugar... the exercise is vital and may be even more important than what I am actually eating.
I think the best part of this challenge is that it has brought me to a place of acceptance. I no longer have a goal in terms of specific numbers... meaning weight, inches, sizes, etc. My goal is to live life to the fullest right where I am. I feel like so much of my life has been spent waiting... waiting to fully engage until I really deserve it. Does that make sense?
I don't want to be judged according to my appearance. I'd much rather be judged by my actions, my character, and my heart. I am trying to let go of the things over which I have no control and tackle those things over which I do. Life is messy and each day is filled with defeat and victory on many levels. I am getting to where I am okay with that.