Friday, May 24, 2013

How I Came To Love My Body

I've mentioned several times on this blog that I've been on a long journey to get healthy. I'm very happy to report that I've lost 41 pounds. There is a kickboxing class that I regularly attend at my gym. A couple of weeks ago, the instructor yelled out in the middle of class that she needed to see me afterwards. When we spoke, she told me that she had asked the managers of that 24 Hour Fitness if they could "feature" me as a Group X Success Story. They regularly post before and after pictures of personal training clients that have lost a significant amount of weight, and she wants to show people that by attending group classes, the same success is possible.

Isabelle (the instructor) explained that the "feature" would include a before and after picture, and a brief summary of my weight loss journey. I agreed to do it, and as soon as I left and got to my car, felt an intense array of emotions. On the one hand, I felt proud that my weight loss had been noticed. I've been aware of it, and extremely happy with my accomplishments, but to know that somebody else recognized what I saw in myself was a huge compliment.

A bigger part of me was scared, though. Did I want my fattest picture hanging on the wall of a very busy gym? Could I even be considered a success story, when I am still far from my goal? The inadequacy and worry that I felt far outweighed the excitement.

Isabelle messaged me shortly after for the pictures, and asked me to explain how I felt when I joined the gym, how weight loss has changed my life, what classes I take now, and why I work out now. This was my answer:
I'd had a membership to 24 in the past, but had stopped going, and steadily gained weight. When I finally came back, I decided to try out the classes, specifically kickboxing and Zumba. I would hang out in the back row, and had to take breaks frequently. After a year and a half of regularly coming to kickboxing, Zumba, and spin classes, I've lost 41 pounds. I now try to get as close to the front of the class as possible, and can do two classes in a row without a problem. Working out has become my passion. It's something that I do because I've learned to love my body and what it's capable of, thanks to the help of amazing instructors, and motivation from other people in the classes. What started as going to classes to lose weight has turned into a whole new lifestyle that I love. I can honestly say that I will never look like the girl in the before picture again.
While writing that, it became clear to me that for the first time in my life, I can honestly say I love my body. I've weighed 40 pounds less than I do now. I've weighed 40 pounds more. And it is with great pride that I can say I'm in the best shape of my life.
I don't say that to brag (ok, maybe a little), but because this truth that I've learned has changed my life forever:
Weight is just a number. My self worth is not tied to it. My level of fitness is not tied to it.
In the last year and a half, I've reached goals I never thought possible. I ran 3 miles today. The last time I ran was a year and a half ago, and after 90 seconds, I thought I would die. Sometimes I walk into the gym, and think that people might look at me and see somebody that has 30 pounds to lose. And the other day, I realized that it DOES NOT MATTER.
What matters is that as I've grabbed the reigns and taken control of my health, and simply learned to take care of my body, I have reached new heights, and gained a desire to reach even higher. What matters is that as I've learned what this body that I have been given is capable of,  I am proud of it and I have learned to love it.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Dunder Mifflin

Like millions of people in the world, I have a deep love and appreciation for The Office. I've loved this show since the beginning, and while anticipating the series finale, I had been doing a lot of reflecting on my favorite moments. I know, it's just a TV show. But it's one of those shows that makes me laugh and cry, has fantastic relationships that I can live vicariously through, and characters that I feel connected to through years and years of watching them grow.

That being said, I bring you:

Things I Learned From The Office:

1.  If you enjoy breakfast in bed and like waking up to the smell of bacon,  you should probably get a servant, or a spouse to make it for you, and avoid putting a George Foreman grill at the foot of your bed.

2. If you have a Mexican food potluck to go to and nothing to bring, just grab a bottle of lemonade, and write "Mexican" on the label.

3. When you like somebody, and are under the impression that they do not reciprocate the feeling (because maybe they're engaged), kiss them, and kiss them good. By good, I mean the kind of kiss that, had it been aired on national television, would make all of the women in the world swoon and cry. Then, move far away.

4. Always look on the bright side of things:

Jan: Michael, you are currently number 4 of the 5 branches that I oversee.

Michael: Top 80%!

5. Being friend zoned might not always be the end of things, but also never settle for somebody who doesn't love you as much as Jim loves Pam. (I mean, you can do whatever you want, but I want JAM kind of love.)

6. NEVER take an iPod to a small present exchange at your work Christmas party.

7. Never forget your pita in the toaster oven.  Especially if your name is Ryan.

 8. Take any opportunity to make a good "that's what she said" joke.


9.  The eyes are the groin of the head.

10. Sometimes the person that think you need the least is there for you when you need it most.

11. There's a lot of beauty in ordinary things.

I realize that there are a million and one things that I left out, and characters that didn't get mentioned. I have so many more favorites, and don't think that the season finale could have been any more perfect. I shed a few tears, but I take comfort in knowing that the Dunder Mifflin crew will be available to lift my spirits with just a push of a button on my DVD player.

What were your favorite Office moments?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Can we just talk about how much I love Jimmy Fallon?

And more importantly, how much I love John Krasinski and his beard and every other thing about him?
Like, it kind of hurts my heart how perfect he is.
Just watch this and enjoy, ok? Happy Wednesday.