Celebrating & unpacking the emotion behind the big pants
Last weekend I had the chance to “hang” with my FN 2 gal pals and our program director, Leif Anderson, in celebration of our one year FN reunion at Surfside on Lake Superior. This is where it all went down and my life began to change – for real and forever.
It was a wonderful anniversary filled with laughter, stories about dragging our butts out of bed to workout at 5:30 a.m. and pushing ourselves past what we thought we were capable of. We had a “real” discussion about where we each are today. Shari and I were among the first to hit the -100 lb mark and are mirror images of our former selves. Sue and Carrie made major personal life changes and both got to a weight they were comfortable with – now struggling to maintain. All of us are happier and smarter about our health, and – best of all – we’re incredibly close friends.
The weekend was just the kind of pause and celebration needed. We climbed our mountain, took photos with our big pants, and got some quality time with each other and Leif. We drank champagne and toasted our success. And, we had time for “real” talk about the challenges we all face moving forward. Challenges ranging from love/boys, to how to live in maintenance, to bumps in the road that challenge our strength to stay the course, to skin issues after significant weight loss, and more. I feel truly blessed to have this group as part of my inner circle and I am so grateful for the opportunity to share the journey. Shari, Carrie and Sue – I love you.
Unpacking the emotion behind the big pants
The celebration weekend was the first time I pulled out my big pants and these photos are the first of me with the big pants – one year after my journey began. Wow, is right!
This past week, I have been thinking a lot about those big pants and how it made me feel to stand up in front of the world and hold them up in a photograph for all to see. I have to admit, that while the majority of what I feel is pride, success and accomplishment – there is a small part of me (a voice in my head) that wonders how I got there. That part of me feels embarrassment for having gotten to a place where I wore pants that now two normal people can stand in.
As I unpacked those feelings of embarrassment (and maybe a tiny bit of shame), I remembered what my mentor and friend O’Neal Hampton said on the first night of our boot camp: “Don’t spend time thinking about how you got here…because you will stay stuck. Instead, focus your energy on moving forward and changing your life…to focus on the past keeps you stuck in the past…” Or something like that. (I am sure O’Neal said it much more eloquently as an O’Nealism I have grown so fond of, but the sentiment is there!).
O’Neal is absolutely right! I don’t want to stay stuck in the past or give it any credence. So I am acknowledging that it is there by putting it out into the blogoshpere and moving on. The truth is, I couldn’t be happier with where I am today; and the journey to get here – well, it’s been truly amazing. I wouldn’t change a thing. Look at me! 🙂 But, I did need to stop and listen to that voice of embarrassment with a touch of shame over my pants and try to unpack it for myself.
In doing so, I have realized that this is the very voice that will keep me from getting back to the size I was. And as I stand up with those pants in a photo or on the road in front of lots of people and pay it forward, it is the size of those pants that empowers me to help others. They not only show how far I have come in one short year, but also let others know they too can outgrow (shrink) their pants. It is not only possible. It is VERY doable.
So I will keep those big pants around and hold them up next to the new me and feel empowered not embarrassed. Not only are they are a stark reminder that I will never go back there, but they may provide “hope” to others to know they, too, can do it.
For now, the pants are back in the drawer. But I can’t wait to hold them up when I get to my goal and I will proudly display the photo with two of me in them. Yes, those pants are empowering. And that’s how I will look at it moving forward.
I am a lucky girl to have had the courage and determination to get off the couch after nearly 30 years of being obese and sedentary to make a life-altering change. I did it! And if that is not empowering, I don’t know what is.