I love them. I love the energy in the room. A great big mix of fear and hope and excitement combined with an underlying emotion driven by their motivation for being there. An emotion driven by an event, often the death or serious illness of a loved one eliciting a charity entry or the desire of a much thought of goal, or the tactical avoidance of a mid life crisis manifesting itself in a personal challenge.
I love that their energy registers in their faces and more so their eyes. It brings them alive, animating and twinkling. I find it invigorating.
At a point in each seminar we talk about motivation. Invariably I say to them whatever that trigger was, whatever was powerful enough to drive them to enter, write it down! Somewhere prominent, where they can see it, where it can remind them in more difficult times.
One of my favourite Harry Potter quotes centres around exactly that. ‘Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light’. The note is the light switch and it is a very powerful tool.
In the seminar on Thursday Sue reiterated that motivation is a directional force. It is either pulling you away from or pushing you towards something and it is very important to recognise what works better for you.
And so now to the point of this post.
We are often much better at offering advice than taking it. Much better at seeing others more clearly than ourselves. Much better at focussing on the challenges of others at the risk of blurring the edges of what we ourselves are trying to achieve. This statement is never more true when you are fat and female and forty.
Invisibility is easy to take for granted, is a welcome cocoon until an episode occurs to shock you into the reality of what your life has become. But to perceive yourself clearly is essential before you can move forward. And in the same way that counsellors say acknowledgement of a problem is half the battle. I suspect most of the other half is not forgetting that acknowledgement in the danger of drifting back into inertia.
In recent months I have neither focussed on moving away from being fat nor moving towards being healthy. In the fog of other goals, cloaked as Ironman and Marathon, I had lost what my initial motivation really was.
The Whole 30 program for January has kick started the weight loss and my enthusiasm for it.
At the end of our weekly personal training session on Thursday Pete looked particularly pensive. I asked him what he was thinking. After a moment of consideration he said, I can see you as a success story on Mark’s Daily Apple. It was a like a bombshell of hope exploding. How could one short sentence elicit such a response in me. In all this time it never occurred to me I was moving towards something!
When I returned home after the session, I thought about what he had said. I have never told Peter about my epiphany, the driver to get me to contact him, as actually I have never told you.
It was a picture I had seen on the internet of me in the 2013 London Marathon. When I originally saw it I was horrified. I remember actually gasping and feeling sick to the core of my being, as I frantically directed the mouse to the close button. But it was too late, I could not un-see the picture, and I knew then I had reached rock bottom. I could no longer stay in denial. It was my motivation for change and had to do something about it.
I dug out the picture and sent it to Peter knowing that while I can sometimes forget about it he won’t. I had to take a deep breath, and it was with tears coursing that pressed the send button. But I did it, and that itself is another step forward.
I’m 16 months in and 39lbs lighter and the BMI register still tags me as obese. I’ve still got roughly 70lbs to go but instead of moving away from the miserable fat girl I was, I’m now moving towards that success story.
I have found the light switch and there is hope.