Friday afternoon/evening, I had the very, very fortunate pleasure of spending several hours at a coffee shop talking with a friend of a friend who understands my journey because he's on the exact same one. I cannot even begin to explain to you how refreshing it was to talk to someone -- really talk to someone -- who gets it. Who has been where I've been and is on the same path and has also accomplished the task of losing over 100 pounds.
One thing we talked about at length was the idea of The Number. And how the Number can become too big. I don't mean the number itself, I mean the shadow of the number. Without realizing it, I started living under the number's shadow. I started buying into the hype of being the woman who has gone from 311 to 189. I bought into the celebrity of having lost 120+ pounds. It made me comfortable. It made me complacent. It made me stop challenging my body. Challenging myself. Excuses became easier and easier because, hey, look at how much I've already accomplished.
I'm comfortable where I am. I'm below 200 (186 as of this morning) and am without a doubt in the best health and shape I've ever been in. Being comfortable at this weight in of itself isn't the problem. The problem is that I'm using that as an excuse, a defense mechanism to hold back. To not push and challenge and put myself into uncomfortable, but ultimately rewarding, positions. Because this is when things start to get scary. Start to get fucking terrifying. Because right now I am the smallest I have ever been in my adult life and having now lost 125 lbs, I only have a mere 25-35 pounds to go (still undecided on goal, but that's for another post).
25-35 pounds. That's it. Roughly 10% of my starting weight is all that is left to conquer. And that is downright petrifying.
But it's not the fear of failure that makes it scary, that holds me back. It's the fear of success.
I've never been this small and I've definitely never been as small as I'll ultimately be and that's scary. It's the dark unknown. The brave new world. I don't know what that world is like, what it will be like.
What I'll be like.
When I confessed I was worried that this entire journey would change me, that is, alter the very fundamental existential me that I have always known, and he asked "So what if it does?", I didn't have a response. I just sat there, staring at him, speechless Because, really, so what if it does? Change doesn't have to be bad. Sometimes, the best things happen from change. Changing states. Changing careers. Changing yoga studios. Hell, changing my hair color eleven years ago will go down as one of the most important decisions I will ever make.
I like to say that one of the things that keeps me motivated on this journey is that I want to be the best woman that I can be. But how can I do that if I'm not willing to push myself the distance? How is holding myself back conducive to or in support of that end goal?
(Hint: It's not.)
It's kind of like running a race: prior to my August 5K, I had never experienced the notion that when you get near the finish line you find a second wind. Because for my first and second 5Ks, just participating was accomplishment enough and I wasn't necessarily concerned with time (as witnessed in embracing last place).
But during that third race, there I was, right near the end. I could see the clock, the finish line was in sight. So I dug down deep and sprinted towards the finish line. It didn't matter how the previous 2 3/4 miles had gone or how tired I was or the fact that I could give myself a golf clap just for showing up. Those last few yards defined that race.
That's where I am right now. After 23 months and 125 pounds, the finish line is once again in view and this is the moment -- the defining moment -- where I dig down deep and sprint home.
So today we reset. Today the counter reverts back to zero. I'm no longer going to look at The Number or the Big Picture. Instead, I'm zoning in on the last 25-35 pounds I have yet to go. Doesn't matter where I started. Or how far I've come. I might be tired. I might be comfortable. I might be okay exactly where I am at this moment in time.
None of that matters.
What does matter is that I set a goal. I set out on this journey with a specific destination and I'm not done yet. Nor am I going down without a fight.