"This is your life. Are you who you want to be?" - Switchfoot
I've asked myself this over and over through the years. There are times that the answer was a resounding "no" and the question pushed me to change, to correct my life course - sometimes in little ways, but more often, in huge, life-altering ways. I left a soul-crushing job for one that was energizing and empowering. I left a job I loved and was good at to stay at home and raise a family. I left a city and a mortgage I was comfortable with to move halfway across the country. And I've never regretted any of it. But in the course of all of that, I managed to neglect someone who is really important. Me.
I have struggled with my weight ever since I can remember, and even when I was thin, I didn't believe it. After Maddie was born and I was starting to feel human again, I decided to take charge and remake my shape. I was turning 30 that year and I wanted to celebrate life and myself, so we dubbed it "The Year of Me." I signed up for a triathlon and began going to a 5:30am fitness boot camp. Days later, I found out I was pregnant with Gavin. Given that I'm hardly able to function while pregnant, the tri was out the window, and I thought maybe I'd missed my window of opportunity. Instead of "The Year of Me," it turned into the year of Gavin, and I wouldn't have it any other way, but it definitely took its toll.
Fast forward to January 2012. I had an energetic 1 year-old, a passionate (almost) 3 year old, and we had just moved our family across the country to where we dreamed of living. But, I was at my highest non-pregnant weight. I was fat, slow, and winded after climbing the 3 flights of stairs to our apartment. "This is your life. Are you who you want to be?" No. Not yet.
So I signed up for a triathlon (again!), read tons of books on the sport (because who are we kidding, I have to research everything), and chose a training plan that has me working out 5-6 days a week. I began tracking all of my food at myfitnesspal.com (which is free, of course), and the weight began to come off. But something else happened. It stopped being about the weight. Losing weight has never NOT been about the weight for me, and I've certainly been down the weightloss path before.
But something changed. I began to love the world of the triathlon - the people, the races, the stories, the gear (I'm a geek; of course I love the gear!), the TRAINING. That's right...the training is addictive. And fun. And suddenly my weight loss goals seemed a little silly. I no longer knew what weight I wanted to be at; I just knew I wanted to be fit, and healthy, and I want a stronger engine to power my racing.
So here I am, a work in progress. This is me, one year ago, and me, last Saturday. The weight loss is obvious, but maybe what's not as apparent is the confidence. I'm now at the weight that I originally thought was my goal. Now, I know I'm not there yet.
"This is your life. Are you who you want to be?" Not yet. But I'm getting there.