Saturday, June 2, 2007

I'll take the epiphany, with a side of awe, please...

Okay, so there's still plenty of chub hanging on to my hips, my boobs, my butt, my arms, and okay--yes, my back.

Physically, even though I'm losing weight, I still look like the same person. But today I finally recognized that I am changing and I can't even begin to describe how amazing it feels.

The realization hit me like a tidal wave of in all places--McDonald's. (Read blog below for insight on why I was even there...)

I haven't had good ole fashioned junk food in forever and this week, all I could think about was having a Big Mac. I didn't care that it was bad for me. I wanted one. Very, very badly.

I made a deal with myself--get through the week, go to my weigh-in, exercise at least four times in the course of said week and I would let myself have the two all-beef patties with special sauce, lettuce, and cheese...

Needless to say, I woke up today with a spring in my step. A week after my disappointment at the scale at my last weigh-in, I knew today was going to be good. Real good! And I was gonna have me a burger to boot!

I'd exercised. I'd counted my points. I'd dodged more nutritional bombs than I ever imagined I could (I had two--yes, two!--meals at The Cheesecake Factory this week. Both were for work-related functions and meetings I couldn't get out of. So I stuck to appetizers and small salads. Not too shabby!)

I got on that scale knowing the weight was going to come off and I would be back on track. Sure enough--I was.

I lost the pound from my gain and a little bit more. I was ecstatic! And inspired. I called Mr. CCC and told him I was finally going to go and try that new Pilates class I'd been eyeing for weeks. And we agreed to meet for cardio afterwards.

As I planned my exercise-filled morning, I even thought to myself, "Well! I'll really get to enjoy that Big Mac this afternoon! It's going to taste soooooo good after countless (okay, 8) weeks without one!"

I called the Pilates studio only to learn the last class they had for the day was a beginner/intermediate class. I was scared as all hell. Intermediate? I'd never done Pilates before. Could I hang with the non-newbies?

The instructor asked how fit I was (gulp!) and I explained that I was overweight, but I'd lost 21.5 pounds and that I did cardio at least 3 to 4 times a week. She told me I'd be challenged, but that I certainly could fit in with the class.

I told her to sign me up and off I went.

There are no words to describe the kind of excruciating pain the next hour brought me. It was pure torture. Stretching, crunching, muscle-shaking pain.

I was by far, the most uncoordinated person in the room. Poor instructor parked me on a machine right in front of her and had to keep guiding me through all the positions and exercises.

Most of them I could only do halfway, some not at all. But I tried, and I tried, and I sweat like a crazy person. In that hour I realized that all that exercise I'd been doing for the past weeks was nothing compared to this.

I left the class in pain, out of breath but get this--completely interested in trying it again.

Are you amazed yet? I know I was!!!! I signed myself up for another class (extreme beginner this time, please!) and while I filled all the paperwork out, one of the ladies in the class came up to me and asked how I had enjoyed it.

I told her not very much--that it was painful, that I'd physically never worked that hard in my life but that despite that, I felt good. And then I apologized for holding up the class and monopolizing the instructor.

At which point everyone still in the studio turned around and looked at me as if I was crazy. Another lady said, "Are you kidding? For a first-timer, you were amazing. It took me 3 months of beginner classes to work up to what you were doing on your first try. I hope you're planning on coming back!"

It was the kind of encouragement and motivation I needed. Here were these virtual Pilates pros telling me I could do it. And I believed them. I believed in ME!

So even though my body was pushed to its limit, Mr. CCC and I had a deal--some cardio after Pilates so I dragged my sore self to Bally's. I couldn't put myself through my normal routine, but I did enough to get my heart rate up, sweat some more, and earn a pretty impressed look from my fitness-obsessed husband.

When we finished working out and it was time for lunch, I headed to Mickey D's, my mouth still watering at the idea of my burger. Finally. I'd get my burger. I had the points, I'd worked out...once every eight weeks ain't bad for a junk food run, right?

Then the moment I pulled into the parking spot it hit me like a tidal wave.

I didn't want the Big Mac.

I didn't want the french fries.

I didn't want the jumbo-sized Coke.

I had worked so hard all morning. I'd pushed my body to a limit it really has never, ever felt. I was proud of what I'd accomplished, of the week I'd had and I was about to reward myself with a HAMBURGER?


My mind flashed back to the buckets I'd sweat in Pilates just an hour and a half earlier. I thought about the feeling of pride I had when I'd stepped on the scale first thing in the morning to see that again, the weight was coming off.

No burger would make me feel as good as I'd made myself feel. And just like that, I started to cry.

They were tears of amazement, tears of joy, tears of relief because finally--FINALLY!--I was starting to see the new me. The me that wants to be healthy. The me that wants to be happy. The me that finds happiness and bliss and contenment in things other than food.

For 28 years, I knew that me was there. I knew buried under layers of fat and hidden after years of self-doubt, she was somewhere deep inside.

Seven weeks of countless workouts, counting points, and one excruciating Pilates class, I got a glimpse of her. And I heard her say, "You don't want that burger. You're better than a burger. You deserve better than chemicals and additives and fat. You WANT better than that."

And the new me was right. So I listened.

I pulled out of that parking lot, wiped the tears of awe from my still-chubby cheeks and drove somewhere else for lunch. I filled up on chicken with veggies, steamed rice, and a spring roll. (Okay, so the new me wanted a spring roll. It was 80 calories and 1 WW point of pure indulgence.)

I was full. I was happy. I was content.

It's been three hours since my lunchtime epiphany. Three hours for me to sit back and realize I did something amazing today. By the time I ran through the front door to tell Mr. CCC what had happened, I was crying again.

I was so proud of myself I couldn't stop. For the first time in my life food made me cry for all the right reasons.

And I was proud that the new me is finally, finally, finally starting to come out of her shell.

I'm going to treat her right and make sure she sticks around for a very, very, very long time! (Forever sounds about right, actually...)


SarahAa said...

awwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!! I am SO HAPPY for you! I even teared up a few times while reading. What a great story, a great epiphany and just a great you!

There aren't even words to really tell you how thrilled I am for you. That is one huge large gi-normous that's not even a step...that's a LEAP! Way to go CCC!!! WOOHOO

Melissa said...

HOORAY!!! Massive amounts of KUDOS to you! :D

Kelly said...

i'm so proud of you!!!

Livy said...

What an excellent post, I enjoyed every word! Isn't it incredible when you just 'get it'? I am yet to get to where you are, but look forward to one day.
Why not treat yourself to a new nailpolish, a facial, or a nice pair of shoes off ebay or something? I think you deserve some sort of reward.

aydin said...

Oh man, I'm crying just reading the story. That is so awesome, ccc! Huge congrats! Watch out Nordies Semi-Annual sale, ccc is coming to town ;)

Lourdes said...

ccc i'm SOO proud of you! pilates hurts but it's great and takes you out of the usual gym routine. you're kickin ass dude - keep it up!!!

Sarah said...

YAY for Sucess!!!!!!!
What a moment, what a day.