Monday, October 25, 2010

Bringing the Spirit Home...Part 1

I knew when I headed into my "airline camp" weekend it was going to be a lot different than last time. I knew I was going to be able to do a lot more and it would be a much less physically taxing experience than my last trip to the Delta HQ campus. I wasn't prepared for it to be an emotional journey also. So I found myself very overwhelmed sitting nearly alone in an airport hangar, staring at a 767 and crying.

Actually the emotions started walking to the Heritage Museum from the hotel. I did much of that walk in 2007 and I struggled. I had to keep stopping, I didn't think I could do it and every step I worried about catching my foot or my leg giving out and landing face down on the sidewalk.

This year it was like doing it as another person. Not only in great heels, but without a single thought of tripping and at the front of the pack. For the rest of the group walking on the campus was about the buildings and where we were, but for me it was about just being able to walk and to do it without thought or effort.

As we rounded the corner near the museum I had to laugh at myself as I thought "we're here already, hmmm I remember it being a lot further away".

For anyone who hasn't been to the Delta Heritage Museum it is comprised of two hangars. The first holds many of the early planes and memorabilia of not only Delta, but also Northwest and the other airlines that were bought or merged with Delta over the years. This building also holds the museum gift shop (I bought a bright pink luggage tag!).

Walking into the first building my emotions were mostly about Delta Airlines. It hit me how if two things in recent history had gone differently, the attempted take over by US Airways or the merger, all this might not exist any longer. Having been a part of the "Keep Delta My Delta" effort, that was a heavy reality. But nothing like what was to come next.

In the second hangar is the Spirit of Delta, the 767 purchased by Delta employees that I was describing in an earlier post.  She has the hangar mostly to herself (other than her companion the Platinum Moodalian).

And when you walk in the gleaming 767 an impressive site, especially if there are very few people in the hangar. Ironically when I entered one of only two in there at the moment was Brian, who had been with my on my visit in 2007 and who also flew on one of the Spirit retirement flights. There was probably no one on the planet I would rather have had there at the moment.

Now some confessions about my last trip to see the Spirit, right after she was placed in the museum, for as much as I wanted to reboard the plane, after having flown the "Bring the Spirit Home" flight a year earlier, when I was at the museum in 2007. I didn't...because frankly I COULDN'T. There was no way physically I could manage the stairs at that point. I didn't have the strength to climb them, and I was more scared of falling coming down them. I had to sit and watch while others walked through her interior, which is now a museum in its own.

While my friends were climbing up on her engines and having photos taken, I stood on the ground watching, because it was all I could do.

There was no way this year that was going to be. For me standing in that hangar every sore muscle, every dollar spent, every lunge I have grumbled through and every stress I have faced working out with trainers for a year became worth it.

I was able to climb those stairs, board that plane, sit in the seat I sat in on the retirement flight (and easily fit) and bring MY spirit home.

It is hard to put into words the catharsis I found in that hangar. I had no clue I had left so many ghosts behind, until I stood and faced them in the shadow of that beautiful bird.

Four Days at "Airline Camp"

Before I post about how my weekend went, I feel like I need to explain why I was at Delta and how this all came to be, as this is not a normal occurance that is going to make much sense to most of my friends.

As most of you know I travel pretty heavily for work. The term most often used for people like me is "Road Warriors" (RW's). We spend lots of times on airplanes, in hotels and rental cars. And I like MOST people thought, before I got into this lifestyle, that it was glamorous jet setting, seeing amazing places and first class all the way. The reality, for most road warriors, this is a pretty tough way to live. You are jumping city to city, usually seeing the airport, the hotel, the client's office and the airport again. The places are often little towns and small cities. More time is spent in transit than anything.

One of the ways that RW's make life a little easier is by joining loyalty programs (frequent flyer programs, hotel loyalty programs and the like). This does two things....1) by earning points for travel you are able to use those points for vacation and fun travel and 2) when you reach the higher levels of these programs you are often able to tap into perks and more importantly when things go wrong (what we often call IROP's or Irregular Operations) you are taken care of faster and sometimes better. I personally am at the top tier of the Delta (Diamond Reserve), Hilton (Diamond) and Hertz (President's Club) programs. Another way some of us try to find fun in the RW lifestyle is through finding ways to maximize the points we earn in these programs.

Needless to say there are VERY few people in most of our lives that get this culture around being a RW, it is hard to truly grasp unless you live it. So as the internet has developed online communities have been born to link RW's and other Frequent Traveler's. One such website is I still don't remember how I found this website 5 or more years ago, but I did. At one time I was a pretty active participant, in the last couple years not much.

One of the outcomes of this website is that those of us traveling try to catch up with other "Flyertalker's" (FT'ers) as we cross paths in different cities. Sometime it is just one on one, such as my "airport husband" Dave and I who had dinner every Friday night in the Detroit airport for about a year. And sometimes it is larger groups (known as "do's" which are planned in a specific city or at a specific venue.

While most of these events are planned, supported and attended by the online community, in some cases the programs we are loyal to have become involved in them. This weekend my trip to Atlanta was a "do" sponsored by Delta Airlines and attended by about 120 loyal "Delta-ists".

This was not my first trip to the Delta Campus, for me another great benefit of FT has been making some personal connections inside of Delta that have allowed me some great experiences and friendships, but this was definitely a memorable weekend. As one FT'er called it tonight, it was like going to Airline Camp!

Our agenda looked something like this:

      Morning - Delta Heritage Museum tour and lunch at the Museum
      Afternoon - Briefing by 7 of the top Delta excutives (including the CEO Richard Anderson) who not only shared with us where the airline is headed, but also were brave enough to let us ask them questions and give our opinions. For the size of the group it was a pretty intimate chance to interact with these folks running the airline)
     Night - Dinner sponsored by Delta Airlines (including a trivia game lead by Deltalina (if you don't know who that is just check You Tube). And of course the winners got a boat load of skymiles!

     Morning - Tour of the Technical Operations Center (TOC). For anyone who has flown into Atlanta and seen the "Fly Delta Jets" sign, that is the TOC. It is where the planes, their engines and components are serviced and maintained. Again we were right in the thick of it. After a briefing we were taken to the different maintenance shops, the engine shop, to the hangars where the planes were being worked on and thoughout the facility. And this was not a stand behind the rope and look tour. This was touch it, stand next to it, smell it, feel it. We could NOT have been any closer or any more in the middle of things.
     Early Afternoon - Flight Simulator Time. We were given a chance to fly the same simulators that pilots are trained on. We flew take off's, landings and some crazy things like under bridges. This was my second time in the Delta sims and it is an incredible experience.
     Afternoon - A tour of the Operations Control Center (OCC). The OCC is where all the folks controlling which planes are going where, what gates they are using, what crews are on board them is centered. Also managed here is meterology, customer service and a zillion other things I am forgetting. This is the heart of how we all get from one place to another and how they keep 2500 flights a day organized and how when things get crazy due to weather, delays or other problems they manage the situation. Again this was hands on and up close, from watching the group of people who manage which plane is doing what, to seeing the real time flight delays in progress.
    Evening - Dinner at Prime Steakhouse sponsored by Amex and Delta.

Saturday and Sunday:
    This was when the hands on got real. Two different options were available both days and most people did one one day and then the other the next.

     The first was "Walk a Mile with ACS"...basically gate agent for a day. This gave our group the chance to be paired with a Delta gate agent and actually do what they do, again hands on and up close. We were scanning boarding passes, rearranging seating assignments, dealing with misconnections and reroutings for passengers in the Atlanta airport.

     The second options was "Road Warrior Training". We went to the Delta Training Center and were taught many of the things flight attendants learn in their 7 week training and then must recertify on annually. The experience was both educational (lecture and lessons) but then also experiential, utilizing the plane mock ups that the FA's practice their scenarios in. We covered medical emergencies, self defense when dealing with an unruly passenger, fire procedures (and yes they put us in a plane and filled it with smoke), emergency landings and evacuations (including deloying a slide and having to empty the plane that way) and the best part, a simulated water ditching (emergency landing into water which is simulated with an airplane cabin in a pool). Where we got to evacuate using our life vests, swim to the raft, pull our plane for of people into the raft and then prepare it for waiting for help.

It is hard even writing all this out to explain how amazing (and exhausting) this all was. I am going to try in a couple upcoming blog posts to talk about my own personal experiences with it. But I already know it is going to be nearly impossible to capture what a truly outstanding experience this was.

I also would be remiss if I didn't stop and thank every employee at Delta we interfaced with in these 4 days (and there were 100's of them). It is hard to believe but I think they were as excited to be doing this with us as we were to be there. From the CEO down they were welcoming, energetic, fun, entertaining, informative and just really genuine. As much as we got to see the mechanics of an airline this weekend. We also saw its HEART. And we were part of that heart.

I can personally say I did not once feel like I was a visitor or a customer at Delta Airlines this weekend, we were genuinely treated as part of the Delta family!!!! Anyone who thinks all big businesses have lost track of who they are really needs a few days at "Airline Camp".

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Second Chance at a Once in a Lifetime.....

Not often in life do we get a chance to relive one of the greatest experiences of our life and make it even better, but this weekend I am getting to do just that!

As most of my readers know I travel a lot for work, and in past years it was even more than it has been this year. I am what is often known as a road warrior...spending a significant amount of my time on planes, sleeping in hotels and driving rental cars. And as glamorous as that seemed when I started this career 7 years ago, it really isn't. Instead of seeing the great cities of the world in style like people imagine I am usually shuffling from town to town often seeing little more than the airport, the hotel and the clients office. And the travel involves delays, tight connections and crowds of people.

But for as frustrating as that lifestyle can be there are times when a few great perks do come your way. Some of those perks are the published benefits of the frequent flyer programs, and some are less known. A smart traveler picks an airline, a hotel chain and a car rental company and becomes very loyal. Not only because of banking the rewards miles, but also because despite the negativity around how callous companies are these days, loyalty DOES matter to these companies. And when the chips are down having that connection to a travel company does smooth the path. My loyalties are to Delta Airlines, Hilton and Hertz.

Hilton and Hertz have treated me well, but my the place my heart lies in all this is with Delta. Through some unique twists of fate I have had the sheer pleasure of getting to know some of the Executive Management at Delta and it has afforded me some great behind the scenes opportunities.

Originally my alliance to Delta was completely for selfish reasons, they code shared with El Al airlines and I saw that partnership as my chance to use my frequent flyer miles as a way to get to Israel. I would never have guessed at that point how unimportant that would become in this relationship.

It's no secret to anyone who reads the news that the last 10 years have been a roller coaster for the airlines, and Delta. Bankruptcies, mergers, strikes and the like are everyday news now. But through all that Delta has kept focus on its frequent fliers and made sure we weren't left behind. Ironically it was many of those low moments that truly drew my heart to Delta.

When Delta was forced to declare bankruptcy in 2006 many choices had to be made to protect the airline. One of those was to retire "The Spirit of Delta".

This 767 is a part of Delta's lore. Purchased in 1982 the Spirit was a gift to Delta by her employees. The effort started by three flight attendants resulted in $30 million dollars of fundraising to buy the plane. This plane could not be lost in the bankruptcy and so was retired and now lives in the Delta Heritage Museum. I consider myself incredibly lucky to have had the chance to fly on one of the Spirit's private retirement flights in Cincinnati. To be part of sending her off in style with the employees who had purchased the plane, who had kept her flying (her nickname was the Hangar Queen for how often she was out of commission) and who had been with her from day 1 was beyond emotional. I was one of the few who got to be part of that history. Oh yeah and being on board when the pilot buzzed the runway was pretty darn cool too *smile*.

There were many changes during the bankruptcy, but Delta made a concerted effort throughout to reassure their staff and frequent fliers that they would survive and thrive. They started hosting a chain of invitation only events in major cities around the world, their "Behind the Velvet Rope" tour. Where the executives stood up, told it like it was and also showcased how the new Delta would emerge stronger than before. I was lucky enough to attend this event with a few of my flyertalk friends in Atlanta in 2006. It was at this event that I forged friendships that would forever change my relationship with Delta.

As the bankruptcy was completed Delta became ready to embrace her future, but at that point the future was unclear, as Delta became the target of a hostile takeover attempt by US Airways and Doug Parker.

Again those that loved Delta rallied. A grassroots campaign "Keep Delta My Delta" was started by the employees and was soon embraced by many frequent fliers like myself.

Luckily the takeover was defeated and Delta did emerge intact. As part of their rebirth Delta hosted a huge block party for its employees on May 12, 2007 at their headquarters in Atlanta, and through a couple great relationships I got to be part of the day. Myself along with three other frequent flyers (Jim, Brian and Carol) had the experience of our lives. Not only did we get to attend the party, including watching then CEO Gerald Grinstein dance to YMCA with thousands of his employees, but we were giving an amazing behind the scenes tour of the Delta campus. We got to see the Heritage Museum, the Operations Centers, the office complex and many other parts of the complex usually kept off limits.

But the highlight of the experience was being able to fly the flight simulators. Wow doesn't even start to explain what it is like to control one of these birds. They are as lifelike as it comes without actually taking off. I was paired with Brian and we got to fly the 737 and 777 simulators in and out of NYC, Washington DC, Salt Lake City and San Francisco. It was a chance of a lifetime I will never forget.

But I have to admit for as amazing as all these experiences were, none of them was untainted by my physical limitations. I look back at the Velvet Rope event and remember struggling and feeling like a fool because I couldn't take the stairs and had to ask many people for help in finding an elevator to the main floor of the receptions. I was embarrassed and felt completely out of place.

On the Spirit retirement flight it was the battle to find a seat belt extension. And the worst was the Delta Block Party Day. For as wonderful as it was to see the campus it was also torture for me, and unfortunately my limitations impacted those with me too. Not only was it extremely hot, which when you are over 300 lbs in a huge issue, but I was not up to the walking it required. We had to stop over and over again for me and my leg. I couldn't full enjoy the event in any way. Even flying the simulators I backed down and let Brian take over the "left seat" because I couldn't control the rudders.

The pain of how hard it was has kept me away from similar chances. Last year I passed up attending the Delta Road Warrior training event because I knew I couldn't get through the door easily of a plane, I knew I wouldn't be able to easily jump down the slide and would hold others up.

For as great as those experiences I have had were, that is what I most remember, my limitations. And I thought that would be the memories forever. But this weekend I am getting the chance to re-write them, on a huge scale.

Since the four of us took our in 2007 Delta has embraced this experience for its frequent flyers and this weekend I will be one of over 100 people who again will be invading the Delta campus. For four days we will meet with the Executives, attend dinners hosted for us by Delta, American Express and SunTrust at three great hot spots in Atlanta ,we will visit the museum, the technical ops center, the fire houses and again get to fly the simulators. I will also get to take part in the Road Warrior Training I passed up last year (this time 2 days long).

And beyond being a little nervous about food, I get to come into it this year as a totally new person. What would have kept me away a year ago, like reading "be prepared to walk over a mile", now holds no limitations for me at all. I know that my body will be able to keep up, that I will not be the weak link in the group. I won't need to worry about hiding when the cameras are out or give excuses for why I can't participate.

I am getting the chance to rewrite all the pains of the past and I can't wait! Oh yeah, and I intend to do it in cute shoes!!!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

The 4 is a record time

This has been a really good week. I feel like a lot of stressors that had been hanging over my head melted away last week (or more accurately put exploded away) and I feel good about life. I had a great week at work, got to go to Houston and give a wonderful presentation to an audience twice the anticipated size (and drive a hot red rental car with great colleagues) and then 2 days with one of my favorite clients and today catch up.

I also feel like I am 10000% back on the track in the gym. Starting last Saturday I knew my love and passion for being there was back. It was the first time since July that I felt like I was fully there and wanted to be and was giving it 100%. And it feels great! I am now seeing only the good in the trainer change and that is helping a lot. I can see how physically and mentally the change was the best thing that could have happened. My body needed something different and I needed someone with a new outlook on my training. For as bumpy as the path was to here, I am right where I should be.

The best part is for whatever reason the weight loss plateau has broken, in a BIG way. For the last 10 or so weeks I have bounced around in mostly the 240's. It was incredibly frustrating. I would lose a pound or two and then gain it immediately back. To say I was getting frustrated is an understatement of epic proportion. We redid my metabolic testing, we scrutinized my eating, I spoke to my physician...nothing was budging. As I said in the blog a couple weeks ago, I was ready to give up. Then last Saturday I got the shock of my life.

On Monday October 4th I weighed 238 on the scale in the lower room (the equivalent of 240 or 241 on the trainer's scale), just as I had for weeks. Saturday I hopped on the LR scale expecting the same and it said 229. Beyond being shocked I was skeptical at best and had my trainer weigh me during our session, and sure enough it was right, 231 on the trainer's scale (there is always 2 lbs difference). By Monday I was down another pound and since then 3 more. Today I was 227 when Nick weighed me and 225 after my session when I got on the LR scale.

I can't explain it, I can't figure it out, but I am completely grateful for it. Whatever my body was fighting with that it was holding on to it has for now let go of.

I feel like my two next weight goals are a possibility again.....

211 by Thanksgiving (which will mark 100 lbs lost in exactly one year of training - I started last year on Black Friday)

and the biggie...

199 by New Year's Eve.  I would love nothing more than to say that the 300's were in 2009...the 200's in 2010 and the 100's are for 2011 and forward.

I am a little hesitant yet to believe this can happen, merely because there are so few weeks left in the year, and we need to get the weight loss back to a healthy loss per week (what I have lost this week and last is too much too fast and not something I or my trainer are comfortable letting happen for long). But I am giving it all I can!!! I am not sure there could be any greater accomplishment in my life than going from 300 lbs at the start of one year to 199 at the end of it!

I would be remiss if I ended this post without thanking the people who have worked so hard to get my through the plateau! Nick, Todd, Tiffany, Tony you guys each gave me little pieces that somehow came together to help me make this happen and I am grateful for how long and hard you dug for answers, how much you put up with out of me and just for being there for me when I wanted to give up and run away. I may not always say I am grateful, and I may fight you tooth and nail, but I do appreciate you every day (even if we are disagreeing on something I still appreciate you....being I am from the east coast we argue and scream at the same time we love!)

Also thank you to the friends who cheered me on, held me up and kicked me in the ass!!! I am lucky to have the support system I do. And thank for being there even when I lose track of you being there!!!!!

On to 211 we go...........

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Past is the Past...but should it be?

I wrote this post a couple days ago and am finally getting to post it. The pictures are new today and I felt they paired well with the post, as I am emotionally confused by them. I am impressed, no awed, by the difference between them. But I can't connect the two in my brain. And I think it is as much about as not being able to remember life in the before as anything....which leads to my post....

The Past is the Past...but should it be?

I received a great comment today, on a previous post, from a former client whom I now consider a good friend. She was one of those bright spots on a less than easy project and it has been a pleasure getting to know her outside of that environment, especially as our lives have undergone many transitions. Her comment today was not only wise, but really timely and worthy of posting about.

Her comment was

“Anonymous said... Hard reality: when your body makes decisions about what it needs, you don't always get a say. All you can do is consistently give it what you've learned works and let yourself adjust in time.

Another hard reality: when you achieve your goal weight--and you will!--going forward will mean having the strength to stay put. This means no rush from compliments, nor new body frontiers, even the clothing acquisition bug will wear off (especially if Visa catches up with you first.) And you'll have to have the strength to do what you know works--week in and week out--with no rushes, just to stay where you are.

Think of this time as perfect strength training for the future. It will teach you the beauty of here and now, Grasshopper.

From your friend whom you tried to help find one Vision in a hostile land.... ”

Had I gotten this comment even a month ago I am not sure I would have seen the wisdom in it, but today it made perfect sense. While she talks about needing to find a new internal strength once I reach my goal, the reality is I am already having to find that strength in ways I hadn’t expected to face yet. I, like my reader, expected to need it down the road.

I have said before I regret I didn’t capture more of my “before”. I wish I had video of my struggle to walk across a room, I wish I had more pictures of how horrible my clothes were, I wish I had journaled how terrifying a flight of stairs was. I wish I had a better way to hold onto my past. I am forgetting and that worries me. It is becoming more and more like recapping someone else’s life when I talk about my life before.

One of the first comments people make when they learn about my weight loss (or even those who have known about the journey but not seen me in a while) is “it must feel great”. Their meaning is how much easier my life is, how much more I can do. And they are right, it should feel great. But the great is waning, slipping into the past, becoming a distant memory much faster than I expected. And quite frankly must sooner than I wanted. I don’t want to forget, I don’t want to take where I have come from for granted, but just like the face of a friend you haven’t seen, it is getting harder to remember.

I got on the plane today and easily secured my seat belt, I can logically say I couldn’t do that in the past and it hurt, but I can not in all honesty remember what that hurt felt like. I am wearing great new shoes today, and I can speak about how it used to feel to only wear flats and sneakers, how scared I was of anything else, but I can’t tap into those feelings. I am losing track of how far I have come because I am losing how it all felt before. And as good as it feels to close the door on that chapter of my life, losing that reality scares me. I fear taking it all for granted because life has become too easy. That pain and struggle is part of what kept me moving forward and I worry about becoming complacent.

I mentioned her post was timely, there is a second part of losing my past that hit me today on the treadmill. I was working out and one of the PT staff members stopped by to chat for a minute. She is someone who has been around since the start. We were giggling about my sparkly nails, my cute shoes lately and my new found obsession with pink. It was a fun conversation, but it was more than that. It was also an exciting conversation, because we both felt the difference in where I came from and how much I have overcome to get here. That doesn’t happen as much these days as it used to.

Lately there has been a lot of change in my life. People who started the journey with me leaving, new people coming into my life. I am surrounded right now by great, really positive people who are the right people for me at this point in my metamorphosis. I couldn’t be happier with that part of my life now (ok yeah if I was dating that would be good to, but that is another post *smile*).

But the downside to the changes of those around me, is that I have a lot fewer people in my circle who I have that shared history with. Most know where I am, they know where I am going, and they can somewhat value the past in hearing about it, but it’s not the same as it was sharing it with those I started the journey with. I find myself rationalizing, explaining, validating and justifying things I do as being important or a big accomplishment. Not because they need that, but because I do. I need the value of how far I have come to still matter or more accurately to still be motivational. And without that shared history it seems to be that a lot less. Just as my reader said!

Please don’t mistake my feelings in this post, I am not a person who likes to live in the past. I wouldn’t chose to go back to where I was a year ago for all the money in the world. But I am a firm believer that if we don’t learn from the past we are bound to repeat it. I fear the lessons that keep moving me forward are fading, I fear someday not realizing how precious it is that I have found a second chance at truly living my life. As much as I love the ease I have gained in my life, I am not ready to for it to be easy.

I need that sense of past to help me truly value how great my present is and how outstanding my future could be.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Monday, October 4, 2010

Settling In For A Long Winter....

It is October 4th and I already have my heater on, this is not a good sign!

There is very little to be said positive about being fat. But one of the few things I can say about it, it definitely made life warmer. I miss my polar bear layer!

Whether it was because of my size, or what being obese did to my body chemistry I have always been warmer than everyone else. Part of it was obvioulsy biological, my normal body temperature when I went to the doctor tended to be around 97 degrees, if I hit 98.6 I had a fever. Anyone who rode in my car or came to my house knew to expect the windows open even in winter, the AC on full blast in the summer. The last time I bought a winter coat was the early 2000's. The most I normally needed even in the dead of winter here in MN was a sweatshirt.

As wrong as I know this all sounds, especially to my southern friends, it is what I have known my whole life. So that fact that since early September and I have been dressing in heavy sweatshits, leggings and had my AC turned off for over a month is more than a little strange to me. I have been wearing long sleeves since the State Fair was in town, that is just bizarre!!! And I am not really a fan of.

This is one of those changes I hadn't anticipated or really thought through. No one tells you its coming. And because my brain still thinks fat I hadn't reasoned it out either. And I have to admit it worries me, if I am this cold all the time at 240 lbs what will it be like if I ever get to my goal of 150. I may seriously have to reconsider how far north I live.

In speaking to others who have gone down this path before me, the common answer I get is that it does get worse the more you lose, and even after you stabilize it takes a good 2-3 years before you get used to the temperature at your lower weight. Fun!

I have decided to take on this change like every other one I have encountered on this's an excuse to shop!!!!!!!!! Particularly since nothing long sleeved I owned fit anymore anyway. In the last two weeks I have bought 2 coats, 4 cashmere sweaters, 2 long sleeved dresses and a bunch of shirts. Also a suit and 3 new pairs of pants. I am anticipating my next purchases to be boots and long underwear (which is something I have never owned). I also purchased a few pairs of yoga pants because even at home now I am finding I need to dress warmer.

I am either going to end up with the best winter wardrobe ever or someone south of the Mason-Dixon line is going to have to adopt me for the winter, cause I can't feel my fingers as I type this.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Please Stop Asking Me to be Ok with Things that I Shouldn't be......

"If you aren't moving forwards, you are moving backwards"

This has been a long week. It's week 9 of no weight loss and my urge to keep trying is getting harder and harder to maintain. That played out this week in my cardio workouts. It has become more and more of a struggle to get to the treadmill and even once I am there my passion for it is waining. Today I stopped 4 times and was ready to give up, but forced myself through the hour. But have to admit I did most of it in tears.

I am just at that spot of utter frustration. I am working so hard....forcing myself to eat, 3 times a week with the trainer, endless hours on the treadmill and yet not one bit of movement on my weight. I know plateaus happen, I know it isn't going to be as easy as it once was, but this unending march of no movement at all is wearing me down. The things that had worked a couple weeks ago, to keep me going despite the frustration, setting challenges for myself (5K, 10K, speed) aren't masking how I really feel anymore. I can't hide it from myself and others like I was.

And I have to admit I am losing patience with the people around me. I know they are all trying their best to be supportive and understanding, but I have to say if I hear one more time "but look at all you have done" I am probably going to unleash on someone who totally doesn't deserve it.

I know everything they are saying.....I've lost 100 lbs...yup aware of that! I have worked really hard to do that...painfully aware of that! I have a lot to be proud of....and I am! But I am sick to death of what I have already done being used to placate the fact that I am not making any current progress. The past is totally irrelevant to where I am now.

How long am I supposed to lean on what I have already done? What good is that doing me? I know the people saying "but look at how far you have come" are trying to be helpful but you are all missing the point. While the past is great, and I am very proud of all the changes in the last year I have made, I am not ok with stopping there. I am looking at and worried about the current and the future, and right now I don't like what I see. For me to not be upset that I am not moving forward because of what I did in the past is as irrational as "Jump in the Saddle Band" considering their music career a success after one hit in the 80's. (and let's see how many of you even know what that hit was).

YES I used to weigh 338 lbs, yes I am proud of the fact that I don't anymore, and I worked really hard to get to 238, but 238 is NOT acceptable. I am not willing to be happy that I still weigh over 200 lbs, I am not willing to be ok that I am still considered morbidly obese.

I have always had an issue with the "things could be worse" mentality people use to try to show someone upset or hurting that theirs isnt the worse thing in the world. We all know that! But I don't feel that I, or anyone else, has to suppress dealing with what is on their plate currently just because they or someone else could be in a worse situation. You can still be hurting miserably without being the most destitute person on the planet! We all have to live with where we are at any given minute, not where someone else is or where we could have been!

I should be upset that nothing is working, I should be frustrated that the scale isn't moving. I should be worried this is as good as it gets. Because complaceny is not a solution! I don't get why those around me don't get that!