Since this is a new site, I wanted to go back to the original posts from my first blog, that documented “that moment”, when my journey on getting fit began.
Have you ever had those moments when you can audibly hear the last straw break? When something happens or someone says something that in that moment, you realize it’s time to make a change. I had that moment last summer, and it was an eye opening one.
I love roller coasters. The higher, faster, and more times it flips upside down, the happier I am. Ask me to jump out of a perfectly good airplane, and I will laugh in your face, but strap me into a cart hurtling 60 mph, and I’m good!
In August of 2016, we went to a local amusement park for my son’s third birthday. I hadn’t been since college, and I was excited to get to re-ride one of the old wood coasters I remember enjoying years ago. We had already been walking around the park for a while, and I kept looking for weight limits on other rides. I wasn’t at my heaviest, but close enough that I knew many rides would be off limits. I was happy to see no weight requirements for this particular roller coaster, so I eagerly got in line.
As I started getting closer to the getting on, I started getting more nervous. My husband asked if I was ok, and I lied, saying I was fine. I headed straight for the first cart, to sit in the front seats. Kids behind me cheering and whooping it up, excited to start the ride. The attendants started from the back, and started securing lap bars. When they got us, the lap bar didn’t shut.
Even though they tried, there was no way that bar would have closed, let alone been safe. So in front of everyone on the ride, and those standing in line, I quickly got off. Once I was down the ramp, and out of sight of anyone else, I immediately broke into tears. The one thing I have always enjoyed doing, always looked forward to, was no longer an option.
I knew in that moment that things were going to have to change. When my children are old enough to ride roller coasters themselves, I don’t want to be that mom waiting at the exit, holding their bags, because I can’t ride it with them.
Fast forward 11 months later, and I have lost 40lbs. In a month we will revisit that same amusement park, and I will get on that same coaster, in the same seat. I may not fit, and I may have to have another walk of shame, but I will do it knowing at least I tried to make a difference. I worked hard to make changes instead of giving up and drowning my sorrows in ice cream.
If you are unlucky enough to have a moment, use it, learn from it. Don’t let it be the thing that breaks you. Don’t give up. Like a roller coaster, to get fit you have to start from the bottom. Life is too short to be holding the bags at the end of the ride.
A month from now I will either be posting a picture of me conquering that coaster, or posting the next step in my journey. Stay positive, and stay tuned!
Fast forwarding one year later, and 50 lbs less, I sat in the same front row seat, buckled my seatbelt, and with a deep prayer, pulled down the lap bar. I fit!!! The lap bar clicked shut, and I rode that ride with a huge smile on my face the whole time (in between screams of fear). Afterward, I tearfully hugged my husband, speechless with a mixture of pride and relief. I can’t believe I did it! It felt like such a huge mountain to climb, and now that I’ve accomplished it, I am even more excited to work harder, and see what else I can accomplish.
We all have moments that can define us by how we handle them. The old me would have used that moment a year ago, and given up. I would have eaten my sorrows the rest of the trip (I admit there may have been a little self-pity ice cream eaten that day), thinking I had let myself go too far, and would have written off ever getting on a ride again. Instead, I made the conscious decision that I was not going to be the mom holding the bags at the exit; I was going to the mom that would be screaming her head off along next to her kids.
The bar fit a little snug, and I still have a few more years before my little ones will be able to join me on the big rides, but that gives me time to continue to work on myself. For now, I have proven to myself that if I am conscious and intentional, I can accomplish anything. It’s not always easy, it doesn’t happen overnight, and there will be speed bumps along the way, but change can happen!
If you are one of those people who have to go through “that moment”, don’t write it off. Don’t think of it as a road block, or “proof that you are a failure”. Use it as your starting block, your square one, or your first step. Whatever you want to call it, that moment is about the beginning of who will be. The only end should be about who you used to be. We are all stronger than we give ourselves credit for. Moments are just moments. They are small blips in our time lines.
We all have the strength within us to use any moment as a catalyst to success.
Anytime I struggle with my workouts, or my diet gets off track, I can now look back on my before and after moments. I can remind myself of where I was, and where I can go. It is my own personal success story. Use your moment to be your own success story.