|A really awful photo of one of the bikes I looked as |
transportation I'll be using during my upcoming bike tour.
I'm still undecided.
I went into my weigh-in this week frustrated. The more I thought about it, the more I didn't understand why I was still on Phase I if I wanted to stay at the weight I'm currently at until after the style show in September ... or why I was still on Phase I if I'm training for a 34 - 54 mile-a-day bike tour in April and can't do any heavy-duty exercising while on Phase I, especially if the athletic protocol isn't what I should be doing.
After talking to my coaches this week, we've decided I should transition into Phase II andPhase III and then onto maintenance. I may return to Phase I in September if I decide to start reducing again. I haven't given up on having my fat ratio at 25-27%. (right now it's at 29-30, depending on time of the month.)
I have the "maintaining" down really well! I've been a size 12 figure for months!! I got to thinking about it and realized that when I started this diet, I went into it thinking that I'd be happy if I got to a size 12, because I looked back at photos of myself in that size jeans when I was a lot younger and felt I looked healthy! My subconscious brain heard me say this to myself and has worked hard to keep me in the current size!
Over the next few months - between now and the upcoming style show - I'm going to be taking a good, hard look at myself and decide whether I really do want to stay here and if this is the size I'm meant to be. I think this brief break from Phase I will also give the skin on certain parts of my body some time to shrink up and adjust to my smaller frame.
I had a funny experience this week. Our town has a local bike shop and I've been in there twice in the past. Both times the staff was extremely rude and dismissive towards me. At the time I thought they took a look at my close to 300 lb. frame and decided I wasn't really a cyclist and not worth their time. Back then I swore I would never step foot in their shop again. After discovering that my current commuter bicycle was inappropriate transportation for the upcoming bike tour, I decided to give the bike shop another chance and see what they had that would work.
I was dreading dealing with the people at the bike shop but this time around the staff was a lot friendlier. I don't know if it was because A. I came to their shop on a bike so they knew I was actually a cyclist, B. I was skinnier and looked more like a "real" cyclist, C. I was shopping for a bike instead of componets, so they were going to make money from me, D. I feel better and more confident than I did on my first visits and I'm nicer to deal with or E. All of the above. My guess is E.
I've noticed that people treat me differently than they used to. I see the biggest change in the way I am treated amongst the ministerial staff at my church. In the past I was invisible and unacknowledged, even when I was volunteering at the welcome desk for them. Today I get eye contact and a smile from them and even an occasional "hello" on Sunday mornings.
The old me would look at this change and think immediately that it had to do with my smaller size, but after looking at the bigger picture I think it's more than that. I think it has more to do with my change in attitude.
I think people respond to me in a more positive way now because I am a more pleasant person to be around. I like me. I respect myself. If someone is a jerk to me for no reason, I take it less personally because I realize their behavior is their issue, not mine. I'm less reactive. I'm happy.
I am working hard to be a source of love and encouragement to others, instead of a needy, whining mess, and I think the world around me has responded to that effort. It's not about my size. It's about the soul that inhabits my body.... I've shrugged off a lot of the neuroses and hang-ups that led me to build a protective wall of fat around my body. I don't fear the world around me - I am letting my soul shine and I refuse to let fear get in the way of my life's purpose.
There are those who judge others based on appearance, but for the most part, people respond positively to people that make them feel good. Nobody likes being around a downer for any length of time.
There are unhappy, neurotic skinny people out there - and they're just as miserable as unhappy, neurotic fat people. One of the most abusive, nasty people I ever worked with had a flat tummy and a tall, beautiful body. In spite of her physical beauty, she had plenty of conflict and disappontment in her life. She brought it all on herself. She would walk into a room and people immediately put up their defenses, ready for battle.... even people who didn't know her would sense her anger before she opened her mouth. I even once witnessed her expressing anger at her infant daughter for falling asleep at the wrong time. What sensible adult gets angry at a baby for doing what comes natural?
When you decide to let go of your anger, your hurt, all those reasons you grab onto to justify that wall of fat you keep between you and the world around you and connect to the love you are meant to be, the world around you becomes an easier place to live in.
"The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe." - (1879 - 1955)
If you believe that the world is filled with unkind people, just waiting to hurt, anger or disappoint you, then it will live up to your expectations. If you keep an open heart and mind and allow love to flow through you, then the love will flow back to you.
Stay open to the miraculous world around you, savor the beauty of our planet and appreciate the people in your life because that's the life God meant us to lead. (And remember, it is possible to allow the difficult people to move through your life without leaving a mark.)