Thursday, July 12, 2012

Envision this

I have taught a "preparation for independence" group for youth transitioning into adulthood for years. Probably about 7 years or so.  Part of our curriculum is vision boards.  Even though I have taught the "how to" and "whats" of vision boards for years, I have never made my own...until yesterday.  First off, it is much harder than I thought.  We allot two hours for the vision board exercise, and I was scrambling to the finish!  It's difficult to look for pictures of what you aspire to.  Even though we had a hundred magazines, I couldn't for the life of me find a picture of Cinderella's Castle.  I wanted it to depict one of my future goals which is the run the Mickey Mouse Marathon in January 2014.  I did find a mediocre picture of Mickey though.  He didn't really look his best.  After two hours of sweating and toiling over this vision board, this is what I came up with.
Notice how food is the central theme?  I have the healthy foods...meat and veggies,
as well as the honking bar of chocolate.  Because as you all know, I run for chocolate.
Yoga, running and 42.2 represent what my future really holds.  Training for a marathon.  
It was a lot of fun and I have a new respect for the youth who make super fancy ones in two hours. The beach beauty on the top left could represent what my body would look like if I had surgery after reaching my goal.  Don't know if that will ever happen.  Not the reaching my goal...the surgery.  I'm still leaning towards the Spanx and push-up bra.  I think I will partake in this exercise every time I teach an independence group from now on.  I actually hung my vision board in my work station to remind myself what is important to me and what I'm aspiring to.  It also added some much needed colour to my otherwise very drab space.

I went shopping for a sports bra over the weekend.  My bra size went down from a 46D to a 38C.  My girls have deflated, and I'm totally okay with that!  I also bought a couple pairs of running size medium!  I tell you, I felt like a total fraud shopping  in the regular woman's sizes.  That was a weird feeling and something that will take time getting my head around.  I kept drifting over to the plus sized section and would hold up things in 14W and 1X, knowing they were too big for me, but finding strange comfort in the action.

I saw a youth today that I used to work with and haven't seen since before Christmas.  He looked at me, looked confused, kept staring at me, then I finally addressed him and he completely freaked out. It was a bit embarrassing because it happened in the lobby of the office and he was very loud, but I was able to calm him.  After he settled down he apologized and said, "You don't look at all like yourself, you look completely different".  After a 94 pound weight-loss, I obviously look different, but I don't think I look like a completely different person.  On Sunday after my run, I ran into someone I am acquainted with, and who should know me on sight.  I know she had a real hard time placing me when she saw me.  I called her by name and started talking to her and I know she was struggling with where she knew me from.  About a minute into our meeting, it finally dawned on her who I was.  In her defense, I was dressed in my running gear.  Sunglasses and all.
On the left is how I used to look.  On the right, how I looked Sunday.
This is how I looked today (minus the 
sunglasses on my head...and I was dressed differently).

People that I barely know at all have stopped me and commented on my weight-loss.  I had lunch with a friend a month ago who I have known since we were 13.  She saw me a few months ago, didn't say anything to me about my weight-loss, then saw me last month and still didn't say anything to me.  Prior to our first meeting three months ago, she hadn't seen me since before I began my journey.  I'm not sure what that means, but I obviously look different to her.  I commented on her appearance since she was noticeably pregnant and looked radiant.  I'll give her a pass since she was probably focused on her own joy...I just find it very strange.  People at work whose names I don't even know will stop to say something to me, but my longtime friend of 29 years does not.  Weird!

I got my mother's wedding set back from the jewelers and I proudly wear it on my right hand.  It makes me feel closer to her.  I know that she would be so happy by what I have accomplished in the past 10 months.  It was her dream for me that I would find a healthy balance in my life and no longer have to struggle with my weight.  I only wish she could have lived to see me now.  I can't play the game of "what if" (what if I followed this diet sooner...what if I took up running in my 20's before I got to nearly 300 pounds...).  What is important is that I didn't waste anymore time and I have made significant changes in my life that I can sustain.  It is never too late to take your life back.  I am proud that I am a good role model to my son and the youth that I work with.  I am proud that I have motivated those around me and that people who don't even know me find me inspirational.  And I am comforted to know, that nine years after her death, I have made my mother proud.
My mother's wedding set (sized down to a 6 1/ ring size used to be a 10),
one of my most prized possessions.