About a year and half ago, I was 220 pounds, miserable, and in pain. I hated myself, hated how I felt and hated how helpless it all seemed. To make a long story short, I had lots of reasons that I was afraid I was getting ready to die unless something changed. So I signed up for an online coaching program (Scott Colby, Abs Expert; look him up. If you visit his page you'll have access to even more of my before and after photos). Changed my life.
During the 9 week program I did things I had no idea I was capable of doing. Scott not only raised the bar of expectation on me, he had no doubt that I could and would do it. The other women in the group were an invaluable source of encouragement and motivation every single day. Somewhere in the middle of it all, I wrote what you now know as Learn to Fly.
I've never really been proud of myself. I have a secret list of reasons for why I suck. My husband, my sister, some truly awesome friends will tell me that those reasons are stupid and I need to burn the list. They're probably right, but the list in my head remains. At the very top is the fact that I don't finish anything. Ever. I start a project, I get super ambitious, I make all the plans ever. And then I get discouraged, or tired, or, I don't know, bloated; then I give up on the plan. Shortly after that, I give up on life (not literally, this isn't that kind of a blog).
But Scott didn't allow me to give up. Neither did the other ladies in the group.
Here's a small, but important, fact about me. I don't make friends with women easily. I believe myself to be fairly unlikable, awkward, and generally no fun. I didn't want to interact with these people. I wanted to hide in my corner on the internet and sulk all alone. But Scott requires online participation in the group. And I am so glad he does.
I have met the most incredible women. We're scattered throughout the world, from all different ages, walks, and backgrounds. I have never felt more empowered or more seen than I did with these women. I can't imagine not having them in my lives for the rest of forever.
I have never, ever, felt what I did when I finished the 9 weeks. It was hard. And I honestly did the best I can. I learned so much about who I am and what I'm capable of that I actually felt proud of myself.
Not only did I re-write Learn to Fly two more times, I decided to become an indie author. Crazy, right? What the heck was going through my head? Well, mostly that failing isn't the worst thing. Not trying is the worst thing.
I haven't stopped working out. I lift heavy weights regularly (at the moment, I wish it was a bit more often). I sweat, I try, I fail, I try again.
|actual progress photo of my back|
I really need to take some new ones.
This has transferred into my writing. Not being afraid to fail, and in fact embracing the failure, has made me more capable of succeeding. I can do this. Even if it takes me forever, it doesn't feel impossible. It feels... like winning. Because giving up and not trying is the worst feeling ever and I refuse to go back.
One of my favorite things to tell my writer's group is Squats For Thoughts. I think more clearly, I'm more creative, inspired, and motivated when I'm working out hard. For me, the two will probably always be connected. I doubt I'll be able to do one without the other now.
And with the people I've met and the lessons I've learned on the journey, I wouldn't want it any other way.