Change Your Perspective

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Don’t worry: there will be NO ‘glass half full’ references in this post.  In the past 8 weeks, I’ve gone through a lot of life changes.  Instead of dwelling, I’m doing my best to just push forward and look ahead with confidence in the unsure.  It’s actually quite bizarre. But as I spend time shifting my perspective, I realize how many times this habit has helped my in the past.

When I was still 290+ pounds, I could NEVER think about the fact that I had over 100 pounds to lose.  That goal was insurmountable.  There was just no way.  No one loses 100 pounds.  So I decided that I didn’t want to lose 100 pounds, I was just going to lose the first 50.  After losing 50 pounds, maybe I’d be out of plus size clothes? But how cool would it be to say I’d lost 50? And then I did.  When I looked at the BMI Chart, if I lost just another 50 pounds then I would be in the ‘Overweight Category’ and not the ‘Obese’ category anymore……   (****this was before I realized how craptastic BMI is and that it doesn’t actually mean anything)

After I lost the first 100 pounds, I had fallen in love with fitness.  Then I just set goals for what I wanted to be able to do and my body responded.  I set several goal weights along the way and reaching eat one felt great and every fitness goal and finish line made all the work worth it.  It was easy to keep going when I loved it.  That’s how I lost 150+ pounds: in small chunks because losing an entire person is completely ridiculous.

Honestly, I don’t think any one is more surprised that I lost all of the weight than I am.  I’m the one that heard every negative thought and still had to continue forward.  If I had focused on losing 150 pounds at the beginning, I never could have done it.  But when I focused on one goal at time, it seemed easier.  Sometimes it was 10 pounds away and sometimes it was one race away.  But shifting my perspective is what lead me to success and more happiness than I thought possible.

I can count several different times in my life when I did this and had the same results.  So I’m depending on it now.

Recently, I had to quit boxing.  It doesn’t mean that I love boxing any less or that I’m ungrateful for the lessons it taught me.  At first, I was really sad that it wouldn’t fit in my schedule any longer and what I had been working towards was longer important.  But instead of dwelling on it, I’ve shifted my perspective.  I realized that most of the goals I’d had in the last year, ( a PR 5K, completing the Tough Mudder….) didn’t even have anything to do with boxing. So I decided to shift my perspective and get excited.  Boxing was creating a whole avenue of anxiety that I didn’t even realize was there.  I now find it EXCITING to train myself.  I love that I can train when, where and how I want and not report to anyone.  I can change my body in anyway I want!  After 8 weeks, not only have I been getting to my goals quicker, I’ve changed my body composition fairly dramatically.  While I’ve maintained my weight, I’ve exchanged 6 pounds of fat for 3 pounds of muscle.  Pretty awesome.

Also, a month ago, I got laid off at my school.  I was devastated for a few days.  As a specialized teacher in Drama, (and music before that) I always knew I was at risk for being cut when the budget goes down.  I’ve been fortunate enough to always be ahead of the curve when that’s in question.  But this time, I didn’t see it coming.  I had just come back from a weekday getaway with Dan for his birthday when I got called to a budget meeting.  10 minutes later, my job had been cut.  I. Was. Shocked. After a few numb days, I saw the sliver lining.  There’s only been one thing stopping me from going into personal training full time: the love of my students.  I have been 75%ish…maybe sure… that I was going to try to get into personal training next fall.  But I kept coming back to the kids, my guilt of leaving them, my colleague family and the program that I’ve built at my school.  Now, there’s no program to ‘abandon’.  I’m being forced to leave my position, so I’ve decided to just jump ship all together and try something that I want and I know that I’ll be good at.  And for what seems like the first time in my life, I’m sleeping through the night again.

So here’s the moral of this chapter of my story: when you shift your perspective, your goals seem much more attainable.   In the past two months I had to quit the sport I love and lost my job OR I have all the time I want to train myself and I can now dive into a new career distraction free.  It does feel a lot like losing the weight, like standing at a starting line, and maybe when I cross this finish line it will bring me even more joy and success.

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