Monday, June 23, 2014

On Earning My Wings

BEAST Mode Day 365.

I have been waiting for this day to get here as much as my children await the arrival of Los Tres Reyes: as if there were some gifts that camels would bring for me, or if tamales and champurrado would be waiting for me on the kitchen table when I woke up. 

This morning was like any other on this journey. I woke up. I walked to the bathroom to turn the shower water on. I bent down to touch my toes and I got emotional, you know, the kind of emotional when you don’t want your eyes to water but you really have no control. Maybe I should explain.

366 days ago I couldn’t touch my toes unless I sat on a chair (or on my bed) and maneuvered my body in such a way that I was bending sideways. Better yet, in order to tie my shoes I would have to lift my foot onto a chair and bend over to tie them. This, my friends, was my reality at 334 pounds. It never really bothered me because it is just the way it always has been for me. I adapted to the abilities of my body and never thought I needed to do anything about it.

And then the challenge to change happened:
Joseph Rose I smell a challenge!! You can TOTALLY do a 10K by October!! Come on Lori!! Do it!! I will donate to your fundraiser. $20.00/per Kilometer. Deal?
Lorena Ortega The last time I ran was in high school when I was forced in PE. (Oh, and when I chase after Wolfie)
How would a 1k even be possible, let alone a 10k?
Oh man, now I'm

Joseph Rose CALL TO LORI'S FRIENDS: Who thinks she can do a 10K by October?? Baby steps BABY!!
Lorena Ortega Officially freaking out. I have been challenged, and I realize that in order to ask for support, I should at least attempt to do this...
Lorena Ortega DEAL
Joseph Rose It's in writing!! Now...time to train. When do you wanna start?

That was the Facebook conversation that changed my life. That is the Facebook conversation that started this BEAST Mode Day --- training. A new lifestyle was inevitable. Change was inevitable Tears were optional.

We set out on a mission to complete a 10k, but along the road we found that in order to be able to fulfill that mission, I needed to take inventory of every aspect of my life. Was it easy? You be the judge!

I began by taking inventory of the thoughts floating around in my head. What I noticed first is the amount of negative thoughts that came up; I don’t have running shoes, I don’t have a gym membership, I don’t have time, I am too tired, I am too fat, I don’t have anyone to watch my children, I don’t have the wardrobe, I am too fat, I am too fat, I am too fat.

I then began taking a physical inventory of the things already in my life that could help me on my new journey; I had a pair of Adidas indoor soccer shoes—they would work, I had a supportive husband who would be able to watch the children while I walked—that would work, I had a closet full of hoodies and stretch pants, my uniform of daily living—that would work, Joe said all we needed was a line in the ground and my body weight—that would be my gym.

Lastly, I had to change my mindset. This was by far the most difficult task of all. I was so used to always confronting obstacles head-on, trying once, and when failing, seeking ways around them. This was the story of my life. It wasn’t that I was ever looking for shortcuts; I just found it more effective to not spend so much time pounding my head against a wall. I had to change my failure-pessimistic-grassisalwaysgreenerontheotherside mindset if I were to succeed.

I was blessed from day one to have people in my journey who would always make sure that I always felt like a champion. My family, Joe, Sean, Trevor, my friends, my FRENEMIES, and my co-workers all were instrumental in making sure that the bumps along the road were cushioned. I am forever grateful for the support system that I have. There is absolutely no way I would have been able to get through most days without it!

I have learned many things about myself while pushing through this last year:
·         I really don’t need fries at every meal. As a matter of fact, I am 365 days clean of any fried foods going into my body.
·         Pizza is not my best friend when I am hungry. I haven’t had a slice of pizza in 365 days.
·         Donuts were never an ally. At one time of my life, they were my choice comfort food. Funny how they haven’t provided me comfort for 365 days, yet I am still alive!
·         Skipping meals doesn’t make me skinny. I don’t want to be skinny. I want to eat.
·         Sweating is cute. I always shied away from activity that would make me sweat. I now actively seek ways to sweat.
·         I am faster than my four-year-old. He thinks he is a ninja. I am still faster.
·         I don’t have to eat my children’s leftovers for the sake of not wasting food. I have learned that Tupperware is my best friend. If they don’t finish it now, they can eat it as leftovers later!
·         I don’t have to have tortillas or bread with every meal. I have forgotten what white bread tastes like. Tortillas are an afterthought-and often forgotten about.
·         I love to cook. I love trying new recipes. Did I mention that I love to cook?
·         Although my mind tells me that there are times I can’t keep going, my body is stubborn.
·         365 days are not enough. I still have at least another 18,250 days left of this journey.

I have so much more to write, so many more miles to walk, and so many more journeys (of others) to witness. One of the first things I remember saying was that I was going to start a running revolution. I am not a runner…yet. I am, however, a CHAMPION!

There aren’t enough minutes in TODAY to write a blog post worthy of 365 days of awesome-ness. So, the next 365 days I will focus on not only reaching my weight loss and fitness goals and documenting them through this blog, but I will also actively seek ways to help my community reach their own healthy goals.

One of the proudest accomplishments of this year was kicking off our (soon-to-be) non-profit, Lori’s Home. In my next blog post I will explain it in more detail, along with ways in which you can help other people like me, who may not have the resources to help them be successful in their journey.

I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for staying with me on days that I didn’t even want to stay with myself. Thank you for always encouraging me through Facebook messages, virtual hugs, and even virtual lectures! Know that there is no way that this journey would be successful if it weren’t for YOU.

For the last 365 this journey has had feet. I believe I have earned my wings…it’s time to soar.

Life is good.

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