Reflections on Ending the Challenge

Today is the wrap -up for the Oak Creek Mayor’s Fitness Challenge. It’s been a transformative experience for me.

Let’s start with what everyone really wants to know:

My bellybutton is still grumpy. No, I am not going to post another picture. I’m still not 100% certain I got all the eyes out last time. (Let’s all just keep our fingers crossed that I don’t ever have to confirm that suspicion via a grisly googlie discovery.)

I lost 14 pounds. I can take my pants off without unzipping them. I guess that means I’m down a size, but I’m not quite ready to resize my wardrobe.

If this were a year ago, or 5 years ago, I would be wrist deep with a tablespoon into a quart of ice cream while the following loop played in my head: “You should have lost more. You suck. You’re no good at this. Might as well just forget it. You should have done better. God, you’re pathetic.”

And on and on. You know that voice. What a jerk.

It’s not a year ago, though. It’s now. And it’s…different. I can still hear that voice, reciting my should’ves, but I don’t care so much. Unlike all the other times before, somewhere during this challenge it stopped being about losing as much weight as possible in order to look a certain way or to define my worth by a size or a number.

I have fitness goals. I miss working out when I skip. I like the way I feel when I’m eating well and exercising. I’ve had enough opportunities to try new things during the challenge that I’m no longer embarrassed or afraid to go try a new workout on my own. I own workout clothes that aren’t pajamas–and I like it. Even with some medical complications thrown in there, I find myself driven to stick with it in whatever capacity I can on any given day, instead of using it as an excuse. I like sweating.

Ok, that sweating thing was a lie. That’s still stupid. I just get a little carried away sometimes. Not seeing fitness as a chore, or something with an expiration date is all new to me. And it’s very exciting.

Trying aerial yoga (and obviously having fun)!

Trying aerial yoga (and obviously having fun)!

I used to live my life saying things like, “When I lose x lbs, things will be better.” “When I wear a size x, I’ll feel confident enough to do y.” Something happened to me during this challenge. I stopped thinking those things so much. I started having fun NOW. Things started being good NOW, at this size, at whatever weight I happen to be. Maybe it’s the exercise endorphins. I don’t know.

I finally stopped putting my life on hold. That is a worthier outcome to me for this challenge than any size pants ever will be. And although the challenge is technically over, for me it was just a beginning.

[Cue incredibly dramatic music for such an epically cheesy final sentiment.]

At my work Holiday Party, feeling lighter (and embracing the jiggle on the dance floor)!

At my work Holiday Party, feeling lighter (and embracing the jiggle on the dance floor)!

***(Extra Super Special Thanks to:

Mayor Steve and Leslie Flynn for all the hard work, for believing in all of us-even if we didn’t always believe in ourselves, and you know– for changing my life and stuff. Oh, and for not kicking me off the track when I showed up dressed like a hot dog (and putting up with my antics in general).

KTT for kicking my ass regularly. KTT can also kick your ass, if you like. Shoot him an email at Kevin.Chow83@yahoo.com for more details on how he can break your will and make you strong like bull.

Zumba Ken and Barbie….erm, I mean Zumba Mike and Vicki. You’ve made Tuesdays fan-ta-ta-shaking-tastic! Anyone who hasn’t checked out Zumba should come make an ass of themselves with me on Tuesday nights (www.zumbamike.com). Wear interesting socks. Embrace the jiggle.

There’s way more people who supported me, but this isn’t a freaking Oscar speech, and half of the readers have already stopped reading once they realized there was no picture of my bellybutton making faces. Hope you can forgive me. <3)***

 

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Grumpy Bellybutton

I could show you my before picture. I took one, you know. One of those really excellent sports-bra-and-short-shorts pasty monstrosities, phone in hand in front of the mirror, trying to look anywhere but at myself. I had the clarity do this immediately before a session with KTT, so as to avoid taking a one way trip to Pity-party-landia, where ice cream is only eaten in pints, and all the party hats say, “I suck.”

But you’ve seen enough of those pictures, and they’re really only impressive if you get the instant gratification of the miraculous after picture. After only 3 weeks of this challenge, my “before” picture really strongly resembles my “right now” picture.

I should show you SOMETHING, though, right? I think it’s important that I put something out there, set a goal, say, “I’m working on this right here!” And you deserve some sort of metric, some accountability from me, because you are being so amazingly supportive of me right now.

So let’s talk about bellybuttons. Mine is SO GRUMPY. Look at my bellybutton. LOOK AT IT.

My button enjoys awkward eye contact.

My button enjoys awkward eye contact.

You’d be grumpy too, if you were my bellybutton, I suppose. My goal is to have a not-grumpy bellybutton. I thought about telling you I wanted a surprised button like so:  =O, but I think that requires a skin elasticity I lost somewhere in my early 20s.

I would settle for a merely unimpressed bellybutton: =|

It turns out that I can fit 12 googly eyes in there. That seems like a lot. Does it seem like a lot to you? I’ll work on making it fewer.

I had to lay down to take this. Not weird at all, right?

I had to lay down to take this. Not weird at all, right?

Other things I learned that I can fit in my bellybutton:

  • Half a Q-tip
  • Not as much of my tweezers as I really needed to get that last googlie out.
  • Nearly an entire bobby pin (worked eventually).

My button and I will keep you updated. We are working hard and very hopeful that sticking with the Challenge will make us both less grumpy.