Thursday, 10 January 2013

That pretty cool moment when things start to 'click'

That moment...I've had so many this week!  What a week.

I started 12WBT 7 months ago.  And finally this week things started to 'click'.  I can't even pinpoint what exactly has.  But something has changed.  And it's bloody awesome.

A large part of my last week was to do with what I have dubbed: "my naked photos".  When I started 12WBT I took photos in my underwear as most of us do.  I always wondered if I'd ever share them with anyone outside of 12WBT Admin.  I saw my friends posting their photos, in the forums, in Facebook groups, on their Facebook wall some of them (!), Twitter etc. and thought they were amazingly courageous (and still think this!)

I thought maybe one day I would have the courage to do this too.  I didn't know when, but I knew one day I would like to be brave and be 'ok with it' and show them to someone.  I assumed that would be a long, long time away. :)

Last week I compared some photos of myself - photos in my undies, taken at my extreme heaviest; another photo taken in November, and last week.  And for the first real time since starting this, I thought I could see a difference.  I have terrible body dysmorphia so I always have trouble distinguishing between photos of myself.  But I *thought* these ones showed a difference.

I don't know how, or why, but I decided that this might be time for Operation Public Undies Photos.

But I was so scared!  NO-ONE SEES ME IN MY UNDERWEAR.  Seriously, no-one.  It helps being single!  See, I really mean no-one!  Once I was on stage in a play in my underwear but that was boy legs and a singlet top ensemble so it didn't really count.  Sometimes people may see my naked back when I get dressed in theatre dressing rooms.  But that is the absolute extent of it!

These photos were a double whammy: they were my before photos, which I have never shown, and they are in my underwear!  In my mind, I felt naked.  I may as well have been!  So, fat + 'naked'.

I wanted to do it but was terrified.  I wanted to share it in the 30+ page.  I waited until I was 200% sure that I was making an extremely conscious decision: this was not something to be taken lightly.  The word privacy is not synonymous with the Internet.  Closed group, shmosed group.  This was a forever thing.  And from an immediate sense, I was terrified of people seeing me this way.  I had a very real fear that people would be offended by my photos because they were so gross, and report me to Facebook for offensive material, or (worse), tell me so.  I didn't even know WHY I wanted to do this.

I finally decided to do it, and as I was posting them, a beautiful friend messaged me a quote:

"The truth will set you free."

Instantly, I knew why I was doing this.  That quote: that was the reason.  I needed to accept and recognise, and once this was done, I would be free.

And I was. :)  Actually uploading them was petrifying, I worked myself up so unbelievably much that I felt a bit faint and had to lie down for a while.  Silly girl!  But people were so kind, so encouraging, and I got heaps of the most beautiful comments.

After I calmed down, I felt great.  I had done it.  And now, a few days later, I am still ok with it.  They're out there now.  And that's ok as it was a conscious decision I made to do this.  And it was completely liberating.  No more secrets :)

Aside from the undies photos, a few other things have just shifted within me.  I have been feeling more confident about myself.  It's like my head caught up slightly with my body.  I am completely no way even close to goal, but it's kind of like a special mid-way point.  A mid-way point where I've currently got this amazing vantage point of myself and can be realistic, honest and be able to recognise where I am at.  And reaching the 30kg lost mark this week did help!  That last 10kg was incredibly drawn out.  Yet essential.

However something else happened this week that in a way made me almost just as, if not more proud than the weight loss.

On Tuesday I made some big, well thought out goals for the next few weeks and beyond.  I was starting to process this and get fixated on a plan of attack, when at work I discovered that I have to work shift work for the rest of the month.

I work in the corporate world and am used to the usual "9-5 Monday-Friday" thing.  I haven't worked shift work or even to a roster, for 8 years.  I haven't worked a weekend in longer.  The only time I've worked at night since then has been overtime.  I've never done a graveyard shift, ever.  I've had flexible working hours for this whole time.  And suddenly I found out that I would have to be on a 24/7, 7 days a week roster.  I'm talking graveyard shifts, weekends, the whole hog.  The project I'm working on is going live and we all have to chip in and make this work.

It's only for 3 weeks or so - it's not a forever thing.  However 3 weeks is still significant to suddenly change my entire schedule from business hours to all over the shop.  I have boot camps, training sessions, parties, social stuff, events, my birthday, things like that planned outside of business hours and already locked in.  I had just that morning made some specific nutrition/exercise goals.  Now this was in total disarray.  This was completely unexpected.
Do you know how I reacted?  I accepted it, immediately.  I was taken aback as I found out, and then I simply said to myself "ok, if that's what's going to happen then how am I going to work this?"  The most dramatic thing I did was SMS my best friend and tell her.  But it was simply a "wow guess what" SMS rather than a swearing, crying freak-out one. ;)  There were no tears, no stress, no issues.  It was just a matter of accepting the changes and then working out how to best deal with them.

A year ago, I would have been a ball of fired up stress if this had happened.  Things aren't going as I planned!  I hate change!  I would have bitched to anyone who would have listened.  I would have been resistant.  I have never been a vocal-jump-up-and-down type person, but I would have internalised the stress over having my life getting all shemozzled and as a result, upset myself.

However I just accepted it.  I wasn't expecting it, but straight away I just said to myself that I'll deal with it.

I am so proud of myself.

The weight and the cm's etc. is one thing, but to have such a massive shift in mindset like this is just amazing.

I was nervous how I could fit everything in, but I was lucky enough to be able to choose my shifts.  So I sat down with my diary and the work schedule and planned out the next few weeks - I scheduled my shifts around boot camps and my social life to make it work for me.  It's crazy - some of it is a bit silly and because of the no-notice thing, there's some less than ideal shifts planned.  For example this weekend on Saturday, I have a friends birthday 6pm-9pm.  I then work 9pm-5am.  I then go straight to Resolution Run (an 11km fun run) at 6:30am.  I then have an appointment until about 2pm and then work 3pm-11pm.  I'm a bit concerned about that.  But apart from that, the rest of it is a whole new learning experience for me.

I'm working my very first graveyard shift tomorrow night.  When am I supposed to eat?  Should I swap my day/night around?  Should I sleep before or after?  I'm not used to working to set times. Working through the night means that I can't do my walks that I do - I try to walk before and after work and at lunch.  I don't think I should go walking around my dark building at 1am!

But it's cool.  It's just a change and I'll make it work.  I think stair runs in the work fire stairs might be a go.  I have to be flexible and create some workarounds.  It'll be fine.

I've said before how my crazy 2012 showed me that things change and that life isn't perfect.  But I haven't properly seen my mindset change in action until this week.   I am so proud of how I have dealt with this.

When you open up your mind and be open to change, open to things not being perfect, open to trying things differently, I think you grow.  You just assess, reset and go down a different path.  It doesn't mean it's worse, it's just different.  And sometimes things work out even better = eg. I worked it out that I can make an extra boot camp that I find it difficult to get to usually! ;)  I've been finding that by being open to change, putting stuff out there, being accepting and having a little bit of hope and faith, that more positive stuff happens.

Something's shifted this week and I like it.  I'm at a point where I can more realistically see where I'm at, and I have this calm confidence inside.  I trust that I know how to do what I need to do.  It's taken a long time but I feel stronger in mind.  I'm adapting as I go along and just doing my best.  I'm not perfect at what I'm doing.  And that's the whole point. :)

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