Wednesday, 11 September 2013

That moment when you share your story with the world

That moment when you sit at your laptop for an hour not sure what to write.  Because of that moment when you have the strangest 24 hours.  I have no idea where to start!  

So my Week 2 goal that I set myself was called "Two worlds combine".  Essentially my goal was, to an extent, to bridge the gap between Coco Girl and Kate.  I keep them very separate.  Only a very small handful of friends outside of 12WBT land have the link, or even know about this blog.  My 64000 odd views of this blog up to yesterday have all been from strangers or people I have met through 12WBT.  And likewise, my personal Facebook page has anything but weight loss stuff.  I only very recently started accepting tags or posting photos myself of me running / climbing mountains etc.: and that's it.  I don't mention a word about Coco Girl's life on there.  Facebook gets the pleasure of seeing the occasional running pic and that's it.

I've gone to great lengths to keep them separate.  I guess because, well, weight loss is a very personal thing.  I have about 1400 friends on Facebook - of which about 1380 I know personally.  Apart from the 20 odd people who I have only met online, I keep my Facebook private and only for people I actually know - some a lot, some a little bit.  I have people from my whole life on there - I love it - for me it's a platform to stay in touch with friends and colleagues even if we don't hang out in the same circles anymore.  I value each person I connect with so I feel so lucky that I have this social media tool to have them all in one place!  I'll forever be grateful to Mark.Z.!  Anyway, I assume that these 1400 people don't want to, or at least need to, know my weight and fitness stuff!

And in Coco Girl land - I very rarely talk about the rest of my life, unless it fairly directly is related to my fitness journey.  Some of it is for privacy, the rest is just that I don't think you particularly would want to know the day to day stuff - seeing photos of me with my baby nieces in matching onesies.  Or the bonfire party I went to on Saturday night.  Or hearing about how I dropped my car keys into a locked storm water drain underneath my locked car on the way to work one morning (that was fun!)  Random, every day stuff.

I assume people who read my blog or follow me on Instagram or Twitter are looking for nutrition/fitness/weight loss stories, photos, fellow inspiration.  So I have kept them very separate to the rest of my life.  But I decided a few months ago that I felt ready to share a little and, as the goal I set says, 'combine my two worlds'.  I had been planning on making the "Kate Does Life" video for the last year, and so recently I decided that maybe that could be what I could post on my personal Facebook to do the sharing thing.

So yesterday I finished making the video.  I shared it with one friend.  Then I posted it in a couple of small Facebook groups I'm in, then as my confidence grew through the day, I shared it in a few more Facebook groups.  That video took me frigging ages to put together (do you know how many photos I take and how much I hate culling??) :) so I wanted to get value for my $ (time) ;)  and share it! :)  I got the most beautiful comments from my little groups - amazing feedback - so I felt ok to then share it with the next group!

Then it was time - I had made the goal of posting it on my personal Facebook page but when it came down to it, I started to have my doubts.  This video has me at my rawest!  It's one thing to go searching for the fattest photo with the most fat rolls that I can find for a 'before and after' photo to share with your weight loss buddies who are on the same's another to share it with the hot footy guy from high school.  This video has my most unattractive, fattest has me lying in a hospital bed at the most emotional time in my has me crying.

As I was sitting there, wondering if I was doing the right thing for myself, my friend sent me this picture, with the following words.  I had shared my video with her in a tiny private group an hour before:
Hi Kate. I found this picture after you had shared your video with us. Of courseit's up to you, but I think you should share your story. You have already inspired all of us in this group, I believe your story could inspire people just like that story you saw inspired you.
I knew then that I was ok to share it :)  I realised then that it wasn't so much about me bridging any gap in my two worlds, but it was about being more open – to help myself and in the off chance that maybe one person might think that they can do something, too.  That's how I initially found 12WBT!  I was ready to make a change personally, but it was only thanks to my amazing friend Cathy that she was open about her journey, that I found the program that helped me.  If she hadn't, I can say with pretty strong certainity that I would be in a much different circumstance tonight.

So, I shared it.  I then shook for about 2 hours straight.  It's such a personal thing to share.  It's like calling up friends from school and saying "by the way, just letting you know, I was fat.  Kthxbi."  Do you know what I mean?  Anyway, as much as I was shakingly overwhelmed, to be 100% honest, I didn't think my friends would watch it.  A video is something you have to click on - it's not a quick thing that you can scroll past on your newsfeed while cooking dinner.  But, I was in a big way, wrong.

For the last 24 hours, it's been going nuts.  I've had this crazy amount of friends 'liking' it, commenting, sharing it on their pages, private messaging and texting me all day.  I woke up to a zillion notifications and it hasn't stopped.  And if that wasn't enough, I was in a
lunchtime meeting when my phone started flashing even more - people were letting me know that 12WBT had posted it on their official Facebook page.  Far out!  I have no idea how I got through that meeting, trying to keep my brain in work mode!

And so it's continued.  It's crazy - in a really lovely way.  I've had messages from kids I used to babysit - old bosses - friends from primary school - my first boyfriend from summer camp when I was 12 (I am not even joking!) saying "well done".  My family even got a few messages!  I sat down tonight to start replying and reading everything properly, but I got overwhelmed, so I started to write this post instead!  

I can well and TRULY say that I have not only achieved my Worlds Combine goal, I have smashed it to smithereens, and then some.  I have never in my life been so honest or open or had my story shared as much as I have today.  My video is literally a miniscule snippet of my running journey – there is obviously so much more that I haven’t shared, even on this pretty open blog.  It’s hard to contain so much into 5 min. and 48 sec.

As much as I'm overwhelmed, I'm ok.  But still, it is so huge for me.  I kept that bluey green bridesmaid dress photo hidden at the time.  This is a dress where I had to order extra material so a dressmaker could add an extra panel.  I looked hideous and felt disgusting.  So it’s a little weird to be sharing it with 4.5k strangers – and that’s just on the 12WBT page.

Any doubts that I had were comforted by a certain text message I got yesterday.  Every comment and message has been amazing and some have been overwhelming, but this one SMS stands out for me: it made me know that I did the right thing.  You never know what battle someone is fighting and you may not realise that by sharing your story you may touch someone at the right moment.  It makes anything you may be feeling by sharing, absolutely, 100% worth it.  Yesterday was World Suicide Prevention Day and tomorrow is R U OK Day – two vital initiatives to help people reach out to one another.  I encourage you to share and reach out.  There is comfort in sharing. 

I still haven’t responded to any of the lovely messages of support but I’ll try and get there.  I’ve just been taking it all in.  I’m not about to start littering my Facebook with weight loss stats, or my blog with my family album, don’t you worry.  But it’s kind of a weight off my shoulders to not have this total separation anymore.  I just decided to share a tiny part of my journey and I am glad that I did.  Thank you everyone.  Hopefully some people will read this to know where I’m at and that I am very thankful.  And now that the world knows where to find this blog, they probably will ;)

Two worlds combine?

Yeah – I think I’ve combined. :)


  1. HOWDY!!. I've linked your blog in this funky thing called the Liebster Blog Awards.

    (if you don't want to do it that is cool)

    It's just a wee bit of fun. Check out my blog to see what it's all about.


  2. Absolutely inspiring Coco Girl! You continue to help me in my own journey.

  3. Fantasmagorical!

    awesome job! and a BIG Brave step. Love that you are "overwhelmed" but still "ok" :). When in fact you are more than OK, you are an inspiring role model to what just became a whole lot more people as of yesterday.

    Love your work <3

    From Jacqueline

  4. They've combined all right! Thank you for sharing though - i then watched ben does life too, but I think yours is more relatable for me:). I hope you didn't feel upset by 12wbt sharing your post without asking first. You are helping me to think i CAN run at my weight rather, as I've been thinking, than it being something i can't do until i lose weight first. Thank you beautiful coco butter kate girl

  5. Brava, Kate! I have been thinking about merging my two Instagram accounts recently. A baby baby step in comparison, but you've definitely inspired me. Well. Done.

  6. Yep you just didn't combine the worlds, you popped them in the mixer and shook them up together! And well done you. I have two blogs kept completely separate. My Pins & Needles one (full of family, crafty, knitting things) and my Finding Carol (lets face it, do my friends REALLY need to know how much I weigh! eeeek). But slowly some stories have appeared on both.

    You may just have given me the impetus to come clean and merge the two. Goodness! Who would have thought. So go you, an inspiration in more ways than one. You rock girl !


  7. I used the "Ben Does Life" blog and video for inspiration a couple years ago and it all fell by the wayside. I've been trying to get in better shape again recently but keep falling flat. I think this video of yours is so much better than Ben's and it hit me right in the feels. I'm going to be keeping track of you. You have inspired me to get back on my feet and push through. I have a blog, too, that I need to start updating as well. Maybe in a year or so, when I've lost a lot of weight, I'll create a video of my own. Keep up the hard work! (Maybe you can get a book deal of your own out of this...)

  8. Thank you for sharing. Again you are an inspiration. I am only 5 weeks in, but thanks to you, I have faith that I CAN DO THIS! What a brave woman you are. Good luck.