At this morning's weigh-in, Laura gave us the following assignment to be completed by Wednesday (who could wait so long?): Write about your biggest change so far during the contest. As I quipped to my wonderful husband, "For me, clearly it won't be the number on the scale." J
My body has undergone changes: I've dropped several clothing sizes, I haven't pulled my back in months (knock on wood), I feel less lumpy (slowly unpacking my saddlebags), I've got new-found trapezius muscles, there's no more muffin tops, and the shape of my face is different.
I've developed stamina for cardio workouts of all sorts, and have steadily increased my workload in weightlifting.
The greatest change? As Whitney Houston sang in "The Greatest Love of All," I've learned to depend on me.
· By digging deep within to push through sometimes brutal workouts,
· By getting to the gym even when motivation was low,
· By examining my relationships with others – how I see them and how they see me,
· By opening myself to opportunity,
· By following my trainer's instructions even when I was scared,
· By exploring and gaining understanding of how I used food for coping rather than for nutrition,
· By reading the experiences of others,
· By evaluating who and what are most important in my life,
· By speaking my insecurities and listening to the honesty of loved ones, particularly my husband, and
· By praying and reflecting…
I've learned who I am, and found that I am strong.
I never knew that before.
Since the start of the contest, with no place to hide from published monthly weigh-ins, I've learned to face challenges, and to find that I really am strong, and I really can endure.
I've always admired strong people, more than I can express. And now I know that while I'll never be perfect, and while I may end up as the most slender 234.4 pound woman you've ever seen, I am strong. I'm strong enough to work with others; I'm strong enough to continue my hard work, no matter what the scale says; I'm strong enough to be humble and imperfect; I'm strong enough to look everyone in the eye; I'm strong enough to speak up, and strong enough to listen.
Physically and emotionally: I'm strong.
That realization is my greatest change.