So, what has changed?

I have recently posted about new achievements with fitness, nutrition and mindset. 

For many many years I was in complete denial about my lifestyle and the effects it had on my wellbeing. I had no desire to do anything much other than sit around feeling sorry for myself, believing that I did not deserve anything other than what I had. Which was very little in terms of satisfaction with my life and who I was as a human being. I buried my emotions by eating everything in sight and rarely noticed or acknowledged what I was feeling. I essentially numbed myself so I didn’t have to acknowledge the state my life was in.

Signing up for the 12WBT has been instrumental (amongst other significant events in my life) in helping me to regain and create the life I want. Round 1, 2012 was rocky and I allowed my mind to rule my behaviours. I regularly ate unhealthy foods (though they WERE a lot healthier than I used to eat) and did not train. My weight yo-yo’d throughout the 12 weeks and I think I gained and shed the same 5-6kg again and again for about 8 weeks of the round. 

Also during the round I was dealing with the after effects of two major things in my life. Firstly, in week 1 I completed the thesis required for my psychology honours program, which left me with a lot of empty space in my diary and my head. The other significant events revolved around my personal boundaries. I had people in my life who regularly stepped over those invisible lines, primarily because I was unaware of where they were myself, and therefore I did not enforce them. In realising where those lines were, I chose to pare down the number of people in my life, and more specifically, the number of people in my home. This left me with a lot of left over angst, including guilt, shame and uncertainty about where to go next. There was a hole left not only in my home, but in my head.

So, much of round 1 was spent processing some of these emotions and dealing with them. I made plenty of mistakes, ate lots of “wrong” things and paid the price with a lot of fluid retention, bloating, a lack of exercise and frustration with myself. However, I learned a lot about my body and how it reacted to certain foods, particularly those with sodium. This has clarified for me, how my body reacts and processes certain foods. 

At the end of each round of 12WBT a major finale event occurs in a chosen capital city. For round 1 the event was in Melbourne. A large outdoor group workout in the morning, followed by a more formal celebratory event in the evening. The 30+ crew, being the huge supportive team they are, arranged for a large number of us to attend the event, staying in the same general area and getting together for various events and milestones over the relevant weekend. At the encouragement from the team, I decided that I would attend the event and took 2 weeks leave from work to take a decent break and visit family and friends.

I decided to do a road trip and visited some of the 30+ crew in Dubbo, Orange, Canberra and Melbourne. I committed to climbing the 1000 steps in Ferntree Gully, had dinner with a large group the night before the event, and then participated in the official world record breaking outdoor workout and the formal evening event. 

With extremely sore muscles following the Friday and Saturday workouts, it wasn’t until I was 3 hours north of Melbourne on my way home on the Sunday morning, that I began to realise exactly how big these events had been for me. For someone who had always avoided any strenuous activity through fear of failure, even attempting something like climbing 1000 steps was a huge deal. Add to that the continuous movement for 1 hour 20 minutes during the official Saturday workout, and then attending the formal event in the evening, it took me a while to realise how huge this was for me. Meeting a lot of the crew in person during these events I think added to the overwhelm and suddenly, during the drive home, it hit me. Participating in this weekend was a big achievement and it showed me that I am capable of a lot more than I had previously considered.

So, about 2 days after arriving home and having a chance to allow my brain to process everything that had happened, without realising it, something clicked in my head. I suddenly found myself feeling slightly ill at the thought of eating unhealthily. By the time I arrived home it was well into the preseason for round 2, so I did some work on those tasks, which helped me to clarify what I wanted in my life and those thoughts (excuses) that were holding me back from getting it. I’m not exactly sure what actually clicked in my head, but regardless, the results I have achieved since coming home (blogged in a previous post) has been unparalleled for me. 

I have no doubt that a large portion of my success since being home has been due to my experiences while in Melbourne. And of course this must include the meetings with members of the 30+ crew, their incredible support, the atmosphere of participating in the finale events, both official and unofficial, and meeting the people along the road trip that got me to the events. Every single one of these people, and more, have helped me to get into the headspace I currently enjoy. Thanks girls!

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