Saturday, August 10, 2013

Do something that scares you

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In her book, Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg asks, "What would you do if you weren't afraid?" She asks the question in relation to work, but I immediately thought of my personal life. I'm on a crazy scary adventure. When you begin losing weight it feels like looking up from the bottom of the mountain. You can see the goal in your head (hint: it's the top), but you're all, how am I going to get up there?

Inka trail, January 3rd, 2013
The journey isn't about quick fixes (which sucks), but about making sustainable changes in your life. You have to have a vision of what you want and you have to make sacrifices to get there. I can't think of anyone who thinks "hmmm I'm going to change the way I've acted for 20 years, this is going to be fun!" It's about facing the scary things in your life. I'll be honest in the beginning it isn't fun and in the middle it isn't that fun either. You have to believe that you are going to get there. Being afraid of making changes is normal and it takes a big leap of faith in yourself to get there. You just have to jump.

Talking about weightloss 
The first time I posted a progress pic to Instagram I immediately deleted it. I wasn't ready to share with the world my "before" because I wasn't even ready to accept that as my "before". I've always known that I was overweight, but I tried to never let it bother me. In fact, I made a point of always making sure my weight was not the reason I could not do something. But by focusing on making it not an issue, I was slowly creating a scary (and literal) elephant in the room. I was not comfortable talking about it. When you voice something it becomes real and part of me was terrified of making my weight loss journey a real thing. Now, talking about my journey is something that makes me excited. I'm over the moon about the changes I've made in my life and excited to share as I go along. I've accepted that this is a "real thing".

Stand Up Paddleboarding
I was sitting in the back of the car in Austin during my July 4th vacation when my sister suggested stand up paddleboarding (SUP). The funny thing about this is that she has been suggesting going SUP for YEARS. What was the difference this time, you might ask? Well, for starters, there was another person in the car with us.

Enter: Sam. Whereas I am seeing red signs and do not pass go at the suggestion of paddleboarding, Sam gets very very excited. Turns out, she has done it before and had a great time. I remained dubious. I have a funny (and not effective) tactic when I'm scared of doing something. I just start hoping/wishing/praying that it won't work out. Even after it had been decided we were going to go paddleboarding, I was just sitting there thinking that the store might be closed or there would be too long of line for us to go. Wrong.

It all worked out and 45 minutes later I was sitting on a board terrified of standing up. When you are overweight, balance is one of those things that you aren't that great at. I didn't want to fall in the water, but what would have been worse for me (and more embarrassing) was giving up. I gritted my teeth and felt super afraid while moving wobbly legs on a tilting board. One leg followed the other and I stood up for the first time. I was super unsteady, but I was on my way!

I've now gone paddleboarding three times and I actually enjoy it. I've fallen in once and guess what. It wasn't even that big of a deal.

What have you done lately that scares you?


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