I'll Find Strength in Pain. And I Will Change My Ways.

3.27.2011 - Sunday

Yesterday was my 36th birthday. I'm not one of those girls that gets all weird about getting older. In fact, I've rather enjoyed my 30s. Yeah sure, I'd like my 20-year-old face and skin, but I sort of like getting older because my story gets better with age. I always find my birthdays exciting.  This birthday is particularly special because, at 36-years-old, I am in the best shape of my life. And it's only getting better!

Since I started booty school, I feel better about myself than I have...ever. I also really believe in myself for once. I am historically the queen of self-doubt. The past 33 days have changed the way I perceive myself and my abilities. I've allowed the negative opinion I have of myself to be the catalyst for self-sabotage throughout my adulthood. One example is my failed pursuit of an acting career in my early 20s. I never truly believed that I would be successful...so I made sure I wasn't by barely trying and then ultimately, giving up. And while I am the one person in control of my thoughts and actions, I admit that I have let  the opinions of negative people in my life affect my decisions as well. You see, when a gal already doesn't believe in herself, it's really easy for the Debbie Downers of the world to perpetuate the idea that failure is your only guarantee. 

One great thing about getting older and, I'd like to think, wiser, and gaining a little self-confidence on the way, is that you start to realize that those people need you to be miserable because they are themselves miserable. I've been there. I've been the angry, jealous "friend" that felt resentful of a much happier friend, simply because she was happy and enjoying success. It's not a side of myself that I'm proud of, but at least I can recognize and admit it. I hated her, because I hated myself.

But one day, you wake up and say, "Negative people suck. I LIKE ME! I don't have time in my life for people who don't." This really can't happen until you start to love and believe in yourself. Problem is, when you're not happy, you tend to be a magnet for other unhappy people. When you're happy...you get the idea. I know I can't live in the past, but I hate like hell that I've wasted so much energy caring about the opinions of self-loathing, negative ninnies. Hopefully 36 is the age you really stop caring about "those people" so you can concentrate on yourself and the people that have always loved you, even when you didn't love yourself.

Here are a few my my favorite quotes uttered by my very own collection of Debbie Downers when I embarked on my booty-lifting journey:
"You'll never be able to maintain when this is over." We'll just see about that Nancy Negative.
"You can't lose 20 pounds in 8 weeks." It's actually 9.5 weeks, but I've already lost 15 pounds and I've got 33 days to go.
"Saddle bags are just a part of YOUR body. You'll always have them." This frienemy hates it when I feel good about myself.
"How is your husband handling this?" I wasn't diagnosed with stage 4 cancer! What's to handle?
"Even if you don't make it through the program, it's cool you got in." Read: I don't think you'll get through the entire 65 days.
"It's absurd to think you'll ever weigh 135 pounds." Women hating women.
"You'll look anorexic when this is over." Someone really missed the point.

Once again people, I'm not trying to look like this:

or this:

I'm trying to look like THIS:
 Lean and toned...

I know that I can't change the opinions of the Doubting Thomases in my life, but I can absolutely change the way their opinions affect me. I believe with all of my heart and soul that I can and will look like the girl in that third picture. April 29th is not my deadline for achieving this goal. April 29th is simply the end date of this program. I can and will maintain the weight and inches lost during this program. I can and will continue to work hard until I reach my goal. I can and will eat clean and healthy foods, and exercise until the day I drop dead.

When this is over, I will go back to my "normal" life, but I will be a stronger person - physically and mentally. And of course I'll enjoy myself...in moderation. My husband's aunt make the world's best margaritas and you can bet your ass I'll be enjoying one poolside come July. But the difference this year - and forever - is that I'll only have one (maybe 2), and I will know when to stop filling my body with empty calories and go back to my bottle of water. 

I can't describe how healthy I feel after 33 days of clean eating and exercise. It's unbelievably satisfying to look in the mirror and see the changes in my body and my complexion and to feel so empowered. This is the way I want to live my life. This is the way I WILL live my life.
The only person that can guarantee my success or failure, is ME.

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