Yesterday [Sunday] was one of those days! You know the type of day you read about in a book or the kind of day you imagine happens right after the point at which your favourite movie ends. I'll never forget today... Not for the fact I was in the Weight Watchers magazine (which was pretty damn awesome might I add) but because today was one of those days where it felt like all the stars aligned and two things became so radiantly clear to me as if they had been right in front of me the whole time, I just didn't see them.
Firstly - You are AWESOME:
I am surrounded by awesome people. Awesome people who care about me. I have gotten so many texts, messages, phone calls and emails from different people - from my parents who are currently away on holidays to my Weight Watchers leader Phil, from work colleagues to aunts and uncles, from some of my best friends to people I have never even met before.
I am so fortunate for having such a fantastic family and an amazing group of friends (both in real life and through Twitter & this Blog). I am a sociable person and what started as an online diary for me to voice my random WW or running thoughts and experiences has become so much more than that. It has become an online account of my journey from where I was to where I am now. It has also become a place that has made ME accountable and turned ME into a better me.
Sometimes when I am having an 'off' week, or having one of those moments of self doubt in a race where you think 'I can't push any harder'... the other part of my brain kicks in and says 'But think the blog post you can write about once this is done'. So while I accept each of your thanks that have been directed my way, I have never really said Thanks to you. Thanks for reading this blog and thanks for keeping me accountable to someone other than myself.
Secondly - Where's the Finish Line?
Looking at my pictures side by side in the magazine today, I realised that in my head I don't identify with either the people shown above as me. I don't see myself as the 19st John in the check shirt that doesn't close, nor do I see myself as the 12st John in the check shirt they had to pin around the back as it was too big the day of the photo shoot (true fact!). The only thing I do know looking at all those pictures of me is that I do love a check shirt - but that's besides the point.
With any race, there is a start, mid point and finish line. Nothing makes me happier than reaching half way in a race as I know that from that point onwards, I am heading straight for the finish line. I know that once I cross the finish line, the race is over. I can chill out, have some food and catch up with friends/my other half beyond the finish.
Seeing the words 'Success Story' written in print with my story underneath made me realise something... I am not finished - This isn't the end. I know I am not at Goal yet but I don't even see that as the end. My goal posts have moved every time I have gotten near them. Like the stairs analogy I have used before, once I get to a mini-goal, I look forward to the next goal - be it the next half stone, the next BMI range, the next stone - I have always been looking forward.
The "problem" now as such is that once I reach Goal... I will have reached the top of the stairs but it isn't game over. There is no finish line that marks the point at which I can stop running and now just sit back and relax with my feet up. The goal posts have moved so far apart that now something else has happened... Instead of looking AT the goalposts as my point of focus, they have moved so far apart that I have no choice but to look at the wide open space between the goals.
That wide open space IS my Finish Line. It's out there somewhere - just not at a particular point or place in time. I will not cross the finish line when I lose the last few stubborn lbs that seem to be hanging on for dear life. I will not cross the finish line when I own a goal card. I will not cross the finish line when I complete my first marathon.
I have no Finish Line. And when I stop and take the time to look around... I can see that these two facts were always in front of me, staring me in the face since before any weight loss happened. I have always been surrounded with awesome people - and it turns out that weight loss journey I started off on last year has no finish line. I'm totally cool with that because I am fortunate.
I am fortunate that I have a wonderful amazing other half who supports and encourages me in everything that I do. I am fortunate to have found something I love in running. I am fortunate to have had the strength to start in the first place. I am fortunate to have been given the opportunity to represent Weight Watchers. It has helped me stare at my success on paper and think... What's next?