Progress Pics

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Become a "try" athlete

The days have become weeks that became months and the time has flown by. Seems like only yesterday that I was a 400-plus pound woman who could barely get out of bed in the morning.

I never binge anymore and very rarely stray from my food plan. And when I say NEVER, I mean never. Numerous other destructive habits have vanished and I have been thinking and evaluating the WHY of it. I tried to get here before and failed. Why was I able to do it this time?

I see so many people on these blogs who suffer with the excess weight, obsessive food behaviors and all that goes with it. They have trouble getting started on a path of change, or they start but have frequent returns to binge-behavior or other behaviors that halt their progress and make them feel worse about themselves.

I have been trying to understand how I arrived where I am now, and also how to articulate it in a way that might be useful to others. I will be sharing my thoughts on this here and there, beginning with this post today.

They say there is no magic pill. No, there isn't. But that doesn't mean that there is not magic. There is, and it is in you-- it is just a matter of learning how to access it.

The Nike ads say "just do it." That's great for average people but for the morbidly obese, the binge eaters and others like us, there is no long-lasting transformative power in merely "doing." We should know, as we've been on 67 million diets and started so many fitness programs that we lost count years ago.

For me, (and I am convinced it applies to others like me) there is no transformative power in merely doing, the power is in the becoming-- in the being. Let me explain this a few different ways.

A diet is something that you do, as is an "exercise program." They are something that you do, NOT something that you are. As something that you do, it is just as easy to stop doing them, and eventually, we generally do stop-- and find ourselves back at square one-- or perhaps even FATTER than when we started.

As fat people, our sense of identity and self-worth is severely injured and impaired. Countless times we tried to change our identity from someone who eats too much to someone who is able to stay on a "diet," and each time we fail, we feel worse about ourselves.

In talking with former fat people who have become runners and body builders and kept the weight off successfully for years, I realized that diet and exercise are only effective if they are used as tools to help you become the healthy, powerful and energetic athelete that you could be.

You can start a diet on Monday and go off of it by Wednesday. But once you become an athelete, you are an athelete EVERYDAY and will be very likely to make choices that will support that instead of working against it.

I am not suggesting that we all try to become championship swimmers, ultra marathon runners or olympic-class body builders. That is not usually realistic for people with careers and family to deal with.

If you've always been fat, never have been atheletic, never played a sport then I understand that this would be difficult for you. It was for me too. I never before pushed myself physically as I have been doing now. I never knew my own limits. Didn't know what I could or could not do. Finding out, venturing into uncharted territory is empowering beyond anything else I have ever tried.

Food, whether pigging our or depriving myself of it, used to have such monumental power. It was the center of my universe. The Gospel according to Lori-Ann. Now it is just a tool to get my atleticism where I want it to be.

No, this is not going to be easy. Worthwhile things seldom are. Set a goal. See the athelete you can be and avoid anything that does not support that. Keep going until the day comes when you feel up to really testing your limits-- at that moment, walk a little faster, swim until you cannot do another stroke, up the weights on the bar, lift your legs higher while doing your aerobics dvd and don't stop, don't stop, don't stop and THEN---------

A crack will form in the door that's hiding the magic in you, the magic that will help you do the seemingly impossible with your body. Yeah, I know you might have been the fat girl or boy at school who hated gym, hated sports. That's because you thought you couldn't do it. There was no one around to tell you that you could and to guide you to that point, but there is now! I'm tellin' ya, you CAN do this. You CAN become an athelete and put all of this fat business behind you.

For myself, I am a bit older than some of you. I arrived late in the game so I don't have as many years left to enjoy my body and my health. For this reason, as I look toward the new year and ponder what my goals should be-- I have decided to take this to the limit and beyond.

It is no longer enough for me to get to goal weight and think of myself as an athlele-- I am taking this over the top. I am NOT allowing myself a comfort zone for any length of time, any time soon. Every time I reach a new level of strength and endurance I intend to go past it, to go beyond what I think I can do-- and to keep repeating this again and again.

So for 2010-- I am challenging one and all to become a "TRY" athlete. Don't just do, BECOME! Keep trying and experiementing until you find your path, then keep pushing until you can maintain a good stride. Nothing will stop you after that!

I don't know how to make "awards" or banners-- or else I'd make one to give to everyone who wants to give this a try.

If one person benefits by what I've written here, I'll be thrilled! Rock on, homies!


  1. WOW! This is one powerful post (from a powerful woman!!). What you said really touched me. You are so committed. I love that you are going to keep pushing yourself. Go, girl!!!

  2. I love your enthusiasm. It's contagious!

  3. And thanks for commenting on my blog about the sweet potatoes. I have a Whole Foods near my house. Looks like I'll be hitting the sweet potato department this week.

  4. Hi Lori-Ann. A very powerful and thought provoking post. Reminds me about Mizfit saying things didn't work for her until she focused on what her body could do rather than what it looked like. And then everything fell into place.

    A lot of us try to lose weight so we look better, but maybe that is too shallow a goal to be sustainable. Obviously looking nice is important too. But if there's no greater purpose to your weight loss than how you look then it's easy to see how that can just be thrown aside when things get tough.

    What you have is a desire to achieve ever greater things with your body, and as you say, the eating is just in service of that.

    It's like your focus has shifted entirely.

    It's unfortunate I don't have any desire to be an athlete! I don't think my joints are up to any running - they ache enough as it is. One thing I am thinking about is weight lifting. I've always avoided it before because I build muscle very easily and don't want to end up looking like Arnold Schwarza-snigger. But I really am seeing the need to have a greater purpose here.

    As I say, plenty to think about!

    Best wishes,
    Bearfriend xx

  5. I agree, this is a really powerful post. I love how committed you are and how much you are pushing yourself to succeed. You are going to do it and it's going to be awesome! You've already come so far... you have a really amazing and powerful story!

  6. Hi Lori Ann, wow... Thank you... I really, hoonestly needed to come to your blog tonite. I just wrote out a full fledge "frustration" post on my blog and I was gonna log off after, but was drawn to your blog. I'm so glad I listened to that inner voice. Your blog helped me see that despite the little set backs, I can do this!
    Thank you so much.

  7. Hi Lori Ann... wow.. thank you so much. I really needed to see what you had to say today. I just finished writing a post in my blog about my frustrations..and I am so glad I stopped by to read yours tonight. Your an inspiration.

  8. Lori-Ann, I was going to make a quick remark about the great play on words, but as I read the post, I realized how much substance there was to this. Thanks for taking the time to write this.

  9. Woo hoo! You are an athlete Lori-Ann. The variety and intensity of your workouts inspire me to push myself harder... I am so glad our paths have crossed and am very much looking forward to reaching our goals!

  10. Thanks for stopping by and your comment!!

    Inspiring words to live by and to follow!! Thanks for the inspiration to get moving more!!

  11. Wonderful post. I love the picture. I'm going to have to e-mail it to my niece. she loves guinea pigs.

  12. Great post! And good to not really have an "end point" just keep at it and not feel like you have "arrived" which could spur complacency. That is what I am trying to focus on, too....not on reaching a goal...but creating a lifelong journey of fitness and wellness. Three cheers for that! :)

  13. Hi there! I really enjoyed this post. I am a big proponent of thinking of ourselves as athletes who are training. Not just exercising and dieting. Maybe a 5K would be a nice goal for 2010? Or you've probably got something in mind. I believe that all kinds of things are possible when we open ourselves to the possibilites. I'm going to shoot for a full marathon. Who knows? Dream Big!!

  14. I love this post! I think what really struck is that you kept stressing that we can all be athletes... I still to this day after P90X, Shaun T's INSANITY, 4 half marathons, and 1 full marathon tell people "I am not an athlete." Reading your post made me think that I will never EVER say that again! Thank you!!!

    And, those Jillian workouts are no JOKE! I'm going to try Trouble Zones tomorrow or Friday. Yikes!

  15. Love love love the positive attitude!


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