done looking for the critics (week 9)

I wish I could be on The Biggest Loser or Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition. I so wish I could be. But I can't.

There's nothing stopping me from applying other than myself. And maybe the fact that I might not have enough weight to lose.

The thought that if I gained more weight and then tried out has crept into my mind. If I got back to the weight I started at, then maybe, just maybe, I could get on the show. It's backwards thinking since I'm already well on my way to losing 100 pounds.

But there's something about seeing people's stories on television that gets to me. There's this huge part of me that wants nothing more than to be able to put my story out there on television as well. It's not that my story is all that interesting - because really it's no different than most people's. I've had plenty of hurts. Plenty of things have happened that helped me to gain weight. But I've dealt, and am dealing, with those things. I'm peeling back all the reasons I gained so much weight in the first place, and I'm taking a good, long hard look at myself in the mirror. And I'm learning to love myself again.

I'm doing all the things the contestants on The Biggest Loser and Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition do - working out, trying to eat right, sorting through all my issues. And I'm documenting it all here on this blog. But I'm able to filter some of it which isn't possible on television. I'm able to choose what I talk about and what I share. With a television show, it wouldn't be up to me to decide what aired and what didn't. That would be in the hands of the editor and producer.

I think that's part of the reason why I want to be on a show. I want there to be no filter, and honestly, I'm just not brave enough, right now, to take the filter away and talk about every single thing that led to my needing to lose so much weight.

But with television, there wouldn't be a choice. And with television, there would be a trainer and a life coach there with you - available always by phone. With a blog, there's just me and the gym. I have friends I can reach out to, but really it's up to me, and only me, to work through whatever I have to work through. Really it's up to me to succeed.

You can still fail with television. I know that. There was one failure on last season's Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition. And while it hurt me to know that person wasn't able to lose all the weight, it made me respect the show so much for their determination to be honest and really show that one person's year long story.

And, really, with a show like those there is so much support available to you. A home gym provided inside your house and healthy groceries for a year. Do you know what I could, and would, do with those things? Do you know how wonderful it would be to not have to worry about where to buy groceries and how much I am spending? Do you know how great it would be to know that as soon as I got out of bed I would have access to equipment?

I'm sure most people do know. Most people want those things too.

There's a part of me that has really wondered if I could do this. A part of me that thought losing 100 pounds would be impossible. And there's a part of me that, for about a month, made it impossible.

I've always been equally afraid of success and failure. If I fail, then what happens? But if I succeed, where do I go next? A month away from the gym was my way of stopping my success and also ensuring failure.

You see, when you spend months and months working out, it becomes a part of you. If I was angry, I exercised. When I was upset, I spent time on the elliptical. During the times when I was stressed and anxious, I turned to the gym.

And then I stopped. I blamed in on strep throat. And then on exhaustion. Finally on my knee. And instead of handling everything with time in the gym, I stopped handling things.

Stepping back into the gym on Monday was equally wonderful and terrible. I climbed onto the elliptical and finished a work out that rivaled the work outs I did before I stopped going to the gym. And I felt proud. Excited. Alive.

But then Tuesday came, and the time I spent in the gym was horrible. I was on the verge of tears during my time on the elliptical and then on the stationary bicycle. I didn't know why.

It happened again on Wednesday and on Thursday. All of these emotions rising up in me. Memories of how out of place I felt the first time I entered the gym. Memories of all the time I spent not exercising, all the time I spent taking care of everyone else but never myself.  Reminders of how scary it is to begin living your life in a completely different manner.

I was on my way home from work on Thursday when it hit me - the reason it was so hard to get into the gym again after a month and the reason I've felt on the verge of tears all week. I took in a deep breath and then I let the tears fall. And I promised myself that, even though I'm not on a television show and even though I don't have what those of television shows have, I would never again let myself fail or come close to failure.

Because, not only can I do this, I am doing this.

(title from "f*ckin' perfect" by pink)

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