Two years ago on my 40th birthday i was at the doctor’s office. I wanted to check if it was alright to start doing some sports with that weak knee that i have. It seemed all okay and he just wanted to take my bloodpressure in the end.
It was high.. not extremely but given my age if it would progress like that it would become a very serious problem. So to see what i was at healthwise i had to get some tests done. Bloodwork, sugarlevels, kidney function, potassium levels, cholesterol, the whole shebang.
I was very nervous when i got the results. They were surprising.
They were all allright, some even bordering normal healthy regions, which was actually very good for someone who weight 112.6 kg (248lbs). So my bloodpressure (which was 146/95) was the only problem. He spoke the magical words “sure i can give you a pill, but i believe that if you lose some weight you’ll be just fine”.
So i told him “than that’s what i’ll do”.
Two years later, my weight on my birthday was 80.6kg (177lbs) and my bloodpressure 116/85.
The majority of the weight i lost in the first year. In the spring i was at my lightest, 77kg (170lbs). The weightloss was such a journey. Learning about nutrition, which was so valuable, as i can admit that i’m a comfort eater. When i get stressed i turn to food or more specifically to candy.
Especially in the last year the true transformation began. There were things i wanted to do, goals i wanted to achieve.
I walked 1900km in one year mainly due to Ingress, the game i started in september 2014.
I did my first 5k. Sure i walked but that doesn’t matter. It was the color run here in Bergen op Zoom and it was awesome. I did the Eifel tower by stairs, together with Nadia when we were in Paris. 704 steps up.. and down.
I did the 4 days of evening walks (avond 4 daagse) 10km together with Alice. Blisters.. mainly due to not having the right kind of shoes.
It was time for a new goal, so I registered for a Strong Viking Obstacle color run. My mom gave me a membership for the gym, because this was something i knew i needed to actually train for. I started going to the gym and surprised myself with how fit i had become.
Than, two weeks before the run i decided it was time to push through my fear of running. My fear that my knee would buckle or that i just wasn’t in the right shape to run.
So i ran. I did it. When i stopped i cried.
The viking run i ran the biggest part where it was possible to run. It was awesome. Turns out my weakness isn’t my legs, it’s not even my knee (while it did take me 3 days to recover from the race). It was my upper torso and arm strength compared to my current weight.
So i have my work cut out for me in the gym to prepare for the strong viking i want to do in the spring.
That’s the physical stuff. What i tell friends is that it feels like i have been given this new body and that i’m finding out what the boundries are and to which extremes i can push it. I’m still surprised just how far i can push it and that feels very amazing.
But the biggest change didn’t happen physically. Sure that’s the part that’s visable at the outside, but i wouldn’t have been able to do this if i hadn’t changed on the inside.
I’m terrified to fail. It’s such a crippling fear that i sabotage myself to even start to do some things. I needed a complete new mindset and learn to love myself with my imperfections. Going from “I can’t do this, so i won’t even try” to “not sure if i can do this but i’ll try and see how far i get”. It got me very.. very far. completing goals and surprising myself. Sometimes i fell flat on my face.
Like last sunday. It was T-sessie and i had set myself the challenge to sing “rolling in the deep” by adele. A complex song, which i know i would be able to sing voice wise but honestly i didn’t really know the song well enough.
So i did it anyway and it was a humbling experience. It taught me that the base is there and yeah i can do it but to actually sing that song on stage i need practice both with the song and my voice. So that’s how i filed that experience away, people still told me they thought it was great. I sang “nobody’s wife” and “proud mary” that afternoon too and just killed it, blowing people away. That was awesome, but what i take away from that t-session is knowing what i can still work on and i don’t feel bad at all that “rolling in the deep” didn’t go that well, because i still tried.
What would happen in the past is that i would use this to torment myself for a long time to come. That i sucked and probably just should never get back on the stage again because i would want to spare the people seeing me fail.
Another big change this year has been that i do have paid work now. It started with me entering a re-integration project which due to some stuff not being clear and me not knowing what to expect that i had a lot of stress over the summer. How i tried to cope with that was another educational experience. I fell back in old patterns and turned to candy. That’s why i gained 5kg over the summer. I have been trying to navigate my coping mechanisms to find one which would work for me and not result into weightgain. I’m still working on that. It’s probably the hardest challenge of them all.
My food is good, healthy and of good variety. My excersize is too. Now this last thing, if i manage to overcome this i know i will never go back to that old weight.
Having work that’s very physical helps. Walking and lifting many things and not as much as a single muscle ache. I work 20-25 hours a week, which is not enough to be out of welfare yet, but it’s a start. Moneywise i’m doing fine, i have learned to get by of this amount and i have a very good contact person at the welfare office who’s very proud of me that i came this far. She knows that I need time to get used to working these hours before i try and work enough to completely be out of welfare. Small steps.
And while this work is alright, i know it’s not what i want to do in the future. I actually found out what i want to become when i grow up.
So that’s up next for this upcoming year. I need to finish my course for nutrition specialist and see if i can manage to completely get out of welfare. Keep track of that balance between work and things at home and my food so none of them slip away.
I am so proud of myself.