Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Just Be

The Michelle Bridges 12WBT gave me the title of Top Transformation in Round 2 2011.  I wasn't at all prepared for that & although it is still an absolute honour, it's also a challenging title to live up to.

My friend had seen me go through this huge change and also seen the down side.  This post is because of him.  I want to thank him for helping me realise that I don't have to be super woman.  He knew me from before my 12WBT transformation. His simple words of "Just Be" on Sunday 8 July 2012 have hit home with me (thank goodness!!!). It's more than ok for me to Just Be rather than continually strive for something that most likely won't make me happy. 

A huge thanks also goes to my Pirate training buddies for their support and sharing their personal information with me for this post.

All my life I just wanted to be normal. To fit into normal clothes, to do normal things and to be accepted by others as normal.  12WBT has given me the tools to create the best version of me.  I've been striving to create the best version of me for 18 months. Am I there yet? Who knows.

I usually write a blog post in an hour as it’s just a spur of the moment thing where I want to capture my thoughts in text.  I've been writing this blog for over a month. I keep getting  new information and i then try to focus on those different angles.  My thoughts were getting pretty complex and it was just making it difficult to write anything that made sense.  I was trying to do research to find answers on what is "normal" but that was just a whole lot more complicated than I expected.  My day to day life was reflecting this complicated word and it was tough for me.

 Definitions of Normal
 - conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; regular; natural.
 - the standard or common type.
 - the average or mean.
 - usual or ordinary.

Those definitions are just open to interpretation and non specific.  Is my ultimate goal to be non-specific??  No, I'm organised, goal-orientated, colour-coded, quirky and a get-it-done girl.  So why do I want to be normal?

I asked my training buddies across Australia (we call ourselves Pirates) for information on their heights and weights as they are all "normal" size to me and I love the support group we have formed.  They are like minded people, give high fives when they are due and also give the facts for reality checks when we need them too.  Thirty five Pirates submitted their details.  Their heights and weights range from 155cm and 43kg to 178cm and 81kg.  Their BMIs range from 18 to 26.  Their clothes sizes range from 6 to 12.  All thirty five of them are different.  No one is the same height and weight. These people, like me, are striving to create the best version of themselves.  We have even committed to a bikini photo shoot in November 2012 as a fun goal to keep us on track.

Although i have been strength training since February, I've been training to fatigue for about a month in June 2012.  It felt amazing.  I was increasing my weights every week and at the end of each workout I felt so proud that I worked so hard.  It was empowering and I loved every second of it.

I had a slight set back in late June 2012 that was concerning and I thought it was due to over-training. My specialist assured me I was not making myself worse and I just needed to listen to my body and rest when necessary. It was great to receive this reassurance and breath a sigh of relief.

My set back got me thinking... No matter how muscly or squishy my butt is, am I ever going to think I am normal?  Unlikely.  I will always be critical and striving for perfection.  Well, my mind and body can't take that kind of pressure at the moment, and honestly, I don't want that kind of pressure anymore.  It's draining me trying to be something that I can't even guarantee will make me happy.

I go back to what my definition of normal has always been.  Size 12, confident, and able to just blend in and not be judged on my size.

For the last 8 months I have been a size 10 to 12, I don't stand out or feel like the hugest person in the room and I have finally experienced a glimpse of confidence.  So... I guess I'm normal... but why don't I feel normal?

I believe goal setting is important.  However, it's making me unhappy in the present setting challenging goals, even though I think that when I achieve the goal I will be happy in the future.  I have set and achieved so much yet each time I set another goal I am back at square one striving for excellence rather than enjoying the goal I just achieved. 

My motto for 2011 was going from Yuk to Yay.  In 2012 I began with having the Confidence to Conquer.  I now know that continually Conquering is draining!  So this is what I'm going to try to live by for the next six months and see how I go...

FUEL my body to function
MOVE to feel good

That word "normal" is officially removed from my vocabulary as it did nothing but make me unhappy.  It's time to Just Be.



  1. There is no such thing as normal.
    If you feel happy, then you have achieved your goal. It's not a number or a dress size :)

  2. This is such a great post! Even though I've still got a long way to go from being 'yuk to yay', the whole 'what is normal' thing has been something I've battled with for years. Even when I got down to a size 12...my idea that I wasn't 'normal' sent my confidence plummeting, my emotional eating sky rocketed into a spiral and I've ended back up where I started. I didn't realise that I was what you could probably class as 'normal' or like you say 'just being'. I really think the term 'normal' is a confidence sucker...as no one will ever be 'normal' especially in their own eyes.

    Great GREAT post!

    1. Thank you so much for your comments.
      Generally speaking, women are so critical of themselves. I just keep setting goal after goal and get disappointed if I dont achieve them. If I do achieve them I set a new goal straight away and just forget to enjoy what I have just achieved! Whereas I should be saying "Hey you are awesome. You are fit and healthy. You need to appreciate how hard you have worked to get to this point".
      No one can make you realise this but yourself ( and in my case I had a little help from my friend during a low moment). I really hope that people read this blog, take a step back and give themselves a few high fives :)

    2. Oh and I think you hit the nail on the head when you wrote "the term 'normal' is a confidence sucker...as no one will ever be 'normal' especially in their own eyes"
      Sad but true in so many cases :(

  3. Such an honest, reflective and raw post Mary. Thanks for taking the time to articulate and share your thoughts. So often I read something that helps to organise what's in my head, helping to find clarity and realise you're not alone and most importantly, not going crazy! Thankyou.

    The 12wbt is awesome, life changing, empowering. And to that list, only recently, I would also add, at times overwhelming. And not from a "I can't do this" perspective, but a finding balance perspective.... or in other words, finding a fit, a way to be yourself within the teachings, a way to love your life, to live your life without guilt, a way to Just Be.

    Mary, it sounds like it's been a big month for you. I hope that in future months and years, June 2012 marks a really significant point in your life. The point when you stopped waiting to achieve happiness and found it.

    1. I just re-read my post and your comment. I love your comment and hope you are doing really well :)

  4. I can identify with this! I am now at a good size & feel happy & healthy. But I know I've been beating myself up while on holiday for not training enough - although I've instead spent time with my 2 little active boys. I think it's hard when you have lost alot of weight (21kg for me) & changed shape but then need to work out how to deal with the dreaded "maintain"K without constantly stressing. Thanks again for a great post.

    1. 16 months have passed. How are you travelling Ange?

  5. I was thinking about your post some more and I think I worked out what it comes down to......
    It's BELONGING and being LOVED for you.
    People think if they look a certain way then they will 'fit in', 'be accepted' or 'be normal'. It's got nothing to do with how you look. It has got everything to do with how you feel.
    In the end, people want to belong and feel loved. The first step is loving yourself.

    1. I have re-read your comment after 16 months. I totally agree that the first step is loving yourself :) So important!

  6. I just re-read this post and comments 16 months after writing it. I had forgotten how great I felt when I chose to Just Be last year.
    Time to get that feeling back by leading a healthy and happy lifestyle :)