Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A New Me

Look at how life gets away from you when you are engaged and living. I just realized I haven't even updated my readers on my speech at Journey to Balance, let alone an update on the most transforming weekend of my life.

First things first, the speech. Let me tell you it was one of the starriest things I've done so far but I went into it with excitement. I went into it with the possibility of empowering someone to change their life. Now there was not 40 people there, but I would have felt the same regardless if there were 4 people or 400 people. Sharing yourself and being authentic about who you are in this world is extremely vulnerable. Unfortunately it was not taped so I don't have a video to share, but what I can share is the impact that it had on me. I recognize how powerful words are. I stood there living as a true example of someone who transformed body, mind and spirit. I shared myself and in return got a standing ovation and a personal sense of power I have never experienced.

Next...I was asked to contribute to a book called 1000 Tips for Teenagers along with 120 other passionate people. The book launched on November 20th which was National Child's day. I am super excited to receive my copy and see all the other contributions to this book. I know it will change many young lives. The book even made top 100 status in it's catagory, ranking #13 out of thousands of books. Kudos to all the contributors for taking a stand for teens and young adults to take charge of their lives.

What can be left, I just re-read what I wrote and that seems like alot of "stuff" going on for just a few days...What's left is the results of a life changing weekend. In August I completed the Landmark Forum and got power in my life back, but something was still lacking for me. There was still a small part of me that felt dis-empowered with respect to my body image. To be more specific, I was still, deep down, shameful of my weight loss. I felt personally responsible for where I got myself so I felt ashamed to be proud of the fact that I have lost 190 pounds. I realized over this weekend that I have been dis-empowering myself and those that I claim to be a leader for. This weekend I claimed my power back. I saw, for the first time ever, that my purpose on this planet is much bigger than simply a girl who lost 190 pounds. My purpose is to empower those I touch to find personal strength to take charge of their health. Something that the forum leader said was "when you are truly fulfilled in life and doing what you love, living for a purpose, you do not need food to fulfill you". Another thing that hit home was seeing really why I wasn't losing the "last 10 pounds". Any time you want something but aren't doing it there is a reason. Action produces results, but the source of getting action is being authentic with yourself about why you aren't acting. So when it comes to keeping weight on and not following through there is a pay off in it for you. A pay off isn't necessarily a good thing, it can be a way of protecting you. For me, I realized my entire way of being when it comes to conflict is to push people away. It is safer to push people away then to allow them in and take a chance that they may leave me. My pay off for keeping the last 10 pounds on has been that I get to continue to be the girl losing weight instead of the powerful girl who is impacting change in the world. Because being the girl losing weight is safer than being a person who stands up for others successes. My pay off has been playing it safe and not sharing that last vulnerable piece of myself.

The results of all this realization, I had some pretty amazing conversations with my siblings that I have never had. I opened my heart fully and shared exactly what I wrote above. I can now, completely and honestly, say that I feel like a different person inside and out. This is a picture of my sister and I at the completion of the Landmark Advanced Course last night. For me, even looking at this picutre, I can see myself as a different person...happier and confident, ready to take on whatever is next. Bring it on world, bring it on!!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Life Updated: Part 2

Last week I shared with all of you how I had taken the scale out of my life and was preparing to share my journey publicly at Journey to Balance which happens to be tomorrow afternoon.

So what could be more exciting than this? Well on top of this I started the Landmark Seminar series which runs for ten weeks. Our first session was last week. I was struggling with even going because it means giving up Wednesday night BWs in order to attend this for ten weeks. On one hand I knew it was important for me to finish my commitment and do the seminar but on the other hand I didn't want to miss class. Not only did I commit to attending, but I even volunteered to be a group leader. Opening the possibility in my life of being even more of a leader and stand for what I believe in. We talked about how each complaint is really a possibility in your life to create something.

What I realized was going on for me was the big complaint of "i'm not good enough". So that's pretty broad, but with this upcoming speaking and feeling nervous about it I realized this complaint was really creating an environment in my head where I was doubting my own ability to do this. To be more specific I think the complaint really is "my story isn't important enough, no one want's to hear about me anyway". Because I was replaying this complaint in my head I was doubting that I was going to be able to deliver an empowering speech. Then I realized, well obviously this is a silly complaint because I was asked to come and share my story so it must be important enough. And what is really important to me? Empowering others to make changes in their lives. Instead of this complaint I am choosing to create a possibility of delivering my story with confidence and just being me. So ready or not here I come!

On a more low key scale of excitement we got out new fridge delivered today. At this moment our kitchen looks like we hoard food with two fridges, but that will be resolved on Monday when the old one gets picked up by BC Hydro. ALSO for the first time in five years my home office is finally organized and de-cluttered - it's so freeing!!

How much more exciting can this get? Guess i'll have to see what happens tomorrow :)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Life Updated

A couple weeks ago I wrote a post about taking away the scale. These last few months I have been far too focused on the number which has actually had the opposite effect on me. For the first time ever I did not make my weight for the ten pound challenge, self sabotage took over. I could have done it, absolutely, but choices were made and consequences paid. So in order to get myself in the right head space I had to refocus myself and separate the number from my accomplishments and feelings. I found myself starting to weigh in at home after eating certain foods or mornings after higher calorie meals to see where I was. I started using the scale as a way to enable myself to eat more, because I had been "good". I don't like this. Last week I made a decision that I would put away my scale. I would not weigh myself one more time until the end of this Biggest Winner session, not even on Sundays. I have left the authority in Michele's hands that if I am not being accountable to the program, not writing in my book or appear to have gained 50 pounds this past week then she can weigh me, but I don't want to know. I need this time to refocus my head.

It has been an interesting week, I've caught myself wanting to weigh in and was able to recognize that those times I wanted to were times where I was losing doubt in my abilities to trust that I was capable. By stopping this cycle my aim is to develop my trust more and more in knowing that I would never go backwards. See, I know I won't go backwards but I think inwardly I don't necessarily trust that right now. It will be an interesting next 6 weeks and an experiment in developing my own self trust.

I have even more exciting news to share. At first I wasn't actually excited about this, actually I was petrified, but i'm turning the tables and am now excited. I was asked to share my story at an event on Sunday November 18th here in Victoria. It is called Journey to Balance, it is open to the public and will raise money to benefit PEERs Victoria Resource Centre. I have ten minutes to speak and share my own journey, it's exciting and scary all at the same time. Please like the page on Facebook or follow them on Twitter. This step of me sharing my story publicly is all about me creating the possibility of my life of being a stand for people making healthy changes. We all have that power in ourselves, we just have to dig deep and make it happen.

Update #2 on even more exciting news to come in a few days...stay tuned :)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Transformation of the Month: Jim Roepcke

A new month, means a new success story to highlight. So many proud moments happening, people accomplishing some big goals, it's always inspiring to see. November's success story is the male winner of our last session. Jim lost an incredible 40.2 pounds in 12 weeks. Take a look at his before and after pictures.

And here is Jim's story..

What was your heaviest weight?
I was 349 in May 2005, and despite getting 308 in 2007, back to 346 on January 2nd, 2012, the day of my big gall bladder attack.

What is your current weight?
This morning (October 13) I weighed myself at 276.2, a new low. That's down 12.6 pounds from the end of the summer BW session.

What is your goal weight?
Currently 230, but when I get there I will reevaluate and maybe set a lower goal weight.

How long have you struggled with weight?
From the age of 11, but it wasn't serious (because I kept active to keep it under control) until I was out of high school and no longer as active. I gained 30 pounds in the first year after high school, and 20 more pounds in the 6 months that followed that. At that point, at the age of 20, I destroyed my knee in a stupid avoidable accident, and after that I put on even more weight, which I still haven't taken off.
I lost 50 pounds (from 320 to 270) in 2000, and then gained it all back and more from 2001 to 2005.

What made you decide to join BWs?
I knew that if I had an environment where I could work out in a group setting with people with similar challenges and goals as me, have support and accountability, that I would flourish. I wanted to join a year earlier, but other commitments, financial uncertainty and a gallbladder disease made it impossible. Things finally lined up in June 2012, and I was joined for the July-September session.

What is the biggest non physical change you notice?
I'm happier and more confident. I look back at the summer of 2012 as the very best time of my life.

What is the biggest physical change?
Biggest? There are so many, and I'm not sure how to order them. Obviously, I'm much smaller and fit smaller clothes, and not carrying around so much extra weight means my stamina and agility has improved when playing sports and during other kinds of activities. I'm significantly stronger.

How do you involve your family in your weight loss journey? are they supportive?
My wife Cheryl is incredibly supportive! She joined BW for the first month. She has her own weight loss goal, and she's nearly there! In fact she's at "The Drill" at BDHQ as I write this on a Saturday morning. I don't know how to cook, so I really wanted Cheryl to join with me so we'd be on the same page as far as the nutritional guidelines went.

My kids and the rest of my family have also been very supportive and encouraging. This helps more than I can say.

What is your proudest moment in the last twelve weeks?
Wearing clothes I bought for myself at the start of a vacation to San Francisco in June 2009 but was never able to wear because I gained 15 pounds there in 2 weeks. Now those clothes are too big for me too. Oh, and now that I've read Rebecca's interview, I now remember being incredibly proud that I lost 3.6 pounds over the week I worked in San Francisco in late July. Previously I'd never gained less than 10 pounds during a week in San Francisco.

What are your fitness goals?
I want to be able play tennis and squash like I could when I was a teenager without worrying about my knee. I want to be strong and fit enough to play goalie in hockey. I've promised myself goalie gear when I get to 230 if I still want to play goalie then.
Most of all I want to be fit for life and never ever go back to an unhealthy lifestyle.

What is the most important thing that you have learned?
The most important thing I learned in BW was goal setting. For the first time in my adult life I have realistic, achievable long term goals! After the first week, once I believed I could do it, I set a goal to be the Biggest Winner for the session, but I didn't share it. That goal drove me more than anything.

Thanks for sharing your story Jim, you look fantastic and are achieving some big goals. Very proud of everything you have accomplished.