Conclusion!

Sorry this post is late! Seems a nasty cold is making its way through our family, and today is the first day this week that I, and our son, have been well enough to allow for some time to write an update.

The reunion came and went last weekend, and so ended my 10-week challenge! 

This ended up being a challenge of a different variety for me. I didn't meet my goal. As of this morning, I'm still at 137. So, either my scale is broken, or losing those last seven pounds will require more of a commitment than I've been able to give these past few months, especially with the process of buying a house, adjusting to life with a crawler, and coping with a sick baby. Weight loss or no weight loss, I can't beat myself up over my defeat because, in other ways, this was a victory for me.

I've been working out most days of the week, though not all. Mainly, my workouts have been Insanity workouts, with a few running sessions, Pure Barre routines, or Jillian Michaels videos interspersed, along with weight training. My stamina has increased, and so has my energy level and overall fitness level. I definitely feel stronger, and that's what counts, right? 

My diet hasn't been as disciplined as I set out for it to be. What can I say? I fight a constant battle with a very persistent sweet tooth. But, I have toned down the sweet treat indulges, and my body has thanked me for it.

So, what was the real challenge for me? I had an epiphany a few weeks ago, when it became clear to me that I had this reunion thing all wrong. It's great to have a focus and work toward a goal, but it's important to make sure it's the right goal. It's counterproductive to pressure yourself to accomplish something that maybe you weren't meant to accomplish. 

This reunion had spun me so much into a tizzy that last Saturday as I got ready, I almost had a panic attack. I was teased a lot in high school (who wasn't, really?) for my curly red hair, glasses, fair skin, short height, faith, not drinking or sleeping around...you name it, I was laughed at for it. This isn't to say I feel sorry for myself; those days are long gone, and I'm proud of the girl I was then and the woman I've become now. But, there was still a part of me that felt I had something to prove to these people I haven't seen in 10 years, and probably won't see for 10 more. And isn't being fabulous the ultimate revenge, really?

My three best friends and me at our 10th grade Christmas dance. How cute are we?!

The girls (minus Heather—we missed you!) at our 10-year reunion

All this effort that I put into improving my outward appearance had started to distract me from the real purpose of this reunion: to have fun and reconnect with those who helped write my story. What did I have to prove, really? Why did I feel I so desperately needed anyone's approval?

Despite my resolve to live in denial, the reality is that I am not 18 anymore, and I will never be 18 again. I've been chasing after my college-age self, thinking that if I work hard enough, I can look like I did when I was 20. And not only look that way, but prove that even though I am married and have a child, that I am still that same person and can still keep up. When, the beautiful truth is that I should change from the beginning of my 20s to the end.

Truth? My husband and I were both yawning on the car ride to the reunion at 6:30! We were more tempted to capitalize on our night out by parking somewhere and taking a nap after a grueling week. Instead of going out to party at a bar with my old classmates after the reunion ended at 10, we were out the door at 10 til to relieve our babysitter and so I could get out of that dress and breathe a little easier. And as I kicked those merciless heels back into the depths of my closet, I also kicked regret to the curb.

Revisiting my past brought me closure. Gone is my desire to prove anything to anyone. The only thing I want to do now is embrace who I am at 28—a wife to a man who loves the crazy out of me; a mom to the sweetest 11-month-old who thinks I am the funniest, silliest, cuddliest toy he has in his possession; with a body who endured a natural childbirth and lives to rock some Insanity workouts afterward; a friend to some of the most amazing women I could have in my life; a daughter to a set of parents who sacrificed immeasurably to raise me right; and a sister to a guy I couldn't be prouder of.

So I have wider hips and laugh lines? These badges of honor were earned. I've endured a broken tailbone, a herniated disc, patellar tendonitis, a half-marathon, a challenging career, marriage and all its ups and downs, childbirth, home ownership, loss of loved ones and friendships, five moves...all while in my 20s.


Me with my love. Isn't he handsome? 

So, what's next? I still want to push my body to reach the next level of fitness, for my own personal satisfaction and a desire to continue improving myself. And I also plan to balance reaching my fitness goals with juggling the rest of the joys and challenges in my life, instead of punishing myself when I have to skip a workout due to more pressing circumstances.

The lesson learned: fitness is not a future event; it's a current process. And I should strive to be a better person, not because of any external pressure to be thinner, faster, or more toned, but so I can live a more fulfilling life, and because it brings me joy.

Has anyone else struggled with this revelation? Feel free to comment or send me an email. I'd love to hear your stories!