Resolutions in Reverse: 23 Pounds and Counting
If you had asked me in June if I thought I had 23 pounds to lose, I would have said no. Everyone probably would have said that. 10, sure. 15? maybe.
I carry weight well. I get curvy. I know what to wear. Short summer dresses with good drape. A shoe with a heel. It’s not rocket science, it’s camouflage – and they teach that shit in the fashion military. I’ve been through basic training – I know how to get by. People say, “Oh – you’re fine! You look great!”
They’re lying. Or else they’re totally content with mediocrity. A lot of people are. It’s not a crime.
The whole “you’re fine” thing started to get to me.
Fine is a C+.
Fine is just ok.
Fine is getting by.
Fine is average.
Dresses may cut a flattering figure but I’ll tell you one thing for sure – the bike never lies. And here is what the bike told me in June: you are not ok, Swift. You’re not fine. And, besides, you shouldn’t want to be fine. You should want to be on fucking fire.
Where’s your fight, Swift?
I mentioned a few days ago that every day is a good day to make a plan, start a goal or make a big decision and I think that’s really important to remember. You can change your life at any moment. You make a choice and then you change your actions. Right now. What are you waiting for, anyway?
On some day in June I got on the scale and snapped. It was a number that did it for me. For some people it’s a pair of jeans or a bad ride on the bike or getting winded going up the stairs. It doesn’t matter what pushes you over the edge – what matters is that when you hit the open air, you learn how to fly. And fast.
I’m decent at fitness. I understand nutrient timing, I get stoked about the science and I love to learn. I also know my body pretty well and there’s one thing that works better than any other for me – weight lifting and super dialed nutrition. (I’ve never had much luck on the bike – even after two solid months of non-stop training in Arizona last year).
So I went back into the gym and hit it. I went back to my nutrition basics and realigned my diet with my goals. I found a trainer who I believed understood and supported my aggressive personality and made a deal with him.
I ate a lot of goddam lean protein.
I cut back on beer and booze and bacon.
I reinstated fish oil supplements and dialed in my pre and post-workout nutrition.
I paid attention.
The first ten pounds disappeared almost overnight because the truth was, my body hated that weight. It didn’t want it. It was begging me to get rid of it. After the first month of hard work I water-dunked my bodyfat at 17%.
“That’s actually really good, Heidi.” my trainer said to me.
“I’m done with good.” I said. “Let’s get to great.”
The cyclotour in August kept me lean even on a one-cheeseburger-a-day (or sometimes chicken-fried steak) regimen. I lost some lean muscle mass, but generally maintained the same fitness level. I came back and started training for cyclocross and felt like a new person. By then I’d lost 18 pounds. Eighteen pounds! That’s a fucking toddler!
Do you know how amazing it is to race a bike with 18 fewer pounds? It’s mind-blowing. Incredible. It’s a whole new world. It changed everything. I mean that.
This is the secret those lean assholes have been keeping! I thought to myself. And all this time they were telling me I was “fine”. No wonder!!
I did this all in the background, without telling many people or making dramatic waving motions with my hands. I never even mentioned a word here on this blog. You know why? Because the “show don’t tell” rule is just as powerful in life as it is in writing. You’re going to make a big change, Swift? You’re going to drop a toddler’s worth of weight? That’s nice. I’ll believe it when I see it. Even a wordy girl like me gets tired of the talking sometimes. Shut your mouth and work.
So here I am on December 31st surrounded by a culture of crappy resolution making. When I go back to the gym on Monday it’s going to be crowded with new faces. I hope in my deepest heart of hearts that every single one of them sticks with it. That they get what they want and reach their goals.
But most of them won’t.
And you know what? It doesn’t matter. Because January 1st is March 18th is June 29th is October Fucking 5th.
The date doesn’t matter.
And they can recommit at any moment.
And so can you.
And so will I.
Don’t settle. You’re worth so much more than you will ever know.
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