It is a new day, a start of my final chapter. In 89 days, I’ll be homeless and off to live a life of adventure.
Today, though, I’m a woman who’s stiff, bloated, and sore, who’s gained back 74 of the 85 pounds she lost, and who’s also on the verge of living on a continent without a lot of elevators, where hauling a 40-pound duffel bag along cobblestone streets will be a regular activity.
I’m starting a new plan in hopes of getting a little fitter, more energy, and having less fear about the new chapter. I cycled 8.1km before work, it took me 35 minutes, and was a reality check that I’m not the cyclist I once was.
And that’s okay, because we start somewhere. I remember when it used to take me 1 hour and 14 minutes to cycle 12 kilometres (more than half uphill) to get myself home from work, back in 2008. By the time I was fit just 3-4 months later, that same ride took 37 minutes.
Taking stock without guilt
I can’t hate myself for the weight I’ve gained back. It’s been 6-7 years since it started coming off. I blew my back out catastrophically in that time not once, not twice, but three times. I had two knee injuries. I rode my bike into a road sign the week I moved to Victoria — stopped myself with my face hitting the metal pole straight-on, screwing up my entire right side for 6 months.
Somehow, I’ve overcome all that, all while earning more money than I could’ve dreamed. By the end of next week, July 10th or so, I will have earned more money so far this year than in any year previous to 2014. In October, I’ll likely become debt-free as I begin travelling the world.
If I’d taken my foot off that work-for-it pedal even a little bit, my trip wouldn’t be happening. If I’d eaten out less, if I’d had more fitness, if I had more friends/social time, I would NOT be leaving for five years of travel.
Every drop of effort I put into my career is resulting in a massive return on my investment.
My fat ass? Part of the price I’ve paid to take my life into a place that most people barely even get the chance to dream about, let alone do.
Today, and I suspect the day I step off that plane, I think I would pay that price again for what I will soon get to live every single day for about 1800 days.
“Journey of 1,000 miles starts with 1 step”
But today, I’ve done what I’ve needed to do and now I need to get myself into a position where a travel life can’t hurt me. I need to increase my cardio, improve my energy, take a couple inches off my ass so the plane isn’t unbearable, all while staying focused on my finances and earnings.
I think I can do this now. I hope I can.
Making this choice, though, that’s the easy part. The hard part is getting up every morning and being excited about taking an 8-10km bike ride, eating well, and not giving up. The hard part is saying it’s as important to my day as breathing or putting on pants.
But I know hard. I’ve done hard. I’ve beaten hard. “Hard” ain’t got nothing on me.
Whether I change myself here, or it happens abroad, I guarantee you — a lot more awesomeness, a lot more change, it’s on tap for me in the months ahead.
Because I work for that shit. It is a choice. It’s a choice I have made every single day. Now it’s just a new choice I need to make, that’s all.
And so it begins.
PS: There are healthy “heavy” people out there. I am not one of them. When I am “fat,” I am out of shape and it affects every part of my life. This isn’t fat-shaming of others, it’s accepting that I’ve really done a lot to upend the health and balance of my life, and it’s showing outwardly. That needs to end. I will likely never be a size 6, and I really don’t care about that. I’ll be fine being a plus-size size 14 or 16, as long as I can kick your ass on a bike.