How many of us have wanted to make a change in our life? New job, buy a house, get married, pick up a new sport or maybe try to adopt a healthier life style. Making a change from our current comfort zone can certainly prove to be a 'transition' of another sort.
On such example of a transition in progress is the story of Nicole Thompson. Married, mother of three and holding down a full time job, sounds like most of us with very busy lives. Back in high school she was very active as a cheerleader and on the track team, but after the 'freshman 20' and 3 kids later, her lifestyle has taken a dramatic turn. Nicole knew that she needed to make a change in their family's activity and eating habits when her daughter started to become consumed with her body image and weight.
Nicole had heard about a request from the Discovery Health Channel to identify someone that was willing to chronicle their body transformation over a seven month period. This was her chance, making a change but with the guidance and help of professionals.
Her struggle with food, body weight, stress and exercise was going to be documented for the entire world to see. Making this type of change is hard enough without being in a fishbowl for everyone to watch. So the process started and Nicole kept an online diary of how the journey was going. Oh yeah, just like an episode of survivor, she had the camera crew following her to the grocery store, workouts, events, etc. How would you like that?
Just to give you a quick glimpse into how the process started, check out an excerpt from her journal.
"We also took a peek into my cabinets and refrigerator. I was so ashamed of what was, and was not in there! The picture of the pig hanging at the entrance of the kitchen was totally apropos! Anyway, next week we are going to try to conquer the grocery store and I will learn what and how much I should be eating. I am really looking forward to that.
I am feeling anxious about all of this but I know I can and really want to do it. I have to stop worrying about how I believe people will perceive me in the documentary and just focus on the outcome....the rest of a brand new life.
'I have only clocked 600 strides on the pedometer, but I have been lazing around today and really did not put it on until much later in the day. What the heck...tomorrow's a new day! At least I am trying."
As you can see the first step in a journey of change is always the hardest. But she was off to a great start. Let's flash forward to Feb. 2nd, the day that Nicole meet with us at the grocery store with what turned out to be a very eye-opening experience. Check out her journal entry:
Food is not any of the following: a hug, a kiss, a friend, reassurance, sex, comfort. Food is fuel for the body. That's it. You can never substitute the emptiness you may feel, or the inadequacy you may experience. You cannot fill up any holes with food. I don't know yet how to get the things that I need, but I do know that I will not kill myself or my family with a grocery cart to get it. Yep, it was emotional for me to realize all of this in the middle of a grocery store. But I am coming into a deeper KNOWING about what this is about for me. It is about loving myself for real and honoring what God has blessed me with. Enough for now, but guess what? Today I broke 10293 on the pedometer! Oh yes!
Progress is slow, and usually only noticed when you look back at where you started. Nicole was certainly making progress, but still had some big challenges ahead of her. She had established a goal of running her first 5k. So as part of her training plan she started with just walking, easy at first then gradually increasing her pace. As part of a milestone goal for her we selected the Coach Bubba 4 mile run (or walk in her case). For those of us that are going to be completing of first event of some sort this season, check out what Nicole was thinking the day of her big event:
"I was cold, very cold and afraid. I felt more frightened then I have been in a long time. It felt like the first day of school or maybe being dropped off in a foreign country with not so much as a dictionary or a credit card'As the real athletes began to file in to register for the race, I began to feel more and more like a fraudulent interloper'Randy told me that everyone in the room had at one time felt like I was feeling at that very moment. Of course as usual, I did not believe him!
And then came the moment. I decided that while I was not yet a runner, I could be one. This was the beginning. I belonged there just as much as anyone because my race is for my life. And suddenly we were jogging off to the starting line. Me, Nicole running to the beginning.
It was a challenge, and it was not easy, but I did it. I was not last and my heart and lungs did not explode! As we neared the finish line, with Jackie's chant thrumming in my head (Feet fast, legs strong, I can do this all day long) I threw a big thumbs up to the camera. That moment was not for cinematic effect. It was for me. So when I watch the tape and reflect on this moment in time, it will be a reminder of the covenant I have made with myself to always be striving and to always be stretching myself toward the finish line. I did it. 4 miles in 1 hour, 2 minutes and 21 seconds. Nah, I am not by any means an athlete yet, but I know that pretty soon I will be."
What a great accomplishment!! Nicole's journey continues with some additional 5k's and plans of doing a run leg of a triathlon relay this summer.
What type of 'transition' do you have planned this year?