Thursday, May 24, 2007

Jordin won...now what?

I was one of the millions (billions?) of people who tuned in last night to watch the next American Idol winner. I wasn't surprised to see Jordin take the prize. Don't get me wrong -- Blake is great. But he does have his genre and that last song from Tuesday night killed him. I have absolutely no doubt that Blake will go on and succeed. Look at Jennifer Hudson, after all!

After the show was over, I wondered how Jordin felt. Okay, so I know she was probably on cloud nine all night long -- but will it last? Taylor Hicks was thrilled when he wont last year. How long did his euphoria last? Did he wake up every day thinking, "Am I dreaming? What did I ever do to deserve all of this?" Or has the schedule bogged him down a little? Did touring drain him? Is he looking to achieve another goal?

What I want to know is does everyone go from goal to goal, barely enjoying the fruits of their labor?

I am a prime example. Here I have lost 30 pounds and have gone down two pants sizes, one cup size and two shirt sizes. I feel great! And I am very proud of myself. I am! But I also felt a little let down. Of course I didn't think there were going to be trumpets playing when I reached 1/2 of my goal, but I really think, in my heart of hearts, that I expected more. I expected my husband to complement me more. I expected his employees to compliment me. I expected perfect strangers to say how great I looked! (Okay, so not to that extreme, but that's what the let down fell like.)

It occurred to me -- my goals are all my own. I am the only one that can complete them (although my own cheering section is greatly appreciated). And more importantly, I am the only one who can truly enjoy the fruits of my endeavours. Sure, my wonderful husband can compliment until he's blue in the face. But what good will that do? I have to be internally motivated and internally proud (glad?) for my successes. I cannot look to others for my happiness (or my kudos).

This week I have taken a lax approach to my healthy lifestyle. I haven't exercised. I haven't logged and I don't care. This was our first week of summer break and I wanted to enjoy it. Did I pig out? Not exactly (although there was that tough PMS day...but ultimately, I did pretty well).

You might be wondering why I would self-sabotage myself after losing 30 pounds. I don't see it as self-sabotage. I'm not giving up. I still have another 30 pounds to lose and I plan on losing them! (I caught a glimpse in the mirror of myself at a smaller, healthier size and I liked it! There is no way I am going to give up now!) But this is for me. I came to the realization that I had to do this journey by myself and for myself...but I don't think I really believed the other side of the equation until this week.

Yes, this is for me. This is something I want to do. But because I want to do it and because it's for me, means that I need to be happy with the results. I need to focus on the inside for acceptance instead of constantly looking outwardly for it.

Until I started this journey this year, I had no idea I was seeking acceptance from the outside. Of course, now that I pause and think about it, I realize that I've constantly lived my whole life look for acceptance from an outside source. I wasn't to the point where I was committing lemmings suicide, but I did whatever I was told and whatever was expected. Ten years ago, I started waking up. It started when I did the complete opposite of what my mother wanted me to do. It continued when I married my husband and got pregnant. It lay dormant for a few years when I sought my husband for my own happiness. (You can imagine how well that went over!)

But slowly, over the years (and I can't pin-point exactly where it began), I started to think for myself and learn about me (a person I really didn't understand for the first 20+ years of my life, believe it or not!) It's only now that I've been on my journey that weight loss, and self are so deeply intertwined. Who would have thought that the way to find the real me, was to lose weight? I certainly wouldn't have guessed it!

Have I come full circle yet? No. Will I ever? Well, I turn 31 next month and I've always told friends that since turning 30, I've felt more grown up. I want to go one better. I want to spend my 30s really getting to know me -- how I tick, what motivates me, how I can best meet my personal goals in my life. I want to do in my 30s, what I feel most women do in their 20s--discover myself.

What about my 40s? I hope that by the time I reach my 40th birthday, I will be really comfortable in my own skin. In who I've become in the previous nine years. To be the best that I can be so that I can be the best wife/mother/friend/sister to others.