part 2: how my week of tears became my year of sweat

Originally posted Jan 15, 2013 – edited

I watched The Biggest Loser last night. For the uninitiated, this is a U.S. reality TV show that has been airing for many years. I got hooked several years ago via my girlfriend Sydney, and have been a fan ever since. Watching last night was different for me though.

Now, I feel that I’m no longer just passively watching a TV program, rather, I feel uniquely connected to it.

I’ve actually experienced ‘a day in the life’. Scratch that. I’ve truly experienced an entire week in the life, having stayed at a Biggest Loser Resort two months ago, in November 2012.

I won’t lie, the Russian Princess and I were super disappointed when we realized that the resort we were staying at wasn’t the place where they actually film the show. Oh, but you better believe that the minute we found out that the “real” Biggest Loser ranch was just a few miles down the road, our GPS was pointed in that direction immediately.

Here I am at the entrance to the gym. Look familiar?

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While the exterior grounds are open to the public [or so we told ourselves], most [probably all] of the buildings are off-limits [not to mention under the vigilant watch of security guards]. Likely due to the fact that they were actually filming season 14 at the time we trespassed visited.

Being the naughty monkeys we are, the Russian Princess and I decided that rules don’t apply to us, so we began exploring.

First we snuck into the gym:

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Then we discovered the weigh-in room, an annex to the gym, and ….SQUEE!!… we even got to stand on the scale!!

Sadly, it wasn’t turned on, so we never got the answer to Alison Sweeney’s famous opening… “And your current weight is…”

Regardless, here I am, playing all nervous at the results of my ‘weigh in’.

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We approached the main residence to see if we could sneak in; unfortunately that’s when the Po-Po shut us down.

We even tried flashing them our official “credentials” (our name badges from The Biggest Loser Resort). No dice. They told us we didn’t belong.

Thanks a lot, Fun Police, way to kill our dreams.

Watching the show now, having had the experience of visiting the ranch, is a lot of fun – but also evokes some strong emotions. After the two-part premier last week, the Russian Princess and I exchanged texts.

hey, just watched it…got pretty emotional, said she.

me too… cried like a baby, I replied.

It’s the contestants’ 3rd week at the ranch; their individual stories are starting to unfold. And, for the first time in all the seasons I’ve been watching, I find myself feeling embarrassed; as though I’m being obscenely voyeuristic, in observing their raw emotion; their deep-seated pain and fears.

Perhaps because, for the first time, it really hits home for me.

One contestant, Pam, has touched a nerve with me. She has done a lot of crying. She has told trainer Jillian she can’t. She has told herself she can’t.

I found myself so angry with her last night.

And then I realized why.

I’m angry with Pam because I am Pam.

My week at BLR Fitness Ridge started out badly. Epic fail badly. It all went downhill following the very first workout, a 2.5 hour hike first thing Monday morning.

Despite being a regular hiker, I found myself inexplicably struggling.

My heart rate was off the charts; I was in an anaerobic state the entire hike.

This gave me huge anxiety. I got way too deep into my own head. “If you’re anaerobic, you’re not burning fat. You’re here to burn fat. What are you doing? Slow down. I can’t slow down. I don’t want to be last.”

My physical struggle took a back seat to the psychological struggle and self flagellation.

This craziness lasted for FOUR of my seven days at the resort.

What?

Yup. I’m stupid that way.

But, hold on, no I’m not.

I’m smart. I’m capable. I’m driven. I’m goal-oriented. So….. WHY WAS I SABOTAGING MYSELF???

I will tell you that I cried more that week than I have in the previous 10 years. I was an emotional basket case. I didn’t even recognize myself. It was …gross. Awful. Hard. Embarrassing.

It truly was… My Week of Tears.

Enough tears to fill a dry river bed with white water rafting-style currents.

I was terrified, but I had a decision to make. I could either give into my fear or acknowledge that fear and do it anyway.

I decided to grab some paddles and a life jacket, and navigate those choppy waters.

And something magical happened. I had a breakthrough. One that I promise to reveal more about in coming posts.

But for now, dear readers, I need, no, I WANT to go workout. Today is day 15 of 365 consecutive days of sweat. And off I go.

To read part two of this series, click here.

Keep moving!

xoxo nancy

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99 thoughts on “part 2: how my week of tears became my year of sweat

  1. I am sure I have read this before, but I can only remember part of it!

    It is awesome to see the beginning of your journey, you have come so far bot physically and psychologically 😀

    also…I would have totally broken into the “of limits” areas too 😉

    • This was the first ever ‘revealing’ post I’ve written. From there is took another couple of little seeps of truths before the flood-gates opened with my real doozy of a confession. I’m thinking I’ll publish each of those in the coming Throwback Thursdays because I suspect many haven’t read them, only heard of them through my references in more recent posts.

      I’m surprised we got as far as we did without anyone kicking us out. They were literally filming the show at that time (well, not on a Sunday, but, you know what I mean). We actually passed one of the contestants (Danni Allen, that season’s eventual winner!) while we were walking (she was jog/walking past us). Of course we didn’t know who she was at the time, but as soon as we started watching the show 2 months later, BOOM! It was Danni we saw! 🙂

      • I am definitely looking forward to re-reading them…or reading them for the first time if I haven’t…I know I read a lot of your archives when I first found your blog, but I can’t say I definitely read all of them…

        I is surprising that you got in at all…but awesome that you did 😀 it makes for a good story if nothing else 🙂

      • It’s also good for me to re-read (and re-experience) these thoughts and emotions, especially after a summer where motivation was often lacking. So important for me to realize who I was then, and who I became. And why it’s important for me to continue to push myself.

      • you are exactly right about that!

        I am in a similar position and your post made me think about going and rereading my starting posts, just to remind myself what I am actually capable of!!

      • Consider a re-blog of some, too? I went back and read from the beginning of your blog a few months ago. There was one that really hit home for me. it was one where you had to participate in a group exercise competition thing, and how you felt you were slowing your team down. it was very powerful.

      • Oh yes, the circuits class where I cried! I forgot about that…blimey! I might just weblog that one considering I am now attempting to start my own circuits class!!

    • It was a necessary thing for me, Rob. I was so stuck, and didn’t even realize it until that moment. I’ll reveal the next few ‘aha’s’ in the upcoming Throwback Thursdays.

  2. Nancy – this post really hit home for me. The comment “My physical struggle took a back seat to the psychological struggle and self flagellation” pretty well describes my athletic journey since the beginning over ten years. But like you, I simply acknowledge the fear and do it anyway.
    I’d like to know what your magical AHA moment was – because I’m still looking for mine.

    • I will absolutely reveal that in upcoming throwback Thursday posts, Joanne. it wasn’t one big thing; more like a series of little things – BUT – there was one giant admission/apology I had to make. It took all the courage I had. I may just skip ahead to that post and publish it next Thursday. Or maybe I’ll just be a rebel and publish an old post without waiting for a “Throwback Thursday”. 🙂

  3. I’m glad you’re bringing us back to your beginnings with these re-posts, Nancy. It’s great to read them from today’s perspective, knowing what we do about you, and see just how far you’ve come. You should be so proud!

    • I’m still in a wee bit of a rut, not exactly sure why, so re-living these posts – remembering back to that time – is helping me to get a bit of perspective. Thanks for your amazing support, Lisa. If anyone had told me 20 months ago that I would actually build friendships through the act of blogging, I never would have believed it. And yet there are so many here that I consider to be real friends. How awesome is that?

  4. It’s so funny you posted this. I’ve only lost 5 pounds in the last 6 mo or so. It’s horrible. I’m near tears. I’m eating proper calories, I’m running or walking 2 mi (30 min) 5x a week, doing 45 min yoga 5 – 6x a week, tossing in random aerobic spurts in my Fitness Challenges to keep my heart rate up through out the day and I’ve been doing 30 min on the stationary bike 5x a week at night. I’ve given myself splurge days so my body gets shocked, I’ve increased and decreased my caloric intake, and finally, this week, I’ve had to ask myself why my body is holding onto the weight. What thoughts do I have about it? Am I scared to lose it? Am I subconsciously sabotaging myself?
    I don’t know the answer, but after losing 50 lbs last year, I’m giving myself permission to lose more as I get fit. That health is my goal,but that I don’t have to hide behind the fat. Hopefully, this will help – but it was so good to read that I’m not the only one that can sabotage themselves!

    • Ooh…this one was me just scratching the surface, Kate. Now I know for sure that I need to re-publish the deep-diving posts that followed. I learned so much about myself the deeper I looked. Those pre-programmed tapes that play in our heads can do a real number on us. We achieve what we believe. And if we believe we are:
      *too fat
      *too old
      *not athletic
      *undeserving
      *(insert your belief here)
      …then we simply get what we believe to be true.

      When we break through all that nonsense and start to give OURSELVES the chance to shine, that’s where the magic happens. No, I don’t believe I’m ever going to finish a 5k in less than 30 minutes. Or run a marathon (or even a half). I know I’ll never be a super model. SNORT! But that doesn’t mean I can’t be healthy, athletic, beautiful and happy. Baby steps…

  5. Love this post and the comment thread. Thanks for leaving us sitting on the edge of our seats! Guess we can work in some extra exercises to relieve the stress and tension. 😛

    One thing that struck me about your tears that week is that once we’ve signaled the Universe that we are ready to change (even with baby steps), it helps us start to release some of the “shit” (technical tantric term) we’ve stored in our body cells. As those emotional straight jackets are release, we may cry. A lot. If we don’t give in to the tears and fears, we burst through into the light.

    Look forward to more stories of your journey from THERE to HERE.

    • I started peeling the layers of the onion in this one. 3 parts to follow; each one exposing a bit more of my insecurity and fear. I had to do that to finally let myself just let go of shit.

  6. Thank you for a little peek into the past! I’m late to your party, but it will provably binge on your blog this evening because I always see you just the way you are now – I don’t think about the journey to get there 🙂 either way, you remain a bad ass in my book.

    • No need to binge, my sweet; I’ll publish the other 3 parts that kind of finish up the story over the next week or so. No one needs an overdose of nancy in their life! 🙂

      Hugs and love to you, Martha!

  7. Wasn’t with you back then, Nancy. Clearly, all the months of sweat have not only gotten you fit, but they’ve given you a washboard mojo. Cool beans. John

  8. I’ve been off for a while with only the odd blog post and no time to actually read any. I’m getting back into it now though and what a great blog to start with! I never read this before as I only found you a few months ago. Look forward to reading the rest of the story.

  9. Fantastic! You’re a great woman! Turning tears into sweat is my favourite 🙂
    I’m just having a little cry after spending 2 days with a Russian – turns out they can’t really drink after all 😉

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  13. I enjoyed the look back, but can’t believe you went to a fat camp in the first place! Looking at the pics of you in this post, you hardly even look fluffy!

    I know you are a super woman now, so you have definitely come a long way overall! Looking forward to more.

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  15. I’m so glad you posted this, Nancy – or reposted – because it gives me the wonderful backstory to your incredible tale. Ever since I started following your posts, I’ve found you to be one of the toughest and warmest and most inspiring women I’ve come to know in the blog world. I’m looking forward to understanding more of what has made you who you are today, and what path you took to find your success. It’s clear you have a lot to share, but more importantly, it’s clear that it matters to a lot of people. 🙂

    • You are such a sweet and supportive voice, Shelley! Thank you. The tale ended up being 5 parts. God I’m verbose!

      If you suffer from insomnia, you may want to check out parts 2-5 when you’re trying to fall asleep. 🙂

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    • Thanks for stopping by and taking them time to comment. It was a game-changer, that is for sure.
      If it makes you feel any better, I’m no longer working out 6 hours per day. 🙂 (Not even close) But, I am still doing something to make myself sweat every day, which is just part of my lifestyle now. My breakthrough was really about learning to love (and not just tolerate) exercise. Now that I enjoy it, it’s a whole lot easier to incorporate it into my daily life.
      cheers, nancy

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