Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Girl With Nothing To Lose...




I've always considered myself something of an "all or nothing" girl. When I played soccer people joked that I spent more time on my ass than I did on my feet.

That's what happens when you go for the ball 150%, every time...

You see, my dad never let us slack at a job or do it half-way. He would make us do things over a second and third time, not because they were done wrong, but because they could have been more excellent. He used to always say "a job worth doing is a job worth doing well." Otherwise, why bother?

Words to live by...apparently.

Not that this philosophy comes wrapped in roses with side of fairy dust - far from it. Still, I've never had much patience for people who sit on the fence and then whine about it.

As I've explained before, I'm kind of an all or nothing writer too. When I'm working on an idea it grabs hold of me and doesn't let me go until I finish it - and that's usually to the exclusion of most everything else in my life, including cooking, cleaning, and even caring :)

So it should come as no surprise that my blog should be called Write on the Edge. If we're to write what we know, then I know the edge. The limits of myself. I go there and tiptoe out past my comfortability zone and then just dive. Careless (which in my opinion should be a good word not a bad one). Which leads me to my point:

We're doing "The Biggest Loser" competition at work. It runs for six weeks with a ten dollar buy in. Each week that you weigh in, if you've lost weight you pay nothing. If you stayed the same as last week you pay a dollar, but if you gain weight from the previous week you have to pay another five dollars! At the end of the competition the winner (based on percentage lost, not pounds) gets the whole pot! Several people have entered so far, and all of us have something to lose, it's the "something" that's debatable.

There are some things I'd really like to lose, but it's probably not going to happen - the slight bump in my nose, the hair under my arms, my sarcasm perhaps...But when it comes to weight, my numbers aren't horrible. I'm not a large person, you see, but the last year or so has brought some changes to my body that I could have done without - namely a thickening around the middle and a serving of jello along my backside. About ten pounds' worth, to be exact.

But here's where the all or nothing comes back into play. I'm not very good at consistency, so getting to an ideal weight isn't the hard part, it's keeping it there, and caring enough to incorporate regular exercise into my life no matter what else is happening. So I have gotten lazy, and because I'm not enormously overweight, have little motivation to get back to where I need to be.

Some of the people I work with don't see it that way. They're mocking me for wanting to use the competition as motivation and solidarity - to help get me back on track and exercising and eating better.

They've nicknamed themselves on the sign-up sheet with names like "Fat Girl", "Spare Tires" and "Thunder Thighs". I don't particularly like the idea of defining oneself with self-deprecating names, but in the spirit of playing along, I made a joke the other day about how they all had nicknames and I wanted a nickname too.

That's when someone said it:

"How about The girl with nothing to lose."

Yeah. I guess that fits.

It's interesting how life tends to define us, both on and off the field. I don't really care if they mock me for wanting to lose ten pounds. I'm not trying to win the competition - I don't care about the competition, and I don't care about the money. But I do care about me. And for the first time in a long time, I want to be the best "me" I can.

Fear defines and limits so many people. My solution to fear is to charge right at its face and then mow it down. So sue me.

I'm running every day, doing yoga, strengthening my core and watching what I eat. How is this a bad thing?

I may not be The Biggest Loser, but I never want to stop being The Girl With Nothing To Lose.


Lynda Meyers is the award-winning author of Letters From The Ledge. She is currently drinking a vanilla soy latte, but plans to hit the pavement with her running shoes any minute now...