Where is the pot of gold?

10 01 2011

I got a comment from my last post “I want off this Path” that has had me thinking pretty heavily the last couple of days about this LCJ I’m on (we’re on). I wanted to share it with you because I think it’s not only one of the most important parts to understand and explore about this journey, but as I get farther along I come across more and more people that feel the same way.

I wrote about wanting to get off the proverbial “path” of this journey. I wanted to just be normal. Not have to think about weight, or moving or trying to figure out why I eat the way I eat and my relationship with food. I didn’t want have to wonder if the next bite I put in my mouth was going to send me into a panic attack / guilt  ridden episode or even a triumphant hoorah. I just wanted to go through one day without being consumed with this fucking journey…

Then I got the following comment from a friend of mine over at CalorieKing:

“I know that my comment is at risk for coming across wrong, so if it reads that way, I give you my sincere apologies… but THANK GOODNESS you feel that way! It IS hard. It IS a struggle that when the shiny newness of a new goal wears off, what is left is the rugged struggle. Don’t get me wrong, I’m am very sorry that there is a struggle for you. It’s just that you are such an inspiration – such a “superhuman” force who has achieved what most people fail at – that if YOU have these issues, it means there is hope for the rest of us too. The fact that I can recognize that your feelings of wanting “off” are normal and that you are to be commended for sticking with it even when things are hard… that gives me permission that I’m not a failure for feeling the same way. That just because I struggle doesn’t mean I’ve failed, but that I’m experiencing the same emotions as someone who I admire. You give us hope, and for that I THANK YOU”

It was followed with this message sent to me from the same person:

I had left a message on your blog yesterday and I’m afraid it came out wrong.  I noticed that it is still in moderation – please feel free to delete.  I just think so highly of you, your journey, your achievements, and your amazing ability to articulate what is going on in your heart.  Even when it’s anguish, you are able to speak so clearly.  I admire all of that.  And so the “thank goodness” part wasn’t at all because I thought you should feel that way.  It makes me hurt reading about your hurt.  It was a feeling that someone who is so AMAZING can be so raw and relatable – that if you, a superstar, can achieve and still have real emotions, then there is hope. Anyway, I probably made it worse and I hope I didn’t make you feel bad.  I wish you the very best.”

I knew when I read her original comment it was never intended to be the way she thought it was coming across. I knew exactly what she was trying to say: Even in success there is struggle and that is something we can all relate too no matter where we are on this journey.

Let me repeat that:

Even in success there is struggle.

Last year when I started this journey I had such a grandiose fantasy of what it would be like if I ever got down to goal weight. It would be awesome. All my emotional problems that I carried for the first 40 years of my life would float away as if I was a child letting go of my helium balloon. I would feel nothing but joy as I skipped from shop to shop, indulging in my every clothing whim. I would shine bright every time I sat down to eat meal knowing I would be in absolute control.

The pot of gold was waiting for me…

Wait a minute…

WAIT JUST A MINUTE!!!

There is no pot of gold?

You mean I’m going to get to goal weight and I’ll still struggle? I won’t let go of my emotional problems? I’ll still cry going into clothing stores and spend hours and hours looking for something to buy only to leave empty handed? That bright light is actually my phone back light shining as I tweet my way through a meal and use the hashtag #isitevergoingtogetanyeasier?

You’re joking right?

No.

I’m not joking.

There is no pot at the end of the rainbow.

The reason there is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? Because the rainbow never ends. Let me repeat that: THE RAINBOW NEVER ENDS. Am I happier? Oh hell yes. I am more present today than I have ever been in my entire life. Am I stronger? Oh hell yes. My physical and emotional armor is thick and ready for battle. Am I more brave? Oh hell yes. I know now that having the courage to try is the stepping stone to actually succeeding. Am I less fearful? Oh hell yes. I know now that facing my fears makes them dissipate faster than if I turned my back on them.

Do I still struggle with this Life Changing Journey?

Probably more so now that when I didn’t give a crap about my life. I care about me. I care about my well being. I care about my emotional health, my physical health and about where my path is taking me. Turning to food or letting depression creep up on me like an old lover, is no longer an option. Remaining present and open to my emotions and feelings is the ONLY OPTION now. Yes, there days when I want off this path. Will it ever happen?

No.

Are you looking for that pot of gold?

I wish more than anything I could tell you it will be waiting for you. I  wish I could tell you the grass really is greener over here. It’s not. Does that mean you throw up your hands and stop moving forward? Does it mean you hit the snooze button and sleep through another morning without breaking a sweat? Does it mean  you sit on the couch and wonder what is the point of taking control of your life?

On the contrary…

Stop looking for the pot of gold and focus on following the rainbow.

It’s beautiful.

It goes on forever.

It’s worth every step.

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14 responses

10 01 2011
seattlerunnergirl

Yeah. It’s not about the grass being greener. It’s about actually LIVING and FEELING our lives versus stuffing every feeling and letting life pass us by. I heard this quote years ago that is very simplistic but also true. “Being fat is hard. Losing weight is hard. Maintaining is hard. Pick your hard.” The truth is, it’s LIFE. And life always means ups and downs; good days and bad. But I’ll take THIS set of problems and struggles over my old set any day.

Thanks for sharing another IMPORTANT post, T-bear. Love you.

10 01 2011
Nicole

Well said. I’m starting on the path to my rainbow myself. I love the brutal honesty you share on your blog and the reality of this life changing process. I know I have a long, hard road ahead, but seeing your survival is awe-inspiring.

10 01 2011
Genevieve

You are so right, we need to start looking at that rainbow more often! Personally, I’m finding myself so afraid that the pot of gold won’t be everything it’s cracked up to be – or won’t even be there! – that I haven’t even started my journey. In a way I’ve been trying to create a mindset for myself for the past few months, but I’ve been scared to take any real action. Thanks for showing me that we struggle at every stage and at one point it’s about accepting that and just doing it in spite of everything.

10 01 2011
chris

When I read your blog title…I thought…It’s inside you.
you may follow the rainbow, but you have the destination inside you.
you are the destination.
The real you.
unencumbered by the lies that warped you when you started.
finding your personal truth..
who you are and what you want.
That is the pot of Gold.

11 01 2011
Miz

and for me it seems these days if theres no struggle the success isnt as sweet.

11 01 2011
Coleycole

Thank you for coming back Tara! Words of wisdom, as always- thanks for the proverbial kick in the ass!!

11 01 2011
KCLAnderson (Karen)

Instead of “either/or” I think it’s “both/and.” It’s a paradox: struggle AND success. And yeah, the rainbow never ends. We get so caught up in the “after” part of the “before and after” as if it will be frozen in time forever and ever.

11 01 2011
Joe

Good stuff T. I have been at this for over 15 years. Not only can I not just “be normal” with diet and exercise – I don’t want to be. The path is the reward and the journey defines who we are.

I learned this running marathons. The marathon is just a way to celebrate the training; you don’t get to the finish line and say “well I finally made it.” Most get there and can’t wait to do it again.

11 01 2011
Sarah @ FatLittleLegs

Not sure what else to say other than A-fricking-men! Describes exactly how/what I am feeling as well. Thanks for articulating it so incredibly well.

Keep fighting the good fight Tara!

11 01 2011
Betsy

Sweet! You have summed up perfectly the importance of focusing on “the rainbow” and not the “pot of gold.”

11 01 2011
Alesha

LOVE YOU… thank you. XOXO

11 01 2011
Teresa

that’s really beautiful (rainbow vs. pot of gold…) and I’m so glad I came over here today.
thanks!!

13 01 2011
beachbody

what a moving post. I couldn’t agree ore with your last words. I think being a perfectionist is the main culprit. Thanks a lot. The rainbow is more colorful than a pot of gold.

14 01 2011
jord

You are a fucking pot of gold. No, I mean YOU are the pot of gold.

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