Friday, October 4, 2013

Personal Challenge for Mini Milestone week 8

One of my very favourite 12WBT bloggers is Kate Beck - I've mentioned her before. She is seriously inspiring and I stole my operation brown skirt idea from her. To check out her fabulous blog go here.
So I was cruising her blog when I came across her goals for this round and saw that she was planning a Biggest Loser style challenge. Her aim was to do a walk she has done several times before carrying the weight she has lost. I wanted in!! I sent Kate a message and told her I wanted to join her if it was ok and wouldn't it be cool to do it 'together' her in her home town in Queensland and me here in Denman, NSW. To my excitement she liked the idea.
As you can read on Kate's blog and here on my blog and on the link to my other blog, this round didn't really go as planned. I signed up after the miscarraige stole our little baby and thought I could focus on this to help ease the pain. Well take it from me, it doesn't work like that. I've been a mess on and off ever since. My dear friend tells me it never goes away, you just learn to live with it. You still get sad when that date comes around and the month you should have held that baby in your arms arrives...but day to day gets easier. And I guess it has gradually, but my heart has broken in a way I never expected I'd have to experience. My family are breeders!! My family is huge and the all have babies without troubles...if any of them have lost a baby they don't talk about it...ok so this post wasn't supposed to be about our miscarraige but about the amazing challenge we completed.
 Kate contacted me on Wednesday to see if I was still keen for the challenge and I said "Hell Yeah"..and so the crazy planning began. We discussed whether to carry the actual amount we had lost, safety issues and the timing of it all, given that we were in two different places over 700kms apart!
I decided to use dirt with rocks in it that I could dig up here at home and packed it in 5kg lots into the backpack. I added water to a shoulder bag and all up when I stepped on my scales I weighed 131.6kgs...not bad I originally was 139.9kgs when I started my weightloss but was 132 when I started 12WBT so it was perfect!
I had no idea how hard the treck would actually be and how emotional it would be for me. I decided to walk up to the lookout over Denman where the TV tower is. It isn't an incredibly long walk but it is very steep. I figured I'd do it in an hour - it took me a lot longer than that!!

Backpack on and ready to get started!!

The direction I'm headed...up!

Weights - front and back - carrying a total of 30kgs - close to my starting weight.
Getting started was harder than I thought it would be. The straps of the backpack seemed to dig into my shoulders and I just couldn't get over that I used to be this heavy all the time, with no escape. I stood around for ages just feeling the weight in the backpack (waiting for Kate and her buds Bron, Tracey and Courtney to get sorted - they were taping weights to their body!! - read about it here). Lots of things went through my mind just standing their feeling the weight, feeling my back start to ache, the pressure on my knees and ankles. The main thought was just pure astonishment in realising how heavy 30kgs really was and feeling what I used to live with every day.
Eventually we got started, and it was HARD. I literally just had to concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other. I put my iphone on and put P!NK on shuffle. If anyone could get me up that hill it was P!NK with help from Kate and Bron who were constantly sending photos and messages...but I'm skipping ahead....

Starting to climb
and up..
About here I started to regret my choice of hill...I mean it is a crazy steep ass walk...but I kept going, spurred on by Bron's photos and Kate's messages. I had to stop a lot for mini breaks because I got so out of breath and for water breaks.
Heart rate getting up pretty high!
Cool pic of me loaded up!

coming up to half-way
The view half-way up!!
Despite the fog, the view from the first lookout was incredible. I decided after a short rest to dump some of the excess weight there. I tore open two backs and let the dirt and rocks stream out onto the ground! It was more liberating than I had imagined. Lifting those bags up high I laughed as the dirt poured out. It made me really understand that even though life has been tough lately and some weight has crept back on, I have kept the vast majority of it off. And I have obviously made some pretty permenant changes or because I could have spent the last two months constantly binging and I haven't. Instead I've been down on myself because I've been too emotional to get it together enough to focus on losing weight...time to let myself off and congratulate myself on the mamoth effort and on NOT using our loss as an excuse to binge.

Kate rang me at this point and I nearly cried on the phone while the girls cheered me on! It was such a beautiful thing to be a part of a group of women challenging themselves physically and mentally to let go of the things that have been holding us back. 
Dropping off 10kgs!
Tipping it out and letting it go FOREVER!

Excited to be on the move again!
By this stage the liberating nature of what I still had before me (tipping out a further 15kgs) got me all excited. I put that backpack on again and headed on and up... always receiving the gorgeous supportive messages from the girls.
and up some more.
Burn baby burn!
Up, up, up!
Water break!
Onwards and Upwards!
Can finally see the TV tower - too bright to see in photo - it's to the  right.
Seeing that tower finally in the distance was incredible. The photo didn't turn out well but it was there. Of course the trail isn't straight so it was still a little while before I finally came into view of the tower!!
And nearly there now!!!
I still can't really believe that I walked all that way with all that weight on my back. I have tears in my eyes just thinking about it again. That's how incredibly important this experience was for me. There was so many symbolic moments...
The last stretch!
And I made it!
Ready to throw off the backpack!

I was so ovewhelmed at this point. Here I was at the top of this amazing lookout ready to throw the backpack on the ground. I took a video of throwing it off which I'm having trouble loading...but it just says it all!! The thrill of getting to the top carry the weight, the incredible excitement at throwing it off and how light I felt afterwards, then symbolically tipping it all out onto the ground...just incredible. 
Ready to say goodbye to another 15kgs.

Happy to tip it out!
The walk back down the hill was amazing. I was so full of joy I thought I might burst. It must seem like a silly thing but the effect on me was profound. The way in which it has empowered us all has been amazing. The group facebook chat in which we supported each other through the walk has been alive with chatter all afternoon after the walk and all day today - none of us really want it to be over and we are starting to think about our next challenge.
I'm hoping that the lasting effect of the walk is that I feel more in control. Of course I'm in control - I decide what to put in my mouth and how much exercise to do...but life has felt so out of control that I haven't done a good job of it for a while. Today I took some steps to ensure a good week this week, baking some snacks and freezing them. I have promised myself to only think positively about my accomplishments so far and not to focus on the 5kgs that has come back in recent months...I'll get rid of it again along with some more.
Talking with Kate, Courtney, Bron and Tracey was amazing - I've found a really special bunch of new friends who really get me. So thanks to the support guys are awesome and I wouldn't have done it without you!! Looking forward to the next challenge!!!


  1. I really don't know what to say hon....gorgeous post, wonderful sentiment, I felt like I was with you (well I kind of was!) but actually with you, and I laughed and got tears in my eyes reading it. Thank you for sharing this, it was so special and I can't wait for our next adventure :) You should be so proud xoxo

  2. Oh Emily
    That is amazing. I literally have tears streaming down my face. You are working so hard and the joy in your face is amazing. Well done. I am sure you now know you can do anything.

  3. Fantastic effort Emily, your so brave and strong
    You CAN do anything you set your mind too!