In May I embarked on a challenge to lose at least 18 lbs. My goal was not to reach a certain pant size or number on the scale for the sake of the number, but to qualify for skydiving, a long time dream.
I ended up losing a total of 24 lbs. (so far) & on August 22nd, I jumped out of a plane.
It was surreal. The rush compared to nothing I’ve ever experienced. My senses were overloaded in the best possible way and to this day every time I close my eyes I go back to leaning out at 10,000 feet and falling into nothing.
For me going skydiving isn’t just a bucket list thing that I’ve checked off and use as the token dare devil story at happy hour. It represents something more.
It means I can do anything I set out to accomplish. Yes, ANYTHING.
I can discipline myself to reach goals when the motivation is effective, the methods healthy, and the support strong.
I had strong motivation to jump out of a plane and get myself on track to tame my curves to a place that would help reduce my risks of things like diabetes, heart disease, and other cancers. (I’ve survived one kind of cancer and am not interested in round two.)
I tackled the challenge with the support of coaches and staff at Baptist Health/Milestone Wellness Center who NEVER shamed me, always helped point me toward the end goal, and sought to help work things into my routine that I would enjoy and also benefit from. They didn’t just put me on a wellness conveyor belt and tell me to do XYZ to look a certain way. It was always about me FEELING more WELL. The scale mattered because of the skydiving restrictions, but that was secondary for them to how I FELT. They were and continue to be important to my wellness journey.
I had other supports, too. My brother and sister-in-law, and kind of cousin Carmen (it’s a long story, we are a whole big motley crew) checked in with me all the time in positive ways. They affirmed that my value is not in my weight and my biggest accomplishments will never have to do with a scale or pant size. They just encouraged me to keep doing the things that made me feel good. They celebrated with me when I reached the goal. They were in my corner. There were others, too, but those three stand out above the crowd.
I am NOT celebrating weight loss today. I am celebrating the proof of the strength of will that gives me the gumption to tackle other things, too. Look out, everyone, there’s no stopping me now.
Here’s my final video reflection about the experience and some footage of the FREE FALL!