Six Month Extension of Progress and Love at the Golden Door

It has been six months since I first crossed the threshold at the Golden Door embarking on a journey of love and self acceptance. I will always remember the feeling of warmth that overwhelmed me as I walked through the golden door for the first time on April 1 st . The huge oak and eucalyptus trees overhead and the ivy filled riverbed below. It was like walking on nature's heavenly path. Golden Door administrators graciously offered me a 6 month opportunity to work with a trainer and therapist to support my effort in becoming healthy. The journey started on April first and was to conclude at the end of September - this week. In the last six months, here is what I have learned because of the Golden Door:

1) Absolute thinking is as harmful to me physically as it is emotionally and the two are closely related. I've learned to appreciate the progress toward my health rather than getting disappointed in myself for not "performing" to my standards. The cycle of guilt doesn't have to start if I just remember that I set the pace for my life. I'm not competing with anyone, not even myself. Rather, I'm embracing the fact that: yes, I like to eat. Yes, I was raised in a home surrounded by good food and socializing focused on food. Yes, I want my body to catch up with my mentality.

2. Judging equals "shoulding" myself and others. My health transcends beyond the weightless in and of itself yet I find myself thinking, "I should have lost more weight/I need to lose more weight". This judgment makes me feel disappointed with myself/my results. I do not go buck wild anymore (the old me would have found refuge in a pint of ice cream, but not anymore. I can honestly say, that I do not binge for the hell of it. I'm trying to remove the word, "should" from my vocabulary. It does not serve me or anyone else in my life when I place a "should" on their experience or mine.

3. Generosity of time and energy is more valuable than money. The Golden Door has been ultra generous with me. Their staff knows my name - from greeter to trainer, everyone says hello, hugs me, and makes me feel like I'm a part of the Golden Door family. It's truly a place of love and light. Here's a story: I was once offered $10,000 to lose 60 lbs. and I immediately stopped losing weight. Something about that offer made my journey about that person's control over me, rather than me embracing my journey. I was more co-dependent back then and totally different than who I am now. I've learned that it is more helpful to do what you can for people, rather than throw cash around like a tool. Seriously. If you can SERVE someone's soul, be PART of their journey, then you will have blessed them ten-fold and they will appreciate your energy.

So, back to my "golden opportunity" at the Golden Door that was scheduled to end this week. I was emotionally prepared to say my thank you and farewell to Ellen, my trainer. In the middle of bicep curls I was overwhelmed thinking of how strong I feel, how grateful I am for the changes that GD has helped facilitate. I cried tears of gratitude and thanked her up to heaven and back for her support. Shortly thereafter, Judy (the Executive Director) came into the gym, to say goodbye, or so I thought. Instead, Judy and Ellen said that they had a surprise for me . . . and presented me with a certificate that said that they would like to extend my training/therapy for another six months! UN-REAL. Is this a dream or my real life? I am THRILLED! Feeling absolutely BLESSED. Looking back, I feel bad because through my tears of freaking amazement, I hugged Judy and Ellen while I was all sweaty and gross. Poor women! The last six months have been life changing, and I am so grateful for the next leg of the journey with the amazing staff at the Golden Door by my side. How did I get to be this lucky? Thank you, Lord.