If it doesn’t challenge you…

It won’t change you…

workout wall

I have come to understand the truth in this statement more and more as my journey continues.

In the beginning, right after surgery, I swear the first 50 pounds dropped right off.  I walked every day, sure, but with very little effort the pounds came loose and I left them behind.  The next 40 have taken concerted effort and that’s caused a change in myself.  Growth and learning have been the name of the game.

Growth in learning to be responsible for my choices, including the foods I eat and how often I move; learning has been a process of figuring out how to just be nice to myself.  I never really realized how poorly I talked to myself or how hard on myself I had been.

Along this journey I’ve learned compassion for myself.  Like the kind of compassion I have for others.  When I slip or make a less-than-great choice, I forgive myself.  After all, it wasn’t one bit, one choice, one non-choice, that brought me to 300 pounds.  It was a series of choices made over many years.

I have had to stretch and grow and change over this last year in ways I couldn’t have imagined in the beginning.  I have had to own emotions I didn’t know I had, put the why behind what I’m eating into the forefront and be more honest with those around me about what I’m thinking or feeling than I ever have before.  And in doing so, I lost my “overcoat” – the protective envelope I had kept myself hidden in under all those pounds.

I have found that the things that were the hardest — the ones I thought would break me in the end — are actually the things that caused not only the greatest change in me, but the greatest peace.

I’m no longer the loudest person in a room, that girl was trying to deflect attention away from her discomfort with her body.  I am no longer the first one to make a joke at my own expense.  Same reason as before.  I have a peace within me.  I am comfortable in my skin.  I feel…good.  I have worked hard.  I exercise pretty much daily.  Even when I don’t feel like it. My friend Alisha here in SC has been super instrumental in that consistency.  I eat 85-90% healthy.  I still indulge, but more often than not it’s something I planned for and it’s not due to trauma, or sadness, or pain.

I wear makeup again.  Which is funny if you think about it.  When I was super heavy I didn’t want to wear it.  Mostly because it required me to look in the mirror for an extended period of time.  That was very uncomfortable for me.  Today I enjoy the reflection.  Not because it’s a thinner version, but because it’s a happier version of me.  And not because I’m wearing smaller sizes, but because I feel healthy.  My heart beats normally, I’m not swollen and puffy, and my cheeks aren’t perpetually rosy red from the high blood pressure.

This journey has been challenging.  Some days so much so that I wanted to just sit down and throw in the towel for the day…but in the end meeting those challenges has changed my perspective, my life.  I am grateful for them and have learned to embrace them.  That’s why I put those words on the wall in our fitness room.  Those words are the first thing I see when I open the door every day.

If it doesn’t challenge you…It won’t change you

I am thankful for all then challenges along the way.

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