Sunday, March 5, 2017

Worth the Weight - Finale

I felt strongly that 2017 needed to be different for me. In years past my goals have been to go somewhere, do something, or try something new. There is certainly nothing wrong with that and I’ve enjoyed those things, but I felt a longing for something else; something more personal, more unseen, even less tangible. As I review my goals for 2017, without intending to do it I created goals that allow me to reflect, to meditate, to build my relationship with my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not entirely on track, but I’m trying.

As I’ve tried, I discovered some things:

I am NOT a number, on a scale or otherwise.

I am NOT beautiful because I’m a certain size, shape, or any other criteria.

I am NOT valued less because I struggle.

I AM a daughter of God.

I AM beautiful and valued because I am His.

As I try to accomplish these goals, the vision I have of myself continues to improve. I promise it’s not because I’ve lost weight or fit the mold the world has told me to try to embrace. I am not of this world, and neither are you. We are each divine beings having this mortal experience.

I know this will continue to be a journey. I will have good days and bad days as we all will. I will make positive choices, and hopefully they’ll outweigh the poor decisions or moments of weakness.

Though it has been a relatively short time on this journey, I am truly LOVING who I am now and I believe it is, in part, because I'm coming to know me as God knows me, and I Him. That's the most important relationship I can ever hope to have. And that, my friends, it really worth the wait.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Worth the Weight - Part 2

In August of 2015 I was preparing to fly to Utah to meet my nephew. This should have been a most joyous time but it was so hard! There had been some conflicts I was dealing with that weren’t helping the situation at all, but my internal struggle had come to a breaking point…and it was me who was breaking.

I’m an anxious/excited traveler; I like to pack a week (or at least several days) in advance. For this trip, it was the morning I was supposed to leave and I was still debating on whether to pull my suitcase out and actually leave. I had recently discovered the show “Girl Meets World”, the remake/spin off of “Boy Meets World”. I don’t know if it was simply because I loved BMW growing up, or if it was really as cute as I thought at the time, but I fell in love with this show.  On this day in particular I watched the episode where Riley had a bully. I laid on my bed watching this episode, bawling my eyes out as I listened to Riley repeat to Maya the things her bully had said to her. The tears weren’t for her…they were for me. Those were the things I had been telling myself. I was my own worst bully!

The things I was telling myself I would never say to anyone else. Then why was it okay for me? As I laid there in shocked realization, I made a decision that I would try to become my own biggest fan, rather than my own worst bully.

Knowing what I needed to do, and doing what I needed to do were two very different things. I would attempt to tell myself something positive, then follow it up with a negative behavior (enter binge eating…another side of the eating disorder spectrum). It would go something like this: “Your hair looks nice today” (something simple and that didn’t happen often), then I’d eat something and be out of control and berate myself for not doing better. It felt like every step forward I tried to make I’d sling shot backwards (forget the simple two steps back idea).

I felt trapped in my life, like the quest to find myself was wrapped only in appearance. I knew that wasn’t true, that the size of my waist or the number on the scale somehow defined who I was. So I set myself on a mission to discover the real me again. I tried setting myself up where I was when I started this journey – with a lot of positive, non-weight related goals. Really, when 2013 started I just wanted to walk 500 miles…losing weight, though I joined Weight Watchers and worked for it, was almost an accident. I tried this in both 2016 and already in 2017.

If you remember, I had a goal wall set up. I wanted a very visual way to track my accomplishments that year. Turns out, that isn’t me either, and I took the 2017 goal wall down.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Worth the Weight - Part 1

Vulnerability: the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.

The beauty of a blog is that you show only what you want to be seen. I've hid a lot, some because it doesn't need to be seen by the world (or by all three readers who may accidentally slip across this page), some because I didn't want to show my own weakness; I didn't want to be vulnerable.

Over the last year or so I've discovered material from Brene Brown on vulnerability. You can check out a video here

This, my friends, is me being vulnerable about the very topic that pushed me into shame. I'm nervous about being this open, but it's time. I need to do this for me. Because its going to be a rather long post, I'll break this up into a few segments.

Several years ago I documented my weight loss journey right here on this blog. In 2013 I lost a total of 50 pounds...and most of "me", or at least who I felt like I was.

It's kind of hard to explain unless you've been there. When my weight loss became really noticeable to others, it was as if everyone had something to say. There was quite a bit of positive feedback, and having people tell me I looked beautiful on a regular basis was nice...for a little while.

After several weeks, though, I began to wonder if no one ever thought I was beautiful before, that somehow it was only possible to be seen as such because I lost the weight. People wanted to know my "secret" (seriously, healthy diet and exercise). People wanted to hear what I'd changed. All of a sudden, people who had never spoken to me before were inviting themselves into my life...and I let them.

In January 2014 I had a total and complete breakdown. Without being overly dramatic, I was headed right to an eating disorder. On the outside I still looked as I had, but inside I was a shattered mess. I absolutely HATED myself. The worst part was that I put up walls around myself...I couldn't let anyone know what I was dealing with. I felt I was the only person who ever felt this way (reality check...not true)!

Over the next couple of years I would yo-yo with food intake, exercise level, weight gain/loss (mostly gain), and self-image. All of a sudden the only voices I could hear outside myself were people talking about how much weight they wanted to lose, how uncomfortable they felt, and bragging about how little they ate. These were women (and some men) I looked up to and admired them, not only for their looks but for their knowledge, experience, and wisdom. I wanted to be like them, but they, who I only ever dreamed of looking like, said they weren't good enough. Whatever positive self-image I had tried to regain slipped right back into obscurity. It would be impossible.