Thursday, September 02, 2010
This blog was inspired by a comment left by one of my Spark buddies.
We all know what makes us tick, what our dreams, goals and ambitions for us as an individual are. Not as a mother or father, not as a spouse, not as a lover, not as a daughter or son, or in our professional title, but as a person. We all start out with the best of intentions, full of promise and possibility, but quite often, somewhere along the road our train goes off the track. We focus on our partners, what they need, what they're going through, how to be their backbone and push them to the next level. We focus on our children and pour every bit of the best of who we are into them. We focus on our work and how to reach that level of success that will allow us to look back and say "I made it". We focus on the neighborhood gossip and what they might be saying about us behind our backs. We focus on anything and everything, but who we are and who we wanted to be. Is it really any wonder that we ended up here? Wherever your "here" is, whether its being over weight, over stressed, under appreciated or flat out over whelmed, we all got here the same way. Not taking the time to take care of ourselves. Putting ourselves last on the list of priorities. Taking less than we deserve and giving until we have nothing left to give.
If there is one thing I've learned, not only on this weight loss journey, but in life in general, its that you cannot live for other people. You can't live for your parents, you can't live for your friends, you can't live for your partner, you can't live for your children. You need to live for you. Find your joy and find what makes your spirit sing and live for you. Stop using other people's expectations as the measuring stick by which you gauge your accomplishments and your worth. That old adage is true: You can't please all of the people all the time. Please YOURSELF. If you fill your spirit with love and acceptance for YOURSELF, that love will spill over to your friends and loved ones. You cannot give away what you don't have. You can't give your friends support and encouragement if you don't know how to look at yourself and say "You did the damn thing, good job". You can't upgrade your partner to first class if you are sitting in economy. You can't give your children the gift of being secure with who they are, if you are not secure with who YOU are.
Where does this tie into weight loss? For me, a big part of my journey was and remains about acceptance. See, before I lost a pound I had to learn to accept myself as is, right there in that moment. Because if I didn't love me at 223 pounds (yes, I said 223) then I wouldn't love me at 180, or 150 or 120. If I couldn't look at myself and KNOW that I was beautifully, gloriously, and divinely made it wouldn't matter if I were a size 22 or a size 6, I would STILL be in the same place. Living to fulfill the expectations of others. Hoping that THEIR praise, THEIR thankfulness, and THEIR acceptance would fill up the empty space in my spirit. And when I fell short, letting THEIR disappointment, THEIR hurtful words, THEIR judgments of who I am determine MY worth. I had to walk over to a FULL length mirror, buck booty naked (no it was not a good look lol) and say "I accept myself for who I am, flaws and all. I love me, I have worth, I have beauty and I am going to say it until I believe it." And it took months but eventually, I believed it. And I was STILL, as my Big Mama would say, "wide as all outside". It wasn't about the scale, or my clothes, or the expectations of society or friends or loved ones. It wasn't about my finances, or my job. It wasn't about Ethan...it was about ME. ME ME ME ME. Once I loved every bit of me from the top of my head to the tips of my toes, THEN I could move forth and change. I didn't have to "love" the dimples in my butt, the rolls on my stomach or the cellulite on my thighs but I had to accept they were there and love me with them to insure I would love me without them.
And the lesson in all this is- nothing and no one is stopping you from shining RIGHT NOW but you. I said NOW. Not at your goal weight, not twenty pounds from now, or when you run your first 5k, or when you fit into those size whatever jeans....SHINE RIGHT NOW. Whether you are size 28 or a size 2. Go and grab your diva moment. So many of you are sitting here, waiting until you reach some magical milestone to reward yourself....that's a good motivator for the future, but what are you doing to celebrate, embrace and love yourself RIGHT NOW? Go buy that freakum dress RIGHT NOW, put it on and KNOW that you are fierce, fabulous and can't nobody tell you nothing because you KNOW that you are the ish. Go do something you enjoy- be it the ballet, or paint ball or dancing...go do something to make you feel alive and renewed RIGHT NOW.
Your life is now not in ten, twenty or a hundred pounds. Its NOW. Accept yourself now. Love and celebrate yourself now. Honor yourself RIGHT NOW. Nothing and no one is stopping you from blinding the world with your shine, but you. No one is saying you can't make improvements...but there is a difference, a HUGE difference in body image and self image. Losing weight can only improve your body image. I will never be fake with y'all. I would be lying if I said I didn't like my body a hell of a lot more now than I did 60 plus pounds ago. But I would also be lying if I told you guys that losing that weight is what gave me my confidence, my joy, my swag if you will. My body is the temple that houses my spirit, but my spirit has been shining brightly and beautifully for a long time now and my body is just starting to catch up. Do not turn off your light while you are constructing your temple. SHINE RIGHT NOW. Your light is a beautiful thing. Honor it. Celebrate it. Love it and let it shine.