Monday, March 05, 2012
In September of 2008, I made a goal. I was determined to lose 52 pounds by my 35th birthday, and on that day, wear a hot black dress and strappy sandals. On March 14th, 2009, I celebrated my birthday 2 pounds shy of my goal! I eventually lost those two pounds, plus another three. After a few months, I gained ten back, but have maintained that very healthy weight for nearly three years.
My 38th birthday is coming up next week. It's making me step back and take a look at my life - not just the issues I've dealt with surrounding my weight, but how incredibly different things are, in ways I never would have imagined when I started here on Spark.
In the past three years, while maintaining my weight, I separated from my husband, went back to school, divorced said husband of 17 years, graduated summa cum laude in both of my majors, got my first full-time job in 16 years, got my second full-time job at one of the best companies in the country, and tried desperately to successfully navigate my six kids through the resulting tumultuous waters of life. Tonight, I took my sixteen year old daughter driving for the first time! She did great! My fifteen year old daughter cuddled on our big chair with me. My twelve year old daughter worked hard to clean her room. My eleven year old son came home late from his friend's house, apologized, and said he was going to start all over and be better even though he knew he was grounded. My nine year old daughter read scriptures to me. And my seven year old son courageously accepted that he, once again, misplaced his lost tooth and would have to resort to writing a note to the tooth fairy (he just read it to me - adorable!).
My carpet is a disaster. I think every wall in this house has some sort of smudge on it. One of the drawers in the kitchen is busted and the weeds are starting to pop up again in the backyard. I've got a pile of unfolded laundry and cookie sheets in the sink.
I have the most amazing man in my life. He happens to live 2300 miles away, and I have no idea how we're going to be together. He bought me roses and chocolates for Valentine's Day! He flies across the country (or flies ME across the country) so we can spend time together as much as possible. We video chat for hours every night and fall asleep with each other. I've never had a friend like him. I've never felt as supported, loved, adored and valued like I do with him. He's courageous and strong, determined and incredibly smart, hilariously funny, kind, gentle, loving, sweet, romantic, masculine. I had no idea that one man could have so many incredible qualities, but he does. And he loves me! When I see myself through his eyes, I'm amazed. And guess what? I met him here! On Spark! I gave him his first gold star when he joined! We pray every day that we'll find a way to be together.
I don't eat as well as I should. I don't eat as many veggies and fruit as I should. I don't eat as much of anything as I should because I spend a lot of my calories on chocolate. I battle the emotional eating beast every single day. I struggle constantly with the desire to compulsively eat. I'm unhappy with my middle. I'm pretty ok with everything else but my stretched-out, six baby belly.
I work up a fantastic sweat on my ski machine, six days a week for an hour. Sometimes I try something new, but I usually go back to the ski machine. And why not? It works! I feel great and strong and healthy. On my old work schedule, I would wake up at 5am to fit it in. Now that I wake up at 4:15am just to get to work, I have to do it in the evening. But I do it! I *need* to do it. It's so important to me. I feel terrible when I don't exercise. Terrible mentally and emotionally. I love feeling strong, like I can do anything!
In September I celebrated three years on Spark. This month I celebrate three years since I reached my original goal. I'm proud of myself for every single day of hard work I've put in. I'm proud of myself for never letting my body be overweight again. I'm proud of myself for providing for my kids financially, emotionally, and spiritually. I'm proud of myself for graduating from college with such high honors, and never stopping until I got the job I have.
I've prayed days and nights over my family and myself. And through all the hard work, I know the Lord has watched over me and helped me. And I know He's proud of me too.