Well, I'm going to do it...I'm taking the plunge and posting a cheesy before/after picture.
Frankly, I don't see a TON of difference when I look at pics, but I can tell you right now that the person in the pic on the right is not the same woman as the one on the left.
Been considering all morning this idea of, "I'm not where I'd like to be, but I'm also not where I used to be." It's definitely true. But something else occurred to me that actually has me quite shaken up and I feel I'm on the verge of a rather significant perspective change.
The only photos I was able to find of me in my unhealthier days were ones with friends and family...and, in all of them, I appeared to be so happy. No...strike that...I WAS so happy. As I looked through photo after photo (not many of them full body shots), I was reminded of every single memory with every person in every photo. These photos are going back up to 6 years and span to just yesterday at lunch. And, since everyone loves pictures, I thought I'd give you a sampling (oldest to newest).
Warning: Some of these photos are *gasp* fat photos. But...I'm not so embarrassed anymore. I'll explain in a minute.
So, what's the big revelation? It's this: I have been so blessed, in that I have ALWAYS been loved by so many. These people have not based their affection on my weight, my health, my exercise routine or how much I inspire them. They just loved me for ME. They always have and they always will. Even when I have not loved myself.
I recently went through some hardcore counseling (I guess this is a tell-all today! haha) and discovered that my deepest heart issue throughout my entire life has always been a desire to feel loved by others. I always search for that love in the wrong places and I always feel like I don't have enough.
But today, looking through so many old photos, I realize that it's always been there. My self-hatred was blinding me to that. I feel like I've been awakened from a hazy dream...and can see what I didn't see before.
I truly believe my changing health has been a catalyst to a clearer mind and a more honest heart. Awhile back, I wondered if focusing so much on getting healthy might be narcissistic. But now I see that it's not that...it's a focus on yourself and who you truly are...so that you can slowly learn to love yourself. And, once you begin to do that...you can look back and see clearly that you have always been loved...but you pushed it away or simply didn't believe that it could be possible.
Well...at least that's how it's been for me. All in all, I'm feeling deeply grateful and blessed today. I don't know how I have been privileged to know such amazing and wonderful people in my life, but I will take them!!!! And you, SparkFriends, are a part of that now.
Thanks for the love. You know I can't get enough.