I have read and re-read my last blog entry several times. I find it amazing that this particular blog post received so much feedback, because it was an uncomfortable post to put out there. It was an acknowledgment of something I've been avoiding and denying for far too long.
For the past year, I have had my ticker set for my CURRENT weight loss (past years worth). When people asked me how much weight I'd lost, I'd proudly tell them the number of pounds I'd lost in 2012. At each 10# accomplishment, I'd post a picture stating that I'd lost that amount. Why is this significant? Because there was another 110# that had been lost. Another 110# of history that I was pretending didn't exist. I find that peculiar now that I think about it.
As I read and re-read yesterday's blog, and noticed my verbiage in conversations with friends today, I realize that when I think/talk about the time in my life that my weight spiraled to over 400#, I don't talk about it in the first person. I say "that girl", or "she". Never "me", or "I". I am separating myself from the person that I was. Separating myself from the place of self-loathing, sadness, and hopelessness. And in a way, it is separate. I have worked very hard for over a decade to fight my way out of that. HOWEVER! Something is screaming at me loud and clear today.
I hated myself 11 years ago. I hated what I had allowed to happen to my body. I hated the way I looked and moved. I hated the clothes I wore, and the way people stared at me in public. I hated that I didn't fit in normal furniture, and I hated how many pieces of furniture met their demise under the weight of my girth. I hated how I binged in private, as though the secret didn't show in every pound I wore. I hated myself for being weak. I hated myself for not being smart enough to find a solution. I hated myself. And worse..... I believed that because I hated myself, there was nothing lovable about me. I expected others to hate me, too.
Flash forward 11 years, and I realize that in order to get to my goal weight, I must learn to show love to myself NOW! Today! I must love myself enough to take care of myself. You destroy the things you hate. You build up the things you love. So was it any wonder that my hatred for myself continued to destroy me?
Oh, how I wish I could go back and talk to my 420#, 27 year old self! What a different experience I may have had.
I would want this girl to stand proud! She is a survivor! No one else knows the path she has taken. The fire that God asked her to walk through. And she deserves to feel proud and worthy. I would love to tell her that her worth is not measured on the scale, but rather by her heart. I would tell her to try and see herself for just a moment as God sees her..... valuable beyond measure, created with unique gifts and talents, possessing an ability to love and heal people. I would tell her that this God-given gift she has of accepting people just as they are, in their darkest hour, is more than a career.... it's her path out of the dark. It's her ticket to freedom! But she must turn that grace on herself that she so effortlessly gives to others. I would tell her that one day she would have a daughter who believes she can do anything, and that she likely hung the moon and sets the sun to rise each morning.
And you know the coolest thing? I CAN talk to that girl. Because I am that girl. And her hurts and worries are still carried in my heart. Those old insecurities still sneak out and mess with my mind now and then. So I may try to separate myself from that time because in truth, I am ashamed of it. But I can't. It is a part of my journey. It is a part of who I am. It is a piece of what I've overcome.
So you will see that my ticker now reflects my total weight loss of 180#. In my own little way, it's a means of acceptance.
This is a picture of me about 11 years ago.
This is a picture of me last month. (No, that is NOT a color I chose for my house!
I was helping paint a sunday school room for our new church)
Guess what? I am no more worthy of love in the second picture than I am in the first. I may be thinner. I may have become more successful in reaching my weight loss goals. I may be happier with my life circumstances. But I am no more worthy of love and respect.
My point? I am forgiving "that" girl, and deciding to love her now. I'm sorry that I couldn't love her more at the time. And if you're reading this, and you feel like you can't get out of that pit, or feel like you aren't worthy of love, please, PLEASE reconsider. You are so unique and special. You are so worthy of love. And you deserve to meet your goals. You deserve to be healthy and enjoy life.
You deserve it all.
We all do.