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Forgiving and Loving "that girl" in the Mirror

Monday, January 07, 2013

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! emoticon 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.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • CHERYLA2012
    ... not being smart enough to find a solution.

    It's not that you weren't smart enough, it's that you weren't ready to receive the message.

    So many times the answer is right there and we are so preoccupied we just don't get it or see it. And then one day we are and - boom!

    Woah! Where did *that* come from? :D


    1863 days ago
    1867 days ago
  • MARIANNE9855
    very inspiring- I am 20 years older than you and also a social worker- unfortunately unemployed. when you are a social worker you can exhaust yourself giving to others even though it makes you feel good and successful despite your size. Now I don't have that the weight is slamming in the face and I can't ignore it. I have trouble fitting in chairs and at every interview I worry about that and if that is why they don't hire me despite my strong credentials and skills. Well, maybe God gave me this break to focus on taking care of me and getting healthy so I am taking it. emoticon
    1867 days ago
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    1867 days ago
    I agree, you have to love yourself enough to change,,,,,something Im still working on,,,,Thanks for sharing, it helped me! emoticon
    1867 days ago
    You are incredible, spreading your story, working on loving yourself and in that helping others find their worth and love.

    Your daughter needs a mom who loves herself. They learn so much from watching us. Your journey, your commitment will show in your daughter someday. She will mimic those things. You seem like a wonderful woman and great role model for your little angel.

    I am working on myself with respect to accepting my body. I want children soon and one of my concerns has always been raising a confident happy child when I have struggled with these things. You give me hope. Thank you.

    1867 days ago
    Why do we beat outselves up so? Why do we speak to ourselves in such negative ways? Why do we tie our self-worth to the number on a scale? If we could change that negative mind set, we'd be more successful in so many of life's areas. We should always treat ourselves with as much kindness and love as we treat others. You have finally reached that place--your blog was very enlightening and contains so much truth!
    1867 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/8/2013 8:23:48 PM
    I still have trouble seeing the good in me sometimes. Guess I'll have to work on that.
    1867 days ago
  • LAURAJ33
    This actually had me crying by the end. Thank you so much for posting it! Very inspiring.
    1868 days ago
    Beautiful words from a beautiful person. My internal chat is a lot harsher than any words I would ever use towards anyone else. Next time that critical voice appears I will try to remember to be kinder to myself and love me for being me. Thank you for reminding me to be kind.

    Keep smiling and posting. emoticon
    1868 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/8/2013 2:50:38 PM
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    1868 days ago
    I think there must be forgiveness along the way, that you may not have acknowledged, to have the kind of success you are having! You are very right, forgiveness, love, respect, self respect, is everyones right regardless of our size or weight.

    Thanks for sharing!
    1868 days ago
    God knew you before you were even born And He loved YOU!!!! I too have been going through the part of loving myself now and not in the future. I also am learning to forgive myself for doing to my body what I had done. I was up to 390# when I quit weighing myself. Like not weighing would not make the weight I had on my body be there. Haha! It is important to know you can and should forgive and love yourself all along the journey. Keep up the good work.
    Marcia emoticon
    1868 days ago
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    1868 days ago
    Forgiving ourselves is a very difficult thing to do.
    I am still working on it.
    I have lost 110 pounds, still have another 100 to go.
    I feel like I lost about 40 years of my life too.
    There is so much sadness around that.
    But I can't get it back, I can only go forward.
    One day at a time.

    May God Bless and guide you on your journey through life.
    1868 days ago
  • COLEMAN500
    You are a Human Sparkler!! A motivation for us all
    1868 days ago
    Your blog touched me in so many ways this morning. I applaud you for having the strength and courage to tell your story. You have made a difference for me.

    I too, am a person who feels I am not worthy of love. While my journey with SparkPeople has been self awakening, I'm still not able to find the love of myself. And until I do, I won't get there.

    You are amazing! And I also think you're beautiful.


    1868 days ago
    Good for you for confronting this paradox. We're all trying to get thinner and look 'better' but at the same time we are all pretty good people already. I'm glad you can be serious about it. So far the best I'm able to do is make fun of myself.
    1868 days ago
  • IROCK40
    So inspiring. Thank you for sharing. Hugs
    1868 days ago
    Congrats on your journey so far. You are an inspiration.
    1868 days ago
    Beautiful inside and out!
    1868 days ago
    Even more Priceless.
    1868 days ago
    Great blog! You are inspiring! emoticon
    1868 days ago
    Another heart felt blog. Yes your so worth all the love you can give yourself. I agree you do need to acknowledge who you were so you can be proud of who you are becoming.
    With each day I wish for you to be the best life has to offer.
    Hugs, Sandy
    1868 days ago
    so true love,thanks for sharing by the way there is nothing wrong with the colour of the paint i have it in my makes it a nice a sunny place so i want to stay there longer to cook my own food etc. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon to you and emoticon to the person you used to be as well
    1868 days ago
    Yes, I agree with your mom, You are so beautiful....
    1868 days ago
    You are So beautiful to me Judy, and it never mattered what you weighed. When I look at your face in any picture, I see YOU, a daughter of the King and the best friend He ever gave me--the one who has loved me unconditionally my whole life and rescued me in so many ways. You are a treasure. I wish I had been there to hug you again and again those years you withdrew and isolated, to tell you how loved you are by our Heavenly Father and by me. Your journey is incredible and an inspiration to all sizes of people in any stage of life. Thank you my dear friend.
    1868 days ago
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