It is so fitting that this piece of inspiration came across my eyes today as I celebrate my 31st year of life. As I sit back and think, I realize I spent so many of my earlier years really trying to find myself and failing miserably. Many times, those failures lead to overeating and low self-esteem, which, in turn, allowed me to get to my highest weight of 338 pounds. I never knew what I wanted to be or how what I wanted to be would come to pass, especially while living the life of a military spouse. I would get so focused on trying to find out what really suits me, so I tried EVERYTHING! I went to college for law, left that school and went to school for massage therapy, left there to try to sell fire extinguishers, left that to work for Petsmart. Ended that to work as a manager for a southern food restaurant chain and then thought I found my calling working for the State of Tennessee.
Throughout that journey, which started at age 18 and ended at age 25, I desperately wanted to find out who I was at the time. Surely I wasn't a wife of a guy who decided that entrepreneur businesses who paid barely reasonable wages was the way to go. I thought I was better than that. It was that thinking that lead to depression for me. The constant thought was: why can't I find who I am to be in this world? I knew I was destined to be a wife and a mother but (at the time) I'm not sure how long I wanted to stay married and if not married, I certainly did not want a child (not necessarily for religious beliefs but because I couldn't necessarily take care of myself, so how would address a child's needs?). After deciding that being married was worth it and staying in my marriage (one of the best decisions I've made in my life...almost 10 years and going strong!) , I moved with my husband to our first duty station and then discovered through accident about my "created" life.
To me, there is a distinct difference in a "found" life and a "created" life. Trying to find a life means one knows what one is supposed to be and what one is supposed to do. Perhaps the only thing is finding a way to get it accomplished. However, creating a life is where one may stumble, fall, trip, just happen, and/or "lesser of two evils" their way into a life that they never thought they could have experienced. It's this life that a person can finally understand that age old adage of "life is what you make of it." I find that to be my way of looking at my life now. It seems I have been living a created life since February 28, 2010 and have been enjoying it ever since. Sure there are some things about it that I did not think I'd enjoy or want to do but ask me today about them and I'd do them again in a heartbeat because of what they've allowed me be and do. Without that hospital stay on February 28, 2010 and the panic attack that sent me there, I'd never get into nutrition and fitness the way I have which would have delayed or even stopped my chance of becoming a mother both to an angel baby and to a take-home baby. I would have never met a wonderful nutritionist who encouraged me to take myself higher with putting education behind my knowledge. I would have never experienced living in a different country that puts a different spin on mental health and puts the utmost attention on healthy living.
Oh I could go on and on but the point I'm trying to make is that in creating this life and experiencing it, it would have never happened had I continued to try to find myself in this life. I've been through some high points in my life (getting and staying married, losing major weight, giving birth twice after a doctor told me I'd never get pregnant, etc) and some low points (almost breaking up my marriage, learning Dad had cancer, losing my first daughter, etc) but all in all, everything has taught me that the life I've lived has been a good one filled with wonderful lessons and beautiful growing points.
Therefore, it's this thought that I take with me into my 31st year of life as I continue on my weight loss journey: this journey will be filled with highs and lows but it's what I make of them that counts the most. Sure there will be some days that my best wasn't given or good enough and that's ok with me because there will be a lesson in it's midst to learn. There will also be days where I overachieve while feeling totally awesome about it and that's ok with me. Nevertheless, it's what I make of those times that will ultimately define the end result of my weight loss. The same is true for life in general. It's what we make of the highs and lows in our life that defines the end result. If you think positively more than negatively, you'll have a more positive result. Vice versa happens too.
So I encourage all to live a created life, especially when it comes to weight loss. There will be positives and negatives but they all make you who you are destined to be in the end - the best version of you! Don't let the negatives get to you because they are helping to shape you. Don't let the positives give you a big head, for they are designed to keep you going in the same direction of bettering yourself. There will be stumbles, plateaus and set backs as well as achievements, successes and victories. They are all designed to help propel you to the next level of being the best you. With that being said, I'll leave you with a statement from one of the best coaches of all-time, Vince Lombardi. I'll let him give a pep statement with hopes that we all can stay motivated along this journey called life.
"You can accomplish anything if you're willing to pay the price" ~ Vince Lombardi
I'm willing and I can! And YOU CAN DO IT TOO!!! Stay motivated!