When I joined SparkPeople, I thought it was because I wanted (needed) to take control of my weight and my health... and for awhile this remained a truth I could comfortably live with. I was undeniably fat (morbidly obese), and I was chronically ill.
Interestingly, while the weight was my most obvious symptom, it wasn't where my journey began. In fact, it was actually only after years of frustrating struggle, that the weight began to take care of itself... only after I discovered and embraced that which I needed to heal... emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
Turns out my true and authentic reason for being here was to STRUGGLE... not unlike labouring to give birth... and my struggle was about giving birth to MY SELF... whole, healed, authentic, joyful, FREE, deeply engaged in the life with which I've been blessed.
...And once I fully embraced that struggle, once I stopped fighting against the invitation (call) to struggle, the journey to wellness and weight loss became comparatively easy.
My life today, while not looking much different on the surface, has become so much MORE in ways I could not have anticipated.
If you are over-weight, unhappy, unfulfilled, weary, feeling small... you have to cut yourself loose somehow from whatever it is that binds you, and holds you back. From this diminished, beaten-down state, you don't have the clarity of mind or the physical well-being to move forward (even with weight loss) without continuing to damage yourself.
I wouldn't presume to tell anyone what they need to do with any specificity (because for each of us the specifics are different), but I can tell you that I don't at all, not for a moment regret distancing (and even eliminating in some cases) the damaging influences in my life... whether they be food-related, relationships (toxic, hurtful people), bad habits, poor choices, fear to live fully... ANYTHING that makes your world smaller than you really want it to be.
I am MUCH happier without them all. I am healthier at age 56 than I have ever been or dreamed I could be. All of my relationships (with the noted exception of those which were toxic and damaging in the first place) have improved. I can see life in a clearer, more authentic, and hopeful way. I am accomplishing more for myself, those I love, and my community. I am healing on all levels. Food has become a healing force in my life. There is finally room for good, loving and enriching people in my life... because the toxicity is no longer taking up more space than it deserved (read: NONE). I am no longer perpetually anxious, insecure in my own judgement and desires, and exhausted... and my life is interesting, JOYOUS and fulfilling.
Oh! And, once the toxicity was eliminated and I was living a life that reflected who I really am, the weight came off! Funny how that works! Obesity is so often a symptom of a life unfairly starved of richness.
All I really want to do today is share some of the notions which inspired and carried me down this birth canal, and brought me to myself. It's my greatest hope for you, Amy (and anyone else reading), that these words somehow give you the courage to enter fully into the process of labouring for your own sake, rather than against all that would ensure you don't succeed! Stop fighting against, and fight FOR.
In no particular order...
Choose your storm!
...and lest anyone think it's been easy to be here for nearly 10 years:
Why I'm Still Here... my SparkJourney Saga
No more Mrs. Doubtfire... or Picture UPDATE at nearly 100 lbs. ELIMINATED!
What I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Losing a Lot of Weight
How I Am Eliminating 'EXCESS Weight'
CICO Shove Off! 'New Kid on the (Nutritional) Block' Hits Mainstream
(ponder this some and you come to see this SPARKjourney in a whole new light)
I continue to maintain for the most part (one year at the same weight)... life has been too hectic to do anything else. I allowed myself to revert to some old habits (fruit and higher carb), and I'm using September/October to repair the metabolic damage (read: INFLAMMATION) which ensued. I'm within 20 pounds of my lowest weight (155 lbs.) and going DOWN (I could still wear all of my clothes, but the scale weight became alarming). I'll soon be blogging more about this part of my journey. I first need the return to school/activity schedules to stop kicking my butt, LOL.
(I started my journey at 250 lbs. & over 50% BMI... Obese Class III)