I considered posting the very first picture I ever posted on this blog. Because it's exactly what I look like now. Yep, lost 50 pounds, and gained back 45 of it. I figured nothing's changed, I might as well collect my $200 and circle the board again. Except, these past ten months, I've changed a whole lot...and not just the expanding of my ass...So, here's what I learned:
1. Sometimes you just have to say no. I've never really been a martyr kind of girl...I don't complain about how busy I am, or how much I have to do. There are 24 hours in a day and I choose to spend them wisely, or not...more often than not...not. But, this past year I failed miserably. I took on second job that taxed my family, that taxed my body, that make me literally explode from the inside. I've learned doing more does not make me a better person; that having a long to-do list does not send me to the front of the line in heaven. Sometimes you have to say no...
2. So that, you sometimes can say yes. Because there are things that give me life--and are you ready to hear this...exercising makes me feel better--and getting a gym membership that lets me go sweat with the rest of Rochelle pushed me out of my comfort zone, got me off the couch, and although hasn't yet helped me lose weight, has made me feel much, much better. And doing this gives me life--writing and thinking and reading...I absolutely hate being outside, and I'm going to quit thinking that good people go camping and hiking and biking...instead I'll put in my life-giving time on the ellipitical and then crawl into bed read a book, and start writing the book that is churning inside me.
3. Sometimes falling on your ass is the best thing that could happen. About six years ago, I slipped on a patch of ice and fractured my coccyx (or broke my ass); it still hurts sometimes; healing happens very slowly on something you sit on everyday...but I also have become much more careful when walking on snow and ice and any uneven surface that might send me downwards. Falling has taught me how to walk carefully. And falling this year has taught me that the world does not end if I don't succeed--that life will continue, and that before it, during it, after it, I am still the same girl looking at herself in the mirror (even if her face is a little (or a lot) fuller).
4. Sometimes it takes a village to raise...me. This year I have learned I simply cannot do it alone. So, I surround myself with people who pick me up when #3 happens, and who push me forward when I'm treading too carefully. There's my doctor who sees me sometimes three times in a month because the depression is too deep and I need med re-adjustment. And there's my therapist who teaches me to breathe and to love...myself. There's my Health Clinic Coach--a wonderful girl who calls me every three or four weeks just to make sure that I have goals in front of me and helps me remember my successes. There's my pastor friends who let me sit in morose silence when I need to, and who affirm my gifts even when I think they're non-existent. And then there's my...
5. Spouse, Partner, Lover, Man-I-Adore, Daddy to my children, who has taught me that love indeed can be blind (I really didn't know I was gaining weight for awhile, because his eyes shown with nothing but love--cheezy, I know). I've learned that my struggles affect our whole family and that he will always...always pick up the pieces that fall shattering to the floor (and often puts them back together with krazy glue). I have fallen more in love with this man than ever; we celebrate our 15th anniversary this year, and there is no one I would rather have journey with me through these peaks and valleys; skinny shirts and tent dresses.
6. My children want me--not perfect mom...not skinny mom...not cookie baking mom...but me. And hearing my youngest say at my lightest and at my heaviest..."You look beautiful mommy..." says that maybe I'm doing something right.
7. And finally I've learned that I am Me...that sometimes I carry a few more layers...layers my body adds to tell me it's had enough. But, underneath it all, is Me...and I am loved by this gracious, amazing group of villagers. And most importantly...most deeply...more assuredly I am loved by Jesus, who couldn't care less the size of my ass, who made me inside and out, and who wants nothing more than for me to love myself as deeply as I love my neighbors.
I'm kind of excited to start this journey...or continue this journey...to slowly uncover the Me that's been there this whole time.