“Sometimes you don’t realize the weight of something you’ve been carrying until you feel the weight of its release.” ~The Power of Positivity
For years I told myself I was going to lose weight. I had very good intentions, believe me, but intentions aren’t actions. Intentions don’t produce results, hard work does. I had avoided the weight issue for years, slowing gaining more and more weight telling myself I would...eventually take it off. I was a mom, dong mom things. I didn’t have time for lipstick or fashion, heck I didn’t even have time for a shower some days. I had somehow lost myself and the woman I was before becoming a mom in the process. Andie Mitchell’s quote “we put our lives on layaway until we lose weight…and lose years not just waiting but hating ourselves too” honestly hits home for me. I was giving myself every excuse possible from still carrying baby weight, breast cancer, early menopause or simply stress. By 2013 I was at my heaviest, wearing a size 16 at around 200 pounds. Not a good place honestly, especially as a breast cancer survivor with type 1 diabetes. By the time my husband started talking off his weight I knew I was in over my head. I had to make a change.
Problem is nothing was working. No matter what I did the weight wasn’t budging. Johnny was losing weight and I was stuck in a size I desperately wanted to shred. I was miserable. Johnny was feeling great, looking amazing with more energy than I’d seen him with in years and then there was me. I woke up one morning to find my world had crashed, and I was barely hanging on by a thread. I had to make a change, I had to stop making excuses if I wanted results, and that meant more than just my weight. My size was not the problem; it was simply a symptom of the many issues at hand. I had to understand no matter how much weight I lost, if I wasn’t happy with myself, who I was underneath it all, misery would continue to keep me company. It wasn’t until I had to face myself, start piecing me back together again after my life went sideways did I begin to lose the weight. Now, stress is in no way a healthy way to lose or even gain weight. Unfortunately for me it was my game changer. But the reality is once I began honestly dealing with my body image, my lack of confidence, my insecurities and yes even the hurts I was carrying around I found my motivation. This is the thing, “Nobody can do it for you, you have to do it for YOURSELF.” ~ myweightlossdream.com.uk
Boy, once the weight started coming off I'll be honest I began feeling like a whole new woman! I was suddenly wearing things I would have never dreamed off. I began looking on the outside like the woman I felt like on the inside all along. Before I knew it I was buying sizes I never thought I’d ever see. And yes a size 5/6 feels great, but it’s not what makes me who I am. Being the smallest I’ve ever been has nothing to do with my happiness. Do you know what makes me happy? Being able to look in the mirror and see the woman I am, who I have become inwardly, not the woman I thought I should be. I am not ashamed, hiding myself away anymore. Now listen up, this has nothing to do with how I look physically but everything to do with how I feel emotionally, mentally and spiritually. See these three things are much more important to your physical health than you know. Liking yourself but not excusing yourself is the key. And no, it’s not conceited to say to yourself, “I think I like who I am becoming.”
Now let me say this, I have never been a tiny girl and I’m OK with that. After all we’re all very different, ranging in size, body type and frame. Even women wearing the same size dress will look completely different in it than the other one. We’re all built differently; carrying our weight in dissimilar ways. In my personal journey I’ve had to relearn the way I see myself. Am I always happy with my body or my weight, no. Could I be thinner, sure but should I have a meltdown over it? Absolutely not nor should I worry about anyone else’s opinion of my journey. To some I’m still heavy, to others I’m too thin and there’s even a few who like to criticize my newly acquired confidence. But you know what, none of that really matters now does it? Truthfully my perspective regarding my body image should never be determined by anyone else but me. Body shaming either way the pendulum swings is unacceptable. This is thing my friends, life's a balance and so is the act of finding yourself. “Some days you eat salads and go to the gym. Some days you eat cupcakes and refuse to put on pants. It’s called balance.” For me this journey is about realizing I am perfectly OK being me, heavy or not. See I’m not hiding who I am underneath my physical makeup anymore. I’ve acknowledged I will never be or look like anyone else. Why, well just like you, I’ve been given my own set of unique finger prints, a life solely my own, flaws and all. I won’t ever walk a Paris runway nor will I ever look 21 again. I am Christina, a mom, a wife, a daughter, an educator, a breast cancer survivor and a perfectly imperfect woman at 43 years old. I absolutely believe Philippians 1:6 to be true, “And I am sure that God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in his grace until his task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns.” And I have no doubt He will.
Life lesson #91 ~ finding myself, piece by piece has not only led to my life being healthy but that of my family too. Losing weight has been an individual choice for each of us. As a family we’ve lost 175-180 pounds combined. In the process we’ve each had to face our own demons, fight several internal struggles and find our own way out of and yes past the image in the looking glass. What I know is my life has been put back together piece by piece, and not all at once either. It has taken time, sweat, tears and determination. Now it’s your turn, “this is the part where YOU find out who you are.” When you’re ready, you’ll let it drop. Until then accept that you’re beautiful. Be completely yourself and remember no one else has ownership. You have wit, talent and more potential than you can imagine. All you have to do is believe in yourself and acknowledge the woman or man in the mirror is enough. You’re not holding yourself back, not really, but your fear and insecurities are. Stop feeding yourself lies and excuses, and start being you, heavy, skinny or somewhere in-between it doesn’t matter. Dance to your own song, not someone else’s version. And that’s really what’s it’s all about isn't it? See I've found the secret is not in being a certain weight or a particular size that matters. Nope, it's in being healthy on every level, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and yes physically. After all, “Health is the thing that makes us feel that now is the best time of the year.’~ Franklin R. Adams