It’s been a long time coming. And, when I was in the moment, I almost shocked myself. Who am I, a stretch mark having, still dealing with the cellulite on my inner thighs, thicker in the back than a majority of the women in my field, dark skinned girl from the projects, to think I had done something special?
It was that old computer again. And it happened all in one split second. Every “shortcoming” I feel like I had ever had came rushing to my head. All I seemingly wanted to do was convince myself that what I seeing in the mirror wasn’t true. It couldn’t be. But it was.
I looked great. I felt great. And I had done “it” because my life depended on it. And there was nothing I could do to undermine my accomplishments. I have been on an up and down wave, fighting for my life, for what feels like my whole life. The weight was just a symptom. At 36 years old, I am pretty much over wanting to have the perfect bikini body and smooth thighs. I actually like breathing easily and being able to play with my kids and dancing all night without feeling like I’m dying. I love having clear skin, a clear mind and sleeping well. I am doing my “Rocky Dance” and it feels great. And then, I remembered the suit. And that’s when what I have done with my life got real…..real quick.
I wanted the purple one.
They only had one left.
I was in Governor’s Square mall with my then boyfriend (now husband) looking for something to wear to a friend’s wedding. I had avoided buying real clothes because I was in denial. The horror of what happened in that dressing room will last with me forever. I couldn’t fit it. I cried right there in the dressing room. And not just a tear. A full flood. It was a size 14. I had to get the blue one in a size 16. I was 26 years old.
My weight carried more of a significance than just a number on the scale. I was dragging around my stories, my issues and my excuses as to why I could not step up to the plate and grab the steering wheel of the vehicle that was my life. Eating an apple was easy. So was drinking a Miller Lite. I enjoyed the latter more at the time. There was nothing in between me and my health but me. I spent those years catering to my son, the man in this picture and a job I didn’t find fulfilling. I found no reason to put myself first or third or even tenth. And now I look at this picture and wonder what life would have been like if I had gotten it then…..
It sounds sort of forceful and mean (or it can) when I am literally pleading with women to take control of their lives. It starts with one sacrifice that you are asked to make for the good of the family or the relationship and then you end up being the only one to make the sacrifices because you are the ONLY one who doesn’t put up a fight when you are asked to surrender what works for you to provide what works for them.
What people don’t know about me is that this confidence I possess came through letting go of what didn’t serve me; the weight being one of them. I wasn’t born with it and I didn’t buy it. For each one of the pounds and inches I lost, I was willing to take responsibility for what I was bringing into my own life and find my way in that. I wanted to healthy and I wanted to eat exercise. I didn’t necessarily like it all the time but because I had been on the other side one too many times, I was well aware of the options and I wasn’t buying. You have to decide if what you put in your mouth or the extra time you spend on Facebook or lying in bed when you promised yourself you’d be working out is worth the exchange. If it is, well, that’s your decision and you have to live with that. But if it ISN’T, what is it going to take for you to understand and appreciate the value of your life, your significance in this world and why it is important that you are here and healthy, physically, mentally and spiritually.
I got a lot of responses when I posted my picture last night. I am proud that I found my way THIS way. You may have another way. Take the first step and be willing to find it. It starts with keeping your word to yourself. You, more than anybody else, knows what you need. Don’t be afraid to speak up, internally and externally. What drives you? What do you want the end result to be?
One apple, ten push-ups and a Deepak Chopra book may not get you there today. But you’ll be a lot closer than yesterday.
Keep going. I am on the sidelines, cheering you on.