It's been almost five months since I last blogged, and I wasn't planning to come back. But the other day I started thinking about how different I feel now... how changed my life is... I am. No, it's not so much about weight. It's about a change that came from inside of me.
Coming back today and re-reading the last few posts on my blog made me so sad for the me that was writing back then. I felt trapped. Stuck. And honestly, afraid. I had lost faith and hope almost completely that I could get back the happiness I had before I was injured and immobile... before my best friend died. Something *in me* died when he did, and something just shriveled up inside me and hid in a corner to avoid the physical pain of my tendon injuries and the emotional pain of losing someone so important to me as well as my ability to be as mobile as I would have liked. Even when my tendons healed and I could walk without pain again, I still felt injured... inside. I felt like I was crushed into powder and the wind was blowing me away, bit by bit.
The struggle against myself to lose weight and become healthy was another source of pain to me. I was running on the hamster wheel, getting tired and out of breath with effort but never really getting anywhere significant. If I look back at not just the blog and the dieting, but at my *life* when I left blogging, I was hurting and lost. More than anything, I was afraid.
I was afraid I would be alone. I was afraid no one could love me. I was afraid I had failed so much at so many things that there was no fixing any of it. I was afraid to do anything physical because I might injure myself and be stuck in the hellhole of being immobile again. And I was afraid of what people would think, what they would say, how they would judge me. I was afraid to try anything because I would probably fail. I was afraid of my past and afraid of my future. And I never could acknowledge all of these fears until I stepped away, stopped fighting myself, and took my life back.
I'm not afraid anymore. I have reclaimed a stake in my life.
This is not something I am proclaiming I will do. It's not a resolution or a promise or a wish. It's something I have actively done over the last half of this year and am continuing to actively do. I stepped outside of my comfort zone, confronted the fears, and have come out feeling so, so much more alive and confident.
A long time ago, I wrote that there were two "big issues" left that I knew were holding me back from progressing emotionally and with my weight loss. I never specified what they were, but they were scaring me to death and I just could not face them. Both of them have to do with personal relationships that I wanted to either mend or reconcile as a loss. And this summer, I faced one of those fears and hopped on a plane and spent over a week fixing one of those relationships. I faced what was probably my biggest fear and potential for more heartache, and I am so glad I did. I feel healed in so many ways, and this gave me the confidence to go further in mending broken things in my life and facing other things I have been afraid of, in some cases for decades.
Another catalyst for continuing this change was an episode of Extreme Weight Loss about a woman who needed to fix past hurts before she could successfully lose weight. This episode was so intense and life-changing for me and led me to take action on many things that have been hurting me for years. If you have not seen it, I highly recommend it (Season 5, Episode 11). Watching this opened a whole new world to me of what I needed to do to heal... things I never even considered doing... and I have taken action since.
I fixed a relationship with a loved one. I reopened a dialogue with my ex-husband to heal and forgive. I wrote letters to people I have not spoken to in many years.. I took care of some financial worries and made better plans for the future. I have opened my mind to new possibilities for me and my children. I ditched my endocrinologist and found a new one that works with me in a much better way and doesn't shrug at me when I ask questions. I went to a concert that I would have gone to with my best friend if he was still living. I went alone, but I was not alone when I got there. I was surrounded by other fans, kind people who included me and understood, and definitely was able to re-embrace a love for music that I had shunned because I couldn't bear to hear it without him. I'm not without him now, though. I feel whole again.
I have stepped back into my life, not in the state it was in 2, 3, or 4 years ago but in a new state of confidence and joy that has been missing, really, for a long time. I own it all: the successes and the failures, every experience, every outcome. I am happier than I have been in a long time.
I guess I left blogging because I was afraid of blogging anymore. I was afraid of not succeeding, of the judgments, of people seeing my faults, of failing in some way. But I came back to write again. Because I'm not afraid anymore.
I am 38 years old, female, a degree-holding stay-at-home-mom, and I weigh 278 pounds. I have been obese for ten years now. Time to get out of this fat prison I have made for myself.
--This is the original introduction I wrote when I first started this blog in 2007. I leave it as a reminder to myself of where I came from. Currently, I am 46 years old and weigh significantly less...see the blog for details. I lost 103 pounds, then had a partial regain, and am once again working at weight loss and better health.
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