Monday, July 15, 2013

Weight loss has forced me to reevalute how I feel about myself.

As usual, I have had a million things running through my head that I want to share with you guys and as usual I have been keeping notes to remember them all. Summer break is winding down and my schedule is about to change yet again. I have been using the month of July to really focus and go the extra mile and push myself in my journey to health because in just a few short days I will have to adjust my schedule and be back to reality as far as time goes.

I have been learning a lot about myself. I have always felt like I was one to consistently reflect on my life and the way things are going but that process has changed. The way I see and apply things to my life has changed. I feel like I'm in a place or season of my life where I feel like I know exactly who I am but I'm also feeling very lost at the same time. Crazy, right?

I have shared before that I have been over weight my entire life or since second grade rather. I have also shared that I cant really recall many times where someone openly ridiculed me for it either. I have always taken pride that even thought I'm over weight I still have pretty friends, I have always been accepted and the only emotional beating I have ever had for being over weight ... came from myself. I always took pride that my closest circle of friends came to me for advice and valued my opinion. I have always been proud that my brothers were both outstanding athletes. What I think I'm trying to say is that even though I have been heavy my whole life... I have always been attached to people or things that aren't and in some way that distracted people from seeing what a lazy and miserable person I really was. Again, this may not be the case but it's for sure what my perception has been.

A change like drastic weight loss suddenly threatens everything we believed to be true about who we are and it also challenges others perceptions of us as well. I have a hard time acknowledging the person that  I am becoming, physically. I have a hard time letting that person shine through. I have a hard time believing in the strength that I have been working so hard to achieve. I have a hard time wearing a size 16/18 because a 26/28 is what I was for so long. It is hard to be okay in that size. It is a whole new identity and I'm wandering  through this path really wanting to get it right.... not only physically but mentally, emotionally and spiritually as well.

Being honest with myself is something that has become very necessary. Learning not to buy into the façade that I had been portraying for so long or how not to have that façade for so long. Learning to be who I am and not what others want me to be and detaching myself from the weight that was a coping mechanism and a from of self sabotage for so long has been a very challenging process. Put me in the gym, run me to death and make me sweat before you make me deal with the internal process that weight loss brings.

We all have certain ideas about who we are and what we can do or cannot do and some much of that is attached to how we see our bodies. I have worked hard and have come a very long way in the physical process of  loosing weight. When I first started working out my max burn of calories in an hour was never over 300 in an hour and that took everything I had!! Now when I can physically make it through two hours of an intense work out.. it forces me to see how strong I am. When I want to be lazy and not push myself, I cant because I know that I am settling. I know that I have worked hard to get where I am and I know that I always have to push a little harder to keep growing. Some days I have confidence in that strength and progression and some days I still sabotage it.

Now when I look in the mirror  and see my flaws... I don't hate them. I don't hate them because I know I have the power to heal them. These thunder thighs.. guess what.. they wont be around much longer. These flabby arms... guess what... they are getting dealt with every day! This huge gut.. guess what... it does not slow me down either. I am a working progress and the physical change and strength has taught me that I can and I will deal with those things all in due time. Just keep going, Jennifer!!

When I look in the mirror I don't feel like I see a different person in some areas of my life. I am still a mom, I am still a friend, I am still a student, I am still many of those things and I don't want to loose that sight of myself.  If you're not careful, the fact that others value you more because of your appearance will cause you to value yourself differently because of your appearance. The things I just listed above are things the things that I don't want to value differently about myself. I don't mind valuing them more but I never want this process or this journey to be of more value than the person and qualities that have always been there... regardless of my weight.

I believe it is easy to adapt society's principles about what makes a person "worthy". I think when you feel like you have no idea who you are, you let your peers tell you and it becomes easy to get sucked into. I cling to those things because the person I have always been fits in to it all seamlessly. Things that are new like being physically fit and smaller clothes and peoples positive view of me... scare me. Learning to reflect on the changes that are happening and learning to apply them in a healthy balanced way.... is the challenge that I am currently struggling the most with. 

Each day all we can do is be our very best and try our very best. Life is seasonal and we are always changing. If you are on a journey to health remember to have confidence in how far you have come. Remember to acknowledge the strength you have been working so hard for. Always know that you can push harder and you can accomplish things you never thought possible. Be the very best YOU!!
I am thankful for all the love and support so many of you have offered up to me. Letting this journey be an open book for all of you to see has been very rewarding and an amazingly humbling experience. Stay focused this week and don't quit!!

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