I've spent some time looking back over the past year or so on the blog. Last year was my easiest year for weight loss. The pounds melted away and everything was just simple. I had the energy to do everything I wanted to do. Right now I am heavier than I was. I know I can do it, but for some reason my body is not cooperating.
Actually that's wrong. I am not cooperating.
I've been challenged lately to be open and more vulnerable. I have a lot of pride in being strong, putting on a happy front, and showing that I have my act together. I only allow people to get so close to me. God has really placed it on my heart to be more real in all aspects of my life. I can't help anyone with their own struggles if I act like I don't have my own. How can anyone relate to me if they think I have every aspect of my life in perfect order?
Last year was a tough year for me. The weight loss was just about the only happy part of my life. I hid everything else.
If you look back through my blog you will assume I was healthy, happy and had everything going in my favor. If you came to a Zumba® class you would have thought I was the person who had my life together. But I was actually falling apart. I could lose weight and I did it well, but that's the only part of my life that was going right. I was consumed with it because if I let that part go, I would have to face the uglier, harder things.
It is difficult for me to tell you these things, but a part of me needs to. Last year I allowed no one to get close enough to see how truly damaged I was and I struggled through every single part of my life. Except losing weight. I could do that.
This has been my year of healing. I can honestly say my life is drastically different right now. I put my weight loss on hold. Obsessing over every calorie, putting all of my time and energy into being the next smaller size, and being completely dissatisfied with every goal I passed has stopped. Now I can easily see that I was on the road to anorexia. A year ago I would never have admitted it.
It took me months to realize that I was destroying the things dearest to me. Instead of working out or obsessing over food, I chose to sit around a campfire talking to my husband with a glass of wine after we put Caleb to bed. I didn't count the calories. I counted the steps as we danced in the dark. I counted my tears as I finally admitted that I wanted things to change.
I stopped being the cocky Zumba® instructor trying to challenge women to lose weight. I went from teaching five hours a week to just two. When it stopped being about my weight loss and my workout, I realized we were actually there to have fun. I didn't understand how much I needed them until this sweet lady held my hands and prayed for me after class. I was in so much anguish and despair, but she brought an unbelievable calm to my life. These ladies celebrated with me when I got the call that our old house would be sold. I realized they were actually happy and relieved for me. They cared about me no matter what size I was or how much weight I lost. And then I let them all in. I allowed them to become "my people". They see the real me. It has been the most amazing thing. I didn't just find one close friend, I ended up with a whole group of them. I was so lonely last year and they will never understand how much joy they bring to my life now.
Right now I am more me than I have ever been. I am not as strong as I thought I was. I am completely imperfect. I do not have my act together. I am not wearing a size four. I am not 141 pounds. I am flawed.
But I feel whole. I am unapologetically me. I may have gained some weight back, but I gained a better marriage, a happier family, and amazing friends. I will take that over being a size four any day. And I am totally not giving up.