Life is a funny thing. We age, we grow and we change. These changes are often coined by our parents as ‘phases’—which is an easier way for them to explain and tolerate all of the weird things their kids end up doing. For example, when I was 8 or 9, my best friend Amy and I were convinced that we had super powers. We'd spend our days trying to convince each other that we made our teacher's strand of hair stand up when she was talking to the class. At this time, we also believed that we were given these special powers in order to defeat an evil man named Kahn (perhaps we watched too much Star Trek). Lastly, we often stared into this iridescent ring that Amy had---and chanted 'Show us Kahn.' Throughout the years we spent our time honing our powers, creating a two man band and writing one hit wonders such as 'Forever Friends' and 'Why Do You Love Me' (which oddly enough sounded exactly like 'That Thing You Do!'). Probably one of the oddest things we did was go 'bird watching' which consisted of walking around with binoculars, looking around, sometimes focusing in people's windows and making notes about our neighbors.
*I hope Amy doesn't care that I'm telling everyone about our philarious childhood antics**
These phases make me laugh when I think back on them now---and I am so glad I have these memories. Throughout my lifetime, I feel like I've worn so many faces: Dancer, Speech Team Member and Drama Queen. In the last weeks of my Senior Year of High School, I sort of morphed into someone else. I became someone to lean on, a jack of all trades, in all places at once, dependable. Infallible. Selfless. I cared about two people in my life, and all I wanted was to take their pain away. A pain caused by a sudden and tragic accident. The day that changed me forever.
This isn't about that, though. This is about my metamorphosis into someone I consider to be very interesting. Interesting, yet very complicated. When I look at me now, I see a very different person than the girl who graduated from Warren Township High School. I’m a bit meaner, more selfish, a bit scarred and leery of people. I don’t really like giving second chances, and I feel like I’m always calling bullshit on people---even when they might be telling the truth. I’m still the same girl that loves with her whole heart---and truly does feel for the people she cares for. I still let people take advantage of me, for fear that they might become angry or upset if I don’t cater to their need(s). Dealing with someone being mad at me is way worse than inconveniencing myself for them. I’m still a thinker—and mostly reserved but wildly inappropriate at times. I laugh at stupid things—and am overly sarcastic. I wash my hands perhaps too many times a day. I’m me. Trying to smile about 85% if the time and then wearing my thinking face for the other 15% of the time.
Yet, beneath the smile, and the thinking face—are very complicated thoughts. Most of them these days are about the way I look. I recently read the blog of a girl who made massive life changes in order to become the person that she wanted to be. She struggled with weight loss for her entire life, and then finally made the choice to become that healthy person she always wanted to be. I feel like for the past 10 years, I’ve been on a constant mission to change the way I look. I didn’t always do it the right way, either. It’s hard for me to admit it, and admit it to the people who I know read this. I went from being an average person in my freshman year of college—to weighing over 70lbs more than that 6 years later. How does it happen, and what drives us to make those certain decisions that you’ll regret over time? See, for me, weight gain has been a way that I’ve slowly destroyed myself---and it’s angering to think that I just let it all go. Without a care in the world…I ate my way to 70lbs of misery.
Since my life was turned upside down last year, I made it my mission early on to try and change the things I didn’t like about myself. After everything occurred, I blamed myself for most of it. I blamed the weight gain. I blamed my attitude towards the weight gain, always saying I was going to lose it, and make different choices…but never following through. You see, I’ve got a problem, with staying on track. When the spring came, it’s like something clicked deep inside of that brain of mine. I started going out with friends more—and I was slowly starting to see that in the group of people I was hanging out with, I was always standing the in back trying to hide what I saw to be ugliness. Never feeling pretty---always just feeling what I knew I was: fat.
So I slowly started making the change. I started by going to the gym at least three times a week. Man, it was tough to get started. I would find every single excuse in the book not to go. I was going, but I wasn’t really pushing myself as hard as I knew I could. I didn’t want to be tired, I didn’t want to be sweaty, I didn’t want to exert myself. Time went on, and I knew deep down inside, that if I didn’t truly commit to the changes I was trying to make—then nothing was going to change. Ever. So I started going more frequently. 1-3 days turned in 1-4 days and then 3-5 days…and then eventually 5-6 days. I started getting faster, on the elliptical, and I could actually run. I could actually run. I went from an 11 minute mile (on the elliptical----don’t judge) to a 7:25 mile. I saw progress, yet things didn’t seem to physically change. Until I started making some healthier food choices. I finally got the courage to get on the scale last month, and found that I had lost 10lbs. I’m officially at 12.8lbs since August. I couldn’t feel more on top of the world. I was finally doing something for me. My pants feel loser, people are telling me I look like I am losing weight, and I am getting a sense of confidence.
Yet, I feel as though there is something holding me back from enjoying it. It’s my brain. My mindset. I feel like one of those people in that credit score commercial where they walk around with a number over their head. I still have 62.2lbs to lose. I don’t think I am going to be fully happy until I can lose it. It’s a slow process, this is something I understand---but don’t want to accept. It’s a lot harder to shed the pounds than put them on. It’s become an obsession---something I think about all of the time. Someone very close to me told me on Wednesday, that my journey shouldn’t be a burden in the sense that this obsession should not hold me back from what I am trying to achieve. I should be proud, and I should relish in the fact that I actually, for one time in my life, enjoy going to the gym.
So this is where I’m at. I seem to have been in a lot of places these past 54 blogs, haven’t I? I now need to teach myself how to embrace this phase—and hope that it’s not just that. This is one of those situations where goals are good---but I shouldn’t be an absolute slave to them. I know who I am, and who I want to become. That’s all that needs to matter. At the end of the day, the things I have accomplished should not be overshadowed by the ideal picture I have swimming around in my head somewhere.
No matter how perfect a picture looks, there’s always a story behind how it got to be that way. I guess I am writing my own.
To those of you that have supported me on this weight-loss journey….you mean more to me than you’ll ever know.