I remember this woman well. She loved her children, loved her family, and was a strong woman in many ways. But she was weak. Afraid. Paralyzed by a fear of failure that was so strong that at times she was afraid to try to do anything. Eventually, a family tragedy shook her to her core and she retreated into herself. She blamed herself. Stopped caring for herself.
And then one day she woke up and looked around, saw the life she had ahead of her and woke up. She was too young to feel so terrible. She looked into the faces of her children who deserved a healthy legacy. She determined that she was going to change. There had been many times before but now,this time, she was just going to do it. The back door was closed; there was no backing out.
She was scared to try. Scared to step foot in the gym and be the fattest one there. Scared to be the fat girl eating a salad. Scared to have the people in her life witness her trying to make a change (AGAIN) and not be able to stick with it, yet again. Scared to be the only one dying at bootcamp, gasping for air, running to the bathroom to puke, while 20 other fit, athletic individuals crushed their workouts. Embarrassed of the attention it drew when the fat girl in the corner was running on the treadmill. Embarrassed to walk into the weight room out of fear that she was doing the exercises wrong, that someone would ask, "What are you doing in here?"
Scared of making an effort and failing. Defined by the past.
It never occurred to her that she had not actually failed, but simply found the things that did not work .
She realized that things had to change if she wanted things to change. That more important than the weight loss was striving to be healthy and whole. She had to stop running back to the short-term fixes, to the things that perpetuated the cycle.
So she took that first step. She went to one bootcamp class and then another. She trained for and ran a 5k with her daughter. She changed her eating habits. She let go of diets and focused on feeding her body. She walked into the "real" weight room. She trained for a powerlifting meet. And another one. She struggled many times, and the truth is she still struggles, often and hard, but she continues to get back up and keep moving forward.
That was me, and I have said that I am no longer that person, that I can never go back to the person I was. But she will always be a part of me. And you know what? I am proud of that woman. She was brave. She faced her demons head on and did hard things. She is not perfect, she has not completely won the battle, but every day she is moving forward.
It takes great courage to start, to walk into unfamiliar territory and commit to not just changing your weight, your body, your clothing size, but changing your life. It is easy to lose weight. People do it all the time. Lifestyle change is hard. Committing to a lifestyle of strength, health, balance and wholeness is hard. Have the courage to begin and don't look back. You are worth it.