Friday, August 16, 2013

Loving all of me

I have some amazing friends in Colorado that I met on Facebook. Richard and Carlos are their names. Richard has lost 160 pounds and started a coaching business called Overweight To Endurance Athlete (O2EA). I met them through a friend and joined their Facebook group in early January of this year. I instantly bonded with the group as most of them have been battling weight issues and totally understand what I am going through. They are an amazing group of people.

In April Richard and Carlos came to Massachusetts so Richard could run the Boston Marathon. That is the first time I got to meet them in person. I hung out with them the day before the Marathon and it was like we had known each other for a long time. That is how I feel about everyone in the group. Richard and Carlos and most of the group members are based out of Colorado and are a great support system to each other. I have been super disappointed that they are in Colorado because I really could use the support that they all give to each other in person. I knew I had to go and meet these amazing people. That opportunity came sooner than I had thought it would.

My family and I planned a vacation to head out west for a road trip. I flew out early and spent 4 days with my O2EA family. I got to meet everyone that had been supporting me for months online. The first night we all got together it felt so weird to be sitting there, in person, with them all. Again, it was like we had known each other for a long time. I got to hang out with them, workout with them, and talk with them. It was just the recharging I needed to keep going in my journey.

One of the highlights was climbing up Richard and Carlos’ backyard with Richard. (They live on top of a mountain) We sat up there and talked awhile. He was encouraging me in my journey, but pointed out that he could tell I wasn’t happy. He asked me, “Can you look in the mirror and say that you are happy?” I realized in a lot of ways I am not happy. I told him that when I look in the mirror there is still a lot of things I don’t like about myself physically. I don’t like looking in the mirror. Yes, I have come a long way in my journey, but I still see how far I have to go. I still see the parts of me that I don’t like.

As we talked I realized that I am still looking back more than I realized. I always talk about RELENTLESS FORWARD MOTION. No looking back at the past, only look forward to the future, but I slip from time to time and look back and remember losing the weight the first time and remember gaining it all back and think about how I failed.

I told Richard that there are A LOT of things that I love about myself and he said, “You can’t just love some things about yourself. You have to love all of you.” People over and over have told me that I need to love myself where I am right now. That losing the weight is not going to make everything better. That if I don’t love myself now I will not love myself any better just because I am thin.

I have a God that loves me unconditionally. He loves me flaws and all. He never leaves me, never gives up on me, and doesn’t ask me to be a certain way for Him to love me, so why do I do that to myself? I just don’t know how to get past what I see in the mirror and how I feel about myself, to love me where I am today. I pray and thank God for all that he has blessed me with. I ask Him to help me see myself as He sees me. I try to forgive myself for the mistakes I have made in the past. I pray and ask Him to help me see all the positives and to learn from the negatives. I ask Him to teach me to love myself as He loves me, but it is hard and I have been struggling with this a lot lately.

I know some of my blog posts seem to repeat themselves, but for those of you who have struggled with your weight or are still struggling with your weight you understand that this is a cycle. That the mental part of this process is the hardest and if we don’t work on the mental aspect we will never have the physical achievements that we want.

Recently I asked myself if I were to never lose another pound would I be ok with that and the answer was no. That saddened me because I am not defined by the scale or my appearance yet I am basing so much of my happiness on that.

I keep thinking that dropping the weight will make me happy, but after a lot of reflection I know that this is not true. I need to love all of me right now, right where I am. I’m not sure how to do this, but I am going to work on this, because being unhappy is not where I want to be.
With God’s help, my counselor’s help, my family and my amazing friends’ help I know I will be able to overcome this. Thanks Richard for our talk on top of the mountain. It was hard, I cried, I have reflected on what you said, and have grown because of it. I truly believe God puts people in our lives for a reason and I thank God every day for you, Carlos and my O2EA family.

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