Accomplishments are in the eye of the beholder. What is significant to one person, may not make any sense to the next. I have to say that one of my most recent and significant accomplishments is my weight loss.
I have always been overweight and obese my entire life. As a kid in the 80’s, if you were overweight then you were definitely singled out. However, somehow I made it, but my weight never came off. I went to fat camp, Weight Watchers (several times), I dropped out of Jenny Craig, and hated my nutritionist. As an adult, it was even harder. After 4 children, it seemed the scale creped up and up, and despite my efforts of various programs and “shakes”, I still struggled.
I remember the day I reached over 300 pounds and the sense of hopelessness filled my heart. Thankfully, most of my life, I never had any real health concerns besides my weight and bad hips from all the weight I carried. However, after a doctors visit that confirmed I had high cholesterol and borderline diabetes, I decided I had some choices to make.
So at 315 pounds and after lots of prayer, I decided to have weight loss surgery. I have to say that it was one of the best decisions of my life. It literally has made me a whole new person.
I didn’t tell a lot of people at first about my surgery. It was shameful at first that I had to result in a change as drastic as this, and believe me people don’t say it, but the “oh” says a lot. However, despite their judgments, I soon realized that I had nothing to be ashamed of. I mean, we all need help at one point or another. If you take pills, or a drink a shake or do low-carbs, you are still getting help that was not your own. By having surgery, I took control over my life and over my health, even though I am still in a learning process. I am now on a mission to work on my family’s health and learn the correct way to eat and be active. We are not perfect but with God’s help and the help of friends I am being educated in natural ways to heal my body.
My goal wasn’t to lose weight so that I could eat whatever I want again, my goal was to help me lose so that I could be here for the long haul, and the weight loss is just a perk. I also struggled with my appearance and body image my whole life, but now I have new hope. I started to see who I really was and not just the weight I carried. I discovered me.
I am currently the smallest I have ever been. I have lost over 140 pounds, and loving it. When I reached under 200 pounds was a milestone for me, since I had not weighed under 200 pounds since I was in Jr. High. My mother, gave me a ring for my 15th birthday that has never been able fit me until now. I currently wear it as a remembrance of what I accomplished, even though it’s a slight big.
Grace- Small Victories lead to large one.
One of the biggest lessons I have learned is to give myself grace. I wish I would have started with this mindset. We often beat ourselves up when we mess up on our diet, cheat, or lose steam to lost weight. We often quit because we get caught up in the stresses in life. I just learned that if I give myself a little grace, then I will quickly jump back on the wagon and try again. When I did this, I found that it was easier to say no to the things that would sabotage my efforts.
It made it easier to say, “It’s ok, if I mess up at lunch, then I will do better at dinner.”
Grace is the ability to see my flaws and imperfections and know, it’s all in the process of my journey. This is how you being to see the battle as a win instead of feeling like a failure. Its not a setback, or disruption. Its just a moment. Look at all the good moments you said “Yes” to the better choice, or you took the stairs instead of the elevator. Look at the little victories and pretty soon, the process gets easier. When I feel like I am not getting anywhere, I remind myself that I am not where I used to be.
What’s the bonus to my journey? I love that I get to encourage others by what I have done. I truly believe that it was grace that got me to this point. So when people come up to me, I tell them the truth. I tell them my journey. I encourage them, if that is not the fit for you, then find your fit. I am not a physical trainer, or a nutritionist. I don’t claim that surgery is always the answer, although I do believe it can be. I do think it takes a person to have the a-ha moment, that they can not longer live the way they have been living, and finally do something about it. I do believe that this one victory in your life, could set you on the path to multiple victories. Things that have held you back for years. You must love yourself enough to know that you are worth the hard work and effort to stay around for the long haul. You are needed here on earth to show love to people, to change your world around you, and to see yourself as the person you always knew you could be.
Cultivate the life you want