This time last year, I was an unhappy person. Sure, I smiled and I would have argued that I appreciated my life; but, at the core of my being, I was simply unhappy.
I was unhappy with my body. I felt sick a lot. I was burdened with the guilt of wasting years watching TV and not improving myself. I was self-conscious and I hid from life. Fear was my frenemy. I hated it, but it kept me from having to take risks.
We get used to the status quo and sometimes it takes a major life event for us to realize our desperation. Here, one year later, much lighter, and much more confident, I cannot imagine returning to the me I was just one year ago. It was my lack of confidence that kept me from making this change ten years ago – that… and my love of sugary treats. ~smile~
The Pain of Staying the Same was Greater than the Pain of Changing
“I cannot live this way anymore.” Ever since I was a teenager, I have been making promises to myself. Promises to improve and fight for what I want out of life. Most of the time, my promises pertained to my weight. The battle was constantly between what I ultimately wanted and what was sitting in front of me, tempting me.
“One bowl of ice cream will not hurt in the scheme of life.”
“A bag of skittles is no big deal. I will start eating more healthily on Monday.”
“This is my year. I am going to take off all my unwanted weight. Ohhh! Cake!”
Zig Ziglar said, “The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want right now.” This pearl of wisdom has nagged me throughout the last ten years. I even posted it in front of my elliptical as a means of inspiration.
This quote was the story of my life and I would imagine the story of many of yours. I ultimately wanted good health, a comfortable (not perfect) body image, and freedom from my self-consciousness. I wanted to get out of bed in the morning with a spring in my step, I wanted to experience God’s world, and to expect a long and healthy life instead of an early departure.
Still, meal after meal, year after year, midnight snack after midnight snack, I kept right on trading what I wanted most for what I wanted right then.
I wish I could tell you all why it took me so long to get to that I cannot take it anymore place. Finally, the snacks, TV shows, and hiding out were not doing it for me anymore. Here I was, a few years into my thirties and still not really living. I had lost my twenties, was I going to lose my thirties? Did I want to look back over my entire adulthood and feel regret simply because I did not take hold of this one, seemingly enormous issue in my life?
No… and for the first time in my life, the pain of staying overweight was finally greater than the pain of changing.
Which One of These Years is Not Like the Others?
Eric and I just celebrated our tenth anniversary in June and my biggest regret is that I did not enjoy our first season of marriage. My hiding played a huge part in my discontentment. As the years passed by, my angst grew. “What am I waiting for? Do I want to lose more years hiding behind my size? Do I want to spend my thirties the same way I spent my twenties – making excuses?”
I had been toying with the idea of beginning a weight loss blog, but did not want to jump into it unless I was sure I was ready. When my thirty-second birthday came, I decided to stop thinking about it and just do it. Eric helped me set it up and away I went! Just this one small change set my year on a completely different course. Instead of longing for change, I was creating it! I was choosing it! I was happening to life! And, there was bleed through! My choice to take control of my weight led me to take more risks. Suddenly, I was ready to live.
Even with all the vegetables and exercise, this year of weight loss has been more fun than all the years I spent dreading this journey. The support I have received has been incredible. Finding out that I can do what I choose to do has been enlightening – something everyone needs to realize about themselves! Each goal reached is a celebration. I am sad to see this year end – not because I do not want to turn another year older, but because this year has been good. Honestly good. Even with the ups and downs, weight losses and gains, and occasional disappointments – it has been a good year because I lived it.
Why Did I Wait?
The challenge of losing a significant amount weight seemed so overwhelming that it was easier to put it out of my mind than deal with it; but, once I started working towards my goals, seeing results, and enjoying the fruits of my labor, I realized the journey I had been so afraid of was not scary after all. In fact, I was enjoying it! “Why did I wait?” seems to be the question all people ask when they finally conquer something that has been hanging over their heads. The truth is, I could have made this change all along. I did have it in me.
And you have it in you to make the changes you want to make!
Is there a life change you desire? Something you have dreamed of but not pursued? It is time to retrieve it from the someday file and start working towards it. What is stopping you? Why are you waiting?
Thirty-three is almost here for me. I am not done losing the weight I had hoped (but, I am far along the journey). I still have a ways to go before I meet my ultimate goal; however, I want thirty-three to count as much as thirty-two counted. I want to conquer more goals and make the most of the time I am given.
This year has taught me a very important lesson I hope to never forget:
I can change my life in just one year. And, so can you!
Have you been putting off a major life change? What is stopping you?