1) Loved ones who accept me as I am, who support me in my weight-loss efforts and in the rest of my life as well.It is pretty awesome to call my parents, my sister and my boyfriend every week to tell them about my progress while hearing the joy and pride they feel for me and my accomplishments even in weeks that I wish I had done better.
2) The knowledge that I can change myself even when it seems impossible. I can do push-ups, crunches, bicycle crunches and loads of other exercises that I assumed I could not do until I tried.
3) A network of supportive friends who encourage me through my blog and their blogs and Facebook and twitter.
4) A boyfriend who loves me regardless of how I look. When I met him, I joked that I would be “good investment.” And while I’m trying to make good on my word now, he has treated me like I’m more precious than gold from day one.
5) The opportunity to be more than thin — to be thin and healthy. Healthy is important, but being pretty is the driving force. Now I’m diligently working toward both.
6) Awareness of the fact that most of us face personal struggles at (at least) one point in our lives.
7) A gathering of incredible people every Thursday night…a place to recharge myself for the following week and celebrate the accomplishments I’ve made throughout the previous week. It’s a place where I can walk in and feel accepted without explaining how I got this heavy. It’s a place that showed me that being me was an awesome thing to be when I wasn’t sure I believed that.
8) The ability to be in control of everything I put in my mouth. I never thought about things like that until I consciously decided to take charge of my body, but it is pretty darn awesome. If I want something, I’ll consider it. But that doesn’t mean I’ll always say yes to myself. It means I’ll pick and choose and make wise decisions most of the time.
9) Freedom from the bonds of caffeine and sodas. I’ve never been a coffee drinker so that was easy. I don’t drink sodas, and while it was terribly difficult at first, I no longer crave it. And I don’t sit around feeling bloated and tired anymore.
10) Love for myself. If you know me at all, you know that I love to pat myself on the back, give myself credit and love myself everyday. It wasn’t until I became an extraordinarily large person that I looked inside myself and gave myself credit for who I really am – a talented, accomplished and well-rounded person who treats everyone with respect.
Am I “tooting my own horn?” Of course I am. Would you expect anything less from me? In order to make the sacrifices it takes to lose weight, each of us has to believe that we are worth it. If you don’t think of yourself as valuable or worthy, you’ll struggle to find the motivation to create lasting change.
So I love myself. I’m worth the effort it takes to change, and while I probably could have become fully aware of this without gaining over 200 extra pounds, I choose to look at the silver lining. I choose to be thrilled that I’m already so light on my feet. I choose to be happy because I’ve come so far…and because I can honestly say that I’m better today than I was yesterday.