It’s hard to believe that it’s been five years since I made the decision to change my life. I’m still overweight – duh. This journey hasn’t been as flawless for me as it has been for others, but I’m still here. I exercise, I eat fruits and vegetables, and I love myself more than I ever could have imagined when this all began.
It’s easy to look at my journey and to think of myself as a failure, but don’t wise people say that you’re not a failure until you stop trying? I spend a lot of time fighting my feelings of failure in this regard, but today I feel like acknowledging all of the positive things that I’ve experienced as a result of that day five years ago.
Here’s a list of things that I wouldn’t have believed if someone had told me five years ago:
- There will be a point in your life in which you realize that you don’t like soda anymore. In fact, you’ll think it’s disgusting.
- Someday soon you won’t be intimidated by going to the gym, and you’ll even look forward to it.
- You will like drinking green juice that you make with kale, cucumbers, parsley, cilantro and celery with your juicer at home.
- You’ll exercise with Richard Simmons, and he will show you empathy and respect and take funny pictures with you. He’ll even remember your name.
- You will swim over a mile at a time without feeling tired at all.
- You’ll make headlines for being overweight, but you’ll keep your cool when it happens.
- You will go to the ground floor of the historical high-rise building that you live in and take the stairs to the top so you can warm up before hitting the treadmill.
- You’ll wear a swimsuit without feeling shame because you’ll learn that you’re lovable regardless of your size.
- You will not be afraid to ride a bicycle through traffic during rush hour.
- You’re going to move out of New York, and you’re eventually going to live in one of the coolest spots in New Orleans. And you’re going to feel more at home than you can possibly imagine.
- You will have enough energy to spend the day at in the snowy mountains climbing up to slide down and so on, and you’ll have so much fun doing it!
- You’re going to meet a man in Washington, D.C. who tells you that you’re beautiful, then from that day on, you’ll start to see what he sees.
- You’ll go back to school and study something that makes you look forward to going to class (almost) everyday.
- You’re going to meet celebrities and pro athletes and political leaders who think something that you’ve done is inspiring.
- You will travel to the east coast and the west coast to meet with friends who mean the world to you – friends that you might never have met if you hadn’t started this blog.
- You will be featured in SHAPE Magazine even though you’re not skinny.
- You’ll find your way back into church, and soon after you’ll find yourself in a relationship with God. And you’re going to love it!
- You will look in the mirror without hating yourself even though you’re overweight.
- You will be open and honest with people the people in your life, and they’ll like you just the way you are.
- You’ll have friends that you can count on to be there no matter what your mood or circumstances are like.
- You’re going to lose a tremendous amount of weight, then you’ll struggle to keep some of it off. When you fail, you’re going to get back up and try again.
- You’ll have faith in God and faith in yourself.
Regardless of all of the things that I could have accomplished during the last five years, I am so thankful for everything that I have done. I’m thankful for my family and friends and opportunities, and I’m thankful for all of the love in my life. I’ve been blessed to experience much more happiness than sadness, much more peace than fear and much more love than I ever could have imagined five years ago.
My life has certainly been filled with ups and downs over the last five years, but I’ve grown so much and plan to continue. I wouldn’t trade my life and experiences for anyone else’s, and I can’t tell you how amazing it feels to say that and mean it.