Well, it’s official. It’s my birthday, and I’d like an iPad, a Bahama Breeze Yankee Candle, a Queen-Size Aerobed and for people to be nicer to each other. I’m 33 years old today, and when I think about how I felt as I turned 23 years old, I am so utterly thankful to be here…to be living the life I’m living.
When I look back at the last few years of my life, I see a lot of positive changes in myself. It hasn’t been easy, but I like to think that I’ve come a long, long way. (And no, I’m not referring to my weight which is still ridiculously in need of change.) I’m referring to the changes that I’ve made within myself.
It’s easy to feel like a failure when I look at myself in the mirror, but when I think about who I am and where my heart is today, I feel like I’ve already won. I’m happy.
Being honest about myself and my feelings used to be terribly hard for me, and it’s still a struggle sometimes. Throughout most of my twenties, I kept secrets and refused to face the things I didn’t like about myself – my weight, my feelings of failure, my regrets. I lived in fear (of failure, the future, etc,) and I often felt like a victim in my own skin.
I felt unworthy of love. I believed that I had used up all of the grace that God had set aside for me, and I felt like there was nothing I could do change myself. (I’m so glad I was wrong about all of that.)
I hurt people who mattered to me. I lied. I wasted years of my life because I couldn’t envision myself as a happy and healthy person no matter how hard I tried. I made excuses. I judged others even though I knew how horrible it felt to be judged harshly. I gave up on myself before I ever really tried, and I blamed everyone except me.
Then at some point I started believing that I could change. I started to embrace sweat, and I began saying no to foods that made me happy for a few minutes before filling me with remorse. My body began to change. My self-confidence began to grow, and I started seeing myself as someone that I could maybe be proud of someday.
I formed some good habits that changed the way I saw myself. I started loving the woman I saw in the mirror, and I started believing that I was special just as I was.
Then my world crumbled, and I found myself feeling sad and stagnant. My weight-loss tapered off, and while I never made excuses for it, I tried convincing myself that I was fine with it. I’m not. I moved across the country, and after many months, I began settling into the life I’m living now in New Orleans. I moved into a new place, and I am living a comfortable, happy life. I’ve decided to accept myself as I am even though there are things that I still need to change.
My weight is still out of control, but other facets of my life are headed in the right direction. I’m happy, and I’m thankful for it. I know that I still need to finish what I started with weight-loss, and I am convinced that the time is coming in which I’ll be able to prove to myself (and others) that I can do this.
As I grow another year older, I am resolved to continue living my life and loving it. I’ve been tried and hurt, but I won’t back down. I’ve been blessed with so much, and I’ll continue learning, exercising, growing and trying harder.
Maybe losing weight would be easier if I still felt miserable and unsettled. Maybe I’d be closer to my goal now if I still hated myself. Maybe I’d be skinnier if I lived in fear of food. Who knows? I do know that it’s okay to be happy and that my flaws and failures alone don’t define me. While I’ve tried and failed so many times, I’ve also changed and grown every time.
I no longer mind being on this journey because the things I’ve experienced along the way have made my life worth living. I’m looking forward to another year of change and growth and happiness.
Thanks for being here with me……