This week our challenge is to blog about why you decided to change your habits to become a healthy, fit person.
I have never really felt comfortable in my own skin. I think thats my initial answer to the why, why did I decide to change my habits. But then thinking further about it, I realized that wasnt really it. It was part of it, sort of like an itch when you get a mosquito bite. The itch is the reaction to the bite. In my case, what was my bite? Quite literally, that I was eating too much. I was TOO FULL. I got big, and bigger, and then was at my biggest ever. But that, too, was just a reaction to what I was putting in my body. That had nothing to do with my soul. No, the reason I changed my habits was because I didnt know who I was anymore. I had just become this person who didnt recognize herself in the mirror and a person who, instead of feeling her emotions, or anything really, just stuffed them down her mouth. This person I did not love. I didnt even LIKE this person I had become.
So, there was a problem inside of myself, and I was protecting myself from the outside in... or so I thought...filling myself so full of food that it left little room for anything else in my life. I was cushioned all right. But I had no life. I had no joy. I had..THINGS, I had PEOPLE in my life. I had been blessed with a wonderful husband and looking back I dont quite know how that happened except when I met him I was ME, and he fell in love with that person and as that person gained 120 lbs. before his very eyes he still loved that person inside, the soul. There arent many people in this world that can look past 120 lbs. and I thank the Lord every day that my husband is one of them.
I had a great family, a good husband, a job, a home. From the outside things looked great. I kept up appearances. I even had fun every once in a while. But when I got home from work, from that party, from putting on the show, I was sad. I didnt like being alone with myself because I didnt like myself. I turned to TV, food and alcohol to numb it all. To be honest with you I thought a life full of sleeping 24 hrs. a day would be a dream come true. And I wanted to change. Boy, did I want to change, but I wanted the fast magic quick as lightning pill that would reverse time and make it all go AWAY. Well guess what honey, that doesnt exist. Just another excuse for me not to get healthy. It was impossible , right?
I tried every twist, turn, diet, pill, fad, trend. I tried it all. I wanted to be healthy and fit, not only physically, but mentally and spiritually as well. It was always on my to do list to go to church. To exercise. To start that new diet.
But when I realized that I had failed at it all, when I reached that brick wall and just surrendered and reached out to God, a God I hadnt spoken to for at least 15 years because I felt He had betrayed me through a deep loss earlier in my life (and most likely the reason I started to overeat and fill myself up) it was only when I came to that point that my life started to change. I prayed and reached out to a God that did not know me and I didnt know Him. But, I had one small thing. Faith.
It was that little speck of faith that changed my life.
I began to pray more, and to ask God for help overcoming my overeating, and my urge to binge and purge my food, like I had in H.S. when I was a size 6. I began to pray for the strength to eat, but only to eat enough, as I had been anorexic previously as well. My family has some serious addiction issues, my uncle drank himself to death and thats not all, I knew I needed prayer to get through this thing.
And I think God had a bigger plan to have me go through the pain I went through earlier in my life, and the despair. I had always had church on my list, as I said, but now I have something even better...through the broken road I went down I discovered a deep faith in God that I can rely on, and use for my strength, and now church is something I want to do, just like working out, eating right, etc. Maybe I had to go through that to get to where I am now.
So through my faith I began to do it all one step at a time. Youve all probably heard my story.. couldnt walk even a half mile at first, now Im running up to 6 miles at a time. I always wanted a family, and now I have 2 beautiful daughters. I have a healthier marriage and stronger friendships.
And now I feel like ME again. Thats the most important part to me. Not the size jeans I can fit into, not that Ive dropped 10 sizes or almost 90 lbs. But that I love myself again. That I can SEE myself again. I look in the mirror and I recognize that person looking back at me. Instead of wanting to be numb I want to feel it ALL. I love running mainly because it forces me to connect with myself. To push from within and to hear the sound of my breath in my ears and my feet on the pavement. I love yoga because I can feel every curve, every muscle and every stretch and I just know its great for my body, like a cool drink of water to thirsty lungs. I love walking, biking, dancing. I love being me again. But Im also discovering new things about myself every day, and becoming even more of the person I was always meant to be. I was hiding from life and now Im living it and making the most of each day.
After being lost for so many years I thought I had lost her. That girl who loved to roll down hills and run through the woods and explore. I wasnt sure how, or if, I could get her back. I didnt know what that would look like.
But now I know.
It looks like me, only better. I am a healthy mom, wife, sister and friend. I am pursuing my dreams to run a 10k and a 15k and eventually a half marathon. I also plan on honoring my writing and get back to it, and find myself there again.
I am worth it. I can say with certainty that we ALL are.
So, my final answer to the why? Why did I start this journey? Because I had to. Because I didn't know who I was anymore and I needed to find out. Because, deep deep down...underneath it all...I wanted to LIVE.
I feel it all, I feel it all.
The wings are wide, the wings are wide
I know more than I knew before.
Lyrics from Feist, I Feel It All
I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, Move from here to there and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. Matthew 17:20
Every long lost dream led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart they were like Northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you
I think about the years I spent just passing through
Id like to have the time I lost and give it back to you
But you just smile and take my hand
Youve been there you understand
Its all part of a grander plan that is coming true
Lyrics from Selah Bless the Broken Road: