Today I posted my most current progress on my weight loss...which is finally under the "100 pounds left to lose" mark. I was pleasantly overwhelmed by the folks who "liked" the post and added words of encouragement in messages that made my heart smile and picked up my determination to stay at it to a whole new level.
I'm very grateful for that.
Here in the South...we call that "feeling the love." Sometimes we will do something for someone else and they don't seem to notice. Which is okay since we were probably going to do it anyway...but every so often...we just want to feel the love. Hear the words. See the time spent in stopping to acknowledge it. Not all the time...but sometimes.
Other times, we'll just do something for someone that seems like no big deal to us...but is a huge deal to them. Their thankfulness spills over and makes us feel like we were meant to be a blessing to them. I love that feeling.
Today, I felt the love. Read the kind words, the encouraging words, the "I'm doing that too!" words. I loved seeing the vast array of friends and family who took a few minutes to read that post. People who have all touched my life in some way. It was very humbling...yet very uplifting.
A week ago, my friend and instructor, Allyson, told me that I should be putting more about my journey out here. Maybe that will let someone know that they aren't alone...or may convince someone to get off of the fence and in the gym. That it isn't too late. That it is possible. That there is a way out.
I think it goes without saying that the way out is not easy.
Yes, there are times when it is hard. There are times I want to hurl my scale across the floor. Times when I catch a whiff of something awesome but that whiff is the only partaking of it that I'm going to do. Times when I focus on how much further I have to go instead of how far I've come. Times when I curse my metabolism and my stupidity.
But losing weight is not that hard. Relatively speaking, anyway. People going through chemo have it hard. People who have lost a child have it hard. Learning to eat in a way that honors God, my body, and my family...was not hard. Confusing? Absolutely. Frustrating? You betcha. Same with the exercise. The water consumption. The logging of every bite.
This is actually more like pregnancy and childbirth than anything else I've experienced. At first you're tentative, sick, tired, and your body feels foreign. Then you go through months of learning how to cope...but instead of getting bigger...you're getting smaller. You make changes because you have to. Things aren't as important as they once were because your focus has changed. And we all know that what keeps any mother going through labor and delivery is knowing that there is someone worth it on the other side. That's pretty much the way that I feel. There's someone worth it on the other side. Someone who has been in hiding for decades.
Yes, for years, I believed that there was no way out. Once you've flunked out of Weight Watchers more than Lindsay Lohan has flunked out of rehab...you start to get a little touchy. Every program brought answers...or failure. A year of exercise only without a handle on the food intake helped some...but not enough to make a lot of headway.
I finally figured I'd make the most of life and just live it. I'd quit trying to do something about the problem. I'd just be me and if people didn't like it...well, that was their problem.
Except it wasn't their problem...it was mine. Nobody was shoving food in my mouth. That was me. Completely me.
Once I accepted that there was no way back, I just started walking through one day at a time. As I kept showing up...it made it easier for people to be supportive. I'd take that support and use it as a shield when temptation struck or I was at a low point.
Support has been wonderful...but nothing really prepared me for today. It was so positive that it made me tear up a few times. In a good way, of course.
We all need to feel the love sometimes. To know that folks are standing with us or cheering us as we go by. To feel like the battle is worth it. Every sore muscle. Every time something was passed by. Every time a good decision replaced a bad one.
I cannot really adequately describe how it made me feel...but for the most part it was...loved, encouraged, and supported.
Those are pretty good words, yes?
This is the first leg of a very long journey. There will be days when I'll need to remember why I'm doing this. What I hope to accomplish. Who I am. And when I'm tired and disheartened and wondering if it will ever be over...I'm going to remember the love that was shared today. The encouragement and those who took a few minutes to hit a "like" button or share a comment.
And the ongoing help from the teachers that have appeared exactly when I've needed them. I hope to return the favor for someone else someday.
For those who shared kindness with me today...I felt the love. And I cannot thank you enough for that.
For me, the goal is getting the weight off...but the real work comes when there are more choices. Right now, I have two: do this or don't do this. When there are more choices...there are also more pitfalls. I'm girding my loins - so to speak - to deal with that part when it comes.
Which is, obviously, not now.