***This is not a feel good post about how much I love yoga and my life. If that is what you are looking for, you might want to move on. This post is a bit more raw than usual. You've been warned, just sayin.' Don't bother judging me, I have that all taken care of.***
I thought when I lost weight all my problems would go away – no really, don’t laugh, I honestly thought that as the scale went lower and lower, the clouds would gradually part, a beam of light would envelope my body, and a chorus of angels would sing at my very presence. I would walk on fields of lilacs and be surrounded by peace, love, and joy.
A year ago, my focus was on my weight, every problem that I had I traced back to that number on the scale.
Unhappy with myself? It’s because I was fat.
Frustrated that I don't think I have friends? It’s because I was fat.
Angry at myself? It’s because I was fat.
Thinking that everyone else in the world is better than I am? It's because I was fat.
Guess what, I’m not fat any more, and I still have problems. How much does that suck? Well, a lot quite frankly. In a way, I was sort of happier a year ago because I could trace (or so I thought) all my problems to a common element – my weight.
Why am I so unsure of myself? I feel deeply inadequate in almost every way to nearly everyone in my life. Everyone is prettier, brighter, funnier, more important than I am. It's obvious there are a whole lot of left over issues that were covered by the weight. I get that. But now, I'm just sort of stuck in this limbo land with the body of the present but the mind of the past.
It goes without saying this is a self esteem/self image issue. So maybe, its time for a gut check and another question…what do I like about myself that I wouldn’t change for a million dollars? I mean really, really like.
List 'em … go …
My eyes. I love their color and I love how they can change depending on what I’m wearing.
My hair. There’s not much about my hair I don’t like. I like the texture of it, the curl when I choose to wear it curly or how smooth it gets with the flat iron.
My stubbornness. I love the fact that I can sink my teeth into an issue and just hold on for dear life. Now I don’t do it all the time, and am pretty choosy as to what it is that I do this with, but when I’m determined, the bull dog is there. And this quality has been vital on this journey.
My ability to express myself. I think I almost take this for granted, because I get way frustrated when the words won't come, but really, yes I love the fact that I can say what I mean and/or write what I mean clearly with a strong vocabulary.
My ability to self-examine. Socrates said that the unexamined life is not worth living. Well, I guess my life is worth living then because I do examine it, daily, sometimes almost obsessively. I’m never satisfied with how I am right now; I want to improve and really, that’s sort of a gift. How many people are happy with going through the motions of life and only thinking about the next party, the next thing to own, the next event to attend? How many women at 49 would embark on a life-changing journey starting with losing 80 pounds, exercising, dieting, then seeing a therapist, a trainer, taking up yoga, writing, and pretty much tossing their whole life into turmoil, just to finally deal with issues that have been sleeping, resting, percolating their whole lives?
Honestly, wouldn’t it have just been easier to take the damn pills, sit on the couch, and watch TV?
Sure it would have been. But I DIDN’T MAKE THAT CHOICE and there has to be respect and deep love for that decision.
My bravery. Maybe this is what I admire most of all, and it’s related to the point above.
The process I’m involved in has been public, obvious, and without cover. I’ve admitted my old weight, current weight, and planned weight so many times, there is no embarrassment any more, no secrets, no hiding. I am me – at 178 pounds, like it, don’t like it, it’s still me. There are probably people who read that number and think "fat." There are probably people who think I should keep some of this shit to myself. I shut my mouth my entire adult life, no more. Don't like it? Walk away. It's time for me to figure out what makes me tick and how to be happy for the next 50 years. If this transition is too hard, then don't hang around and watch the process. Don't really blame you either, wish I could check out sometimes.
When the rubber meets the road, the truth is, I did and am doing ‘it.’ I’m revealing the person hidden by the weight - shedding the pounds and the artifice all at one time. The process is not without bumps in the road and not without struggle, but the process pushes forward. At times it is stunningly hard; at times I am deeply embarrassed about my missteps; at times I wish the end were closer. No matter what, I’m grateful for every lesson learned.
Thoughts to take with me today: Little by little, I am becoming. I am being. I am lovely.