Six years ago today, I reached my goal weight. Back then I was part of an amazing healthy living support group called “Journey to the Heart” (JTTH), led by my dear friend Ginette. There was a reunion week-end planned the year I reached my goal, and during the celebrations, I received my key chain which signified all the work I put into reach my goal. I carry that treasured key chain with me today.
The JTTH reunion week-end is a time I will never forget and I’ve made some incredible friendships thanks to the creation of that group. The women I’ve met through JTTH touched my heart and taught me so much about life…to persevere, to keep going when I wanted to quit, and the power that comes along with a community of understanding and supportive friends. Thank you!
I love when an anniversary rolls around for all dates that mark a change in life. These milestones remind one to look back to the beginning and reflect on the changes and growth that’s transpired through the years.
Today, I want to thank to all those amazing people in my life that were my inspirations, my reasons for moving forward, my teachers of life lessons. One of the most amazing lessons I’ve learned over the last few years is that when you finally figure out who you are and put it out there, you will draw in the most amazing like-minded individuals. I can’t begin to explain how thankful I am for my friends and family. You are most definitely food for my soul. So thank you from the bottom of my heart. Collectively, you have changed my life.
I wasted many years…living in fear. Fear of the unknown, of change, and of failure. But you know what? I’m thankful for those years because I would have never appreciated the goodness of life if I hadn’t once taken it for granted.
I remember a time about 8 years ago, my son Ty wanted me to go swimming with him. I just couldn’t bring myself to put on a swim suit. I avoided facing the reality that I had packed on over 90 pounds in a period of just a few years. I avoided friends whom I hadn’t seen in a while, social situations, and getting my photo taken (I have very few pictures with me and my kids when I was at my heaviest). My fear, anxiety, and remorse not only held me back from living life, but it also held my kids back from being active. I wish I loved myself at that time in my life, I lost out on building relationships with those I loved.
I used to believe that being proud of your accomplishments was being boastful and arrogant. But let me tell you my friends, I need to be proud of changing my lifestyle because it’s directly tied to my body image. I’ve had a few friends joke to me over the years that I’m too wrapped up in the calorie/fat content in foods, and in my need to stay active.
The only way I’ve managed to stay at my goal weight is by staying focussed on what I’m eating, but more importantly, on the correlation between food and activity. It’s necessary for me. If I’m not diligent in that area, I WILL gain the weight back. I’m at a healthy weight today, and I plan to stay that way because it’s the place I physically feel the best.
Our bodies are designed to eat whole natural foods and to move! As long as I’m physically able to be active, I believe I should be and I’ve learned that lesson from those who are not physically able to be active. There’s so many ways to add physical activity to one’s daily life. Walking instead of driving, biking with the kids, dancing like an idiot, anything that gets that heart rate up for a bit…it makes me feel alive inside.
I forget sometimes that people who just meet me have no idea of where I started, and because of my tendency to be socially awkward, it takes some time to “get” me. 😛 I’m working on the whole “I won’t be awkward in public situations”, although awkwardness is just a part of who I am I’ve decided! I’ve become OK with being misjudged on many occasions.
I do hope I never portray that I think I have all the answers in this area, because I can assure you that I don’t! I can only attest to what works for me, but everyone is different. I believe life is a continual learning curve…all one can do is their best and their best changes as life changes. I didn’t start running for 30 minutes, I started running for 30 seconds. Seriously a few years ago, I was physically unable to sustain a running pace for more than 30 seconds. BUT…the body adapts quickly, and within two weeks I was able to run 1 minute, then 5, then 10, then 20, and so on.
This is how I view things today, feeling pride is actually a bi-product of gratitude. I am so grateful for a life where I recognize all the blessings around our family. I’m grateful for the amazing people I’ve met along the way. I’m grateful that I am able to pass on what I learned….if it touches another’s heart. A circle of support is something to treasure, and it’s built up through sharing and connecting on a genuine level.
So today, I look back with a smile on my face and gratitude in my heart.
The photo below from 2002 was one of the rare instances that I went swimming with my kids. Today, we spend much of our time on the beach and in the water when we go to the lake. 🙂
I finally feel like I’m home within my own life and there’s so much more life to live.
I want to show my kids that life is meant to be actively lived when I was once a side-line Mom, scared to try new things. You can only do the best you can in each stage of your life.
Music is one of those gifts that mark life events, and when you hear a song tied to a memory, you are taken right back there again. This piece from the film “The Piano”, was one I used to listen to over and over again (on cassette tape!) It reminds me of a difficult place in my life; however I’ve learned so much going through those difficult times so I’m just grateful.
To my supportive friends and family, I love you! You amaze me with each passing day. As life flies by, you continue to prove that there are no limits to your strength, wisdom, and acceptance.
From my grateful heart to yours,
Christine, 6 years at goal weight 🙂