It's okay to not meet your goals sometimes, as long as you're not back-tracking and you stay focused. Sometimes life legitimately gets in the way, but it's important not to let a short hang-up turn into an extended period of laziness and gluttony. It's amazing how quickly it can go there.
It's easy, when I see a little spike in numbers on the scale, to get discouraged and go into a mindset of "well I already gained a few pounds, I might as well eat this bag of M&Ms... quart of ice cream... vat of macaroni and cheese... olympic swimming pool full of whipped cream..." or whatever seems tempting at the time. Okay, most of that was grossly exaggerated. Except the M&Ms. I truly cannot stomach an entire quart of ice cream anymore although there was a day... let's not talk about that.
Actually, yes. Let's talk about that. Because...
I have a very tall friend who is truly amazing and wonderful and I can't wait for her to find an amazing man to marry and be nerdy with. She, however, is afraid it will never happen because she thinks she's taller than every man ever. While I understand her desire for a taller man so that she can feel small and protected, it's just kind of a crazy thing to worry about! Besides the fact that there are obviously plenty of tall men out there, to convince her that height truly doesn't matter, I frequently tell her the story of my also-tall sister, who swore up and down that she would never marry a guy who is shorter than she is. And then she met her husband. He is a few inches shorter than she is, and she genuinely doesn't care. It just doesn't matter!
So we're talking about my sister the other night, and I say, "would you like to see pictures of them? Would that make you feel better?" She exuberantly claimed that she would indeed like to see some evidence of a happy oddly-heighted couple, and I went to Facebook to track some down. I ended up in a photo album from their wedding rehearsal and while showing her proof that height does not hinder happiness, I found a picture of myself that I had blocked from my memory. It was not tagged because I didn't want anyone to see it at the time, which is ironic, because I am now going to post it here for all to see.
I commented on it and my mom saw the comment and told me that I look downright skinny in this picture compared to some that she has, and she asked if I wanted them. In the midst of cringing at the thought, I told her to send them. I wrote a post a while back with pictures of me from before, but since most of my pictures are in storage, and there aren't a whole lot of digital pictures from back then, the pictures in that post don't really show just how huge I used to be.
Not only do I want to be completely transparent and show exactly what I used to look like and what is possible with hard work and self-control, I also think it's important to keep these reminders for just the kind of situation I am facing now: having lost my footing just a little bit while being tied up with end-of-school busy-ness and forcing myself to power through and not give in to the dark side. One look at these pictures is enough to send me running to the gym. In fact, that's where I'm going as soon as I finish writing this.
So here is a picture from the day my nephew Eli was born, March 15, 2010, and then a slew of horribly embarrassing pictures from earlier years.
There is hardcore cringing going on right now. But I also know that now I look like this:
the Roundup. I got it on ebay for $1.99 and it is size Large. That's all it said. Large. Which could have meant anything. I took a small gamble and it totally paid off, and it's my new favorite skirt!
I regret decisions that I made for years and years that kept me fat and miserable. I look back and I wonder how I let myself waste so many years. It makes me sad. All I ever thought I wanted was to be married with kids, and I totally sabotaged myself because of my state of mind. My twenties are gone, and I spent a majority of that time lost and depressed. I was not the person I am today. And yet, it's amazing what God can do with all the ugly and messy and dirty that I turned my life into.
My story is helping inspire a handful of people to get healthy and that makes the whole experience... maybe not worth it, but it makes it beautiful. It gives it a purpose when I saw only despair. And it gives me a purpose I wouldn't have had otherwise. I want to inspire people. I want to let people know that if I can do it, literally anyone can. And I want people to know that they are worth it. They are valuable and they deserve more than the miserable state in which they are stuck.
Food is a crutch for so many, and it masks the real issues that each person struggles with deep down. It was when I finally let go and let God heal my inner junk that my outer world started to change as well. Today, I am joyful, confident, and full of direction for my life, which is amazing. My exact journey is what I had to go through to get to where I am, and I would not switch places with anyone in the world if i was given that option.