When someone starts the journey to try to figure out what happened to the person who once looked back at them in the mirror, they don’t always know what they’ll find along the way.
As January 2017 approached, I knew I needed to do something to change who I was becoming inside and out. I had become unhappy with myself – not only with the way I looked but also with the way I felt about myself and who I had let myself become. I felt like I paled in comparison to the woman I longed to be one day when I was graduating from college nearly 20 years ago.
On the verge of turning 40, I was ready to make a change for the better and really stick to the changes I was making. I didn’t want to go on another fad diet and lose some weight just to turn around and gain it all back. I wanted to change the direction my life was heading. I wanted to find my confidence I had buried in the closet somewhere, and I wanted to become an example of a strong woman who my boys would use as a guide for the rest of their lives.
So, I began this journey in the beginning of March, a few weeks before my birthday. Along the way, I have surprisingly found my confidence, my sense of self-worth and my desire to be incredible, along with my smile, my collar bones, my knobby knees, my hip bones and my skinny long fingers. After losing 60 pounds so far, I have found life to be a little more enlightening and the truth to be a little less harsh because I can somewhat handle it better. I don’t blame anyone for allowing this to happen other than myself. No one pushed me down or held me back other than myself.
I am not losing weight to conform to society’s version of what is beautiful. I am not trying to be someone I’m not. In fact, I’m trying to figure out what is the best version of me at 40. Because that version of me when I was 18 or 21 or even 30 was so different from who I am now and the best possible version of who I can be. As many people know, I have been through some crap and continue to go through it every day like so many others. I know I’m not alone with having to deal with the trials and tribulations that life hands each one of us. But I know that what life has handed me could’ve easily made me crumple up into a ball at any time and allow the walls to fall in around me, except I’m not that person. And this year was the chance to make sure that I planted my feet, figured out who I wanted to be for the next 20-30-40 years of my life and set a course to make that all happen.
This year my husband also had a major birthday and turned 50. So I see this chance for him and I to pick a new direction, set a path and figure out what we want the next 10 years to look like. Within the last several years, we’ve had a change of scenery… a friendship scenery in some ways, that is — several people who have walked away from us… people who we had trusted for the last 10+ years, the ones who held us up when we lost a piece of our heart and the ones we laughed with until we cried countless times over the years. But that’s how life goes sometimes, and it’s one of the reasons why I think that this is our time to change our future.
The only people holding us back is us, so once we get past the obstacles we’re creating, the road is waiting, the car is gassed up and the boys are always ready for the next adventure with mommy and daddy.
So my journey continues. This has not just been about losing a ton of weight and inches and buying new clothes; instead, this is about loving the person I see staring back at me in the mirror now and knowing that person is here to stay because I took the time to find myself again. Loving myself again never felt so good.