I have always been a very independent person. My mother will recount the story of how, on my first day of kindergarten, we walked to the school, and with the school in sight, I allegedly told her “I can take it from here.” I don’t specifically recall that story, but I believe it, because I am very much about finding my own way.
So, on the fourth of July, I think about a more recent declaration of independence. It was about this time a year ago that I began my research. I wanted to find my own freedom in my body, in my mind and in my spirit when it came to weight loss and food. You can read more about that journey in my story.
I am reading posts from my A-team and hearing their declarations of independence. They are seeing a release from all that has plagued them when it comes to reflecting on the outside how they feel on the inside. 65 of us have weighed in today and we are over 1500 pounds down and done. Many others still have yet to report, but we have literally released a TON of weight.
Looking on the outside how I felt on the inside has always been my challenge. For me the outside was so NOT where I wanted to be at most stages of my life. I obsessed about it and then gave up on it, then binged and then beat myself up. I didn’t trust that any diet was ultimately going to work for me because I was either too weak, the diet was unsustainable, or I just couldn’t wrap my head around having to head to a gym multiple times a week just to maintain. I respect those paths because they might work for others. They just never worked for me.
So as this 4th of July approaches, I reflect on where I am now. I’m not finished yet with my journey that started back in October, but I am 64 pounds closer to my ultimate 100 pound goal. I have not done this without moments of going off the rails. But I can count the number of times I have lost control, and I have enough fingers to count them. In the past, I would have fallen and not gotten back up. I would have gotten frustrated and lost hope when I wasn’t doing it perfectly. I would have chucked it and declared my fate sealed.
These last few weeks I’ve dug into landscaping and ‘wogging.’ Wogging is my routine of walking and then running and then walking some more. That hasn’t happened in years. Now, when I get intensely physical, I don’t have aches and pains the next day. I don’t have to take pain relievers to feel better. I’m not in supreme physical shape (like, not by a long shot), but the inflammation is gone from my joints and I just don’t feel it the next day. It’s taken me awhile to get back to being more active. And while I know I can continue losing on this plan without exercise, my body is crying out to move more, and I want to shorten my time to goal. I am mindful that my Hashimoto’s has a tendency to slow things up more for me than others, and I want to reach the finish line of 100 pounds down and done before my one year Luminous anniversary in October. That anniversary will commemorate the day I fully surrendered and began this journey in earnest.
My declaration of independence today is about freeing my mind from the effects of flour and sugar, from deprivation and from self-recrimination. I choose to deal with the stresses and strains of life in a way that supports who I want to be, rather than turning them inward and trashing my body, mind and spirit. Because…nothing is worth sacrificing my well-being. Because….food won’t fix it. Because…nothing ever tastes as good as this new way of living feels. My family and friends want me around and present, not sick and shying away or missing the precious moments. It’s still one day at a time, practicing mindfulness, being kind to myself and letting go of the things I cannot change. Now, managing my weight and my food is no longer something I cannot change, nor is it an obsession. Rather, it’s a new way of being in the world. And I embrace every single minute of it.