A YEAR OF TRANSFORMATION
I’ve hesitated to write about this for a while, I don’t know if I was just waiting to fail or if I was waiting to hit a milestone significant enough to feel like I had a strong voice in the matter, whatever the reason I’m stumbling through and going for it now.
I wish I could say I’ve struggled with this for a long time and that you’d be surprised, but let’s be real, there was no hiding my struggle. Sure I tried, but I think I only deceived myself, then I would look back at photos and be mortified!
Yes, I’m talking about my weight!
It’s funny how I look back at photos from college and I just have to laugh, I thought I was fat then, and I only wish I looked like that now!!
Blame it on kids, grief… life! The weight continued to slowly go up. I always tried to manage it, diets, exercise, supplements, you name it! I was sure that if I at least tried I could keep it from totally getting out of control. In my mind I believed there would be a breaking point, a number on the scale at which I would lose all hope and never be able to come back from.
At my highest weight I was depressed, unhappy, feeling stuck and feeling quite hopeless, and it wasn’t because of the weight, rather my body was a reflection of how I felt inside.
If you know me, you know my mom passed away at a very young age, just a year after Aaron and I were married. There were also things in my childhood that greatly contributed to my lack of self-esteem. That started the spiral, but it didn’t stop there.
Before my first nephew was born he was diagnosed with a heart condition and the next 2 years were some of the hardest. Watching my only brother and his wife care for their beautiful and fragile little boy was heart shattering! His passing was painful, despite everything we could think to do to support them I knew it was not enough, I couldn’t make it better, and I had no idea how to sit in the pain.
By this point I was sitting in pain and guilt, drowning in grief I felt helpless to deal with, I just wanted to run away!!
It was around this time that we decided to sell our house and take on this crazy adventure of living on the road. The house selling and getting rid of all the things was the easy part.
In that year before leaving my brother was diagnosed with cancer and underwent an intense chemotherapy treatment. Roughly four ugly months later he was cancer free.
For this girl that internalizes everything, tries to focus only on the positive, and not acknowledge the bad, this was all more than my body could handle. Leaving Dallas was a relief! Finally, a place where I felt all the ugly things in life had happened, was behind me!
I soon discovered, what I’m sure you’ve figured out by now. All the pain and grief… it just came with me!
Right around this time last year, I attended an event that begun my slow but steady transformation. I met a lady who shared some of the same situations in her story and she encouraged me to seek counseling. I’d considered it at different times before, but this time I knew it was a must, I needed help!
In February I finally started my sessions and begun working through some of the pain. Being away was helpful, it made it easier to unplug and finally face what I’d avoided for years!
I was feeling so much better, lighter, more confident.
Then in May we returned back to Dallas and it all hit me hard!!
We had originally planned to be here for about a month and we had planned a busy month. Then delays happened and I begun to feel anxious, depressed, unhappy, TRAPPED!!
Everything around me seemed to be a trigger! Like driving down the highway next to the hospital where my mom passed away would evoke SO much emotion - pain, anger!!
It was the end of August when I totally lost it! Our travels were going to be delayed yet again and I could no longer hold it in. I curled up in a corner and the tears would not stop, I wanted to punch things, I wanted to scream, I felt totally helpless so I finally allowed myself to feel it all! To be mad about it all, to let go and quit trying to keep it all together.
That month I happened to received a free essential oil called Acceptance, I posted about it on instagram. I’ve been using EOs for a long time now, I know how powerful they are on our emotions… or thought I did until then! It seemed fitting to start using it, so I did. I’m not saying that changed everything, obviously it’s been a year long process, but it was a turning point for sure.
On August 29th I decided to finally do something about my weight. I mean, I’ve decided that like a gazillion times before, but there was something different this time. I was not in a rush, I had no expectations of immediate results, and it was not a struggle. WHAT?!
I met with a friend who had introduced me to the ketogenic diet and she helped me get started. It wasn’t a Monday, or the first day of the month, it was a Wednesday on the last few days of the month! I was so ready I didn’t want to wait for the “perfect” starting time, that day was as good a day as any! I joined another friend’s online fitness challenge and begun working out consistently, this time I didn’t pick the most intense work out (you know, in order to yield results quickly!). I didn’t look to push as hard as I could, I started with Yoga, I just needed the consistency. It’s like I finally understood this would be a marathon, not a sprint, it didn’t have to have results TODAY! With all that though, probably the most important change was that I allowed myself to face all the pain and emotions. I allowed myself to cry, like the ugly, snotty nose, eyes swollen shut kind of cry. I quit trying to run away, and guess what?
The weight just started coming off!
I share all of this because I’ve started getting the messages saying “what’s the secret” “what are you doing to lose weight?” and I just can’t say it was the diet. Yes, the ketogenic diet is great, I love how my body feels, I don’t crave all the things, I always feel satisfied, so it has definitely been a great tool! I can’t say it was the exercise either, I definitely feel stronger and I’m sure it has helped my metabolism and overall health, so again an awesome tool! It wasn’t my essential oils or a magic pill, while the oils have been a great tool in helping me release some of the emotions. But for any of those things to work, for me to stick to the eating plan, to followup on my commitment to work out, something had to change in ME, the work had to start on the inside first, and I truly believe that has been my “secret.”
I’m only halfway to where I need to be, but in these 3.5 months I’ve lost 30lbs and dropped 2 pant sizes, I feel lighter not just on the outside, but on the inside as well!
We are now back in Dallas and I’m so happy to be here!
Don’t get me wrong, I love our travels and will be happy to be back on the road after the holidays. But I am happy and content, I’m looking forward to time with family and friends, and just being present! Unlike this summer where even the anticipation of coming back made my stomach turn, I’m treasuring and enjoying every moment we get to spend with our family here.
There’s still so much processing to do, and I don’t think the pain of grief is something I’ll ever be able to escape. But I’m not afraid to face it anymore, I’m done being crippled and paralyzed by the fear of it, and I believe the changes in my body are a reflection of the work that’s been going on inside.