Hello, my name is Amy....and I am way overweight.
Ah, see now I know why they do this at AA meetings. It's a stepping out from behind the curtain. A sort of "take me as I am", if you will.
Now, let me explain why I am doing this post. See, my weight, I feel, is my thing. The thing that always holds me back, that allows me to convince myself that I am less worthy of attaining greatness, that I lack value to others, or that simply I'm not worthy of acheiving my goals and accepting the compliments others give me, all because I have not, as of yet, been able to overcome this consuming part of my life. Consuming because a healthy weight for me would be 100 lbs less than what I weigh. That's a lot.
I know what it takes to lose weight. I could practically write a book about all the good foods you should eat and the exercise that you should do. However, there has been a block. There was something for me that was a block between knowing and doing. Something emotional. It was frustrating....to say the least. To know...be totally convinced and then, for whatever reason, act in total opposition.
This has been on my mind a lot lately. Here is why I think it has....
I spent a lot of years trying to really figure myself out. I had a lot of emotional and difficult things to work out as a child. While life was generally good, there were some especially difficult times. Things that made me develop beliefs about myself, based on experience and actions of others, that at the time, I was unable to understand. They weren't good beliefs. I lost myself. I spent a lot of years....most of them, trying hard to be someone other than me. Wishing like crazy that I was.
Long story short, I met my hubby at a particularly good time in my life. A time when I was trying to figure myself out. He was a gift to me from a loving Father in Heaven. My hubby is AMAZING! He loves me completely and I am completely smitten! With my hubby came a spectacular Mother-In-Law. A woman I love and admire greatly! She slowly began to teach me a different way of thinking. It is hard to describe it, but it was freeing, non-judgemental, understanding, spiritual, trusting....life changing. Concepts like our happiness is not based on the actions of others. We get to CHOOSE how we will react. No one has the ability to hurt your feelings, when your feelings are hurt, it is because you chose to allow them to be. In order to receive love from others, you must love yourself first. Forgiveness. Forgiveness. Forgiveness. Gratitude. Gratitude. Gratitude. Did I mention it was life changing?! It wasn't an immediate fix all, but her teaching, both through discussion and example, gave me the tools to become who I am now. How to process emotion and feelings.
Why then haven't I applied it to this aspect of my life?! I think I am getting now that it simply wasn't time. I wasn't ready. I have to realize that the last 5 years of my life were spent taking care of my sweet Dawson. I gladly gave him all of me. I would do it again. Easily. Happily. In that refiners fire I learned my true nature as a Daughter of God. I learned His love for each of us. A love that I am determined and passionate about helping others feel! I learned that there were things more important than simply what I saw on the outside. In fact, I think the Lord was trying to teach me all along that what was inside needed to come first. This is where confidence came for me. I knew He knew me more than anyone else. I knew that He knew the good, the bad and the really ugly. And yet, He loved me still. My friend Shalece mentioned her favorite scripture to me the other day. It is in the Old Testament. 1 Sam 16:7. "...for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart." I think that, coupled with a life changing lesson Shalece taught me a year ago. Here is what she said to me...
She was cutting my hair. Short. I admitted that I was nervous to have short hair. I complained a bit about the size of my cheeks. :) She, being a friend that I love very dearly, knows that I know that she loves me right back. So, she decided to give me a bit of a talkin to. :)
"Amy," she said, "I think you think way to much about what others think about you." (Ouch, is what I thought. True is what I felt.) "Here is the deal," she went on. "You are worried that people will walk past you on the street and stereotype you as a lazy person because of your weight, and they might. They might judge you, but if they would only take 10 sec to talk to you they would quickly learn what we all know. That you are an amazing friend, loving mother, strong woman...." she went on.
In that moment something clicked in me. It was a powerful "ah-ha" moment. I love Shalece for being willing to lovingly call me on my own junk, and for loving me enough to straighten me out a bit.
So this is it. This is why I am happy to make this post. We all have our "thing". The area(s) we wish we were so much better at. The thing(s) that seem to beat us down everytime. My problem is that I let that one little tiny thing define ME. I failed to see all of the things that I am good at and that I have overcome. I failed to let THOSE things define me, and I let the adversary convince me that I was kidding myself to think that I had any sort of value to myself or anyone else because my weight is a bit harder for me to control than everything else I have overcome. How dumb is that?! I think I have learned that it is really all a matter of timing.
Life is full of hills to climb, but you can't climb the mountain 3 hills away until you clear the ones directly in front of you.
Even so, my worth and my value to myself, my family, my friends....to you, is not determined by my weaknesses, but by my strengths.
That applies to all of us! Really! I love when you get the point in a friendship where you both are fully aware of each others weaknesses, you know they are there, but you CHOOSE to see each others strengths first!
Thanks for sticking through this whole ramble of mine. It is suprisingly difficult to be so completely raw and personal about this. However, I can't tell you how empowering it is to have the thing that I try so hard to hide just out there for all the world to see. :) It makes it seem smaller and completely overcome-able!
We all have weaknesses and things we are extra hard on ourselves about. Things that make or break our self-confidence. I think it is time we stop giving up our power to those things and realize how fabulous we are anyway :) and then start knocking those hills out one at a time. Together.
Wanna "confess"? The floor is yours! Comment away, but only if you want! :)