I am approaching the 10 year anniversary of probably the most important decision I every made in my life. 4 months before graduating high school I hit rock bottom. I faced a life or death choice that forever changed my life.
Up until that point I lived my life as an obese adolescent. The ridicule, isolation and physical discomfort I endured was brutal. And just when I thought I couldn’t go on any more I faced my addiction head on and decided I was done once and for all.
Over the past 10 years I have lost a 100 pounds in total. I have gone from being obese to anorexic and am now slightly in between. I have seen myself as a confident self assured woman and as a depressed embarrassed girl. As I set upon this journey 10 years ago, I promised myself that I never wanted to see that obese girl again. I was determined to do whatever it took to get rid of her. And that promise almost cost me my life once.
Since I fell sick with the need to be thin 5 years ago I’ve been trying to get my body and my life back on track. This process has been harder than I could have ever imagined. The past year has been even more so the most difficult year in this 10 year transition yet. I started to slow down my exercise, began to eat more normal food and as things picked up with work and school I slowly began to put on weight I wasn’t planning on.
I never thought I’d see that girl from high school again. But today I did.
Today I looked in the mirror and saw a girl with a full face and a full figure. And I cried. I haven’t felt that kind of shame in over 10 years. While I am by no means unattractive or at an unhealthy weight, I’ve let myself go this year and haven’t taken care of my body or my life as well as I could be.
I was reminded today of one simple fact…I’ve never felt beautiful. No matter what weight I’ve been. I just don’t see it and I fear that I never will. I know I have a good heart and in the end that’s really all that matters but its hard knowing I have a disorder that even though I don’t let it win is always yelling at me and telling me I’m not enough.
Today I faced my past… something I never wanted to see again, something I feared but I know I needed to. I needed to see that girl in the mirror and I needed to face what I’ve been running from. I just began working my dream job helping other women to see their beauty, their truth. I”m teaching them to take pride in themselves, to take care of themselves and to love themselves NO MATTER WHAT.
And today I realized that the only way I can do that is to face my past. I have to bridge that girl I saw in the mirror 10 years ago with the girl I see now. While my body has changed drastically in the past 10 years…the lens which I see her hasn’t and I can’t move forward until I change it.
So amazingly, I am having to apply one of the many skills I teach in therapy to myself…RADICAL ACCEPTANCE. It means accepting what it fully, 100%, no matter what. I have to accept what was and what is and move on. That doesn’t mean I can’t take action now for the future but I have to learn to live with all the versions of me.
Its amazing that my dream job isn’t really my purpose…my dream job is what is going to heal me so that I can live my purpose. I never thought that would be the case but I now see God’s plan. I now get why everything in my past and present is happening and even though its all been hard its all worth it because this is what will set me on the true course for my life.
I urge everyone to face their past and to really see what has happened and what is happening in order to heal what needs healing. When you finally step back and radically accept all that was and is, you’ll find that you’re finally able to put the past to rest and move on to your future 🙂
I know I sure am…