As I have alluded to in many of my posts and blogs, I went through a massive personal change at the beginning of this year.
Here is the story.
Growing up I dealt with a lot of anxiety, a lot of pain, and a lot of bitterness. My life wasn't as hard as it could have been from stories I have heard out there, but for me it was extremely hard and very painful. I rarely felt safe, life was unpredictable and scary, and I never really felt accepted. I was constantly attacked for being myself, and made to feel very unworthy.
The consequence of this was an adulthood of searching for whatever comforts I could find. A lot of that centered around food and a general dodging of responsibilities. What was the ultimate result of this? I gained so much weight I could not comfortably walk from one room to the next without being out of breath - to the point that I had low mobility and high health risks and some financial instability.
My quest for comfort, or instant happiness, was crumbling down around me, and it was affecting my work, my loves and my health.
I honestly felt close to death not much more than two months ago.
Through my therapy and focusing on mindfulness it suddenly hit me that this life of decadence was killing me. And that just because I had it rough when I was younger, doesn't give me the right to have it easy now.
I sat down and thought about what it was that I wanted in life, like truly deep down really really wanted. And the answers were: health and mobility, love, a chance to share my art, travel, friends, and to feel ALIVE again.
And I realized, in order to have all those things, that I could easily see on the horizon for myself, just out of reach, I needed to work hard for them. And even more than that, I needed to get uncomfortable.
That's when I went to see The Greatest Showman, and the entire movie moved me. My favourite song was "This is Me" and I played that on repeat CONSTANTLY, but the quote that hit me the most was "comfort is the enemy of progress."
This is so true! So many times in my life I have been faced with the understanding that change is uncomfortable and scary, but as I have gone through life I have always always seen that when I go through that discomfort and fear and make the changes I come out the other side stronger, and happier, and freer.
So there I was, faced with following a doctor prescribed 3 week long liquid diet in preparation for my bariatric surgery (this was after years of ordering in food and eating chocolate whenever I pleased)... I made it through those three weeks despite my hunger and cravings because I understood that the presence of these discomforts were only proof that I was changing. And you can trust that I whined a lot those weeks, to myself, to my friends and to my husband... but I made it through. And the reward I got from that? 30 pounds weight loss. Since my surgery I have been faced with making decisions on not eating greasy foods because it wouldn't be the fuel my body desperately needs right now which is protein. That has been hard. But it is getting easier... (which tells me I need to start getting more discomfort in my life like working out :) haha). The rewards so far have been overwhelming. Not only have I lost a total of 60 pounds, I can walk easily, I can take the metro and busses instead of Uber's, I can wear clothes I couldn't wear anymore, or never was able to fit in. And I feel amazing! Best of all I am starting to feel free, I am seeing my art improving, and I am getting closer and closer to that enriched life.
I wanted to share R's session with my story because I was deeply moved by this woman's history. She also was treated rather horribly, and is currently battling with not letting what was said to her define her.
Guys, it is so hard to be with someone for years who is meant to love you above all, but who instead puts all of their energy into breaking your spirit and making you start to hate the sight of yourself. Then imagine how hard it would be to leave this person and begin to try and rebuild that self confidence in this cold and sometimes very cruel world.
When R met with me at her consultation she told me she was determined to not let this past of hers stop her. Beyond that she wanted to celebrate the healthy body she now had and begin to learn to accept her own beauty. When she came to her session with me she was shaking like a leaf, so incredibly nervous, but she jumped right in. She did not hold back, nor did she let herself stay comfortable - she fought through the self-hate, she worked past her fear.
She took a leap and trusted me, and above all trusted herself.
She is a perfect example of someone refusing to settle. She has a life worth fighting for, she knows she deserves to be truly happy, and she is fighting that fight everyday.
And for that she truly inspires me.
(due to privacy reasons I will not be showing her face in her images)