Going To The Chapel…

So, I hinted that there was a lot to update on.  I won’t be able to do detail by detail but here is the short story of it all.

Last fall, upon reaching this place of acceptance of Beauty, I met a man.

I felt beautiful and confident enough to allow myself to be interested in this man.

I got a friend involved, who is known to be good at matchmaking things, and lo and behold, he happened to be BFF’s with said man.

Said man, apparently was interested in me and our mutual friend had the easiest matchmaking job of all.  All he had to do was encourage us to be brave.

Brave we were.

Lunch dates, and Sundays after church began to be spent together.  Then Friday nights were added in.  Before I knew it, I had my first ever BOYFRIEND!  Can I just say, BEST CHRISTMAS EVER!

Not long after that, I had my FIRST kiss.

and soon…I had fallen in love.

I fell for a man who could care less if I lose another pound.  He finds me beautiful, and I am in a place in my life to believe him.  Despite this, he supports me 100% in my goals and works hard to help me.

And for the really big news, if you can’t infer from the title, yes…we have decided to be married.  Soon.

So, I am in rapid wedding planning phase, since our date is August 31, 2013, all while continuing to work my plan and learn how to let someone new into what it means to be losing a whole couple of people. Oh the vulnerability of it all.

Dating, getting to know someone special, falling in love, dieting, exercising, meal planning, plus normal family and work…well can ya see why I haven’t been around the blog much lately?  or Facebook for that matter?

So friends, are you ready?

Meet Josiah.  The man I have chosen to marry.  The one my heart loves.

me and josiah

I said Yes-001

Destination: Beautiful. Arrived-On Time

I know I haven’t written for some time.  I am sure many of you have been wondering where I have been.  I have had many changes in my life, and I will get to an update, but that update I believe begins with this post first.

My journey has been called, The Road to Beautiful.  Beautiful being some undefined place of peace and rest and feeling beautiful.  A place where I felt spiritually, emotionally, and physically whole and healthy.  I never knew when or if I would ever arrive at this vague place of being.  On some level, I kind of thought it would be a life long journey and that Beautiful would only happen on the other side of Heaven.

I was wrong.

Beautiful, I have realized has always been present.  I have always been in this place.  I just didn’t know it.  Shocker, right?  To many of my dearest, Coach and Aaron and the like, they may be reading this and saying, ” well DUH, we told you so!”

As I look back over the last 8 months, I realize that sometime last fall I had come to a place of acceptance of the Beauty that lies within me, that has always been there.  I had come to a place of being content with who I am, regardless of my size or weight.  I was happy with the things God was doing in me and through me.  I felt like I had a purpose and that there was a plan in place even if I didn’t know all the details. I was learning to hear God’s voice in new ways.  I had learned to consistently identify and deal with my emotions in a healthy manner, instead of using food to numb out or to fill a void. (I still mess up from time to time though, please do NOT read perfection here)  I had learned to extend mercy and grace to myself when I messed up.  And…in all of this, I had hit a huge milestone and lost 100 lbs.

I felt spiritually, emotionally, and physically beautiful.  Not perfect, but Beautiful, in spite of, or perhaps because of, my flaws.  The key to arriving in such a place as this, has not been in my nutrition plan, a bible reading plan, or even in this blog…I realize now, the key lies in the ACCEPTANCE of what is true.

So yes, my long time readers and friends…I have come to realize that if Beautiful were to be a destination, I have arrived.

Right on Time.

 

…to be continued…

WS# 11: Fall In Love

Over the years I have had many people, dear friends and loved ones speak truths over me that I had a hard time believing, let alone hearing.  They would speak of my beauty or my strength or my character, to name a few.

18 years ago, I would flat out deny what was said and actively and aggressively point out why what they said was not true.

10 years ago, I would minimize what they said by adding things to what they said.  “kim you are Beautiful”  were their words and in my head I would add “But _________”.

7 years ago I began to learn to simply say Thank You and pretend I believed what they said.  This became easier to do than to fight with them over why it wasn’t true.

4 Years ago I began this Road to Beautiful, a journey of physical(weight loss) healing, emotional healing(engaging my emotions) and psychological healing(facing my childhood sexual abuse head on) that would bring about a spiritual beauty that would reflect Jesus back to those who meet me.   I had no idea really what this journey would entail but I knew it would be hard and painful.  I did not expect or perhaps comprehend the fullness of the joy that could come with facing the hard stuff of life and actually dealing with it instead of running from it.  4 years ago, I began to put myself first.  I began to deem myself worthy of the time it would take to invest in me and my healing and wholeness.   I decided that regardless of how I felt, I was worth it and no matter what I would act like it.  Fake it till ya make it, right?

This year, as I have begun to see the changes in my body and in my heart and in how I view the world and others around me, I realized that something has shifted.

I used to walk in to the gym and feel intimidated, like I didn’t belong there.  The other day, I walked confidently into the gym, my head held high, making eye contact with those around me and not avoiding the mirrors.  This was MY gym.  I belonged there.

The other day, someone told me I was beautiful and I think for the first time ever, I actually believed them.  I didn’t question the statement.  I didn’t try to justify it or minimize it, not out loud or in my head.  I simply believed them.  Then I cried.

Happy Tears.  What a testament of the healing that has happened on this journey.  Bold steps taken 4 years ago to step out on this journey has led to this moment in time, where I have realized, I have dared to fall in love.  With myself. Not in a narcissistic or arrogant kind of way, but rather in a way that simply accepts truth that has always been present and that I can now believe and embrace.

As I realized all of this, I wonder if this shift in belief happened sometime earlier and if this shift in belief about myself is what has actually brought about my recent weight loss success(combined with Leif and Tate’s expertise).  I don’t have scientific proof about whether what you believe about yourself effects weight loss, but I dare you to try it.  I dare you to fall in love with yourself, make yourself and your health a priority, to fake it til you make it…and see what happens in your own journey.

 

WS#10 Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

One of my biggest struggles in this journey is comparing my journey to another persons. I can easily find myself looking at someone else who is losing weight and begrudging them their success because they don’t “appear” to be working as hard as I am. I find myself jealous of some because their body doesn’t plateau as easily and they can get away with eating Mickey D’s every day and still lose 2-4 lbs a week while I follow my plan perfectly both nutritionally and training wise and perhaps see a gain.

There is also a reverse comparison that happens as I look at the body building demographic. They couldn’t possibly understand what it is like to lose 200+ lbs or what it is like to be in this ongoing transformation process emotionally, psychologically, or physically. Right? Wrong. (More on this in another post)

The problem with comparing yourself to others is this. Our bodies are not the same. They respond to different things in a very individualistic way. Imagine that…a body that has been created so uniquely by a very creative God, responds uniquely to different dieting methods. What works for me may not work for you and it may not even be healthy for you to do what I do in a given week.

The other problem with comparing is that you/I miss out on an incredible relationship and support that could be had, if only I wasn’t so caught up in jealousy over someone’s journey. I realized this as I almost missed out on an incredibly supportive and inspiring relationship I have right now with a woman I met through Leif Anderson Fitness. My friend Julie started her transformation at about the same time as I did with Leif. However, her journey is not mine and when I saw pictures of her I thought, “what does this girl have to lose?” In all honesty, I did not want to like this woman. But doggone it she was so nice and kind and was always encouraging me in some way to stay in it when I was really struggling and in the midst of my self-involved struggle, it APPEARED that it was easy for her. Fuel for the jealousy fire, let me tell you! The truth is, it wasn’t easy for her, not then and not now…although it is probably easier now for both of us now that we kind of know what to expect from the process. Currently, Julie is done with fat loss and is working on muscle building. I cannot even fathom that journey, not when I still have so much fat left to dissolve! This is what I know though. Julie works hard. She meal preps and eats much the same as I do. She has to schedule her workouts in and make time for herself, forsaking fun stuff at times to get it all in or when she is struggling and doesn’t know if she can handle remaining on plan and going to a party. She is just as committed to her process as I am to mine.( I am posting this from my phone, I will link to Julie’s blog once at home so you all can be inspired by her too!) We are in this together even though the journey looks a little different. We both struggle with using food for comfort and with wanting to go off plan at times. I would also imagine that there are times she really doesn’t want to go out in the cold to go get her workout in. But she does it.

If I had allowed myself to stay in that place of comparison, I would have missed out on a great friendship that inspires me and challenges me to be better, to do better, and to stay in this process. Comparing ourselves to others, does nothing but limit the possibilities and create walls of prejudice between people where there doesn’t need to be any. Be surprised by what comes of it.

So, if you find yourself in a place of comparing, take a moment and look at the person. See what they are doing and perhaps take an interest in them. You might begin to see far more similarities than differences and you just might

WS#10 Postponed

So sorry folks, Wednesdays, Winning Strategy is being postponed.  I know what I want to say but can’t get it out of my head and onto “paper” clearly…so instead of putting out junk and building the pressure on myself…I just decided to postpone till this next Wednesday, giving myself time and freedom to work it out!

WS#9 The Begats-Choosing Well

Let me just be real for a moment.  I have made poor choices the last 2 weeks.  Nothing ridiculous like the epic fail and binge fest of about a month ago but poor choices nonetheless.  The first week, I got grace on the scale.  The second week, evidence of my failings were present.  I have chosen to stay up late chatting with a new friend which has resulted in not waking up for morning workouts.   Then of course, the chatting begins when the workday ends which means often I have missed those workouts.  Then….I could go on…but you get the idea.

In the Bible, especially the old testament, you see long boring chapter outlining these really long barely pronounceable names that begat another long barely pronounceable name.  So and so begat so and so who begat so and so.

What does this mean?

Well, I think it means one person is born of another person.  One cannot/would not come without the one preceding it.

I think, our/my decisions are kind of like those “begats”.

I choose to stay up late which begats a lot of “snoozing” which begats a missed workout which begats….

Today, I was tired of this pattern and decided consciously to return to the methods that got me to 100 lbs.

I prepped my meals last night, instead of trying to fly thru it in the morning, which begat all meals eaten as planned, which begat a desire to not end my day without my workout, so I went to the gym and did strength training, which begat a decision to stick to my plan for my cardio, which begat great choices even when confronted with BACON!

Let me try to speak in english now for a moment.  I think each decision we make is born of the one before it.  Have you ever noticed that once you go off plan it is much easier to toss the whole plan as opposed to jumping right back in?  Our poor choices don’t have to derail us, they CAN BE merely speed bumps.  If we let ourselves fall into a tail spin, it starts with one poor decision and they build on each other.  The same goes for good choices.  When you choose to stick to your plan it becomes easier to stick to it in the next moment or with the next thing.  Next thing you know, you feel so great about who you are and what you are accomplishing, it becomes easy to keep going.

Tonight, when I left the gym I felt great.  It was good to be back in the gym pushing my muscles to the max.  But it felt even better to know I held my commitment to myself, because I am worth the time it takes to make me better.   I like the kind of “begats” that come from these kind of choices.

Winning Strategy #9: Make the kind of choices you feel good about that begets more good choices that you can feel good about!

Releasing The Beast And Embracing The Beauty

A few months ago, I had a brief conversation with a dear friend regarding my FB nickname, The Beast.  Ennio, is a dear friend, who happens to be a transformational life coach and who happens to have spoken significantly into my life over the years.  Several people in the last year have approached me about my nickname and how it doesn’t fit and suggested I change it, but had no alternative suggestions that didn’t feel weird to me.

A little history of “The Beast”.  This was a nickname given to me by a friend while we ran our first ever Warrior Dash together in 2011.  She gave me the name, because no matter how hard it was, I wouldn’t give up.  I wouldn’t quit.  I fought to the end, even when I was terrified and 20 feet in the air.  It was given to me, not something I gave myself, however I did fully embrace it.  It spoke of my strength and tenacity in my journey.  A Beast doesn’t quit and as long as I was the Beast, there was no quitting allowed.  I could muscle through anything.  I could do “IT”, whatever it was at the time.  In all honesty, I liked my strength.  If I had to give you a trait that would define me, it would be strong.  Physically, mentally, and in more recent years, emotionally.

So I don’t recall the exact conversation with Ennio and can’t seem to find the archive of it but what matters is what I took away from it, what I heard, right?  So this is what I heard.

Kim, your strength is awesome, but I think The Beast is limiting in who you are.  You are much more than that and I wonder, when you are going to start to embrace your Beauty?

Honestly, I felt like I had just been sucker punched and I was a little annoyed.  Seriously, why does everyone seem to have a problem with my nickname?  Often though, conversations that reveal painful truths do feel like that and can be the most transformative, if you let them.  I chose to listen to Ennio’s words and to remember his heart FOR me.  He has always been one who wants me to be my very best and he will never mix words just to be nice, but he will ALWAYS love me to my best.

So I let his words sink in and I realized that I often hide behind my strength.  It is easy to embrace my strength because it requires little vulnerability, little risk to put it on display.  Either I am strong or I am not, and it is easily measured.  But beauty, either physical or spiritual or emotional(remember, becoming more beautiful is what this blog is about), now that, is subjective and open to each persons own interpretation of Beautiful.  Not to mention, I still didn’t believe I was Beautiful.  I mean, I was getting there.  Sure, I had/have lots of beautiful qualities about me, but I would never classify myself as beautiful.  In fact, I did find this thread of my conversation with Ennio and I said this to him.

Owning my strength is easy. Owning my beauty feels arrogant and it feels like I would be a fraud…half the time anyway.

This conversation has stayed with me since September as I thought about it and wondered and began to notice how I use my strength to hide.  And I realized, Most of this journey has been about coming OUT of hiding and I didn’t like seeing that I had exchanged one method of hiding(food) for another.

Then, on Thanksgiving, I took this picture with my niece.

I saw this photo and I liked it and of course made it my profile photo on FB.  One week later, I look at this picture and have to catch myself as I wonder who hijacked my profile and put a picture of a beautiful woman on my page…and who is that with my NIECE?

When I look at this picture, I see a woman who is happy and at peace with herself.  I see someone who is not hiding from the camera.  I see a beautiful woman…and then I realize…it is me.

So, part of my run on Thanksgiving was about releasing a lot of the junk I have learned about over the years of this transformational journey.  One of those things was The Beast.  I decided, it was time to release the Beast and embrace The Beauty.  I can still be strong, but I don’t need to hide behind The Beast and it is about time I started believing what others have told me is true for years.

I. Am. Beautiful.