Tag Archive | beauty

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…

A Beautiful Year, A Beautiful Me

One year of photos of my face.

One year of photos of my face.

I have slowly begun sorting out my thoughts and I am sure there will be more blog posts to come as I continue to sort.  Be patient I am trying really hard to not make one ginormous post!

As I was thinking about this past year and all of the many changes that have occurred in my life I began to look at pictures and ended up putting together this collage. ( I also updated my progress pictures, so check em out!)

Anyway, back to changes. Growing up as the fat girl, people would often say very well meaning things like “you have such a pretty face, if only you lsot a little weight you would be beautiful!”  Word to the wise…that is NOT a compliment!  In the last 5-7 years or so though, I don’t recall anyone ever saying that to me. Instead, I have heard things like “you are so beautiful!”  Not pretty, but beautiful.  They would say it as though it was a part of who I am and not the results of what I have done or as a part of my personality.  Initially, I would simply dismiss this comment.  I mean, isn’t that what you do when something so foreign comes in?  Well, after a while, I realized by dismissing the comment, in essence I was dismissing the giver of the comment.  So I began saying thank you and smiling.

Over time, I began to say such things as well about myself but in reality I never really believed it.  I would often joke about my beauty or my “hotness” or about how the men around me can’t handle me!

Then this past year hit.  It has been an incredibly hard year. During this year (just since August 2008) I have done the following:

  • Lost almost 65 lbs
  • by the end of August 2009, I will have participated in 3 triathlon relays.
  • I learned to swim
  • I am learning to run
  • I have taken spin classes
  • I have obtained and actually USED a gym membership on a regular basis
  • I have applied for The Biggest Loser and have an amazing video of my life
  • I have confronted my abuse story and continue to do so as I see that past story interfering with my current and future life
  • I have done part of a high ropes course
  • I have laughed a lot, cried even more, and even get down right pissed off at times.  I feel, a lot!
  • I have shrunk out of most of my clothes
  • I am learning to trust in new ways and seeing how often I don’t every single day
  • I started this blog and have written in it a ton.  In the process I have apparently managed to inspire a few others along in their own journey’s.  This alone is quite humbling.

This is all I can remember right now without re-reading my entire blog.  I am sure that Coach or Aaron or Jen or the others in my life will be quick to point out all I am forgetting when they read this.  Regardless though of whether every detail is noted here, the reality is, a lot has been accomplished.  Much ground has been gained through hard fought battles.

Earlier today, I was looking at the different versions of this photo collage I put together and I just started to cry.   The thought that went with the tears was simply this. “That girl is beautiful, and that girl is ME!”

When Aaron wrote his guest post, he said this. “To me, the “Road to Beautiful” is not about a journey where the destination is beauty (one “method” of determining worth) but rather a journey of acceptance of beauty that is already there and has been there all along.”

In this collage I am not any where near where I want to be weight wise or where I hoped I would be one year later.  I have been struggling a lot with fear and doubt as to whether I will make it past the 65 lb mark.  I have been battling my past and my story like never before and yet, in every single photo, I am happy.  When I look at these pictures I see so much joy behind the eyes.  In my mind, I remember a really hard year, but the pictures tell a different story.  The pictures speak of joy and beauty.  A story of a woman living life.  A woman who has not given up.  Normally, I would say a picture of me with latex wrapped on my head and a huge double chin would not be attractive, and yet that is one of the ones I find most beautiful!

Today, as I looked at these photos I BELIEVED what people have been saying.  I am learning to accept what has been there all along.

I am beautiful.

I am!

I started out with a blog post that talked of who I am despite the body or shell that holds me. For some odd reason, I sent it on to a couple of people as a preview and got some really good feedback. The feedback I heard was that if I separate me from my body, the story is incomplete. Some might make judgements when they see my body that I am lazy, tired, uneducated, bitter, angry, lonely, sad, or unworthy. Oh how wrong those judgments would be. They are incomplete. While I have been those things at times and probably will experience those things again in my lifetime, it is not the whole picture. I am more than just my body, but my body does tell part of the story of me.

I started out my other post talking about an image I had of me, during filming, doing a standing climb on a spin bike in my sports bra and tight shorts, in front of 4 men and actually finding the image beautiful. Yet, I still continued to separate myself from it and make it not me. Fascinating friends, fascinating. Because my thoughts about the girl in the photo were and still are….beautiful, powerful, strong, courageous, amazing, inspiring, happy, focused, determined, well loved…fascinating how I separated myself from that and only associated myself with the negative judgments one might make about a fat girl. I was encouraged to sit with owning my body as me for a bit. What an amazing experience to sit with that for a bit, imagining that photo and slowly but surely coming to grips with it being me, not some random photo of some other girl, but me. In spite of the fact that my body does not look the way I want it to look (yet), it is still me. The me now…as I am…

I have been reminded my body does reflect part of my story. My past story, past decisions that were made for me and by me, past hurts and betrayals, and even past joys. AND it reflects my current decisions, my healing and the work yet to be done. What you see is not always what you get. What you see..is just the starting point to inquire and learn more.

With that said…

I AM

I am ….
both a little girl and a grown woman.
longing to be known and loved.
deserving to be known and loved.
known and loved.

I am…
beautiful and gracious
forgiving and compassionate
motivated and determined
more than merely surviving.

I am …
powerful and strong
a wounded survivor
with a grateful heart
and an indomitable spirit.

I am …
an Aunt and a Sister
A daughter and a friend
a future wife and mother
A woman created for relationship.

I am …
a runner and a spinner
a swimmer and a biker
an athlete, no, a triathlete
breaking free.

I am…ME!

But there is more…oh so much more

I have…
dreams waiting to happen
stories ready to be told
truths worth sharing
Love ready to be given.

I have…
a world of unknown
set before me now
One step at a time
a choice to make.

I have…
Christ before me
leading the way
Friends beside me
making sure I don’t stray

I have…
hope for today and tomorrow too
Peace within me
Mercy raining down on me
Grace sustaining me.

I have…
working hands and feet
propelling me on each day
Victory is within my reach
more healing to be had.