Tag Archive | celebrate

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.


My Personal 100# Celebration/Turkey Trot 2012

Longtime readers know that the Detroit Turkey Trot is a favored run of mine each year.  It started as a challenge to prove I could and has since become a run of gratitude as I bask in the glory of doing what I once never thought I could.  It has become a celebration of my body and all it has been for me despite the abuse I heaped on it with food.  It has become a worship run where I use my body to praise the One who has brought me thus far in life.

This year held special meaning for me as I would be running this race at my lightest weight ever and sans 100 lbs.  While thrilling, I have been struggling with how to give my 100 lb milestone some time and space to be celebrated.  Noted.  Honored. For me.  From Me.

Then an idea hit me.  I would run this race with my usual heart of Thanksgiving, while carrying balloons.  I would carry 10 balloons, 1 for every 10 lbs I have lost so far.  This was a fantastic idea!  I would carry these balloons and at the end, before I crossed the finish line, I would release them, saying goodbye to that weight forever.  Brilliant.

But then came more.  As I reflected on my journey, I realized that with those 100 lbs and the last 4 years of work, I realized I have changed.  I have become a new person and so much more than weight has been lost as I worked through the issues that brought the weight on and kept the weight on over the years.  As I confronted the ugliness of my story, and embraced the beauty of who I am, I lost much, and gained so much more.

So, my balloons became more than just symbols of weight to be released, they became symbols of so much more.  So I began writing on my balloons at 11 PM the night before the race.  I am certain the following words are just a smidge of all I have lost, and that will be lost as I continue my journey, but for now, this is what I have recognized I have lost.  For space sake, I may do a follow-up blog detailing more of what these words mean to me.

Each balloon represented 10 lbs and the following: Shame.  Fear.  Doubt.  Regret.  Hopelessness.  Discouragement.  Negativity.  Powerlessness.  Weakness.  Anger.  Bitterness.  Unforgiveness.  Self-hate.  Condemnation.  The Beast.

So that is the plan.  Run with balloons.  Say goodbye without the weight of them as I cross a finish line and as I learn to embrace who I have become,  Beautiful.

This race I was running alone, so on some level it was lonely to be doing this by myself and on the other hand it was perfectly fitting that I did this on my own while amongst 22,000 people.  I have many fans and friends and supporters who have come alongside me and helped me along as I traveled but I realized as I started to feel sorry for myself for being alone on this day that no matter how many people I have in my corner, I have to make the choices and do what it takes to get to the end.  It is my Journey.  My Results.  My Responsibility.  My Celebration. Mine.  I get to own this fully.  Being alone for this race meant I got to celebrate the way I wanted to without feeling like I had to accommodate anyone else.  Perfect.

Pre-Race with the “Spirit of Detroit” behind me!

So now for a race recap.

Best. Race. Ever.

Balloons were obnoxiously hitting people in the face as I ran and the wind would randomly blow.  Incidentally, my journey has smacked people in the face as well.  Either I have inspired you, annoyed you, or challenged you simply by living my journey out loud.  No apologies.

For the first time in 4 Turkey Trots, I was able to wear my race shirt on race day…or ever, because it fit.

Several people asked about my balloons and I got to share my story.  Others, it was interesting  to note, noticed my balloons, and talked about them amongst their running buddies, coming up with their own interpretations.

I ran with a huge crowd of people the whole time.  Historically, within the first mile, I have fallen so far back that one would not know I was in a race with 22,000 other Detroiters. Not this year.  This year, I PASSED alot of people and as I approached the final half mile, I was in shock that it was almost over…and as I looked at my watch, I realized, I could very well run my fastest 5k ever, without even trying.  (Remind me to write about the Run Thru The Rapids, my fastest recorded time a month ago)

As I headed in to my last half mile, I realized, I was quite tired of carrying these blasted balloons.  Whose idea was this anyway?  You would be surprised how much resistance is created when you have 10 balloons tied together as you try to run!  My arm was tired of the resistance and my hand was tired from gripping them tight so I didn’t lose them.

Coincidentally this is  how I have felt about my weight.  I am tired of carrying it around.  Tired of it getting in my way, and in the way of others, tired of it limiting my mobility and tired of all of the negative emotions it brings with it.

I was nearing the end and ready to let this burden go, once and for all.  I picked up my pace too because now that I knew I could PR without trying, now I was actually gonna TRY and see what I could do!  I sprinted down the hill, around the bend, along the river, through the tunnel (no joke, the only thing missing is Grandma’s house) and there is my stretch of sky to let my burden go in before I cross the finish line…

I paused.  I looked up and let my balloons go.  (I tried to take a picture, but a picture was not meant to be)

In the words of some famous boy band…”Bye-Bye-Bye”
My balloons were just out of range of my camera….and I wasn’t waiting around for re-takes I had a race to finish!

Then I took off, ready to finish my best race yet!

Then, I came to a screeching halt.  I realized, for the first time, what it is like to finish this race in the middle of the pack of finishers.  100 yards and about 15 running seconds away from my finish line, Suddenly, traffic backed up and the race stopped as thousands of runners came into the finish area at the same time with nowhere to go.  It took me another 5 minutes to actually cross the finish line.

My finish line is just under the sign that says “Cobo Hall” So freaking close!! That under 45 time is eluding me…

I am used to finishing so far behind everyone else that the announcer has time to get my bib number, look it up, and then call out my name as I huff and puff to the finish line.  I don’t think I like this middle of the pack business.  I think I am just gonna have to get faster so I finish at the FRONT of the pack, because there is no going backwards for me!

All done and with my medal! (I like medals….)

Final Results. Although my time WOULD have been in the low 44 minute range. Oh well, I keep telling myself a PR was not the goal for this race! Blast my competitive side!

Remembering…The Last 100 Pounds

This morning, I woke up to an email from my Doctor.  I had emailed her last night to ask her what my highest recorded weight was.  I don’t know why I did this.  I knew the answer.  356.  I also knew I was SO very close to hitting 100 pounds lost, I could taste it, and had been holding off on scheduling my annual physical because I wanted to go and have hit this milestone.

Her email response said that her charts indicate that in 2006, I weighed in with her at 368.

So many emotions hit me at once, I quickly became overwhelmed.

Oh my gosh!  I made it!, was my delighted reaction.

Oh my gosh! I was bigger than I thought!, was my regretful reaction.

Oh NO! I missed it!, was my panicked reaction as I realized that I had hit this mark a few weeks ago!

I had been anticipating this milestone for a while now, knowing I was getting close.  I finally believed it could happen and I had been dreaming of exactly how I would celebrate this momentus occasion, this obvious reflection of my hard work and commitment.   I wasn’t prepared to find out that I had already hit this huge milestone, and then to be alone on the day I found out with absolutely no plan in place for celebration and then realizing, that those which whom I would really want to celebrate with, those who have journeyed with me into the dark places of my heart so I wouldn’t get lost in there, are all far away.  So it feels very anticlimactic and yet I feel like this is a really REALLY big deal and should be given time and space.  And, even if those who know my heart well were close by, I would have no answer as to how to celebrate this at all.

So an online friend from my LAF family suggested I take some time and reflect a bit…and so I am…I am remembering the last 100 Pounds.  Perhaps in the reflection I will find what I am looking for and perhaps a lesson or 2 to be learned.  This post might get lengthy, but that’s ok.  Today’s writing is for me, and me alone.

100 pounds and counting….

2006 was the year “Coach” and I became friends.  It was also the year that I decided I was going to get serious about my weight.  I had acknowledged my issues with sexual abuse(I would soon learn that acknowledgement is not the same as dealing with it) and I knew how I hid and ran and lied about food.  Coach, and a few others were on board to help support me. 60 lbs later, I derailed. I wasn’t ready to face my sexual abuse history head on, and until I was, nothing would work.

In 2007 I half assed it.  I was kind of in but not really.  God was pursuing me to look at the issues of my heart and my past and how I used food to self protect and I was NOT letting him catch me.   Not fully anyway.  This was the year I started counseling.

2008 is where it really began.  I was caught, by God, and I surrendered.  I allowed myself to be led down a path towards healing and wholeness all while embarking on what I declared to be my final quest for weight loss.  I remember, the really painful days of looking at the ugliness within me and the ugliness done to me.  I remember the sweetness and the security of a few good men God placed in my life to show me that men can be safe and trustworthy and good.  I remember how well I was and am loved.  God knew I needed men to take a stand in my life FOR me and my how they did.

I remember so much joy, and celebration over the last few years.  I remember the time I found the courage to do one leg of a triathlon.  Then 2 legs the following year and Coach ran with me to make sure I didn’t walk.  I remember dragging Adam to all sorts of aerobics, yoga, and Pilates classes at the gym. I remember the rallying of friends who said friends don’t let friends run alone and drove with me to TN for my first and 2nd half marathon.  I remember doing my first full triathlon.

And I remember all of this being overshadowed by the fact that no matter what I did, my body seemed to betray me at every turn.

So now, I find it unbelievable that this milestone kind of crept up on me.  In my mind, it was coming and I knew it and I was excited.  But I had a different number in my mind.  When I woke up, prior to reading the email, there was a strong possibility that I would reach that milestone today and if not, soon. In my mind, I was only 4 lbs away.   So, it was shocking to say the least to realize I had already passed this milestone.

And so now I sit in wonder.  How does one celebrate 100 lbs lost?  How does one appropriately honor the hard work, the tears, the frustration, the trust and the victory that is all wrapped up in this 3 digit number?  How does one honor the relationships that have sustained me through really hard moments?   How does one bring enough glory to a God who truly has saved me and brought me new life?  In so many ways, the need and desire to celebrate this moment has both nothing and everything to do with the number.  I don’t know that there are answers to these questions, but I am now taking suggestions.

In the meantime, these lyrics speak so much truth about my journey and how I feel in this moment.

There was a time I packed my dreams away
Living in a shell, hiding from myself

There was a time when I was so afraid
I thought I’d reached the end, baby that was then
But I am made of more than my yesterdays

This is my now and I am breathing in the moment
As I look around I can’t believe the love I see
My fear’s behind me, gone are the shadows and doubt
That was then, this is my now

I had to decide, was I gonna to play it safe?
Or look somewhere deep inside, try to turn the tide
And find the strength to take that step of faith?

This is my now and I am breathing in the moment

As I look around I can’t believe the love I see
My fear’s behind me, gone are the shadows and doubt
That was then, this is my now

But I have a courage like never before, yeah
I’ve settled for less, but I’m ready for more
Ready for more!

Tate, I am so ready for more. Ready to do something REALLY brave and lose this last 100.  You with me?  We have another milestone to reach my friend, 100lbs WITH YOU!

Shopping At 22

I have never been the stereotypical girl who loves to shop.  I hunt.  I make a list of what I need and go in search of those items.  If I don’t find it within 5 minutes in a store, I walk out. I don’t typically wander into a random store and look around.  I don’t go to the mall, ever!  I know, you might be questioning whether I am a girl at all at this point, but trust me, I am.

My experiences with shopping have never been pleasant.   As a child, in 6th grade, I didn’t fit in the clothes designed for the average 6th grader.  I had to go up to the next level to find clothes to fit.  By the time I was in high school, I was already in the “plus” size section, but they didn’t really have that then.  Needless to say, finding clothes that fit and were cute has ALWAYS been a challenge.  Is it any wonder that I avoid stores at all costs, when every time I enter one I have to buy another size up and leave feeling awful about myself?

This past week, I was forced to have to go shopping.  My clothes just don’t fit me any more. I am oh so blessed with “good hips” so while the pants will still stay on my hips, despite being super loose in the waist, they just look like I am wearing a saggy diaper these days.  Way too baggy in the butt and legs.

I knew this day was coming where I would have to go shopping but I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on my transitional clothing and I have NEVER had luck at the thrift stores, mainly because I don’t have the patience to look at every piece of clothing to determine its worth.  But you know you gotta suck it up when your boss approaches you about your saggy bottom pants.

SO I sucked it up and off I went to the thrift store.   I kept picking things up and finding things I liked but when I tried it on I was shocked to discover almost everything I picked up was way too big.  I couldn’t wrap my head around what was happening.  This has NEVER been my experience.  Then I realized, I am picking up clothes in the sizes that I wore 5 months ago or MORE.

Then began the discovering of my new size.

What an adventure.

A delight really.

I have never known the experience of shopping and having things be too big.  Far too often, the BIGGEST size offered was still too small.  I have never known what it was like to have to go DOWN in size in a store. 4 years ago, I was fast approaching a size that one could only get online and was quickly getting relegated to all elastic waisted pants and oversize floral button down prints.  That is no longer the case.

I am down to a size 22, and yes that is 10 sizes down from when I started 4 years ago.  You might wonder why I never had this experience before now.  Hunting takes the joy from shopping.  You don’t allow yourself to delight in the find.  You get what you need and you get out.  Fast.

This week, I allowed myself the delight of actually shopping and discovering my new size all while knowing that soon enough my size won’t be a 2 digit number anymore.


Taking A Look Back

“To be able to look back upon ones life in satisfaction, is to live twice.” – Khalil Gibran

Recently, I met with my Pastor for my regularly scheduled monthly meeting.  He was checking in with me on how my life was going and happened to ask specifically about my diet plan.  As I thought about what to share with him about the reality of where I was/am at, I realized how thankful I am for this journey.   That night, when I got home, this picture floated across my FB news feed.  As I looked at it in light of my journey, my Road to Beautiful, this is what I noticed/saw in my mind’s eye.

1.  While this photo is taken from a high place, if I notice the height of the other peaks, it is an indicator that there is still more to climb.  In my journey, I am not done yet.

2.  As I look back down into the valley, I realize that the valley is a beautiful place.  While in it, it has at times felt like a wasteland, but the reality is, there has been much growth down there in that valley.  I have learned so much about myself and how incredibly strong I am.  I am capable of so much more than I ever thought possible and even now, while I think I am pretty strong, I probably STILL have no idea of the potential within me.

3.  In my mind’s eye, as I think back over my hardest moments, I recall NOT BEING ALONE.  I think back to facing my sexual abuse and all the people who surrounded me in that.  Guarding me.  Protecting me.  Praying for me.  Listening to me.  Challenging me. Allowing me to…BE.  I recall, food temptations of mass proportions that Aaron or Coach have saved me from.  I can envision me walking through the valley and climbing the mountains of challenges and being surrounded by others.  Sometimes being pushed.  Sometimes pulled.  Sometimes encouraged and yet others chastised.  Sometimes it was a single track where I HAD to lead the way and other times I could walk side by side with someone right next to me. Some have joined my journey for a brief time only to have to diverge onto their own path and others have been with me the whole way.

What NEVER happened though, is that I was never carried.  I had to take every step.  If I had to stop and rest a bit, we rested together.  This journey has been my own, but I am grateful that I am being allowed to see a bit of the whole picture and to see and know that I have NEVER been alone and I still am not alone as I continue the climb.  It has been long and I have been tired at times.  But I am grateful for this journey of mine.

I have often wondered what would things be like if I had not had this long struggle.  I can honestly say, I don’t think I want to find out who I would be if it had all been easy.  Even now, while weight is coming off, it is not easy.  Not by a long shot.  I am grateful for who I am…and for who I am becoming…and who is yet to come.