I have been home…in Detroit…for about a month now and I have already had 1 trip back to my beloved GR, which turned out to be a desperately needed reprieve. It wasn’t until I crossed into Kent County that I realized how incredibly stressed out I had been when suddenly I felt lighter and more peaceful and ready to keep going again. I stayed as long as I could just breathing in the West Michigan air until the realities of Detroit called me back.
Ultimately the reality is this. I AM living in Detroit. I will probably always want to be somewhere else, but for now, that would be plain old fantasy land! In GR, I have a place filled with relationships created based on what I wanted and needed, not on history or old beliefs. I didn’t have 32 years of history and habits and actions/reactions to family. I didn’t have as many negative automatic triggers that send me spiraling. More specifically, I didn’t have temptations around in relative abundance. If I wanted chips or chocolate in GR, it had to be very intentional. I had to actually go to the store for it because it wasn’t kept in the house. There was no “mindless eating”.
Where am I going with this? I did have a point when I started this…really I did. Oh yes! This process of losing 200 + lbs is transformative. Life changing. There is NO WAY someone can lose that much weight and not be completely changed. In GR, this transformation process was easier, simply because of how my life was set up, who I had in my life, and how they stood with me on a daily basis. By no means was it easy…but it was easier. Now though is where the rubber meets the road. Now is where the transformation process gets painful. Now I get to really decide each day whether I am going to stick with this or am I going to cave because it is easier. I have to choose not between 2 healthy choices set before me, but rather…my healthy choice vs my old favorite food from childhood…like fried chicken or creamed chicken or fried pork chops. Now my choice for a different kind of life, a different way of relating to food, a different way of looking at fitness and health and exercise…now is when it gets real.
Transformation is hard my friends. Especially when transformation means becoming something completely different than you once were. Think caterpillar to butterfly. It takes energy, resolve, commitment, honesty, accountability, determination, perseverance…and it takes a vision. I have been to several leadership/character development workshops. At one, they talked about having a vision that will call you through the pain of transformation. (ahhh yes, I knew I had a point or two to this ramble!)
SO this week I have been thinking about MY vision. The one that is big enough in me that will pull me through the hard times, the tough choices, and hard conversations…to the new me. Is my vision just about wearing that cute yellow dress I talked about? OR the vision of me sky diving? When I think of the big picture, while those things are fun to think about and dream about…it is pretty doggone small…especially when pitted against a choice to go run in the remains of a cold Michigan winter.
I am not completely clear on what my vision fully encompasses. But here is what I do know. It is about choosing life. Scripture talks about a choice being set before us for life or death. We are urged to choose life, that we might live. I choose life! It is also about what kind of life I want to live. I want to be healthy. I want to be able to feel like a physical activity is not impossible for me. I want to feel confident and sexy. I want to be attracted to a guy and feel like I actually have a shot because my weight is not in the way. I want to get married….SOON! I want to feel attractive to my husband and not have my weight interfere in any part of our relationship, not emotionally, psychologically, or physically. I want a great sex life! HA! I said it! I don’t want something mediocre in that! I want to have children. I want to be able to keep up with my children and not feel exhausted by them. I want to inspire and encourage others, not just to lose weight, but to be the best they can be…and part of me feels like how can I do that, if I am not being the best I can be? There is no ONE thing that I want that is big enough to pull me through the painful times….but there are a lot of pretty amazing things that added up…make a difference in my choices….These are the things I need to think on when my choice is grilled or fried chicken and regardless of what I choose, fried chicken will still be served….to someone in my house!
While I will not do this perfectly and there will be times that I succumb to the temptations and decide the fried whatever is better than my vision, I am hopeful. (Feel free to remind me of what I am about to say later, because I am sure I will at some point start whining about how hard it is and how I don’t want to keep going.) I am hopeful in this moment, that I really am being transformed. I really am becoming someone different as i keep going in this…and hopefully for the better. Transformation is not easy or pain free. It is the very pain in the process that can actually be a basis for hope of lasting change. The kind that brings new life. A kind of life worth living and not just surviving! Vision is what makes this time different…for me.
SO what about you? What is your vision? Why are you working to lose weight or change some other thing about yourself? Is it big enough, powerful enough to get you through the tough times?