When I reflect on that time and the woman that I was, I'm overcome with regret at times for the way I allowed myself to be treated and regret for the time I lost. I am also overcome with gratitude for the life that I have now. On that day in 2004, if you had told me that in just a few years I would be living like I am now, I would not have believed it. I never thought that I would be able to find love again, I didn't think I could take care of myself and my kids, I didn't think I'd be able to feel safe and secure and happy. But I do! Back then, I believed that it was all my fault and that I was broken, I believed that in some way, I deserved to be mistreated, it was Karma. I did not see my own worth let alone my own strength.
So many things happened in the years after that day...slowly, but surely I began to piece my life back together, to gain some control again. I had used my fat as my armor, it protected me from the outside, and it kept me "real" (in my mind, it kept me faithful to the life I had chosen for myself.) It wasn't just that I was fat, I had lost my softness, my femininity, I no longer looked like the woman I had been, I no longer really cared. But, slowly, as I started to feel again, I started to heal. And, I started to reevaluate some things in my life. For one, my weight, my health, my harshness. As I healed, I learned to love again, I learned to trust again...I found out that it was okay to be soft, that my fragility would be safe in the hands of others. I found a man, who loved me as I was, he saw something in me that I couldn't see in myself. He reminded me daily that he loved me and that I was safe, he supported me in all endeavors and he continues to be by my side in my lap band journey and my life journey. He does this even though he knows just how crazy I am.
I believe in fate, I believe that things happen for a reason. My life before was what brought me to the life I have now, so I cannot begrudge it. My ex husband gave me two beautiful children, I would never want to change that. Had I gotten out of my marriage years before, I might have missed out on being in the right place at the right time to meet the love of my life. I would certainly never want to change that! And, living as a fat woman, coming to the end of my proverbial rope, well that brought me to the lap band, which in turn brought me to an incredible source of love and support in this area of my life. I am forever grateful for that.
There are times when my life feels busy and out of control, times when I fall back on old habits, I try to solve a problem that is not hunger related with food (old habits), times when I berate myself for having eaten out of boredom, hurt or frustration. There are times when I look a picture of myself from seven years ago and I feel a wave of shame and hurt all over again, but then I realize that it was all just a part of my journey. It is part of who I am, without it, I wouldn't have what I have today, so, even though it is hard to look at the old me, it is something I need to remember, something that I can't begrudge. I can't appreciate how far I've come unless I look at where I've been.
On that note, I'll leave you with a pic of me from 2004 and one of me from BOOBS this year. It's good to look back but it's even better to look forward, and focus on the future. Have a wonderful weekend!