She lost 135 pounds and continues to keep it off after five years. That makes her a weight loss rock star. Read this, this and this (but please come back). I did last night and it made me cry. Then I read it again and it made me feel hopeful. Instead of putting the kids to bed, I read it again and it made me feel powerful.
Oh, did I say she's gorgeous, kind, inspirational, and cooks up a storm? Not my style of eating, but I can relate to her passion in the kitchen. That she discovered food only when she started focusing on losing the weight is something I strongly identify with.
Sounds counterintuitive, right? Like, you're fat, of course you've discovered food, right? But not really. Zombie chomping doesn't really count. To be honest with you all, when I eat mindlessly like a Zombie, I don't really like food. I hate it. I resent it. And it is often tasteless to me.
It's that discovery of beautiful, whole foods and, oh, the wonderful things you can do with them, that counts. I didn't discover that until I started trying to lose weight in a different way, through the exploration of food instead of the substitution of food (sugar free, fat free, low carb, no carb, slim fast, medifast, nutrisystem, etc.) or avoidance of food (coke, speed, dexatrim, stackers). I've put a lot of miles between all that and today. Even though I stumble a lot, it is a beautiful journey.
My friend posted a link to these articles on FB last night. My first comment was, "I wish I could write from her perspective." As in, I wish I was writing this blog after losing 60 pounds and giving you all the love and wisdom that I've learned. And then I reread this part,
"When you’re big for twenty years, the only twenty you’ve ever known, you’ll kindly not frown upon two decades. You’ll know that who you are was formed in there, and that’s beautiful."
I haven't been big the only 45 years I've been around. I've been up and down, like a roller coaster. However, if I look back at the last 12 plus years that I've been struggling with this extra 50 plus, I cannot set those years aside and hate them. I birthed two babies, nursed them and worked on raising them up. I've conceived a few others that didn't make it. I went back to school (as a nursing mama) and earned my degree practically from scratch, in spite of moving states in the middle of it all. I have nurtured a relationship with my spouse that seems to always be a challenge, yet the rewards are so great. I have an amazing, amazing extended family that I try to keep close in spite of the hundreds and thousands of miles that separate us. I've built a home that I cherish. I've cultivated friendships with incredibly intelligent and beautiful women. I've supported the dreams of my husband. I've homeschooled my brilliant daughter (who is probably so much more book smart than I). And somehow, I've kept pace with my active son. Through it all, I've managed to create a few things, images, cloth, words, whatever that makes my soul sing.
Not to toot my own horn.
I write this for me, as well. A reminder that when I look in the mirror and cringe at what my body has become, there's a whole lot of lovin' in there. Nothing to disregard with shame. Only to embrace with pride. I know that I continue to be formed in that big body.
That is beautiful.