Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Almost a year!

A trail in Arkansas I hiked on while on vacation last week.  The last time I visited
this trail, I was on a four wheeler and that exhausted me!  This time, I traveled
using girl power and if it hadn't started storming, I would have gone for miles!
In ten days, on June 14, I will have been on Ideal Protein for a full year!

When I started this program I thought I'd be off the diet by now and I would have been if it hadn't been for some boundary-pushing and deviations during my journey.

While it is taking me longer than I anticipated to reach my goal, I can't complain.  I feel so good and life has changed (I HAVE CHANGED!) so much for the better, that I really don't have anything to gripe about. I appreciate, so much, how far I've come.  I take responsibility for the times I got in my own way and realize that there's no right or wrong in the process. It's my journey, my own path to take and I'm responsible for the progress I make.

This past week I visited my mother-in-law in Marshall, Texas and then stepped over the Texas-Arkansas border for a family reunion. It was wonderful to see everyone and yes, lots of people commented on the way I looked.  I have been heavy for so many years that some folks didn't even recognize me at first, including the cousin who made fat jokes at my expense year after year.  My cousin has grown ancient since the last time I saw him and the years have robbed him of so much that I don't think he even knew who I was (and I didn't clue him in).  For the first time in my life I was able to look at him with empathy in my heart and realize that the nasty comments he made towards me, and so many other relatives, were just the way he related to people. He never knew how to talk to others in a loving, caring way.  How sad to live to be so old and never learn how to relate to family in a way that doesn't hurt or piss them off ... and to have old age rob you of the opportunity to make amends or find a new way to relate to the world!

Another cousin told me I looked like a movie star, which made my day!

The biggest change in the family reunion experience is how open I allowed myself to be.  In the past I kept a low profile and stayed in the background or hung out with the relatives I already enjoyed close relationships with and didn't go out of my way to get to know others very well.  I stuck to the folks I was comfortable with and kept myself to myself. 

This time around, I won't say I traveled outside of my comfort zone, because there was never a time when I was uncomfortable.  I just hung out and talked to whoever happened to be in front of me.  As a result, I was able to talk genealogy with a cousin from a younger generation that I didn't know very well and had a blast getting to know her.  She also taught me a crazy card game that was a lot of fun!  I also took a long walk with a favorite cousin I hadn't seen in a couple of years and had a chance to catch up with her (A long walk would have been unheard of in the past.)

Below on the left is a picture of what I looked like the last time most of my relatives at the reunion saw me.  The picture on the right was taken of me a couple of weeks ago while I was at the Scarborough Renaissance Faire.  The photo on the right blows me away - I can't believe that's ME!  (Thanks to Paul at Photography on the Run for taking such an awesome photo!)

Changing your life isn't hard.  It's changing your mind about what you're capable of achieving that's hard. If I hadn't had the faith in myself and faith in the One who walks beside me every day of my life, I don't think I would have gotten very far. Once you get your mind in the right place you can work miracles! 

Spending the past year of my life on a diet has been one of the most powerful, empowering experiences of my life.  It has been a year of learning about myself, getting to know who I really am and iI have had so much fun along the way! I wouldn't trade this past year for anything!  It has ALL been worth my time - because *I* am worth the effort and the time it took to get me here.  So are you!

Due to my vacation schedule, my next weigh in will be on Monday.  I will write more then!