Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Overwhelmed from yesterday

Yesterday and today I spent a lot of time reflecting. Thinking about this journey. Where I have been, where I am now and where I hope to be.

So many people were commenting on my photos. I look beautiful. I look radiant. I look happy. I look proud. And it's a weird feeling. Reality is, I should have looked all of those things all along. I shouldn't have needed to transform. It shouldn't be such a surprise or shock for people who know me now to see where I have been and for people who knew me then to see me now.

But, it happened. And I have to come to terms with the fact that I didn't care enough about myself to take care of myself better. And as I stated in a post to someone earlier, even this journey began not for myself, but for my children, especially my then 5 year old autistic son. I thought, "Oh my god, I may not live long enough to raise my son if I don't do something about my health. He needs me more than anyone else in the world." This journey was started for him... not for myself. Not for my own fear for my own mortality.

And then, almost immediately, I started to feel life breathe back into me. And people around me noticed. They said I radiated. They said I was exuberant and enthusiastic and full of life. And I am, I guess. I don't know... I'm just "me".

I don't know if it was how I was raised, or if there is something internal to me, or what. I know I've always been a very nurturing kind of person, but I have always, always, always put everyone else before me. And now, through this journey, I have made myself a higher priority.

I first told my husband I wasn't going to do the morning wake up in the morning if I didn't get a full night's sleep - they had to choose - me up late with them, or up early with them - not both ends of the day. I couldn't do it any more.  I started carving out time for exercise. I started buying nicer, well fitting clothes, doing my hair, wearing some makeup, wearing perfume.

And guess what? I felt better and then I took better care of my family. I had more energy for my children and for my husband. I felt less alone. I felt less trapped in this world of always giving, giving, giving.

Now, I still give a lot. That is just in my nature, but I'm not denying myself in the process. I spent my entire life up until a year ago doing that.

So, then I sometimes feel selfish, but OK, sometimes you need to be selfish. I have needs too.

But it is strange to get so much attention for getting healthier. As a friend said, "don't get too used to it as people will stop commenting once the weight is off for awhile." But I'm OK with that. I don't crave this attention. Remember, I'm the girl who used to cry whenever anyone took out a camera to take a picture of me. I am uncomfortable having the physical me being a focus. I don't know why that is. And maybe it's part of the reason I got fat - I don't know - hiding behind my fat.

Anyway, thank you all. Over 250 people read yesterday's blog post (or it was read 250 times - maybe by only one person? LOL). On average days, it's more like 40-50 people read my blog, so it was a huge spike. Thank you for celebrating this journey with me.

Stats for 1/31/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 175

1 comment:

  1. I hear you, Melissa! It can be a bit frustrating to deal with all the attention when you are fundamentally the same valuable, beautiful woman regardless of weight. And yet, you nailed it in your post, the difference in you has to do with your attitude. Your pictures are impressive for weight loss, sure, but you exude vitality and energy - a real sense of well being - that has taken years off your appearance.

    Even when the compliments fade, the refreshing outlook and habits you have acquired, that give you that elusive vitality, will remain. That is your victory over weight - not the pounds, themselves, but all the chains that came along with them. Making time for yourself, keeping your needs and your family's requirements in the right perspective, and being mindful in how you go about your day is a life change that will serve you (regardless of weight) for the rest of your life.

    Bravo, Melissa.