The past year I have gained 12 pounds! Do you know how much headspace this has taken? How much energy I've wasted bemoaning the current number I see on the scale? How about all the negative thoughts about myself that crash like waves against the shore of my thought life? I have literally been drowning in self loathe! Twelve pounds have somehow dictated my identity.
Oh sure, I have reasons for being concerned. For many years in my life, I was obese. There is no nice way of languaging the state of my physical body at that time. I was an emotional eater. Psychologists would have loved to have gotten a hold of me to dissect my life chapter by chapter. Of course there were contributing factors to that state of physical and emotional being but truth be told, I had to work hard to overcome all the baggage from my past.
The recently inflated number on the scale represents so many sectors of my life. First of all, a couple of years ago I passed that notorious milestone of turning 40. I didn't dread my age. On the contrary, I truly embraced the new decade. Forty brought liberation and inoculated confidence in my very being. However, along with the new release on life came a barrage of hormonal issues. Yes, I fell prey to the stereotype of an over 40 woman.
The past few years have been a bit of a rollercoaster as I've learned much more about the effects of fibromyalgia. Some days I am capable of completing great feats (mentally and physically). Other days I can barely move or focus enough to articulate my thoughts. Those days are the most frustrating.
Now I must address this increased number.
What am I going to do with it?
A couple of days ago I was considering that this may be the new normal. If so, so what? Will I continue to beat myself up? Is my worth and what I have to contribute really based on the size of my jeans?
How would I counsel a woman who shared these struggles with me?
I would tell that woman that she is BEAUTIFUL, LOVED, CONFIDENT, and WORTHY!!! I would tell her to throw away the bath scale and LIVE (FULLY)! I would hug her and love on her until her defenses melted.
I need to look in the mirror and offer the woman I see the same LOVE, ACCEPTANCE, and ENCOURAGEMENT! I know that I am my worst critic. I go through seasons of living and accepting myself as I invite others to do.
My husband and I were just away on a business and leisure trip. I was incredibly thankful to return to my roots...the mountains! I was intentional about my BREATH. I breathed in that mountain air so fully and restoratively. The aroma of pine permeated the crisp, clean air. I was in bliss!
During one of our explorations walking around the Kootenay National Park, Randy snapped a picture of me. The sun shone upon me as I was in my element. Ironically as I scrolled through the photos he'd taken, I paused as I took in the image of that particular moment. Without any hesitation, the words that I spoke were, "Wow, look at how long my legs are."
The thoughts behind those words were so crystal clear for me. My long legs represent the strength and ability to climb my beloved mountains. I noticed freckles that were more apparent on my sun-kissed skin, the smile that engulfed my face and sparkled through my eyes. My observations were of health and gratitude. In those moments I chose to love.
I know my reflections will not stop here. I also know that for my physical well-being, I desire to shed those extra pounds.
But there has been an incredible shift in my thought process in the past 24 hours.
I am thankful for a deep conversation I had with a dear friend yesterday. As we caught up and dove into numerous subjects, she shared some revelations she's experienced in the past couple of weeks. Her honesty, transparency, and authenticity evoked clarity within me. I am truly grateful. Now I will take on the journey of returning to more optimal physical well being with gentleness and a much healthier mindset.
Where are you in your thought life today? Are your thoughts life-giving or debilitating? Are you a cheerleader for others and a condemning prison warden for yourself? How much energy are you wasting focusing on what you think you need to improve?
My invitation to you is to look in the mirror and offer yourself the kindness and compassion you offer to others and BREATHE! It is your choice. Will you live for the loathe or for the LOVE?
Deb Martens is a life coach, creative education consultant, writer, and speaker. She inspires the development of all learners, engaging in self- directed aims and integrating intentional wellbeing. She resides in Manitoba, Canada, and engages with people across the world. You can find Deb at www.kaleidoscopeculture.com
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