I’ve been traveling a bit recently, and during my last business trip, I had a rather interesting experience.
It was early one morning, and I had just arrived to the airport. I was a little early, so my pace was moderate, walking from the parking garage to the terminal. I felt good. I was looking forward to coffee, but generally awake and my body felt really good. I was thinking about how I had added a few additional vegetarian dishes to the meal prep plan, and by this point in the week, I was feeling the benefits. I had weighed myself that morning, and I was down another 2 lbs, and I was grateful that my body was adjusting and continuing to let go of what it didn’t need. I was present and very aware of the balance in my life right at this exact moment. It was a good feeling, and I took a minute to breathe it in as I walked down the walkway.
As I approached the terminal, I realized that the escalator stairs were not working. Without hesitation, I retracted the handle on my bag, picked it up and without much effort headed down the stairs. Once at the bottom, I extended the handle on my bag, and placed it on the floor, while keeping stride I was back to my moderate pace walking across to the security checkpoint. No raise in heart rate, no sweating, no change in my breathing. I simply modified my situation, and then resumed my flow. Honestly, this was unconscious to me at the time. I just continued to move toward the goal.
Standing in the long line, I took the time to check my phone, and get my ticket and license ready for security. As I was standing there, I happened to look up and took a quick glance at the stairs I had just came from ~10 min prior. However what I saw was something almost out of body experience like… I saw a woman, ~early 40s, 270~300 lbs, wearing a suit much like I’ve worn, that didn’t fit quite right… I instantly remembered wearing this suit, not being able to button the jacket because I should have bought the next size, but didn’t… feeling disappointed in my own skin each time I made these choices. I saw this woman, who was me about a year prior. I saw the former me.
I stood there from a distance and watched me struggle to make my way down the stairs, and struggle to carry my roller bag, having to stop every couple of steps to catch my breath. I watched my face and my growing frustration each time I had to stop. Finally, making it down the stairs and having to stop again to collect my self. Sweating, out of breath, and completely discouraged because to make it to this point was hard, and there was still a long way to go. I watched myself look at the path ahead, and realize how long the line was, and the inevitable next step that would require me to go through security and take stuff off… worried I’d be embarrassed by this process. Worried about how anxious I would feel under time pressure to take things out of my bag, remove shoes, maybe my jacket. Worried that people would be impatient and add to that anxiety.
I would worry about the shoes especially. Having to bend over, and wrestle with my midsection… meanwhile wishing I had cuter shoes on, but knowing I had to wear slip-ons because zips and shoelaces are a challenge. In the back of my mind reminded how I have to ask my husband to help me when I wear my cute shoes because I can’t touch my feet comfortably, and what should be a common task, a simple task, is really hard. Wishing I had a different body every time I have to have someone help with my shoes. Saddened by the place I had allowed myself to get to. Disappointed and feeling punished for the choices I made. Mentally exhausted by this constant reminder. Continuing to punish myself with these thoughts as I continued to move through the day.
A good friend asked me what was it that made me want to change? What triggered my desire to focus on self-love that allowed me to change my lifestyle?
I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I was at a place every day, where the physical and mental struggle was constant. I was disengaged. I was miserable. I hated to see myself struggle like this when I knew God had so much more for me. That’s where it started. I want to change for me. I wanted to love me. I wanted out of this prison I had created. I wanted to be free.
We make decisions in our lives to survive or protect ourselves. It does serve a purpose I suppose. But a temporary one. To be free, to be healed, we have to let go and let God. We have to take each shred of pain, loss, rejections, etc. and say goodbye. We have to realize ‘I am enough’, ‘I deserve happiness’, ‘I am, because Jesus died for me, rose again so that I can have everlasting life’. Purpose, progress… move forward.
We need to move out of our past. Sort out what in life is serving us, and sometimes say goodbye to what’s not. Mentally if we can do this, and ask God for a clean heart and mind, …truly forgive… forgive ourselves and others…. we will eventually become whole. And when this happens, our outside will begin to match our inside.
Romans 15:13 (NLT) I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
I now make choices based on what I need. I choose to eat good food because it makes me feel good. I don’t worry about the scale or the number on it. I focus on how I feel inside and out. I adjust if it’s not balanced. I eat carbs, and chocolate… but, I’m conscious of it. I’m no longer hiding behind it. That alone is liberating.
Over time, if we have this balanced mindset, we automatically make decisions that are kind, loving, and with intention. Not because someone told us or some program writes it down for us or packages it in a kit, but because we are filled with joy, love, and peace… and God’s spirit. We can’t help but act differently, think differently, be different.
I was grateful to have seen this reflection of my former self. It allowed me to realize I truly want to live like I’ve never lived before. Live the life I was meant to have. It reminded me that effort, that desire to change, ultimately allowed change to happen.
Have a blessed Sunday! xoxoxo