A Blessing and A Curse….

A Blessing and A Curse

A Blessing and A Curse

I am in a very peculiar place in life. I am moving into what I have been called to do and I have been blessed in that I am doing what I love.  However, this gift does not come without responsibilities or complications.  One of the best and worse things about me is that I am dynamically bold and virtually fearless.  There is very little that I am afraid of.  I am no superwoman, I am not (that) crazy.  I just don’t see things the way most people see them.  I have always been different. I have always walked my own path. I simply was and am created different.  I could use all the trendy cliche’s. I march to the beat of a different drum…yada yada yada. I am a rule breaker.  I am a rebel.

I am a natural leader. Most people think this is a great thing and I should be happy. Unfortunately, these are the people that don’t fully understand the responsibility and burden of leadership.  I have began to look over my life and see how leadership is a constant in my life.  Every job I have been at, there has been an incident or event that pulled me to step up and be bold and outspoken.  Where others are afraid to rock the boat or make enemies, I simply do not care.  I don’t care about upsetting supervisors or managers, CEO’s or government officials or celebrities.    At the end of the day, they are human….just like me.

This ability to lead does not come without haters.  Oh my…I have been called some things. Controlling, Manipulative.  Troublemaker (that one may be true).  Militant.  Disruptive. Outspoken. Difficult. etc etc… I have had my motives questions, my integrity questioned. I have had my flaws paraded before the crowd as a way to tarnish what I was trying to do.

No one ever highlights that part of leadership.  No one ever rejoices about that.

I have had to carry the banner of an effort or cause by myself. I have had people support me and then when the trouble came or when the disapproval or controversy appeared; I was left standing alone.  I have had to hold my head high and continue despite the consequences.  I have been pulled into the headquarters of a major corporations for being  bold enough to call a spade a spade.

Leadership is something I never wanted.  It is something that was engrained in me by my CREATOR and despite my most earnest effort, IT WILL NOT LEAVE ME ALONE.  Where ever I go, there is always a cause or case for me to stand up and lead.

I rent a room in a building.  I tend to stay to myself because I simply don’t have time for nonsense. However, things happen in this building that require someone to stand up and speak out.  Oh what a coincidence I’m here….NOT.

I take Tai Chi for free. I love Tai Chi.  It creates a sense of peace and balance and allows me to channel my energy and helps me be present in my body.  Most of the people who attend the class are fortunate enough to have cars.  There are only about three or four of us who walk, bus or bike to class.  During the snow, there were about three or four times that those of us who don’t have cars travailed through the snow and made our way to class only to find an empty dark building.  No one was courteous enough to call and inform us that class would be cancelled.  Those without cars were extremely frustrated and gathered together to chatter amongst ourselves.  The general consensus was outrage and frustration that no one thought to call and “someone” needed to speak up.

Someone indeed…..

Yesterday, I was treated to a free manicure.  Now remember, I told you in the beginning that I am dynamically bold and fear very little.  I have never been afraid to ask for anything that I wanted. The worse the person can say is no.  What does it hurt you either way? I tell my children all the time, squeaky wheels get oiled. You have not because you ask not!

So the young woman who was doing nails had a small purple orchid.  I am obsessed with purple and I love orchids.

So, I said to the woman,” Oh my, you thought of me and knew I love purple and love orchids. How kind of you! Thank you so much for bringing me such a beautiful gift.”

The young woman said, “Do you want it? You can have it.

I said, “Yes of course.”

One of the women who live in my building that was also getting her nails done sat there with her lips stuck out with an attitude.  She sat there looking back and forth for quite some time.  Finally she jumped and and proclaimed, “I guess I’m really not going to get anything huh?”

Here is where leadership and being bold is a blessing and a curse.

The administrator of my building told me quite some time ago that I ask for something and it starts things in the building.  She said it and I paid it no mind. But GOD allowed me to see it firsthand.  The irony is that I was the last person to get my nails done.  The young woman was there for FIVE hours and this woman was there the whole time and never asked for anything.

I began to review my life and saw yet another constant in my life.  I just don’t see the problem with asking for what you want.  My grandfather taught me at a young age how foolish it is to assume that people know what you want.  It is much easier to ask for it.  At any place that I have worked, if I wanted something, I asked for it.  I never considered that I was being watched and that because I was given something, it would spark envy and contentiousness in those around me.

This is the blessing and curse of leadership.

No one takes into consideration those that don’t want to be led. No one ever consider those that don’t need to be led by them.  No one considers who to lead and who needs to find their own way.  Most don’t consider those who want to be led for their own ulterior motives.  Lots of people who want to be led but look upon you and critique you as unworthy when you never asked for the position in the first place.  People harbor their own insecurities and point the finger and say, “Who does she think she is?” When ironically I am asking GOD the same thing. Like Moses, I say, ” GOD I am not worthy. I have flaws.  I have issues. I have no degree. I am not well known. My life…. I”

GOD cares not.

In the class that I graduated from, there was tension between the women that was so thick you could cut it with a spoon.  This went on for months until one of the women (no, not me this time) finally spoke up about it.  Even when the issue was out on the table, no one would come forward and address the issue.  It was not until I stepped forward and admitted my part in the tension and apologized for the part I played and admitted my grievances with several people that everyone else began to open up and the issue was confronted and resolved.  The ambiance of the classroom was once again returned to an atmosphere where people could be open and free and safe.

Leadership is not as glamorous as most think.  Most people only publicize the pretty sections.  They often try to hide the ugly parts.

Now with anything, there is good leadership, bad leadership and great leadership.

(Un)Fortunately, I am called to greatness.

Not greatness that will result in my names in lights or hordes of money.  That is foolishness that I care nothing about.

No, the greatness I desire and crave for is the ability to touch the lives of every single person I meet. Whether it is in person or online or though a book or article.  Greatness that each person’s life would be forever different because of a word spoken or a deed done.

This type of leadership requires responsibility.

This type of leadership requires honesty.

This type of leadership requires vulnerability.

This type of leadership requires accountability.

This type of leadership requires sacrifice.

This type of leadership requires openness.

This type of leadership….greatness….is a blessing…and a curse.

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Embracing the softness within….

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I have worn a lot of hats. I have been a single mother. I have been a lover, I have been a trusted and loyal friend. I have been a devoted wife. I have been a business owner.  I have been a confidant.  I have been a supporter. I have been a breadwinner. I have been a provider.  I have been negotiator. I have been the rock that everyone leans on.  I have been the life of the party and I have also been the loner.  I have been the sacrificial lamb.  I have been the scapegoat.  I have been deviant.  I was divergent way before they were making movies about it.  I have been a rebel.  I have posed as a martyr.  You name it, I have played the part.

Like most tomboys , I get along better with men than I do females. I played touch football and basketball growing up.  My grandfather raised me to think and reason my way out of situation instead of getting caught up in emotions which do not help resolve problems.  I am the oldest of four on my mothers side and the oldest of three on my spontaneous sperm donor’s side.  Taking care of people comes very naturally for me.  My mother is unmarried; therefore, there was no man in the household.   I have brothers who are twins.  I had my first child at 18 and raised her almost by myself until the age of nine.  I married a man I barely knew and did not love at the age of 19 and bore two children for him. Married to a man-child, I ran the household as if I were a single woman.

I have a very dominant and aggressive personality.  I am a go getter. I do not wait for things to happen; I make them happen. I understand that life, success, etc are not magic wands. If you want anything, you have to be willing to work for it.  Now, I will admit that I am great at the start and horrible at the follow-through but that is not what this post is about.

My grandfather raised me to say what I mean and to mean what I say.  I don’t expect you to know that I am feeling particularly sensitive today and want flowers. That is just plain silly. No, I am an adult and when I want something I ask for it.

Life has conditioned me to be rock’em sock’em ready.  Chivalry has been dead for quite some time and I don’t have the luxury of waiting for it to be resuscitated. I would love for a man to open the door for me and pull out my chair. However, realistically, if I stand there and wait for it to happen, I will probably end up being left in the dust. So, I do what most women do, I open my own door and pull out my own chair.

I love football and video games. I am a die hard Dallas Cowboys fan and can tell you more about calls and flags than most men. Don’t EVEN try to have a conversation with me during a crucial game….you may walk away headless.

I could go on forever, but we don’t have all day.

Here’s the issue: I have recently began to date again and I have come across a man’s man.  This is foreign territory for me.  The first thing he pointed out is how dominating I am.

He is absolutely right….but these are the cards I have been dealt.  I have been a leader and have dated weak jelly-spine men for so long. When you date a man who doesn’t want to lead or doesn’t know how or that you don’t trust to lead, you step up to the plate.  Yeah, yeah…I hear you..don’t date those type of men in the first place. Listen, life is a process and I am just getting to a point where I know what I need and am not willing to settle.  I, unlike you, am a work in progress.

I have not had the luxury of being soft.  Raising three children virtually by myself did not allow me the comfort of being demure.  Living in a dog eat dog world that is regulated by survival of the fittest does not allow strong women a chance to curtsey and blush.

I come from a line of strong women who were raised by strong women.  I was taught what I needed to know in order to survive.  That may not be what is needed to have a successful or functional relationship with a man; but should they have taught me how to survive or how to be a good wife to a man who may never come?  I hear those of you who say they should have taught me both. I wish life was perfect and that we live in bubbles and always get everything we need. That may happen in YOUR world; but I live in the real world where you have to take risks and play the cards dealt to you.  Why didn’t they teach me? Maybe they didn’t know.  Maybe they deemed it unimportant.

At 35, I am stuck and confused.  I realize that life is a process and the biggest classroom you will ever sit in.  Deep within, I know that the survival skills that I was raised with served me at one time but it is time to adapt to the new season in my life and pick up skills and tools that fit in the current situation.

No one needs my protection.  No one needs me to take care of them anymore. I don’t have to be the rock for anyone to depend on.

But I do still have to live and survive in the real world.

And there in lies the rub.

Stinking Thinking…

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It’s been quite a while since I have posted and for that I apologize.  My journey has been eye opening and I have had difficulty wrapping my mind around the truth.

My journey toward healing and wholeness has gone to a whole new level.  GOD is dealing with issue that are extremely uncomfortable.  Like most people, I only wanted HIM to work on the cute surface issues.  For example, cursing and overeating and things like that.  I did not anticipate the depth of where wanting healing would take me.

GOD knows HIS children.  I am a bit stubborn and indignant to be honest.  You can’t just tell me something.  I wish that was my lot in life but no, I insist on learning things the hard way.

So in losing weight, I have had to realize that the shedding of pounds has not helped with the self esteem issues that I have stuffed way down.  Ironically, I have loss massive weight.  My weight at the day of surgery was 345 and I am currently down to 260 which is a loss of 80 pounds. The irony is that I do not see the weight loss.  Everybody but me sees it.  I have not noticed that my bra is huge.  Last Friday, I went out with friends from out of state and fell three times because my pants kept falling down under my heels.  My panties are falling down to my knees.  I can walk down the bus aisle without turning to the side.  I sit on the bus and where people never wanted to sit near the fat person; now they sit next to me.  All the evidence is there…why don’t I see it?

The ugly answer is the issue was never the physicality.  It is stinking thinking.  The change begins in the mind.

Ironically, my mother told me that losing weight was not going to solve all of my problems.  Mother knows best.  I thought she was trying to discourage me from having the surgery.  No, after living a life of 54 years old..she just may know some things.

The thoughts and ideas that control how I feel about myself have not changed.  It is still easier to see all that is wrong with me instead of celebrating the changes and improvements I have made.  I had to admit that I am still holing on to an unrealistic goal for myself.

Because I can’t see myself in a different light… I can’t see myself moving forward with the dreams and aspirations for my life.  I am still attached to an image of failure and self-defeating habits.

Habits die hard. Especially bad ones.

I realized that I am still not comfortable in my skin.  I realized that I have avoided being in my body for so long that even though my body has changed, I still avoid it.  I realized that being numb takes many different forms.  I am an expert at the art of numb and hollow.  Feeling was too much for me for so long because I horded so much pain and anger from my past. While I am no longer holding onto the major hurt and pain from my past; there is some residual pain and hurt that I have not let go of.  The hurt of changing for people who did not love or value me.  The hurt continually pour myself into jobs and a profession that I hated the whole time.  The pain of marrying someone I did not know or love.  The hurt not pursuing what I love. The disappointment of being human.  The realization that it is so much easier to fix other people than pay attention to your own issues.  The reality of honesty.  The pain of experience.

What and how you think transform your world.  I have worked diligently these past 6 months on changing but that is not enough.  I have had the past 34 years to perfect how I was…6 months is not long enough to change habits, mindsets and mentalities that I have had decades to cement.  Rome was not built in a day.  Undoing what come habitual requires consistent and frequent effort.  I will admit for a moment I had lost sight of the fact that change and healing are not a magic wand.  You can’t just wave them and instantly things get better. Change and healing require commitment and consistency.

The business of healing and change are almost a lost art.  Everyone (including me at times) wants microwave results.  Most people don’t want to put in the grunt work necessary to obtain things worth holding onto. No one want to take time to build a long lasting relationship or marriage.  The moment the relationship/marriage doesn’t look how we feel it should, we are out of there.  No one wants to take the time to invest in good health (mental or physical) we want pills or get it now solutions.  No want wants to build the skill necessary to obtain the promotion, we want to connive or scheme our way to the top.  I too thought I could cheat. I thought I could smile all the time and act as if nothing bothered me and claim I was at peace.  GOD would not allow it. HIS digging unearthed truth that has been difficult but necessary.  Getting down to my authentic self. The core of who I am has mandated that I deal with the image of myself that I have allowed to be shaped by everyone but the one who created me.  The reality is that the image and concept of who and how I should be is built on desires of my family who meant well but wanted me to fulfill the dreams that they had not accomplished in their own lives.  This image in my mind came from lovers who merely wanted to shape me for their own selfishness and insecurities.  It came from haters and misguided friends with insecurities that needed to tear down to make themselves appear better.  It came from the part of me that blamed myself and always felt that good is not good enough.  It came from the part of me that does know my value and worth and therefore devalues who I am.

This journey is not what I expected.  I expected it to be cute.  I expected to change a few minor things and be done with it.  I was not prepared for massive surgery.  I did not anticipate dealing with self image, self esteem, mentalities, habits, biases, discrimination’s and realigning my concept of honesty.

I did not want to have to look in the mirror and realize the woman staring back at me had deep self worth issues that had been cleverly hidden.  I wanted the weight loss to fix how I felt.  As I said in a prior post, dealing with the issues that drive you to eat are the key to maintaining weight loss.  This concept crossed over to areas that I had not considered.  Dealing with the real issues that were masked by being overweight is hard.  Admitting that you don’t like who you are and being bold enough to change instead of complaining is the road less traveled.  Refusing to play the victim and admitting that you played a major part in where you are is hard.  Not beating yourself up and devising a plan to change what has become as instinctual as breathing requires much effort.

Change is hard work.

But I am worth the effort!

Thank you for allowing me to share….

Namaste…….

The Awakening…

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The Awakening
(Author unknown)

A time comes in your life when you finally get…when, in the midst of all your fears and insanity, you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out…ENOUGH! Enough fighting and crying and blaming and struggling to hold on. Then, like a child quieting down after a tantrum, you blink back your tears and begin to look at the world through new eyes.

This is your awakening.

You realize it’s time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change, or for happiness, safety and security to magically appear over the next horizon.

You realize that in the real world there aren’t always fairy tale endings, and that any guarantee of “happily ever after” must begin with you…and in the process a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.

You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect and that not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are…and that’s OK. They are entitled to their own views and opinions.

You learn the importance of loving and championing yourself…and in the process a sense of new found confidence is born of self-approval.

Your stop complaining and blaming other people for the things they did to you – or didn’t do for you – and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected.

You learn that people don’t always say what they mean or mean what they say and that not everyone will always be there for you and everything isn’t always about you.

So, you learn to stand on your own and to take care of yourself…and in the process a sense of safety and security is born of self-reliance.

You stop judging and pointing fingers and you begin to accept people as they are and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties…and in the process a sense of peace and contentment is born of forgiveness.

You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. You begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really stand for.

You learn the difference between wanting and needing and you begin to discard the doctrines and values you’ve outgrown, or should never have bought into to begin with.

You learn that there is power and glory in creating and contributing and you stop maneuvering through life merely as a “consumer” looking for you next fix.

You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a bygone era, but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build a life.

You learn that you don’t know everything, it’s not you job to save the world and that you can’t teach a pig to sing. You learn the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry and that martyrs get burned at the stake.

Then you learn about love. You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would have them be. You learn that alone does not mean lonely.

You stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes. You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to say NO.

You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing things over and ignoring your needs.

You learn that your body really is your temple. You begin to care for it and treat it with respect. You begin to eat a balanced diet, drinking more water, and take more time to exercise.

You learn that being tired fuels doubt, fear, and uncertainty and so you take more time to rest. And, just food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul. So you take more time to laugh and to play.

You learn that, for the most part, you get in life what you deserve, and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for and that wishing for something to happen is different than working toward making it happen.

More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline and perseverance. You learn that no one can do it all alone, and that it’s OK to risk asking for help.

You learn the only thing you must truly fear is fear itself. You learn to step right into and through your fears because you know that whatever happens you can handle it and to give in to fear is to give away the right to live life on your own terms.

You learn to fight for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom.

You learn that life isn’t always fair, you don’t always get what you think you deserve and that sometimes bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people…and you lean not to always take it personally.

You learn that nobody’s punishing you and everything isn’t always somebody’s fault. It’s just life happening. You learn to admit when you are wrong and to build bridges instead of walls.

You lean that negative feelings such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood and redirected or they will suffocate the life out of you and poison the universe that surrounds you.

You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted, things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about: a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower.

Then, you begin to take responsibility for yourself by yourself and you make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never, ever settle for less than you heart’s desire.

You make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility.

You hang a wind chime outside your window so you can listen to the wind.

Finally, with courage in you heart, you take a stand, you take a deep breath, and you begin to design the life you want to live as best as you can.

Author- Unknown

It is finished; but, We’ve only just begun….

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So much has happened since the last time I posted that I barely know where to begin.  The big day has come and gone.  Surgery was September 24, 2013.  That day will forever be cemented in my mind.  The surgery went off without a hitch.  I was in the hospital for two days and was released without incident.

Adjusting to life after surgery is a horse of a different color.

Nothing that anyone says can really prepare you for life after surgery.  I did mountains of reading and even posted pictures of what my meals would be like after surgery.

I STILL WAS NOT PREPARED!!!

My life has changed and is still changing radically.  It is changing in ways that I was not prepared for nor had even considered to be an issue.

Dealing with the issues that have attributed to massive weight gain sounds real cute but in the end the issues run deep.  Three weeks after the surgery, I have dropped 55lbs and I still see the same person in the mirror.  Everyone around me can see the transformation and changes, I cannot.  I don’t feel any different.  I wasn’t exactly expecting angels and harps to start playing.  I didn’t expect the heavens to open up and a voice to descend from heaven saying, “This is my child who has lost massive weight.”  I just expected to feel….different.

Then I had to be really honest.  How could I feel different when I don’t acknowledge feelings?  How could I feel different when I had conditioned myself against feeling?  I wear numb so frequently and instinctively; how would I know what different or better felt like?

One of the things that is different for me is that I can no longer rely on my body to tell me when I am hungry.  I have to pay attention to my body and realize when it needs food.  Now, you may scoff and it may not seem like a big deal, but believe me; it really is.  We are so dependent on hunger pains that it is unbelievable.  Now, there is no warning, no signal, no tinge or pain.  I am fine and then suddenly, I am weak and faint and scrambling to get something to eat.

My path to healing is becoming deeper by the moment.  I have to catch myself because the temptation to come up with excuses to stay the same are plentiful.  The one that is the loudest is the complaint of just how much work change is.  Laziness being one of my not so glamorous traits…. is now being counteracted by another trait of mine.  Determination.

I realized that I have forever cultivated laziness, unproductivity and fear.  I just recently admitted that I have never ever cultivated the greatness within me.

That is the million dollar question, how do you cultivate greatness after a lifetime of doubt and fear?

Time is running out!

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Well, It is official.  I am scheduled to have gastric bypass surgery on September 24, 2013.

Words cannot describe the roller coaster I have been on since the date has been set.  The reality of my decision has taken it’s dear sweet time to sink in.  While I always knew that it was going to happen.  It seemed a far off.  Like Thanksgiving or Christmas in February.  But then you blink and the holidays are here.

And like the holidays, questions arise.  Am I ready? Have I done all that I need to do in order to be prepared for this occasion.  For the holidays, it is usually simply about food shopping and gift selection.

I have much deeper questions.

“Have you lost your mind?”  Yes, I have asked myself this question….several times even!

“Do you seriously think you are going to follow through with a commitment of this magnitude?”

Commitment is a big issue for me.  I am DYNAMIC at starting things.  You will not find anyone with more zeal than I have beginning a project or task.  The follow through however, I come up disastrously short.  And even that statement is a gross misrepresentation of the truth.  Once the glamor and glitter has faded, I am out!

“What about all the mess in your head and heart that push you toward eating in the first place?”

This is the part of me that doesn’t want to change.  (Yes, I am honest enough to admit that!)  The part of me that wants to hold onto what is comfortable and familiar.  The part of myself who has condemned myself to a life of misery and isolation.  The part of myself that feels that I don’t deserve any better than what I have right now.  The part of me better known as the punisher.  There is never a completely perfect time to do anything.  Opportunities aren’t about perfect timing.  Opportunities are about making the best out of the time and stuff you have at the moment.  As Bishop T.D. Jakes stated, “Maximize the Moment.”

My heart flutters even as I write this blog.  I am honest enough to admit that I am currently engaged to the gastric bypass procedure.  September 24, 2013 we will be getting married and moving forward will be the honeymoon phase which eventually fades and then the reality known as the real deal will unveil itself.  I had to admit to my therapist and a friend of mine that I was all wrapped up with the idea of having the gastric bypass that I hadn’t really delved into all that I needed to know about what having the operation really mean.  I had not read about protein and why it is vital to gastric bypass patients.  I had not wrapped my mind around the fact that moving forward I will need to measure my food…FOREVER!  I had not looked at the fact that I cannot exercise like I am crazy because I will be eating so little that if I exercise too much, I will burn off all that I have eaten.  I hadn’t really accepted the fact that I will need an eating and drinking “schedule”.  If I don’t eat every three hours and if I don’t get in all my protein and if I don’t drink enough water.  I will suffer malabsorption, dehydration and end up losing muscle instead of fat.  I didn’t realize that I would need a vitamin schedule.  I cannot take my iron with my vitamin C, the vitamin C is more important to my body canceling the iron out.    I should take my vitamin c and colace with my Iron.

Geez, this losing weight business is complicated.  Maybe I should just stay overweight!

Yeah, I know.  That is the punisher speaking.  Even you have to admit that is a lot to work out in your head.

Or so it is for someone who has spent a lifetime ignoring themselves.  Getting in the process of making time for yourself doesn’t sound hard but it really is a fight.  The tendency to get all wrapped up in the hustle and bustle called “life” is almost instinctual.

In the end….those are nothing but excuses.  As adults, we make space for what is important to us.  I make time and space to get on the computer every single day. I can make time to begin to care for myself as If I love myself.

The irony is that I have no clue how to begin loving myself.  I have lost touch of who the real me is and I am not sure how to get back to her.  I have given so much of myself to people and modified who I am to make others happy that the me that looks in the mirror now looks foreign.

But that’s okay.  It is never too late to begin again or to pick up the fragments and repair.

Life is such an intricate experience.  We have so many expectations placed on us by other people that we quickly forget that we are supposed to live our lives for OURSELVES!  We get so caught up in trying to live our lives to the expectations of others that we aren’t doing what we love or enjoy.  We have to keep up with the latest fashions.  We have to have the latest car.  We have to be married and have children.  We have to have a career making a set amount of money.  We become obsessed with the necessity of making ends meet that we lose track of our dreams.  So many people are locked in jobs or professions that they despise simply because they need a paycheck ( I was one.)  Then there are the expectations placed on us by those who are dear to us.  Often the things we want go on the back burner or more realistically, off the stove all together.  We can’t go to school because we have to work 2 or 3 jobs so our children can have the latest fashions.  We can’t take chances because chances are unpredictable.  We can’t leave our job and open our business because that is not guaranteed money.  We can’t apply for a loan because our credit is bad.  We can’t fix our credit because we have too many bills.  We have too many bills because we are trying to live a life that we really can’t afford and if we were to be totally honest with ourselves….we don’t even really want.

The deeper I look within, the more I have to admit that there is a lot of work to be done.  Ironically, I have done without for so long, I forgot what it feel like to care about my own self.  I have ignored that I need to care about myself.

I determined that the work required to repair myself was too in depth and that my efforts were better used elsewhere.

While I previously berated myself for that mindset… I recently came to understand that just like the earth, life has seasons.

I am finally at the season of my life where I can and actually will focus on myself.

I am finally at a place in my life where peace in my life is important.

I am finally at a place within myself where I am important.

I finally understand that the changes I want to happen are not going to magically appear.

Change requires effort….Change requires commitment…

I am worth the effort!

September 24 will mark my resolve moving forward!

Either get busy living…Or…Get busy dying.

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When my Bariatric surgeon told me that the appropriate weight for my BMI was 125lbs… My immediate response was, “real Black people do not weigh 125.”  I glared at him with righteous indignation and dared him to push the issue.

He did not.

Today, I was looking at pictures of Jennifer Hudson who has proudly displayed a significant amount of weight loss and I found that she wears a size 8. 

Jennifer Hudson covers Manhattan Magazine

Jennifer Hudson covers Manhattan Magazine

    

I decided this was a nice look and I want to try it out.      

<—– OH YEAH!!!!!

In order for me to wear a size 8 at almost 5″3′, (Hey, hey…don’t judge me. Great things come in little packages!  Don’t start nothing and there won’t be nothing.)  I would have to drop down to 125lbs (irony).  

That requires a loss of 220lbs. 

Immediately I said, “that is skinny as hell”.  I began discussing with myself why 125lbs was not appropriate.  I don’t want to look sickly.  I don’t want my family to stage an intervention for me because they believe I have turned to drug use.  I don’t want to look like I am waiting to star in one of the Ethiopian please send money NOW commercials! 

Sighs…then I began to realize that these were nothing more than excuses to hold onto a mindset and perception that has not remotely worked for me. 

125lbs is not sickly…it is healthy.

But the concept scares me.  It scares me because 125lbs is not familiar to me.  Newsflash: What is familiar to me has bought me to this point!

Then evasion disguised as fear crept in….

I begin to worry about how my family and friends will feel about such a significant amount of weight loss. 

I begin to anticipate  being seen as “sickly” looking and deemed a “skinny b*$ch”. 

I grew concerned that I may gain looks of disapproval from my fellow big women and men who may perceive my size as a type of condemnation. 

I wonder if the same way I look at skinny people and snarl and snare are the same looks that will befall me. 

I wonder if I tell fellow plus sized individuals that their struggle was once my own and that I only achieved this size due to my “tool” and a determination to change if they will understand or just hear justification and an attempt to belittle.

I secretly wonder if I too will begin to look at overweight people as an eyesore.  If my if I can do it, you can too attitude will now turn into a form of judgment.  Of disapproval.  Of damnation. Of Pity. Of Woe. 

I wonder if my obsessive need to be nice will fade away because I no longer have to apologize and explain with my eyes.  Because I am no longer instantly deemed pathetic, disgusting and unhealthy even though none of these are accurate. 

I wonder if my need to prove that I am a good person despite my physical choices will finally dissolve.

I wonder if my head will tear off it’s perch from finally being able to lift.

I wonder if I will finally be satisfied with taking care of myself and I can put away my cat lady shawl.

I wonder if I will begin to toss around the words: obesity, overweight, curvy, thick, plus size and size acceptance like grotesque obscenities.

Oh silly rabbit, Tricks are for kids….

I…must boldly step out onto the horizon of new beginnings. 

I…must come to a place of acceptance and understand that I cannot worry about what may or may not be. 

Too much of my life has been spent living in the shadows afraid of the joy of life.

Too much of my life has been spent avoiding the eyes of people because I was not ready to read what may lie there.

Too much of my life has been spent holding onto desperation.

Too much of my life has been spent grasping onto antiquated concepts constructed by those who had no goals, no vision, no success and no desire to go beyond the small world they could see with their limited tainted vision.

Life is for the living and it is NOT a spectator sport.

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