Lately I have been having to step out of my comfort zone. A lot. Which, in my own terms, means confronting my “darkness”. Right now my darkness is the self-imposed isolation that I lived in for the last ten to fifteen years of my life. The larger I became physically, the smaller my world became. I wasn’t confident enough in my own skin to be comfortable in the company of other people, let alone to allow myself to care deeply or become close with anyone other than my husband. I even pushed my own family away more often than I should have, and they are my whole wide world. A typical trap, but I think it’s good to be honest about it if I want to avoid it. It sounds a little paranoid, but I always wondered what the thoughts were behind the stares and glares I felt burning at my back… was it pity? Disgust? Indifference? Concern? Sympathy? Whatever I thought I saw in their eyes was probably more of a reflection of my own mood and self image at the time, and in my head, it usually wasn’t positive.
I still struggle daily with feelings of unworthiness. I know I am working hard at this. I know I’ve come out of my shell, bit by bit, and am pushing myself hard. I know I sometimes display a gift of lifting others up, and on occasion, even inspire and encourage. But, I still find myself in a backslide, even after taking a significant step forward. I still have major food issues. I can’t blame it on being ignorant, because I have spent the last two years educating myself. I think I am close to understanding what foods work to help my body to be more healthy. Unfortunately, too often I “cave in to the crave” – as I did tonight. Pizza for dinner; ice cream for dessert. (I should create and sell t-shirts that say “Stress Eater”. They’d get attention at the gym, no doubt!) Before you judge me, know that I kind of believe that I will always be a girl that eats for comfort in some form. But I am proud that as of this moment I am doing it less and less and less, and I pray that trend continues. Not that it’s a good excuse, but I’m currently trying to manage increased anxiety due to family situations that I feel helpless about due to distance. So, if you’re the praying type, I’d be forever grateful if you’d please keep my family and their health in your prayers. Also…
A couple of days ago I received a phone call from my new friend and trainer (Sharon at Anytime Fitness) with some “really good news”. I had been helping her with an advertisement for the gym that she was preparing for the local newspaper that will run on Thanksgiving weekend. I had offered my photography services (gratis, of course – the practice is GREAT for me), and had taken some photos of our Lifestyle Challenge group, as well as some other members to be featured in the ad. Apparently she had shared some of the stories of the Lifestyle Challenge group with the woman that is her point of contact there, and she mentioned our group to the editor. He expressed some interest, and contacted Sharon to talk to her about doing an article on the group. He requested her consent to spotlight two people from the group in the story. Since Malcolm and I generally work together as a team, and since we’ve each lost quite a bit of weight on our own prior to joining the gym (would you believe I made it to an overall loss of 84 pounds this week?), I guess Sharon and Herman thought we were the obvious candidates. It took some selling on my part to get Malcolm to agree, but after me pleading my case and him having some time to think it over, he did agree. I admit it was not an easy sell, because I wasn’t exactly “sold” myself. I’m terrified of opening myself up to the community in that way – not because I am selfish – but maybe because of the old f-word (Fear), and also the fact I haven’t had any interest of that nature since I was in junior high school. However, I have come to terms with the fact that I need some extra supports in place (you read my previous paragraph about my food failings, right?), so for that reason, I choose to view this as a positive. As for Malcolm, I think he looks at it as supporting me, and supporting the gym, which makes him feel good. But what I don’t know is if either one of us is doing it for the right reasons. Even so, hopefully we’ll learn something valuable along the way, or make an important connection or impression. The good news for us, is that we understand that we’ll be able to promote our business – and that will be a great blessing. Minnesota rallies around local business like no place I’ve ever lived, so it’s exciting to get some local exposure. 🙂
It’s funny what can happen when you step out into the light after hiding in the darkness for so long. I guess I need to don my shades and enjoy the warmth of the sunshine, and maybe that warmth will help my seeds of confidence grow.