Thursday, February 13, 2014

Many paths up the same mourntain

I received an email message yesterday from a dear friend and it actually saddened me a bit. I’m not going to give her name, but she will likely see this because she is a member of this group. In any case, she had elected to have weight loss surgery a few months back. I knew nothing of this until yesterday. She said she was afraid to tell me because she didn’t want me to be disappointed in her. This made me sad to think that she thought I could EVER be disappointed in her, let alone about something that is a personal decision for her. This woman is amazing. She went back to college in her 50’s after losing a job, took care of her dying husband who had cancer and passed away a year or two ago, graduated with her degree…..AND…now has lost 68 pounds and is going to the gym 3 times a week!  Disappointed????? ABSOULUTELY NOT!  I am so proud of her and happy beyond words that she is feeling better than she has in years.  You go, girl!!!!
This situation is provided me with an opportunity to share my thoughts about our individual journeys.  We’ve all heard the cliché’ “There are many ways to skin a cat.”  So true! You know, if six different people, all living in Michigan, decided to take a trip to the Mackinaw Bridge, it is very unlikely that all six people would take the exact same route. One might elect to take the shortest, quickest way, traveling all highways. Another might decide to take the back roads, stopping multiple times to see the sights along the way. Still another, might decide to take the trip via bicycle, or a small plane, or even a boat. Of course, some ways may take longer traveling time, some might be a bit more costly, especially if overnight lodging or other stops are involved, some travelers might zig-zag all across the state, getting lost along the way, before eventually getting to the bridge. Whatever route or mode of transportation that one decides is right for him/her really has no bearing on my own trip. All that matters to me is that we all get to our destination safely and in good health. What is right for one, may not be right for another, and that is perfectly all right.
The same is true for your OWN PERSONAL journey. How you get there… long it takes…..what program you choose…..what method or plan you follow, really doesn’t have any bearing on my own personal journey. No one way is better than  another, unless it seriously compromises your physical health and well-being or results in behavior that harms another person. If you choose to have surgery, you have my blessing. My sister and my brother-in-law both have had the surgery and are living healthy, happy lives. If you choose weight watchers or protein shakes or diet pills….that’s your choice. All I suggest is that you find a plan that you can stay with FOR LIFE. You must change your entire way of thinking….your entire way of eating….your entire life if you want to change it for good. That’s why I chose the route I did.  Whatever you do, I am here to support you, to encourage you, to cheer you on.
We all have the same goal, not in terms of weight loss or sobriety, etc…, but in terms of becoming healthier, happier people. How long it takes…how many times we stop and turn around…how many times we stray off the path and stop for a period of time….and how we get up to us individually.  All I can say, is that I’m on the same journey as you. I experience the same issues, the same temptations, the same struggles…..but I’ve kept going and will continue to keep going because I know how beautiful it is to finally make it to the bridge, to finally reach a goal, to get to the destination….and I know that every single thing you encounter along the way, as hard as it is, IS SO WORTH IT!!!!  Don’t you dare turn around and go back home. Don’t you dare give up.  Don’t you dare just quit and say you’ll never make it….YOU CAN…and YOU WILL….as long as you keep going, even if it’s just a few steps a day.
One final note….well, two J
1.       Make sure you enjoy the journey….there are blessings all along the way. Don’t focus so much on the end that you forget the blessings of today.
2.       Please don’t think that you could EVER DISAPPOINT me! Even if you struggle….even if you back-slide, even of you gain a few pounds, you are important to me and I am proud of the efforts you are making to change your life, whatever changes you are making or have made!