Monday, February 2, 2015

What do you want most

Good Morning….. It’s the 2nd day of February already and although it’s hard for me to believe that a full month of 2015 has already come and gone, it has certainly been an eventful and exciting, but very emotional, month. The year thus far has been full of ups and downs, good and bad, joy and struggle, but it has been a month of new feelings and experiences and self-discovery as I daily learn what it means to love and be loved in return and  find time to balance work, college classes, family, a new long-distance relationship, while trying to keep myself focused on my journey. It hasn’t been easy. In fact, it’s been downright hard, but each day I’m learning to trust…in God; in others; and in myself and I am becoming more certain that God is directing my steps down a new path into a world I don’t really know much about it and admittedly, am not really all that good at: Love.

I wasn’t really good at weight loss either when I started this journey, but I managed to learn along the way by continually asking myself what I wanted most……(to walk again and live)……or to continue to live a life of pain and obesity.  Four years ago I didn’t know what it meant to be free from the burden of fear and weight because I had always (with the exception of about a year in the late 80’s) been obese. I didn’t what it was like to be average (not thin…. I won’t likely ever be thin) size; to be able to buy clothes in a regular size store; to go to the theatre, a ballgame, or restaurant without even giving a 2nd thought to whether I could fit in the chair or booth; or to be out in public somewhere and not get noticed because I didn’t stand out. I had forgotten what it felt like to be normal.

 I didn’t know how to “do that kind of stuff” when I started this journey but I learned it along the way……but it wasn’t easy…..not a bit easy. I would often look at myself in the mirror and not recognize the reflection I saw looking back at me. Who is that?  Who is this new “Theresa?”  I didn’t know how to deal with the fuss and attention (still don’t really)…but I’m learning….but it’s not easy. I didn’t know how to deal with the emotions and the triumphs/struggles….but I’m learning day-by-day…but it’s not easy.  I can honestly say that letting go of the fear….of failure; of abandonment; the unknown; and loss…has been harder than letting go of the sugar.  Saying no to FEAR is harder for me than saying no to Ice cream….but I must do so if I want my life to be different tomorrow than it is today.

So…..How did/do I do it? Every day…..multiple times a day… I am faced with the challenge of the words in the clip art attached here: “Don’t give up what you want most for what you want now.” Over and over and over again throughout the day we are given that choice and we must ask ourselves… WHAT do we want MOST?   In the weight loss part of my journey, it was easy to answer that question. More than anything I wanted to WALK freely; to ditch that walker/cane/wheelchair. I wanted to LIVE…not merely watch my life pass by. I wanted to be FREE from the burden of weight and pain. I knew what I wanted…and I wanted those things MORE than anything, so although it often meant I made some tough decisions and was often hungry, frustrated, and angry, it was easier to make the right choices back then because I knew that life on this side would be much better than the state of my existence at that time. That, and the reality that my choices didn’t involve people, but rather food, and my choices didn’t affect anyone but myself. These days it’s not the case….but yet…the same principals apply.

I arrived home last night after spending a weekend away with my new friend, Bruce. It was a truly wonderful couple of days and we had a great time, even though we didn’t do anything extraordinary other than be together and enjoy each other’s company.  On Saturday, we went to visit my dear friend, Sr. Therese Michael Dudek, IHM, at the motherhouse in Monroe. It was her 84th birthday and although Bruce only met her for the first time on New Year’s Day, he purchased a beautiful birthday cake for her and brought it up with him from Ohio. We spent a couple of hours visiting her and she was beyond thrilled with her cake. We had lunch; spent a couple of hours in a crazy nail salon; ate lunch; danced to music on YouTube; swam in the hotel pool; went to Mass; and just talked and laughed and talked some more. He is a wonderful man. He even showed up with about 8 bags of grocery items that are on my weight loss plan…..soup; fruit; yogurt; sugar free items…..even a butternut squash….and a new sweatsuit and pair of sneakers because he has pledged to help me  to keep focused on this journey. Goodness….what a gift God has sent my way….and yet….I nearly sabotaged it all…..because I was/am struggling to make the choice to “give up what I want now…(namely to be right or compromise) for what I want most”, because it means letting go of someone that has been part of my life for many years.  And yet… I now realize that I cannot move forward if I am not willing to make the hard choices.  This is so much harder than giving up sugar; soda; or potato chips, but just like our personal journey to wellness, we can’t have it both ways.  Each day I must choose life/health over sugar; I must choose kindness over selfishness; I must choose trust over fear; I must choose faith over doubt; and I must choose to seek God’s will, even if it takes me down a path to new places.  Mostly, I must remember that I am not alone.

Perhaps some of you have experienced the same type of struggles in your own personal journey. If you, like me, have struggled lately, I encourage you to join me in making a new commitment today to do whatever it is you need to do to get you to the place you want to be a year from now. Be gentle with yourself when you fail; forgive yourself when you make the wrong choice; and vow to be better today than you were yesterday, and remember, that even though it won’t be easy….not a bit easy….you are capable of anything when you remember that God is on your side.  

Please pray for me in the coming days and be assured that you are in my thoughts and prayers as well. God put us together on this journey for a purpose and even though we may not always recognize it right away, He gives us what we need to be happy, fulfilled, healthy, and peaceful. We simply have to make the decision to pick what we want most over what we want right now.

Have a good day…..