“It's a waste of time worrying about something that worry won't fix;
it's about as useful as trying to feed your pet rock.”~Richelle E. Goodrich, Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, & Grumblings for Every Day of the Year
So, here's the deal.
In 2013, I whispered a prayer for help in becoming healthier. That prayer has been answered through a number of ways including inspiring people, hard work (aka sweat and tears), and a new way of eating.
Do you know what the number one response is to me?
"Girl, you're wasting away."
To those of you who have not said this to me, thank you.
To those who have, you're forgiven.
To those who have thought it, but have not vocalized it, read this all the way through and then comment.
Let me explain what I hear when the words "wasting away" are spoken.
Expressed concern...passed judgement...unfounded admonishment.
Although slightly misplaced, let me assure you, the concern you are expressing to me is that I am not taking care of myself any longer. You are also making a judgement call that I am losing too much weight. This judgement lends an ear to admonishment for "starving" myself, therefore, having an eating disorder.
Let me assure you of a few things...
1) I am taking better care of myself now than ever before in my life.
2a) I have lost weight over a period of 17 months now. Not overnight. Not by a "quick fix" diet. It has been by hard work. The sweat and tears kind of hard work.
2b) I have reached my goal weight and have happily plateaued, but this does not mean I am going to stop working out just as hard.
2c) I have used P90X and other Beach Body workouts for the last seven months. You may not like them and that's okay. They work for me. Do what works for you.
2d) Trust me when I say that I have seen enough doctors and nurses, a bone and joint specialist, a physical therapist, and a chiropractor in the past year's time that if they saw any red flags they would have waved them by now. All they continue to do is ask me how I have done it and applaud my hard work. Hmm...
3) I am eating more food now than before. I am just eating cleaner and healthier foods every day and watching my serving sizes.
4) I love food. I love to bake, cook, and eat food of all kinds. I am not afraid of food. I no longer live to eat. I eat to live. There is a difference. I do NOT have an eating disorder.
What have I gained by losing weight?
Muscle. Upper body, lower body, and core. All worked on each week, but not everything everyday.
Confidence. How else would I be writing this? How else would I have meddled in a friend's life to ask her if she's ready for her turn at a healthier life? How else could have I shared before and after photos on social media?
A means of control. I control what I eat. I control if (not always when) I work out.
Energy. I will not beat you in a foot race any day, but I will run with you. My daily crashes have gone away and I feel a more steady stream of energy all day long. My peak will always be evenings, but my mornings have improved greatly!
Support. I have two accountability groups I engage with each day. They motivate me and, I have been told by some, they are motivated by me, as well. We share real life ups and downs. We leave the comparisons behind and look forward to what goals we share and how to best get there together.
An outlet for stress. God's grace, Jesus' love, others' prayers, working out, and coffee...cannot forget coffee...got me through the wait, the diagnosis, the drama, the surgery, the recovery, the anxiety attacks, and the radiation therapy all assoicated with breast cancer.
A better definition of who I am. No more do I question if I can do something. I question the motive behind it and the sacrifices necessary to do it. Then I either pursue it or let it go. It is not "can I?". It is "do I want it bad enough?"
While I appreciate your concern, I do have one question for you...
Why wait until now to be concerned?
Society has this backwards when it is apparent someone has a problem with unhealthy eating and it is never addressed, but it's totally okay to get in their business when they are doing something about their weight and being successful at it.
Just my two cents worth.