The truth we tell ourselves

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My friend Jodi commented tonight on how I hadn’t written a blog post in a while. It’s been over 2 1/2 months since I’ve written anything. In that time, I have really fallen off the wagon. I’ve stopped exercising (unless you count two or three sessions of my once-beloved 5am yoga as exercise), fallen back into terrible eating habits, and, honestly?, stopped trying.

It wasn’t intentional. It was very gradual. It all started when I started my new job teaching grade 2. To say I have a challenging class would be an understatement. Combine that with my relative lack of experience as a teacher, and my stress levels have been pretty high. And, true to form, I’ve reverted to sugary, fat-laden carbs to cope.

This weekend, I had a wake up call. Severe pain. My back is getting really bad again, and I have a pretty much constant pain in my leg from the nerves that are being pinched. The only time it doesn’t hurt is when I’ve been on my feet all day, teaching. I’ve been down this path before, and I know just how bad it can get. I can see that my self-neglect is having some very concrete, extremely painful consequences.

I’ve been mulling over this for a few days now. Asking myself some very pointed questions. Trying really hard to not beat myself up. I’m mad at myself for not sticking to all the great changes I had been making. I’m mad at myself for allowing myself to feel like crap. But mostly, I’m frustrated by the way I can’t seem to stick to the lifestyle changes I so desperately want to make.

I’m made a very important discovery: I’ve been lying to myself. When I started this blog, I had convinced myself that I was doing this for me. I did an excellent job of lying to everyone around me, and an even better job of lying to myself.

You see, if there is one thing that I wanted as badly as I want to be thin and healthy, it was love. Somewhere in my past, I learned to equate being loved with being thin. It became such a deeply ingrained message that it was a truth for me. I was truly convinced that no one would ever love me if I wasn’t thin. Hell, if I couldn’t look in the mirror and love what I saw, how could any man ever love me.

Y’know what? I was wrong.

So gloriously wrong. Entirely, completely wrong.

I was reading over my past entries, and recalled the conversation I had with my dearest girl friend this summer. She said, “Do you really hate your body that much that you cannot accept that a man may actually like you for you?” I remember answering quickly with an emphatic “yes!”

I am so SO SO glad I was wrong. I honestly thought that no man could ever love me and accept me for who I am. I have found the most amazing man who not only accepts me for who I am, he adores me, cherishes me, and loves me and (get this!!!!!) my body. Seriously. I couldn’t make this stuff up. I still have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming.

But, as amazing as it feels to be in love with and be loved by a great guy, I still struggle with body image. The thing is, I can see now that I’ve been lying to myself: someone can (and does!!) love me without being the perfect weight. I don’t need to lose weight to be loved. Wow.

So this is what I’ve been mulling over lately: for decades, my “truth” was that no one could ever love me if I wasn’t thin. That “truth” has been utterly blown out of the water and exposed for what it really is: a lie.

Yes, I will admit it. I started this blog because I wasn’t happy with my physical appearance or health, but it was all in relation to being loved. Now that I am loved (more than I ever dreamed possible!) I have a very difficult truth to face: I am worthy of being healthy. Believe it or not, I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around this – it’s a complete shift in thinking.

I don’t need to lose weight to be loved, that has been proven in a way that absolutely blows my mind. Admittedly, I’m still trying to get used to it. Now, to wrap my head around the fact that I actually deserve to be healthy and feel vibrant, energetic and full of life.

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