I am thirty-seven years old, a fact I often choose to change to suit my whim. Sometimes I say I'm twenty-seven. Sometimes I don't say. Sometimes, usually when I'm at the doctor's office and it's more embarrassing, I'll actually forget, and my reply is more of a question than a statement.
But there it is. I am thirty-seven years old. And I am still working on who I am as a person. Or perhaps, I am still trying to find out who I am as a person.
There are some things that I know. I am as loyal as they come. I am an introvert. I am honest but I'd rather hold back if the truth will hurt you. I have no tolerance for people who actively choose the role of victim.
There are roles that I have taken on that I take very seriously: mother, wife, teacher.
There are roles that stir my passion: writer, photographer, artist.
And still, even at thirty-seven and with knowing so much about myself (I am annoyingly self-aware), I'm still trying to "find myself," as they say.
I began a metamorphosis in July of 2012. We had gone to Ohio to visit my brother-in-law and were staying in a hotel. The first morning that we were there, I dashed from the bathroom to the spot where we had tucked our suitcase. My path took me past a full length mirror. An unforgiving, hypercritical, honest, full length mirror.
Instead of telling me that I was the fairest of them all, it shrieked and covered its eyes.
Or maybe that was just me.
It was a moment in which I had to make a decision. Make a change (or several) or forever be horribly dissatisfied with my appearance.
I know...I know...
"Society's standards of beauty...Self-worth...blah blah blah..."
I will never be willowy and tall. I will never grace the cover of Vogue (They do Photoshop, though). And I am okay with that. Really and truly.
But I was not okay with how I looked. In my own eyes and not that of society.
So I decided to change. I joined My Fitness Pal and began to militantly track my calories. Militantly. And I didn't cheat. At all.
It is now March of 2013, nine months later. And I guess that timeline is pretty ironic as I'm in the midst of a rebirth of sorts. I'm not done with the metamorphosis; I still have some changes to make.
But this weekend was the first time, the very first time, that I realized how far I've come. More than needing to buy new clothes. More than people telling me that I look great and asking me what I've done. More than any of those affirmations.
I took a silly self-portrait in the bathroom mirror. I was wearing a camisole that I would be covering with a nice, comfy sweatshirt. And it was just a silly, schoolgirl whim that came over me.
I snapped the pic. I snapped a pic of myself from my sister's wedding when I was at my absolutely heaviest. I Photoshopped them together.
And I saw myself for the first time since I did on July 7, 2012:
40 Pounds Later...
If I can do this, you can do this. And I don't just mean weight loss (although that's my first step). I mean anything. If you want to make a change in your life, you can. You just need to be honest with yourself about who you are, what you want, and what it will take to actually get you motivated.
You will have to work hard. You will have to have will power.
And you can do it.
You. Can. Do. It.
I have faith in you.