Thursday, June 16, 2011

Clearing the road to the journey

Shows like The Biggest Loser and Losing It with Jillian Michaels have been used to motivate me in the past, so I decided to start Season 11 over from the beginning and watch it on Hulu in my free time since my big decision to lose 100 lbs. in a year. It's pretty nice, actually, but I must admit that I cry every episode.

It seems that the majority of the people on these shows have had some major problems or incidents in their lives they haven't dealt with yet, and it is implied through these programs that those are the things that are holding these people back from healthier lifestyles and, ultimately, a healthier future. Being the overly emotional person that I am to begin with, I cannot help but feel their pain through the television or computer screen as I watch these shows. I'm sure the amount of saline I lose while I sit on my ass could contribute to my weight loss just as much as my exercises... Just kidding. (Kinda.)

Through these programs and through some of the conversations with my trainer Erin, I've realized that there are some things along my journey that I also need to clear out of the way in order to get to the next destination. (Of course, the next destination I'm referring to here is the 100 lb. weight loss.) In the past year or so, I've talked about my depression issues, my rocky relationship with food, and I've taken the necessary steps to forgive the voices of the past for trying to bring me down for my size, my personality, and my talents. Now, I'm facing some pretty hard memories, and honestly, there's one of these 2 I'm not sure I want to get past.

I recently wrote in one of my other blogs about my experience with sexual assault. If you only read this health blog of mine, you can find my "thoughts and feelings" one at It isn't an easy read, but it was necessary for me to get that out so I can deal with it and move on. I'm hoping to somehow take up boxing in the near future to get some of the aggression I feel toward that situation out of me, but we shall see how that unfolds. I've forgiven him for doing that. I've forgiven the person who made me feel as though it were my fault. I'm ready to leave that moment behind me and only carry it with me to be a strong advocate for others and to educate others on how to not blame the victim.

As for the other thing, I'm getting light-headed just thinking about trying to put it behind me, but I know that I absolutely have to.

If there's anyone I have on my mind and my heart every day, it's my friend Nathan. Today is Nate's birthday. He would be 30 if he were alive, and it is this way of thinking that has kept me back in some areas of my life I believe.

At first, when I read about his death in Iraq (he and 3 others hit an IED in the desert of Samarra), the whole world went cloudy. I felt like the room was growing bigger and becoming darker. How could this person who meant so much to me - someone so full of life and love and fun and wisdom, someone who literally changed my life - be gone? Forever? Yes. Forever, at least here on earth. Not even my Christian afterlife view of eternity in Heaven has been able to help me cope with his loss. I can't see him, hear him, or touch him. I can't get one of his hugs. I can't call him on the phone. I can't argue with him about anything under the sun.

I also can't live my life for him, and I think this has made me feel a little guilty. At first, when he passed, I chose to live my life to the fullest like he would have and go out into the world (namely Austin, TX) in search of whatever will come my way. I feel like I understand the concept of "abundant life" here because I am so happy and amazingly rich with such wonderful friends in this bubble of creativity and love. I don't believe I would be here if he was still alive. Losing him pushed me out of my comfort zone - on many, many levels - but in the past 6 years since his death, I've gone back into grieving his loss. It's hard to say this and it hasn't always felt right for many reasons, but it's time to stop grieving for him and start living for me.

I owe it to myself to take control of my future, just so I can have one! Certain events have taken some of that control from me, but I believe with all of my being that I have the power to be #1 for me. I feel stronger than I've ever felt before, not just in physical strength, but now emotionally and mentally.

I weighed this morning at 247.6, just 8 more lbs. to go before my first personal goal of weighing less than 240 before I see my family for July 4th. I'm in this for me now, completely, and victory will soon be mine.

So... Happy birthday, Nathan. I love you. I miss you. You were a great friend to me. I'm glad you were alive so I could know you and have an incredible connection with someone like you. "Esse quam videri" - "To be rather than to seem" - was your Latin phrase that you lived by. Thank you for showing me how to live authentically. I have to let you go now so I can do it my way.


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