Thursday, June 25, 2015

Lindsay Unedited

For that last three years, this blog has revolved around my beautiful girls. I have in some ways, been hiding behind them both online and in person because I was ashamed of some of the changes physically and emotionally, that have happened as a result of becoming a mother. I lost a bit of myself for a while and put aside my own needs for the good of my girls. However, in neglecting myself, I was not adding more to them, but less, because I was not taking care of myself.

About a year ago I joined a CrossFit gym. This seemingly insignificant choice was the catalyst for much greater changes in my life. As I began to take time each day to work on Lindsay, I felt myself returning and I had a greater desire to change other areas of my life. 

Because I was gone for an hour or two in the evenings attending CrossFit, Andrew had more time alone with the girls. At first, this was rough on him, but he has grown immensely and is a much more confident dad. And I was able to return home a better, more patient mom.

Instead of being drained by the workouts, I was energized by them. I soon took on the Whole30 and went through Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. A lot of good came out of those and interestingly, even my marriage became much stronger. Finally we had a firm control over our finances and I wanted to take control in other areas of our lives. 

I have always enjoyed food. But I came to realize that it had started to control me and I was using it like a drug to help make myself feel better when the stresses of my life and being a parent weighed me down. For the last four months, I have been actively fighting my emotional eating by applying the twelve steps of recovery and attending Addiction Recovery Meetings.  This is such an immensely personal thing, that I am a bit shocked that I am opening up about it on my public family blog, but I feel like it is something I need to share. 

I had an awakening today. For months I have been a bit discouraged that my weight loss goals have not been happening how I would like them to. In fact, the actual number on the scale has hardly budged. I realized that I was still trying to measure my self worth according to a number on a scale and it was clouding my ability to notice more significant changes happening in my life.

First, food does not have the hold on my that it once did. I still enjoy good food, but it no longer controls me. I attribute this entirely to daily scripture study and working through the steps of recovery. On the few days I have neglect my scripture study, the temptations return and my ability to fight them vanishes. 

Second, I feel much better about myself. I enjoy getting dressed and feel comfortable in my clothes.  I no longer dread looking into the mirror. I finally had the courage to cut my hair short, something I have been avoiding because I knew Andrew preferred it long. I thought that by keeping it long, I would also feel better about myself, but that is not the way it works. I cannot rely on how Andrew feels about my looks to help me feel better about them. Just as with a testimony, I cannot "borrow" his version of me to add to my own self-esteem. I have to feel beautiful independently of how anyone else feels about me.

Finally, my inward changes are showing outwardly, even if not on the scale. I have never received so many complements on my appearance as I have the last few months. Many of them tell me it looks as though I have lost weight. I think that my inward changes are translating to others as beauty. And I have stopped spending so much effort thinking and worrying about how I look.

Ultimately, I feel really comfortable in my body. In fact, I don't think I have ever felt this good about myself. Definitely not in High School, when I had what I now consider to be my perfect body, but which, I loathed and saw nothing but flaws. Now, the number on the scale does not matter. I feel good! I feel pretty! And I can leave the house and forget about how I look and enjoy my life without obsessing over it.