This post is for you.
If you’re reading this — I mean it — this post is for you.
You inspire me. You motivate me. You remind me of my worth. You have celebrated me. You have validated me. You have made me feel as though I am being cheered on and loved and supported. You made every single step of my journey so far possible.
I owe so much to you.
When I first started this blog, and indeed, started my wellness journey, I was so embarrassed that the journey even needed to happen. If you read the “Who Am I?” section of this blog, that shame is plastered all over it. I didn’t want the bitchy girls from high school to know I had gained weight. I didn’t want my exes to know. I didn’t want… myself to know, really. It was hard to admit to myself, and even harder to admit publicly.
And so starting this blog was both an act of penance and a leap of faith. By sharing that pain and that shame, I was trying to free myself from it — or at least admit that it was happening. I didn’t really expect anyone aside from my closest friends to read along. I certainly didn’t expect feedback. I just wrote, and put it out there, and did so not because I was self-promoting (I’m embarrassed by this journey, remember?) but because I had promised to myself that I would remain accountable.
But then you found me, reader. And you sent text messages. And you called me. And you messaged me on Facebook. You submitted recipes. You liked posts, commented on pictures, and told me when you ran into me on a random Saturday that you made one of my recipes and now, it’s a staple at your house. You asked me questions. You actually wanted MY advice. You came out of the woodwork after years of our not speaking for whatever reason. You admitted to me that you’re struggling, too. You talked to me about running. You told me new power foods to try. You cheered for me. You read along. You proved to me what I always suspected: That more people feel the way I feel than they care to admit.
The affirmation has been life-changing.
I am all about body positivity, yes, but my blog isn’t about loving where you’re at — at least, not specifically. It’s about finding the motivation to keep going and become better. I think finding that motivation can be just as hard — harder, maybe — than loving who you already are. The discipline and commitment required are no joke. And your support and validation helped keep me on track: knowing you looked forward to posts and knowing you were rooting for me helped me focus on just how much I wanted to really get this right.
I hate to indulge in the cliche, but here it is: You believed in me. And it makes me believe in me.
The best thing I ever, ever did was swallow my shame and write this blog. Becoming open and honest about my struggle with my weight was a huge risk/vulnerability, but in taking those steps, I opened myself up to such wonderful friendships and such genuine support. When I “came clean” about the things that were hard, they became easier. When you all showed me through your love and empathy that I didn’t need to be ashamed, I stopped feeling ashamed. And when you kept coming back to read, I kept writing.
On WordPress, we’ve got over 100 followers. On FB, we’re closing in on 150. And for the record: almost none of those numbers overlap, since my WP readers are people I’ve never met before and about 70 of my FB readers are people I know.
The very best advice I could ever give to anyone who is considering beginning a weight loss or wellness journey? Aside from the obvious — commitment, discipline, etc.? Tell the truth. Tell your story. Be honest about who you are, and what you want, and what you need. And you will be amazed by how many people who know you and love you will support you on this journey.
Week 15 has come, and with it, a new me is popping up out of the dirt and grime like a spring flower, dammit.
I changed my life.
And you helped me.