The last two weeks have been nothing less than a whirlwind of balloons, celebratory pants, tilapia, and asparagus.
Let me explain. In my last post I talked about the importance of celebrating yourself. Last Saturday, I was fortunate enough to have a celebration in my honor for losing 100 pounds.
Hence the balloons. Actually, I’d always wanted balloons like that but I’m not about to hit some million-mark milestone on my Instagram so I didn’t think I’d ever get any. Well, turns out God knew this mini desire of my heart, and He saw fit for me to have big 100 balloons! God’s into the details. He’s cool like that.
At the 100 pound celebration, our Camp director, Greg, and assistant director, Alicia, both had lovely words to say that of course my brain cannot remember because it was flooded with emotions when all of this was happening, but I assure you they were lovely words. Michael prepared a beautiful video that chronicled my time at The Camp. If you haven’t seen it, it really blessed my heart and of course made me cry my eyes out. He’s a good, good husband. I’ll leave the video here in case you’d like to watch it.
After Greg showed the video, I was presented with my long-awaited, “I Melted 100 Pounds” t-shirt! Being surrounded by my husband and our Camp family at this moment that I worked so hard for made this one of the best days I’ve ever had. I will not soon forget the feeling of pure joy I experienced.
I know I’ve shared these pictures on social media already, but I spent a lot of years praying to be invisible and I don’t want to be that anymore. So pardon my over sharing and thanks for understanding.
In regards to the pants, Michael and I have made a commitment to changing old habits. In the past, if there was something to celebrate, we ate. If there was something to mourn, we ate. If we were bored, exhausted, jubilant, stressed, or feeling a twinge of ennui, we ate. So because we were definitely not going to go out to eat after a 100 pound weight loss celebration, we went shopping instead! And I got some celebratory pants instead of celebratory bread sticks. It was a good trade.
At the end of week 28, I still had a long way to go to hit my 20 pound mark. I was only two pounds down and had two weeks left to lose 18 more. This was a tall order for a short time. Greg recommended tilapigus for the remainder of the challenge. Two weeks of only tilapia and asparagus for Every. Single. Meal. I gave it everything I had. I followed the rules of tilapigus to a T! And you know what? It wasn’t all terrible. I was mostly worried about getting nauseated with the food because so many people said they could not stomach it, but it wasn’t bad. I baked my tilapia with different flavors of Mrs. Dash and lots of lime. Problem solved. When week 29 weigh in rolled around I had surpassed my requisite 10 pound mark, and hit 11.4 pounds. I still had 8.6 pounds to go and one more week of tilapigus.
However, after one week on tilapigus, my body kind of grew used to it and slowed down on the weight loss. At the very end, I ended up losing 17.7 total pounds and missed the 20 by 2.3 pounds.
I thought I would be disappointed if this happened, but in that moment, there was absolutely nothing I could feel but pride. I knew how hard I had worked, not only in those last two weeks, but in the eight months prior. I lost a total of 118.4 pounds at The Camp and overall I’ve lost 136.4 pounds. There is no way I could be disappointed in that.
In eight months I’ve finally come to a new fork in a journey that began when a five year old girl was told by her grandmother she was getting too fat (or “gordita” to make it sound nice but it isn’t) and shouldn’t eat dinner. I like to project an image of a strong girl who is not easily shaken, whether to fool others or myself I’m not sure. Behind the wall I put up that often keeps others out, I still hear the words, “Heather, you are a beautiful girl, but…” ringing in my ears. I’ve heard that phrase innumerable times in my life. It ended with “but… you need to lose weight, you need to fix your hair, you need to change how you dress, you need to be more outgoing, you need to be better at this, that, or the other.” It ended with “You are not enough.” And there is truth to that. Beauty is not enough. Beauty isn’t anything. It’s a subjective opinion about the way shapes and colors reach another person’s eyes and whether that pleases their brain or not.
I want to be so much more than beautiful. I want to be witty, charming, intelligent, sassy, sarcastic, a force to be reckoned with. I want to be someone who people admire and trust. A person who is capable, dependable, hard-working, and successful. I want to be a woman of faith more than I want to be a woman of face. Someday, I hope to be the kind of mother whose children love her not because she is beautiful, but because she is strong. And yes, I want to be beautiful as well, but it’s taken me nearly my entire existence to realize that my opinion is the only one that matters on that account.
I remember watching Family Matters when I was a child and seeing Steve Urkel step into his transformation chamber and step out as Stefan Urquelle. I spent so many nights fantasizing about stepping into a transformation chamber because all I wanted was to be beautiful and that would fix everything. Isn’t it fitting that the place I would go to would be called, The Camp Transformation Center? I finally stepped into that transformation chamber. When I stepped out, yes, my body had changed, but the more important change took place in my head and in my heart. Now more than ever I am 1000% percent committed to being myself (dorkiness, weirdness, and all) and bringing my walls down.
When I go into the gym I leave everything on the mat. Whether it’s a stressful day, sorrow in my heart, or the haunting feelings of anxiety and depression. I leave whatever burden I am carrying on the floor with my sweat and sometimes my tears. The Camp has become a place of refuge for me. A safe haven where I can decompress and unwind. I’ve completed the challenges now and as the saying goes, “all good things must come to an end.” Whoever wrote that should have completed it by saying “All good things must come to an end, so other good things can start to begin.”
It’s the beginning of a brand new chapter. And I love chapters! I’m not leaving The Camp. I’m going to be a member and continue working on my goals.
These are a few of the things I want to work on in the coming months:
- Balance: The scale has been pretty heavily tipped towards diet and exercise these past several months. I want to keep wellness in the balance. I just don’t want it to be the only thing on the scale. Whether it be spending time with Michael (who really has been an angel this entire time…I’m not the easiest person to deal with especially without carbs), working on my blog, or just me time; I want to work on living and being a human.
- Maintenance: I really like where I’m sitting with my weight right now. I’d like to keep that within 10 pounds up or down. Twenty pounds may seem like a wide range, but it doesn’t have to be your goal. It just has to be mine.
- Intelligence: This is not an “I don’t think I’m smart” item. I just like to feed my brain. I’ve been neglecting my love of reading for awhile and I desperately need to take some time to soak up some books.
- Reverence: Most importantly I want to build up my ministry muscles again. I want to get more involved in church, studying my Word, and being active in my faith. Whether that ministry be right here behind my keyboard and just speaking life into what so many are going through or some other facet that God hasn’t revealed to me yet, I just want to be His instrument and do whatever it is He needs me to do. I want to live kingdom minded.
This isn’t everything but it’s some of the things. As my husband would say, “Puro good things!” (All good things!)
I’ll leave you with this, whoever you are wherever you are, You are beautiful, and you are more than enough!