Thursday, April 4, 2013

If I Knew Then What I Know Now

If I knew then, two and a half years ago, what I know now. There's a never ending list of things I would tell myself. I was incredibly down on myself, constantly beating myself up. The way I felt about my body was seeping into every aspect of my life. The self loathing I had towards my appearance, was a poisonous toxin I consumed everyday. Sure, I appeared happy. Everyday was not a bad day. I smiled and laughed. It wasn't all bad, but there were dark moments. Far more often than I'd care to admit. 

Those closest to me knew how I felt about my life. There are times I wonder how my girlfriends dealt with my constant self battering. They got the worst of it. Yet, they never made me feel guilty when crying about my self hatred. The clinical word is depressed. I had just graduated from College, I was engaged, I had a budding career, and I was absolutely miserable. Some days I would wake up and think "Is this really MY life?". This can't be MY body. How did this happen to me?

When my weight reached it's peak, I really hated my present. I couldn't wait to lose weight, so I could start living my life. In my mind, the life I was living wasn't worthy of joy, because I was over weight. I had all of my self worth wrapped up in a number on the scale, a pant size, the way I looked in pictures. Every time I'd hear some comment about another person's weight, specifically the word fat, I'd think, I wonder what they think about me. 

Constantly conscience of my appearance, and always wondering what other people thought of me. They must think I'm disgusting human being to be so young and overweight like this, that's certainly the way I felt about myself. 

I wish I could go back and tell myself I was worthy of happiness. I wish I could tell myself how beautiful I was. That I was a gorgeous person on the inside and the outside. I wish I could tell myself my weight was not my defining characteristic. No one was judging me as harshly as I was judging myself, and if they were, that said a whole lot more about them, than of me. 

I wish I could tell myself to enjoy being engaged. I wish I wouldn't have cried alone in the dressing room after picking out my wedding gown, because I had to order a size 20. I was humiliated. Instead of being elated at Saying Yes to the Dress, I was depressed at the number. I just knew I would be an ugly bride. I needed a hug, but I was too proud to ask for one. Instead, I slapped a fake smile on my face, hating every second of the experience. In truth, the year I got married, was the most stressful year of my life to date.

I wish I could tell myself to stop working so hard to please everyone else, take a look at myself and make her a priority. I firmly believe that no relationship you have, is more important than the one you have with yourself. Loving yourself, making yourself a priority, will enrich all of your other relationships. Really loving you, will make your life rich with happiness. 

After my a-ha moment, and the weight started coming off, I started caring more about me. I began loving myself. I started making myself a priority. I stopped giving a shit what other people thought about me. 

It was liberating. 

I finally began to enjoy living MY life. Enjoying my LIFE. I wish I would've enjoyed my life then. That's the biggest thing I would tell myself. You are worthy of living your best life, regardless of your pant size. Life doesn't start 20 pounds from now. Your weight doesn't define you. Your attitude and actions define you. Be happy. You'll never get these moments back. 

For the first time in my life, I am embracing this stage that I am in. I'm finally happy. I'm not looking into the future itching for the next stage. I'm living in the now. 

If I Knew Then What I Know Now, I'd tell myself to enjoy all of my nows. Right NOW, is awesome. Right NOW is fabulous. Life is happening right freaking NOW. Love yourself! You are a beautiful human being, and that's something numbers will NEVER define. 

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  1. Thank you so much for putting this into words. I think so many of us have felt this way.

    I remember a friend giving me a pair of size 16 jeans because mine were too tight and I refused to break down and buy some that fit. I cried in a bathroom stall when she gave them to me before we went out. It was devastating.

    You are such an inspiration and I have enjoyed reading your blog.

    If you get a moment, I would be so flattered if you'd jump over to my blog.

  2. Absolutely true!! I have been there and it takes a strong person to make the decision to change. You are such an inspiration! Keep it up :)

  3. "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." Dr. Suess

    I would have told myself to calm to "F" (all of "it") would work out and there's no reason to be in quite such a hurry through life...

  4. Great Post! I love what you say about the most important relationship in our lives is the one we have with our self. I truly believe you have to take care of you before you can be a friend, wife, girlfriend, mother, etc!

  5. Super empowering post, Elle Noel. You make me feel so much better about being a little heavier than I'd like right, even if I'm working towards losing it (again). That's what matters, that I make myself happy so I can stop worrying if people have noticed....

    Thanks!! Happy Friday eve!!!

  6. This is a beautiful post! Surprisingly, despite my weight and issues with it, I've never been one to beat myself up over it. In fact, I got comfy and cozy in it, and just decided to hang out there for a while, no matter what. But you are so totally right that life is happening NOW, no matter our size, weight, body type or anything else. We need to just enjoy the time we've been given, and learn to love ourselves, and then we can learn to love others better too!

  7. Beautiful, beautiful post. I ran a marathon in October and then pretty much stopped working out, stopped eating healthy, and in turn, gained nearly 20 pounds and felt like crap. My boyfriend told me that he couldn't tell I had gained weight and that the ONLY reason he was excited for me to start working out and eating well again was so that I would feel better about myself and go back to being the "real" Emmy. I had let my negative self-image affect me so much that I had essentially turned into a different person -- and that person was not a fun one to be around.

    I loved this post because I can relate so much. And, like you, I am now living in the present and enjoying life, regardless of how much I weigh or what size my jeans are.

  8. Ok, this has to be one of my favorite posts from you to date. top 5 easily!

    You just put into words exactly how a ton of women feel. When I was at my heaviest I didn't do anything I stayed inside didn't go out etc and you're right when you feel that badly about yourself you don't feel "worthy" and that is honestly so sad.

    I often look back and feel bad for how much time I wasted. How much of my life I wasted not participating in things or going out wiht friends etc because of how I felt about myself

    YOu are so right. we only have one life and well never get these moments back. Time to make each moment count! thank you thank you thank you for this post!

  9. It was almost painful to read this post, because I am still at the point of harshly criticizing myself and am fighting to reach the place of accepting and loving myself NOW, before the weight is gone.

  10. I love your blog! Thank you for posting this! This is exactly how I feel right weight is holding me back from enjoying my life. Time to start enjoying while losing the weight. You have really opened my eyes to the things that are holding me back. You are such a inpsiration!!!

  11. Love this! Sometimes it's the hardest thing to do, to love RIGHT NOW.

  12. Oh girl, can't tell you how much I needed this today. I feel trapped by numbers! Feeling down and depressed lately. I'm definitely struggling with all of this right now. I need to be happy with who I am right now but it is much easier said than done.

  13. I LOVE this post. I cannot count how many times I've wondered what people thought about my weight after hearing them make comments about others. Since losing just 15 pounds, I have such a better outlook on life, I don't care as much about what others think and I'm just happier. Its amazing what taking care of yourself can do for you. Love that you put all of that into words.

  14. Once again...amazing post! I def needed this today! I stand in the mirror sometimes and I hate on myself because I'm like...How could i let myself get this way? SOo much so that I have to struggle pain, tears and all to get back the where I want to be.
    Your an inspiration and tons of motivation!

    Thank you for your words!

  15. Amen! Such a great post! I'm the same way, feel like I didn't really start "living" until I had a major weight loss...I still find myself living in the future...we need to remember that it's right now and enjoy every minute. Thanks for sharing this, you are an amazing woman Gisele :)

  16. Plain and simple, you rock! You are very inspiring and your positive outlook on life is so refreshing and uplifting!

  17. This is a great post. It is so so difficult. I feel like I have been wasting YEARS of my life (and even think I might have wasted parts of my college experience too) because I was always so bad to myself and down about my weight. I can't say that I don't have issues with it still because I do. I have a lot of weight to lose and I fear that I will never get to a point where I will be okay with myself UNTIL I lose the weight. I am working on it though.

  18. This is beautiful! Made me tear up a little bit. I never had that "aha" moment before last November--I was always beating myself up about how heavy I was and thinking those "when I lose the weight, I'll do xx" thoughts. Also, it was a time of desperation and quick fixes--trying out cleanses, extreme workout plans, etc., that never lasted long.

    The cruel irony was that not loving myself made it even more difficult to lose weight. In November, I finally just accepted my body and worked on making it a little bit better every day. Instead of trying some grand plan of eating 1,000 calories of clean food per day and running 5 miles, I just cut back--stopped eating when I was full, went for walks when I could, did pushups before bed.

    Only when I accepted that my body was mine and it was amazing and powerful could I begin to improve it little by little.

    Have you ever seen those calendars where the user puts a smiley face on all of the days that went well (you ate well and exercised) and a frowny face on the bad days? That really helped me with perspective. It's not about being perfect all the time and beating yourself up when you slip up, it's just about making good decisions as frequently as possible. Oh, and LOVING YOURSELF no matter what.

  19. Great post girl!! I think it's so hard to not love ourselves if we're not "our perfection". Truth is we may never be our perfection this is a great reminder to love every stage. Thank you for being brave and admitting what so many of us feel about ourselves.

  20. Love that "life doesn't start 20 lbs from now." I don't know how many times I've thought that. Thanks for the post!

  21. Once again girlfriend you hit that nail straight on the head!!! I love how you put my thoughts into words lol you should just write my blog too you're so good at this writing stuff :-) love ya girl! Happy Freaking Friday!!!!!!

    1. I second Elisha, come on over to my blog too:) You always have just the right words to say what we all are thinking and so eloquently.

      As always, your words come when I really need them. Today was weigh day and I don't want the scale and numbers to make or break how I feel about myself or life. So, even though the scale stayed exactly the same as last week, I will not get down on myself. My week was awesome, focused, clean eating, and productive...I DO take pride in those accomplishments!

      Have a wonderful weekend!
      Silly Momma

  22. Your description of yourself 2 years ago is a very accurate description of me today. I always think my life will be happy and perfect if I could just lose weight and feel good about myself...I think this knowing I have a sweet husband that loves me, a perfect 2 year old daughter, and a son due in May. It's sick what our minds do to us. Operation Change My Tune starts TODAY!

  23. While I was off gallivanting with Pete all day yesterday, I missed one hell of a post from one of the best bloggers around. I got chills reading this. It's beautiful and sad and uplifting all at once. And it really hits home. Thank you for writing so eloquently about the journey so much of us have had to face (or are STILL facing)!

  24. Um, you basically just described ME.