Tuesday, May 15, 2018

May 15th, 2018 I Am Me-Epiphany Day Revisited

May 15th, 2018 I Am Me-Epiphany Day Revisited

Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I met my daily water goal, and I stayed well connected with good support.

After the short night of sleep because of the late night weather coverage at the studio, today was challenging! When I'm super-tired like that I'm most vulnerable. It took staying connected with support, planning my food well, and getting home for a good nap before my evening activities.

I was refreshed and ready for a good night on a group support call and one on one support session. I made a quick trip to see mom tonight before heading home for my favorite sour cream chicken tacos!

Today is the 4th anniversary of what I refer to as my epiphany day. That day was very special to me. No other epiphany along this road has resonated as deeply and fully as the one I experienced that day. I can go back and look at the analytics of these individual blog postings, all 2,300 of them, and May 15th, 2014 is nowhere near the most popular page. It wouldn't even be in the top 50, yet, to me--it's one of the most important days I've experienced in the last nearly ten years.

Let's hop in the DDWL Time Machine and go back to May 15th, 2014. I was a few weeks into my turnaround from relapse/regain when this was written:

I failed to mention my brush with law enforcement last evening.  I was in too much of a hurry to get to the YMCA. I was in a 40 mph zone and when it switched to a 30 mph zone, I kept going 37 mph. The officer asked for my license and insurance verification and much to my surprise, both had expired 04/30/2014.  I had insurance, of course, I just didn't have a current verification. I received a warning for the speeding and two citations for the other offenses. The officer told me to present proof of both, and the tickets would be dismissed. This meant two stops this morning, one to the insurance office and one to the tag agency where they issue the new driver's license. Both citations were dismissed.

I have the last three licenses and each picture shows a different stage of my transformation. The last was taken at 258 pounds. It was the first time my license reflected the truth about my weight.  The weights on my licenses have always shown a number between 50 and 108 pounds less than reality.  But not the last one--and I was so proud of that license because of what it represented. I was proud and confident in it and the weight displayed was accurate for a change. I didn't want to part with it today.  Luckily, I didn't have to. The new photo shows my considerable weight gain and since I unintentionally forgot to remind them--they left the weight as 258.  Oh well. As I once again achieve an optimal healthy weight, I'll have it redone to reflect the changes.

The more I thought about all of the energy I was giving this new license thing, specifically the required photo, the more I started thinking on a deeper level.

I felt a slight twinge of shame, regret, and embarrassment at the tag office today. It's lessened considerably since getting firmly back on track. But it's still there.

Then, I had an epiphany on the way to the YMCA tonight.

Why in the world should I ever allow the shape of my face or the size of my pants determine my self-worth? This isn't how I treat others, so why would I treat me that way? 

And then I started thinking about the differences between how I felt about me at 505 and how I felt at 230 and that's when I experienced a breakthrough in my thinking.

At that moment I imagined the scales of justice. On one side was my love for the non-physical parts (my mind, my sense of humor, my talents, my heart, my natural compassion for others, my ability to communicate, etc.) and the other side of the scale was my love for things physical about me.

The personal injustice has been the obvious imbalance and distribution of my love for self. 

At my heaviest, I had nearly zero love for the physical and what little love I had for the non-physical was small, barely existent and unacknowledged because I was too busy hating the way I looked.

At my healthiest weight, I still paid little attention to the non-physical attributes because I was too busy loving the way I looked. 

Throughout my entire life, I've largely ignored the important things that make me who I am.

My most intense focus was either hating the way I looked or loving the way I looked.

With this narrow-minded perspective, the only source of identity and self-worth remaining relied almost exclusively on my appearance.

It isn't any wonder why I've limited myself over the years.  Even worse is the natural tendency to project this fluctuating self-perspective onto others, as in, if I feel this way about me, surely they do too. 

When I think about my closest loved ones, I realize their perspective of me is never conditional based on appearance. When I spend time with mom, she doesn't even notice the weight gain, she just sees her son. When I pick up my grandson and he looks at me and smiles, it's an innate understanding that I'm someone who loves him deeply and will protect and care for him no matter what. When I spend time with my daughters, it's clear their love for me isn't placed on a scale, ever.

And then I realized: This is what they mean when they say you must love yourself first before you can fully experience and appreciate the love and richness of life.

If I was confused before, it was very clear now. I'm a great person worthy of love regardless of my size and appearance. I have my mind, sense of humor, talents, a big heart, loads of compassion for others and so very much more. And none of it is diminished with weight gain or increased with weight loss. 

I am me, always.

And my journey will continue toward a healthier weight because I want to live, I want to move easier, I want to experience the freedom a healthy body weight provides. Regardless of how this journey goes, I believe I just discovered one of my greatest personal freedoms of all.  

All of this was processed over a ten minute period as I drove to my workout tonight, as if by divine placement in my brain, an answer to my unspoken, silent plea, why do I feel this way??

I walked into the YMCA tonight with a confidence I haven't felt in a very long time. I climbed aboard the orange trimmed elliptical and proceeded to have my best personal workout, possibly ever. My stride was longer. Within the mechanics of the machine, I was sprinting. And this energy never subsided. Last night I stopped ten minutes earlier than planned. Tonight, I could have easily done another twenty.
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If you didn't know before, now you know why May 15th will always be a red letter day for me.

I better hit the pillow.

Sincerely, thank you for reading along all these years,
Strength,
Sean

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