Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Have You Forgiven Yourself?

There seem to be so many different directions you could take with this topic, but I'm going to share what it was like for me as far as forgiving myself. Forgiving myself for the person I had become. Forgiving myself for treating my body as toxic waste. Forgiving myself for being negative and halting my progress over the years. All these and many more can and will contribute to no success and no change if you allow them to.
We can decide to make the change and eat right and do better, but if we can't dig a little deeper and bring to the surface what the brain has been telling us all these years, none of our new ideas and efforts to be better will last. They will only be a temporary fix. Promise. I know it because I lived it.
One of the things that was hard and took many attempts to latch by brain around, was the idea that regardless of where I wanted to put the blame, I was in the end the one who was responsible for my choices and my actions. I'm the only one who physically could have gotten myself to 278 pounds. Sure, often times there can be things that factor in - depression, children, a death, finances, marriage, or anything else life throws at you every once in a while. But in the end, we are the ones responsible.
For many years, I just knew I was fat. Larger than most people around me. I was used to it. Sure, I wanted to be skinny and fit but never thought that was something that was even possible or in my genetic make-up since all I'd ever known was big. I remember in my early adulthood and up until just a few years ago, I would occasionally try a diet of sorts or at least try to take some weight off. Most of the time I was successful in small ways and weight did come off, but it really didn't take much to put it back on and then some. Again, I learned to accept this behavior as it was all I ever knew. It became a negative cycle.
It wasn't until I started hiking that I think my mind and body started to cleanse itself of my years of thinking. I remember at first, just the thought of hiking made me tired. I knew in order to hike for any length of time it would take hard work and commitment (especially being so overweight) just like it takes to lose weight. I knew I was stubborn and determined but knew if I played my cards right, I could hike, but it was just going to be work.The first few times of hiking I felt very out of shape. Almost like I didn't belong on the trail. (Sorta like you do when you decide to eat healthy after years and it seems awkward to be eating healthy.) I remember having to make several stops along the way but was very determined to get to where I was going. The more I found myself playing in the woods and spending time on the trails, the more time I spent with God, really digging deep and dealing with the things that had held me back for so long. The more I learned to enjoy life and forgive myself of so many things from my past, the more hiking became a hobby, a love, something I craved.
It may not be hiking for you, and that is fine. I do think though that everybody needs a healthy outlet. A place that will allow you to feel forgiveness. If you don't have it, find it! Everyone needs a place to reflect, forgive, make progress, and move forward. I know this to be true and I can honestly say, I am a far better person today because of my own personal outlet.  Hiking brings peace, forgiveness, and so many joyful moments into my life. I love hiking. I crave it and I know it will continue to be a blessing in my life if I allow it. I am far from perfect and I still have some bumps on my journey that I am working through. Having hiking as my outlet will provide me with just what I am needing to stay connected, be healthy, continue to move forward, and most importantly forgive myself for those things/thoughts I still struggle with.

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1 comment:

  1. Although I wish I had it in me to get healthy much earlier in my life, better late than never. I can't be angry about the past because my struggles with weight made me the person I am today. I also continue to struggle with certain things (ie: accepting and getting used to my new body). Running is my outlet and my therapy!