Monday, January 29, 2007

Tears of Joy

You just never know when something you say will touch someone. I can think of several times in my life when someone has said something to me that really touched me. Often that person never knows how much it meant to me or that a simple statement they said would have such a profound impact on me. I have received so many comments and e-mails from people about my blog and my weight loss. It has just been overwhelming to me the support and love I have felt from so many people as I have taken on this challenge. The fact that people have told me that "I" have inspired them is amazing. I never thought I would have such an impact on others, but it just goes to show how just one person can make a difference.

I want to share an e-mail that my Mom sent me today. It brought tears to my eyes, tears of joy. Here is what she wrote:

Dear Amy,
You look great in your new Sunday outfit!!! (A few ! for you!) The old you is showing through, the happy you, the you who is pleased with yourself and how you look. This new photo reminds me of the picture of you on the mountaintop you just hiked. It sounds like you have crossed the exercise threshold where exercise is a necessity, you can't do without it. Great!
Love, Mom

This e-mail really brought a lot of my feelings to the surface. It has been such an uphill battle with my weight (see post A Good Novel). I think with each pound I gained, the "old Amy" became buried. Slowly but surely, pound after pound weighed upon my soul and the "happy Amy" was buried deep within. I would often say to myself or those close to me "I used to be happy, I used to be outgoing, I used to love to exercise, I used to care about myself, I used to like to be social, I used to, I used to, I used to". I know that my excessive weight gain had a serious impact on my personal outlook on life. It is nice to know that the "old Amy" is fighting to resurface. As I lose each pound I am getting closer and closer to the "old Amy" and I am thrilled. I have really felt my confidence level increase in so many aspects of my life. My step is lighter, my energy level has increased 10 fold, I smile a lot more, I am able to handle stress better and I could go on and on. I can only think of how I will be feeling when I have lost 50 pounds, and then 70 pounds, and then 100 pounds! It seemed like such an impossible feat when I started this back in December. I was almost afraid to tell anyone that I set the goal of losing 100 pounds. But it was something that I knew in my heart I had to do. That is the key right there, you have to be ready. You can have everyone and their dog telling you what you need to do, but YOU MUST BE READY yourself. YOU have to ask yourself the question, am I ready to change?

I specifically remember the picture that my Mom is talking about of me on top of a mountain. What is funny is that I have thought of that picture many times. I was 20 years old and living life to it's fullest. I was at BYU, happy as could be and ready to conquer the world. I had hiked to the top of Squaw Peak and stood at the very tip to pose for a picture. I stood there flexing my arms proud of my accomplishment in hiking. Once again I am climbing up a mountain, it isn't easy, but when I get to the top I imagine I will have the same type of pose. Full of life and full of joy and ready to conquer the world again.

Several years ago I read a book by Dr. Phil about weight loss. I didn't really try to do his plan but something I read has always stuck out in my mind. He said that no mater what you do, you will not lose weight if you have something that is emotionally holding you back. You may or may not be aware of what that "thing" is, but until it is resolved you will not have any success in losing weight. He had all these examples of people who couldn't let go of certain things and were not having any success in weight loss. Once they were able to move past their issue, the weight started coming off. There were two big issues in my life that I was having a hard time getting over. One, was my divorce that became final in 2001. The other I will not touch on now, but maybe in another post. The point is, that once I was able to let go and forgive I suddenly was able to accomplish this next challenge. Losing weight.

Without going into too much detail, I suffered from my divorce much longer than I was married. I was only married for 9 months and it was a very difficult time in my life. Even though we were married in the temple, married life took a much different path than what I ever expected it would. My husband at the time decided that the way of the world was more important than me or the church. He said things to me that were very damaging to my self esteem. It turns out that I held onto what he said for years after he was out of my life. I know that after my divorce I turned to food. I always said that I wanted to get married again, and yet I know that physcologically I kept myself fat so that no one would want to date me. If I kept myself fat, then I wouldn't get married again and I wouldn't get burned again and I wouldn't get hurt again. I wouldn't have to give all of my love to someone only to be disappointed that they didn't love me back. Most importantly I would be safe inside my fat body. This is the scar that was left on my heart when I got divorced. I just couldn't let go. I couldn't let go of my disappointment. Not that I wanted to remain in an abusive marriage by any means, but the fact that I met someone I trusted and loved and then was deceived and lied to was very hard to overcome. So hard that it took me over 5 1/2 years before I was finally able to let go. I was finally able to forgive my ex husband. I know that letting go of that burden has aided in my ability to focus on my weight loss and keep myself on target.

Look at your life and see if there is something that is holding you back. Is there someone that you haven't been able to forgive? Is there some issue that you can't get past? Is there someone that you feel so much anger towards that it is stopping you from reaching your goals? Take the time to reflect on your life and really dig deep down. By overcoming these things you will be amazed at what you can conquer. Not only weight loss, but many other aspects in your life.

Thanks again to all of you for your support and comments. It means the world to me and really keeps me motivated.


Nathanj916 said...

Amy I want to say something. It will sound dumb at first but let me explain its a good thing. Every time I look at a picture of you I think that you look wierd!! I know I am a jerk for saying that but after thinking about it I found out why you look so weird. YOU ARE HAPPY!!! and you are in the pictures all by yourself. I remember that picture of you on the mountain. I cant remember you being so happy. I hardly see you in pictures and never so happy to be in one. It is sad that I only remember you as an unhappy person. I was really young when you were in highschool. I am so happy that you are happy. I wanted to stop drinking soda before I heard about your weight loss but your story has givin me a reason to be so strict about it and to keep it up and to also give up other things in my life. It is amazing that someone can do something in there life that they are doing only for themselves and help so many other people. You are loosing wieght for you and look at the changes in the world you are making. I am Jelous of you. The thing I like the most about coming to California is honestly that I get to see you and your new attitude and outlook on life. I Love You!!!!

Love Nathan

Gideon said...

My goodness, slow down there speedy, i live with you and I can't keep up with all of your novels. It is too much to read. take a chill pill. Why don't you just talk to me instead of making me read all of your posts. I am trying to do homework but there is no time for it. Love ya

andrea said...

Wow Amy, you have come a long way baby! I do think that forgiveness is the key to happiness in every aspect of our lives. I'm so glad you forgave Adam and have now moved on with your life. You are really going places now. That was a great post that will be an inspiration to many people.

Lucy said...

I remember reading the Dr. Phil book and thinking the same thing. It's hard to have psychological reasons be so responsible for something that is so apparent physically.

What a traumatic event to go through. You are showing unbelievable grace by sharing and moving on. Thank you.