Thursday, September 20, 2012

Inner strength and power

I came home from work today, looking forward to having the time for a long walk.  Gone are the lazy days of summer when I wasn't working and I could go out each day and exercise for as long as I wanted.  I miss that, but it is what it is.  Despite whatever else I had going on, it was an absolute priority for me to walk a few miles this afternoon.  It's my time to take care of myself and I really have come to enjoy it.  I love exercising with other people, don't get me wrong, but I also do cherish those times when I can be alone.  It helps me de-stress, get centered and just feel good.

As I tied my laces and fired up my iPod, I was excited at the prospect of climbing hills and feeling my body responding to the challenge.  It's these times that I really discover how much strength and power I have.  Not just in the bodily sense but, more importantly, what's on the inside.  On the inside, I am a stubborn, scrappy fighter who will not be messed with.  Kick-Ass Kathy.  She's the one that can walk for miles and miles without getting tired, the one that keeps getting up each time she's knocked down, the one that just comes out swinging and fights till there's nothing left.  What don't you love about Kick-Ass Kathy?

This journey of weight loss to a healthier me, at the end of the day, has not been about weight loss at all.  I know it seems like it, but it's really not.  It's about discovering that I've always had the strength inside to rise to the challenge, to reach my goals, to be the person I wanted to be, finally realizing I already was her.  Yesterday was an eye-opening experience for me in that I was uncomfortable in my body but that I was brave enough to stare it in the face and not be the one to blink first.  There's an evil, corroding presence in this world telling us that we can't do it, that we're not good enough and so why even try?  As more and more weight is being shed from my body, that voice tries to get louder.  It tries to get my attention by making me feel badly about myself, yet I have absolutely no reason to do so.  When I look at the fact that I only have about 75 pounds to lose before I reach my goal weight, I can rejoice in that.  When I started, it was going to take 256 pounds lost for me to see my goal.  I know that I won't cross some magical finish line at that point, but with each passing day, I get stronger and that really is the whole point.

After I came home from my walk, I got in the shower and just stood under the water, letting it wash over me.That is the most vulnerable place in the world for me.  It was there that I wept after I was diagnosed with cancer last year.  It was there that I discovered I had diabetes twelve years ago.  And it is there that God cradles me the most.  The water spraying down on me releases me from holding onto appearances that everything is perfectly fine when perhaps it isn't, but it also is incredibly invigorating.  That's what I felt today ... I have the power to walk through the muck that comes up as I am dealing with this new body and this new world I find myself in.  It's hard to describe these feelings to someone who hasn't been there before.  You have to remember that I have never been a normal body size in my entire life.  Never.  Not when I was a kid, not a teen and never as an adult.  I have no personal frame of reference for the things that I am going through right now.  Can't you see why I was tugging at my shirt yesterday?  Take away the weight, which I've had surrounding me my entire life, and you take away my security.  Yet, that scrappy fighter reemerged to remind me I have nothing to fear and that I can keep heading down the road I'm currently on.  I can keep letting go of the weight and doing things that are not altogether always comfortable for me.  In that way, I am very powerful and incredibly strong. 

As my strength grows, other people hold onto that for encouragement in their own lives.  I am reminded of that constantly.  As I blog about my experiences, people comment to me that they related to this or that situation and respect how open I am about the things I go through.  If I can walk through a foreign land, so can they.  I appreciate it when people tell me that I inspire them because, trust me, they inspire me.  So, kids, I'll keep walking through the feelings as they pop up, pray that God continues to give me strength to meet the challenges, and know that I am well on my way to living a different life in every way possible. 


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