I'm not telling you it's going to be easy, I'm telling you it's going to be worth it.
I honestly think if Renee' would have said this to me a year ago, it would have still been a little difficult for me to believe. But, when I look back on it now, this is exactly what she was saying to me in every email, every conversation and just all the interactions we had in those first few weeks of our friendship. She pushed me to do things I didn't necessarily want to do but knew I needed to try. I've had people say to me, 'how'd you do it?'. Not just the food, but everything. I just took it one meal at a time, one day at a time, one workout at a time, one new situation at time and of course, one recipe at a time. Well, that last one might be a slight exaggeration.... probably more like half a recipe at a time ;) And, I had more support than I ever thought I would find in my life. I still do.
None of this has been easy for me. But, it's been so much more fun than I ever thought it would be. A large amount of that is because I've learned how to laugh at myself and I have someone to laugh with me. Actually, a lot of someones. As I've rediscovered happiness and ventured out of my comfort zone in more ways than I could possibly count, I stopped worrying about it being easy. I just wanted to enjoy every experience I was lucky enough to have.
Has it been worth it? In more ways than I could EVER describe. I have the greatest friendship with Renee'. It's so weird to me how someone I've only known for a year has become such an amazing friend. She's pulled so much out of me, I can't even begin to list it all. I've lost 97 pounds. I have learned to love being active. I got a new job and I've re-discovered my passion for what I am lucky enough to do on a daily basis. I've started talking a little more in front of people. And, yet, I still haven't figured out what to do with a garlic clove. Just remembering Renee's reaction to that story is enough to make this worth it. But, I am so excited there are so many more reasons!
The trick is to not let people know how really weird you are until it's too late for them to back out.
Renee' - This is the true story behind my being quiet around people I don't know.... I'm thinking you never would have guessed that I would become one of the most popular sources of entertainment for you on the day we met. Hey - I don't think I would have predicted it! I never knew what it felt like to find enjoyment in every little thing and that it was fun to make someone's day a little brighter with a random message about absolutely nothing. Of course, that's not the only entertainment I provide.
As you read this, just picture some of the stupidest questions about food you can possibly imagine and multiply the stupidity by 10. That would be the kind of messages I send on a regular basis. And she just goes with it. Awesome friend doesn't really do it justice. But I'm not allowed to say thank you so I'll go with the amazing friend description :)
Smile and let everyone know that today, you're a lot stronger than you were yesterday.