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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

My Choice

Almost every day I have people ask me random questions that center around the same theme. The most visible evidence of the changes I have made in my life is the weight loss.  But, this journey is about so much more than that for me.  I've written a little about these ideas in previous entries but, as I get ready to start my summer break, I thought it would be a good time to write some more thoughts so that, maybe, I can help others who find themselves in the same position I was in a couple of years ago.

Why?
Well, why not?  I had nothing to lose (other than weight) by jumping in with both feet.  I mean, hey, I don't think I could have been anymore down on myself, my life, my world than I was a year and a half ago.  So, either I needed to make a change or I would just continue to be sad all the time.  I look back on that now and can't believe I wasted so much time being sad.  But, depression is real.  And it's different for everyone.  For me, I think there were various times in my life when I was slightly depressed but found ways to climb out of it.  This time, I just couldn't seem to find my way out on my own.  With a lot of help, I feel 1000x better than I did a year and a half ago.  I am weaning myself off another medication and I am happier than I ever thought possible.  It is possible to beat this stuff.  You just have to figure out what the root of the problem is and what works for you.

How?
By figuring out what makes me happy.  By finding self confidence (which I still struggle with daily).  By not taking myself, or life, too seriously.  By taking pride in what I achieve.  By putting myself out there, no matter how difficult it might be.  By finding friends I never thought I'd be lucky enough to meet or have things in common with.  I mean, for those who know me, sports are not my strength.  I don't mind watching them but I am not what one would call athletic by any stretch of the imagination.  But, I've found things I enjoy and I even try things that I know are not my strength and have fun doing them.  (ie. soccer....).  And some of my closest friends now are athletes... turns out we have a lot in common!  Probably the simplest answer to this question is this - By living my life.

And one question I think many people are interested in knowing the answer to but may feel weird asking is - If you had to pick one thing about this journey that is the best / biggest accomplishment / or whatever, what would it be?
     One word.  Happiness.  I think that simple word encompasses everything I have accomplished in the last year and a half.  I run around with Coop, Chloe and Emma.  I'm almost always smiling.  I love my job and have the best co-workers.  And, yes, I will always love naps and the time I spend being lazy.  But, being around people is the biggest part of happiness.  I get energy from my friends and family.  I want to be out and about, among the living.  

 I think about these things on a daily basis.  I've made a choice to change my life.  The results have been greater than I could have ever wished or hoped for in my wildest dreams.  Although the weight loss is still the most visible change, I have so many people who comment on how happy I look.  For the first time in more years than I can remember (probably since I was a kid), I am completely content with my life.  What an incredible gift.  It's something I work for every day.  And, let me tell you, it's worth every second of the work I put in to make a better life for myself.

What defines us is how we rise after falling.