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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Paying it Forward

I've heard this phrase a few times in my life.  Most recently, at the opening day staff meeting where I work.  For some reason, it really resonated with me this time and has been bouncing around in my head for the last week.  And, if you've kept up with my story, you are familiar with what can happen when things bounce around in my head for awhile...

Paying it Forward - describing the beneficiary of a good deed repaying it to others instead of the original benefactor.

I've tried in many ways to explain what my experiences and friendship with Renee' have brought to my life.  But, I don't think words could ever do it justice.  I've tried to repay her for everything she has done but, honestly, I'll never be able to.  I mean, how do you repay someone who has literally helped you change your entire life and accepted every part of who you are even when you were at the lowest point ever?  Like I said, I don't think it's possible.  But, I like to try.  She says that just seeing me happy is enough.  I don't really understand how that could be true.  But, I do have some pretty random thoughts that are entertaining at times so, maybe that helps :) 

No matter what, I have become a firm believer in helping others.  It's always been a big part of who I am.  It's what I do for a living and, honestly, it's always been a huge part of my life.  I love seeing other people happy.  When it comes to changing my life, I am still astonished on a day to day basis with what I've been able to do.  With a lot of help and support.  I hope to be able to offer that to other people.  Because, if I can't repay Renee' for everything she's done for me (and continues to do), then I might as well help others see what it feels like to have someone care about you and your well being.  Because, I can say with 100% certainty that, if Renee' hadn't taken such an interest in me, I would not be where I am today.  

Life is a daily struggle for me.  Not just with weight.  With everything that has always made me so insecure.  Last week was rough.  I tried to use exercise as therapy.  And, at times, it worked.  Other times, not so much.  But, I got through it and I didn't (completely) revert to my old ways.  In my eyes, that's progress.  And, as someone who has learned a lot in the last year and a half, both about others and herself, just getting through difficult times without eating a gallon of ice cream and a large pizza is immense progress. 

So, how can I use this whole paying it forward thing?  I have no idea.  Maybe just being a friend to someone who needs it.  Or supporting someone who is trying to change his/her life.  I would hope that anyone I pay it forward to would want to do the same.  And, even as I sit here writing this, I'm thinking, hey, maybe I already have paid it forward in some ways.  I think me being happy and wanting to be around others has made a huge difference in the lives of my friends and family.  They don't worry about me (as much).  That's an incredible gift to those who love me.  Especially to those who stuck by me when I was at my lowest points.  

A year and a half ago, I could never have imagined that the beginning of a friendship would be the most incredible chance I ever took and have so many amazing rewards.  And so, I'll leave you with this - 

You'll never know what kind of a difference you can make in the life of someone you love.  Or, even, the life of someone you've never met that just needs some help.