March 13, 2019
I am celebrating an anniversary on Friday! An anniversary for a day that ended up impacting my life more than I thought was possible. An anniversary of one tiny seed of hope that ended up erupting, rooting itself in almost every area of my life. An anniversary that created the foundation for new moments, new experiences, and new anniversaries. An anniversary I am establishing as “Thrive Day” for me. A day that started my discovery to a healthier, happier, fitter me.
March 14th, 2018
A year ago, I was drowning. I couldn’t breath in life. I didn’t see any possibility of getting up out of the pit I had curled up in. My physical health was debilitating. Ignoring what I put into my body for fuel, packing on the weight, and creating an environment for lack of sleep and rest were all part of my daily routine. I didn’t realize the pressure I was placing on my thyroid to function. I didn’t realize how much damage I was causing on my system, on my heart, and on my mind. My depression was excruciating, creating unhealthy relationships and responses to the environment around me.
Most mornings I had to drag myself out of bed begrudgingly. Living in an apathetic mindset towards everything, not caring to face the world, I refused to grow. I continued to remain in a job that wasn’t benefitting my life, being pushed to believe I was just “average” and being told to step up my game. I lacked any self-confidence when it came to my physical attractiveness, and I isolated myself from my family and friends. I was afraid to show them just how dark I had become. When my reactions to coworkers, family, friends, and students weren’t fake and covered with passivity, they were short, unkind, and sometimes cruel. I no longer could respond to others with empathy and understanding. All I saw was a cold, hardened world that was out to get me, pushing me down to the ground. Even a small glimpse of light was shattered by my burdened feelings of worthlessness when I felt tossed aside by a guy who I thought noticed me and wanted me. But I was so broken from past rejections and doubts, I didn’t know how to tell him the way I felt about him or what I wanted from him. I couldn’t communicate that he mattered to me. So, instead of healing, I allowed the biting sting of rejection to hit me a few months later, the feelings of being a place holder and not being good enough, the feeling that he was out of my league weighed me down when something and someone that fit his life better came into focus.
The weight of my negative self-image, lack of self-care, and the sting of rejection left me feeling hopeless. A year ago, I was hopeless. A year ago, I wasn’t thriving.
- Hopeless: inadequate for the purpose; unable to learn or act, perform or work.
I was all of that. Refusing to see I had a purpose in this world, unable to learn from my experiences, unable to act on my feelings, unable to perform my job, and unable to enjoy life.
I lived in a constant state of hopelessness, becoming numb. If you have ever been there you know that hopelessness is a toxic, debilitating place to be. In hopelessness you can’t seem to find any inkling of hope or goodness. You have no peace. It’s as if you are walking for miles and miles and miles through a dark mountain tunnel with no light to be seen. But don’t be afraid to let a seed of hope plant itself in your life. Search for those seeds when all you feel is the weight of a hopeless heart.
A year ago, God gave me hope through my endocrinologist. She was the one tiny seed of hope I needed. She believed in my body’s ability to thrive when I didn’t believe in it myself. In the moment she told me I might not have to be on my thyroid medication (after being on it for 13 years and was told would be something I’d need for the rest of my life), I was given hope. I didn’t realize it at that point, but the seed had been planted. She gave me hope that my life could get better.
It’s true what they say. A lot can happen in a year.
March 15, 2019.
A year ago, I took that one tiny seed my endocrinologist planted, and I fertilized it. I watered it. I learned about it. And I refused to let that seed die. Within the first 4 months of the past 365 days, I lost 40 pounds, found the foods that help me thrive, and found ways to energize myself without my medication. Since I allowed that hope into my life, it sprouted and grew into the cracks of the rest of my life. The year continued to prosper for me. I quit my unhealthy job (with nothing lined up). Found peace within the storm of unemployment for a few months. Found a new job that I am enjoying. I rediscovered my identity and worth. I discovered new passions. Gained new perspectives and learned new insights. In a year I rediscovered what it is to have a hopeful heart. I had lost sight of how refreshing hope could be. Don’t be scared to let others give you hope. Receive the gift of hope and take care of it.
I’d be lying if I said I no longer had insecurities or doubts. I still look in the mirror and at times fall back into the negative self-talk, finding the little extra fat around my stomach revolting or the lack of my chest attractive, but then I am reminded about how far I have come in a year and know this journey will always have its waves. But instead of letting those waves hit me, I’ll just let myself bob on top of them. Maybe even learn to surf them.
I’d be lying if I said I no longer have moments where I neglect my body and nutrition. This past weekend I can’t even tell you how much sugar and processed food I indulged in, leaving me feeling guilty and ashamed. Not to mention, the physical toll it had on my body that isn’t used to that food anymore. But it reminded me of my past of binge eating and secretive eating. It reminded me of my constant unhealthy habits I created in those moments. And I realized I’m still growing. I’m still learning. I’m still thriving. This weekend reminded me that I am continuing to learn more and more about what my body can do. It’s taking a few days, but I’m bouncing back from it. I’m repairing, and I’m strengthening.
I’d be lying if I said the rejection I felt a year ago was gone. Every so often I still feel a tiny residual sting, but I know now how to handle it. I wasn’t healthy then. He was a good thing in my life when the rest of my life was shit. I’m learning just because something is the one good thing in your life, doesn’t mean it’s right or healthy for you. In that season of my life I wasn’t right for him and he wasn’t right for me. He was a band-aid at the time because I refused to do the hard work of fixing myself. But even with that knowledge, sometimes the reminders and negative mindset of not being worth it or good enough for him try to bite.
That bite is the reason why I chose to write this post. This is the one area of my life that hasn’t changed in a year. It’s the one area of my life that hopelessness still tries to infiltrate but that tiny residual sting, that tiny bite is no longer the pain in a hopeless area of my life; it’s my hope. The hope that one day I will be able to experience a healthy, genuine connection with someone—something hopelessness used to make me believe wasn’t plausible for me.
Friday, March 15th, 2019 I will celebrate my day of thriving. I have my annual checkup with my endocrinologist. She hasn’t seen me in a year, but I know she will notice the drastic change (and not just the physical change). And I will thank her for being the catalyst for my change. Recognize the impact hope can have on your life and show gratitude.
Let hope in.
Let hope inspire action in your life.
Let hope radiate throughout your life.
Receive hope so you can inspire hope.
I am humbled by the people who have told me that my story has inspired them. I am humbled by the people who have reached out for advice or just to let me know they are making some changes in their life because they have seen my lifestyle change. When you feel the weight of hopelessness, let me hope for you.
“Hope helps you not be afraid of the dark. Hope is being able to see there is light despite all the darkness. Hope inspires action. “ –Dave Rodriguez
Hope will help you thrive.