trans·form | \ tran(t)s-ˈfȯrm \
1a: to change in composition or structure
b: to change the outward form or appearance of
c: to change in character or condition : CONVERT
This word used to elicit an eye-roll from me, mostly because I’d hear it by fitness trainers on prime time television where people competed to lose substantial amounts weight in a 60 minute segment.
I had a love/hate relationship with those shows, as it was so incredibly inspiring to see people surprise themselves by working hard and seeing the results of their efforts. It was also heartbreaking for me because I wanted that for myself but had no one showing up on my doorstep with a “transformation package”, essentially guaranteeing that I would have the support I needed for fast results.
I’m grateful they never came.
Like many American youth (girls specifically), I struggled with my weight through adolescence. Prior to adulthood, my weight wasn’t extreme and being smaller wasn’t an obsession, but it was always in the back of my mind.
As an adult, the neglected state of my unhealthy ways and “stuff-undealt-with” manifested itself through my physical appearance. While I may write about those unhealthy ways another time, the point is that my body was the result what I was doing to it.
I rode the weight loss train. Losing, gaining, starving, indulging. Never feeling the joy I was seeking but wanting it nonetheless.
In 2014, I was a new foster parent. After losing a bit of weight, I decided to enlist the help of a therapist to help me with my weight loss and parenting journey.
She went to hell and back with me to drudge through the messiness of my life that I’d filed as “in the past”. Let it be known that there is no such thing, as anything that we’ve experienced in the “before” is part of who we are now. Acknowledging the impacts, both positive and negative, of experiences and trauma and loss on your life is critical to keeping the mess from festering and showing up through poor physical health (including addiction), toxic relationships, and a generally noxious existence.
There will always be things in life that are less than ideal experiences. We can’t change that they’ve happened, but we can control what we do with the experience. This is one of many valuable lessons that allowed me to shed the weight of the inside stuff I’d been carrying and make lasting changes to my physical health.
While I credit myself for the hard work, both physically and mentally, I put forth during that journey, I know now that without the help of a trained, objective resource, I wouldn’t be where I am today. (By the way, she is the one who suggested I try crossfit – go figure.)
Looking back, I smile at the person who walked in stating I was there to “get weight loss help and be a better mom”.
I definitely got those things, but I got so much more.
I’ve got a life so full.