If you are like me, you often watch programs showing someone who lost a lot of weight and you are full of awe and wonder. Last night was no exception. I turned on the t.v. to see the 7 year journey of a woman who had lost close to 400 lbs. None of us here has that much to lose but let’s face it: that is an impressive amount of weight to lose. This young woman, A., had one characteristic that we could all emulate: COURAGE.
Had she not had gastric bypass surgery at 617 lbs, she would have been dead. She survived the surgery but she still had to deal with life and life’s “thorny” problems. She lost her job because of her excess weight. Since she was unemployed, she moved back in with a critical mother and a passive father (whom she had a special bond with).
After losing 200 lbs and now able to move around freely, barely able to get through the “normal-size” aisles in the classrooms; she decided to return to school and enrolled in a community college. She loved children and she wanted to open her own daycare someday. A.’s dreams were as BIG as her heart. That took COURAGE to not give up on herself and her goals.
During this 7 year journey, she had two “excess skin removal” surgeries. This allowed her to walk better. By the time she was around 250 lbs she was able to walk to the local Mall and buy clothes off the rack for the very first time. Temporarily she moved in with a loving aunt so she could put some “distance” between herself and her critical Mom. Her aunt took her clothes shopping. Finally, A. was able to buy clothes that expressed more “of her age” and less about her weight. She “rocked” a metallic jacket. She went out to a local bar, shot some pool and even had some “shots” herself. Anyone who has felt self-conscious about being social while being a larger person knows that it takes COURAGE to get back out there.
Half-way through her weight loss journey, her father, whom she adored, got cancer. A. made the decision to move back into a home with a critical mother (who was obese herself) that played the “diet police” while A. lovingly cared for her dying father. She was a devoted daughter to the end. She continued to work her program in spite of all of the tension and her own personal grief. What COURAGE!
The last ten minutes showed A. coaching a junior softball team. She was either near 200 lbs or just under that number. She truly was living the life she wished to live. There were several “attributes” that I saw A. exhibit during the filming of “her story”: patience with the process, tolerance of some misplaced criticism especially by her mother but also sometimes by her doctor, hope to continue to dream and create a life that expressed who she “uniquely is” as a person, and finally, she had COURAGE.
I once read that “courage is not the absence of fear but acting in spite of having fear.” If you are here because you want to believe you can create that NEW YOU this year then I say, “Have Courage. Dream Big.” If you feel fear, and we all do, remember F.E.A.R. is nothing more than “False Evidence Appearing Real”. In other words, you CAN do this! Act in spite of your fears and because of your dreams.
When making choices today that will determine what your tomorrow will be like, ask yourself this.. do I believe that I can do what others have managed to do? If so, now is the time to say NO to anything that stands in your way.
***This is my intellectual property. Please respect that and do not pirate. Thank you.****