The Goal is Freedom: Other Wise

“How often do you do things for other people that you don’t feel like doing?”—Alicia Stafford, YWWL meeting, Nov 2, 2019.

These words gutted me and brought me to tears for the third time that day. I had gone for my weekly weigh-in at Your Way Weight Loss, and I was up . 8 pounds. Alicia looked at me and asked if I was surprised, and I had to honestly answer, no. It still made me tear up with frustration and anger and self-hate. She repeated the words she had said to me several times before. “We need to work on consistency.” That’s not true.  I need to work on consistency.

I joined YWWL in July after my friend Natalie recommended it because it helped her to achieve success. I knew I needed community support, and I wrote about that here. I have attended the meetings and weighed in each week and lost and gained the same 3 or 4 pounds while I hear about the successes of others who have lost 20 or more pounds in the same time frame. Even while I am clapping for them, a part of me still feels like a hypocrite and a failure.

“the others”

Being part of the YWWL community also gives me access to a wonderful online support group. People post their celebrations and challenges, and I am always quick to comment on someone’s post if they are having a tough time or asking questions. I have posted a few gym selfies after my early morning workout with my Ray, but not much else. I am still supporting others, and not myself.

So back to Saturday morning. I realized that I had left my coffee in the car, so after the weigh-in, I went back out to get it. I found myself sitting in the driver’s seat, ready to go home. Then I started crying. Big racking sobs of frustration and guilt and self-loathing. Ready to quit, not ready to go back inside and show my face to that group. But I didn’t. I wiped my eyes and went back inside.

Soon after that my friend Michelle came in and sat next to me. She could tell there was something wrong and she listened to me as I poured out my pain. The irony is not lost on me that “Michelle” then told, “Michelle” all the things that “Michelle” has told others about not giving up, facing the pain, and getting real about what she was doing. Yup, there were more tears.

Then Alicia started the meeting, all about doing the things that you don’t feel like doing. Her words always speak what I need to hear, but that day, the words went right to my heart.

“We show up so much more for other people than we do for ourselves. How often do you do things for other people that you don’t feel like doing? Every day!”

That’s when the tears came again. I leaned into Michelle and she held me as I cried. I could feel Natalie’s presence behind me, sending me love. I had a lot to process.

Because I’m worth it.

It’s not a coincidence that Nov 2 was also the day that Ray and I were going to The Rocky Horror Show at the Empress Theatre. A friend of mine from high school in Ontario lives in Quispamsis, and it has been 20 years since we got together. Rocky was going to bring us together again. Ray and I ran some errands, then I spent the afternoon doing my makeup, because I love it, and I am worth it. I even did a hard thing and applied false eyelashes. It may be a small thing, but even though I have had them for months, I held off on using them, because what if I made a mistake? Well, I did mess it up a bit, but guess what? I fixed it, and it looked great, I looked great.

We had a great time at the show, and when the opening notes of “Don’t dream it, be it” started, I was almost in tears again. Words echoing the message that Alicia shared.

“Show up for yourself”

Showing up for myself is hard. I modelled nude in front of 20 art students, but I can’t look at my naked body in a mirror. I will tell Ray that he looks sexy, and deny it when he says that I am. I encourage others to see the best in themselves while listing all my “faults”. I am quick to reach out to others who need me while putting my own needs way down the list. I know I am not alone in this.

This has been a better week. I have reconnected with a dear friend and remembered who I am. I have shown up for myself. I have been making better choices with food and exercise. I have been consistent.

If you are feeling like I have been, please reach out and let me know. We are each there for each other, and ourselves. If you want more information about Your Way Weight Loss, you can find them here.




Author: Michelle

I have filled many roles over my life: daughter, sister, friend, wife, mother, Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do, and Grand Master Bikini Competitor. All of these life experiences have provided me with a wealth of stories to share. Words are my refuge and my strength.

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