Judging by some recent facebook photos, some of the weight I thought was gone was really only in the Lost & Found. I won’t lie and say it’s not disappointing, but luckily for me this was also in the Lost & Found:
THE NEW ME (a photo album from facebook 2012)
I’ve really changed a lot over the last year and a half. It occurred to me that my 3 years of 3-Day walks would be a perfect pictorial, as I was close to my heaviest for the first walk and should be very near my final goal by the walk this year. Weight loss is just one piece of my transformation, but it is the most visual piece, so here are some pictures.
A lot of you never knew (and will never know) this version of Julia. She had a hard time remembering how amazing she was, and reminders didn’t always help. She had piles and piles of shame and guilt about the fact that she was never the mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend, or employee that she thought she should be; and she lived in fear and anxiety that someone would see the “real her” and the whole house of cards would come tumbling down.
This version of Julia was in the middle of the rainstorm.
This version of Julia is probably closest to the version of Julia most of you know, with one huge difference: this Julia had run multiple (and planned to run more) 5k races – something no other version of Julia in the previous 36 years had ever thought possible. She was gaining confidence every day after realizing that if she could become a “runner”, then there really wasn’t anything she couldn’t do. She was also learning that by putting her needs first, she had more energy and power to take care of the people she loved, in the way she always wanted.
This version of Julia could see the rainbow.
Ahh, the best version yet! You may have caught glimpses of this version of Julia over the years, but never quite like this. This version of Julia has shed most of the layers of insecurity that have been building since, oh let’s say, 1985. She has confidence and walks with her head high, and is proud to display the “real her” daily. She is still working on improvements, having learned to make small changes to get better every day. She knows she is not, nor ever will be, the perfect mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend or employee; but she knows that if she is any of those to you, you are lucky.
This version of Julia IS the pot of gold!
Really, I think it just needs a few tweaks. First I need to rename each version. “Before” will be renamed “Julia v35.03”, the “During” is “Julia v36.04”, and “After” is “Julia vTBD”.
Next, I’d like to insert a couple of versions before the TBD version:
This version of Julia is a-freaking-mazing – she just finished a half marathon! She doesn’t know it yet, but her recovery break from running is on the edge of a slippery slope that will lead her back to a lot of unhealthy habits at the most inopportune time. Fortunately, Julia v37.03 will forever be an inspiration to future versions.
This version is the example that goals can be accomplished.
This version of Julia is not where she thought she’d be by now, physically speaking. She’s having a hard time sticking to plans and is sorting through the best way to get through her latest bout of depression. But she hasn’t fallen all the way down the rabbit hole. She smiles, she has fun, and she still has confidence that as long as she doesn’t quit, she will still be able to reach
I’ve learned there is no “Before” or “After”; there is only an evolution – a continuous revision. Sometimes the new version is better, sometimes it doesn’t seem to be. But each version offers something to all future versions. Every hurdle, every victory, every motion we take in life can somehow be used to help us become the best versions of ourselves.