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Dang it LD, you were doing so good and then…

Yeah, yeah, yeah, get off my back.

I fell off my game in a large number of areas in my life, but I’m back at it, and here today to talk about one of my (least) favorite topics – image.

As you know (probably) I spend a great deal of time battling with my view of myself, in large part because I’ve struggled with my weight almost my entire life. A few years ago I really dedicated myself to fixing this issue – I wanted to get healthy, not to a specific number on the scale, just healthy and happy. And BOY was I on my way. Lost over 70 pounds, was working out with a trainer, in the gym doing cardio 2 days a week and weight lifting 3 days, plus random stuff like basketball and walks with my kids.

It rocked.

Then life happened.

You know…life.

I’d list out everything that I allowed to derail my progress, but ain’t nobody got time for that.

Plus it’s irrelevant.

Today I was in the gym on my 4th day back in the saddle. Determined (again) to DO THIS and do it right, as I’ve already proven I know how to do.

It was a great workout.

It is a bad day.

On the elliptical, I looked at myself in the mirror and almost stopped to have a little breakdown. Who is this woman? How did I get back here? I haven’t gained back ALL that I lost, but of the 70 that was gone, 47 is back.

What the hell happened?

I suddenly remembered this post that I made back at my peak. I was so proud. It was the first time that *I* had really noticed how different my body was. Still wasn’t “skinny” (see the pic at the bottom of that post) but boy had I come a looooooong way. I was happy to be in the gym wearing form-fitting-ish clothes instead of trying to hide in baggy ones. I didn’t care if someone looked at me and thought “fat girl” because they had no clue.

That is NOT how I felt today.

Today I felt shame, embarrassment, anger. Sure, “life” screwed me up, but I allowed it to happen.

Then, something wonderful happened. My gym buddy walked in. Funny thing – I actually don’t know his name. He’s a guy who works in the same building I do, and we work out at the same time each day. We don’t really talk. We nod, smile, say “have a good workout”, and that’s about it. When I was at my best performance he’d occasionally say something like “you’re doing great” or “keep it up” at those moments when I suppose my face showed I was on the verge of quitting. He’s great.

When I lost my way, I’d see him from time to time in the elevators or hall and he’d say “Gym misses you” or “it’s been a while.” I appreciated it, but also felt bad – like I was letting him down. Except I wasn’t. Here’s a stranger – in pretty great shape himself – who was just supportive of what I’d done before.

So when he walked in today, right in the middle of my pity party, as my eyes welled up with tears, he nodded, smiled and said “Good to see you.”

Those four words were what I needed.

Good to see you – making yourself a priority.

Good to see you – getting back to what’s important to you.

Good to see you – taking care of you.

No judgment, no criticism. Just four words that meant volumes.

Good to see you.

No, my body isn’t what I want it to be. Yes, I fell down from my peak fitness level. But the important part isn’t that I fell, it’s that I’ve gotten back up.

Will I stumble again? Probably. Maybe even fall. But so long as I get back up and keep going, I’m succeeding.

The girl in the mirror right now doesn’t look like I want on the outside, but she’s got the heart, drive and determination that success is made from on the inside. That is the image that matters.

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