Yesterday I read some of my diary entries and poems from my younger years, and by younger years, I mean young. Like ages 10-15, young. I laughed at myself quite a bit. Sometimes I was even surprised at how insightful I was at that age. But mostly I was just sad.
I wrote a lot about my weight and how I hated being fat. I wrote about feeling left out all the time and wanting to have more friends and be noticed by people. I wrote about failing and wanting to give up and feeling lost. I even wrote letters to people that I wanted to be friends with, acting as if we were friends already. I wrote about the boy who always called me BIG MOMMA BERTHA every day in the cafeteria.
I’ve done a fairly good job at hiding and ignoring all the pain from my childhood and teenage years. Somehow I tucked it away neatly into the back of my mind because I remembered a lot of what happened only after I read my old diary entries.
My diary reminded me how sad I was… how fat I was… how insecure I was… how lonely I was. One entry even talked about how I wished I had the courage to kill myself.
So I had all of these old but new emotions running through me when it was time to go for a short afternoon run with Ben. I’ve been trying to run for a few weeks now and have been doing pretty good. I used to be so self-conscious about running in front of people, and I overcame that. But yesterday I was so paranoid and felt like a fat blimp struggling to barely move her body.
Was everyone staring at me, or was it just my imagination?
Either way, it made running hard. Then I came home to use the elliptical to finish my afternoon workout while Ben jumped rope. I love working out with him because he keeps me motivated and I always tend to work harder when he is around.
I was going hard, really pushing myself. I was so overwhelmed with such a mix of emotions. Proud of myself for going hard. Discouraged because I wasn’t sure it would make any type of difference. Sad from remembering how lonely and fat I was as a kid. Angry for taking so long to finally start taking care of myself…. and it just goes on.
All the while Ben is talking to me, encouraging me, making me pay attention to his words and drowning out my own thoughts and even the loud music playing. “Keep going, Laura… You’re doing it this time… Yep, push through it all… Don’t give up…….”
About this time a song (Get Away by Brian McFadden) comes on that says:
Why don’t we get away
Out of this town
Shake all those yesterday’s
They’re dragging us down
There’s nothing left round here for you and I
All the signs
Tell me to get away
And I cried. Tears and sweat both blurred my eyes, trickling down my cheeks, blending into one another.
It was time to shake those yesterdays that kept dragging me down, but I wanted to quit and wallow in my pain. Ben noticed me wanting to quit and told me to keep going and to finish strong.
What happened in the past already happened. It hurt, and it’s uncomfortable, but it’s time I move on from it. I’m not that person anymore. I’m stronger. I’m happier. I’m more confident. I know who I am. I have direction. I have love. I have support. I have all I need.
I finished the workout strong, so thankful for my journey even though it’s been painful at times. I’ve learned from it, and I’m still learning. I’m still growing. I like where I am right now, and I’m so thankful for those who support me… especially Ben.
He’s saved my life, really. I’m in a much better place because of his love and support. He devotes so much time to help me and exercise with me, literally hours at a time. He keeps me focused and lights a fire under me when I need it! I’m pretty positive that I would still weight 312 pounds if it weren’t for him… actually, probably more.
Reading those diary entries reminded me of a girl who longed for real relationships but was so discouraged by her weight that she denied herself love and support. Don’t be that girl. Please don’t be her. You deserve to be loved. You deserve to be happy. Don’t deny yourself.
We all need support, no matter what it is we are trying to accomplish. Do you have a “Ben” in your life who comes alongside you and supports and loves and encourages you no matter how many times you fall? Are you a “Ben” to someone in your life? How has support from friends and family helped you? I’d love to hear from you!