Tag Archives: weight loss

She’s Let Herself Go

Deep breath…

I’m trying to steady myself for this post. It’s a doozy…For me…

But in the attempt to be transparent and to remain honest with myself and relate-able to everyone else, I feel this is necessary.

Okay…

Brace yourselves….

Whew…

You guys,

I’ve become overweight.

I know. Sit down. Breathe into a paper bag if you need to. It’s okay. {All of this is to me, not to you.}

Here’s the thing:

I have endured a LOT of stress in the past two years, and I’ve gained weight. A visibly significant amount of it. In my head, I gained it fast, but in reality I didn’t. I gained it just like other women gain it: I put myself last too many times, I compromised what’s best for me for what was easiest for my family, I ate my stress, I let myself believe the lie that I could still eat like I was 16 when I was approaching 30, and I had way too many late night “snacks” {midnight meals} in the days when we were fiercely fighting for our children.

It didn’t just “happen” overnight. I think I just noticed it overnight. Really, I kind of knew it was creeping up, but I ignored it, until a couple of months ago…when life slowed down.  When I took my comprehensive counseling exam {which I passed, by the way}, wrapped up my time-consuming internships, said bye bye to all of my clients, and finally adopted the children I’ve been fighting for since the summer of 2013. It’s like a veil was lifted, and suddenly, I couldn’t believe myself. I felt depleted, exhausted, depressed, and angry for letting myself get to this point.

However, I’m going to go counter-culture here:

I still feel beautiful.

I really do.

What trips me up more than what think is wondering what everyone else thinks.

I’m sure in the past two years, there have been whispers from people wondering how I’m doing. Worried over the weight increase they’ve noticed. Concerned over the bags under my eyes. {And the bags on my hips}. But really, with each new pair of jeans I’ve had to buy, I still feel beautiful. I still don’t feel gross or ugly or anything else that our society tells me I should feel.

I was probably way too skinny two years ago due to a serious bought of depression, so it didn’t hurt to gain some weight to a certain point. But let’s be real: I’ve passed that point and am now swimming in the pool of the chubby.

And chubby isn’t bad. It really isn’t. From the outside, I still dress cute. I still do my hair. I still do my nails. I still do my make up. I still take pride and time and make myself look respectable.

But on the inside? Chubby isn’t great. Chubby can lead to really bad health circumstances. It can lead to heart problems, diabetes, certain cancers, high blood pressure…. And mentally, chubby can lead to a complacency that gets chubbier and chubbier, until you are definitely unhealthy.

I have no desire to become that. So I’m making changes.

I’m in a place in my life where my 30th birthday is just a few months away, I’m done {almost} with graduate school, I’m done fostering for a very long time, and I’ve adopted the children we fought for for two years. I can care about myself again. I should have cared more about myself over the past two years, but I frankly didn’t have anything left to give.

Included on the LONG list of ways I’m starting to care for myself again:

-Plugging back into ministries in my church to give back to others and feel at one with those I love again.

-Reconnecting to the hobbies I love and enjoy, such as writing {including this blog}, quilting, and cooking.

-Spending time with my girl friends for much needed one-on-one time.

-Starting a new sleep routine since I don’t have to be up all hours studying or obsessing over court custody cases anymore.

-Reading more… My Bible. Books I’ve left on the shelf. Encouraging non-fiction pieces. Books that inspire me in my own writings. Books that make me happy. Books that make me sad. Books that make me feel human again.

-Spending more time with my family, who I feel I have sorely missed.

-Reconnecting to people I selfishly pushed aside when I was too consumed in everything else to care.

-Eating healthier and getting more active.

I’m making a LOT of changes.

I never ever ever wanted to be that girl who friends from college or high school looked up online and said, “WOW! She let herself go!” But that’s what I did, maybe not in the exact sense that it means though…

I let go of myself in the sense that I let go of everything I loved, and everything that made me feel like a woman and a person.

I let myself go because I poured so much of myself into school, my clients, my papers, studying for THE test, fighting for children who had no advocates, finding therapies for children in need, not facing my own grief over failed placements and lost adoptions, pulling away from the things that make me ME, pulling away from those who cared about me, turning to a pessimistic perspective on life, spending hours working on papers and class discussions while munching on very unhealthy snacks, lying to myself by thinking neglecting me was benefiting my family… You name it, I did it, and in every single way, I “let go” of myself.

Have I done good things for my kids? For sure. Would they rather I do good things for them while still caring for my basic health needs? Absolutely!

If you’ve whispered to yourself {or someone else} “Oh my gosh! Kat let herself go!” Then you aren’t wrong, and I forgive you. Because it’s true. I let myself go not in the sense that I gained weight {which will fluctuate for the rest of my life, by the way}, but because I lost myself. I let go of who I am, and I’m rediscovering myself all over again.

I’m less interested in dropping pounds and more interested in being kind to my body. I’m getting off of soda all together. Yes, those of you who have known me my entire life know well my addiction to Diet Coke. That’s going away too. I’m drinking sparkling non-caffeinated juices and water a lot more, and limiting myself to one Diet Coke a day. As a result, my joints are less swollen from the extra sodium.

I’m exercising more, and enjoying discovering things like step aerobics and kick boxing. It’s a fun way to let out some aggression {what mom of three children six and under doesn’t have aggression?},  and cooling off after long days with yoga {without all the New Age meditation that comes with it}.

I’ve almost completely cut out ground beef from my diet. I haven’t brought any home from the grocery store in over two months. We use ground turkey exclusively in our home, and eat SO much seafood. In my freezer right now, you will find tilapia, sword fish, tuna steaks, shrimp, catfish, along with chicken drumsticks and chicken breasts. It also helps that I love vegetables more than I like fruit, so that has become an easy dietary transition.

I’m praying and journaling more. I recently started reading and praying over a Psalm every night before bed.

In other words, I’m taking a “whole-me” approach to treating myself more kindly. I’m showing myself more grace {something I’ve always done for others more than for myself}, and I am worrying less about what others think about me.

It took some mustering of courage on my part to finally write this post, but I realize that no one who has known me for three years or more is duped by my embarrassing backslide. And of course there’s the hope that by publishing this, it might encourage other women out there who are struggling in similar ways.

So now, the cat is out of the bag. I’m not teeny tiny anymore. I lost myself. I did. But God never lost me, nor did he ever look at me with contempt, frustration, or judgement over my newly-grown love handles. He sees me and YOU as beautiful. He looks at us and sees his Son, smiling, and shining. Should I lose weight? Yes. For myself. To be kinder to myself. For my children. To live a long and healthy life for them and to set a positive example for my daughter. But to fit into a particular dress? Or to impress someone at a reunion? Nah. Not worth it.

That’s not a lifestyle change.

I want to make a complete life change.

I want to find me again, and I’m getting back down to the bedrock of what makes me who I am. And at the heart of who Kat is, is Christ.

I can’t do it without the Lord, and I can’t do it if my motives are outwardly focused.

Please pray for me on this journey, and all encouragement is welcome.

I’ll tell you this: since my pivotal ah-ha moment, I’ve lost two pounds , which to me, is awesome. But beyond that, I have overcome a severe addiction to fast food. I’m drinking much more water everyday than I ever have before {even when I was way too thin}….But I’ve also had a lot of fall-backs. But I keep getting up. I keep trying, and I’m now asking you all to hold me accountable. I have to say, my amazing friend Tara has been a major source of non-judgmental encouragement for me throughout this journey, I would not be as “okay” with my new body and the road that lays before me if it weren’t for her. In the way that she has encouraged me, I hope I have encouraged some of you.

Don’t lose weight to drop pounds or to impress someone. Lose weight to be your healthiest, kindest self. The self that Jesus sees when he looks at you. {I’m thinking Christ doesn’t see our waistline measurements}.

Does anyone else out there find that you’ve “let yourself go”? Don’t be trapped in that. Put on the swimsuit, and get in the pool with your kids. Post selfies {undoctored, please!}. Share who you are, because you are a beautiful creation of God, and he is always working on us and in us, and there is no shame in that. You are beautiful, my friends. Never forget that.

Blessings,

Kat

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