Monday, January 17, 2011

Reflections, Observations, Looking Forward.

Approximately 90lbs earlier these were very, very tight.

I’ve been very contemplative this winter and I think it would be an injustice to myself if I didn’t articulate some of my thoughts. 

I really challenged myself in 2010 and I intend to continue surprising myself in 2011. I feel like I am in a hurry to do a whole heap o’stuff because I don’t know when relapse will occur and then I realized two things:

  1. What I’ve been doing is called living without holding back - I wish I’d started this sooner. But no regrets, because I have begun and desire to continue this path.
  2. I can’t live in fear of a relapse with my Multiple Sclerosis or my weight. My goal was to work on my body to get it where it is now [insert clappin here] and then continue to be the strongest I possibly can be. The philosophy was that by doing so, that IF an MS relapse occurred, then I should potentially be able to recover more quickly and easily. Yeah for meeting goals!
Regarding the first point above: I’ve learned that life is a continual dance of carefully crafted decisions, creativity, putting things into action and then following up with compromise. 

For example: Meeting one of my goals of going hiking with Josh required creativity and investment in trekking poles. The compromise was letting him pick the freakishly long hike and not complain or express fear. 

If he thought I could, then I had to believe that I could as well. (see the 06/04/10 blog entry, “Free At Last” with Trekking Poles)

Regarding the second point above: I’ve learned that strength, ‘true strength’ comes from the inside. I wish I really knew how to articulate this... I’ve written a poem about this (titled “The Folds Of Me” ) and I’m in the process of editing it. So to explain this second point further, maybe I will post the poem here as soon as it’s ready.

I’m determined and committed not to give up. It may require continued creativity and problem solving, but I’ve seen that anything is possible with enough planning, patience, determination and belief. 

In the future, I plan to continue overcoming big hurdles and my many fears. I couldn’t have gotten to this point without shedding the weight that I have and ridding myself of the emotional baggage that went along with it.

As a side reflection, I wanted to list a few experiences that I had that were important to me as I was losing weight; such as: 

  1. learning what a xiphoid process is; 
  2. what it’s like to see the seat of the car between my thighs;
  3.  being able to see my cheekbone; 
  4. clasping my hands and feeling thinner fingers; 
  5. seeing that I actually really do have kneecaps; 
  6. knowing that the weight on my Utah Driver’s License is actually true now; 
  7. unburdening my “Steroids Happen” bin from the clothing sizes I won’t need again. 
Lastly, I want to remember the personal experiences that I had doing self-evaluations in the mirror, as I was trying to rebuild me from the inside out. 

These were the times I was more honest with myself than I’ve ever been before in my life. I need to hold myself accountable. I’ve lied to myself for a great deal of my life and I’m tired of playing the fool by believing all of those lies.

For me, being vocal is important. What’s the point of learning life lessons without sharing them? I have MS and I don’t regret it. 

This disease has provided an avenue for me to find myself, in a sense. I’ve been able to connect with countless others and be made all the better for it. 

Once upon a time I used to be terrified of my future because of this disease. I am no longer afraid; I am hopeful.

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