My story begins as a fun-loving healthy young woman at age 13. It seemed that life was so much fun and I always hung out with the boys – somewhat of a “tomboy.”
But as a young person, I always fit in and I didn’t seem any different than my playmates – both male and female. You might say, I was the clown of the class and always made people laugh. When I think back to those days, I was truly a “free spirit.”
As I approached age 13 and all my girlfriends were focusing on how to get the boys in the class to like us and “go steady” we all began to try to determine what boys really liked in girls.
Many of my girlfriends were slimming down and worried about their weight. As this occurred, they seemed to be the most popular with the boys. And sure enough at junior high dances and events – the slender girls were going steady and seemed to be having all the fun.
One day at age 14, I got on my school bus (I lived in the country) and the very boys I was trying to connect with chanted “fatty, fatty, 2 X 4, can’t get through the bus door.”
In that moment, my life was changed forever! What they said and thought was the most important thing in the world to me – I wanted them to accept and like me – but instead, they made fun of me. That night when I went home, I threw myself across the bed and cried for a long, long, time. I remember thinking – I don’t fit in anymore.
Then I took charge and committed to myself – no more, I will lose the weight, and become popular again. I thought – if I can look like Barbie, everything will be good again and I will be beautiful and loved.
This vision or “recurring thought” drove me for 30 years of unhealthy, disordered behaviors. I stopped eating – period. Once I lost the weight, I was determined that I would not regain it, but mother put so much pressure on me to eat, I took on other unhealthy behaviors. I thought, I can stop any time I want, but if I can just get to look like “Barbie” that will be the time to stop.
These thoughts drove me – all the time. I would let the scales dictate whether I would eat, I weighed myself multiple times throughout the day, I wouldn’t drink anything for days at a time. Severe dieting took me to a point of “no return.” This was a very unhealthy and unhappy place to be.
One might say, how could this be, how could a young person take the comments of young boys so seriously. Why would she “choose” that for herself? I point this out to show the tremendous impact our thoughts can have on our whole being. I believed what they were saying as truth.
In reality, they may have been just trying to tease me. I became self-conscious about my body, I withdrew from my friends, I stopped going to school functions, etc. I truly thought I didn’t fit in anymore.
The process of finding self, developing my own beliefs and changing negative unhealthy thoughts into positive healthy ones was a very painful process.
However, it was all worth it.
I used that same strength and determination that kept me unhealthy for so many years. I literally changed my unhealthy, negatives thoughts into positive healthy ones giving myself a vision (roadmap) for my journey.
I had to be on my toes, challenging everything I thought, making changes, choosing to respond differently, setting healthy boundaries, becoming assertive, self-confident, finding what others really liked about me. I had to be transformed.
Today, I feel like God has given me a second chance and that it is a miracle that I am still here. I place my thoughts on “truths” and I get to choose how I will respond to others. Let’s face it, there will always be people who will say things to us, but today, I get to choose how I will respond.
For me, I constantly check my thoughts against “how might God want me to respond?” Truth for me is that I should always respond with love, let it go, and forgive others for their mistakes, rather than keeping them as truth. We are all just human beings with our own set of flaws.
I want to serve as a strong healthy role model and if I put it out there, hopefully others will begin to see me a different way. If I can help someone else access and maintain healthier living, that’s my give back. It helps keep me in check.
The main point of why I wanted to share my story with you is to help you begin to see that our thoughts affect every aspect of ourselves. Our thoughts dictate our response to people, our decisions, our relationships, our work, our whole being.
Today, I can still think back to that moment in time, but now I find myself wondering about all the possibilities and how different my life may have been if I had used the tools I now possess.
But guess what, I wouldn’t be who I am if I hadn’t gone through the process.
So, my positive thought is that I am thankful for having the opportunity to “live” and be a “free, loving spirit” again and hopefully share my learning and tools with others.
In summary, here are some steps that may help you in your transformation:
- Recognize how powerful thoughts can be. Determine which thoughts need to change
- We are being programmed all the time – our parents, our friends, our work, school, the media, etc. We must re-program those constant messages that we receive. The re-programming must be within us and based on “truths”
- Constantly renew your mind with positive, healthy thoughts
- Determine your roadmap – where are you trying to go. What do you wish to transform into — focus on healthy
- Determine your spiritual truths, as these become your foundation upon which all thoughts, decisions, actions can be transformed.