My before picture was taken in my parents kitchen in October 2002 and it stirs so much emotion in my core. A stay at home mother of 4, a wife of almost 7 years, a sister to 2, an aunt to many and more friends than I could count. I was VERY involved in the school my oldest two children were attending, church and religion; wrapped up in the legalities of religion and working nearly full time, volunteering on just about every committee at church, plus doing a weekly, intense bible study that involved an hour or more of study/homework daily! Oh, and did I mention that I’m very OCD over my house and IT.WAS.IMMACULATE. My youngest two children were dressed in boutique attire, my oldest two were involved in sports every season, music lessons, school…..YOU NAME IT! WHEW! I’m tired just thinking about it!!!
Why does my before picture stir so much emotion? Because when I look at my picture, and I will never forget, how deeply I was hurting, how worthless I thought I was, how desperately I wanted to be loved and how desperately I wanted to love and how much I HATED myself. NOW, on the “love front”, I have to give a very insightful disclaimer: Even if I had someone in my life, at the time, that loved me completely, respected me, cherished me and saw my value, I could not have handled it at all because I thought I was worthless and would have never believed in a million years that I would have deserved such a blessing. So, at that time, I had what I felt I deserved.
You might be looking at my before and after picture wondering, HOW did she make such a physical change? Well, it was a process…first physical, then internal, then BOTH. You see, inside my 258 pound body, was ME! I was hiding, building a physical wall around me. This wall was built to protect me from more pain, it ALWAYS gave me great ways to judge and punish myself and make great excuses for when I was rejected or cheated on ( “I don’t blame him for cheating…LOOK AT ME!!!” “I wouldn’t want to have sex with me either, I’m disgusting!!!” and the horrible dialogue went on and on…). In November 2002, I reached out to a doctor to have weight loss surgery (out of serious desperation!!) and in my mind, this was going to solve all of my problems. I had gastric bypass January 31, 2003 and 10 1/2 months later, I was a very healthy weight and wearing my goal size…..yay!!!!!!!! Transformation complete, right??!! My life was NOW perfect, right???!! This solved all of my problems, right??!! Not hardly, the only two things in my life that changed was 1- I couldn’t really use food as a vice anymore and 2- My dress size. My weight loss provided more energy for me to do even more…which kept me busy enough to not have to think..which was the subconscious goal!! I was still being rejected, I STILL wasn’t “enough” to keep his attention and I still thought I was a worthless piece of trash. In September 2004, my marriage came to a point of crisis and we started marriage counseling and then I started one on one counseling…this started my internal changes. My marriage survived another 8-9 years (by the skin of its teeth!), and over that 9 years I dove head first into personal growth and healing. During this 8-9 years, Bikram Hot Yoga was the biggest part of my life for a year (2008) thanks to vanity and pride….seeking to seal the physical transformation, but received a much greater gift…major internal work, spiritual healing and love from a community of the most loving people…WHO KNEW I would gain so much from a great “workout”??!! Through connections, I was introduced to people that, unknowingly at the time, were guiding me on my path to the health/wellness industry.
NOW my life is perfect, right?? Well, yes and no. Yes, because I’m right where I’m supposed to be for a season but it is a challenging season, so it doesn’t “feel” perfect. As I have learned with all of my personal life experiences though, there are no mistakes and everything happens for a reason. There are clear perfections in my life and some of them are my children and my 7 month old granddaughter, check her out!! (what kind of Yaya would I be if I didn’t show her off?!)
Another perfection in my life, is my relationship with my boyfriend. I am genuinely respected, genuinely cherished, he knows my value and he can see into the depth of my soul and loves me like no other. One of the beautiful aspects of this for me personally, is that because I learned to love myself, I can NOW handle the love that I was so desperate for, many years ago!
Do you have a transformation story to share? Does this article resonate with you and/or help you? I would love to hear from you in the comments section or if you would like to share privately, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Through The Eyes of Love,
Michelle Dancy, CHHC, AADP
Awakening Holistic Healthcare
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