I've been thinking a lot lately about the idea of "coming full circle" and how it relates to my life. When I was born I was a pretty big baby, being 4 weeks late that's not too surprising! However, all throughout my childhood I was skinny. I mean really skinny. I looked like my parents rarely fed me but believe me, I ate all the time! The problem was I was never fit. I was always clumsy and awkward, whereas all my friends were athletic. They all had toned muscles and I didn't. So when we all sat together in our shorts their thighs didn't spread out across the chair like mine did.
Being the insecure child I was I looked at that and figured I was just fat and they weren't. I developed the same distorted perception of my body that drives so many girls to starve themselves or binge & purge. I was fat and that's all there was to it. But I've never done things the "normal" way. Rather than trying to get even thinner, I subconsciously set out to prove to the world just how fat I really was!
Well, fast forward about 30 years and mission accomplished. By my 50th birthday I was more than 50 pounds overweight and had reached the point of "coming full circle." I started out fat and it looked like I was going to end up fat too. That skinny kid was just a phase I'd outgrown and now I just had to settle into my adult body.
But recently I started wondering if that was really the case? Just because I had completed the circle, did that mean my journey was complete? Did I really have to stop at the point where I'd started? After all, a circle has no real beginning or end, so why do I have to stop at any particular point? Why can't I keep going until I reach the skinny part again? So I made some changes in my life and am continuing to make changes because I realized that I can decide to keep going and not stop where I started. I can choose my own end point and what that looks like.
I originally wrote this from the perspective of losing weight & getting healthier, but since then I've realized that "coming full circle" is about a lot more than physical health. I don't know when, or if, I'll decide I've truly come full circle, but I know it won't be decided by a number on a scale or the size of my jeans. Yes, I've lost a bunch of weight and I feel much better, but I've also realized my happiness is not determined by any number. In fact, it can't be measured by any tangible means. I've learned to love myself the way I am, just exactly how I look right now, and that's all that's important. And by learning to love me just the way I am I've found that I can love others more deeply and genuinely. It's hard to love others unconditionally, but even harder to love ourselves unconditionally. I'm not talking about conceit or vanity, I mean being able to look in the mirror and see the beauty within, not the physical flaws. After all, the body is just packaging. The true self is something that can't be seen, it can only be perceived through how we live our lives. So take a good look in the mirror, way past the outer packaging, and take a look at the true you within. If you don't see something beautiful then you're not seeing what I see.
You are beautiful, you are valuable, and you are worthy of being loved.