I will be the first to admit, I have gained a ton of weight. Most of it gained within the last 2 years and none of it due to child birth. I immediately packed on 20 pounds, once I gave up smoking and then another 25, upon ending a relationship with my fiancé, wallowing in a sea of self pity. When I was younger, 20 to 30 pounds was a cinch to lose, but now in my 40’s, it’s a battle just to shed 5 pounds.

The embarrassment I feel regarding my weight gain, has not helped with my self image and because of this, I have forbidden photos of myself to be put on social media. The occasional selfie is permitted, upon my approval. When taking them for myself, I will take a dozen, before deciding one I deem most flattering. Sound a little vein? What can I say? I am a perfectionist and my own worst critic. Although I am in the process of rebooting my brain, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is self healing. Sometimes you take one step forward,  only to take two steps back.

Today, one of my worst fears became a reality. A very unflattering photo of myself was posted onto social media and as a harmless joke, it quickly imploded into my own personal nightmare. It was done unintentionally and I whole heartedly understand this, yet the sting of it hurt just the same.  I can now relate to celebrities and how they must feel, (at a very small level) when not so flattering photos are taken by the paparazzi, then plastered throughout social media, only to be judged for small imperfections they try desperately to hide. To the world it’s entertaining, but as a person and human being, it’s nothing less than humiliating.

My old self seeks self pity and longs to wade in a negative pool of self doubt and seclusion.  The fear of being hurt, playing ping pong in my mind, dissecting each and every word, bouncing from one comment to the other. My new self longs a 3 mile walk down the path of self motivation and prayerful meditation.

The choice is mine to make and it determines the course of my future. With that in mind, I wipe away a tear, lift my chin up, and refocus on my goals.

One of my twins caught me crying today.  After hugging and consoling me, she spoke these wise, encouraging words.

“Mama, sometimes you’ve got to take a bad day, throw it in the trash, walk away, and then forget about it”. She is wise beyond her 12 years. 🙂

Penelope

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