Monday, October 30, 2017

A letter to my former self

Dear Former Holly,

Three years from now, you're going to open Facebook and see a "memory" pop up from today. You'll look in shock and say to yourself, "Oh my gosh, look how FAT I was!". You'll initially hesitate to look further at the picture, but then you'll be intrigued, so you'll enlarge it-zoom in closer- to see just how many chins you had and how your eyes sunk into your chubby cheeks. Then you'll take a selfie and put those pics side by side to compare where you are today. Yep, you sure will! I know, I know, you hate pictures, but it's a thing you'll do in the future just to see how far you've come.
And then it will happen.

You will cry. And then you'll laugh. And then you'll cry a little more. And then you'll send those side-by-side pics to your husband and your mom and say, "Can you even believe this?".

So much is going to change about you. So much more than your fat face, let me assure you.

In the future, you aren't going to stand behind everyone in every. single. picture. ever. You aren't going to spend energy trying to hide behind someone or some object just so less of you shows up in a picture. Nope. In three years, you will ask people to pose with you so you can have a reminder of the day, the moment, the adventure. And you'll look at those pictures and smile instead of squirm.

In the future, you're going to walk confidently into a room, not worried that people are looking at how fat you are, but eagerly looking for people you know to talk to. You're not going to scope out a place for the seat that you can fit into or the widest area you can walk through. Nope. You'll be too busy enjoying LIFE to notice those things much anymore.

In the future, you'll get on an airplane and literally laugh OUT LOUD every time you buckle your seatbelt and have to cinch it tighter across your lap, remembering how you almost couldn't get it buckled once upon a time.

Three years from now, you will be the one begging your family to go hiking or for a walk. Heck, you'll even go by yourself to do those things! Girl, you will CLIMB A MOUNTAIN by yourself in the future. YES, you really will! And you'll be so proud when you stand at the top, looking down at how far you climbed, and in your spirit you'll feel true pride and know that you are whole and healed and free of so much baggage you carried for so long.

You need to know that in the future, it's ok for you to spend a little money on some new clothes. After all, you're going to need them. A girl can't walk around in pants that literally fall off of her. And it's ok for you to enjoy shopping again. It doesn't make you selfish to enjoy that you can try something on and feel beautiful. You'll bond with your daughter in the dressing rooms of many stores, and it will be grand.

You may also need to hear that you're worth the money, time and energy you've spent on making a healthier you. It's a good thing. It's ok to invest in yourself and your health. Stop feeling guilty if you want to go for that walk or run alone because not only is it good for the body, but it's good for your soul.

In the days ahead, you'll actually get on a stage to speak to people. Sometimes it will be about your book, and sometimes about your past hurts. Sometimes you'll teach from the Bible. Sometimes it will be talks about racial equality or other topics. But the thing is this: You'll actually enjoy being there! You'll come to love standing before people and sharing the things God has taught you and how He has loved you so well. I know it seems freaky, but trust me on this. You will love public speaking three years from now. Crazy, huh?

There will still be times in the future that you'll look into a mirror and see someone that's not good enough. I know; I wish I could tell you that goes away, but at least in three years, it still will be there, although not nearly as often. But I can tell you this: You'll be able to push those thoughts away much easier, and walk in confidence that you're enough just as you are.

You may think that losing weight won't change how you think or your personality. And while it won't change the core of you- your values and morals and hopes and dreams- it WILL change how you view life. It will be a catalyst for you to live life with more joy and less abandon. Losing weight will spur you to believe that if you can do this hard thing, then you can do other hard things. And you will do hard things! 

Three years from now, you're going to awaken as a woman who feels fierce and confident and loved and whole and free and joyful. And let me tell you; you ARE those things. You are loved by the greatest husband who will be your biggest encourager through this process (and forever!). And you have the best family in the world who will cheer you on.

I'm not one to rush through life, but in three years you are going to be feeling so full of joy and contentment. It's going to be good. No, it's not going to be perfect. You'll still see things you want to change about you (that's a good thing!), but you'll love who you are. Genuinely love who you are. And that is a very good thing, Holly.

Enjoy the ride. Life is sweet,

Your Future Self