When will I ever learn to trust my Editor-in-Chief without question? When God prompted me to write my post last week about cellulite bullies, I was concerned that it was too serious a topic for my blog and I feared I would lose most of my audience, who tune in for the humour, or to track my progress on my 12 in 12 journey. I worried for nothing! I’ve received an overwhelming response from people who’ve come to my defence to others who shared similar experiences.
To the lovely Alison (http://www.journeytoafter.com/) who has lost nearly 90 lbs (awesome, you go girl!) your comments touched my heart and inspired me to write this post. I soooooo understand your fears about being bullied, and I too constantly apologise for my size – but part of our journey to wellness is to get over these issues and live our lives just as we are. Let’s not give people the satisfaction of robbing us of our rights, and whenever possible, let’s educate them with our heads held high.
I’m shifting my focus from those that have eroded my spirit, to those who build it up!
The day I ran into those teenagers is one I won’t forget, but not for the reasons you’re thinking of. What I didn’t tell you about that day was what happened just before I encountered them…. About 30 minutes before the weight slurs, I had a Touched by An Angel experience.
Let me rewind…. It was a beautiful late summer day. I got home from work, and after sitting at my desk for 8 hours, I decided to go for a walk. I put on my favourite workout clothes, grabbed my iPod Shuffle, and headed to the track at a high school about a 15 minute walk away. I was determined to do 4 laps (1 mile). I happily plodded along, totally engrossed with my workout playlist. I was shake-shake-shaking my bootie with KC and his Sunshine Band on the track when someone jogged past, startling the disco right out of me. The slender woman who passed me turned, smiled, and gave me two-thumbs up. At first I thought she must be someone I knew, so I quickly went through my mental Rolodex trying to remember who she was before she came around again. The next time she passed me, she did the same thing – big smile, two thumbs up. She did this all four laps.
When I finished, I felt compelled to wait for her to come around so I could greet her with a smile and give her two-thumbs up. As I did, she stopped and said, “Good job! Keep up the good work.”
I thanked her for her support, and told her that her encouragement meant a lot to me. I started to apologise for my size and explain that exercise is hard for me, but she stopped me and said, “You just keep at it, a little bit every day.” I detected a beautiful French-Canadian accent. “Even when you don’t feel like it, that is when you must come,” she urged. We chatted a bit more, and before we parted ways she said, “You can do this! I know you can!”
I said a prayer of gratitude on my walk home, and that’s when I ran into those teens on the corner. It boggled my mind to have experienced polar-opposites – compassion and cruelty – just minutes apart.
I want to focus on the good, and only mention the flipside if we have an opportunity to educate or shed light on what some of us go through. I don’t want to give haters any power.
That said, I want to acknowledge all the Earth-Angels in my life who have come alongside me to lift me up on my journey:
- First and foremost, my beautiful, smart, witty, and talented daughters – who love me no matter what size I am, and put up with all the ridiculous games I came up with while they were growing up – they have taught me more than I ever could have imagined, and I’m proud of the young women they have become.
- My amazing parents, sisters, brother-in-law, and nieces, who want to see me happy and healthy. Only they can get me to snort when I laugh, and wail when I cry. I adore each and every one of you!
- Nathan – for his encouragement and creativity – your banner and artwork make me look like I know what I’m doing. And thank you for taking care of my baby-girl.
- My soul-sisters, Brenda C, Cindy S and Zee, who supported me on this project before I put pen to paper and love me no matter what.
- Dave D – a treasured friend from across the pond, and the best relationship that came out of a typo. We’ve engaged in countless competitions over the years, and he knows I will always (1) win, and (2) be younger.
- Renata – my writing partner and friend. I can’t think of anyone else I would have wanted to create our ‘baby’ with. Sorry for making you try that soy-yogurt all those years ago… I hope you forgive me.
- My REMARKABLE friends, Adele, Joanna, Marianne and Karen, who keep my belly full of calorie-free laughter, and for customizing their menus to accommodate whatever plan I happen to be on! I’ve just got a few words for you: Mutandi. Outlander. Eeee Eeee. Roark, the fish-monger’s son.
- Catherine S – a beauty inside and out. Thank you for believing in all my writing projects – I know God has a plan for us!!!
- Laura C – who gave me free one-to-one fitness training for years and became a lifelong friend in the process… I always feel like I should be shuffling when I see you!
- Jennifer B – who is really, really, really good at connecting people – thank you for your positive energy and for being an advocate for women!
- Jenn W – for taking my Final Before photos – you are truly talented!
- Michelle R – your courage inspires me! I can’t wait to team up in April 🙂
- Mira G – for your kind heart and encouragement. BTW, you are stronger than you think!
- Jehan – for your gentle spirit and overwhelming support. I look forward to embarking on our new endeavour!
- Nikki D – for your positive energy and generous spirit. Thank you for sending me pertinent material and resources for the blog.
- Rona M – for being creative, brilliant and generous with your talent.
- Donna P – for supporting my project and for teaching this ‘mature dog’ new social-media tricks.
- The ladies at the LOVE CLINIC, Anna, Brenda, Lia, and Tanya – your unconditional love, friendship, support, and prayers mean the world to me.
- My Home Church family, and my work colleagues – who support me on 12 in 12 and check in with me regularly.
- Alison, and all the bloggers on a similar journey – we’re unique, but the same… in other words, we’re awesome!
- Anne Lamott and Donald Miller – two of my favourite authors – thank you for being honest, funny, and vulnerable in your writing – it’s what I aspire to.
- Everyone who follows my blog – thank you for keeping me accountable, which in turn keeps me out of the fridge 🙂
- And to the beautiful French-Canadian jogger who saw a woman and not the cellulite – thank you.
You are all my Earth-Angels, and regardless of what the scale reads, I’m happily overflowing in blessings!