I remember it like it was yesterday…

I made that iceberg lettuce wrap, inside were 3 of those slimy, 35 calorie artificial crab meat sticks, you know the ones that came in that pack by the deli?  No telling what those nasty things were made of.  All I know is I was more consumed with praising myself for living off nothing, not the slimy sticks I was eating.  That was my dinner.  For months from what I recollect.  Oh-sometimes I would have 22 almonds, but only on a walking day, those of which were counted by my father for the untenth time.

“Dad, are you sureeeee they are 22?”

“Yes Kim, I’m sure.  I already counted them, so eat them.”

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That restriction went on for 15 months and without fail, every night I would stand in front of my mirror examining every ounce of my body.  Ugh- you’re so fat Kim.  After the fat shame, I would crawl into bed, crying from hunger, sadness and feeling so broken.  I literally felt my body failing me, which in reality, it was.  I was practically on my death bed.

The treatment centers, the medications, the breakdowns, the unrelenting anxiety and depression and the desire to control all that was mine.  Those times were unrelenting and moments that I would often like to forget.  But-they stay, because they are embedded in me, part of me and my past and that’s okay.  I accept them now.

I remember eating like I never would again, leaning over in that toilet, knees digging deep into the floor below me.  Blood vessels popping from the pressure of the purge, yet feeling so free once I was done.  That euphoric high then the incessant shame creeping in close behind.  Purge.  Eat.  Purge.  Eat.  Butter, bread, ice cream, butter and bread.

I remember feeling so uncertain about my future and what it would entail, wondering if I was ever going to amount to anything worth mentioning.

I remember my identity was tied to that damn fridge in the garage, eating out of trashcans, the dirty disposal and the hardwood floor because I felt unworthy, undeserving.  I felt like a disgrace, a disappointment to my family and a mere failure wrapped in one.

My life had amounted to, well, nothing really.  I was overmedicated, overfed, underfed and downright exhausted.  My life was in shambles and my brain was fried.

I dedicated 12 years of this life to obsessing and trying to control my external environment.  I slaved to that next best thing that would “fix me.”  I was anorexic, bulimic, a compulsive overeater, binger, purger, cutter, restricter, marathoner, fitness competitor, biker, compulsive over-exerciser and f’ing miserable.  Sounds fun right?

Sure, I had happy moments but they weren’t real.  I don’t think I really knew what real happiness truly was.  Now I do and it’s nothing short of marvelous.  You see, life isn’t about trying to be the leanest, fittest, prettiest, richest or (fake) happiest.  It’s about being authentic, vunerable, content, resilient and consistent.  It’s about showing up everyday and trying again even when you want to hang it up and quit.

Some want the easy, I get that and some don’t want to deal with the blankets that have covered their wounds for decades.   I understand.  But yet we often come back to this one question, “How do I lose weight?”  Funny now, that doesn’t even matter in the big scheme of things because the weight is a bi-product of my life as I now know it.

There’s no ONE way, ONE fix or ONE method to achieving your upmost desires or goals.  It comes down to taking one step at a time, being where your feet are, staying around positive people that love you regardless and owning your part.  We all have a choice.  A choice to move forward or to stay safe.  And that’s okay too. We fall, pick up the pieces, go at it again and just try.  Even when it feels so hard, so difficult and so unyielding, you CAN do it.  That I know to be true.

Now I can see it clear as day.  Every single grueling and downright brutal struggle I encountered brought me to where I am today and I wouldn’t have changed a thing.  Nope.  I never in a million years thought I would be where I am today.  Can I be honest?  I thought I would’ve been long gone by now but I’m still standing and I know you can too.

No matter how rough life may seem, no matter how barbarous some nights may be or ruthless those days may fall, you will be okay.

You will soon realize everything you’ve endured will be well worth the fight because that’s your purpose.  Your story, your legend.  You own that, no one else can take that from you and that’s yours to share with the world.  That’s your gift, your treasure that’s yours and yours alone.  Keep it safe.  Take that gift and share it with the world.  You will be amazed how many people you can impact along the way.  You’re right there, don’t quit now.  Carry on warrior.  Carry on.