Friday January 2, 2009

It seems that these blog entries are almost obligatory now, but they really are a good way to reflect on what’s happened in one’s life during the previous year. Not so much on the events themselves, but on what those events mean and how one responded to them.

I almost didn’t want to write this entry this year because when I looked back at the blog entry I wrote this time last year, I felt like I hadn’t accomplished my goals. After talking it out with my husband, however, I realized that I may not have accomplished exactly what I wanted in the way that I thought I would, but that hardly means that 2008 was a bust.

My primary goals for 2008 were to work on my relationship with God and to finish losing the rest of my weight.

The first one, working on my relationship with God, is hard to measure or quantify. I still find myself going back to the old ways I learned to quantify this … by how I feel. I don’t feel this same euphoria that I did when I first starting getting back with the whole “God thing.” Things were clicking as well as they were back then. But you know what? I realize that my relationship has grown in other ways and that’s a good thing. For one, I know I can’t rely on this false sense of euphoria as my measure of anything, let alone my relationship with God. In fact, I really think that my calmness in lots of situations where I had previously fallen apart is indicative that I have a strong force…in this case God…in my life.

Another way that I can see that my relationship is the manner in which I relate to God. As I said before, when I first started getting back with God things just “clicked.” Well this year has been filled with lots of challenges. For example, this was my last year to be able to find a teaching job before I was forced out of the nontraditional licensure program, thus losing thousands of dollars I had invested in the planned career change. I truly felt like God had told me to enroll in that program and I couldn’t understand why I was supposed to do that when I wasn’t meant to succeed. I really struggled with this for a long time. I got angry at God, but then I just asked God for answers. Then I realized after months of praying and searching, that sometimes the answers would come in God’s time.

Now for the weight-loss issue. I’ve chosen to not discuss this part of my life much in public anymore because I was not good at maintaining boundaries regarding it before. But I will state the obvious, which is that I haven’t finished losing the last 60 pounds. But you know what? I haven’t gained any either.

I’ve realized that once again, I’ve gotten caught up in other people’s measures of success. People see the lack of weight loss and they assume that I’m failing or that I’m going to gain back what I lost. That’s both hurtful and absurd. Dealing with life after gastric bypass is so much more than the weight. It’s dealing with the emotional issues, it’s dealing with a lifetime of built up demons that exploded into morbid obesity being allowed to take control. I’ve worked hard this year to find balance in my life.

Balance is hard. It’s like a clock pendulum. When you swing a clock pendulum hard to one side then let go, it swings just as hard to the other side. The swings back and forth are equal and opposite to each other as the pendulum gradually slows to a nice steady pace somewhere in the middle.

Life’s balances are just like that. I went way too far in one direction, making the surgery necessary. Then I went too far in the other direction where I was over-controlled but I lacked variety and enjoyment in my life. I was too afraid of being that hated person again. So I became a different kind of person, one that I still didn’t like and who was definitely not healthy. All people saw at that time, however, was that I was losing weight. They couldn’t, and in many ways wouldn’t, see the big picture.

So as I move forward into 2009, my goals really haven’t changed. But how I measure then will. Yes, I still want to finish losing the weight. But more importantly, I want to be healthy…in mind, spirit and body. Quite frankly, I’m not going into detail on the hows, whens and what’s I’m going to do to accomplish this goal. That’s between me, God and my husband. But I’m excited about the opportunity to work at this goal for yet another year.

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