A Chapter Completed—Loss and Renewal

The first step is the most important.

Three weeks ago, I stepped on the scale and the number I read confirmed my story of the last two and a half years of my life - out of control. Immediately upset with myself for letting go of my healthy eating habits, I felt an inner resolve to take back my body and get myself in check.

When I lost my older brother in March 2016, I had no way of knowing the additional loss to follow.

In May 2017 my precious dog Buddy Love was so sick with cancer we had to let him go.

February 2018 brought the most significant loss I have ever experienced when my sweet mama made her journey home.

October 2018 my precious kitty, Tinkerbelle fell into her final sleep and made her journey home.

Throw in the sale of our family home of 44 years in October and it is safe to say, that life as I had known it was done. A chapter complete.

With such dramatic changes, I hardly noticed the weight coming on. It. When one wave of grief subsided, it felt as if we were met with another.

Last fall I broke my ankle, I basically stopped walking and exercising. Somewhere in there, I took a job that turned out to be a nightmare, so I walked (or wobbled) away. Someday I will remember. I already have a job, one that is meaningful and profound. Seeing clients always lifts my spirits and reminds me— even the person showing up looking like they have it all, often is going through their own difficult time. If not, they wouldn’t be seeing me. People show up when they need clarity, peace, and hope. I realize now I had been using food to provide myself with peace.

No blame. I was coping the best I could.

Life is a cycle of balance and imbalance. I just needed the scale to remind me. Faced with this new reality, I adopted a meal plan, got an app on my phone to log in my food, water and exercise, and my son gave me a Fitbit. Adding structure back into my eating habits has given me a purpose – to love myself back from all the loss.

Three weeks later, I am down eight pounds and feeling a renewed confidence in myself and my body. I am back to walking daily, drinking lots of water and I actually enjoy preparing healthy meals.

What I hope to remember is; life will distract us from our self-care. There is no reason to beat ourselves up over having to begin again. Life is a series of beginnings and endings, once we accept that wherever we are is temporary, we can allow ourselves more peace in the process.

It’s a start.

Julie Sanders