"I realize that usually pictures like this don’t go in this order. Usually, the before picture is on the left and the after is on the right, showing a person’s weight loss success. But today this picture of me on the left came up on my Facebook memories. The one on the right is a picture of me recently, 30 pounds heavier. Honestly, it was hard for me to even find a picture of myself now because I so rarely let people take them of me. In the picture on the left, I was in great shape. I was about to run the New York City Marathon, and fitness was a top priority at that point in my life. Now, I’m at a stage in life where I don’t have that same type of motivation that I had on the left. I’m simply just in a different phase. Why? The truth is, I’m not really sure. The truth is, it doesn’t really matter.
Was I happy on the picture in the left? For the most part, yes.
I am happy now? For the most part, yes.
Was I a good mom, wife, friend, daughter, and sister on the picture in the left? I think so.
Am I a good mom, wife, friend, daughter, and sister on the picture on the right? I think so.
Life goes in stages. At this present stage, I am opting to spend my time other ways than to wake up at 5 a.m. to train for a marathon. I am opting to eat what I want when I go to a restaurant and not mull over every decision and how it will affect my weight and endurance. I am trying hard not to beat myself up about it. I may not be collecting medals at races or fitting into my smallest size pants, but I am concentrating on other achievements, such as writing more and enjoying the early morning quiet and peacefulness from the comfort of my couch. I am trying to embrace the extra free time that not staying in peak physical shape is allowing me, rather than being upset at myself for not finding the determination to hit the gym every day or head out to get my miles in.
I wish it wasn’t a struggle to just accept this. I wish I naturally didn’t feel any guilt in letting this time in my life just present a different agenda, clothing size and list of priorities. Maybe my next stage of life will involve another marathon, or 5k or even a triathalon. But one phase isn’t better than the other. They are just different. So thanks, Facebook memories, for reminding me of a time in my life that was wonderful, and for which I am proud. But right now I’m trying to be in the present, and just enjoy what is at this moment and be proud of myself for where I’m at now, too. The truth is, there’s really no 'before' picture or 'after' picture. Each just represents a moment during an ever-changing journey that we are just doing our best to keep up with. Each phase is special, unique, challenging, beautiful, and wonderful, because it is OUR experience. That is exactly what I am going to do at this moment as much as ever...savor the present and be proud of where I’m at."
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