The Whole Package
By Krystle J. Bailey
Since I was a teenager, my New Year’s Resolutions had been to lose weight. Growing up overweight, I thought that if I just made the resolution every year that eventually I would change my reality. Eventually, all would be right in my world because I’d be thin. In my mind, true happiness resided in a world outside of my own where I didn’t live in sweatpants and baggy shirts to cover my body and where I wasn’t limited to shopping in the plus sized section. The skinnier girls seemed happier, anyway, so it must be true! So year after year, January after January, I’d make it my resolution. This year would be my year!
August 2010. I was twenty-two. It wasn’t a January 1st or a resolution. It was a mere decision. One that would change the trajectory of my life forever. My two month old daughter stared back at me as the switch flipped in my mind it was “game on”. I was going to get healthy for my baby and I wasn’t looking back.
Fast forward two years and I was sitting at a size two. I had lost over one hundred pounds and ten pant sizes. I achieved every weight loss goal that I had set including but not limited to crossing my legs, wearing a bikini, wrapping a regular bath towel around my body, and running a 5K. I nailed everything I had set my mind to.
Except for that goal of being healthy. I wasn’t healthy at all. I didn’t lose weight. I simply moved it from my body to my mind. When I should have been getting ready to celebrate Christmas with my family, I found myself crying on my mother’s couch over a magazine that showed holidays treats. The simple thought of food in abundance overwhelmed me with anxiety to the point of tears. I broke down and told my mom how I had been crying over every tenth of a pound, tip toeing in the waters of eating disorders, and obsessing over how much food was going in versus how many calories were going out.
Somewhere along the journey, I had begun to build my worth on becoming this shell of a person staring back at me in the mirror and I didn’t recognize her. Not only did I not recognize her but she scared me. I knew it was time to seek some help. Everything that I thought I wanted for my future began to change. I wanted to be healthy for my baby and this wasn’t it. This couldn’t be it.
So mental weight loss began and life began to make more sense. As the years passed, I shed the mental weight, I gained some physical weight back but maintain a healthy and happy size 10. Most of all, I learned that my worth isn’t measured in a three digit number on a scale. My place in this world isn’t ranked by my jean size. What I have to offer isn’t measured in my non scale victories. Who I am is not defined by my flesh at all. My body is a home for the life that lives within me. I’m learning to love the woman staring back at me because when I look into her eyes, I see the realest version of myself. I see nurturing, loving eyes looking back at me. I see someone who is healthy on the inside first and however that looks on the outside becomes okay.
We live in a world that tells us every day that we aren’t beautiful enough. We’re bombarded with ideas of what beauty “should” look like and what our next diet should be.
‘Tis the season for new journeys, new goals, and chasing dreams but before you set out on a weight loss journey, allow me be the one to encourage you not to leave your mind behind. Take all of you along for the ride and make sure that your mind and spirit are nourished in the process. A thin body is worth nothing if you can’t enjoy your life. Your life is so much more than just your body.
So to my beautiful friends setting out on a weight loss journey this January, allow me to remind you of a few simple truths for the ride.
-You’re already ENOUGH.
– You’ve always been enough, you’ll always be enough.
– Everything you need lies within you.
-You don’t need to be “fixed”, you’re not broken.
-Your journey is uniquely your own. Stay true to you.
– Do whatever makes you feel alive.
-This is your one life. Live it abundantly.
– Your worth is not dependent on anything external.
– Don’t let anything steal your joy.
– Always remember to protect your peace through the process.
Wishing you a happy, healthy, abundant year ahead.
Krystle J. Bailey is a motivational speaker, poet, and author of Nourish: A Journey to Loving and Embracing The Woman Within.