Today I’m thankful for my family and friends who have loved me through thick and thin. Today I literally mean, whether I was physically “thick” or “thin”.
Growing up I have rare memories of being made fun of due to my weight, but I often noticed the difference between me and other girls and would be sad because of it. One place I never felt out of place due to my size was my home. It was made clear at home that I was loved for who I was, not what I looked like.
My mother also loved me enough not to let me eat anything and everything I wanted. Due to the fact that she would limit the amount of cookies I ate I was only a chubby child, never did I reach the obese range in my health. If I shared feelings about wanting to not be the chubby girl my mom would offer solutions to help me, but she never pushed the issue to the extent that made me feel like I wasn’t good enough. It was a good balance.
As I grew up I used to wonder if any guys would ever like me. Hello, I knew they always liked my thin friends. I also knew that when I lost about 20 pounds doing Weight Watchers with my mom I suddenly got more attention. Thankfully, I wasn’t so boy crazy as to solely base my life on whether someone liked me, but I was a teenager with my own hopes and dreams of getting married some day.
When I met my husband and he finally told me he liked me I was in awe. I told him I was awed that he would like me when there were other thin and pretty girls at the conference we’d met at. Again, I fell in love with someone who didn’t base their approval or love of me on my weight. On our wedding day I was 5′ 4″ and about 170 pounds, and he made me feel like the queen.
Sadly enough, over the first year of our marriage I let my eating go out of control and gained the first 30 pounds that would take me away from 170 for years. I knew 170 was overweight, and I cried when I realized, somewhere near 200, I needed the “huge” size 20w jeans. Only one other time in all these years of being married have I reached 170 and had some control over my health. It was a glorious two years where I felt so much more alive, but you know what? My husband didn’t love me any more for getting thin. When I gained it all back, and more, he still loved me and told me how beautiful I was.
Through all of this I’ve also had good friends who have loved me no matter what my size. My friend, Stephanie, whom you all met a few months back, has been my friend the longest now and she’s always struggled with weight like I have. Though she kept much better reins on her health than I did as we became adults. Yet, though I got bigger in my 20’s and she slimmed up she never commented on it.
I have other friends who when shopping together they were kind enough to not say anything when I had to look in the larger sizes. When I was losing weight, they cheered me on. If I was gaining back the 10-20 I lost they kept their mouths shut. I was never treated any different based on my size. My friends have been amazingly supportive in my weight loss journey now as well.
Another amazingly supportive group of friends in my life is my blog friends. I want to take this minute to thank Diane at Fit to the Finish and Lori at Finding Radiance for their support. These two ladies have been kind enough to answer some questions in email for me. They’ve shared wisdom and offered support over the past year when I might’ve already given up on someone like me.
Along with Diane and Lori I’m also thankful for my blog “friends” and readers. I started to write this blog to journal my weight loss journey. I know that seeing into the hearts and minds of those dealing with weight issues is very helpful to me, so I when I started my own journey I decided I would use my love of writing to share my own struggles and victories. The fact that people comment and are so supportive has been the proverbial icing on the cake. I’m always so thankful for the support that comes through comments left on my posts.
This weight loss journey of mine has truly been the start of a new me. It’s not been easy, but the changes being made are deep. Ultimately, it’s been up to me to make it all work and to see the weight come off. Yet, through it all this kind of undertaking does require some love and support.
So, again, I’m very thankful today for all the love and support I’ve received from my family and friends. Yes, support and love even back when I was heavy, because had I not felt love and acceptance back then, who knows if I would’ve ever felt confident enough to start this journey at all.
You know Leah, I honestly can say I never ever thought you were “big” maybe becouse I always saw you for the beautiful person that you are. I love you and appreciate all your years of friendship. I'm glad sooooo many years ago God put our families in little towns in good ol Pa. Thankful for you too!I'm glad you're my friend and I”m yours. Oh yeah! I'm so proud of your weight loss journey! You go Girl.
Getting this comment from Kelly reminds me of an accidental falsehood in my post….I've known Kelly the longest in my life. We actually met when we were little girls living in Pennsylvania, somewhere around 2nd -4th grade.
As I'm sure you can tell from her post, she is a dear friend of mine. She's seen me through thicks and thins of all kinds, and I do thank God for her friendship as well over the years.
Thank you, Leah! Keep working on all aspects of life because it is so worth it 😀