Over the last decade, I have done a lot of hard work.
Some of it was in a small dorm room where I came up with the idea of Starlite, a ministry that would go on to be a huge part of my life.
Some of it is was in college classrooms, where I earned degrees while working part-time jobs to pay my way through school.
Some of it was in counseling centers, where I tried to understand events that happened in my past.
Some of it was in my bathroom, when I would almost fall asleep while giving the Fabulous Five their nightly baths.
Some of it was in courtrooms, where I fought to represent foster children who lived in my home.
Some of it was in forms — over 200 pages of forms, to be exact — where I petitioned the US government to allow the man I loved to move to America to marry me.
I can do hard work. I know I can.
But there’s one piece of hard work that I’ve been avoiding for the better part of a decade that I don’t want to ignore any longer.
This is me a little over 10 years ago, right before I left for college.
This is me today, some 11 years later.
I gained weight. A lot of weight. Enough weight to put me in a category that is dangerous to my health.
I gained the first part of it very quickly, which signaled something was wrong. I went to a doctor, found out what it was and started trying to address it.
I didn’t see results. I got embarrassed. I got frustrated. I got lazy. And I gained more weight.
Today, I still have that same health issue and am treating it with the help of a wonderful fertility specialist who is both honest and kind. We have talked about the fact that I need to be healthier and that a very visible sign of becoming healthy will be losing weight.
Regardless of whether I ever have a biological child, I know I want to be a mother. And in a way, I will be one soon — we expect to have a foster child sleeping under our roof before the month is up. Even if I never get to see an ultrasound in a doctor’s office, I am going to, in a way, get to be a mother.
But I want to be a great mom and wife. I want to be able to play on the playground without panting. I want to be able to get up before the sun rises and have a healthy, filling breakfast on the table for my family. I want to play in the ocean with my children. I want to take care of my grandparents and parents as they get older in life and need my assistance. I want to live to see Paul’s hair turn gray.
And if I don’t make changes now, I’m afraid I will never get to do those things.
I have put it off because it is going to be hard. I am addicted to food, specifically food that is not healthy. I am also lazy when it comes to exercise, partly because exercise is difficult at my weight and partly because I’ve just never been into exercise even when I was at a healthy weight. It is also related to emotions that go with past situations and present situations in my life.
I also lack self-control in this area of my life. For the last few years, I have basically eaten whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. This would be great if I was eating apples and grilled chicken but I err more on the McDonald’s side of life.
I’m ready to change. And, even if I’m not ready to change, I have to be ready to change. I turn 30 years old in six months and I do not want to enter the next decade of my life at this weight nor with any area of my life that is out of control (and this area is out of control).
I know what to do to lose the weight. I have a plan, one that isn’t filled with pills and fad diets and starvation.
Now it is just time to do hard work.