Worth it

While we were visiting with family I spent a lot of time lounging around in the sun and enjoying gloriously warm summer day. My excess skin is still there – it is still a reality and it is what remains from my years of self abuse with food. I am never going to have a perfect body – whatever that is – I actually don’t care that I will never have tight skin. I am a happily marred roadmap of imperfections and I love that about me. I don’t want to be anything other than the best me that I can be and right now – this is it! Self love and acceptance shouldn’t be based on when you reach a certain milestone – self love is knowing that you are loved, valuable and worth it so every other thing that you reach for in the journey to better yourself comes from that. I’m not waiting to be loveable or worth it – I already am! I was when I was over 95 kilos heavier too. Wherever you are at on the journey – please know that you are worth it. Well that’s what I believe anyway xx

Belonging

When I started my Weight loss surgery ummm (I HATE THE TERM JOURNEY) super future (MUCH COOLER THAN JOURNEY – LETS FACE IT IT JUST IS) I really had no idea what to expect. I was hoping that I wouldn’t fail like I did when I had lap band. I was hoping that if I had complications my surgeon would be great and not hang me out to dry like ole mate evil surgeon did when we lived on the Sunny Coast. I was hoping that I would get to perhaps 75 kilos – if I was very lucky! I was hoping that I would look good in a pair of jeans, that I would be able to go out with my family and enjoy time with them and not be wondering if they were feeling embarrassed because of my appearance. I was hoping to bury the demons of insecurity and self doubt that had dogged me my whole adult life. I was hoping to be able to put to bed the childhood trauma that caused the destructive cycle of overeating to begin with. I was filled with hope but I was also filled with fear. Every single day was a fear and anxiety filled melting pot of tumultuous emotions.

When surgery happened back in June 2018 the weight quickly fell off. I quickly realised that I had one of the best gastric surgeons in Australia well and truly in my corner and I did not need to be afraid of being left to suffer if something was wrong and things did become difficult for quite some time. I realised my dreams of looking good in a pair of jeans and I went 25 kilos lower than the weight that I had hoped to achieve (HECK YES) BUT the emotional baggage is not as easily dealt with as the physical baggage has been.

Do you ever sit down in your quiet times and allow your mind to weave you a story of your days to come? Do you dream of how things will be and all of the magnificent and mundane events that will become part of the tapestry that is your ‘mind tale’ in order for it to become your real-life happily ever after? I associated so many things about my life with the fact that I had been fat. Fat was my excuse – as it turns out – it really was an excuse because now that I am not fat, I am in fact very thin, I STILL HAVE THE SAME DEMONS. Fat was not my enemy – my thought life was my enemy and my inability to reign myself in in a healthy way is what led to my morbid obesity. My teenagers call it my “Chungus Phase” 😂 I gobbled up my emotions, my fears, my feelings of self loathing, my insecurity, the abuse that I had suffered – I ate it all.

Now that I am 50 kilo light weight and no longer able to perform impressive acts of Chungusness – I am learning that I have to manage my emotions in new ways. I freely admit that some days I am great at this and some days I am absolutely terrible at it! Some days when I start feeling like I used to before I would overeat I go for a walk and clear my head, do some deep breathing and meditate on some uplifting things, go to the gym, talk with friends etc etc and I am okay. BUT ……. there are also days when I am NOT okay, when I don’t do those productive things, when I just cry because the anxiety and fears from the past well up inside of me and start leaking out of my eyes. When my own feelings of inadequacy and my shortcomings as a person make me want to hide under my blankets for the day and avoid all human interaction. It isn’t so that I can wallow – its so that I can reset myself, try to stop my heart from banging out of my chest, try to stop myself catastrophizing everything and to avoid other self destructive behaviours. I am kinder to myself these days. I have finally come to accept myself / warts and all.

I absolutely am imperfect, there are things about me that I do not like but there are also a lot of things about me that are pretty great. I have finally come to terms with the fact that the stories that my mind weaves are just that – stories. We get to have a say in the way that our ever after rolls out. Your super future is yours! We can chose what becomes part of our lifes’ tapestry, we get to chose the threads that are woven in to our story. I for one, when this story ends, pray that there is evidence of love for others, an indomitable spirit and I hope that in all I do, I learn to chose kind – even and perhaps most especially to myself.

Going Home :(

That went far too quickly. Vacations/holidays ALWAYS DO! My heart hurts at the thought of leaving all of our loved ones behind on the Sunny Coast and heading back to the frozen south. It’s enough to make my blood turn cold and I know that I have already started to frost my heart over for the journey. I have learned some things about myself while I have been away. 4 weeks is a long time. It was long enough for me to completely come to terms with the fact that I really haven’t let myself LOVE Geelong like I probably should. The reason? Well it is pretty simple really – there is a part of me that will always want to be here. Here I am surrounded by just about everyone that means something to me. Here is where our families call home and here is where I have kind of let myself feel things again for the first time in a long time.

I suspect that I may lose it for a little while when I get back to Geelong because I just don’t have the same family connections that I have with my peeps here. I am so blessed to have amazing friends and I am profoundly grateful however I had TOTALLY forgotten how it feels to go out and not be thinking about your kids because you know that they are totally fine with their family looking after them. I had forgotten what it is like to have other people say, “hey can I help you with that” or “we could do this” or “come over, lets hang out.” GOD I have MISSED IT.

I have learned that I have filled my life with busy to avoid feeling empty and unwanted and that is probably something that I really need to do something about this year. 2019 broke me in every kind of way and I am glad for the lessons that I have learned. 2020 will be the year of the come back. I am not sure how it is going to look just yet but I will work that out as I go. More socialising, loving my chosen home town harder, growing my friendships stronger and making down time a priority would seem like a great starting point.

To everyone that has made time to come and see us while we have been here, for the meals, the cuppas, the beers, the wines, ciders and well you get the picture, for the happy times, the love and the joyous feeling of being cared about – gosh I thank you. You have done my heart good. I needed it so much and I love you all more than you can possibly know. I am already counting the days until we come back.

2nd of January

Today is one of those lazy kind of days. Its super rare for me to have a nothing sort of a day and I am relishing it and just lapping up the moments of quiet. We have been away from home for 19 days now and quite honestly it is only people and my dog that I miss. I have found that when I take stock of my life there seems to be few things that matter to me – the things that are most important are most definitely my loved ones.

The Christmas/New Year break has been an excellent time of reflection and re-evaluation for me. What do I want the most out of 2020. How am I going to become a better version of myself? I am looking forward to the way that I can answer that this year. I am up for the challenge. I am not usually one for change but this year I am going to take a hold of it with both hands and run harder than I have ever run before.

My weight loss seems to finally be under control. I am able to eat a little more these days and that is helping me to feel better. I will have to decide about the revision surgery for my skin removal and come to a decisions if I want to go down that path again or if I will just stay as I am. Lets face it – Being fabulous and looking a little bit like ET is actually okay with me. I am not out to impress anyone and even if I was ….. should my excess skin be the standard by which I am judged? ABSOLUTELY NOT! I am a passionate self love advocate and therefore I cannot even begin to write this with any kind of authenticity unless I am willing to love me as I am and I really do. 2019 was the year that I fell in love with me and found worth in the tapestry of smooshed together, brokenness and splendid imperfections that, thrown together, make me who I am.

I am more than the silver lines that snake down my limbs and across my abdomen, and I am more the pillowy softness of the discoloured skin that resides between my thighs. I am more than the laugh lines that hint at my sense of humour before you even know that I have one and I am also more than the callouses on my work roughened hands. We are all more than we appear to be on the outside. We are born with and infused with the power to chose the path that our lives will take. Sure, there are things that happen to us along the way that are outside of our control, but our responses are always within our own power. Don’t doubt that, not even for a second. You can do this. I lost 95 Kilos and a lifetime of self loathing over the past 18 months. It was the hardest thing that I have ever done. It was horrifying and liberating to finally acknowledge myself as I was and push myself towards who I knew I wanted to be.

I do not feel like I have arrived, I know that there is so much further to go. More mountains to climb and more challenges lie ahead but 2020 is my year to respond rather than react and I am praying that my response to life will wake me up in a way that I have never been woken before. I hope that I am more compassionate, driven by purpose and that I will live out of an authentic place that comes from knowing that I am okay, I am accepted and I am loved. I hope the same things for you too. Lots of love always Tash xx

20/20

Happy New Year everyone. We may have just scraped in by the skin of our teeth but here we are standing on the step of the first day of a brand new decade. Do you love that new decade smell? Actually – here is a little secret ……. “there is absolutely nothing different about it if you do nothing differently!” I am really not one of long lists of silly shit that people tend to write on their New Years posts but something I can totally get behind is the fact that without change nothing will change.

I hate change. It hurts, its uncomfortable, I don’t like to do it but my gosh it is necessary. If you never change and you keep doing the same things over and over and over again then you aren’t going to have a different year than the last one, you won’t suddenly experience all of the things that you dreamed of, and find yourself living out your goals. You have what you have now as a result of the choices that you have made. I have what I have now as a result of the choices that I have made. I am making different choices in 2020, I am loving harder in 2020, I am refusing to allow fear to be the dominant and driving force in my life in 2020.

So here we go – a new year and even more decisions to be a whole new level of awesome. Who is with me?