Yesterday was a great day – Not for all of those loved up Valentines Day reasons. I will let you in on a secret – I haven’t actually celebrated it………as in really felt the Valentines day love and had a Valentines day party/bash in about 13 years! Sure there has been the token card here and there. A bottle of wine or 2 😂😂, the odd 3 blocks of chocolate – Don’t do that face, yes you read it right, 3 blocks of chocolate – I was a little bit of a mini whale for a reason!! You can’t tell me that you have never sat down and opened one too many of whatever your guilty pleasure is, perhaps its a bag of chips or one 3 many blocks of chocolate hahaha! In my pre weight loss surgery life, when I was comforting myself because Steve forgot, yet again, that it was V-Day❤️❤️ the day to celebrate the fact that he managed to get someone to pick up all of his crap, give birth to and adore his children and cook for him – every single night for yet another year – I may or may not have been guilty of hiding in my ensuite, eating! Back then it seemed like a better idea to just stuff my face rather than allow it (my face) to speak the things that were on my mind. It’s taken a while, but I have learned that face stuffing to avoid confrontation is a REALLY BAD IDEA – although there have been many times when I should have stuffed my face in the past – I will get to that story in a moment.

Seriously though – The perfect Valentines day for me these days has NOTHING to do with anything commercial and it is more about love in general than love of a specific, gorgeous yet sometimes horribly clueless man. I had an amazing morning with a lovely friend and her gorgeous little girl. After a couple of hours of work, my friends little darling curled my hair for me (how flipping sweet is that – I live in boy land, surrounded by 5 males, so I get none of that kind of thing ever 💕 this made my heart so happy) and I set off for a student leader induction ceremony at our boys school.

I was standing in the foyer of the Sports and Aquatic Centre when I saw someone that was once, many years ago, on the receiving end of a time when I should have stuffed my face, found a better way, been on anxiety meds, told the world just how lonely and broken I was feeling and how frightened I was that I was stuffing my kids lives up because one of them was being bullied mercilessly and nothing was stopping it and I felt helpless and didn’t know what to do. Anyway – None of that is a reason for me to act like an unhinged cow and I had. There was no yelling or screaming, but over the years I have found that I can wield my words like a weapon. I had been unfair to this person. Of course there is a lot to the situation – it is possible to be right but incredibly wrong at the same time. I had seen her for years and years from a distance and always felt that little pang of “You should not have said what you did that day and you know it”. The me of now berated the me of all those years ago each time I saw her.

Strangely enough, when I was big, I felt terrified to admit when things were not okay. I suppose I felt like my personal failure was my size and my inability to get that under control, so I was frightened to admit to other weakness. But the journey of weight loss, growing past my personal demons, facing my previous stuff ups and being determined to love harder and be kind and choose kind ALWAYS has caused me to find myself in some really soul bearing situations. I don’t shy away from people anymore. I love to chat, I love to be around others and I love to hear about the lives and their stories – So when the person that I had experienced the difficult situation with tentatively approached me, well, I just jumped straight on in! We got to talking and she asked about my son so right then I blurted out my awkward yet heart felt apology for that interaction from all of those years ago. I said how sorry I was for the way that I spoke that day. I was teary, genuinely so – we both were. I walked away not too long after that to find a seat so that we could watch our son receive his leadership badge and my heart felt just that little bit lighter.

Changing is hard. Examining myself has been hard too – but I am finding that living out of an authentic and genuine desire to do only good to others, and to be the best version of myself that I can be, has taken me on some very interesting paths. Some days it takes bravery to get out of bed and do all of the usual things, some days it takes bravery to face our fears and some days it takes courage to face ourselves. If we don’t like what we see when we look at ourselves in the mirror, only we can change it – physically, emotionally, relationally – in every way – we are responsible for ourselves. There are so many things that are not our fault and situations happen to all of us – thats life – life will rain on you but how we respond to the rain is such a great indication of where we are at. Sometimes putting our best foot forward means that we make peace with our former selves, get up and move on. We are only as stuck as we allow ourselves to be.

So looking myself in the eye isn’t as horrifying as it used to be. I am not plastering on the fake smile and pretending that everything is fine. My current facts are as follows. My dog just crapped right outside my bedroom window and I can’t even believe that he can make THAT MUCH stench OMG! This is clearly my punishment for putting him outside while our son is vacuuming – he has a whole yard but taking a dump right under my open window was his choice 🤦🏻‍♀️……. Annnd I have lost 4 kilos since returning to Geelong from Christmas holidays. I am stressed about a number of situations that I am facing. I am heart-burstingly proud of my boys and how they have started the school year. I am ready for change and ready for challenges. I am excited for my sons 18th and I am excited for a big Bariatric Support Australia meet up that is happening in April in Geelong. I am thankful for the new friends that I have met and I am profoundly grateful for the love and support of my family and friends. I am now off to tackle my house work, pick up one of the boys from a sleep over, hunt down and hug my teenager, text the other teen who is away this weekend and do some baking for the week to come. Have a wonderful weekend xx

Love Tash.

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