By Heidi Dahlke
My struggles with my weight started early on in my marriage. My husband was not around much. He was a teacher and a coach of three different sports. I spent a lot of time alone. That was my first experience with food being a friend. I became pregnant nine months into our marriage and I figured having a little companion with me all the time would help me feel less lonely. I never had a moment alone but my loneliness stayed. Trauma from my childhood and high school years caused me to doubt my value, never feeling like I was enough.
Six children and nearly 25 years of marriage later, I have dabbled or dived into many weight loss programs. I have acknowledged and faced food addiction and self-hate. I have punished my body through grueling workouts and I slowly learned how to love myself, even on less than perfect days. I have taken something from every program or plan that I experienced. Not one of those programs was a waste of my time.Through the fluctuation of my weight, as much as 50 lbs up or down, I learned how to love myself. I have become empowered as I celebrate my body and what it can do through movement and exercise I am inspired to do and I enjoy. I have come to see myself as one point on a triangle, with my body and Heavenly Father on the other points. We are a tremendous team, the three of us. We work together for the benefit of all.
As I have learned to show love to myself, I have become more intentional towards my own health. I have been inspired and led to join an empowering class called Live Life Lean, that encourages everyone to create their own personal health plan. I wrote a goal for my health and then I follow the inspiration and promptings that come to achieve that dream. Each day I check in with myself through journaling and reading my goal. I have been amazed at all the promptings I have received so far. I have become so attached to my goal, that as I read it daily, I can physically feel the joy and peace of living in the energized, vibrant body that I see. My health has become so much more than a number on a scale. Friends have started reaching out to me because they see a difference in me physically and mentally. I feel empowered as I become curious about old programs and deciding if they still serve me or if it will serve me better to replace them with new programs. I choose each day to focus on how far I’ve come and not how far I have yet to go. In my mind I have achieved my goal. I wait only for the dream to catch up to my vision.
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