Yesterday, I had a doctor’s appointment at 1pm that I mentally prepared for all morning. I told myself I was going to be okay no matter what, that I could control my feelings and that I could remain calm.
Within five minutes of the visit, I was full on ugly crying. I filled tissue after tissue with mascara and snot.
My husband came to the appointment with me and his eyes filled with tears, knowing I was in agony. He stroked my arm, telling me that I was beautiful and that he loved me.
The doctor looked at me with sympathy, probably wishing she could shoot me up with valium, because the mascara running down my face made me look like I was in the middle of a mental breakdown.
She didn’t tell me I was dying. She didn’t tell me I had cancer. She didn’t give me any sort of life-changing news.
What sent me over the edge was stepping on the scale and realizing that despite eating mostly raw veggies and salads for the past month for every meal, I didn’t lose a single pound. I gained a pound.
Not really worth sobbing over, right?
But, it wasn’t about the one pound.
I wept because I was fed up with feeling like I have no control over my health. I have to take a medication that’s made me gain over 25 pounds in three months which means I’m at a high risk of developing diabetes. For someone who’s 5’3”, that’s a lot of weight to put on in a short amount of time.
You can probably imagine how my self-esteem crumbled and hid in a corner while I looked embarrassingly at the nurse as she wrote down my weight, praying she wouldn’t say it out loud.
And, I’m scared to share this with you.
Just thinking about hitting publish makes my heart race and my palms sweat.
I could just keep taking photos at my best angles and not show much of my body, avoiding selfies on social media as much as possible. I could angle the camera down while filming videos and hope that nobody noticed.
And, it’s not just about the weight.
I don’t want you to think I’m so vain and put so much importance on a number even though I won’t lie and say it doesn’t bother me. (That’s another reason I thought about deleting this post.)
There are other terrible side effects of this medication including osteoporosis, rapid heartbeat, long-term heart damage, eroding tooth enamel and more. Every single time I take this medication, my sinuses burn like they’re on the fire, my nose bleeds the next day, and my ankles swell to three times their size if I sit for more than 30 minutes.
If I don’t take this medication, I’d have to live in the hospital, because I wouldn’t be able to eat or drink. It’s not one of those medications that I could get by without; however, over the long-term, it’s literally taking years off my life.
I’m telling you this because over the last few months, I’ve realized how much my thoughts control and affect me.
“Since self-image is determined by what you consistently say to yourself, you have the power to direct your self-image by directing your self-talk.” -Dr. Jason Selk and Tom Bartow, Organize Tomorrow Today
For the past few months, I’ve been telling myself that I’m ugly and unattractive and completely unsexy.
Every time my husband compliments me on my looks, I give him the wife death stare (instead of saying thank you), because he couldn’t possibly be attracted to me with this extra weight.
I had to buy new jeans, because I only had one pair that still fit. I almost donated all of my “skinny” clothes to Goodwill even though my doctors have assured me that when I get off this medication, my weight will drop pretty quickly.
While I shopped for new clothes for my new body, I wanted to find sweaters I could hide in and pants with elastic waistbands. Thank goodness, I realized something important instead.
I’ve spent way too many hours over the past few months thinking about my weight gain. And, the weight gain didn’t make me miserable–the thoughts did.
“That which you focus on expands. Focusing on the negative is essentially like fertilizing the weeds in your yard.” -Dr. Jason Selk and Tom Bartow, Organize Tomorrow Today
Throughout these months, I’ve also had some great days.
I felt pretty and attractive in some of the new clothes. Those thoughts made me feel comfortable enough to walk to Starbucks and write for hours or get a ton done during the day and then cook dinner with my husband, flirting with him by lightly spanking him with a spatula or kissing him unexpectedly.
Those good days have been a blessing in a very dark period of my life.
I’m sharing this with you for three reasons (and none are for pity because we all have tough stuff we have to deal with):
1. I haven’t done a lot of live videos even though I looooooooooove live video, because I’m afraid of what I’ll look like or if someone will say something rude to me about my weight gain (which could happen no matter what I weigh because there are terrible, unhappy people in this world).
Instead of focusing on the bad, I’m going to focus on the fact that I’m flooded with endorphins when I get to hang out with you on live video. So, you’ll see me hosting a lot more FB live videos on my business FB page. I hope you join some of them.
2. A lot of women struggle with body shame issues. No matter what size we are, we all have things we’d like to change. I’m trying to become comfortable with the way my body looks now, because there’s nothing wrong with it.
If I had a daughter, I would be ashamed with what I’d be teaching her by focusing so much on what I look like. I know she would pick up on it and think that if you gain weight, you’re less worthy. I would never want to teach girls or young women that their worth is related to the size of their bodies.
3. And, most importantly, your thoughts and attitude absolutely matter.
If you concentrate on the bad, you bring more yuckiness into your day and life.
If you concentrate on the good, you bring more radiance into your day and life.
You have so much more control than you think you do.
Since I have to take this medication that makes me gain weight, I could say, “Screw it. I’ll just eat pasta and jolly ranchers and french fries.” Or, I could keep eating healthy because those foods give me energy and fuel me to run this business I love so much and will at least help me gain as little weight as possible.
I can concentrate on the fact that the insurance board granted us a 3rd party review!
I can focus on the fact that I’m married to one of the top 100 trial attorneys in the United States (yep, he has this award) who read 150+ journal articles about my autoimmune issues and wrote an impressive 8-page letter to the insurance company on why I need this other treatment option (that would allow me to stop taking the terrible weight gain medicine) to include in our 3rd party review.
I have thoughtful doctors who also wrote letters on why I need this very expensive treatment that my insurance doesn’t want to pay for.
My mom and mother-in-law also dropped everything to write letters to include in the packet.
My whole family is behind me, ready to do anything to make my life easier.
I could be all alone. I could be trying to fight the insurance company without an attorney who wins battles with insurance companies all the time.
I have a business I love and a membership site that is growing every single day. Maybe you’ll be the new member today? (We’d love to have you!)
This third point is the most important, because it’s life changing stuff.
If you constantly complain and think about the bad stuff in your life, you’re going to remain miserable. If you start focusing on the good things, no matter how small, you’re going to have a life worth living.
It’s up to you.
What are you going to be today?
Happy or miserable.
It’s a choice.
Is it really that terrible that the barista messed up your order and you have to wait a couple extra minutes for your triple venti, half-sweet, non-fat, caramel macchiato? That’ll give you the chance to visualize your upcoming meeting and how you’re going to impress your clients so much that they sign up with you immediately.
Do you really need to huff and puff when you have to park at the back of the grocery store parking lot? That’ll give you a chance to get a bit more exercise that day. That’s a win and something you should do anyways.
Do you really need to slam the burnt casserole onto the counter, cursing at the oven? That just means you have a good reason to laugh, order pizza and watch Gilmore Girls.
You can change negative things into positive points of view–not always, but way more often than we think we can.
I’ve done myself such a disservice by focusing on the negative these past few months.