A few weeks ago I was nominated as a candidate in my Slimming World group, for Woman of the Year 2013. I have been attending group, health permitting, weekly since January 2013. This Saturday I was voted Woman of the Year 2013 by my group. I attend with my husband and I have lost enough weight to make me look and feel different. I don’t need insulin anymore and my general fitness is much improved but Woman of the Year?
I was asked t prepare answers for a few questions and also bring photos of myself before I joined Slimming World. It evoked a lot of emotions looking back at the images of myself when I felt helpless and had no hope I would ever lose weight, and even if I did it would make very little difference to the outcome of having Pulmonary Hypertension. My mindset has changed considerably during the time I have been a member, I want more out of my life.
To say that I am overwhelmed by being put there amongst remarkable women who have fought for every pound lost and against the hurdles health has put their way, is an understatement. I lost the least weight out of all the women nominated from my group but this award isn’t about numbers. It is about faith, determination and the individual journey we have embarked on and so much more.
Each woman on the panel of nominees taught me something and demonstrated a huge commitment to their health. A life long commitment with Slimming World. Many of us have a long way to go, but rather than look at the length of my journey of not just weight loss, but self improvement, self-healing and acceptance of myself, I look at the quality of my journey. Time is not the primary factor but what I learn about myself and those around me make an important part of the journey.
I am not in any competition with anyone to lose weight fast or slow, my journey is one of developing self awareness not comparing myself to others. I visualise what I want to look like at my interim target, how I want to be and feel. I feel no allure whatsoever at beating my friend to the next stone award. That would be a superficial take on what I am actually doing. Competition is healthy but not at the cost of avoiding the issues we have with food, our relationship with others and our relationship with ourselves. I need to bring myself to the center of my world, the longer I neglect what I want and need the harder it is to find happiness in life. You can’t genuinely be there for others if you aren’t looking after yourself physically and mentally.
I’m headed somewhere on this journey, and for the first time in my life there is no plan or time scale. I don’t know exactly where my Slimming World journey will take me but I am grateful for the love and support I have. I have spent the majority of my time in the past 10 years alone and isolated, to have a group of people reach out to me is both frightening and life-changing. Now I have an additional landmark in my journey, before I was voted Woman of the Year 2013 by my group and after. All I have to do now is not ruin it with my self-criticism, self-blame and high expectations.
This award has been a very big deal for me, but it has also come at a time when I am questioning how I deal with emotional issues in my life and the people these issues are linked with. In some cases I need to step aside and focus on myself more; forgive myself and accept myself and that is a good place from which to continue my journey.