Gratitude, by definition:
The quality of being thankful;
Readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
In the past 2 years, I've only updated this blog a few times. My reasons for doing so are mostly logistical... I spend less time online in general, and since most of my beginning motivation for posting was to track weight loss & physical transformation I haven't felt the need to update at every new pound lost or to talk incessantly about the fact that I've maintained the weight loss & better eating habits since achieving a healthier body image.
But the truth is that I started this blog to document my journey toward a healthier self-image too. This is something I always knew would take a lot longer than weight loss, but perhaps I didn't realize the benefit of continuing that conversation in this forum. After all, posting here during my diet & fitness struggles did help quite a bit. I'm not sure why writing in a public way helped more than, say, handwriting in a paper journal, but it did, and I am reminded how grateful I am to have those older posts to look back on now.
Gratitude has always been important to me as a general concept. I appreciate and am grateful when others treat me kindly, go out of their way to help me, or are just there to listen and offer support. I make sure I always say "Thank you" when I'm presented with even the smallest gesture of kindness from strangers or loved ones. What I realized today while talking to someone on the phone about this blog, is that I very rarely make time to show myself gratitude. I have looked at old photos and made comparisons between the way my body/habits used to be and the way they are now, and although I'm pleased with the progress, I have not yet formally thanked myself for putting in the work.
I "feel" gratitude for how far I've come physically when I do little things like dance or run around with the kids at work. I "feel" gratitude for the energy I have after getting a good night of sleep or eating healthy. I "feel" gratitude when a friend or colleague compliments or congratulates me on my transformation, but I don't think I've ever expressed gratitude toward myself for making the changes (big and small) it took to make the dream of being healthier a reality.
In light of this realization, I would like to take the opportunity to thank myself here and now for the gift of a healthier body, for the gift of going after a more meaningful career (which, in some ways, the process of getting more physically healthy prepared me for), and for the gift of continuing in my quest for more self-love.
Michelle, thank you. Thank you for taking the time to notice that I wasn't on the right track and for helping me find a solution. Thank you for remembering my limits and playing to my strengths in order to accomplish success in the areas of health, purpose, and most importantly, self-awareness. Thank you for showing me I had (and still have) the strength to continue to accomplish the things my heart and soul desire. In this moment, I am grateful for you and the love you have shown me.
Having said all that, it's important to note that thanking myself is just the first step in practicing the art of showing myself more compassion. But as with any other journey, even just one step can lead to many more. So, as I put on my trusty walking shoes, I am grateful, a little nervous, and mostly curious to see where the next path with take me.