Sometimes I still catch myself off guard when I look in the mirror. I’m expecting to see something much different. I forget that I’m not who I used to be.
It might be hard to believe if you know me currently that 10-12 years ago I used to weigh 30-ish more pounds. Then I used to go to TOPS with my mother.
It was frustrating. Every week we would go, weigh in and if you gained you owed coins. I forget how much per pound. But week after week of fluctuating up a pound, down a half. Up a half, down a quarter. Yes, they measured down to the quarter pound. It was like baby steps. In a circle no less.
“I don’t know why I even go,” I would lament to my mom. “It’s a bunch of old ladies that like to get together and yak. That’s all. There’s no real competition at TOPS.”
After weigh in, we sat around the table and somebody would share advise or encouragement or something for us to try for the week.
Feeling like the loser, odd ball, it seemed so pointless with these giddy old ladies with crowned perm hairdos.
TOPS stood for Take Of Pounds Sensibly.
Or better yet, I Can’t Loss Weight So Figure It Out On Your Own But Come Let Me Give You A Hug.
Or Keep trying One Day 50 Years From Now You Might Make It.
Or Welcome To The We Are Old and Fat, Happy Party.
I hated it. I hated my life. I hated that I was so young and had to deal with this weight battle. I just knew there was a skinnier me inside that was dying to get out.
A happier me that was stuck inside my bad habits.
A longing for fulfillment me that was fenced in by all my 20-year-old insecurities.
I thought about that time long ago today as I sat down to eat my lunch. I stared at my plate. Left over plain fettuccine noodles covered with a handful of canned chicken and squirts of Italian dressing, bordered with mixed veggies. It reminded me of those lean cuisine meals you buy in the frozen department at the grocery store.
I wondered what I would have thought about this meal back then.
I’m thankful that I’m not the same person. Not because of the weight battle but because of where I was at spiritually and with my issues.
Recently I was talking with a friend who told me that she doesn’t think she’s at sanguine as she used to be. I credited it to having changed and matured. She smiled (I think feeling funny that a person in their mid 20’s could still be changing and maturing. Either that or that she was embarrassed at how outgoing/outspoken she used to be).
Yesterday I got a picture card in the mail from my cousin. She was smiling brightly with her husband and children laced around her. Odd baby announcement, I thought. The baby on her lap was almost a year old. In the corner was a cute picture of just the couple. Then I read, Happy 10th Anniversary!
I stared at the picture.
10 years, and I bet she’s still the same, I mused aloud.
Ha! Funny thing with people we know the longest is we don’t seem to allow much room for change. Whether they change or not. We still assume they are the same. Truth be told, when we meet up with them they generally are. And we walk away thinking things like – She’s still the same old Sally!
But, the exciting news is that we do change. As we experience life and ups and downs, we become different, re-molded. Maybe not as noticeable on the outside but our inner chambers take new form. Over time our thinking changes as we read and listen and are prompted to new thoughts by different sources. We start to see ourselves go through the same types of things repeatedly, like reoccurring waves. I wonder if we just know ourselves better and our typical shortcomings?
Dare I say we almost even become predictable?
I know I’m glad I don’t think the same as back in those TOPS going days. I’m thankful for a healthier self-image. I believe I respond to people and situations differently (I didn’t say perfectly) than I used to. And, I’m so glad I see God differently then back then.
I’m not satisfied with where I’m at (and I hope I never am). I still yearn to g r o w and mature.
Looking back at old pictures, those are just memories. That girl was me. But she’s not the me today.
And, hopefully the me today won’t be the me tomorrow