I wasn’t sure how to title this blog post. But the title “Transformations” seemed to be an accurate description of what my friend, Emily, has gone through recently. She, like myself and so many people, has struggled with her weight most of her life. If you know Emily like I do, you’ll agree with me that she’s really such a beautiful person. On the inside she is fun and kind and intelligent and confident and full of a joy that emanates out of her. And on the outside I would liken her to Snow White… with this gorgeous pale skin and dark thick hair and light eyes. Here she is in 2012 at her 40th birthday party!
A few years back she accomplished something that I thought was absolutely amazing… she lost 100 pounds. Unfortunately, shortly after reaching that milestone, life dealt her some really tough blows. I mean REALLY tough blows. That season of stress was difficult, and she gained all her weight back. As a person whose weight has yo-yo’ed over the years I can understand part of what that feels like. I know as my stress level increases… so does my weight. She sent me this photo of herself in a production of Godspell in January 2013, and said that the expression on her face in this photo portrayed exactly how she was feeling. She was sad and frustrated that her body was limiting her ability to do things and was holding her back.
But here’s the cool thing about Emily… she’s feisty. She’s a fighter. Even after regaining all 100 pounds back… she didn’t give up. And since that photo above, in the last year and half she has lost TWO hundred pounds through hard work, diet, and exercise. The interesting thing to me, is that her transformation was way more than physical. When we were chatting back and forth about this weight loss, she wrote THIS to me:
“Even in just the last week I’ve been realizing how my weight has defined me for so long. And it’s taken losing over 200 pounds to realize that I can be confident in who God made me to be–at any weight. That my weight doesn’t need to define me–whatever the number is. And that’s worth celebrating. Time to live my life!
To me, THAT’S where the true transformation happened. THAT’S where I want to get to… to the full realization and confidence that I’m perfect the way God made me, no matter what the scale says. Because really, weight loss is about health, not about worth. We are worthy no matter what size we are. And if we believe that about ourselves, then we realize that we are worthy enough to invest the time and energy in our health! Subtle… but important. So I couldn’t be more happy to have had the opportunity to photograph the “transformed” Emily. And here she is!
Thank you, Emily, for letting me share a snapshot of your journey. You have always been a beautiful person… I’m just thankful that now you KNOW it!