I’m easily scared. I’m prone to feeling incompetent at the best of times, and paralysed by my own insecurity at the worst of times. I doubt myself frequently. I worry about things that it’s been proven over and over again that I’m capable of. These are all things that I wrestle with most days. I wrestle with these things, but no longer do I blindly accept them.
The two photos to the left remind me of the scared days. The top left photo was taken whilst wearing the exact same shirt as that beside it, and the physical transformation is what stands out, but to me the difference in the photos is the blue bandana on my wrist, and the absence of any covering on the later photo. The blue bandana covered up self inflicted cuts. I remember the day and I remember what caused them. I remember well the twisting, twirling storm of emotions that raged within me; the eerie stillness as I cut; and the intensified storm that followed. There is a physical element to the transformation there, definitely, but the absence of that bandana meant that instead of the awkward expression I could smile a little, knowing that no longer am I prisoner to my emotions.
The bottom photo on the left was taken when I lived in the rectory next to Dapto Anglican. I remember it. It was taken by a friend who was laying on the air mattress I called my bed at that point in time. It deflated every night and left my back aching in the morning, but it was the best I could do at that point in time. It was me at my worst, emotionally and physically. I had nothing left in me to fight with. I was surviving, but only just. I figured I’d just keep surviving each day and that would be enough. The opposite photo was taken a few weeks ago, on a Saturday.
I wrote about that day – the 31 Spartans on a cold winter morning. I spent that week wondering if I should even bother showing up, knowing that it would be hard, and that Commando Steve’s presence there would draw a lot of attention. I knew it and I was scared that I’d just make a fool of myself. With some encouragement, I went and fought through that session, and all the doubts that came with it.
I guess, what I’m trying to say, is that I like fitting into smaller clothing, and I’d like to fit into a size 10-12 at some point, but that isn’t the goal. The goal is to simply live better; to embrace the moments and days God has given me and enjoy them; to fight and scramble to serve and love well; to defy doubt, both about myself and my God and take on that which scares me. That is the goal, and everyday it can be achieved.
If you’re trying to lose weight, please stop. Instead, start living well. Chase down joy. Chase down challenge. Make your priority to gain life, rather than losing weight.
It’s better that way. I promise.