“Starting over again.” Those three words can conjure up so many different emotions. How about for you? When you read those three words what feelings do you have? For me, I have a tightening in my chest, a feeling of defeat, and some sense of disappointment. Perhaps I have these feelings because the times that I have started over have been after a setback or a perceived failure. I’m sure others have had a different experience. You have the tech guru who built a billion-dollar company and sold it; now they can start over again. That certainly feels different than a 10-month relationship that has ended, leaving in its wake pain and sorrow.
Two weeks ago I found myself choosing to start over again. Some of you know, but many of you don’t, that in my past I have lost a tremendous amount of weight through diet and exercise. As years have clicked by, the number on the scale and my waist size have ticked back up. When I look back, I can’t even begin to understand what shifted with me that resulted in my gaining back so much of the weight I once lost. I know lamenting as I look back will not take me to where I want to go. Sure, it can inform me; I need to spend some time reflecting but I also need to look ahead. I want to start over, hit the reset button, take a second, third, fourth, no make that 15th chance!
Last week I began that new chance. I want to feel better. I want to live longer. I want to have meaningful time with my wife and children that can be filled with activity and fun. I know that right now, in my present situation, all of those things are at risk. My wife, Allyson, has just completed the requirements to be an integrative nutrition health coach. I have joked over the years, as she has worked toward obtaining increased knowledge of health and wellness, that I am her biggest project. By biggest I am playing on the fact that I am significantly overweight; also, I am still trying to figure myself out in terms of my relationship with food. I struggle to maintain motivation and a healthy eating pattern; perhaps most of all I struggle to show myself the love and care I deserve.
Why would I write this? Why would I share something so personal? I am a private person; I shy away from oversharing and even dislike making personal social media posts. So why lay bare one of the most sensitive and wounded areas of my life? I know that I am stronger in community and I know that I make others stronger when I am authentic. The truth is I need and thrive on community accountability and encouragement. I also know that if I am helping others and they are looking to me for help, I am more responsible to myself.
Will you journey with me as I start over? Starting over doesn’t feel so daunting when you are not alone in the journey. I don’t need commitments or for you to “do this with me.” All I need is for fellow travelers on the starting-over-again road to bear witness to my travels. Maybe some of you can identify with my struggle; maybe others have a different reason for being on the starting-over-again highway. Regardless of the reason, we can look to one another for love, support, and kindness along the way. One way to follow and help is to connect with me via My Fitness Pal, I use this for my nutrition and exercise accountability, if you would like connect with me here: https://www.myfitnesspal.com/profile/tsmithnc