“You can be anywhere when your life begins.
You meet the right person and anything is possible.”
I’ve never been one who can recite dialogues or sputter off movie quotes so it amazes me that a line from a teenage movie has stuck in my head for so long. And when I think back to April 4th, 2012 it immediately comes back to mind. Clearly on that chilly spring night, a part of my life was just beginning.
A year ago today I sat here and told you how I had just climbed my own personal Mount Everest. I had accomplished what was at one point in my mind was the un-thinkable. The evidence could be seen in my face, in my body, in my clothes, in my smile. I had fought a battle, and I had won. I thought I had it all figured out, that from here on out it was all downhill.
And now here I am, a second year gone by. To the eye it appears that not much has changed. In fact- I’ll confess that I haven’t budged out of the same 5 pound weight range for the last 365 days. And while you might consider that a disappointment the truth is it is an even greater victory to celebrate. Losing weight is one thing. Maintaining it is a whole new ballgame. It means this isn’t just a phase anymore. This is my life.
For several months I would wake up in a panic that I would look in the mirror and my old body would be back. That this was just all a big dream. After a year of maintenance I now know… this IS my body. I get to keep it. I get to use it to do all of these amazing things I never dreamed I would be doing. All it asks in return is that I take care of it.
Success in year two can’t be measured in simply pounds or inches. It’s measured in new experiences, in accomplishments. In 10Ks, half marathons, triathlons. It can be seen in my confidence, in my personality, in my happiness.
Maybe some day I’ll stop remembering April 4th. I’ll forget what I was wearing and how nervous I was. Maybe someday it will just be another day out of the year. It’s already getting hard to distinguish between what happened in year one and year two. It’s already difficult to remember what I did before I spent my days running, swimming, downward-dogging. The girl in the “before pictures” is becoming more and more of a distant memory, like someone stuck Kathleen in a fat suit. And while at some point I imagine this will all just be another chapter in the story of my life, for now I will remember. I will remember all those details, and all those milestones. I will celebrate happiness, strength, confidence. I will smile at the fact that on the night of April 4th I had no idea what was in store for me.
My story isn’t a “happily-ever-after”. It’s a “happily-as-you’re-gonna-work-for-it”. It’s not a story of magic tricks but of hard work, and not giving up. My fairy godmother didn’t cast any spells- she simply believes in me. She pushes me, and challenges me, she inspires me to keep going. My story is full of ups and downs, of challenges and successes. Tears of frustration and of pride. And the best part is? It doesn’t end here. My story has still just begun.