29 years ago today….at 7:51pm…I was born. Right on my due date.
How friggin' cute was I?
At birth, I weighted 9lbs 10.5oz and I was 20 3/4inches long. My mother will tell you I was a big baby, but an average sized child. And that my delivery was long….very long.
Birthdays are supposed to be a time to celebrate another year of your life. To reflect and be proud of what you have accomplished in a short 365 days. But, since college, I often felt like every milestone during the year (including my birthday) was another time to look at how unhappy I was with myself.
Sure...I have a fantastic career. And a house I worked hard to buy on my own. But at the end of the day, I was always another year older, another several pounds heavier, and at a point where another year had gone where I felt that my life was at a standstill. I watched my friends zip past me and forward to weddings and babies. So by this point in my life, I had come to dread my birthday. Not because I felt older…but because I felt stagnant.
But this year is different. This year, I feel like I have made so much positive change in myself…and in my life…that I have finally moved forward. Closer to where I think that I’m supposed to be. So, after dreading my birthday for weeks...it inevitably arrived. And a funny thing happened.
I felt great.
No regrets. No guilt. I just felt...happy. For me, this past year was about change and evolution. Most obviously, my body has changed. But more importantly to me, so has my mind. This year I learned some important lessons that I think will make the last year of my twenties, the best time of my life.
First, and maybe most difficult for me, I’ve learned that, in fact, I am beautiful…and may have been for a lot longer than I believed. I’ve learned that food, although important, is not and should not be the main focus of my life. I’ve also learned that, despite my earlier beliefs, exercise will not kill me. In fact, I actually enjoy it. I’ve learned that shopping is even MORE fun when you feel comfortable about yourself….inside and out. And finally, I've learned a lot about my friends and family. I feel more loved and supported by most of you than I could have ever dreamed.
This year, I’ve decided that I’m going to embrace my 29th birthday as a new beginning to what I hope will be the best year of my entire life. Instead of moping around, I spent my the very first minutes of this "new year" out salsa dancing...for the very first time. Spinning and twirling on the dance floor with my friends (and some strangers!) was a blast.
At this time last year, I was just beginning the process to see if I even qualified for this surgery. At that point, I had no idea where I would end up. Today, I am 118 pounds lighter and feeling the best I have ever felt in my life.
So here's to birthdays...because, in the end, it's not the years in your life that count....but the life in your years! And I want to have as much "life in my years" as possible!!!