Of all of the rewards I set for myself, the one I’m most excited about is that when I lose 100 lbs I get a new tattoo. The list does need to be worked a bit since I’ve changed my goal weight from 175 to 160, but that one remains the same. I already have two tattoos — Chinese characters for “author” on my left shoulder and the words “defy gravity” on my inner right wrist. Each holds personal significance, and while it took me eight years between the two, ever since getting the second one on my 29th birthday, I’ve been itching for a third. I even added it to my 101 Goals in 1001 Days list.
Of course, any time you’re talking about making a permanent mark on your body, it’s always a question of what. What design can you live with for the rest of your life? What idea or image will you still love when you’re 90? At first I considered the most obvious: a phoenix, representing the transformation I’ve taken. Another option was my most favorite word in the entire world: Perestroika, which means “restructuring” in Russian. Restructuring of myself, my life, my attitude, all of it.
Then I came across this quote (and used dafont to make it all purty):
I mean, ultimately isn’t that what this is all about? Sure, a concerned Sissy sending me an email a little over a year ago was the catalyst for this journey, but I’ve lost the 60+ lbs all on my own. I’ve had to, nobody else can do it for me. Nobody else is going to wake me up at 5:15 am to go to 6am yoga. Nobody else is going to get my ass to the rec center or onto the treadmill. Nobody else is going to be at the grocery store with me when I’m planning my meals for the week or at the restaurant when I’m looking at a menu.
But more than that, nobody else can want this for me. That is, while family and friends can (and did) hope for me to lose weight and get healthy, if I didn’t want it for myself, their wishes wouldn’t have mattered. It’s not as though their concern was out of the blue: I’d ignored it for 29 years or only gave half-hearted attempts. The choice to change is entirely on me and it is up to me to follow through. I can have love and support, but I have to do this for me and not as a means of pleasing or appeasing anyone else.
You hear that all the time when it comes to making big changes, be it diet, exercise, smoking, etc. Until the person with the vice is ready to change, nothing will happen. You can’t force a person to commit to something they aren’t ready for or don’t believe they are worthy of. Which, of course, brings up its own host of personal issues. Believing that you are worth the new life you are carving for yourself instead of being afraid of it.
The path is long, the road sometimes tricky to navigate. But with a little patience and perseverance, we’ll all get to whatever destination we’re aiming for. Look at me: a year ago, I never would have imagined I’d believe in myself enough to get this far. As it is, I’m only 88 lbs away from my goal and only 37 away from that tattoo. 37 lbs until I have lost a grand total of 100. Perhaps this really is the year of the phoenix after all.
Love from the ashes,