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Affirming the Before Woman


Back in March I hurt my back. Although my mind feels 25; I sometimes forget that my body is not! I was working out at my local gym, and during an exercise sequence that I’ve done a million times before, SNAP!


For weeks I iced. I heated. I whined. I winced. Finally after nearly a month of agony, I went to see an orthopedist. Now, here I am nearly 11 weeks later, going to weekly physical therapy and banned by my doctor from working out. Since the injury, not only have I not been working out, I’ve been indulging in one of life’s greatest pleasures. As luck would have it, after a 5-year hiatus, Blue Bell Ice Cream is now being sold again in my state. So, in just a couple of months, I’ve lost a lot of muscle and gained about 10 pounds of pure, sugary, creamy, cookies and cream.


Weight gain when you don’t want it isn’t fun, but there’s something I’d like to share in case someone needs to hear it. Please stop shaming the “before” woman!


For motivation, I often binge watch shows like The Greatest Loser, My 600-lb Life and Extreme Weight Loss – longing to see the results – the after. Our society has always loved a good before and after story.


Before Photo: Hey world, look at me when I was 5,000 pounds! I was ugly, unhappy, incapable, lazy and unworthy.


After Photo: Hey world, take a look at me now! I’m 50 pounds. Beautiful, happy, capable, blessed and worthy.


The problem with this before and after mentality is that due to our changing lifestyles, pregnancy, health, aging, or maybe just a bit too much Blue Bell; 9 times out of 10 we will at some point in our lives regress back to that before woman.


After regaining weight, how could anyone face the world or look at themselves in the mirror without feeling immense shame after they had publicly humiliated their before woman?


When we hear friends, family, and even total strangers shaming themselves about their weight, it’s human for us to reply with kindness, love and positivity. Ask yourself - Have you saved some of that kindness, love and positivity for yourself?


Even when you’re not at your best, be sure and always give the woman you are some grace. She deserves that. She deserves kindness, love, words of affirmation and acceptance.


So here I am today, staring at my before woman in the mirror.


Hey world, take a look at me. I’m 5,000 pounds, and I’m STILL beautiful, happy, capable, blessed, worthy - and currently... enjoying a bowl of Blue Bell.


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