Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Do you suppose that caterpillars know what's inside them?  Is it possible that at some point something deep within them connects with their inner butterfly?  Is that what propels them to spin the cocoon to begin the transformation?

The more I think about this journey, the more I wonder at what point this transformation is going to feel completely real to me.  I'm watching The Biggest Loser tonight as I write this post.  It's the make-over show and they're about to walk out on the red carpet as these new people, completely transformed on the exterior.  But as they speak, what is obvious is that this is no shallow, surface change.  They are profoundly different people.  At their core, they no longer see themselves as they once did.  They know who they are at a fundamental level, and they know who they will never be again.  One of the contestants said it best: "The butterfly is out of the cocoon!"

The dictionary defines the verb "transform" in this way...
      • To change in composition or structure;
          • To change the outward form or appearance of;
              • To change in character or condition.
Transformation is so much more than a physical, visible process.  The far greater part of transforming is the hidden processes that cause the change in character and composition.  The weight loss I'm undergoing right now is an obvious outward change in my appearance.  But the more essential part of my transformation is still ongoing and far less easy to see.  At times, I worry that maybe it's not happening and that perhaps I'm still the same person who allowed herself to get to the point of morbid obesity.  And then there are times like tonight that let me know that's not true.

I was emotionally stressed tonight for some intensely personal reasons.  Add on top of that stress the fact that I'm not feeling great physically, and you can guess what I had the perfect set up for, can't you?  Yup.  Emotional eating.  My personal nemesis.  And honestly, I dished up a great big old slice of peanutbutter cup pie and brought it right into the living room, put up the footstool on the recliner and put the first bite in my mouth.

But then I stopped.

I didn't stop because I was feeling guilty (although I was!).  I didn't stop because I'm in the middle of a huge weight loss challenge given to me by my mentor and friend (although I am!).  I didn't stop because I didn't want that pie (because I did!).

I stopped because I am being transformed.

I am no longer a person who has to eat to deal with her emotions.  At my core, I am no longer that girl.  And just like a butterfly can never again become a caterpillar once it's undergone its transformation, so I won't ever be an obese woman again after my transformation is final.  I know that.  Complete transformation won't allow it.  The first part of the definition makes it clear.  It is a change in composition and structure.  Those things can't be undone.  Not by stress, not by circumstances.  Not at all.

The thing is...my transformation is not yet complete.  I'm not feeling the complete success that these contestants expressed tonight because I'm not yet where they are, either in my physical transformation or in my mental one. But I feel much better about where I am in the process after taking stock of myself tonight.  Much, much better!

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