Project Healthy Sharla
Every day feels like the first day of the rest of my life. I’m grateful for each day. Those are words that I never would’ve uttered this time last year. I was overweight, unhappy, hiding out from the world as well as my emotions and I didn’t feel I deserved anything better. I dreaded each day because it just meant another day of tight, uncomfortable clothes, having no energy, and disliking being in my own skin. I couldn’t go on like I was, where outwardly I put on a show that everything was perfect, but inside I hated myself. I was a few weeks from turning 49 so with 50 looming, I knew I had to change.
One of the dreams I dared to dream a year ago, besides simply liking myself before age 50, was to go to Maui for our 30th anniversary on August 8th and wear a sundress. I say I dared to dream it because although I voiced it, I didn’t really believe it. The thought of me in a sundress with my arms and legs showing was so foreign to me. I didn’t even like to show my arms and legs at home! But in Maui last week, I wore a sundress!
I have to admit, I felt naked and not because the wind kept blowing the dress up but because this was the fewest amount of clothes I’ve worn in public in decades! I also felt empowered! I still have a long way to go on my journey but I’m not letting that stop me from enjoying where I’m at right now. My body may not be cover girl ideal but I no longer focus on any flaws. I’m healthy, I’m strong, and I worked hard to get to where I’m at and I’m not going to hide from anything! I’m not waiting to live life any longer! I even conquered a fear of being in a dark cave by going 1/3 of a mile into the Hana Lava Tube!
Accepting myself as I am is something that I don’t recall ever experiencing before. As long as I can remember, I’ve been absent from photos of events and experiences, basically my life, because I always dodged the camera. This trip was the first time I ever said the words ‘take my picture’ over and over again. My husband still looks like a deer in headlights when I say that! At one stop where we were taking photos, a couple came up and asked if we’d like a photo of us together. In the past my answer to this was always ‘no, that’s okay but thanks anyway’. This time my husband said I practically threw the camera at them as I emphatically said ‘YES’!
I’m still amazed how far I’ve come in just a year. I didn’t believe in myself back then but I believed in Jennifer and the PHB philosophy until I was able to finally believe in myself several months into the process. I turned 50 today, and I’m living my best life. I look at my photos now and see the joy, happiness and pride in my face. I believe my husband when he tells me I’m beautiful. I know I deserve to be happy and to do anything I choose to do. I believe this. I believe in myself. I know I’m worth it!