Well, here we are.
This photo was taken on Friday, September 20th, 2013, exactly one year after I cleaned out my pantry and went wheat free. As of this writing, I am 85 pounds lighter than I was on September 20th, 2012, and I have been consistently free of the laundry list of ailments and general unpleasantness I have previously catalogued. Right here is a good place to be. For now.
Reaching this point is a little like sitting on a bench on a long and demanding hiking trail. Sure, I'm a long way from the park office. The view is great. But I have just as far to go to the top. So while the halfway point is nothing to sneeze at, I don't want to linger here too long.
I won't diminish for a minute how awesome I feel right now. I'm pain free, I have tons of energy, I can do things with ease and without a second thought that I couldn't do at all a year ago. There is peace and relief in knowing what I needed to get out of my system to stop the systemic inflammation that was making it a massive effort just to drag myself through the day. So, yaay on all accounts.
The second half of the journey is a little different. Because now we're in completely new territory. Now we are firmly on the path of "things I've never ever done before". And its a little scary.
I'm preparing for the second half of the journey. I have no idea what it will look like. I believe I have the tools to navigate it, but it is a constant effort to make sure my focus is health, not appearance, and as such, the length of time it takes is irrelevant. And it has to be irrelevant, because I suspect the trail from here is steeper and those ever present (yet uninvited) companions Complacency and Fear start yammering a little more than they have already when the walk gets harder. But this is the nature of the Difficult Things. Difficult Things are Difficult. That isn't the same as saying they are impossible. They only become impossible when we decide that a thousand petty wants are more desirable than one true goal that is reached by climbing a ladder made of small sacrifices. If I've learned one thing this year, it is that those sacrifices DO get easier to make, but only if you keep making them. You can't think or shame yourself into the right course of action for you...you have to decide what it is and then take it every day, and stop worrying about how messy and imperfect it is, until those decisions become your very nature. Stop wasting energy engineering compromises. (I need to post that somewhere so I can see it every day, myself.)
Year Two has begun. Let's go.