I have sat down a couple times in the past few weeks and tried to find the words to explain how I am feeling. I have so many things that I want to say and share and just now have I been able to combine and organize my thoughts.
First of all I wanted to share my weight loss journey. I have been overweight for a great portion of my life. I have tried so many different diets and been to different doctors including a dietitian and psychologist. Nothing has ever worked. Slowly over the years my weight has increased and just a few days after I turned 21 I was at the highest I have ever been. A number on the scale that I said I would never get close to was just six pounds away. I had an appointment with my NP and I was dreading to go. I hadn't seen this NP for probably a year and I was really embarrassed to go in for an appointment. The day of my appointment came and I cried when I woke up that morning. As I sat in the waiting room waiting for my name to be called I prepared my self for what I knew the NP was going to say. My name was called and I came back and was asked to step on the scale. I stepped on that scale and my heart sank and I held back the tears. I was taken into the exam room and my heart was racing. When Lisa (NP) came in the room she smiled and was so nice. I was just waiting for her to start with the statistics about how I was going to die young because of my weight and how high my chances were for diabetes or heart disease. I've heard these things so many times over the years and yes they scare me. Instead of scolding me she just said that my weight had gone up since the last time I had been in and that she would do whatever she could to help me. The next thing she said is something that no one has ever said to me before and something that I will never forget. She said I believe in you and I know that you can lose the weight. Let me just say right now that when someone says they believe in you and they really mean it you start to believe them and believe in yourself. I think that was the thing I had been missing all these years. Until Lisa had said that she believed in me, I had never believed in myself. When someone believes in you and you believe in yourself great things can happen. With the help of Metformin, Phentermine, a little exercise, the support from family and friends and My Heavenly Father I have lost 32 pounds since the beginning of August.
My journey has not been easy. There have been times that I have wanted to give up when temptations get tough but the words that Lisa spoke to me motivate me to keep going. I know that anyone who reads this has personal struggles and I want you to know that you can do whatever you set your mind to. No matter how big or small your struggle is, if you take it one day at a time you can do it.
Secondly I want to share my spiritual journey from the past year and a half. After two of my best friends went on their missions I felt so alone. I felt like I had no friends, no one to talk to and no one who understood me. I had a job that prevented me from going to church every Sunday and that made a huge difference in my life. I didn't lose my testimony but it was weak. When I did go to church I would play on my phone and not pay attention to the words that were spoken. I ended up moving to the night shift at work and that made things a lot worse. As I look back to working those night shifts the one thing that comes to mind is something that I heard when I began dating. Someone had said, I think it was at church, that the spirit goes to bed at midnight. Let me testify right here, right now that the spirit does in deed go to bed at midnight. I developed bad habits because of this and have had to repent for mistakes I made and sins that I committed. During this time I let my temple recommend expire, I couldn't remember the last time I had felt the spirit, paid my tithing, read the scriptures or even prayed to my Father in Heaven. No wonder I felt so alone. It wasn't until I was talking to a friend about marriage that I realized I was so far from the place that I wanted to get married. I carried so much guilt and pain because of the wrong things that I had done and I felt hopeless. I felt like there was no way in a million years that my Father in Heaven would forgive me.
When my best friend Brooke came home from her mission she was driving me home one night after we had been hanging out. We started talking about some pretty deep things and I felt like I needed to tell her about one of the things I had been struggling with. As I told her I was bawling my eyes out. What she told me next is something that changed my life and put me back on the right track. She told me that while she was on her mission she had been prompted that I was struggling and that she needed to put my name into the temple. Even as I share this precious memory with you I have tears streaming down my face. I have been blessed and privileged to have an angel as my best friend. She is one of the most Christlike people I have ever known. She is the most genuine person with the biggest heart and I love her so much. When I got out of Brookes car that night I went into my room and poured out my soul to my Father in Heaven. After much prayer and because of the Atonement I have felt my sins forgiven and washed away. I have also been able to forgive myself. By saying personal prayer, paying tithing, going to church and reading the scriptures I have been able to experience some of the most spiritual experiences in my life. My heart is filled with so much love and gratitude. I have been taking the temple prep class so that someday soon I can go to the temple and make covenants with my Heavenly Father. I am so grateful for friends and family and the Gospel in my life.