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Adding new chapters to the story

Over a year ago, I told my ‘story’ in these very pages. It had been four years coming and while I was both nervous and apprehensive I wanted to show readers that you don’t have to be a contestant on a ‘self-help’ show to take control of your life.

To summarize, the story I shared was of my weight loss journey, the ending of my 20-year marriage and transitioning into life as a single mom of two young kids. All while remembering to put myself first and continue to be healthy for all of us.

During that four-year period, I did a bit of dating. Talk about eye-opening, entertaining and, yes, frightening. I had not dated since my very early 20s and I married that guy, so it was all a bit unsettling.

As the extra weight I was once burdened by stayed at bay, my cousin lovingly noted that I was at my ‘date weight,’ sharing that all I had to focus on was me, kids and staying fit. Easy … right?

Not so fast.

Since the publication of that issue, I have met someone.

Side note, this is extremely revealing for me. I don’t typically share this part of my life in print, but my guy is cool with it and for the purpose of this piece, I am too.

Since he and I began dating almost one year ago, I have learned the true meaning of ‘date weight.’

Contrary to what my cousin (who is happily married almost 30 years) believes, date weight comes once you meet someone. Date weight is waiting for you at breweries, restaurants and baseball games. Date weight is breakfast in bed, when you would normally be out on a run or sweating through a hot yoga class. Date weight brings new challenges, no matter how supportive the love of your life might be.

Date weight forces you to reevaluate how you maintain or even more importantly how you get back on track.

What date weight has taught me is simple and helped me face how I became overweight to begin with. Putting myself second is easy.

I’m a pleaser. I want everyone to be happy and, yes, putting myself first can be a challenge.

Fortunately during my weight loss journey, I was able to witness the joy of my success in the eyes of those who love me. Putting myself first in the way of fitness (mind, body, soul) benefitted everyone.

The difference between the girl 10 years ago and the one today is in the knowing and the support. Being supported by a person who just wants you to be happy, because "when you go to yoga you’re a better person." The knowing that not only can you achieve it but you will achieve it.

Everyone has a struggle, a hurdle or a setback. My struggle began with losing myself and my value. My hurdle came in the way of divorce, but I cleared it. My setback came in the way of date weight. Each and all of these things controllable by one person — me.

Therein lies the power. Therein lies the victory. The question now stands, am I brave enough to clear the setback? My vote is yes! Stay tuned …