One of the big reasons health has become so important to me is that I spent the better part of my early years as an inactive, plump girl. Like many of us, I suppose, I really had no idea who I was or what I was capable of. I think this insecurity did little to draw friends my way or to endear me to many of my classmates. I was either ignored or teased, not as bad as some but worse than others. Still, the scars I earned in the halls of my junior high and high schools were things I carried with me for years after, letting them define me.
Then, my children were born, and with their unconditional love and the constant love and adoration of my husband, I FINALLY blossomed! Secure in my place in the world, I decided I could brave my 20-year high school reunion. This is a mile-stone event that I did not want to miss, so I steeled myself for what I was certain would be an awkward night of being the wallflower and outcast I'd been the last time I'd seen these people. I even talked my husband into going with me as a safety net!
All the deeply buried scars boiled to the surface, as I stepped into the event. I was nervous and anxious! Low and behold, it became an evening of the fondest of reunions with old friends, long-lost buddies, and classmates that seemed to be in as much disbelief about how we'd all changed as I was! With name tags featuring our Senior pictures, the night became a fun game of rectifying the photo to the person...the former queens now in glasses, the stoners now confident business men, the athletes now with the growing paunch of middle-age, and the nerds now glowing with confidence and strength! I was so excited for everyone and to hear their stories, and I was shocked to find that they felt the same about me!
For this former outsider, it was like a spiritual healing...my wounded teeny-bopper finally being welcomed by her peers. Perhaps one of the most memorable moments was standing next to one of the most popular boys of our class and having him do a double-take, as he compared me to my photo mid-way through our conversation. In the most sincerest way, he said, "wow, look at you, you're so beautiful!". Me? As we talked more about our lives, he then said one of the best statements.."it took me a long time to figure out who I am". It looks like we weren't all that different after all. So, I went home that evening filled with the sheer joy of connecting with this small group of people that I have the most unique of bonds, and feeling my inner teeny-bopper's scars fade, especially in the face of her shining smile!
Healthy Gut = Happy Life
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