Sometimes it’s easy to forget to acknowledge your progress. We get so caught up in the fact that we’re just not where we want to be, and we forget to celebrate how far we’ve come.
This truth smacked me across the face earlier today when I came across a photo that was taken in June of last year. This photo instantly brought me to tears. As soon as I saw it, the thoughts and feelings I had that day came flooding back into my mind.
It was my cousin’s bridal shower. I spent hours trying to figure out what to wear, because none of my cute dresses fit me anymore. I wore jeans and t-shirts to work every day because nothing else fit. Looking through my closet was as depressing as shopping. It left me feeling defeated and worthless. All the other girls showed up in cute summer dresses, and I wore jeans (which I had to leave unbuttoned, because they were too tight) and a top I had bought just a few weeks before.
As a bridesmaid, I was expected to smile and pose for pictures and participate in every part of this day. This particular photo was a group shot of all the bridesmaids. I sucked in my gut, forced a smile, and hoped I wouldn’t look too hideous in the photo. I spent the entire day dodging the camera. It was almost unbearable. At one point, I snuck into the bathroom and had a good cry. I was absolutely humiliated.
When the pictures showed up on Facebook, I untagged myself, hid them from my timeline, and anything else within my power to make sure the fewest people possible saw the photos.
But this photo somehow made it through my screening process. And I am so glad it did.
Because today when I stumbled upon it, I was overcome with gratitude. I was reminded of how far I have come. I was encouraged to keep going toward my goal.
Lately I have been so caught up in the fact that I’m not yet where I want to be, and I have completely forgotten where I came from.
I forgot that almost a year ago, I was at my heaviest weight. I was so unhappy. I was embarrassed to go anywhere. I was sick all the time. And I had given up the last bit of hope of ever changing that.
I am saving this photo, along with a photo of me today, because it is the perfect reminder. I may not be where I want to be yet, but today I am celebrating where I am right now! I’m not the “after” version of myself yet, but I’m the “in-process” version. And I’m happy with that. I will celebrate the “in-process” version of me, because it’s worth celebrating.
There is so much power when we celebrate our little victories. A very wise woman once said that what you focus on, you get more of.
So today I will focus on my progress. I won’t brush it off, as if it’s not a big deal. I will not be ashamed of it. I won’t be discouraged by how much further I have to go. I will not say, “Yeah, I’ve lost 50 pounds, but I still have 140 to go.”
I encourage you to celebrate your progress, too! Whatever that looks like. Whatever goal you’re working towards, don’t forget to celebrate your victories along the way! You will be amazed by how encouraged and empowered you feel when you do this. There really is power in celebrating your progress. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself!