In in some sections of Alcoholics Anonymous, members are given “sobriety chips” to commemorate their time periods of being sober.
Talismans and symbols have been important in journeys throughout history and literature. “The One Ring” in The Lord of the Rings, Sam’s lucky bottle cap on Cheers, Harry Potter’s scar, Luke’s Lightsabor, Annie’s half of a locket, William Wallace’s wife’s handkerchief in Braveheart, or Moses’s staff. When we go on important journeys it can help to have something external to symbolize our internal change. This week my mom gave me mine.
Last spring I went to Louisville, Kentucky for the first time to attend one of the largest new play festivals in the country– Humana. My beloved friend and mentor Kimberly invited me and it was a spectacular weekend. I saw three plays a day and drank my weight in sweet tea. It was amazing.
On my final day in Louisville, I popped into a store that sold Irish goods. I’ve been utterly in love with Ireland since I went there in the summer of 2012, and I couldn’t help but stop and shop. Sitting there in a glass display case was the most beautiful ring I had ever seen. It was a continuous loop of Celtic Trinity Knots interspersed with a few small diamonds. It was only $100, but I could not bring myself to buy it, as jewelry is a luxury my present budget does not allow. But the ring continued to haunt me. I thought about that ring the whole way to the airport. I thought about it on the plane. I thought about it for a month. I thought about it for half a year.
When Ashley and I started The Embraceable Project, my mom was one of our biggest fans. My mom has always been a huge champion of my self-esteem, but She went above and beyond this time. She called me up and asked me if she could buy me the Louisville ring as a reminder of how beautiful I am as I begin this project. My mother is truly one of a kind. I had dreamed about that ring for so long, I could think of no better talisman to help me on this journey. I was overwhelmed that my mother knew me so well to think of such an important necessity for a life-changing journey. My mother is extraordinary in every way.
When my mom presented me with the ring, it was as beautiful as I remember it. She accompanied it with a card that told me that every time I put on the ring I needed to remember how gorgeous and loved I was–no matter what.
Today I put on the ring as Ashley and I prepared for our February photo shoot. Our photo shoots are hard. We could not have dreamed of a better or more understanding photographer, but it is still nerve-wracking to be photographed when you don’t feel like your most beautiful self. But today I put on my ring and I said to myself, “You are loved and you are beautiful, just as you are.” I let my hair down, and let Danielle work her photography magic. I felt more confident than I have in any of our other photo shoots. Thanks mom, it worked! I have my talisman.
The thing that I love about A.A.’s chips is that for the first month you only get a 24hr chip. People say it takes 30 days to break a habit, so you keep your 24hr chip and work at it every single day. You take it one minute at a time because anything else is too overwhelming. You cannot think about a MONTH without alcohol, you can only think about the next minute. The next hour. The next day. I have to start getting into that mindset.
I keep thinking that this project is my only chance to fix this “FOREVER,” and thus far I have done nothing but fail. I have not lost any weight. I have no control over my eating. I have barely exercised. I have not learned to embrace myself as I am. I get stuck in the same ruts over and over again, because I have become crippled by the word “forever”–I will “forever” not be able to eat whatever whenever I want. I will “forever” have to exercise every day. I will “forever” feel like I’m not good enough–ENOUGH. This ends today. Today I am taking my ring as my 24hr chip, and all I have to do is believe that I am beautiful today. All I have to do is stay in my calorie range today. All I have to do is exercise today. Tomorrow is future Rachell’s problem. Today I am taking the small victories and celebrating every minute as a triumph. Today is my first 24hrs.
This Weeks Facts: Weight: 210.5lbs How do you feel?: Desperate. No more fooling around. It’s time to get serious. Small Victory: I felt confident during my photo shoot. Biggest Disappointment: I ate a ton of fast food and did not pick the “healthy” menu options. Thing I appreciated about my body this week: I have amazing lips. They are soft, plump, and red. I think they’re beautiful. Reason why I am #embraceablenow: I am a unique and brilliant person with a lot to offer this world. Other notes: Our Photographer Danielle is extraordinary. Seriously people hire her immediately there’s no one better.